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Obama's Climate Plan Won't Save the Planet, But It's the Result of a Movement That Will


Obama's Climate Plan Won't Save the Planet, But It's the Result of a Movement That Will

Kate Aronoff

In Thursday’s marathon prime-time Republican debates, climate change was not at the top of the agenda. Aside from a few mentions of “the energy revolution,” a buried and affirmative reference to the Keystone XL pipeline, and some broad-strokes jabs at regulation, the GOP’s candidates for president — with the help from the Fox News moderators — stuck to more familiar conservative talking points like ISIS, Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.


OK - so there’s no obligation to leave the fossil fuels in the ground. That makes it a plan with no teeth. As the article suggests, the mining will continue and the stuff will be sold to someone somewhere to keep the dosh coming in. Wherever there is money to be made, there is someone with no morals and rolled-up sleeves. It’s a rule.


Naomi Klein–recently interviewed by Amy Goodman on “Democracy, Now!” explained that all across South America, people are READY to implement the Pope’s words on honoring Mother Nature. Millions are searching for leaders to put into motion what they know is the only moral course of action.

There should be a new Geneva Conventions taking aim at those who are destroying our world!

"Simply put, this is exactly the kind of government action that big banks and republicans love: the kind that helps them make money. “Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make,” Taibbi added, “cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax collection scheme.”


Emission reduction program? But it actually doesn’t reduce emissions as much as slow down the change over to emission reduction modifications or alternatves.

If you have a plant emitting 100 giga units of carbon and a country with a lot of forest … the cap is set (by the government based on…? Um… Based on …uh… what the government decides. Ahem! So lets say the cap is set at 80 giga units. The forest gets credit for…ta da !!! Low emission (this would be funny if it weren’t sad) and sells the credit for 20 giga units to the 100 giga unit plant. Now the 100 giga unit plant (which continues emitting 100 giga units) can qualify as emitting only 80 on paper.

A system that the republicans happened to like btw. Does it cut emissions? Well on paper yes. Definitely… you see an immediate reduction in emissions on paper. Success! Whoopsie! Yay!

Does it actually reduce emissions in the real world? Um… not so much.

Cap and trade allows polluters to keep polluting. It is literally a license that can be bought to keep polluting. But it sure does look good on paper though.

Of course I could be wrong and a reference quoting actual carbon emissions levels and or reductions using actual figures directly due to this program would put me in my place.

If we had started cap and trade fifty or sixty years ago that would have been one thing but to wait till polluters retool their plants years ahead in the future (and allow them to pay to pollute now) is something else. The incentive to retool (or convert to alternatives) is actually lessened by cap and trade because it is cheaper to just buy cap and trade units (like from poor less industrialized heavily forested countries) first off. Equating a forest with a coal plant in terms of emissions is a con game don’t you think? Polluters can avoid needing to get off fossil fuel longer with cap and trade. They can delay and still look good… on paper.


I understand that the rggi program helps to put at least some funds to alternatives but all cap and trade programs function as a way that allows polluters (in this case power plants) to keep polluting. Forget the labels and look at the program as if it’s a formula in physics. The amount of pollution gets paid for but (except on paper) the total emissions doesn’t change. The polluting power plant still emits the same amount of pollution as before. Yes the investment in alternatives will eventually help reduce emissions but the level of emissions presently being emitted doesn’t change.


Whoa, …now, I see someone is paying attention… you mentioned Kevin Andersen… now I’m paying attention… well, if what ever is put forth as an idea/ plan… and does not meet the requirements that Keving Andersen and others are stating as a fact of physics… then, we may as well hang up our hats… cause we will be dead soon enough… WE ARE ALL PLAYING IN OUR OWN " DAY AFTER TOMORROW" MOVIE NOW.


Yes, thank you thank you thank you… :persevere:


I was only using a hypothetical example. You haven’t explained how the emissions have decreased. I called cap and trade a con because it allows polluters to delay change and keep polluting . A goal in 2050 is absurd as most power plants will have reached the limit of their useful life by then anyway and would be shut down and replaced. In the meantime they continue to pollute without interruption. Yes adding new alternatives during that time will technically reduce the overall total emissions of the NE states power plants but the pollution from the polluting plants themselves will never have been affected, This is a delaying tactic which doesn’t reduce actually reduce emissions currently being produced.

In other words new alternative power sources would be constructed anyway during that time with or without cap and trade. The program actually delays (which is why companies like it) and eliminates the need to retool and get off fossil fuel use. My point is look at how much carbon will continue to be produced by these plants until 2050.


Yes… and what I was referring to… according to him … is the amount of emissions reductions needed, NOW… 5-6 %… every year, world wide… my reasoning is that this is not about to happen anytime soon, also, because in order to get there, western, developed countries need to reduce a LOT MORE… only to be fair… so, we really know that is not going to happen… a co2 emissions reduction of 10% or more… that’s just dreaming… here in the usa… so, considering how the top, it seems is not willing to make any kind of move … we may as well say that we will not get that kind of reduction… I come up with plans of all kinds all the time, as to how we could do this, but, of course, who’s going to listen to me… and it wouldn’t work any way… the top will never give up their power.

My Green Party branch played “Our Daily Bread” in a Binghamton museum recently… and there was a person there who is REALLY sold on how DIVESTMENT will bring the oil companies …and friends …to their knees… make them switch to renewables… well, first of all, you can’t make the same kind of money off EQUIPMENT to for energy, that you can make off THE SOURCE of energy… so, I really do not see how they are going to want to switch from making billions to making millions… but, I will say, divestment is ONE thing we can do, even if not just to stick’em.