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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Heated battle likely over climate change legislation

Uploaded: Sep 1, 2015
The battle in Sacramento likely will be heated over Senate Bill 350, the very aggressive climate change bill being pushed by Senate leader Kevin de Leon and Governor Brown.
The bill would cut by 50 percent the amount of petroleum used by cars and trucks over the next 15 years as well as cutting so-called "greenhouse gas emissions" to 80 percent below 1990 levels over the next 35 years.
Naturally, the oil industry has mounted a sharp attack against the legislation, running ads that talk of rationing gasoline to ensure the state meets the goals. De Leon has labeled the ads scare tactics—I wish they were.
Consider what the state and regional air boards have done—with no Legislative ability to rein them in. The state air board extended the cap-and-trade tax to gasoline this year when the legislative leaders would not even grant a hearing to representatives of poorer communities who woke up to how much their constituents were going to suffer with the regulation.
There's considerable irony that while de Leon and the governor push this expensive climate change legislation, there is a concurrent special session to deal with what the governor believes is a shortfall in funding for maintenance of the state's roads. That the roads are in horrible shape goes without saying—that the state has enough money to allocate well (as Republican legislators including Baker pointed out) likely is conveniently ignored by legislators.
CalTrans continues to be model of inefficiency with way too much money going to environmental checks and other regulations instead of maintaining roads or expanding them.
Giving regulators unlimited authority to meet goals is an open invitation to please radical environmentalist living in coastal communities while putting the costs on average Californians. Remember what the federal Environmental Protection Agency has done under President Obama
Fortunately, there are some moderate members in the Assembly who we hope have the cuts to stand up to the governor and de Leon.
Incidentally, the Tri-Valley's assemblywoman, Republican Catharine Baker has been targeted by a green energy lobbying group with advertising encouraging her to vote for SB 350. The advertising campaign is a counter punch to the oil industry campaign.
Speaking of campaigns, legislators always seem to have the next one on their mind. With the Legislature now in its final few weeks, the fundraising in the state capitol has heated up. For instance, last Monday there were 21 different fundraisers scheduled, all offering a sponsorship at $4,200 with varying other levels. Baker was among those holding events that day.

Comments

 +   7 people like this
Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill,
on Sep 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Fox News talking points....


 +   7 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

I don't know why you put "greenhouse gas emissions" in quotations like that. The greenhouse effect, and the contributions of various gasses to trapping heat have been understood for over a century. There is no controversy there, if that is what you are implying.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Ed, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

In the last 25 years the US and California especially have done a lot to reduce smog and other forms of pollution.

While we have worked to reduce our pollution there are many other countries, China for example, who have done nothing at all in this area. In fact I'd say pollution from some of those countries is getting worse.

It's nice to tidy up our "room" but what about the rest of the "house"?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 10:27 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

BobB,

Maybe Tim put "greenhouse gas emissions" in quotes because the science is not, actually, settled?

Maybe?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm

@Formerly Dan,

I'm not aware of any scientist who says greenhouse gasses don't trap heat, by way of the greenhouse effect, are you? There is all kinds of debate over how much net heating is caused, what feedback loops exist, how much and in what way the climate will be changed by this effect, and things of that nature. But the basic mechanism of heat absorption by greenhouse gasses has been well understood for decades and is easily tested. There is nothing "unsettled" about it.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

BobB,

You are quite correct in the "science" of greenhouse gasses. But as it relates to climate the jury is still out. And Tim' blog was not about climate "science", it was about politics.

And if you want to talk data, name one, just one, scientific model that has accurately modeled past climate?

I'll save you the time, you can't because it doesn't exist.

Go on believing...



 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Boyd Braynes, a resident of Birdland,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

@Formerly Dan,

Who said anything about "...scientific model that has accurately modeled past climate"

I'll try again.

I was asking about putting "greenhouse gasses" in quotes, as if to say that those gasses don't absorb radiated heat at some frequencies more readily than at others -- that they absorb heat radiated from earth more strongly than heat radiated from the sun. The quotes suggest to me that Hunt is questioning that very mechanism, independent of its effect on the climate as a whole. I've never heard a scientist say anything like that.

What does that have to do with "believing"? What exactly am I believing?




 +   2 people like this
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 7, 2015 at 10:51 am

There's no point in trying to reason with the hard core gullibles who parrot every soundbite they've been fed by the propaganda machine funded by fossil fuel billionaires. They're being led by the nose by the same folks who worked for Big Tobacco in the 80's, and now work for Exxon and the Kochs. Those guys succeeded in delaying effective legislation on tobacco until millions more died (including my mother in law) because they gave up smoking too late. They used the same talking points then about the lack of absolute certainty in science (true in all aspects of science, right down to gravity and thermodynamics), smug condescension and know-nothing antagonism against "those folks who think they're so smart" that are parroted by today's "useful idiots" in the climate change arena - Tim and Formerly Dan, in this case.

Tim calls greenhouse gasses "so called" because he's a good soldier and a true believer, who thinks science is for pointy-headed sissies. So there!

And Ed? We'd have to significantly ***improve*** from here to get down to the per capita level of CO2 emissions currently existing in China, and they have, in fact, agreed to take steps to not get to the level we're already at. We have by far the dirtiest room in the house. Not a really good place to start throwing stones.

(The "why should we do anything when those other guys aren't" argument is another one of the soundbites the FFF denial machine likes to pump out. Anything for a little FUD)


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Common Sensible, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Sep 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm

We'll start with the elementary. We are wrongly allowing our 30 year old, 30 feet tall evergreens in our parks to die. By the time branches fall, they are dead and gone. Grass 'sprinklers' do little for trees. Any of you 'believers' who are running around town with water tanks on your trucks, could fully deep water those evergreens, maybe once/twice a month. Grass can be replaced, 30 yr old trees cannot.
We need to remember what we learned in first grade Trees give off 'oxygen' for us to breathe, when we give them 'carbon'. That is the intended 'clean air' cycle. Trees like carbon. They are depend on us, and we on them. Hopefully real science basics are still being taught in our schools. As the world's population continues to grow exponentially, we need more oxygen, not less. We need more trees for more and better oxygen. Plant trees!! Stop killing 20 & 30 year old trees! Help our air!
To the phonies, zealots, and ill-informed, anyone truly concerned about the climate and our air, would be building more nuclear power plants...the ONLY truly CLEAN power for all those quite dirty electrically powered cars. Nuclear power can be reprocessed for reuse again and again for centuries. Quite different than the disgusting fields of metal solar works.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Hi Peter (or whoever you are?),

So...have YOU found that model yet?

You spout a lot of invective, but say very little. Typical.




 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Sep 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

@Formerly Dan from BC

The fact that scientists haven't come up with a fully accurate model for predicting climate science trends doesn't negate the fact that there is abundant empirical data showing that the Earth's average temperature has warmed considerably over the past 100 years. A warming rate of 1.8 C per century is ten-times higher than the natural warming rate of the Earth emerging from an "ice age" glacial period. The evidence is clear: the Arctic is warming up, sea levels are rising, and the habitat patterns of insects and other wildlife are changing.

Finally, on the subject of scientific models, no one yet has come up with a scientific model that is able to combine General Relativity and quantum mechanics, but no scientist I know of is saying that that fact throws General Relativity or quantum mechanics into doubt. They both stand on their own because of abundant empirical data supporting them both.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 8, 2015 at 9:51 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Ahem...

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Sep 8, 2015 at 10:07 am

@Formerly Dan from BC

For support you're posting a link to a Forbes article written by someone who majored in government? You've got to be kidding me. By the way, I note that he didn't refer to any scientific article in a refereed scientific journal to back up his central claim, but simply linked to a graph of raw data, as if he is in any way qualified to interpret it.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Sep 8, 2015 at 10:21 am

@Formerly Dan from BC

You should also know that Forbes has a rather sordid history of publishing articles by global warming deniers who make up facts and manufacture quotes. In fact, I would have thought that Forbes would have known better by now because they have been burned before by not checking facts and quotes presented by some of the global warming deniers on their pages. Here's just one example of some egg on their faces as a result of their not checking facts and quotes:

Climate BS from Forbes: Web Link

Bottom Line: Don't present another Forbes article to me. They have no credibility.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 8, 2015 at 8:37 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Damon,

Sure, I won't ever post a link that you don't approve of first. <---sarcasm

I guess NASA data just isn't good enough for you, huh Damon?

Well isn't that special...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 8, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

And by the way, the scientists over the last 12 years haven't come up with ANY MODEL that has correctly predicted warming OR cooling.

There's something about the climate that is, I don't know, unpredictable or something! Like it changes?

I don't know, you're all just smarter than nature I guess.

You believers are so funny, and not in a "haha" way.

Hey, wasn't it the old oracle himself, Al Gore, using the latest data from "scientists" at the time, saying that "GLOBAL WARMING" would cause the ice caps to vanish by now: Web Link

How'd that work for you? Oops!

Oh and how precious it must be that you believers have changed the name from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" to "Climate Crisis"!

Like children you should all just go outside and leave the adults to take care of things. Seriously.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 7:22 am

@Formerly Dan: "And by the way, the scientists over the last 12 years haven't come up with ANY MODEL that has correctly predicted warming OR cooling"

Boy, you're kind of dense, aren't you? I already covered that point. Stick to computer science, Dan, because when you try talking about science and the meaning of scientific models you're out of your league and don't know what you're talking about. You're trying to argue science with someone who has a Ph.D in physics from an Ivy League university and you're making a fool of yourself by sputtering nonsense and quoting "scientific authorities" from Forbes. Laughable.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Oh...well...since you say you have a Ph.D in physics from an Ivy League University I suppose I should just bow down to your superior brain mass! <---sarcasm for Ivy Leaguers

Damon, you are a caricature and don't realize how absolutely ridiculous your last post was. But then again, I would expect that from someone who alleges, anonymously, they have a Ph.D.

When you can address what I've posted instead of giving me your online resume and alleged educational credentials, I'll pay you heed.

Now go away.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 10:21 am

@Dan from BC

I'm not telling you to bow down to me, Dan. I'm just telling you that as someone who does know about science and the scientific method, I can tell that you have no professional scientific background (care to argue that point?) and that you're making a fool of yourself to purport to know more about climate science than science professionals. Oh, and BTW, professional scientists don't quote articles in Forbes written by people who majored in government for support on scientific debates.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Damon,

Most of our top political class also possess Ivy League degrees as well. Just look at the state of our nation.

You've convinced me...

And the sarcasm just keeps comin' hey genius?



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