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orthoclad's Journal
orthoclad's Journal
September 2, 2022

Cost of climate change much greater than current estimate

The Social Cost of CO2, or SC-CO2

An article in WaPo covers a recent study in the journal Nature on the cost of climate change. WaPo: "the monetary toll of climate change will be enormous. The social cost of carbon is an attempt to put a dollar figure on that destruction."

In short, the authors in Nature say that the cost of climate change is almost four times greater than the existing estimate.

from Nature:
"a 2017 report ... highlighted that current SC-CO2 estimates no longer reflect the latest research."
"we show that improved ... methods...substantially increase estimates of the SC-CO2"
"estimate is $185 per tonne of CO2 ...a value 3.6-times higher than the US government’s current value of $51"

The last sentence is the kicker:
"Our higher SC-CO2 values, compared to estimates currently used in policy evaluation, substantially increase the estimated benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation and thereby increase the expected net benefits of more stringent climate policies."

Some of the costs of climate change will be in deaths due to heat, crop failures, forest fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts. Changes in ecosystems will make pandemics more likely as people come into contact with animal reservoirs of pathogens. And there are always the unknown, unexpected factors that the real world excels in throwing at us.

The main point is that improved research methods raise the estimate almost 4 times as much as the current estimate of $51. Personally, I think the $185 number is still way too low. I can't judge the economic factors, but the study partially relies on climate models, which so far are often underestimates of real damage and the rate of change.

One cost factor which seems to be neglected: conflict. Nations and peoples will not suffer in silence. We already see waves of refugees partly driven by climate change; we should expect to see armed conflict due to climate change.

War is expensive.

The conservative platitude "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is common sense, but this research which puts a high number to the value of the prevention can be used to justify the cost of a climate Manhattan Project, a carbon Moon Shot.

WaPo article:

The paper in Nature (the link in the WaPo article doesn't seem to work):
July 29, 2022

Midterms may be too late

shoutout to turbinetree for [link:https://www.democraticunderground.com/100216979536|

No other problem is as pressing as the right-wing supermajority on the highest court. This court has no hesitation in issuing slapdash rulings which are cementing the power of the far right. Roe. EPA. Death Row. It is in the process NOW of deconstructing the US government's ability to protect the rights and safety of the people. It's worst is yet to come.

In October, before the midterms, this Dominionist Court could give unprecedented power to state legislatures: "the ability to regulate federal elections without oversight from state courts" [link:https://www.rawstory.com/experts-warn-of-election-havoc-across-the-us-if-north-carolina-case-succeeds/| per turbinetree).

During the Obama years, the Republican party was busy at state and local levels; they gained about 1000 seats. And now that that party has no platform except obeying the will of Herr Drumpf, we can easily guess the result if the Court gives them power over elections. The popular vote will be defeated. As the current right-wing slogan goes, we're a "constitutional republic" (code for oligarchy), not a democracy.

The right wing has shown great disdain for their own voters for years, exposing them to covid death and driving them into poverty, let alone their disdain for the general population about human rights and climate catastrophes. This is because they are confident that the vote won't matter. Between gerrymandering, vote suppression, outright fraud and subversion, and their trump card in this Court ruling, the right wing will seize and cement generational power.

We absolutely MUST curtail the Right Caucus on the Court, and fast. Impeach the liars for perjury, investigate the Thomases, and mainly expand the Court to 13 seats to match 13 Circuit Courts. We have to have serious, realistic pressure on this Court BEFORE October, even if we have to call Congress back into session. Time off for campaigning won't matter if the election is cooked. Campaign by working for the people. We are at a tipping point, and it's racing at us.

(moved from other forum)

July 21, 2022

The Justices In The Room

I've seen tons of ink spilled over the question of whether or not the US Department of Justice will choose to prosecute the crimes committed by Trump, his allies, and his fellow-travelers. I say that's the wrong question to be asking. The correct question: what court (and jury) will hear the trials, and what Court will decide the final appeals?

Picture Alito, Thomas, Amy Corona Barrett, Kavanaugh, Roberts, and Gorsuch ruling on appeals of Trump's or Meadows' convictions.

What we face is not limited to a political struggle over issues, or over which party will dominate the government. We are facing the all-out culmination of decades of planning and execution of the seizure of power by an oligarchy. The most visible indicator of this slow coup is the curve showing the increasing concentration of wealth and the consequent power into a very few hands -- and the presence of their Reich Caucus on the Court. The oligarchy had a setback in 2020 (they lost an election and the coup failed), but they have filled the civil service and the judiciary with their minions. Especially the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court's Reich Caucus is barely even pretending to maintain appearances anymore, citing a 17th century English women-burner in order to overturn 20th century precedent. In their next session in October, just before the mid-terms, they will hand right-wing gerrymandered state legislatures the power to override the popular vote.

For a long time I wondered why the Right was so determined to defeat public health measures and doom their own base to covid death. Before that, I wondered why they would anger their base by removing their home mortgage deductions to give the rich a tax break. Now, Rick Scott's wildly unpopular plan to sunset Social Security and Medicare (thank you, Blue Owl, he is indeed Bat Boy) is bound to motivate older voters. The repeal of Roe v Wade is bringing women and allies out in droves. The list of alienated voters is long and getting longer. But they don't care. My only conclusion is that they are confident that by the mid-terms, let alone 2024, the popular vote won't matter. The 2000 election gave them the model -- the Supreme Court can override the popular vote, one way or another.

Some years ago the right-wing "Gish gallop" was a topic. The idea behind it was to throw up arguments and issues so fast that there was no time to refute them; all the energy was diverted into yesterday's squabble while today's and tomorrow's were headlining. We see that in practice now. The right wing, in service of the oligarchy, is throwing spaghetti at the walls in all directions, and we're getting dizzy spinning around trying to clean up the mess. The assaults on human rights and dignity and our physical world are fires that need to be put out, but while we're busy extinguishing fires the perpetrators are equally busy seizing the power and the wealth (what's the price of gas this week and what is the corporate profit margin?) which enables these assaults. We need to focus our attention on the most immediate and dire threat: the right-wing seizure of the Supreme Court.


Voting is essential, but haranguing people to go vote is not enough. We need large margins, but we also need to defend the process. The Democratic Party should be responding to the army of poll watchers (and poll intimidators, like the special Florida election police) that the right-wing is organizing. We should respond by nationally organizing watchers and observers at the polls. We must give poll workers legal protection from shenanigans like Giuliani's false accusations in Georgia. We must support the infrastructure of voting. But even more important, we must take immediate and effective action against the Reich Caucus on the Court while there is still time. Impeach the perjurer judges, expose the insurrectionists, expand the seats to 13, whatever it takes. Let's run our own Gish Gallop against the Right.

Voting is essential, but the right wing is changing the game to make the popular vote irrelevant. The mid-terms may well be too late. Defeat the slow coup and make the Supreme Court great again.

Then maybe we can expect secure elections, as well as justice for the Jan 6 coup bosses.

July 19, 2022

Power. It's all about power.

Words that don't apply:
and many more high-sounding words

Words that apply:

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