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Sep 25 — Brian Deese, a senior advisor to President Obama, discusses China’s commitment to a national pollution-trading system to cut global warming emissions on “With All Due Respect.”

We already knew this, but more polling confirms – climate denial is going the way of cannibalism, slavery, child labor, female circumcision, homophobia,  and various other barbaric practices.

Reuters:

NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) – A majority of Americans agree with Pope Francis’ call for world leaders to do more to combat climate change, with more than twice as many supporting the pope’s message on the environment as opposing it, according to a poll released on Friday.

Some 61 percent of U.S. adults polled this month said they supported the pontiff’s call to climate, which was the subject of a July encyclical which was the first major writing of any pope focused on the environment. Just 26 percent of the 1,832 adults polled Sept. 17-21 said they disagreed with Francis’ call.

Support was higher among respondents who said they had no religion, with 74 percent supportive, than among Catholics, where 67 percent were supportive.

In his address to Congress on Thursday – the first by any pope – Francis cited his July missive, titled “Laudato Si (Praise Be)” in urging action.

“I call for a courageous and responsible effort to ‘redirect our steps,’ and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity,” Francis told the Republican-dominated chamber. “I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play.”

Below – even young conservatives call for Climate Action:

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Should we call climate deniers “climate deniers”? or something else.

Surprising sparks fly as the Associated Press’ Seth Borenstein is pressed by NPR “On the Media”s  Bob Garfield as to whether it makes sense to call a denier a denier.

I made this decision when I launched the Climate Denial Crock of the Week series in 2009.  At that time, I was being cautioned against using the “D” word, since, number one, it has the automatic association with “Holocaust Denier”.  It’s said this serves climate denier’s natural tendency to play the victim card.

But at that time, having met enough “skeptics” first hand, and having them lie baldly right in front of me, I felt that only “denier” could capture the true essence.  Now it’s standard usage for Obama, so I think that horse, no matter how hard AP may try, is out of the barn.

In his speech to the US Congress, Pope Francis singled out 4 americans – Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.  Merton is perhaps the least known among them. A monk, and a poet, he found bridges between Eastern and Western spirituality, and, while spending most of his active life alone, in a quiet hermitage in the Kentucky woods, was more vitally engaged with the wider world than most of us could imagine, even in this age of hyper-connectedness.

Merton’s distillation of ecological consciousness was profound, and worth a look for those who may wonder about the roots of this Pope’s passion.

A sampler:

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Song for Nobody

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)

A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.

~Thomas Merton

Here, one of the most memorable essays, for me, of the 20th century.

The Rain and the Rhinoceros

Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By “they” I mean the people who cannot understand that rain is a festival, who do not appreciate its gratuity, who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real, so that the only way to make something actual is to place it on the market. The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness.

The rain I am in is not like the rain of cities. It fills the woods with an immense and confused sound. It covers the flat roof of the cabin and its porch with inconsistent and controlled rhythms. And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world runs by rhythms I have not yet learned to recognize, rhythms that are not those of the engineer.

I came up here from the monastery last night, sloshing through the cornfield, said Vespers, and put some oatmeal on the Coleman stove for supper. It boiled over while I was listening to the rain and toasting a piece of bread at the log fire. The night became very dark. The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!

Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.

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John Boehner isn’t the only one to crack under the pressure.

Video description:

It took a lot of courage to do this, please help get this message out there. More of us need to start doing this.

What I’m gleaning, this is video from a “Catholic Climate Covenant’ meeting, I guess in Southern Cal?
Fireworks erupt at 11:50 in.  Climate denier “wants his church back”. “Heresy” etc.

Crowd listens for a while. Man grows dark  and threatening.

Crowd starts praying out loud, in unison.

Man lead away. Uniformed people involved.

boehnercry

John Boehner has plenty of reason to resign from his powerful position without even thinking about climate change. But one has to wonder of the sting of conscience played a role here.
Discuss.

NYTimes:

Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, will resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, throwing Congress into chaos as it tries to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.

UPDATE: Video of Boehner after announcement – “It’s a wonderful day.”

The Ohio representative struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

UPDATED UPDATE: Pelosi – a “seismic event”.

below, I kicked off this 2009 (!) video with a classic Boeher on climate clip: Read the rest of this entry »

For climate deniers, proof that the conspiracy is even larger than they thought…..

Of 698 respondents, about 94 percent said they believe average global temperatures have “generally risen” compared with pre-1800 levels, and 92 percent said they believe “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures.”

Purdue University:

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University-led survey of nearly 700 scientists from nonclimate disciplines shows that more than 90 percent believe that average global temperatures are higher than pre-1800s levels and that human activity has significantly contributed to the rise.

The study is the first to show that consensus on human-caused climate change extends beyond climate scientists to the broader scientific community, said Linda Prokopy, a professor of natural resource social science.

“Our survey indicates that an overwhelming majority of scientists across disciplines believe in anthropogenic climate change, are highly certain of these beliefs and find climate science to be credible,” Prokopy said. “Our results also suggest that scientists who are climate change skeptics are well in the minority.”

Previous studies have shown that about 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists believe in human-caused climate change, and a review of scientific literature on the existence of climate change indicated that about 97 percent of studies affirm climate change is happening.

However, no direct surveys had assessed whether the general agreement on the impact of human activities on the Earth’s climate extended to scientists in other disciplines.

Prokopy and fellow researchers conducted a 2014 survey of scientists from more than 10 non-climate disciplines at Big Ten universities to determine the relative prevalence of belief in, and skepticism of, climate change in the scientific community.

Of 698 respondents, about 94 percent said they believe average global temperatures have “generally risen” compared with pre-1800 levels, and 92 percent said they believe “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures.”

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Any doubt about China moving ahead to cut emissions, a favorite talking point among climate deniers, will now be neutralized.

My video above reminds us that continued fossil fuel growth is not really an option for China. They must change, and now they’ll become the world’s biggest laboratory for putting a price on carbon.

NYTimes:

WASHINGTON — President Xi Jinping of China will make a landmark commitment on Friday to start a national program in 2017 that will limit and put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, Obama administration officials said on Thursday.

The move to create a so-called cap-and-trade system would be a substantial step by the world’s largest polluter to reduce emissions from major industries, including steel, cement, paper and electric power.

The announcement, to come during a White House summit meeting with President Obama, is part of an ambitious effort by China and the United States to use their leverage internationally to tackle climate change and to pressure other nations to do the same.

Joining forces on the issue even as they are bitterly divided on others, Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi will spotlight the shared determination of the leaders of the world’s two largest economies to forge a climate change accord in Paris in December that commits every country to curbing their emissions.

 Mr. Xi’s pledge underscores China’s intention to act quickly and upends what has long been a potent argument among Republicans against acting on climate change — that the United States’ most powerful economic competitor has not done so. But it is not clear whether China will be able to enact and enforce a program that substantially limits emissions.