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Earth Democrats Government

Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan 577

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 47Ronin ( 39566 ) <glenn.47ronin@com> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @03:54PM (#44104381) Homepage

    Friends of the Earth's climate and energy program director Damon Moglen said the President's climate plan is "not enough" and needs to be more ambitious. []

    Well isn't doing something like this, which causes so much angst from the energy sector and Republicans, at least a step in the right direction? Using a US football analogy, we can't always make a touchdown with every effort isn't a heroic 9-yard run a good start? Being any more ambitious with the President's plan would risk all-out resistance from every billion-dollar lobby and politician.

  • by ilikenwf ( 1139495 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:08PM (#44104593)
    So, we're going to start trying to nix the primary way we generate electricity...and not go nuclear even though we can recycle buried waste into power...and instead we're going to cut down a bunch of trees on public land and toss up solar and wind farms? Yeah, that's logical.

    This is purely political and not about the environment or climate change. The climate changes naturally, and adapts to the creatures (us and everything else on earth) and their affects on it. If anything we should be burning less coal from switching to nuclear plants.

    I'll just leave this here. []
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:19PM (#44104743)

    So how about supporting solar power in Africa instead? I've heard that they have quite a lot of sun there.

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

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

  • Seriously (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:29PM (#44104865)
    At $0.50-0.60 a watt for today's solar panels, we're almost at the point where people can power their own homes. Unless of course you live where it rains constantly, like the pacific NW, lol. Oh and cloudy days/night time? There are energy storage solutions available - flywheels for example.
  • by jensend ( 71114 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:30PM (#44104871)

    Rather than picking winners and losers and setting arbitrary limits they should be using carbon and fuel taxes.

    Under Obama's plan, operations that could pollute less will pollute exactly their limit, places where higher output and thus higher emissions would be actually more efficient in terms of greenhouse gases per MW will instead operate at lower efficiency, the government will spend billions of dollars subsidizing Solyndra wannabes, and actual gas use by consumers will change little no matter how they try to regulate the auto industry.

    With carbon and fuel taxes, consumers and corporations would all have better incentives to improve their emissions, the market would decide the best way to allocate resources, energy innovation would be encouraged, there would be tremendously less deadweight loss, and the government could either reduce other taxes or reduce its absurdly large deficits.

    People from all across the political spectrum who are informed and honest agree that this, not hard caps or cap-and-trade, is the way to go. But politicians like Obama would rather trash the nation's economy and not actually accomplish any climate progress than touch the third rail of fossil fuel taxes.

    In a "town hall" conversation where I brought this up with my Congresscritter- a Tea Party diehard who I'm frequently frustrated with- I was shocked to hear him admit that raising gas taxes and using the revenue to either reduce deficits or reduce taxes on productive behavior is a very good idea. But, he said, it'll never fly, so I'm not going to try to push it. If everybody who knew it's the right thing to do got behind it and tried to educate the populace rather than hiding behind a smokescreen, pretty soon the idea would fly, with bipartisan support.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:48PM (#44105107)

    The Slasdogma of idolizing European and Japanese bicycle-based transit seems to be overlooking a couple significant factors.

    1) The USA is big, big enough that you can't just bike from NYC to Chicago in an afternoon. While the full EU does start to resemble this sort of bigness, you can still bike from the middle of any language region to a place where you can't understand anyone in a couple hours at worst. (although that criteria can also be met just by taking a bike tour of NYC)

    2) On a continent where bicycles are the most reasonable mode of transportation for most people, there will be a fairly well established bicycle etiquette, and other forms of transportation will be outliers. In the USA, most bikers are assholes. Seriously, take the road-rage of New Jersey, toss in the smug arrogance of Slashdot, and double it all.

    3) Winter. Due to the nature of oceanic currents, and gulf currents, and mountain ranges, much of the USA has winters that would make Swedes think it was the Fimbulwinter and Loki was on the verge of domination. This is not a universal truth, but most of the locations that do not have a tendency for winters that can freeze human blood will be known for summers that can boil asphalt. A few lucky locations will experience both.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:32PM (#44105703) Homepage

    Ah, yes, credentialism. Because only people with Ph.Ds should be allowed to have opinions. That's such a great idea for a functioning representative government.

    A stint working at a university cleared me from ever thinking that people with doctorates are any more qualified than anyone else. Shit, these people sent me viruses, email hoaxes, and malware worms all the time.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle