My View From The Country

With The Summer Heat Comes Global Warming Assaults

Obama’s Tuesday speech on climate change made it loud and clear that anyone who questions the basic premises of this debate are to be shoved to the margins.

Remember when the big international global warming conference got postponed because of winter storms and freezing temperatures? That was really poor planning. But the fact that the global warming debate heats up about this time every year is very good planning.

I have very little insight to the inner workings of the Washington Beltway, but history tells us that the climate change push will come in the summer, as the heat increased. Sure enough, on Tuesday, President Obama announced his aggressive new environmental push aimed at carbon-based fuels. With poverty and unemployment at record levels, Washington beset by scandal, our foreign policy in disarray, and climate change languishing near the bottom of the average American's priorities, the president nonetheless decides to declare war on coal. I don't know about saving the planet, but one assured outcome is likely higher costs for energy.

But there won't be a lot of room for discussion, as Obama compared the critics of proposed global warming solutions to "the flat earth society." He also made the case that since passage of legislation on this issue would be difficult politically, he would begin to attack the problem through directives and regulatory devices available to him.

It's no secret that the environmental movement has been frustrated by the Obama administration's perceived lack of commitment to climate change and its failure to act as aggressively as they believe he had promised. The long-accepted explanation/strategy has been that once the U.S economy recovered and took off, it would be easier to absorb the economic challenges created by these policies and would promote the political will to act.

I’m not sure what it says about us, or the administration, when there is an acceptance that the economy isn't going to recover in any vigorous way. But with the legislative branch of the federal government unwilling to address these contentious issues, the president and his people have decided to bypass the legislative process and simply do it by agency fiat. Thus, energy, industry and business are preparing themselves for what promises to be an intense battle as the climate debate moves into its annual summer global warming push.

Obama’s Tuesday speech made it loud and clear that anyone who questions the basic premises of this debate are to be shoved to the margins. This strategy isn't new, of course, but its success appears to have emboldened the environmental movement. All the while, the developing world, particularly China, continues on a breakneck pace of expanding their carbon footprint.

Ultimately, the debate comes down to this:

  • Do we pursue what some believe to be the ethical and moral position, despite the costs associated with it and accepting of the realization that the actions taken will have no discernible effect on the global climate?
     
  • Or do we put economic prosperity over the perceived threats of climate change?

It ought to be an interesting summer.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 9

Graybull (not verified)
on Jun 28, 2013

How about putting REALITY over myth?

on Jun 28, 2013

I appreciate all opinions and I hope you appreciate mine, but I think when all is said and done, you are going to find yourself on the wrong side of history.

If you just look at the number or records set on the high and lows, rain, snow, flood waters, tornadoes and damage. The world is really changing rapidly. Today we had record highs in the south west at 130 degrees, we have record snow in several states, Fargo is under water, Calgary is under water, two of the three great lakes are at the lowest levels in written history, tornado alley has apparently shifted 400 miles to the east, largest fires in Colorado history, the list goes on and on.

I am all for one to say that the earth is changing as normal, but the recent changes in the last 2-5 years are so drastic, the records are being eclipsed at such a pace now. I cannot argue for normalcy anymore.

I think the most change is being caused by China and its lack of pollution control. Its time for China to get in line with the rest of the world.

Thank you for reading.

rex (not verified)
on Jul 1, 2013

Fargo is always under water in the spring. You should read the account of the original fur trader at Grand Forks and wonder why anyone ever returned to build there. A decade ago it rained 40 days in Des Moines. I notice that you list includes all changes in climate, whether up or down, as the consequence of carbon.

Rosemary (not verified)
on Jul 7, 2013

I don't believe in global warming, but I do appreciate your respectful and insightful comments. Your points are well-stated.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 3, 2013

In the 60's we were told the next ice age was coming rapidly.

on Jul 3, 2013

There appears to be enough evidence to say that Global Warming is occurring. However, there are a lot of clouds about what is causing this condition. To me, it is very unlikely that CO2 emissions are the culprit. It is much more likely that GW is the result of the interaction of several factors, some internal and some external. Among the internal, the ones we men may have some control of, the most important I recognize are the changes we have made to the Earth's surface. Specifically, the replacement of very large areas of Earth's vegetation with cities and agricultural fields. So much of Earth's surface have we affected that we have changed Earth's energy budget and the hydrological cycle. These changes interact with external factors, of which the most important is the variability of incoming solar radiation resulting from the variability in solar activity. Changes in the radiation budget include an increase in the Earth's surface temperature due not only to a much greater heat absorption occurring in the impervious surfaces in the cities (roofs, concrete, pavement) and roads when compared to the replaced vegetation (i.e. what I call the "city effect"), but also a reduction in plant transpiration, which normally acts to cool the environment but is severely reduced in "City Environments". Add to that the fact that billion of acres in agricultural fields are without vegetation for several months/year and experiencing similar changes in their radiation budgets that the cities, and then you can understand what I mean - that the culprit causing GW is not CO2, but the changes to the land surface that man is making. Then let's add the changes in the atmosphere, the increase in greenhouse gasses -not only CO2, but water vapor- and the changes in the hydrological cycle, specifically changes in the partitioning of the precipitation -increased runoff and less water being stored in the soils- and then we can have a better grasp as to what is causing GW.
Ranching, when properly managed, is one of the productive activities that less impact the environment with regard to GW as one of the management objectives is also to maintain the integrity of the rangelands.

Paula (not verified)
on Jul 3, 2013

When I look back at history it seems to me that those who have promoted conservation have been long range forward thinkers, and I believe this will continue in the present day and beyond. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the founding fathers of the forest service and managed to preserve many national forests despite furious opposition from the few who were experiencing great monetary gain at the expense of the many. In the course of 75 years we have managed to raze the earth of most of the easily accessed petroleum deposits and so must drill deep under water, in the arctic, squeeze it out of sands, and frack it out of rock. If our future descendents are to be left a world with enough natural resources to meet their needs, we must make changes and promote technologies which will get us there, even if it means our economy suffers. Nobody around here is close to starving so we don't really no what it means to suffer. Maybe the world will experience incredible breakthroughs in energy production and green technologies (kind of like the Industrial Revolution of the mid 1800's) but we are not there yet and I don't count my chickens before they are hatched. Are we experiencing global climate change, I'm not sure but the signs point there, and we would be wise to base our decisions on that premise. It can only move our world in a better direction. I do happen to be a farmer, raise red meat, and love meat so I am not a fringe left-winger. I'm just looking at the world straight on and realizing we'll have to make changes.

on Dec 16, 2013

I think this inevitable debate on energy resources and renewable energy storage and other related topics will never be able to end. We as citizens can only afford to watch and listen to the happenings related to this debate and there is really nothing much that we can actually contribute to this entire situation. What we can practice on an individual level is to harness as much energy as possible and save as much too along the way.

on Jan 23, 2014

We should actually take advantage of the summer heat caused by global warming. One way is to utilize solar storage panels to harness the energy which can later be converted to other types of energy for domestic usage to help households save on their monthly bills. It is indeed a blessing in disguise if the correct green techniques are used to create a win-win situation for both the users and the environment.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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