From the Vatican to Beantown – The Climate Minute Podcast

The Pope called a meeting to discuss climate and human trafficking. Mayor Walsh was there. Is the Francis on to something? Also, a coalition of Climate Hawks calls on Governor Baker to open the process on his push to roll back environmental regulations. They are right- an open process will give better results!

Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

Thanks for listening.

…Ted McIntyre

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Anticipating the Unanticipated – The Climate Minute Podcast

Due to climate change, we can’t even accurately date the mummies that are melting out of the snow! Who would have thought? We are entering a new world, were we need to be ready for surprises. That strange new world should incorporate racial equality, since that will necessarily be part of a sustainable future.

The reading list:

Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

Thanks for listening.

…Ted McIntyre

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Soak Up the Sun! Renewable Energy Day of Action at the State House-The Climate Minute Podcast

Mark Your Calendars!!

It’s the middle of summer and the sun is shining — but utility companies want to keep us in the dark. They’ve put a cap on the state’s most important solar energy program. As a result, solar development and other renewable energy projects have stalled in more than 170 towns and cities.

We should do everything we can to soak up the energy of the sun. Will you join us at the State House to call for action?

Join us for the Soak Up the Sun day of action on Thursday, July 30 at the State House!

Solar is great. It’s clean, it’s renewable, and it’s helping reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. But the utilities see solar panels as a threat — and that’s why they insisted on placing a cap on net metering, a program that helps make solar affordable for families, businesses, and local governments. In towns and cities where caps have already been met new solar and other renewable energy projects have been unable to move forward.

On July 30, we’re gathering at the State House and calling on state officials to lift the caps and commit to a target of 20% solar by 2025. At 10:45 AM, we’ll rally outside the State House entrance. Then we’ll head into the building to meet with legislators and their staff.

Come to the State House on Thursday, July 30 at 10:45 AM and help us bring more renewables to Massachusetts. The theme of the rally is “beach party,” so make sure to bring your beach gear! Towels, inflatable beach balls, beach umbrellas, etc. There’s never been a better time for us to repower our state with clean energy from renewables.

Hope to see you there!

http://www.massclimateaction.net/

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Mini Ice-Ages and Maximum Droughts-The Climate Minute Podcast

Don’t get worked up over a possible mini Ice Age in the 2030’s “cuz it ain’t gonna happen.” On the other hand, California seems to be playing out a predictable, global-warming-consistent drought pattern. That is worth worrying about! We discuss.

The reading list:

Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

Thanks for listening.

…Ted McIntyre

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Between the World and He: Climate Notes

Whatever respect I once had for New York Times columnist David Brooks–and believe me, there was a lot–went right out the window three years ago, after he wrote a ludicrous column falsely blaming Al Gore for America’s political division on climate. So I can’t say I’m surprised to hear that Brooks has embarrassed himself once again by writing a highly controversial column in which he explicitly accuses the acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates of trafficking in the politics of racial victimization.

Brooks was shamed on social media for his rhetorical assault on Coates; the controversy highlights the benefit of using social media to shame those who use their op-ed perches in major American newspapers to advance profoundly dishonest or morally irresponsible points of view. It’s certainly one way to deal with repugnant content on the op-ed pages of major American newspapers: I’ve previously suggested that there’s another way to deal with such content.

It’s a tragedy that the op-ed pages of our newspapers are filled with anti-science agitprop, defenses of demagogues or racist rants. Years ago, the only way you could respond to a dishonest diatribe on an op-ed page was by calling the newspaper (all the good that would do, usually) or writing a letter to the editor and hoping it would get published. Now, with the revolution of social media, there are more opportunities than ever to cast a spotlight on stupidity.

As for Brooks, consider for a moment the ideological impulses that led him to attack Gore, Pope Francis and Coates. These three men come from dramatically different backgrounds, but they are unified in their questioning of conventional wisdom. All three men challenge entrenched power. All three men call upon humanity to fight for a better world. If you loved conventional wisdom, hated challenges to entrenched power and thought humanity was just fine as it is, you’d hate them too. Thus, not only are Brooks’s rants pathetic, they’re predictable.

…D.R.Tucker

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Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say: Climate Notes

I’ve noted before my frustration with conservative economist Irwin Stelzer, who supports putting a price on carbon but refuses to acknowledge the reality of human-caused climate change. Looks like Stelzer is still up to his old annoying tricks, as evidenced by a July 2 post on WeeklyStandard.com entitled “A Plea to Conservatives on Climate Change.”

Stelzer starts off with this incoherent line:

It makes no more sense to be certain that the globe is definitely not warming than to be certain that it definitely is. It makes no more sense to be certain that if the globe is warming it is not due to carbon emissions than to be certain that it definitely is. It makes no more sense to be certain that there will not be dire consequences if the globe is warming than to be certain that there will be.”

Uh, what? Why won’t the guy just say that the overwhelmingly majority of the world’s climate scientists are right, and be done with it?

In the next sentence, he basically explains why he won’t do so–he’d rather try to pander to WeeklyStandard.com’s right-wing readership by demonizing climate scientists and climate activists.

All public policy deals with uncertainty, which means it is well for policymakers and their critics always to show a bit of humility. That is what is in short supply in the ‘science is certain’ crowd. No chance, not even the slightest that they might be wrong. Let temperatures fail to rise and it is a temporary glitch. Or due to mis-measurement of those temperatures. Or to the need to make adjustments in the elaborate models on which the ‘certain science’ has been based. Anyone who disagrees is a ‘denier’, a word until now reserved for mullahs who deny the existence of the Holocaust.”

At this point, you’d be more than justified in viewing Stelzer as a jerk who doesn’t have the foggiest clue about climate science. Stelzer gets even more obnoxious in his next paragraph:

The pundits who are certain, really certain, that all of those scientists are wrong are no better, although they have a reasonable excuse for counter-certainty: the rudeness with which doubters are treated – barred from academic journals and positions and, most recently, from meetings with Pope Francis while he was formulating his latest attack on carbon emissions and capitalism [emphasis mine]. They accuse those who believe in the warming-from-emissions-caused-by-human-activity trinity of seeking to expand the power of government on the back of bogus science. Some such there undoubtedly are. But surely not all. They also accuse them of seeking a means of raising taxes, by enacting a carbon tax.”

Oh, my. Can’t criticize capitalism!

Stelzer tries to redeem himself in his last paragraph by repeating his long-standing call for a revenue-neutral carbon tax:

And that is where they are wrong. Those taxes are already being levied – by the producers of the emissions that may, only may, be creating costs for society as whole. The costs of emissions, not fully reflected in the price of fossil fuels, are being borne by a society that did not vote to impose such a tax on itself. It is a form of taxation without representation, something that history suggests Americans find unacceptable. Given the need to offset rising inequality and give growth a boost, reform of the tax structure is essential. A tax that takes the already-existing costs of emissions and imposes them on the creators of the emissions rather than on innocent bystanders seems a modest step forward, perhaps on behalf of the environment [emphasis mine], certainly on behalf of a more equitable and growth-oriented tax structure.”

One wonders who Stelzer is writing these increasingly bizarre articles for. Climate-change deniers won’t support putting a price on carbon under any circumstances. Conservatives who support putting a price on carbon because they accept the evidence of human-caused climate change won’t be able to relate to Stelzer’s scorn of science. If Stelzer were a musician, he’d be writing songs only he could understand.

…D.R.Tucker

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New England’s Cap and Trade program pays off-The Climate Minute Podcast

What happens when you put a price on carbon? The sky does not fall, and the economy gets better! We discuss.

The reading list:

Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

Thanks for listening.

…Ted McIntyre

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