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Earth Democrats Government

Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan 577

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-ain't-easy-being-green dept.
Today President Obama gave a speech outlining the administration's plan to take on climate change. (Video of the speech available on YouTube, and the White House published an infographic as well.) Most significantly, Obama's plan would have the EPA set limits on carbon pollution from all U.S. power plants, a goal already meeting resistance from Republicans. The plan also sets the goal of funding enough solar- and wind-based energy projects on public lands to power over 6 million homes by 2020. By 2030, it aims to use efficiency standards to reduce carbon pollution by 3 billion metric tons. Obama called for new efforts to deal with extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy. He also pointed out the difficulty in getting emerging industrial economies to be environmentally conscious. To that end, the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries, unless those plants use carbon capture and sequestration technologies. The speech addressed the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry up to 800,000 gallons of oil per day from Canada into the U.S. Obama indicated that approval for the pipeline would be tied to emissions goals.
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Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan

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  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:59PM (#44105253)

    But no money and solar is many years away from being viable for large scale energy use.

    Tell that to Germany [wikipedia.org] with 32 gigawatts of solar installed and counting. More generating capacity than the Three Gorges dam. That's large scale, no matter how you slice it.

    Not to mention the emissions caused making the panels...

    This useless canard again. The emissions from making the panels are trivial, and get lower the more panels there are in use. There's no reason a plant making panels couldn't get its electricity from panels, after all. Even making glass is possible with a solar furnace (though probably not tempered glass). Certainly compared to the emissions produced by extracting coal, panel production emissions are trivial, both in absolute terms (because coal dominates so hugely right now) and in per watt terms, since a kilogram of solar panel generates far more power over its lifetime than a kilogram of coal.

    No money is the only reason, and that's purely by choice, not necessity.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:02PM (#44105299)
    Since peaking in 2005, US carbon emissions have dropped a gigaton [eia.gov] per year. This was mainly due to switching almost half of coal-powered to electricity to cheaper and cleaner natural gas. This is near the goal [unratified] Kyoto treaty of 5% below 1990 levels. Since this was acheived by market forces rather than government regulation, Obama and environmentalists almost completely ignore this achievement. Obamas new proposal will lower US CO2 output even more.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:38PM (#44105793) Journal

    the government will spend billions of dollars subsidizing Solyndra wannabes,

    You realize that Solyndra turned into a four letter word because the USA was not subsidizing its solar industry as much as the Chinese were?

    Solyndra is not the example you want to use, unless your example is that trade wars suck for the people getting undercut.

  • by Ichijo (607641) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:44PM (#44105873) Homepage Journal

    Periodic Ice Ages. The last one was 11,000 years ago. The earth is still warming up towards 'normal'.

    False [grist.org], and also false [grist.org].

    Medieval mini ice age.

    That was a local phenomenon, not global. [grist.org]

    The earth is mostly covered with water and most of the land is desert

    And it takes just one straw to break the camel's back (or one wafer-thin mint to explode Mr. Creosote).

    Radiation is related to the square of the temperature difference.

    Unfortunately, we're melting the ice caps (which reflect radiation back into space), and water vapor creates a temperature feedback [youtube.com]. That means as the earth warms, the warming will accelerate.

    What caused those hot swampy periods?

    Changes in the orbit of the earth. [grist.org]

    man has precious little to do with it, if anything.

    False. [grist.org]

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:50PM (#44105949)

    We already have an actual solution. Its called building a massive solar thermal complex in the southwestern desert

    Solar thermal projects all over the world are being cancelled because they can no longer compete with solar PV. I don't think this is the "actual solution" we are looking for.

    Invest a trillion dollars in it over the next 10 years ...

    Maybe we should find something that actually makes economic sense before we add another trillion to our national debt.

  • by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:57PM (#44106069)
    Most people, I find, aren't really aware of the ramifications of Administrative Law and the evolution of the Executive Branch. Over the past couple of centuries, Congress had passed laws and created agencies under the purview of the President to administrate. Over time, this has resulted in a massive federal system of administrative agencies who have the power to issue regulations based on their interpretation of the law. This has been found Constitutional, since it's nothing but the natural outgrowth of "Congress makes laws, the President executes them," but sometimes it produces shocking results to the lay person. Kind of like the patent system and "limited time," perhaps the administrative apparatus has gone far beyond its original intent, but by the letter of the law, that's perfectly fine. It's a matter for the voters and Congress to fix it, not the courts.
  • by OneAhead (1495535) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:30PM (#44106505)
    Oh please, what kind of fantasy workd are you living in? The NSA has been doing this kind of stuff since the 1960s, through many R and D presidencies. There was a huge stink about it in in 2001 after the publication of a number of reports, in particular this one [europa.eu]. It's an interesting read; there's very little Snowden revealed that wans't already in that 12-years-old report. Yet now it's suddenly all Obama's fault. Guess he should have been more effective at suppressing the renewed media attention? Also, how is him trying to go through with it a lie? I didn't hear him say: "yeah I put this plan together for shits and giggles, so don't worry, I'm not going to go through with it."
  • by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:30PM (#44106509)

    I hope this is sarcasm, because the Montreal Protocol is widely hailed as one of the greatest successes in international cooperation and pollution control. As a result of the treaty, ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere (as measured in equivalent chlorine) have declined by 10%, and the ozone hole over Antarctica is poised to have resorted by 1 million square km (of a peak of 25 million square km) by 2015.

    Really, the only failure of the Montreal Protocol was the promotion of HCFC-22 which does less ozone damage but is a major greenhouse gas. (It's being phased out for more ozone-safe refrigerants, but it'll be up there for centuries.)

    Does anyone remember the introduction of catalytic converters for cars? What was it we were told? We were told the converters would convert the noxious emissions into harmless water...and carbon dioxide.

    Well, when the alternative is carbon monoxide, unburned gasoline, and NOx, I think we'll take the CO2 and water. But just because it's non-toxic doesn't mean that it's not a pollutant.

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