Home | About | Donate

Because We're "Out of Time," Activists Storm Washington State Capitol to Launch "Climate Countdown"


Great post! Did you go to college for urban planning? Interesting field - quite honestly see no need to push more cars on the road- but like many would love to see better mass transit especially in rural and suburban areas. In addition, I would like to see better mass transit and van service for older people like myself. Additionally, I have no use for something like amazon- as I am not in the high tech world. These big businesses like amazon and Wal Mart hurt the backbone of society- like the small business or the farmer. These faceless corporations that operate around the world and pay their workers so little that they have to rely on gov aid- does that even make sense? Greed is running so rampant, yet those who have the most care nothing about anything but themselves. Boycott Wal Mart also.


From the article: “and to pass legislation ensuring the state’s energy is 100 percent powered by renewables by 2028.”

Please, authors, you need to stop making this mistake. No, there is no legislation to make the state’s energy 100% renewable by any date. It’s electricity this debate is about, not energy. “Energy” includes electricity plus primary energy–transportation, heating, industrial processes, etc. That’s going to take a lot more effort to power by clean safe renewables than the electrical grid.

We COULD make the state’s, or the country’s energy 100% renewable by 2028; there’s no technological, technical, logistical, industrial or other physical reason we can’t. The only thing stopping us is politics, which means the only thing stopping us is psychology.

So we’re not going to make even just the electricity renewable by 2028 unless we have a peaceful revolution in the next year or so, take over the states and federal government from the Republican-Democrat corporate duopoly and put in office people who are sane and wise.

(We should do that, by the way. Every year we delay doing it the chances that civilization will collapse into chaos and violence increases. Exponentially.)


I agree with mealouts: “great post.”

I once read that evaluating automobile impacts requires consideration of the full life-cycle cost of each car, and that the most significant environmental cost of each auto comes from manufacturing the car (resource extraction for steel and plastics, energy costs for manufacturing), not from operating the car. In other words, making “green” cars is still making cars, and quite unsustainable.


Tony Seba on disruptive technologies.
Ignore the 8 min. video, watch the 1 hr. one. If you haven’t been keeping up with the subject, prepare to have mind blown

Nope. SelfDrivingCars, various estimates: https://qz.com/943899/a-timeline-of-when-self-driving-cars-will-be-on-the-road-according-to-the-people-making-them/

See what’s happening in China now? Electric buses are already running and orders are in for thousands more! What we need to do in the US and elsewhere is what the Roosevelts got the country to do in 1942–stop producing private vehicles for the duration of the crisis–or at least as long as it takes to replace all public vehicles with EVs, build a comprehensive rail and high speed rail system and make rail, HSR, and self-driving EVs, all publicly-owned, the dominant forms of transport (yes, of course rural people still get to drive, but we should rethink ownership and use patterns of vehicles.)


I’ll try to answer these three responses collectively. Ed, the household EV is also a means to more closely monitor and reduce household energy consumption. They’re an ideal match to rooftop photovoltaic solar energy storage. They offer a choice to use energy for household or for driving which in turn leads to less driving that supports local retail rather than wholesale like Walmart and Costco. The EV driven less, Ed, lasts years longer, thus reduces the impact of their manufacture. (switching to the other posts…)


J4Zonian, the idea of making “self-driving EVs publicly-owned” neglects the benefits of household EVs described above. In an emergency grid failure, household EV will keep important electric devices operating - communication, refridgeration, heat etc. EVs are however portable and can be used to deliver power where needed. But the idea of locating self-driving cars at central garages to be dispatched on demand is a takeover by corporations like Uber which incidentally charges according to variable supply/demand schemes. The more demand, the higher the price. Their scheme is increase to demand by owning self-driving cars. (switching to last post…)


Mealouts, when self-driving cars are finally rejected as impossible, mass transit will become the more fundamental mode of travel it really needs to be. However, we are due for new model buses. The standard 40’ bus gets 4mpg and are run on routes at schedules that guarantee low ridership. At the top of my list for new model buses is the paratransit van. The currently 1970’s tech vans should be low-floor and low-emission for seniors, the disabled and all riders. They could replace at least 40% of the standard 40’ bus on stop-n-go local routes with many turns. Their hybrid and all-electric drivetrains could get as much as an effective 30mpg. They are also low maintenance thus can be operated by private companies on specific routes. Urban planning to direct growth and development is part and parcel of transportation planning. Bankers will gladly finance suburban sprawl housing knowing they’ll be financing an average 5 to 10 cars per house. Suburban housing as it is today however can and will redevelop to add complementary services, retail, dining, medical, agricultural plots, entertainments, community centers, etc, as the needs arise. The trick is to make these changes sensibly to entice whole communities to see the benefits. Thanx you guys.


“We COULD make the state’s, or the country’s energy 100% renewable by 2028; there’s no technological, technical, logistical, industrial or other physical reason we can’t”. What is your evidence for such a claim?

Considering the amount of materials required for such a transition the estimated construction time alone makes 10 years a ridiculous deadline for the entire country.


I’m not suggesting uberism, which is exactly why publicly-owned EVs make more sense. The grid function of private EVs would be subject to private, aka selfish interests, which would invariably decide conservatively in favor of the individual owner and for most people would essentially void that function. People who can afford such things tend to hoard, regardless of the consequences to the community, and if you don’t accept that, tell me why we have millions of empty rooms, buildings, houses and also millions of homeless people.

Publicly owned EVs that are leased or rented would be cheaper for the user, subject to grid use when needed by the community according to lease agreement. It could easily be made to have zero impact on individual driving. And as in the US WWII mobilization, when manufacture of private vehicles ceased, we need to get the needs of society met the most efficient way possible. Everything individually owned EVs can do, publicly-owned ones can do better, and we can make different arrangements for different needs.

For example, who said anything about central garages? Usually, the most efficient way would be for the vehicle to stay where it is when it’s finished a trip, until it’s needed, unless some more efficient algorithm can direct it to where it will be needed according to normal use. And it could pay part of its use back by charging from the last (or next) user’s grid-connected solar/wind/etc. It could be treated like a public or company-owned auto-jitney, dropping people off after work, charging at the last house and picking them up in reverse order the next day. With vehicles likely to last 500k to 1 million miles there may be less desire to own a vehicle, with such a public system we can also encourage a more rational distribution across the landscape than was foisted on us by the pernicious combination of cheap oil and inequality.

We have a choice–either we can do things the way we have–let people do whatever they can afford and allow HUGE inequality to determine almost every detail of who gets what, or we can have a civilization that survives the worsening crisis. We almost certainly can’t have both, and I prefer the latter. See also my answer to PaulSwanee1.


Your answer to me is either non-existent or is not showing on my display. In regards to your suggestion of automated cars picking people up, this has actually already been suggested and conceptually created by BMW. Their application is even more advanced to where consumers could use an IPhone app to “call” for the nearest available driverless car. However, if the purpose is to develop public transportation systems then it would be cheaper and more logistically effective to develop larger capacity transportation systems like electric buses, Maglevs or other rail system.


And thank you- yes, a priority is definitely paratransit as well as availability for mass transit to include night routes as well.


Self-driving car tech should be considered a hard sell. Accepting the idea on the basis of pure speculation about its use put forward by corporate interests who see only profit potential as if it were possible. Amazon doesn’t need self-driving car tech to continue bankrupting small business. Self-driving car tech cannot be made safe, will not reduce traffic congestion, will not reduce travel-related costs, nor reduce fuel/energy consumption and emissions sufficient to prevent the impacts of catastrophic climate change, nor take full advantage of the benefits EVs offer. J4Z, you believe the corporate line, exactly as those interests intend. I’ve tried to make a convincing case against it, and a case for the benefits of household EVs. How can you believe that automobile-related business interests care about you? They already have a transportation monopoly which can be considered a constitutional inequity in that automobiles present a severe impediment to other modes of urban/suburban travel. These corporate interests depend upon a gullible public.


There is no prototype self-driving car proven to be safe. Eliminating the driver, eliminates a safety device. Autonomous Vehicle tech level 3 can achieve all safety goals. Levels 4 & 5 - no steering wheel nor brake and accelerator pedals - go beyond what is safely possible. Why do corporate interests want us to believe it? Because, they want us to believe insane traffic can continue as it is. They don’t want mass transit, walking and bicycling to be considered fundamental modes of travel. They don’t want local economies to survive and grow.
They are planning World War III.



You make some huge leaps there, completely unsubstantiated and apparently either didn’t watch or didn’t get the Seba video and paid no attention to the other sources I offered, which are only a small sample of what’s convinced me SDEVs, from HS rail to car-like vehicles, are going to dominate very soon–within 10 years, likely even 5. Saying “There is no prototype self-driving car proven to be safe” right now is like saying “Man [sic] can’t fly”–in 1902. You’ve made no case at all, only thrown out some assertions almost at random and backed them with nothing but more assertions, most of which have already been shown to be wrong.

Speculation? The evidence is obvious. The technology is already here. The various parts only need to be put together and there will almost certainly be autonomous vehicles. They will be powered by renewable electricity. There’s likely to be a huge reduction in the need for vehicles, and we can make that happen faster and more surely through government action, although only after we recapture government by revolting against the current, corporate owned fascist form.

As for me falling for corporate propaganda, you couldn’t be more wrong.


I wrote an answer including both why we need to and how we can and supporting evidence from the US WWII mobilization, and numerous studies–Jacobson, Lappeenranta U,. etc.but it became unwieldy. You’ll find most of what you need in these documents:

The Plan

Emergency blueprint http://www.theclimatemobilization.org/blueprint_for_a_climate_emergency_movement

Leading into emergency mode http://theclimatepsychologist.com/leading-the-public-into-emergency-mode-a-new-strategy-for-the-climate-movement/

More here if you need it:
Key documents www.theclimatemobilization.org/key_documents

Climate direness and emotions http://theclimatepsychologist.com/climate-truth-and-the-new-york-magazines-the-uninhabitable-earth/

Wallace-Wells’ “The Uninhabitable Earth” is an OK start despite a few inaccuracies; the attacks on it were predictable because almost no one accepts how dire the situation is (the people storming Washington may be exceptions).

McKibben’s Rolling Stone “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” article is good;

the updates that explain part of how McKibben’s overoptimistic view has been superseded by new information and clearer thinking are better,

Study: “What would it take to limit climate change to 1.5°C?”

and Kevin Anderson is very good.


None of them presents the full direness of the situation. Our complacency is right now guaranteeing the deaths of tens of millions of people and uncountable other beings, and every year we delay the numbers increase exponentially. At some point, sooner than almost anyone admits, it will be too many for civilization to survive.


When looking at statistics of crashes with human drivers I would strongly question the belief that having a person in charge of the wheel would be safer than if a computer was programmed to detect scenarios. Safety is not the greatest barrier for driverless cars, but rather programming scenarios for driverless cars that have to encounter accidents caused by human driver cars. Is it ethical to program decisions that may result in death?

Personally I am not caught up in these kinds of debates, but rather my comment was simply an example for J4Zonian to investigate further knowledge of potential large scale transportation options.

As for the rest of your comment:

  1. “. Why do corporate interests want us to believe it? Because, they want us to believe insane traffic can continue as it is.” This does not make economic sense. Corporate interests never want traffic, because more traffic means that goods and services are delayed, which translates to lower revenues. This is why logistics is so important for corporate interests. The faster and more efficiently goods can be transported the more money a company will make.

  2. “They don’t want mass transit, walking and bicycling to be considered fundamental modes of travel.” Just because a company may not support cleaner forms of transportation does not mean that they do not support large scale transportation. In fact the exact opposite is true. Typically the reason why companies don’t support cleaner methods is because the cost is too high or these modes of transportation reduce product distribution. Take the new Tesla 18-wheeler truck for example. This is an all electric truck, which would provide the benefit of never paying for diesel, and repairs would be lower over time. However, as a result you have to pay for a much more expensive vehicle that travels less than 1/3 the distances of most commercial freight liners and the added weight from the electric components means that by law these trucks would not be able to carry as much as commercial freight liners. As a result for most multinational corporations would lose money investing in all electric trucks instead of staying with their current means of transportation.

  3. " They don’t want local economies to survive and grow." Again this does not make economic sense. While there are many situations in which large firms do come into small communities and takeover small businesses, on a larger scale larger firms are just as dependent on small firms for their growth. A large firm will actually make far more money if they can generate partnerships with small firms, thus growing the local economy. This works as a symbiotic relationship in which both firms profit as a result of supporting one another through various means of production.


Have you read the “Victory Plan” from Climate Mobilization before? After reading it myself, I am extremely concerned about the complete lack of ANY cost estimates, project estimates, energy estimates, cost/benefit analysis, gantt chart or project timescale. This plan claims that it will have the same effect as the WWII mobilization, yet provides literally ZERO economic planning of projected gains. That’s humungous problem.

Furthermore given the plans of this report, I am very concerned that the people writing this plan do not understand what materials are used in our industries. At one point in the report the plan calls for the moratorium on nitrogen and ammonia based fertilizer. That makes up over 90% of all fertilizer used in the USA. For a society that is supposed to be vegan based, how on earth are you going to grow crops without fertilizer? This major challenge is not only never identified, but there is zero evidence of a formulated plan to overcome this concern.

Heres an even bigger question, this plan calls for the moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and the immediate reduction in fossil fuel plants, yet fails to recognize that both wind turbine and solar panels REQUIRE petrochemicals in their design- how on earth do you propose to build new solar and wind if you don’t have the materials required for manufacturing?! Again, Climate Mobilization makes zero effort to recognize this problem and formulate a solution. Instead they simply suggest that politics will figure it out.

You cannot just make a claim that everything will be taken care of by the politicians, as such a plan is not a plan at all! You are assuming that other people have a plan on how to make your ideas work, but they are YOUR ideas. It is your responsibility to determine a plan of how exactly this proposal would work. This “Victory Plan” offers extremely limited information on what is actually required to make this plan work. This plan makes multiple claims that US energy demand will decrease, under their proposal yet they never actually say what specific future consumption the USA will have under their proposal. This is terribly discouraging.


Another comment I wanted to make just to discuss, is how the Victory Plan Executive Summary says that all 15 GHGs under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of the Clean Air Act should be reduced to 1750 levels. What I find interesting though is that the Victory Plan only talks about: CO2, CH4, NO2, H2O, O3, SF6, CFC, PFC, HFCs.

First of all it is rather strange for your Executive Summary to contradict your full report, but more importantly the Victory Plan targets GHGs, which are actually very beneficial to the planet. H2O or water vapor can accelerate the rate of temperature change, as it can hold heat in the atmosphere, but it can also have the opposite effect to cool down environments. In fact if you increased H2O without increasing other GHGs you could potentially see a decrease in surface temperature over time in some areas. Additionally O3 is critically important as it is the gas that blocks UVB radiation from the sun. UVB is the #1 cause of skin cancers, so personally I would encourage us to keep it around.

Secondly I find it very interesting that certain GHGs were left out of the Victory Plan, even though they are described in the Clean Air Act. One GHG in particular, NF3 is actually a problem and is regulated by the EPA, yet this GHG is never discussed once in the Victory Plan, now why would that be? Well one reason may be the fact that NF3 is most commonly emitted by electronics manufacturing plants, and considering how much the Victory Plan relies on massively increasing electronics manufacturing for solar, storage and transportation it would appear that this would create a rather awkward contradiction. While NF3 does not pose anywhere near the concern as CO2, its extremely convenient that this inorganic pollutant was excluded by Climate Mobilization.


Sigh… so much whataboutery and pointless obstructionism.

Obviously that kind of work needs to be done, which is why many people are doing it. The Lappeenranta, Jacobson, Drawdown, IPCC and interagency US National Climate Assessment and other documents have some, only a tiny part of which is online, I’m sure, although no doubt you’ll be completely dissatisfied with their short documents, too, because they’re not long documents that virtually no one would read.

So far, insane reactionaries in the US have prevented comprehensive planning, making both government and business plans impossible because of their intransigent dissociation from reality, even banning the words needed to come up with such plans in North Carolina, Florida, and now all the relevant US government websites. Most state legislatures are controlled by this Folie a plusieurs cabal, all the industries involved, and trillions of dollars.

This document is not one of the thousands of such documents of the kind you’re demanding, each one hundreds or thousands of pages. That’s called impossible expectations, like complaining that you’re not being protected from wind and rain after you move into a house that’s just been framed, like complaining because the (flawed and subsequently amended and still flawed) US Constitution and Declaration of Independence didn’t explicitly detail the size and numbers of bathrooms in the White House. Joe Romm points out the folly of refusing to organize to fight the German army approaching Paris until we know the thread count of their uniforms. This document is a framework on which the rest of what’s needed can be built. The best possible thing you could say about criticizing a frame for not being a building is that it’s pretty damned silly.

The Roosevelts and allies planned years ahead for the war they knew was coming to the US, that most people in the US refused to consider or plan for. He, Eleanor and his administration, and allies in Congress, corporations, and elsewhere, framed, planned then set up hundreds of government agencies and came up with ideas about what needed to happen—first in general and then in detail. Some of their ideas didn’t work out but led to revisions and refinements that did. Those were worked out behind the scenes, mostly, because of the denial most people were exhibiting and the explicit opposition of those who preferred fascism. They avoided the trolls of their day by not making every detail public.

People who are trying to get the US and the world to build enough renewables and make other absolutely necessary changes have mostly been working to overcome the psychotic intransigence of conservatives, fight against the lies spread by the fossil fuel industry and their legions of psychologically vulnerable trolls.

Do you think that demanding an immediate shut down of the fossil fuel industry will result in every ounce of those material being stopped from moving this week? Neither do the people who wrote this document. They’ve set goals, expressing more completely than ANY Republican or other conservative officials in the country and 90% of Democrats, what we have to do to survive. They’ve courageously faced what 98% of the people in the US are too afraid of to even admit to themselves, and expressed the direness of our situation not just through assertions or reporting of scientific studies, but through easily readable and understandable ideas about what our response has to be. It meets the goals of bringing people into awareness of the seriousness of the emergency, and bringing them through their shock and paralysis to consider what their part can be and what they need to encourage and allow their elected and appointed officials to do.

Someone so infected by that Wetiko insanity as to say nothing about those enormous political and psychological problems, and neglect to condemn the people who have caused this crisis, or start off agreeing that those people and organizations have to be prevented from infecting others by quarantine (not being allowed to take part in any more decision-making of any kind for the rest of their lives) is guilty of egregious whataboutery at best. If this plan is what discourages you rather than the continued control of our government, media and corporations by uber-wealthy psychotic psychopaths, then you need to see someone about your lack of clear thinking. If you recover that ability in time, instead of triangularly criticizing those who are trying to overcome a society-wide mental illness to save as much of the world as they can, instead of being pettily obstructionist and enthusiastically tearing down with misdirected objections the good work of good people, maybe you should offer your expertise (if you have any) to fill out the framework they’ve created.

Rapidly replacing fossil fuel burning with clean safe renewable energy is absolutely necessary for the survival of global civilization and millions of species, maybe all life on Earth.

That your response is to demand impossible things (thousands of pages worth of documentation in a short document, building codes and vehicle specifications from people who don’t (and don’t need to) do those things, etc etc is what’s discouraging. Yes, those things will have to be worked out. Other people will do that, people whose expertise is in that rather than in forming the main goals for the 300 plus million people of the US and most of the world. Allying yourself with the psychopaths and trolls is not a useful way to help with that.


More stupid whataboutery… Why are you doing this?

This is not the place to educate you in detail about atmospheric or ecological science, and I hope (though doubt) that my explanation about the difference between long and short documents (long ones contain information that short ones don’t, though no document contains all knowledge, except maybe the Diamond Sutra) will help you here.

For those actually interested in learning, here are some very basic places to start:

There’s no contradiction in the things you point to, only the Executive Summary and body making very slightly different points. Maybe you can tell us now how long and short documents are different.

One contradiction it is important to understand is the one forced on us by the criminally insane conservatives who have created this mess and kept sane people from acting. Because they’ve forced us to wait so long to phase out fossil fuels, we’re forced to push against a close deadline and cause further ecological damage as we build replacements for fossil fuel, chemical industrial agriculture and other infrastructure. We can be malevolently nonsensical and blame the people doing the building, or we can keep our heads, properly assign responsibility and then remove the people at fault from positions of power so we can move ahead with more rational behavior to reverse the course of Wetiko civilization.

As mentioned, though I think it’s overhyped, Drawdown has some useful points about other GHGs. For more detail on others, obviously other documents and organizations will have to be consulted.

And really? You think this is a plan to do what, remove all water from the planet and destroy the ozone layer? What the hell are you talking about? Have you been watching bad 1950s scifi movies? Your combination of ecological ignorance and malignant nitpicking is becoming a pain. Please stop posting this ridiculous nonsense and if you really want answers, try looking in places that might provide them.

You: ”but more importantly the Victory Plan targets GHGs, which are actually very beneficial to the planet.”
If I were being like you (only more useful) I would point out that 2 mistakes with commas in that short passage change and confuse the meaning, negate your point and make it factually incorrect. Why did you not do a better job of proofreading? Why did you post this misleading and counterproductive sentence? Why are you doing this?