Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Conservative Refusal to Offer Solutions

A commenter recently wrote that "...Greenpeace et. al., used to tell me not to trust government science, now Greenpeace et. al., tells me I have to trust big government." Which is not true; it's just that's where they see a solution to the carbon problem. Meanwhile, conservatives have refused to offer a solution that conforms to their political philosphies. Cap-and-Trade, of course, was once such a solution -- it was once a conservative proposal, which they considered to be market-based, and they implemented itto control US sulfur emissions. But the right in the US has gotten even more extreme since then (which makes you wonder if we'd still have an ozone layer if the ozone problem was found in the last few years), and instead of offering a solution to the carbon problem they choose to vacate the playing field and deny that the game is even on.

In this regard, it's well worth watching Scott Denning's presentation at the 2011 Heartland Conference on Climate Change:


charlesH said...

Here is a solution.

"Can common ground be found between “warmers” and “skeptics”? Can we identify energy sources that satisfy the concerns of both groups?"

Warmers want energy that does not emit CO2 because they look at the climate data and conclude that CAGW is a credible threat that needs to be addressed. Their energy sources of choice are typically wind and solar.

Skeptics look at the same climate data and conclude the evidence for CAGW is just too weak to justify accepting the current high cost and unreliability of wind/solar. They look at Europe and notice that nuclear has given France the smallest carbon footprint and wind/solar has not been effective in any European country in keeping energy both low cost and low carbon.

What about nuclear? Some warmers support it (e.g. Dr. James Hansen) but others do not because of toxic waste streams, lingering concerns about safety, cost, and the potential for proliferation.

What if we could have nuclear power that was far “greener” than current technology, cost considerably less, was even safer and more proliferation resistant? What if this “greener” nuclear technology had already been proven in working prototypes?

Welcome to LFTR (liquid fluoride thorium reactors) technology. Demonstrated in the 60′s, the thorium/uranium fuel cycle molten salt reactor (LFTR) approach was abandoned to concentrate efforts on the uranium/plutonium fuel cycle pressurized water reactor (PWR) during the cold war bomb making era, an era when lots of plutonium was considered a good thing, not something to be worried about.

gallopingcamel said...

I seldom agree with Charles H with regard to CAGW but I still support the solutions he proposes.

If I was a betting man I would put my money on fossil fuels to continue to dominate the short term, Nuclear fission based on Uranium to dominate the medium term, say 100 years from now and the Thorium cycle to dominate the long term (from 200 to 10,000 years out).

Of course there is a joker in the pack that could trump everything else, namely fusion power.

The question David asked was "Why do Conservatives refuse to offer solutions?"

That is a much easier question than the one Charles H chose to answer.

Conservatives see CAGW as a "Non-Problem" so no solution is called for.

Thankfully the IPCC is starting to understand this:

Dano said...

Meanwhile, conservatives have refused to offer a solution that conforms to their political philosphies. Cap-and-Trade, of course, was once such a solution -- it was once a conservative proposal,

Its worse than that - their noise machine is training their base - and I do mean "base" - that even mentioning something close to weather or climate means...means...well, I don't know what but my wife taught a class yesterday and was mentioning carbon sequestration and two conservative men in the audience got immediately suspicious about indoctrination because my wife mentioned 'carbon'. She had to tell them she wasn't going to talk about climate change, only carbon sequestration.




gallopingcamel said...

I support carbon sequestration as long as it follows the Babylonian model pioneered by the great ruler, Hamurabi.

In the fat years you store as much grain and other non-perishable agricultural products as you can so that your people can survive the lean years.

Just ask yourself how we would feed 7 billion people if there was another "Year without a summer"?

Jay said...

"Meanwhile, conservatives have refused to offer a solution that conforms to their political philosphies. Cap-and-Trade, of course, was once such a solution"

I used to comment about this in Kevin Drum's column at MoJo. As a liberal, and having taken a few econ courses, Cap and Trade seemed to make a lot of sense. But Kevin Drum himself convinced me it was a truly stupid solution. That's because a) Kevin and others kept saying cap and trade was equivalent to a carbon tax, and b) Kevin explicitly said (and I mean explicitly in the literal sense) that we could not pass a carbon tax and Republicans were too stupid to understand that cap and trade was just such a tax.

Jesus, that was as dumb as Mooney's latest outburst, and if you go to Drum's site now, you can see even now he is willing to agree with Mooney even as he admits he hasn't read the book.

And I told him then, that Republicans weren't stupid and it was arrogance and hubris to assume they were and that they would not call out cap and trade as a tax, of course they would.

Of course they would, and of course they did, and cap and trade went down in flames.

Of course, cap and trade is NOT like a carbon tax either since cap and trade involved a huge government giveaway to big industry to bootstrap cap and trade. And cap and trade was oo more open to gaming and corruption than a carbon tax.

But us Democrats made cap and trade our shield and certain Democrats have been pissed ever since that the Republicans breached it so easily in the name of Republican political gains. But it was all trivially predictable (*).

(*) If I could predict it, it was a trivial prediction.

Jay said...

By the way, if you haven't seen it, Mooney responds (embraces and extends) Gauchat here:

Jay said...


Another example perhaps of why seemingly educated people (left and right) "distrust" science and how it is reported in the media:

I'm only including one link because often spam filters at blogs hate comments with many links, so click on over to Althouse because she provides several links, each of which provide more links.

The links go to Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft) and Tom Maguire (Just One Minute) both liberals, both totally dumping on the recent day's reporting of a so called audio forensic experts claims in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

So read to find out what bullshit was passed off as science, and how the media slurped it up and spread it about.

The use of "voice biometrics" in the Trayvon Martin case... and in all the other cases

(On a different matter: would you that Chris Mooney's claims re: Republican Brains as seen in his article as Salon at aligned with his earlier claims as you wrote them, or has Chris Mooney changed positions 180 degrees?)