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Senate Democrats' Plan for Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 Is 'Wishful Thinking' on Solving Crisis, Climate Action Groups Say

How can someone “prove” what hasn’t been tried yet? But you seem to think you can disprove it based on nothing but your own doubts.

Better to try and fail… or need more time… than to say “Oh well, it can’t be done so why try”.


“How does someone prove what hasn’t been tried yet”

Climate mode projections, energy mode projections, production models, capacity simulations…

And again why would the timeframe be 10 years? We need this done as possible right, so why is it 10 years?

I can tell you why studies use 30 year projection, because they calculated how much time it would take to build everything assuming maximum production with adders for efficiency. Then they ran their energy models on this timeframe to calculate GHG reduction compared to climate models.

The GND provides zero data and then you wonder why people question it? It is mind boggling that people think it’s wrong to question the feasibility of a plan, when it is common practice in literally every industry…

Oh hell, the whiners need to get over it. And stop lying. NO ONE is talking about simply cutting off the oil spigot or anything like it. As I’ve said literally thousands of times on the net and in person–dozens of time on CD, in fact–we need to coordinate the shutting down of fossil fuels with their replacement with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy. Just 4 days after Pearl Harbor was attacked the manufacture of private vehicles was banned in the US. Use of public transit went up nearly 90% during the war. We need to emulate and go beyond that permanently.

Emergency measures are called for now, too. Government coordination, mandates, rationing, bans, alternative methods for many necessary things and education and exhortation to do without the unnecessary things… all of it’s possible and must be done for civilization to survive. It’s disturbing that still, after 30 years of increasing clarity about all of that, some refuse to accept what needs to be done.

Norway’s EV market share is now above 50%, because of government policies determined and designed to make it happen fast. (Iceland and the Netherlands follow at 10 and 25%.) In a matter of a few doubling times, their fleets will be so dominated by EVs that both the desire and ability to drive ICEVs will quickly collapse. (The fact that EVs are already both better and cheaper, and rapidly improving both ways, won’t hurt, either.)The US could easily implement the same policies and more, being an immensely richer country with phenomenal renewable resources. Because of fossil fuel and right wing intransigence, we’ve been delayed by crucial decades, but we have the power to stop that too. We need to do whatever it takes to do it.


No one thought we would get to the moon by the end of the decade when Kennedy said it… well, maybe just a few.

But we did. And this is MUCH more important. We have to at least try. To not try is to kiss our children and grandchildren’s asses goodbye because it just seemed too hard.


A seriously wrong approach for an oilaholic: “I promise to clean up by 2050.” Can you imagine an alcoholic going to an AA meeting and pledging to give up the booze by 2050?

A better approach for an oilaholic: : “One day at a time.”

This is why demanding R&D for something that should be tested in a year or two and rolled out in five or ten years is useful. If the government sits on its petard, you can give them an F grade right away and hopefully get a few politicians unemployed for their cheek.

I’m an inventor. I’m ready to finish designing and then build prototypes for retrofitting buildings with stored solar heat, for after-sunset solar-sourced electricity generation, for transit improvements and for restoring the Arctic’s white albedo. I’m ready to meet people and work on tomorrow afternoon already, if you’re in the Boston area. (But if you’re a known oilaholic, could you find a sponsor? I don’t trust you completely.)

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PSX keeps leaving out crucial words and making other strange “mistakes”, making his or her already questionable comments even more incomprehensible. I wish one of the pswanees would stop doing that.

Studies use longer time frames for several reasons.

  1. their denial keeps them from understanding how dire and urgent the situation is.
  2. false assumptions, like the inviolability of profit for the already-rich, our supposed inability to reduce our extravagance despite experience to the contrary throughout history (the US, UK, and USSR during WWII CTM (come to mind) for example…)
  3. their preference for imaginary technologies that obviously aren’t going to happen in 10 years.They’re not going to happen in 30, either, or 50, but that can be lied about more easily–as shown by the fact that they are, constantly. Distorting the argument to meet the conclusions is a form of begging the question (a term often misused to mean simply “raising the question”) This Sinisian strategy of stretching the necessary out to a time frame that makes its failure inevitable, in order to avoid upsetting people, and to avoid triggering trolls’ questioning of the clearly feasible, is just one more delay tactic, an insidious and monumentally destructive strategy.

The Green New Deal is based on more than a century of progress and experience, and more than a decade of work by many groups and individuals. The projections showing the possibility run through scores of studies, industries, and agencies. Despite conservatives being stuck simultaneously in the grieving tasks of denial, anger, and bargaining, the timing is dictated by non-negotiable ongoing ecological changes and equally inevitable social and political responses. Setting goals to do what’s absolutely necessary for survival is something that should go in the Duhpartment, but for reasons that need more desperately than pretty much anything else to be explored and understood, some people oppose even that–setting goals to do what has to happen.


It’s “semblance” not “resemblance”.

When one doubts something completely obvious, it’s natural to question why. One of the pswanees needs to find someone to help him or her do that.

We produce staggering numbers of machines of war and indulgence, and the amount increases almost every year. IF it’s necessary to reduce that to produce what civilization and millions of species need to survive, all our lives will be improved; we really should do it anyway. But no study or proof (which after all only exists in geometry and alcohol) to try to do what’s necessary is needed. Only recognition that it’s necessary is needed. Goals have to be set that provide a reasonable (for example, better than 50/50 would be nice) chance of survival. (And again, here we are in the realm of the painfully-obvious…) Setting goals to achieve what virtually guarantees the end of civilization and most life on Earth–wow! I’d really like some trolls to try to defend that.

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It’s not enough to ONLY reduce emissions.

That MUST be combined with sequestering Greenhouse Gasses into the soil. Regenerative Agriculture is highly effective and cost-effective.

It utilizes five basic principles of land and soil management that combine to feed carbon-based sugars into the soil. These sugars, produced by photosynthesis from sunlight, water, & CO2, are exuded by the plant’s roots into the soil, thereby feeding the soil-producing microbiology which in turn also feeds minerals back to the plants, for increasing plant health, better nutrition, and better defenses against diseases and plant pests.

These processes are:

  1. Minimizing the disturbances of the soil that breaks up the web of the microbiology of the soil.
  2. Armoring the soil (protecting it from sunlight’s heat which kills off the soil’s microbiology).
  3. Increasing the root-mass of the soil to put more carbon sugar deep into the subsoil to feed the micro-biology in the soil
  4. Increasing the infiltration of water into the soil, making it available to the plants and microbiology while reducing surface run-off.
  5. Integrating the use of livestock on the land to manage the grasses and to fertilize and inoculate the soil with useful microbes. If livestock is not used, the services provided by livestock must be provided by other methods. The livestock does not have to be a part of the human food chain.

These processes mimic how natural processes produced all the topsoil and all of the fossil fuels captured in the ground in the first place. We can reproduce how that happened by how we farm and utilize the soil. We can grow back the habitat that human activity has been destroying over the last 12,000 years. If your plan does not include Regenerative Agriculture, it is not doing enough to take CO2 out of the air and putting it back into the soil where it belongs.


There’s a cute little academic debate (above) regarding whether it’s feasible to stop fossil fuel extraction. Such discourse seems so very far removed from physical realities on every end. Is anyone paying attention to Mama’s side of the argument? Australia, for instance – our sneak preview of California.

The real question before us is whether we’ll stop before everything’s in such a shambles we’re forced down like a pathogen which has run its course. Meanwhile the wizards of spin say (air quotes mandatory) “net zero” someday. Okay, whatever you say.


I tell people about the US WWII mobilization all the time. Hadn’t thought of it as punctuated equilibrium; I’ll keep that in mind, thanks. Something else to keep in mind is the WWII-caused creation of the Military Psycho-Industrial Complex and that it served as the model for all the other psycho-industrial complexes–those combinations of manipulative psychology, societal institutions and other thingees designed, consciously and un, to prop up and expand the Wetiko-infected oligarchy. Which means most of those technologies have been maladaptive–new ways to make war on whatever and whoever they interact with.


One person can’t swing this giant oil tanker of a culture around. It will take mass realization of the truth of the science, and real fear and mental connection between events on the ground and what needs to be done to reverse the trend. The tipping point has already been reached, I fear.

A very cogent explainer for non-scientists:


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Is it that PSX can’t read, doesn’t, or that s/he lies about everything? I’d really like to know. Unfortunately, I’m sure PSX is either clueless and/or won’t be any more honest about this than about everything else. Either way, I suggest psychotherapy; unfortunately, I have as little hope as I’ve always had that s/he’ll go voluntarily.

Yes, how many times do I have to tell PSX the same things before s/he gets or admits it? I’m guessing that will never happen so I’ll just go on talking past his or her head to those undisturbed and honest enough to be able to benefit.

It’s not my plan, Duuuude.
First sentence: strawperson nonsense—as always, Duuuude. When the hell are these people going to grow up, wise up, and fess up enough to stop using this manipulative horseshit, and discuss things on their merits? Maybe when they give up unsupportable ideologies and delusions.

YES, we cannot replace all the energy we currently use in time to avoid climate catastrophe. Obviously, we don’t have to.
So sigh… Correcting yet another of PSX’s strawperson disrepresentations…

As those honest enough to follow the link and admit it will see, the US wastes 60-85% of the energy it uses. That doesn’t even include the huge amounts we waste beyond that, doing stupid and evil things, like the world’s largest single-entity emitter, the US military. It serves mainly as a thug service for US multinational corporations, in thrall to the right wing’s emotional illness, and as those things tend to go, securing the supplies of enough oil to keep itself securing enough oil to keep securing oil, and so on. A very low EROEI function in the end, because of that infinite regression; even not counting its foundational function—to dominate—ultimately for no other purpose at all. Then there are all the other psycho-industrial complexes primarily based on creating, reflecting, exploiting, and perpetuating that individual/collective mental illness—attachment disorders, complex PTSD, psychopathic narcissism, addictions…

So in fact, we waste 95% or more of the energy we use.

Just electrifying primary energy—a crucial part of renewablizing it—will save at least ⅓ of that energy, while efficiency can reduce it by at least another ⅓.

(California, eg. is still a horribly wasteful place, mainly because of its politically and psychologically warping inequality, and fossil fuel/car obsession. But its electricity use has stayed the same for decades while its economy has doubled and its population has increased by a third, because it’s made some effort to get efficient.)

We’re extremely unlikely to be able to heal our condition—call it Wetiko disease, or whatever you’d like—and reach the full potential of our energy savings until after this crisis is over, but even just acknowledging the somato-emotional basis of it will lead to considerable improvement, so we can even more dramatically reduce the fossil fuel energy we need to replace, ag production, etc. with those wiser lives I keep talking about, which virtually everyone, including this Type II Whataboutery troll, ignores.

The plan for net zero carbon emissions is wishful thinking, as are most of the proposed “solutions” for climate change because they all ignore the fact that the real problem is the demand for energy, not just how it’s supplied.
Fossil fuel energy is ruinous, but to varying and sometimes lesser degrees, all other energy sources, including solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, tide, etc., are also environmentally ruinous. The millions of birds chopped up by windmills or fried by solar panels, and the native flora and fauna killed by placement of massive solar farms, would tell you the same thing, if they weren’t dead.
Note that the technoutopian dreamers who claim to have discovered an infinite clean energy source are delusional.
Humans should look for the lesser of the evils when it comes to generating energy. But greatly reducing demand for electricity, gasoline and other energy is the real solution. Unfortunately, people are clueless, and will continue wasting energy the same way they waste water and the biosphere itself.


It’s gonna be amazing when whiny snowflakes stop crying like little babies and just get on with what they have to say, realizing that other commenters will call bullshit on them.
Grow up, pswan.

there is wishful thinking all around - by these Senators, by climate deniers, and by climate activists all of whom think people can continue driving and flying as much as they want, cranking up the AC, eating as much meat as they want, having as many kids as they want. The climate activists suggest magic “clean energy” will make it all happen, even as it is increasingly clear there is no such thing as clean energy.
A serious program would call for reducing demand, thru efficiency, conservation, lowering expectations (for driving, flying, meat, AC etc), and reducing population growth. But that is politically incorrect so wishful thinking rules.


Thank you, Barry. The problem is human population growth combined with the inherent excessive consumption and pollution that comes with it. People are so deliberately dumb to believe they can live the pleasure buffet lifestyle and not destroy the biosphere doing it.
A young relative of mine, who claims to be deeply concerned about the environment and had always said she wouldn’t make children, announced that at age 44 she’s having a child because “I’m lonely and it will give me fulfillment.”
I mentioned to her that the child will grow up on a dying planet, and that the child will contribute to the death of the planet.
Her eyes glazed over and she went on to gush about how big and profitable her baby shower will be.

Me too. I’ll be long dead by 2050. I’m in my late 60s. I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about the mainstream democrats who block every progressive effort by Bernie and AOC and others. Sorry you missed my point. Pounding sand is kind of fun, actually.

There’s good reason to assume Trump will not win reelection. I’ll reply to skepticism or undue confidence in all things republican that democrats ought to plan on taking control of the senate too. That said, no GND yet is even remotely feasible, practical nor ultimately effective in many regards. To reduce fossil fuel consumption, we must learn to use it more sparingly. In other words, our lifestyles and economies built on senseless wasteful travel and long-distance transport is absolutely unsustainable and degrading no matter the fuel/energy source. I fear republican preparations for an inevitable economic collapse are along the lines of a Police State and racist vigilante squads.

Barton I agree with you but your post looked like it was aimed at all aging humans (like us) and it didn’t sit well. Glad you dropped me a note. Still CD pals? (-:

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I don’t know what you have in mind so far as nuclear power being environmentally ruinous, but whatever it is, do you see that as being an artifact of particular bad practices–ie. something that can be fixed with better practices–or do you see that as an inherent and unavoidable aspect of nuclear power?