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Mon Nov 23, 2020, 04:38 PM

John Kerry Climate Czar pick!

Palmer report cites NYT announcement. No subscription.

22 replies, 969 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply John Kerry Climate Czar pick! (Original post)
SheltieLover Nov 23 OP
El Supremo Nov 23 #1
SheltieLover Nov 23 #2
LakeArenal Nov 23 #4
karynnj Nov 23 #6
LakeArenal Nov 23 #7
karynnj Nov 23 #5
El Supremo Nov 23 #8
blm Nov 23 #11
wcmagumba Nov 23 #3
blaze Nov 23 #9
JI7 Nov 23 #10
Hortensis Nov 26 #21
blm Nov 23 #12
NNadir Nov 23 #13
blm Nov 23 #14
Blue_true Nov 23 #15
NNadir Nov 23 #16
Blue_true Nov 23 #17
NNadir Nov 24 #18
Blue_true Nov 24 #19
NNadir Nov 26 #20
Blue_true Nov 26 #22

Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 04:40 PM

1. It should have been Al Gore.

I actually voted for Kerry in 2004 before I voted against him.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 04:44 PM

2. Perhaps they will work together on it?

I agree about Gore.

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 04:57 PM

4. Gore not? Odd. Maybe they are the same guy. Have we seen them in a room together?

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 05:12 PM

6. Here you go

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Response to karynnj (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 05:30 PM

7. Damn. Thought I had a theory for QAnon

🤷🏼‍♀️ Just make up some other shit then.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 05:09 PM

5. Al Gore himself has great respect for John Kerry's contribution on climate change

Without Kerry, there likely would not have been a Paris Accord. Maybe you might learn the relationship between the two men by watching this - https://www.facebook.com/yalesom/videos/10155437677744442

Technically, your snark would mean you voted for Kerry in a 2004 primary then voted for someone else in the general election. It also is a RW trope - where the truth was Kerry voted for a military package that would have been paid for by rolling back the yet unimplemented tax cuts to the top 2% -- then AS A PROTEST VOTE voted against the Bush preferred budget that added it to the debt. He spoke on the floor of the Senate before the second vote explaining it was a vote against the fact that it was not paid for.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 06:52 PM

8. Yes, that was a snark. Because Kerry really disappointed me.

I worked hard for John Kerry. After he failed to throw out that killer Bush I was flabbergasted. Then I realized that he was just a stuffed shirt full of word salad. Even his VP choice turned out to be a jerk.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:24 PM

11. That's a false 'realization'. You don't know Kerry.

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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 04:45 PM

3. Cool, I do wish they'd get rid of that "Czar" nomenclature.

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Response to wcmagumba (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 07:00 PM

9. Yes! Get rid of the "czar" crap. Thank you. nt

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Response to wcmagumba (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 07:23 PM

10. Climate Envoy

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Response to wcmagumba (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 26, 2020, 09:41 AM

21. This. The U.S. has public servants. Even the authoritarian

right hasn't managed to install one of their kleptocrats as a czar to do whatever he wants yet, just a bunch of opportunistic thieves and smashers.

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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:27 PM

12. Sad to see how little some DUers know about Kerry and why

he would be the best person to tackle this enormous job.

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Response to blm (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:29 PM

13. I would have preferred a scientist, in particular Jim Hansen. n/t.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:32 PM

14. This position works with other nations on climate emergencies

and would work alongside scientists like Hansen, who is, I believe, a longtime Kerry advisor. Hansen wanted a tougher approach on Paris Accord, as Kerry wouldíve preferred, but, Kerry got an end agreement that every nation signed onto. Kerry would NOT shut out Hansenís voice.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:35 PM

15. A person with political skills who will consult and hire scientists is the

best choice. Scientists and Engineers, and other highly trained professionals are typically excellent with tasks around their area of expertise, but often make very poor administrators.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 09:12 PM

16. This reminds me of a story from my career.

I represented my company on a scientist to scientist basis with a very senior scientific executives responsible for procuring key intermediates for a major pharmaceutical company.

My boss - who knew almost no science - decided I need an MBA to tag along with me. The MBA was a total ass, who somehow got a degree - obviously by cheating - from Rice University in Chemical Engineering, but nevertheless did not know the structure of an ethyl group. Then he got an MBA, which he interpreted as a license to lecture everyone on "business" from the perspective a ring wing racist "Isn't Dick Cheney a wonderful guy" perspective.

I took him to a meeting, and was forced to introduce him, much to my embarrassment, to this distinguished pharmaceutical executive scientist, an extremely gracious man with whom I'd had many highly technical and interesting scientific discussions relative to our respective rolls. This executive was a real gentleman, concerned for the welfare of patients, very ethical, extremely knowledgeable, incredibly experienced, kind, serious, fair, honest and appreciative and again, I can't say it enough, gracious.

He listened for about 60 seconds to the asshole MBA, looked at me, and said, shocking me with language I had never heard from him before and said, "You know what's wrong with my fucking company? It's now run by MBA's with history degrees!"

I could have hugged him. (I quit that job not long after this event. The MBA lost all the business I'd worked years to build.)

It takes a lot of personal skill, perseverance, and yes, administrative ability to rise in an academic setting to be a PI. The caricature of scientists being clueless eggheads with no negotiating or administrative skills is insulting and demeaning to the extreme.

Robert Oppenheimer administered the Manhattan project in spite of Lesley Groves, not because of Lesley Groves. (Groves was a trained Civil Engineer.) Nobel Laureate Glenn Seaborg was the key player in negotiating the 1963 atmospheric test ban treaty, dealing personally with Nikita Khrushchev.

I have a lot of respect for John Kerry, and was pleased to vote for him to be President of the United States. But to hear that he is better qualified for this task than a scientist beggars belief, and in fact, shows very little appreciation of the skill of scientists as human beings.

I am not saying that Kerry will be bad at this job; I am simply saying that a scientist would be better qualified to understand the issues and address them in a way that is not involved with glib wishful thinking. Frankly, as a student of climate change, with decades of serious focus on the subject behind me, most of what I hear about addressing climate change is heavily involved with wishful thinking that, while politically popular, has not worked, is not working and won't work.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 11:52 PM

17. Coincidentally, I am trained as a Chemical Engineer, with years of experience behind me.

I have routinely seen Engineers become supervisors and flounder. You know who the best managers that I had while working in corporate America were? They were people who may not have understood the technical aspects of an issue well, but who had the presence of mind to seek out experts and listen. They got educated and were able to make executive decisions. The worst managers were the ones that were always trying to out think the professionals who were on the point of an issue that needed to be addressed.

I honestly donít know the Climate Scientist who you feel is right for the job, but I do know there is a massive difference between being good in oneís area of training and expertise versus leading an organization that has a number of people that will have as much expertise. I have been doing a formulation in an area of chemical emulsions that I had no experience in. I prepared, read all the expert advice and ran all past experiments along those advice lines. I kept getting an ok product, but it didnít give me the exact properties that I wanted. So, much earlier today, I was setting up another experiment and based upon past experience, I decided to try something which the experts didnít cover, it worked, I got product characteristics that I have been working months to get. The example may seem like an aside to you, but I believe it hits at a central point, effective decision making often involves being able to see an aspect of an issue that more expert people either didnít see or failed to fully explain. John Kerry has varied experience listening to experts in a large number of fields and then making an executive decision, I really donít believe the Climate Scientist has that broad depth of experience and as a consequence, his summation of what is possible may be narrower that what Kerry imagines is possible.

I donít know whether my view on it matches yours, but I hear people say or see the write the ďGreen New DealĒ and I wonder what in the hell they are talking about. If their concept is putting solar panels of everything, that has some merit, up to a point. But solar panels or wind turbines along wonít come close to solving the built up problem, although they will delay our arrival at a point of no return. My sense is that a multi-pronged approach is better suited for both addressing the built up greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and reducing our generation of more green house gases. I see large expanses of highway and government owned road medians and land beyond the road shoulder that is poorly utilized for sequestering Carbon compounds. The have lots of grass, but not plants that work around the clock to absorb carbon compounds and have a positive net carbon sequestration. We could turn our highways, roadways, Parks borderland and even divided highways in cities into a massive collection of carbon sinks that exceed the Amazonís capacity in this area. Think of how much highway medians and grassland beside roads there is. We can encourage farmers to put carbon sink plants along their fence lines and pay them to expand the width of those sinks - that helps the broader world and it helps farmers with income and even drought avoidance down the line as the climate starts to cool down is carbon source greenhouse gases are drawn out of the atmosphere, or prevented from going there.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 24, 2020, 12:51 AM

18. My career extends over 4 decades; and it's taken me all around the world.

I've certainly managed labs myself and I've certainly worked on the bench.

All day long people come to me to make business related decisions in my company all of which have a technical dimension. It's very fast paced. Without long years of study, and constant ongoing technical self education, I would be useless for the task. I don't think I'm bad at my job. I make things work, because I can clearly communicate, in technical terms, what needs to be done. I feel that the people under me respect me and seek me out.

I've seen major projects - projects that would have clearly saved lives - shit canned by people who were not competent to make decisions on the basis that they lacked the requisite education to make decisions about them.

Quite literally I have seen projects die with the result that people died. These decisions in some of this experience were made by bean counters.

I've seen scientists storm out their company outraged by the stupidity of their projects being cancelled, license their own work, and bring those products to market and save lives.

Are there people who are such wonderful managers that they can step outside of their areas of expertise and properly manage professionals in their fields? Yeah, a few. On the other hand, there are also bumbling fools who think they are smarter than people who actually understand the issue because, um, they consider themselves great managers.

In my experience, over many decades, the latter vastly out number the former.

I would propose to offer that reification of the Dunning Kruger effect, the orange idiot racist still, regrettably, in the White House as an example of a manager who considers himself smarter than all of the people who actually know what they are talking about, and thus fucks up their work.

Would John Kerry be better than Anthony Fauci at addressing Covid-19?

If you were going in for heart surgery, would you prefer a cardiac surgery unit administered by an experienced surgeon, or would an MBA do a better job?

Carly Fiorina has a degree in Medieval History and an MBA at the University of Maryland at College Park, and some business courses at MIT Sloan School of Business. How'd she do running the company founded by the Engineers David Packard and William Hewlett, an engineering company?

Ursula Bassler heads a massive "big science" program CERN. She's a physicist. Would Kamala Harris, who all of us applaud, run it better?

As for the technical issue of climate, I disagree strongly on your comments on climate. Putting solar panels on every roof has no merit. Nor does tearing up pristine wildernesses and lacing them with "service" roads for wind farms have any merit. We have invested trillions of dollars in solar energy in the last two decades with the result that the pace of accumulations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 2.4 ppm/year, as opposed to 1.5 ppm/year at the close of the 20th century.

That's a fact. Fact's matter.

There are no amounts of plants than can address the carbon sequestered by plants over hundreds of millions of years - dangerous fossil fuels - being released in less than a century and a half.

In order to solve this problem, as I've discussed many times in posts on this site in the science section, as may be seen in my journal on this site, energy sources with a high energy to mass ratio must be utilized, in fact an energy to mass ratio higher than dangerous fossil fuels. There is one, and only one, form of energy that fits the bill, one that is often vilified here on the left. That would be nuclear energy.

Jim Hansen gets it. I'm not sure that John Kerry is any position to do so.

Jim Hansen has the scientific wherewithal to cut out the middle man. He knows what he's talking about.

Now, I believe President-Elect Biden is showing great wisdom in most of his announced appointments. He's off to an impressive start. Mostly, after 4 years of darkness and thugs, I see light and competence and justice. I have nothing but respect for John Kerry, but this said, he is not the best man for the job because he is not a scientist. As much as I admire John Kerry, he's going to end up mumbling about so called "renewable energy," which has proved to be a large scale environmental disaster of the first order, not only because it has failed to work, but also because it's material demands are environmental destructive and, in fact, dependent on access to dangerous fossil fuels. He is not trained to look at technical data.

We - We! - on the left need to think anew.

The absolute best Secretary of Energy in my lifetime was Obama's first, Steven Chu. Steven Chu got it. I was very sorry to see him go. President-Elect Biden would do well to think along these lines and put a world class scientist in that role.

(Glenn Seaborg held a de facto cabinet role in the Kennedy and Johnson White Houses, and advised every President from Eisenhower to Clinton; we need more of that and less of pure political figures.)

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Response to NNadir (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 24, 2020, 06:27 PM

19. One of Carli Fiorina's documented problems was that she was not a good listener, nor

had empathy. Good managers know how to listen and can demonstrate real empathy in the form of actions. BTW, when Fiorina took over HP, the company had been in slow decline for awhile, she was brought in as the ďsaviorĒ.

I Cardiac Surgeon doesnít work in a vacuum, hospital administrators make his or her work possible. Try having heart surgery in the Cardiac Surgeonís examination room of his or her office, same skilled person, likely a dramatically different outcome. So, skill and expertise alone alone is only two factors involved with success or failure, in a complex situation, there is a massive number of other factors at play. No, I would not let an MBA do heart surgery on me unless that person was a proven heart surgeon also, but I also would not let a heart surgeon who demonstrates poor decision-making in the lead-up to the surgery operate on me either, regardless of his or her experience.

Farmers and Ranchers are hosting wind turbine now and are making money that helps their farms or ranches survive. So, nothing has to be torn up, the approach that I envision would work around the work on farms or ranches, but utilize poorly utilized space on those operations. I would redesign concrete partitions on highways and large patches of grass - I would put plants there that utilize CO compounds 24-7, but safety of drivers would be a factors that canít be compromised, so the plants selected would need to meet two criteria, efficient carbon compound sequestration and not cause distraction to drivers or obstruct their view.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 26, 2020, 09:21 AM

20. Actually, quite a bit is torn up no matter where a wind farm is built.

It's called "mining" and mining to make steel for wind farms that will last less than 20 years before becoming landfill is not sustainable.

Steel is still made with coal, lots of it. Approximately 10% of the world's CO2 comes from the processing of metals, this while the wind industry remains a trivial industry requiring redundant dangerous fossil fuel systems. Attempting to scale this monstrous industry to levels where it produces even 40 exajoules of the more than 600 exajoules of energy the world now uses each year would be an environmental disaster of the highest order. The redundancy accounts for the fact that while wind industry is misleadingly represented as "cheap," Denmark and Germany have the highest consumer electricity rates in the OECD.

Concrete is yet another material responsible for massive CO2 releases as well.

Then there's the issue of diesel fuel to haul all this shit around.

The so called "renewable energy" industry is a very, very, very dangerous shell game, and it's not working. It's a lie, a popular lie, a fashionable lie, but a lie all the same. Despite the expenditure of trillion dollar quantities on wind and solar in this century, we hit, again, more than 417 ppm of CO2 this year, and again, the first derivative of carbon dioxide accumulations in the atmosphere has risen, in just 20 years, from 1.5 ppm per year to 2.4 ppm per year.

There are zero forms of energy as safe and as sustainable as nuclear energy, specifically because of its high energy to mass ratio.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 26, 2020, 12:15 PM

22. Good points.

Nuclear energy should be a part of our future energy mix. But there are issues with how to handle itís waste that need to be addressed with research. As nuclear energy becomes a larger component of our energy mix, there will be more spent nuclear waste, mining of fissionable metals, transport of the ore and purification of the ore into nuclear fuel - all of that carries risks with it and need to be dealt with in an analytical, thorough and fear-free manner.

One of the clear drawback to wind power is recovery of spent materials. We need to do a better job of both research and recovery technology, along with development of after markets for recovered waste. Similar dynamics should happen with solar end-waste. Currently there is no centralized effort for funding and doing the research and development, this is an area that I hope a Biden Administration brings some focus to. Power companies and their component and equipment suppliers need to be part of that process, but they canít be left as the key decision-makers.

The coal derivative coking coal is used in steel making. The coke is used to reduce iron ore to the metal via carbon displacement of oxygen in the ore. The process of making the coke does use a lot of energy and leaves behind waste such as heavy metal residues. There are ways that I can re-imagine that process, mostly around reclamation of the waste material and sale of that recovered material. But I would prefer to completely reinvent the steel-making process to use CO compounds and re-useable ceramics. My imaging of the new steel making process would be net CO compound neutral, since I would use high frequency waves to strip CO compounds to carbon and oxygen, use the carbon to reduce iron ore to iron on a bed of hot high temperature ceramic beads (releasing CO compounds that can be trapped, compressed and sold for industrial use, one being making more carbon for steel-making).

Your point that nothing is 100% risk-free is a good one. But, as you pointed out with nuclear power, the choices that we make can minimize the risk, or at the least give a high return of benefit for a level of assumed risk.

My approach is to research and innovate out of a problem, so when I see a problem, the next things I start seeing are opportunities to turn that problem into useful products. Maybe that is the arrogance of an Engineer, but I have also seen nothing in my life that says that belief in the power of research and innovation is wrong.

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