Time for some politics – it always provides cheap hits. I’ll start with this cartoon, which I found on facebook, promoted by various of the Good. But, its rubbish; its Wrong Thinking. Its a response to the US mid-term elections – or at least, I think that’s why its being reposted – and the message seems to be… well, actually, its hard for me to parse it. It seems to be a response from the Left / Democrat side of things, effectively whinging about the (marginally greater numbers of) voters who opted for what they regard as the Dark Side, who they apparently believe as asking for dirty air and water so that CEOs can make more money. A moment’s reflection shows that isn’t true; so what this cartoon really shows is that a lot of people on the Left just don’t understand, can’t even begin to understand, the thinking of the people who don’t want to vote for their side. It must because they’re silly, or corporate peons, of course. CIP has a better analysis, though not flawless, and I’m no student of US politics. CIP doesn’t like Eli’s economics, either.
Moving on to the vexed question of fossil fuel subsidies, I’m mostly with Timmy. It seems fairly… ironic..? That Saudi Arabia, a great place for renewables like solar, subsidises oil so much that they aren’t competitive there. [Update: see-also India’s Modi Does Exactly The Right Thing By Raising Gas Taxes As Oil Falls In Price.]
In the not-really-politics department we have KK versus Bill Nye on GMOs. I’m on KK, and Kevin Folta’s, side. [Update: A Victory for Anti-GMO Forces and a Blow to Science – Greenpeace and the denialists in lockstep.]
Breaking-US and China Reach Agreement on Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions sayeth the Wabbit. Apparently China will cap emissions by 2030 or earlier and generate 20% of its energy without fossil fuels. The US has agreed to cut emissions by 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. I’m not sure how to read it. Has “the US” agreed? Or just the Prez? His word isn’t binding on the US, I think, and I also think this wouldn’t get through Congress or whatever. Its variously described as a “target” or a “goal”, or on China’s side as a “commitment”, so is this just mood music? Though even if it was just mood music, it would be heading towards the right mood (though in the wrong way; remember Carbon Tax Now). These are not rhetorical questions; anyone who thinks they know what “the US” agreement means is welcome to try to enlighten me. Ah, Mr. Obama could face opposition to his plans from a Republican-controlled Congress. While the agreement with China needs no congressional ratification, lawmakers could try to roll back Mr. Obama’s initiatives, undermining the United States’ ability to meet the new reduction targets from the NYT is useful.
[Update: from the comments, RA provides a cartoon we can all love.]