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    Democratic Climate Forum

    I had intended to write something about this and then I saw lpetrich posted something about it in the "Democrats 2020" megathread. But I think it deserves its own thread, especially since the other thread is so long and congested.

    I have not seen most of the town hall because it was so long, but lpetrich linked to a Vox article. Even though they are lefty I will use that source as well for now for my commentary.

    6 winners and 3 losers from CNN’s climate town hall

    Quote Originally Posted by Vox
    “Climate is not a separate issue,” said Sen. Cory Booker. “It is the lens through which we must do everything.”
    That attitude is the problem. The candidates are using "climate change" to push for policies that have nothing to do with climate or the environment such as looser immigration policies or left-wing economic policies.

    Between segments, CNN provided updates on Hurricane Dorian, the strongest storm of the year. It served as a vivid backdrop for how the effects of warming like rising sea levels and intense rainfall are worsening the harm from extreme weather.
    I do not know that Dorian proves anything. As the name implies, it is only the 4th named storm of the year. 14 years ago, around this time of year, we had Katrina, a hurricane about the same strength as Dorian, but it was already the 11th named storm. By the end, the 2005 Atlantic season spawned 28 storms (more than letters in the alphabet giving us storms α-ζ), 15 of which were hurricanes, 4 of which maxed out as Cat5s.

    Sunrise is also helping set the goalposts for the candidates’ climate policy ambition. Every candidate’s agenda was tacitly or overtly measured against Sunrise’s foundational climate proposal, the Green New Deal, a framework of principles for eliminating the United States’ contribution to climate change by the middle of the century.
    I thought GND was the brainfart of Corporal Sandy (aka AOC). What is this Sunrise thing?

    Sanders was somewhat late to the game in this climate primary; he didn’t release his comprehensive climate plan until August. But when he came out, he came out with a bang, outlining the only plan so far that rivals Inslee’s in scope and ambition. And it contained a few provisions that no other campaign has touched, most notably a plan to semi-nationalize the nation’s electric utilities. The price tag: $16 trillion over 10 years.
    Semi-nationalize utilities? So he is only a semi-socialist?
    In any case, $1.6 trillion per year is insane.


    At the forum, Sanders benefited from following Biden, who was as rambling and unfocused as he has been this whole campaign season.
    I am shocked, shocked, that the Vox crowd dislikes Biden.

    Not many voters will care about the filibuster, though, and from there, Sanders went on to press his case against fossil fuel companies (he would direct his Justice Department to hold them criminally liable), vow to protect workers and small businesses, and, almost alone among candidates, face up squarely to the idea that there might be some effort and sacrifice involved in solving the climate crisis.
    Based on what criminal statute?

    This is the typical cable moderator’s idea of a tough question: asking Democrats to respond to a Republican talking point. There was a stark contrast between the moderators’ goofy gotcha questions and the articulate, informed questions from the audience.
    I disagree. Asking whether his plan involves mandating that all cars be electric by year 20xx is legitimate. And I am saying that as a supporter of electric cars.

    oe Biden’s big moment at the CNN town hall was not one he was hoping for: He was called out for planning to attend a Thursday campaign fundraiser co-hosted by Andrew Goldman, who helped found the natural gas company Western LNG.
    So are natural gas companies a public enemy now? I really don't get it. Even under most ambitious plans, we will still need fossil fuels for a few more decades, and natural gas is both cleaner burning and releases less CO2 per unit energy than other fossil fuels.
    But even a whiff of coziness between Biden and someone with ties to a fossil fuel company won’t make climate activists happy. (Immediately after the debate, Sunrise called on Biden to cancel the fundraiser.)
    Ideological purity tests again.

    He declined to join some of his opponents in supporting a nationwide ban on fracking.
    Good! Fracking is necessary to get the oil and gas US still needs quite a bit of.

    In doing so, Biden seemed to suggest that whatever the US did to decarbonize ultimately wouldn’t matter if the rest of the world didn’t follow the lead.
    “The fact of the matter is that we make up 15 percent of the problem. The rest of the world makes up 80, 85 percent of the problem,” Biden said. “If we did everything perfectly — and we must and should in order to get other countries to move — we still have to get the rest of the world to come along and the fact of the matter is we have to up the ante considerably.”
    Which is absolutely true. US is not even the biggest carbon emitter.


    The CNN climate town hall once again showed just how much the Overton window has moved for Democrats on climate change. President Obama openly boasted about increasing US fossil fuel production, fossil fuel exports, and low gasoline prices. Climate change barely came up at all in the 2016 presidential race.
    By the end of his presidency Obama too disappointed by reneging on his "all of the above" approach and for example witholding permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline even though the federal government had already issued an approval just to appease the crazies camping out on the North Dakota prairie in the middle of the winter.
    It is sad to see that these crazies now seem to run the asylum, I mean the Democratic Party. I wasn't even alive then, and yet I am getting flashbacks of 1972.
    All 10 candidates want to restrict drilling on public lands. Sen. Bernie Sanders wants criminal prosecution of climate polluters. Harris wants to sue them. “They are causing harm and death in communities,” she said. “And there has been no accountability.” Booker and Sanders so far have said they would ban fracking.
    All stupid policies. It's ok to want to wean US off fossil fuels, but we will need fossil fuels in the meantime. All you get by hamstringing domestic production is higher prices and the windfall going to the likes of Russia and Saudi Arabia, from where we will have to import more oil. If you want higher prices (to encourage less usage) impose a carbon tax and keep the jobs and royalties, plus the tax revenues from the carbon tax, in the US rather than going overseas.
    Castro described the inevitable end of natural gas: “Almost a decade ago, we had been saying that natural gas was a bridge fuel. We’re coming to the end of the bridge. My plan calls for moving toward clean, renewable, zero-emission energy in the years to come”
    We are definitely not coming to the end of the bridge. We are still close to the beginning. Hulian doesn't know what he is yapping about. Especially with more solar and wind, gas will be needed to buffer intermittencies of these energy sources. Also, over a third of US homes are heated with gas, and many use gas cookers. It will take a lot of money and several decades to change all of them over to heat pumps, and don't get me started on foodies swearing that gas stoves are much better than electric because you can control the heat better. But that's the least of foodies' problems with these climate crusaders because they also want to come for your meat.
    What emerged was a range of ideas including using nutrition labels to educate Americans on the environmental impacts of meat production, using a carbon tax to signal the emissions impacts of meat, and restricting subsidies to the meat industry — all of which could potentially hurt the meat industry and benefit the climate.
    Yeah, that's going to be a real vote getter come November 2020. Especially in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (Philly cheese steak anyone?) etc. that Hillary should have won and the Democrats must win at least some of.
    “[Abolishing the cow] is what people are saying about the Green New Deal. Because it’s an easy Republican talking point.”
    Well, that's what AOC wrote in her GND FAQ. It's not something Republicans made up.
    Booker, who is vegan, suggested that his administration would also rein in subsidies to the meat and dairy industry. “We are going to have to make sure our government is not subsidizing the things that make us sick and unhealthy and hurt our environment and start to incentivize the practices that get farming and get agriculture and get the health of our communities back.”
    No, Cory, meat and dairy is not inherently unhealthy.
    Vegan and Vegetarian Diets May Increase Risk of Stroke, Experts Say

    And again, BS like demonizing meat and dairy is really going to go over well in ...


    Don't these idiots not get how the US electoral system works? There are zero electoral college votes awarded for turning out more hipster vegans from Brooklyn or Portland or LA. And even in the primaries, the first primary states are Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Neither of which is, I imagine, too keen on this message.

    I'll tackle the other Vox article lpetrich posted tomorrow. Should be fun!
    Last edited by Derec; 09-06-2019 at 08:51 AM.

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    No replies yet? I thought climate was a big issue on this forum.

    First, some comments based on this article:
    CNN's climate town halls were better than the debates. What was the DNC afraid of?
    Quote Originally Posted by Salon
    There were reportedly concerns within the DNC that “a debate that incentivized the eventual nominee to declare war on the fossil fuel industry risked ceding gas-producing states like Pennsylvania to Trump in 2020.”
    And not only those. Almost everybody in all states uses fossil fuels. Even if you don't have a car and take Uber or a bus, you use fossil fuels. If you heat your home, chances are you are using either gas or heating oil.
    Others, like Andrew Yang, supported controversial solutions like nuclear energy to argue that “in a crisis all solutions have to be on the table.”
    Yes, a voice of reason!
    Yang received pushback from Sen. Bernie Sanders, the only candidate at the town hall calling for complete abstinence from nuclear energy. Sanders called it a “false solution.”
    Bernie lives up to his initials. This is pure BS. When it comes to both safety, reducing CO2 emissions and energy density, you can't go better than nuclear.


    And yes, the nuclear number includes Chernobyl.

    Nuclear power plants are also highly reliable.


    So yes, Sanders is way out of his depth here.
    “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to add more dangerous waste to this country and to the world when we don’t know how to get rid of it right now,” Sanders explained. “I think it is safer and more cost-effective to move to sustainable energies like wind, solar and geothermal.”
    Actually there are ways to reprocess and store nuclear waste. And as far as amount of waste per TWh, it is far less than most other energy sources.

    “Oh come on, give me a break,” Warren shot back. “But this is exactly what the fossil-fuel industry hopes we’re all talking about. They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your light bulbs, around your straws, and around your cheeseburgers, when 70 percent of the pollution, of the carbon that we’re throwing into the air, comes from three industries.”
    It is true that plastic straws are a straw man issue (and paper straws suck), but exactly which industries did she have in mind?

    As Bernie Sanders made clear: “The coal miners in this country, the men and women who work on the oil rigs, they are not my enemy. My enemy is climate change.”
    The problem is that if you stop domestic oil drilling and make US buy more oil overseas, you will destroy US jobs (and cost the Treasury tax revenues) without doing much as far as reducing global emissions.

    And the second Vox article, real briefly, as most of it repeats points already made.
    Elizabeth Warren blasts the plastic straw debate as a fossil fuel industry distraction tactic
    Quote Originally Posted by Vox
    As the New York Times noted, the industries Warren homed in on as most directly contributing to carbon pollution were “the building industry, the electric power industry and the oil industry.”
    Thank you Vox for delivering where Salon has left me hanging. Construction industry (particularly cement) is often neglected as a source of carbon. But here too, it's China that is #1 and US contributes comparatively hardly any CO2 from cement.


    Last thing, Bernie Sanders has been criticized about mentioning "population control".
    Bernie Sanders in climate change 'population control' uproar
    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been criticised after arguing population control should be part of tackling climate change.
    The Vermont senator told a TV debate that women "in poor countries" should have access to birth control.
    Conservatives said the remark meant the self-described democratic socialist's climate change policy was for fewer "brown babies".
    Having "fewer babies" is only politically correct when it's about white babies apparently.
    I wonder why BBC is only quoting conservatives there. Many left-wingers are of the opinion that it's "colonionalist" to tell 3rd world nations not to have 8 children each and that we should instead reduce our population and invite surplus 3rd world population to move in instead.
    Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?
    This is from UN - not exactly a bastion of American-style conservatism.
    Last edited by Derec; 09-07-2019 at 12:50 AM.

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    Forgot to mention more meat bashing.
    Pete Buttigieg: If You Eat Meat Or Use Straws, You Are ‘Part Of The Problem’

    I guess he is part of the problem then.


    ‘Eat Less Meat’: 2020 Democrats Mull Changing Laws on Meat Consumption to Fight Climate Change
    After first making it clear that “we have a problem in America,” [Kamala] Harris responded, “The answer is yes.”
    “The balance that we have to strike here, frankly, is about what government can and should do around creating incentives and then banning certain behaviors,” she said.
    Asked again, if elected, if she’d back “changing the dietary guidelines,” the Democratic senator said she would, in regards to red meat consumption.
    Well, lucky for her, pork is "the other white meat".


    Yang, who impressed on his answer about nuclear power, fumbled the ball here.
    Asked if the American people should change their eating habits, 2020 Democratic primary contender Andrew Yang pointed to a U.N. study that revealed: “We’re going to be okay if the vast majority of the world goes vegetarian immediately.”
    Like that's going to happen!
    He dialed it back a little though.
    “So I think it would be healthy on an individual and societal level to move in that direction. But again this is a country where there is a lot of individual autonomy and so you can’t force people’s eating choices on them. All do you know is try to shape our system so that over time we evolve in a productive way.”
    No calls for outright banning meat. Yet!

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    Thanks for the run-down. I did not get to watch it.

    From what you quote and write, I would say I agree with some of them, but in many of the quotes I would argue that achieving the goal hat seems ridiculous, could be done without going all nutty sounding. Like, we don’t need everyone to go vegetarian immediately, but we could, as a government, make sure we aren’t making subsidies to companies that are less favorable.

    In addition, the argument that “we are only 15% of the problem,” ignores that any gains we make creates know-how that will help other countries. They don’t need to start at ground zero as we do, they can leapfrog to cleaner energy based on what we demonstrate.

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    Veteran Member Ford's Avatar
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    I thought Mayor Pete had the hot take on the climate debate:

    He said that you've got two sides in Congress analogous to the debate over the best way to treat cancer.

    On the one hand, there's people arguing over whether radiation or chemotherapy are the best way to treat the disease.

    On the other hand, you've got people who insist that cancer simply does not exist.

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Why would anyone vote for these nanny state Nazis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Thanks for the run-down. I did not get to watch it.
    You're welcome.

    From what you quote and write, I would say I agree with some of them, but in many of the quotes I would argue that achieving the goal hat seems ridiculous, could be done without going all nutty sounding. Like, we don’t need everyone to go vegetarian immediately, but we could, as a government, make sure we aren’t making subsidies to companies that are less favorable.
    Agriculture receives a lot of subsidies. To limit those subsidies only to plants (or even to hit meat and dairy with punitive taxes) would make meat and dairy much more expensive, which would mostly hit the poor and lower middle class. All these candidates are in the top 0.1% - Kamala Harris will still be able to afford pork chops, but many of her constituents won't.

    In addition, the argument that “we are only 15% of the problem,” ignores that any gains we make creates know-how that will help other countries. They don’t need to start at ground zero as we do, they can leapfrog to cleaner energy based on what we demonstrate.
    But in the interim, they enjoy a competitive advantage. Just look at China. Their CO2 emissions exploded just like their economic output did. The thing is, international agreements like Kyoto made the mistake to completely exempt China, India, Russia and many other countries. Today, China is emitting twice as much CO2 as US! That's why an international agreement that takes everybody to task is essential.
    Also, some of these proposals exclude a big chunk of know-how, namely nuclear.

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    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Why would anyone vote for these nanny state Nazis?
    Climate change! Fake news! Fake news! Trump digs coal!
    Drill baby, drill!

    Vote head in the sand morons!
    Cheerful Charlie

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ford View Post
    I thought Mayor Pete had the hot take on the climate debate:

    He said that you've got two sides in Congress analogous to the debate over the best way to treat cancer.

    On the one hand, there's people arguing over whether radiation or chemotherapy are the best way to treat the disease.

    On the other hand, you've got people who insist that cancer simply does not exist.
    Unfortunately, the left/green parties accept that cancer exists, but want to use the essential oils and acupuncture (wind and solar) approach to a solution, despite the Germans having demonstrated that it is ineffective.

    The only places with an effective treatment are using nuclear and/or hydropower. Adding a small percentage of ineffective and unreliable sources isn't a disaster, but it's not particularly useful either.

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Why would anyone vote for these nanny state Nazis?
    Climate change! Fake news! Fake news! Trump digs coal!
    Drill baby, drill!

    Vote head in the sand morons!
    Any excuse for government to micromanage our lives I guess. No more meat or straws for you, Charlie.

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