Vote me

Too late now. I got 323 votes which is about twice Labour, but only a fifth of the Tories so I’m still safely kept away from the mighty levers of political power on the county council. Whew. Unlike Simon Sedgwick-Jell in the Abbey ward of the city who is now the first Cambridge Green councillor. Though astonishingly, in another place we seem to have managed to lose to Broon – truely an outstanding accomplishment in these dark days.
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Death and Disaster

Or, Pielke versus the world. To put my prejudices up front, my money would be on Pielke. Since I get to write this whilst watching a backup of my laptop (for for some odd reason) I’ll have time to read the sources as I write this.

Background: global warming is happening, and will continue into the future. But how much of a problem is it now, and how much will it be in the future? These are difficult questions. Many organisations and people (the Greenpeace types) appear to automatically assume that All Will Be Ill, and there is no particular need to study this question or even think about it. They are wrong, of course.
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McCain on science

Belatedly, McCain answers the sciencedebate questions. Obama did that earlier; how does McCain fare?

Its good to see that the tide of drivel hasn’t dried up:

I am uniquely qualified to lead our nation during this technological revolution. While in the Navy, I depended upon the technologies and information provided by our nation’s scientists and engineers with during each mission…

is particularly stupid. I flew in an aeroplane recently, so I fully understand jet engines? Apart from that, McCain says nothing terribly interesting, though its all worthy enough. He will focus on this, and on that, and on the other, in a way that makes the word “focus” quite meaningless.

Climate change…

We know that greenhouse gas emissions, by retaining heat within the atmosphere, threaten disastrous changes in the climate. The same fossil-fuels that power our economic engine also produced greenhouse gases that retain heat and thus threaten to alter the global climate. No challenge of energy is to be taken lightly, and least of all, the need to avoid the consequences of global warming. The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Good stewardship, prudence, and simple commonsense demand that we act to meet the challenge, and act quickly. To dramatically reduce carbon emissions, I will institute a new cap-and-trade system that over time will change the dynamic of our energy economy. By the year 2012, we will seek a return to 2005 levels of emissions, by 2020, a return to 1990 levels, and so on until we have achieved at least a reduction of sixty percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050

Fair enough. Text somewhat weaker than Obama’s, but the same pledge to quick action, and a reduction to 60% below ’90 by 2050 is not much different to Obamas. Cap-n-trade as the solution, which I think was O’s too. Presumably Palin will be brought onside at some point, or quietly forgotten, or replaced by Michael. Clean Coal… not very keen on that; presumably its a boondoggle to the coal producers.

The rest is all a bit boring, hard to tell apart from Obama. So what exactly was the point of all of this?

[Update: Daily Kos notices the same problem with his drivel, and adds some problems with his claims to have sponsored tech. Thanks to T -W]
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No excuse for inaction when times get tough

Or so says Gordy. The grauniad has a special supplement on Climate Change. I guess they aren’t taking it too seriously, because I spent quite a time digging through their web site before I found it. I rather liked Monbiot Porrit’s piece but for the moment I’m going to look at what Broon said.
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G8 and climate: more words

The G8 have spoken: We seek to share with all Parties to the UNFCCC the vision of, and together with them to consider and adopt in the UNFCCC negotiations, the goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050, recognizing that this global challenge can only be met by a global response, in particular, by the contributions from all major economies, consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Nurture comment The statement, which seems purposefully vague, also fails to clarify which nations would have to make the deepest cuts in emissions to reach this global target of 50% and whether the target would be legally binding. Or, less politely, it is yet more pointless wurble.

This is sufficiently obvious that there is very little more to say. The Grauniad says it anyway. The true answer to “why have summits” is also provided by the Grauniad. But we knew that anyway.

Does Hilary Benn matter?

He does if you read FP Passport, whatever that is (thanks Inel). He says Nobody is really arguing about the science. Everybody acknowledges the cost of doing something is a lot less than the cost of doing nothing. Everybody acknowledges that each of us has a part to play. The question is, how do you define that? Arguably (so to speak) no-one has been arguing about the science for quite a long time; though people have been using cherry-picked bits of sci as weapons (RP Jr’s favourite meme). Invisibly, of course, there is still lots of science to discuss, most obviously over how much sea level rise we might get.
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