Climate Justice - U.S. Must Emit Negative Amounts of Greenhouse Gases

Given the very faint murmurs emanating from the mainstream media, Americans might be forgiven for not realizing that the annual U.N. Climate Change Circus, ah, Conference started a week ago in Doha, Qatar. In any case, delegates from nearly 200 countries are engaging in their usual rituals of blame and supplication. Blame is allocated to the rich countries for loading up the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and supplication from poor country kleptocrats begging (demanding) that rich countries give them hundreds of billions of dollars in climate reparations.

The supposed goal of the climate negotiations is to keep the globe's average temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees celsius over the pre-industrial average by capping the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million (ppm). Pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide were at 280 ppm; it is now at 391 ppm. The poor countries are arguing that "climate justice" means that the 170 ppm (the difference between 280 and 450 ppm) must be divvied up based on population. As they see it, the rich countries have more or less already used up 110 ppm, meaning that the remaining 60 ppm should be allocated to the poor countries. This climate justice formula actually implies that rich countries would have to emit "negative" amounts of greenhouse gases.

However, in a supposedly off-the-record meeting U.S. chief climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing pushed back against these demands. The Times of India reported:

Pershing said, "It's a vision you can say that the atmosphere can take an X quantity of coal emissions and therefore what you do is you divide that number into percentages. The obligation it states is that you (the US) would have to reduce its emissions down to negative 37% (below 1990 levels). And the obligation of China will be a tiny bit, but India can still grow quite a lot. The politics of that quite frankly really don't work. I can't really sell that to the US Congress."

Suggesting that the US preferred to take the domestic constituency into confidence while making the commitment and not go by scientific requirements, he reasoned, "One way to think about it is what you could deliver. You say what you are going to do and you will be held to that. So how do you marry the reality of what you are doing with the reality of what is needed. To me, it's going to be a hybrid. It's going to be something between those two."

Unlike the Kyoto Protocol approach where the UN convention first decides how much reduction is required and then apportions the burden, Pershing suggested in what's dubbed not a new US position "that each country decides independently what it wants to do and put it on the global table."

Reiterating that US domestic political compulsions were paramount, he added, "Because if we can't take it home and sell it at home, in whatever political economy we are living in, we won't do it."

Way back in 1997, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution 95 to 0 that rejected the Kyoto Protocol which would have limited U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below their 1990 levels. The resolution declared the sense of the Senate to be that the U.S. should not consider any climate change treaty that did not include limits on developing country emissions and that would "result in serious harm to the economy of the United States."

The Obama administration evidently recognizes that such a treaty would is still not saleable to Congress and the American public.

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  • Almanian.||

    As - theoretically - a "citizen" of the USofA, I did not help with this "negative" greenhouse gas effort after dinner last night. Quite the opposite. I apologize.

  • The Derider||

    Just buy an airtight coffin and kill yourself.

    Carbon sequestered.

  • Generic Stranger||

    You first, short round. At least you can get a discount by buying a child-sized coffin.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Derider, those coffins require you to emit carbon and other pollutants to construct. A real ally of climate justice would walk naked into the oceans or throw themselves into a volcano.

    You are an apostate and a sinner against Gaia. Now, repent!

  • The Derider||

    I don't think you "get" how carbon sequestration works.

    Incinerating yourself would be counter-productive, as would being eaten.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Who said anything about eating? We're talking about drowning which is totally carbon neutral.

    The volcano was just for my personal amusement.

  • The Derider||

    There is a reason the ocean surface is not littered with floating corpses. It's not because they sink.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    A dead human is like a sexdoll for dolphins.

  • juris imprudent||

    You might actually have found Joe's weakness.

  • Almanian.||

    Also, "immanating"? Really?

  • Ron Bailey||

    A: Already fixed. Chagrin.

  • Almanian.||

    Thx - hate to be a pedant but...

  • Ted S.||

    No; you enjoy being a pedant.

  • Agammamon||

    How about "No, fuck you, cut spending"?

  • Sevo||

    Hear that giant sucking sound?

  • Sevo||

    "The politics of that quite frankly really don't work. I can't really sell that to the US Congress.""

    Translation:
    'Look, the folks in congress are really dumb, but not quite as dumb as you'.

  • ||

    Since North Korea have found Unicorn, I suppose we can use Unicorn fart as negative emission?

  • Almanian.||

    This is an EXCELLENT suggestion!

  • BakedPenguin||

    And North Korea already has very low emissions! We should emulate them!

  • Sevo||

    "We're trying"
    B. Obama

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Climate Justice - U.S. Must Emit Negative Amounts of Greenhouse Gases

    I fart in their general direction.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    What's so unnatural about returning carbon that was previously lost to the biosphere?
    That's why it's called fossil fuel, right?
    It's really biomass, right?

  • The Derider||

    You're confusing unnatural with "will melt the West Antarctic ice sheet"

    That carbon was sequestered back when the sea level was 40 meters higher than today. Sequestering carbon in coal fields brought the CO2 level down from 800ppm to the 280ppm pre-industrial-revolution levels.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That carbon was sequestered back when the sea level was 40 meters higher than today.

    And most of the earth was colder than fuck.

  • The Derider||

    Umm... No.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carboniferous

    This geologic era started warmer than current temperatures, and cooled as C02 was sequestered (also because of continental movements)

  • ||

    "The early part of the Carboniferous was mostly warm; in the later part of the Carboniferous, the climate cooled."

    Compared to what? There's not even a proper citation, let alone a ballpark estimate of the mean temperature.

  • Generic Stranger||

    With global warming the Antarctic ice sheet is more likely to grow rather than shrink; the increased temperatures won't climb high enough to actually melt the ice, but will put more moisture into the air, which will fall as snow over the Antarctic, causing the ice pack to actually gain in size. The ice that does melt will be on the fringes and is not likely on land, but rather floating ice that does not change the level of the oceans appreciably.

  • The Derider||

    You're not differentiating between the west and east antarctic ice sheets. You're right that we wouldn't expect the East antarctic sheet to melt. You're wrong to suggest that marginal increases in the rate of growth of the East Antarctic ice sheet would outweigh the massive melting we're already seeing in Greenland and the West Antarctic sheet. And this isn't sea ice. It's on land and it raises the sea level when it melts.

    Also, don't take my word for it.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publication.....3-5-2.html

  • Generic Stranger||

    Sorry, but that relies on a completely hypothetical disintegration of the sheet that has not even been successfully modeled, let alone confirmed to definitely be possible. Come back when you have some hard data.

  • The Derider||

    That is hard data, and note that I'm the only one that has any to support his position.

  • Generic Stranger||

    No, it's not; it's speculation clothed in the auspices of science. As I said, the breakup required to rise sea levels to 2m has never been successfully modeled; it's still largely hypothetical. It isn't something that is currently happening at an observable level.

    The IPCC has also had a very bad habit of using hyperobolic claims to try and push their agenda. They've been caught essentially republishing largely fictional environmentalist propaganda as fact before.

  • The Derider||

    The oceans are already rising.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....level_rise

    The overwhelming scientific consensus concludes you are wrong.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Even taking your assertion as fact (see Coeus' post below), a slight rise in sea level does not mean that the western antarctic ice sheet is going to disintegrate, which is required to get the sudden 2m rise in sea levels that you're shitting your pants over.

  • Russell||

    What really proves it's a hoax is the semicolon for comma switch on page 3,627.

  • ||

    You get your info from IPCC?
    Give me a fucking break.

    The vast majority of water on earth is bound up chemically in rocks. That this amount changes all the time is never taken into account.

    The whole climate change bullshit is a boondoggle as evidenced below by your suggestion of 'subsidizing' the poor with carbon tax money. Just admit it, you are a communist.

    Fuck you you communist piece of shit.

  • The Derider||

    The oceans are already rising.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....level_rise

  • Coeus||

    Are those the fudged or the un-fudged numbers?

  • ||

    "The oceans are already rising.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....level_rise"

    Yeah, that's great and everything. Are we to believe this supposedly alarming rise in sea-levels was caused by anthropogenic global warming cooling climate change?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    You're confusing unnatural with "will melt the West Antarctic ice sheet"

    "Will" melt?
    That ice sheet has been melting for 12,000 years!

  • Enough About Palin||

    It's all bullshit.

  • ||

    Is it? Clearly you dont understand what it is all about.

    "....that rich countries give them hundreds of billions of dollars in climate reparations."

  • OldMexican||

    Climate Justice - U.S. Must Emit Negative Amounts of Greenhouse Gases


    Peace-of-Mind justice: The governments of the "developing" countries must emit negative amounts of hot air.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "U.S. chief climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing pushed back against these demands."

    U.S. Chief Climate Negotiator?

    How could there be such a thing?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's a sweet gig.

  • ||

    Grimes: "Welcome to the hostage negotiation? May I take your demands, please?"

  • juris imprudent||

    It would be a really sweet gig if he negotiated like Corbin Dallas.

  • ||

    leelu dallas multipass

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Does Valerie Jarrett have stock in some company that wants to manufacture giant ionizing CO2 scrubbing systems? If they're unicorn based they better watch it because I hear there's a price drop coming of the faeries that the competing technology uses.

  • OldMexican||

    Pershing said, "[...] The politics of that quite frankly really don't work. I can't really sell that to the US Congress."


    Yes, Jonathan. You hit the nail in the head: It is ALL politics, nothing to do with actual fucking science and especially not with economics. It is all politics.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Seems like there is a pretty easy solution to all of this. If people are the main cause of climate change than less people equals less change. So if everyone who thinks climate change is a problem would go get sterilized it seems like that would solve everything. Less carbon emmissions and less stupid people. I believe that's what they call a win/win.

  • Brett L||

    U.S. Must Emit Negative Amounts of Greenhouse Gases

    If all the people who believe this would be kind enough to stop exhaling immediately, it would be a fine start. "Suck a tale pipe, borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now."

  • Almanian.||

    kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now

    And NO emanating greenhouse gasses while you rot!

  • fish||

    Excellent use of the Bill Hicks.

  • Almanian.||

    Also, I think Mr. Pershing needs to go by the name "Black Jack".

    Having "Black Jack" Pershing on the trail of anything involving little countries of Brown People seems like the American thing to do. Still.

  • Ted S.||

    Always with the racist Jacks.

  • JeremyR||

    Does it matter if we have a treaty or not? The EPA is going to implement it by fiat...

  • Almanian.||

    So Fiat will be the overlords of Toyota, GM, Ford, Nissan, Hyundai...those bastards will get what that useless Mussolini never could!

  • ||

    450 ppm will be here about 2035 or so, assuming a modest growth in emissions. I honestly don't see how we will avoid 450 ppm, and overshooting it seems very likely, too. The necessary changes must come too fast & too soon to be adopted.

    At 390, the droughts and superstorms are already incredibly fierce, and they're running off emissions from 20-30 years ago. The 2050s and 60s will be chaos.

  • The Derider||

    And the anti-science crowd grins as we hurtle towards the edge.

  • iggy||

    So what do you two plan to do that won't totally obliterate the economy while simultaneously decreasing emissions enough to make a difference?

    Or do you just like talking about problems without offering a legitimate solution?

  • The Derider||

    First, I do respect this argument. I think libertarians often talk about problems with government without offering legitimate alternatives.

    Second, the key to reducing the rate of Co2 emissions is to bring market forces to bear on the problem. If companies faced the full cost of emissions when making profit-maximizing decisions, they would lower the rate of C02 production by eliminating the least productive causes of those emissions. Similarly, if motorists faced the full costs of burning a gallon of gas, they would eliminate the least productive driving activities and lower emissions. These two changes would also incentivise the creation of more efficient, lower emissions combustion technology, as well as carbon sequestration technology.

  • widget||

    What's your position on nukes?

  • The Derider||

    We should be using a shitload more of them.

    They would be economically competitive without any government subsidies if coal and oil power included the costs of emissions.

  • widget||

    You're a partisan, if I'm not mistaken, and you're at odds with other party members on this.

    That's not shocking, Cecil Adams rocks the boat on this topic too.

    http://www.straightdope.com/co.....power-safe

  • The Derider||

    Yes, some Democrats are anti-nuclear power.

    Most of the important ones aren't, however.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....00488.html

  • widget||

    Politically, I'm not sure how about how nukes are playing out in practice. My cousin, a nuclear engineer for 30 years, tells me there's about a 15 year wait-in-line, behind Japan and China, to get a proper containment vessel for a new reactor, which are only made in steel mills in Japan. He says "show me a shovel in the ground."

  • iggy||

    ^ This isn't nearly as bad an argument as I was expecting. Most leftists seem to think we must cut a shitload of carbon emissions without understanding the idea of tradeoffs.

    I would still argue your solution isn't nearly good enough. If you increase the cost of gasoline, who suffers? The answer is overwhelmingly the poor. Not only are poor people in rural areas going to be crippled by the direct cost of increased gas, but the increased cost of gasoline used in farming would crank up food prices.

    The entire reason people are worried about drought is because of the impact on food production. But food costs have been trending down for decades. Admittedly they've been higher recently, but this is partially related to drought and partially related to all sorts of other factors. I don't think inflating the cost of food through increased costs on gasoline is going to have nearly large enough an effect on global warming to offset the increased prices.

  • iggy||

    And increased regulation on business is a terrible idea. We already have too much regulation than the economy can handle. We'd eliminate our ability to compete internationally. Neither of your ideas actually deal with the major economic destruction that would be caused by any climate change regulation.

  • The Derider||

    The carbon tax is the regulation. It's a lot better than the government mandating exactly how much Co2 each factory and power plant can emit.

  • The Derider||

    I agree that these policies would impact the poor most heavily. I'd use the carbon tax revenues to subsidize their energy and food consumption.

  • ||

    Dickrider translated;

    The climate hoax is the perfect pretense for redistributing wealth.

    And fuck you too JP

  • The Derider||

    "climate hoax" check
    "redistributing wealth" check
    If you would have included a "consensus is bad" or "appeal to authority" statement, you would have had wingnut bingo.

    Next time.

  • Heedless||

    So you're going to use a tax on fuel to subsidize fuel purchases?

    Now I'm just a simple country lawyer, but that sounds like WPA levels of economic insanity to me.

  • ||

    "This isn't nearly as bad an argument as I was expecting."

    Go back and read it again. "the droughts and superstorms are already incredibly fierce".

    His entire argument is based on fallacy.

  • The Derider||

    Pretty sure he's talking about my argument--carbon taxes.

  • ||

    Fuck you dickrider. Oh wait, that is your name. Doesnt dickrider translate to 'fuck me' ?

  • The Derider||

    When you can't beat the signal, turn up the noise am I rite?

  • ||

    No, you arent.

    I can count the times you have been right by putting the tip of my thumb on the tip of my index finger.

  • The Derider||

    Maybe the fact that you're counting with your fingers makes my arguments incomprehensible.

  • ||

    I summarized your argument very well. See above. I know exactly what you are and what you are about.

  • The Derider||

    I can approximate the size of your asshole by putting the tip of my thumb on the tip of my index finger.

  • 0073735963||

    "I can approximate the size of your asshole by putting the tip of my thumb on the tip of my index finger."

    "When you can't beat the signal, turn up the noise am I rite?"

    I love when you make a fool of yourself with your own words.

  • Coeus||

    Similarly, if motorists faced the full costs of burning a gallon of gas,

    And what, pray tell is that figure in dollars?

  • The Derider||

    Ask an actual economist.

  • Coeus||

    You're the one making the assertion, as well as advocating a massive tax increase. Is it too much of an imposition to ask an advocate what, exactly he's advocating?

    I get this same vacillating bullshit when I ask how much taxes should be increased on the rich. As far as I can tell, the reason for this lack of knowledge is that proponents don't actually care if their solution is effective or not. They just want more taxes.

  • Russell||

    "And the anti-science crowd grins as we hurtle towards the edge."

    of the Infiniti pool atop the Ritz Carlton Doha.

    Pass the truffled popcorn.

    We should book this joint for a geoengineering conference- the Persian Gulf needs work.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    And the anti-science crowd grins as we hurtle towards the edge.

    Is the sky falling? Or is the sea rising? I can never keep my DOOOOMMMM!!!s straight.

  • Russell||

    It's the isostatic rebound from miniskirts.

  • widget||

    The necessary changes must come too fast & too soon to be adopted.

    That's some heavy pessimism there, JP. Will you be choosing path of spirituality or decadence in the coming decades? How old are you?

  • iggy||

    I also love that, in spite of 'droughts and superstorms,' food prices are still near all time lows while continuously trending down and deaths from inclement weather are also at all time lows.

    You know, for people calling us anti-science, you'd think that they'd offer evidence that these droughts and superstorms have actually made our lives worse.

    Admittedly, food prices have increased relative to 6-7 years ago, but they're still near all time lows. They're so low entirely because of the fossil fuel economy. So the very thing you're blaming for drought is the only reason food prices are so low.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I've got to ask; what superstorms? Sandy wasn't all that super, and it isn't anywhere near unprecedented; several hurricanes of larger magnitude (Sandy wasn't even technically a hurricane; just a big honking tropical storm) hit the North East in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It happened before, and it was bound to happen again. That it took as long as it did is the remarkable thing.

    Also, the droughts weren't all that unprecedented either. They certainly weren't as bad as those in the 1930s. Apparently, if it didn't happen during Jersey Patriot's life time, then it doesn't count.

  • The Derider||

    I'm far less concerned with severe weather, and even drought, than I am with a 2+ meter rise in sea levels.

    It's a lot easier to move food production than it is to move a billion coastal refugees.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: The Dehydrated,

    I'm far less concerned with severe weather, and even drought, than I am with a 2+ meter rise in sea levels.


    I'm more concerned with assholes like you trying to regulate people enough not to be able to come up with ingenious and lucrative solutions to any of those things, with the exception of making them poorer to "reduce their carbon footprint."

  • The Derider||

    Listen, we agree here.

    We both want the market to come up with ingenious and lucrative solutions to pollution.

    The reason this doesn't happen right now is that pollution is FREE. There's little economic incentive to invest in pollution-reductions because you can pollute all you want for nothing.

    But if polluters need to pay for the right to pollute a certain amount, all those market incentives would drive the development of pollution-reducing technology.

    I can't think of any way to put a price on pollution, other than government taxing pollution.

  • widget||

    I can't think of any way to put a price on pollution, other than government taxing pollution.

    OK, but why should the government get the tax money? Why not my frugal Aunt Nancy or your niggardly Uncle Bill? Please explain why the government deserves this.

  • Lord at War||

    It's a lot easier to move food production than it is to move a billion coastal refugees.

    Yup.

    Because the sheeple will be too dumb to move themselves over the next 100 years.

  • The Derider||

    I'm less concerned with their intelligence than I am the intelligence of the governments which will attempt to deny them free passage across and within their borders.

  • The Derider||

    And of course the trillions of dollars in losses that abandoning low-lying coastal areas worldwide would imply.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Jersey Patriot,

    At 390, the droughts and superstorms are already incredibly fierce[...]


    Sure, Methuselah - because you remember the good ol' times of perfect climate before Trevithick and Watt.

    Idiot.

  • waaminn||

    OK wow that makes a lot of sense dude.

    www.IPMask.tk

  • ||

    I am starting to think you are right anonbot

  • Generic Stranger||

    His nickname is pedo-bot now.

  • ||

    Yikes! I missed that one.

    Pedobot it is then.

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