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Thread: Barack Obama's energy team: Real science comes to Washington

  1. #16
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I'm not disagreeing that fossil fuel production is down. What I'm saying is that, down or not, the damage to the climate has already been done. Fossil fuel production being down doesn't take away from the fact that some major changes have to be made when it comes to fuel production. As far as less driving goes, I doubt that. Because I'm still caught in heavy gridlock on the roads.

    In the immediate future the economy is the top priority, but that doesn't mean that we can't start addressing the climate issues, too. Like Obama said, a president has to be able to multi-task.
    For my part, I hope Thomas Friedman is right when he predicts that the next economic boom will be centered around alternative fuels and that the U.S. better get on the bandwagon.

  2. #17
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    For my part, I hope Thomas Friedman is right when he predicts that the next economic boom will be centered around alternative fuels and that the U.S. better get on the bandwagon.
    I hope he's right, too. Because we can boost the economy, while addressing the climate. Plus, start to end our dependence on foreign oil.

  3. #18
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Kyoto is a joke.

    China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico - the biggest polluters are not required to adhere to it.....so what sense does it make? They are not going to give up economic development for environmental concerns. They don't care. China opens one new coal burning factory every single week.

    The refusal to ratify the treaty occured under Clinton in 1997- not Bush.

    Al Gore said 'the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations'. In 1997, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution. This resolution stated that the Kyoto Protocols was not clearly enough defined. So they signed the treaty, but refused to ratify it. Bush just continued this stance....but US position was already in place on it.

    Until they get these countries on board, Kyoto is a paper tiger.
    China is going to have to start seeing the big picture pretty quickly. They have to import food to feed their people already. So unless they want huge riots over food in the years ahead, they're going to have to make some big changes. Last I recall, the Gobi Desert is already beginning to encroach on Beijing.
    The Death of the Yellow River As Mr Dong suggested, Chinese dust storms are part of a much bigger and more intractable problem – drought. I had arrived in China in the middle of the worst drought in over a century; it affected the lives of millions of rural people and eventually cost the country $1.2 billion in economic losses. But drought has been a problem in China for many decades now: as a result of gradual climate change and rising temperatures, the north of the country has simply been drying up. This creeping disaster is illustrated by the fate of the Yellow River – one of the world’s greatest rivers and the largest in China after the Yangtze. It runs right from the highlands of Tibet past the southern edge of the Inner Mongolian plain, and is a vital water supply for cities and crops throughout the entire region. Yet drought, combined with rapid economic development and industrialisation, nowadays often sucks the river dry. In 1997 it failed to reach the sea at all for 226 days, with no flow along as much as 700 kilometres of the riverbed. In June 2003 the government announced that the Yellow River’s flow had reached its lowest level in half a century, leaving 12 per cent of the country’s entire population short of water. And every year, 2,500 square kilometres of China turns into desert; the land’s sandy topsoil provides a ready source of sand and soil for the dust storms. Desertification is accelerating: its rate has almost doubled since the 1950s. Now there are sand dunes just 70 kilometres from Beijing. The number of dust storms affecting the country is increasing all the time. According to government figures, there were eight dust storms in the 1960s, 14 in the 1980s and 23 in the 1990s. In the year 2000 alone, seven dust storms roared through Beijing.

    The Ecologist - Red Dust Rising

  4. #19
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    China is going to have to start seeing the big picture pretty quickly. They have to import food to feed their people already. So unless they want huge riots over food in the years ahead, they're going to have to make some big changes. Last I recall, the Gobi Desert is already beginning to encroach on Beijing.
    Well, I hope they wake up, but cynicism warns me they won't. I've been travelling there for years and the pollution has only gotten worse.

    Sadly, as for starving masses having food riots, the Chinese government doesn't care. Whats a few million more or less dead from starvation? This is a government that intentionally starved 15 million people to death for 'the Great Leap Forward' in the 1960's. The system is corrupt from top to bottom- in the government and the private sector.

    The entire thought process of the Chinese is so different from the west's, that's the big issue. They just don't care about the evironment. The style they live in, even in the modern cities- nevermind the rural areas- would be unthinkable to most westerners. Sanitation, cleanliness, and enviormental protections are really not concerns there, and if you aren't concerned with those things in your immediate environment, how could you care about it on a global scale?
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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  5. #20
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Well, I hope they enjoy Beijing becoming like the Sahara. The dust storms have already disintegrated parts of the Great Wall. Can't help but wonder what will be left of Beijing in twenty years.

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