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Three Gifts For The Carbon Lords

This week Uncle Sam sold the kids – for Sterno money.

In the last few days, what passes for our Congressional and Presidential "leadership" cynically signed off on a bleak, devastaing future for us, our children, and the planet’s fragile biosphere.

Just another week’s work – on behalf of Big Carbon, Industrial Ag, King Cotton, Cargill, and ADM.

Nothing like constituent service, right?

Sadly for us, the only constituents visible to Shrub, Cheney, Dirty Harry Reid, and the other Corporatist Party rulers just happen to be their paymasters. The same megacorps who thoughtfully bribed them paid their campaign expenses – and much more – for decades as the loyal retainers slurped their ways up the cone of power.

What went wrong this week?

Well – other the supply and demand side of global climate change – nothing.

On the demand side, we could open up our corporate/NPR media today to learn the Bali Conference was "saved".

Who knew "salvation" was a synonym for taxidermy?

What actually happened in Bali was the Bushies’ Carbon Cult went global with their tantrum strategy: give us what we want or we’ll stamp our feet and scream.

And talk about bombs.

You can’t blame the Bushies – it’s a Pavlovian thing. They were conditioned by Congress.

Anyway, to avoid the Bali talks collapsing without an effective agreement, the rest of the world and Baby Bushie "agreed" to conclude with a big symbolic statement and no effective agreement.

Then they all declared "Mission Accomplished" and partied with their crew.

Hey – you can’t blame Baby Bushie – he was conditioned. Thanks, Babs. (Eww. Visual cortex bleach, stat)

Just like Baby Bush, our lovely blue planet is conditioned. All manner of elaborate feedback mechanisms together have the effect of stabilizing Earth’s temperature, rainfall, winds, and oceans in broadly stable patterns we call climate. Fortunately for us former nomads, the last twelve thousand years of these paterns have been just ducky for a whole bunch of plants, which helpfully let us eat them. Then came towns and cities and industry and supermarkets.

No wonder little kids don’t like vegetables – who wants to grow up and go to supermarkets?

Well, after 12,000 years of one pattern, the physical conditions we call "climate" have begun to shift to another pattern – a pattern our cities and the agriculture they and we depend on will find hard to endure.

The EU went to Bali with the goal of shrinking developed nations’ global "greenhouse gas" emissions 25-40% by 2020.

Well, the negotiators went to Bali, and all our planet got was the carbon footprint from their jet travel.

No hard emission cuts – not even the 25-40% the EU demanded – until they caved.

It’s not the EU’s fault – they were conditioned by Harry Reid.

Or maybe being trapped on the same planet with Cheney’s America gave the EU a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Whatever the cause, the EU and the rest of our global leaders want us to celebrate that mighty America has dropped…

our objections to future talks about limits.

And the US even deigns to allow the world’s poor folk to beg alound for help.

Consensus for the road map followed a dramatic U-turn by the US, which had threatened to block the deal at the 11th hour and been booed by other countries. Consensus for the road map followed a dramatic U-turn by the US, which had threatened to block the deal at the 11th hour and been booed by other countries.

It dropped its opposition to poorer countries’ calls for technological and financial help to combat the issue.

Hey – what’s not to like about Bali?

Nothing – as long you make your money in oil, gas, or coal.

And live on your own separate planet.

This one is heating up even faster than the IPCC thought.

And the EU’s cuts of 25-50% by 2020?

Not nearly enough.

A recent paper in the journal Climatic Change emphasises that the sensitivity of global temperatures to greenhouse gas concentrations remains uncertain. But if we use the average figure, to obtain a 50% chance of preventing more than 2°C of warming requires a global cut of 80% by 2050(16).

This is a cut in total emissions, not in emissions per head. If the population were to rise from 6 to 9 billion between now and then, we would need an 87% cut in global emissions per person. If carbon emissions are to be distributed equally, the greater cut must be made by the biggest polluters: rich nations like us. The UK’s emissions per capita would need to fall by 91%.

Pacific water is flowing into the Arctic Ocean and is one of the main reasons behind this summer’s startling loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic. For the first time in human memory, the fabled Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean was ice-free.

While Arctic sea ice retreats temporarily every summer, this summer the retreat was 2.6 million square kilometres larger than any previous summer’s loss..

The big meltdown was outside the range of previous scientific projections, and even worst-case scenarios, said Scambos. It likely represents a new era of accelerated warming over the next few decades, he said. This acceleration may well mean that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in 10 years — decades faster than previous predications made only a year ago.

But don’t worry about Bali – we’l always have subsidies.

The Senate just passed a Farm Bill with a whole river of subsidies – sluicing even more petrochemicals into Big Ag…and heating the world to do it.

Hey – nothing’s too good for ADM and Cargill, right?

And Grandma Nancy’s celebrating the ethanol subsidies in the Energy Bill:

"Congress has acted to put America on a road to energy independence with a new direction for energy security," Pelosi said in her radio remarks, excerpts of which were released Friday by her office.

In addition to the higher fuel economy, the Senate-passed bill also requires an increase of ethanol use to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, a nearly sixfold increase over expected 2007 production. It also requires new efficiency standards for appliances, light bulbs and commercial buildings.

But Democrats were stymied in an attempt to pass a tax package that would have rolled back $13.5 billion in oil company tax breaks and funneled billions of dollars into tax incentives for renewable energy development and efficiency programs.

Of course Big Ag’ll give up ethanol subsidies after 2022, right?

Sure – just like they gave up the "emergency" subsidies they began getting in 2002 to compensate for temporary disasters in drought prone areas – the "emergency subsidies" they wrote into the 2007 Farm Bill.

And just like Big Carbon gave up those temporary 13.5 billion in tax breaks.

Oh well – win some, lose some.

Of course Dirty Harry, Grandma Nancy, Darth Cheney, and Baby Bushie just gambled away the future.

But hey – a future with no TV and supermarkets to poison the grandkids.

Who says America’s leaders aren’t family-friendly?

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Kirk Murphy

Kirk Murphy

terrestrial obligate aerobe with endoskeleton (bony) and bilateral symmetry.

chordate, bipedal, warm-blooded, mammalian, placental (origin), opposable thumbs.

not (yet) extinct.

indigenous habitat: California Live Oak.

current habitat: Central California Coast (most northerly aspect).... 'northwest of the new world, east of the sea'

potential habitats: all potential habitats critically endangered (due to global climate change).

ailurophilic - hence allergic rhinitic.