Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Greenland is Melting Away"

If it does melt away, Wall Street should be very worried - unless the Wall Street denizens live higher than the 3rd floor or so. But the Republicans supported by Wall Street money are delusional about the environmental threats posed by climate change. Here, from a New Republic report, is a listing of the Republican delusions..

When climate change and energy policy come up in Wednesday's [that is, today's] Republican presidential debate, you can expect the candidates to describe a world that doesn't much resemble the one we live in. While the climate crisis received prominent billing in the first Democratic debate and inspired an unusually healthy discussion of real-life solutions, Republicans have charged ahead with energy plans that hardly recognize current reality.

Here are their delusions - and rebuttals to them.

What problem?

... even the small minority who, like Jeb Bush, will admit out loud that climate change is a threat refuse to propose any action that could help address it ...

Energy independence

Republicans say that by opening all of the public lands and the entire ocean for fossil fuel development, America would no longer have to rely on oil from the Middle East. It’s a false promise, because the U.S. will still be just as susceptible to global oil price shocks ...

What clean energy?

... [Republicans] ignore the fact that the clean energy industry exists, unless they're pooh-poohing it.
But clean energy is saving consumers and businesses more and more money, as prices come down.

Get rid of EPA to save coal country

... repealing or scaling back EPA initiatives won't bring back lost coal jobs. A major reason coal has suffered under Obama can be chalked up to the free market Republicans like to celebrate. Natural gas and the clean-energy boom have applied pressure to the coal industry by driving down prices, and it's cost the industry the most in states where it's more expensive to mine for coal.

Woe is us: Energy prices will skyrocket

The fossil fuel industry has been warning of the same thing for decades. It has never once been correct. Even if you discount the health and economic benefits from less air pollution, the estimated costs of regulations usually turn out to be overstated. For example, after the coal industry warned of huge rate hikes following the federal acid rain program in the 1990s, electricity prices in many states actually declined.

"Greenland is Melting"

And that brings us back to the headline. Greenland is indeed melting and melting fast. The New York Times has an excellent story (with interactive graphics) on the scientists who are measuring the melt.

The scientific data ... [collected] here could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.

On the positive side, every building on Wall Street will get a swimming pool.

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