Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Big oil companies versus the 'global warming law'

As election day nears, the debate around Proposition 23 has heated. If passed, it would suspend AB 32, otherwise known as the "global warming law," created to reduce California's greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, until unemployment rates go up.

Blog_For Prop 23 In an Op-Ed from Tuesday’s Opinion pages, Jack M. Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn., argues in support of Prop. 23. Suspending AB 32, he writes, would lower energy costs and increase economic activity.

By our calculations, temporarily suspending AB 32 would prevent billions of dollars in higher energy costs and save more than 1 million jobs. … [I]t would prevent additional, more burdensome regulations, such as cap-and-trade, from increasing energy prices and killing jobs until the economy has a chance to recover. Small businesses and families are having a very difficult time in this economy. Proposition 23 could provide some relief. (Read more: " Help California help itself.")

No on Prop 23_nahaiDavid Nahai has a different take. In an Op-Ed from Tuesday, he writes:

I’ve been shocked by many of the specious claims made by Proposition 23’s proponents. Supporters say it would save jobs, when in fact it would kill the state’s fledgling green tech industry… …I served as chief executive of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the country’s largest municipal utility, so I can say from experience that in recent years, the DWP has made huge strides in expanding its renewable energy portfolio. At the time of my departure in 2009, we had reached a point at which we were getting 15% of our electricity from such sources, and there’s a possibility of reaching 20% this year. (Read more: "Proposition 23's rate-hike myth.")

The Times’ editorial board also opposes Prop. 23:

Economic forecasts might be murky, but it's clear that there will be winners and losers if the state, as it's directed to do by AB 32, caps greenhouse gas emissions at power plants and other big pollution sources. Among the losers would be Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp., the San Antonio-based oil companies that fronted the money to get Proposition 23 on the ballot and have together contributed nearly $5.6 million to the campaign. Among the winners would be venture capitalists and companies that are investing billions of dollars in renewable power plants and research into clean-energy alternatives. But it goes deeper than that. Although Proposition 23's supporters rightly point out that California, by itself, can't have much of an impact on global warming no matter how sharply it cuts its carbon emissions, AB 32 will have benefits beyond the fight against climate change. Cleaner energy will also bring cleaner air, reducing public health costs and improving quality of life. … With Congress currently paralyzed on climate legislation, California is the best hope for a cleaner future in the United States. Vote no on Proposition 23. Read the complete endorsement here.

How will you vote on Nov. 2?

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photos, from top: A television spot in support of Proposition 23. Credit: Yes on 23 campaign. Opponents of the proposition march through Wilmington on Oct.14, 2010, to protest pollution from the local refineries, which they say causes health-related problems. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 

Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

NewportMac

Good article and its great to see someone putting effort into something more than the Oil vs Clean Energy spin.

The DOE (Department of Energy) has Billions devoted to clean energy research and implementation. Its also worth noting that California energy companies have extensively supported many of the DOE matching grants.

Very few voters have taken the time to read AB 32.

AB 32 was enacted before the facts were known. It simply needs to strip out the Cap and Trade provision and reliance on flawed Green House Gas assumptions and its potentially a piece of leadership legislation. Sustainability, Clean Energy, and Stewardship are great goals but not at the expense of Common Sense.

AB 32 needs to eliminate the Cap and Trade provisions 70% of America Opposes, eliminate the unnecessary oversight Fees, eliminate the reliance on flawed Green House Gas assumptions, correct the vague language that will introduce Environmental Red Tape that will do more damage than good, ensure AB 32 doesn’t undermine the Rule of Law, and make non-governmental agencies like CARB accountable to the taxpayer for their mistakes.

Since 1987, we have had 21 instances of 4 consecutive quarters with unemployment at or below 5.5%. 7 instances occurred in each of three 2.5 year periods. Its likely this will occur again very soon if existing CA regulations are reviewed and brought into check -- a must for employment.

The last thing we want to see happen is the mass destruction of California Agriculture due to EPA nonsense like Farm Dust regulation and Environmental Red Tape.

The Rule of Law should also be considered related to property rights. The Rule of Law can not be allowed to become Rule by Bureaucrats using loosely defined legislation or we are all doomed.

Voting YES on Prop 23 makes the most sense until AB 32 is fixed and we can afford to carefully implement it.

KatieandGroucho

I cite below 13 reports on 11 studies in mathematical science, SEVEN of which were published within the last 12 months. Google search with quotation marks these 13 reports on 11 recent results in mathematical science, read, and learn (the year the results are presented is given): ---------------

"Global Warming: Future Temperatures Could Exceed Livable Limits, Researchers Find" and "Report: Climate change could render much of world uninhabitable" "The Health Effects of Hotter Days and Nights" and the study itself, published by the National Academy of Sciences, being "An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress" (2010) (National Academy of Sciences published) ---------- Quote: A rise of 12 degrees Fahrenheit in the global average surface temperature would cause some areas to be so hot and humid that conditions would make it impossible for those without air conditioning to cool off through their skin. A 21-degree warming scenario would put [at least] half of the world's population in an uninhabitable environment. [The authors] for the first time tested the limits of habitability by measuring the highest tolerable "wet-bulb" temperature, the equivalent of what is felt when sweating skin is exposed to a strong breeze in the shade...The highest tolerable wet-bulb temperature could be exceeded for the first time in human history in future climate scenarios. "Most people are more familiar with the heat index, or the feels-like temperature they see on the weather report. The wet-bulb temperatures we are talking about would have a feels-like, or heat-index, temperature of between 170 to 196 degrees Fahrenheit," Huber said.

[A 21 degree F average global temperature increase hits a global average last seen roughly 50 million years ago. At least half of Earth including the tropics and subtropics will be deadly to warm-blooded life during daytime summertime; wet-bulb temperatures this high - feels-like or heat-index temperatures of between 170 to 196 degrees F - means the end on Earth of almost all warm-blooded wildlife - and by food chain destruction the end of almost all wildlife. It also means the end of human civilization as we have known it - what nations exist and what national boundaries exist will have to be drastically changed, and the human population will have to be drastically reduced because of less available land mass - who will get to decide all this, including who lives and who dies? ]

"Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth's Temperature" (2010) -------- Greenhouse gases and not water vapor and clouds are the key to global warming and to acting as a global temperature thermostat.

"Sun's Impact on Climate Change Overestimated?" (2010) -------- Mathematical scientists have been overestimating the contribution to global warming of changes in the sun and underestimating the contribution of greenhouse gases to global warming.

"Is Antarctica Melting?" (2010) -------- Independent satellite data independently shows that finally, Antarctica as a whole is melting, and at an accelerating rate.

"Earth more sensitive to carbon dioxide than previously thought" (2009)

"Global Temperatures Could Rise More Than Expected, New Study Shows" (2009)

"Beyond Carbon Dioxide: Growing Importance Of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) In Climate Warming" (2009)

"Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows" (2009)

"Climate Change Is Not Caused By Cosmic Rays, According To New Research" (2008)

"Cosmic Rays Do Not Explain Global Warming, Study Finds" (2008)

"Changes In Solar Brightness Too Weak To Explain Global Warming" (2006)

All these eleven VERY RECENT results I cited taken together means it will be easier than previously thought for humanity to drive the average global temperature to that deadly temperature threshold over the next few centuries. It's not just about big hurricanes and rising sea levels anymore; it's now about the very survival of essentially all wildlife and human civilization just a few short centuries from now. (Does everyone finally see how serious this is? Does everyone finally see how humanity having a flippant attitude about what the mathematical science says and not heeding the warnings of what the mathematical science says can easily result in the end on Earth of almost all wildlife and the end of human civilization?)

NewportMac

KatieandGroucho,
100% of All Scientists including All Climate Scientists agree that the computer models Fail to properly reflect the climate system. These published studies are only a handful of theories related to a system that is Not fully understood.

This is the reason "Global Warming" was changed to "Climate Change" which in turn has been changed again to its current slogan "Climate Disruption" (whatever that means).

AB32 is attempting to enact an antiquated notion and it will also enact the Cap and Trade scam 70% of Americans Oppose.

When this happens, all the other States in our Republic will sue the State of California which will cost us a fortune in litigation.

The Chicago Climate Excange, http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/ is essentially bankrupt and is in the process of reorganization.

Do you want to pay higher taxes and a $3,800 increase in annual household costs to a scheme that will send your money to other countries to store air?

Voting YES on Prop 23 makes the most sense until AB32 is fixed and we can afford to carefully implement it.

Jere Krischel

More expensive energy is a job killer, pure and simple. As fun as it may be to have a "green" job using some high-tech solar panels or wind farms, as Spain has already shown, you essentially kill 2.1 jobs for every green job you create with government subsidies.

If 23 falls, then californians have no one else to blame but themselves when the recession here deepens and extends.

Dan Jeffs

California's worst case scenario

Though there is hope on the horizon for congressional elections, hopefully, California's worst case scenario won't materialize as a result of the people's vote November 2, 2010. Indeed, as it is often said, as California goes, so goes the nation. However, since the national social, political and economic meltdown jerked most people to their senses, California government has played its usual suspects role of Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman's, "What? Me worry?

Unfortunately, California has a long decaying history of progressive political ideology, more so than most of the country. Alas, if it were not for a few bright spots such as Governor Ronald Reagan, the Proposition 13 backlash, and the energy crisis recall of Governor Gray Davis -- California would be even further along to becoming a socialist state under the indoctrination of bureaucrats, public education's factories of ignorance, extreme environmentalists, and the entitlement culture. In effect, under the benevolent dictatorship of the ruling elite.

As if voters aren't suffering enough from the economic crash, the worst case scenario for California will be the election of Jerry Brown and the slate of Democrats for the executive branch, the retention of a large Democrat majority in the Legislature, and the passage of Propositions 19, 21, 24, 25 and 27. That would certainly amount to voter-assisted state suicide, and ensure the demise of the California economy. Surely, the worst scenario would not be complete without remembering the gross mistake of electing RINO, Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor instead of Tom McClintock.

On the other hand, there is a better case scenario of electing Meg Whitman and the Republican slate, plus passing only Propositions 20, 22, 23, and 26 as a matter of survival. Clearly, the best case scenario would be to break the progressive stranglehold on Sacramento, including the public miseducation money-pit, with a voter initiative repealing Proposition 98's grip on half of the state budget. As always, it's up to we the people to be self-sufficient and responsible, and limiting government to only that which is necessary to ensure our security, liberty and freedoms. I, for one, have already voted to survive.

Terry Black

The scientific consensus on man-made climate change is nearly universal. Every major scientific oganization accepts this. Ever peer-reviewed journal accepts this. You can read about the consensus here:

http://www.logicalscience.com/consensus/consensusD1.htm

NewportMac writes, "100% of All Scientists including All Climate Scientists agree that the computer models Fail to properly reflect the climate system." In fact, the truth is nearly the opposite. A recent study found that 97% of working climatologists accept the truth of man-made climate change. You can read about the study here:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/06/scientists-overwhelmingly-believe-in-man-made-climate-change/1

California's global warming legislation can lead the country, and the world, in finding solutions to climate change. Proposition 23 would be a big step backward. It's heartening to see it failing in the polls.

KatieandGroucho

Having a degree in mathematics, I appreciate not only mathematical proof but also applied mathematics. Mathematical models that do better jobs than others in modeling physical systems are things to be appreciated, not scorned - especially those models that do the best jobs.

And I note that all theories in physics are in essence mathematical models.

I challenge the deniers: Where is your RECENT mathematical science that contradicts these eleven studies in mathematical science I cited, SEVEN of which were published within the last twelve months, and contradicts other VERY RECENT results similar to these eleven? WHERE IS YOUR MATHEMATICS? WHERE IS YOUR PHYSICS? Where is your mathematics that contradicts these VERY RECENT results?

One problem with deniers is that when it comes to the RECENT results in mathematical science, we get nothing but silence from these deniers with respect to this newest and best available mathematics. If they want to talk about science at all, they want to talk only about older scientific studies such that if they involve mathematics at all, it's older and lesser mathematics. (By the way, I note that who gives a mathematical proof or model does not change whether that proof is correct or whether that model does a better job than all other models at modeling the physical systems in question.)

And so I wonder why all we see from the deniers is scorn of the best mathematical models - the best physics - we have with respect to trying to understand physical systems - like climate; the deniers do not offer contrary mathematical science to replace the mathematical science they deny. They just deny all the mathematical science - they deny all the physics. Again, I wonder why.

Charlie Peters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-Nrep74qg

BAR Chief Sherry Mehl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvB3em82Lkw&feature=related

Orkneygal

The overwhelming paleoclimate evidence from around the globe is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), the Roman Warm Period and the Minoan Warming were synchronous, world wide and much warmer than today.

However, the MWP deniers, such as the IPCC, US EPA and the UK’s MET Office, will never admit the existence of the MWP because it means that their religious-like belief in AGW is exposed for the steaming pile of junk science that it truly is.

In total, climate change is complex and not well understood.

But this part is simple.

Since the world was warmer when CO2 levels were lower, CO2 cannot be the earth's temperature regulator. There must be other factors.

In the past, the Earth was warmer than it is today; before the social and industrial advances that have made modern people the healthiest and most prosperous in history. MWP deniers want us to believe that plant friendly and life giving CO2 is a bad thing to better advance their meglomanical desire to both boss around the developed world and further impoverish the poor while pocketing a lot of taxpayer money along the way.

Useless, misguided attempts to control carbon are not the answer to the ever changing climate.There is only one answer to changes in climate that has ever worked for humanity.

That is adaptation.

One of the many links to the overwhelming Paleoclimate evidence of the global nature of the MWP is below.

http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

More information

http://www.c3headlines.com/temperature-charts-historical-proxies.html

KatieandGroucho

Orkneygal:

You and other skeptics incessantly commit a fallacy that exists with respect to cause and effect or exists with respect to mathematics itself. That is:

All mathematical theorems are actually proved conditional (if-then) statements; what is proved is what the case is given certain assumptions. (Neither the antecedent nor the consequent is proved - only their conditional relationship is proved.) And that is what applied mathematicians and other mathematical scientists - including physicists who create the mathematical physics - do with respect to mathematical modeling. Since mathematical models are essentially in the form of theorems in the form of conditionals, the only question them is how well the model models the physical system in question.

And this leads me to comment on your comment concerning CO2 and temperature:

Cause and effect in nature rarely forms a graph that is a straight line. Generally speaking, cause and effect in nature does not have to form a graph that is a one-to-one function. (A graph that is a one-to-one function passes the horizontal line test - recall your high school algebra. It's a graph such that if is it increasing, it has no temporary horizontal or decreasing parts, and if it is decreasing, it has no temporary horizontal or increasing parts.) The only thing that is required for cause and effect to be a valid interpretation is that the graph shows a mathematically verifiable trend.

You and other skeptics incessantly commit the fallacy that if a graph is not a straight line or generally speaking is not a one-to-one function, then cause and effect is proved to be not the case. You and all other skeptics incessantly commit this fallacy with your incessant remarks about the correlation between CO2 and temperature not being what you think has to happen for there to be cause and effect, which is that the correlation has to form a straight line or generally speaking, a one-to-one function. You try to suggest from it not being a one-to-one function that CO2 does not cause global warming, even though in physics all the time we see a function in question being not one-to-one while still there is the cause and effect in question relate to that function.

Or you and other skeptics incessantly commit the mathematical mistake of thinking that temporary downward sub-trends in an upward trending graph prove false an upward trend in the graph, or thinking that temporary upward sub-trends in a downward trending graph prove false a downward trend in the graph.

Let this be a lesson to all when seeing debates as to whether x is a cause of y.

In my message October 26, 2010 at 11:21 AM, 10 of which were published after 2007, 7 of which were published in the last 12 months, 1 of them was the recent physics via mathematical modeling published by the National Academy of Sciences.

For those who missed it, it says that if Earth sees a 12 or 21 degree F average global temperature increase over the next few centuries from ANY set of causes, then respectively, we will see some or at least half of Earth becoming so hot and humid, the wet-bulb temperature will reach at least 95 degrees F, which is a heat index or feels-like temperature of almost 200 degrees. That is, these mathematical scientists have mathematically shown that if Earth sees a mere 12 or 21 degree increase, then the heat and humidity in the daytime summertime will kill off all warm-blooded wildlife over at least half of the planet (including humans who stay in these regions), and via sufficient food chain destruction, probably the end of essentially all wildlife.

What's really bad about all this is that one of the other studies I cited, also published within the last few months, shows that activity in the Sun may have been counteracting greenhouse gases, temporarily slowing down the warming effects of the increasing greenhouse gases. This study confirms two published late last year, which is that Earth may be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought. And when we combine them with that brand new study that shows that greenhouse gases and not clouds and water vapor are what drive global warming, we see the terrible combined result which is that IT WILL BE MUCH EASIER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT for humanity to drive the average global temperature to and beyond that deadly threshold just mentioned above - and IT WILL BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT for humanity to come up with some sort of "science fiction" super high technology based controlling of climate to undo all that greenhouse gas emission.

Regarding the end of human civilization and essentially all wildlife and all that beautiful nature: This is very serious. I just don't get the flippant attitude skeptics have toward all these new results giving humanity fair warning.

By the way, see "Global warming linked to humans: France"

Quote: "Global warming exists and is unquestionably due to human activity, the French Academy of Science said in a report published Thursday and written by 120 scientists from France and abroad...."

Celia Alario

Always helpful to FOLLOW THE MONEY: Check out http://prop26.dirtyenergymoney.com/ and http://prop23.dirtyenergymoney.com/ to see who is behind these Propositions.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...