NYT: The Real Cost of Coal

“This failure by the government to collect fair value for taxpayer coal is made more troubling by the climate-change implications of burning this fossil fuel. Taxpayers are already incurring major costs in responding to the effects of global warming. Coastal infrastructure is being battered by sea rise and storm surges; forests are being devastated by climate-aided pest infestations; and studies are suggesting that temperature rises have increased the likelihood of devastating droughts in California.

Moreover, as the Council of Economic Advisers documented in a report last July because of the long-lived nature of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, these costs will continue to rise.”

The cost of government coal should reflect the climate-change impact of burning it to generate electricity.
nytimes.com|By David J. Hayes and James H. Stock

Talking Climate Change Blues by David Lindsay

 © 2016

1)  Have you heard of,  Bill McKibben    /  not trying to be funny and I ain’t kidding.

This fellow got steamed, under the collar  /  when he noticed the planet getting hotter and hotter

He noticed some problems, heard solutions  /  Many scientists said it was carbon pollution

It wasn’t just about,   how a few people felt  / Al Gore showed films of glacier melt

The Antarctic loses ice, and the Arctic, forsooth  / An inconvenient pointer to the scientists truth.

Hurricane Sandy,     with a rising sea    / flooded New York, and New Jersey.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                   / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

2) McKibben likes to quiz, eany meany miney moe/What do you think are the numbers to know

Three hundred and fifty, and four hundred/ these are the numbers the scientists thundered.

I asked a young man,  selling solar panels / he looks blank, smiles like a camel

We need to know, these numbers says McKibben  / or we’ll be faced with Armageddon.

Parts per million, is the technical print   / Greenhouse gases is another hint.

All around the world,   the oceans are  rising  / while the coral reefs are slowly dying. (from acidification)

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                  / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

3)    Remember when Katrina, hit New Orleans?  / People died, many drowned, the  hoods all cleaned.

We thought it was big, then Sandy and Haiyun  (Haiyan)  / bigger droughts and fires, hurricanes and taifun

Hurricane Sandi,  in New York City  / the water hit the subway and it wasn’t pretty.

My friends lost their house, the neighbors too  /    60 billion dollars went up the flue.

But we ain’t see nothing, like Tacloban  / a Philippine city blown down to the ground, and then drowned.

For New Orleans, our military froze, / for Tacloban, our military rose.

Their Heroes. — Al-le-lue Ya-hoo  /  Forty nations came to their rescue.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                  / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

4) We’re hoping James Lovelock, got it all wrong / and we’ll be here centuries with dance & song.

Three hundred and fifty,   parts per mill,   /  The Scientists think is sustainable

Who are these scientists, sounding so strange /just the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Two hundred seventy-five, normal for long time, /Till we burned coal and oil, and spewed out the grime.

Four hundred parts per mil now, we are courting disaster, /Today, tomorrow,  and in the hereafter.

Doomsday approaches, but you can relax, /if you work real hard and pass a carbon tax.

And a methane tax,  and sell it to the Chinese.  /     Oh yeah, the Chinese!

In Beijing the air is, thick as molasses /While the kids are getting sick from the greenhouse gases

So start walking, or riding your bike, /cut your carbon footprint, and we’ll be all right,

Hopefully,    If it’s not too late./ And all the greenhouse gases we deflate.

And reduce our numbers, duck and roll  /  With a Marshall Plan for population control.   If not,

The lucky ones, will make to the morgue  /  It is time to check out Three Fifty dot org.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                     / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

 

Talking Climate Change Blues © 2016 can be found at David’s blog #1, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com,  and with guitar on Youtube.

 

 

 

Terrorists, Bathtubs and Snakes. Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“Our visceral fear of terrorism has repeatedly led us to adopt policies that are expensive and counterproductive, such as the invasion of Iraq. We have ramped up the intelligence community so much that there are now seven times as many Americans with security clearances (4.5 million) as live in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Donald Trump responded to the Brussels attacks with crowd-pleasing calls for torture or barring Muslims that even Republican security experts agree are preposterous.On the same day as the attacks, a paper by James E. Hansen and other climate experts was released arguing that carbon emissions are transforming our world far more quickly than expected, in ways that may inundate coastal cities and cause storms more horrendous than any in modern history. The response? A yawn.”

Source: Terrorists, Bathtubs and Snakes – The New York Times

Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries – The New York Times

“The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But a group of leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be highly dangerous.The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets, and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.A draft version of the paper had been released last year, and it provoked a roiling debate among climate scientists. The main conclusions have not changed, however, and a replay of that debate seems likely in the coming weeks.”

Source: Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries – The New York Times

Moments of Grace in a Grim Year There is ample reason to feel weary and worried, but there are also reasons to believe in the persistence of better values. nytimes.com|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Christmas Day, Part One
Here is an extraordinary editorial from the New York Times, which I will use here as my Christmas Letter. It includes:
“There is ample reason to feel weary and ill at ease. Today, though, it might help to look skyward, upon the Christmas full moon and, through an act of willful optimism, to swivel the mind away from the worst of this fading year. To tune out the rancor and find reasons to believe in the persistence of better values: humility, conciliat

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There is ample reason to feel weary and worried, but there are also reasons to believe in the persistence of better values.
nytimes.com|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Things to Celebrate, Like Dreams of Flying Cars Technology is finally back to advancing our ability to produce and deliver things. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Christmas Day Part two. Gratitude to Paul Krugman for the following wonderful column, which includes:
“Everyone who isn’t ignorant or a Republican realizes that climate change is by far the biggest threat humanity faces. But how much will we have to sacrifice to meet that threat?”

Technology is finally back to advancing our ability to produce and deliver things.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris The deal, which required unanimous approval by delegates from around the world, will for the first time commit nearly every country to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. nytimes.com|By Coral Davenport

Coral Davenport wrote: “The new deal will not, on its own, solve global warming. At best, scientists who have analyzed it say, it will cut global greenhouse gas emissions by about half enough as is necessary to stave off an increase in atmospheric temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the point at which, scientific studies have concluded, the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms.

But the Paris deal could represent the moment at which, because of a shift in global economic policy, the inexorable rise in planet-warming carbon emissions that started during the Industrial Revolution began to level out and eventually decline.”

The deal, which required unanimous approval by delegates from around the world, will for the first time commit nearly every country to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
nytimes.com|By Coral Davenport

Delegates at Climate Talks Focus on Saving the World’s Forests – Justin Gillis, The New York Times

LE BOURGET, France — The climate deal being negotiated here is meant to begin a transformation of the world’s energy systems, but it has another goal that has received far less attention: a sweeping effort to save the world’s forests.From Our AdvertisersDozens of countries put forests at the center of the plans they submitted ahead of the conference, near Paris. As the talks began, more than 60 heads of state emphasized their commitment to forest conservation.If a deal is reached this week and the plans go into effect in 2020, these nations — particularly tropical countries that are home to the richest diversity of plant and animal life — will have committed themselves to sharp reductions in deforestation, and in some cases to ending it entirely.

Source: Delegates at Climate Talks Focus on Saving the World’s Forests – The New York Times

Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial. Elected Republicans deny climate change and moderate unelected Republicans who recognize it are in denial that the deniers will smarten up. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

This is an historic period, as the world faces the threat of climate change. This piece by Paul Krugman is hugely important.
He starts: “Future historians — if there are any future historians — will almost surely say that the most important thing happening in the world during December 2015 was the climate talks in Paris. True, nothing agreed to in Paris will be enough, by itself, to solve the problem of global warming. But the talks could mark a turning point, the beginning of the kind of international action needed to avert catastrophe.

Then again, they might not; we may be doomed. And if we are, you know who will be responsible: the Republican Party.”

Elected Republicans deny climate change and moderate unelected Republicans who recognize it are in denial that the deniers will smarten up.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change …. This is your cheat sheet. nytimes.com|By JUSTIN GILLIS

Thank you Justin Gillis. He begins: One, Is global temperature actually rising?

“As of this October, the Earth had warmed by about 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, when tracking began at a global scale. That figure includes the surface of the ocean. The warming is greater over land, and greater still in the Arctic and parts of Antarctica.

The number may sound low, but as an average over the surface of an entire planet, it is actually high, which explains why much of the land ice on the planet is starting to melt and the oceans are rising at an accelerating pace. The heat accumulating in the Earth because of human emissions is roughly equal to the heat that would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs exploding across the planet every day.

Scientists believe most and probably all of the warming since 1950 was caused by the human release of greenhouse gases. If emissions continue unchecked, they say the global warming could ultimately exceed 8 degrees Fahrenheit, which would transform the planet and undermine its capacity to support a large human population.”

The issue can be overwhelming. The science is complicated. We get it. This is your cheat sheet.
nytimes.com|By JUSTIN GILLIS