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Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 17 Dec 2020, 08:16:54

Pictures and more at link below quote.

CNN wrote:The Arctic is getting hotter, greener and less icy much faster than expected, report finds

Bitterly cold, frozen and inhospitable to nearly all wildlife apart from polar bears.
This is the image of the Arctic that comes to mind for many.
But in a matter of decades -- a blink of an eye in the history of this planet -- human-caused global warming has transformed the Arctic into a place that scientists say is increasingly unrecognizable.

If the Arctic is a doctor's patient, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Arctic Report Card is its annual physical -- a comprehensive check-up on the health of this vast and important biome.

Today's Arctic is much hotter, greener and less icy than it was even just 15 years ago, when NOAA published its first Arctic Report Card.

And with near-record high surface temperatures and near-record low sea ice observed yet again, the report card released Tuesday paints a picture of a region that is warming rapidly, at a pace far outpacing scientists' expectations.

"We thought the changes would take a lot longer, and the models were saying they would," said James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, who has been a part of all 15 Arctic Report Cards and co-authored the portion on surface air temperatures in this edition. "But the rate of change we've seen in the last 20 years -- and especially the last five years -- is beyond what we thought would happen."

Here's a look at the biggest changes observed in the Arctic this year, and what they mean for the rest of the planet.

Extreme heat and dwindling ice

Scientists say the Arctic is a bellwether for the global climate.
As the planet heats up due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, the effects of that warming are felt here first -- and foreshadow the changes to come in lower latitude climates.

"Further south in the US's lower 48, we can handle a change of a couple of degrees in air temperature," Overland said. "But the potential changes in the Arctic that are triple what we see at the mid-latitudes are going to completely change what the Arctic looks like, and that will feedback to the rest of the planet."
From shrinking sea ice and melting on Greenland's ice sheet, to permafrost thaw and even shifts in species distributions, many of the changes observed across the Arctic are being driven by increased air temperatures, Overland said.

The report found that the past year was yet another abnormally hot one in most of the region.

The period between October 2019 and September 2020 was the second-hottest year in the last century for the Arctic, with surface temperatures 1.9 degrees Celsius (3.42 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1981 to 2010 average. Only 2016 saw higher temperatures than this past year.

The extreme warmth was especially pronounced in Siberia, which saw sweltering temperatures 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) above average during winter and spring.

Since 2000, the Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, the report says.

All of this extra heat has taken a toll on another critical part of the Arctic ecosystem -- its sea ice.

In addition to serving as a vital habitat for polar bears and walruses, the Arctic's sea ice is a key part of the planet's air-conditioning system, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and keeping temperatures around the North Pole cool.

But last year saw another near-record-low sea ice extent, another sign that this air conditioner is breaking down, scientists say.

Sea ice freezes in winter and melts during summer, and this year's summer minimum extent was the second-lowest ever observed in the 42-year satellite record, according to the report.

The trend of declines in the sea ice's winter maximum extent also continued this year, with March 2020's extent coming in as the 11th-lowest on record.

The 14 years from 2007 to 2020 have all seen the 14 lowest extents on record, and sea ice extents have declined by about 13% per decade since 1979.

It is now no longer a question of "if" we will see an ice-free Arctic in the new few decades -- it is "when," said Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and a co-author of the sea ice section of this year's Arctic Report Card.

"For me being about 50-years-old, I thought (an ice-free Arctic in summer) would be something my grandchildren would probably live to see," Meier said. "But now, if I have a reasonably average lifespan, then I'll probably live to see it, which is really stark in my view in terms of how fast things have changed."

A greener, less snowy Arctic

Snow still covers much of the Arctic for up to nine months out of the year. But that too is changing, as warming leads to declines in both the area of land and length of time that it is buried in snow.

The snow cover extent in June 2020 over the Eurasian Arctic was the lowest in the 54-year record, and the North American part of the region saw its 10th-lowest extent.
That snow cover also melted much earlier in parts of the region, especially in Siberia, which saw record heatwaves in 2020.

Though the report found that the duration of snow cover was roughly normal over much of the Arctic, snow cover over huge swaths of Siberia melted as much as a month early, owing to temperatures that were more than 5 degrees Celsius above average.
Another effect of a warmer climate is that the Arctic is growing greener.

Tundra vegetation or "greenness" has been tracked by satellites since the early '80s, and scientists monitor it as a key signal of changes in the region's climate.

While "greenness" has declined sharply in North America since 2016, it has remained above average on the Eurasian side.

And the report finds that looking at the full satellite record, the overall trend is moving toward a greener Arctic, as warmer temperatures thaw the frozen tundra, allowing shrubs and other plant species to take root in places they couldn't in the past.

Taken together, the changes outlined in the report show a region that is being transformed rapidly by warming brought on by human activity.

"This isn't just like a low sea ice year or the permafrost thawing in on one place where the temperatures are rising -- the entire ecosystem is changing," Meier said. "And that's telling you that this isn't a fluke. It's something fundamental that's changing in the Arctic environment."

Arctic Report Card
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby REAL Green » Tue 22 Dec 2020, 08:02:16

“Threshold for dangerous climate warming will likely be crossed between 2027–2042”
https://phys.org/news/2020-12-threshold ... imate.html

“A new approach "Our new approach to projecting the Earth's temperature is based on historical climate data, rather than the theoretical relationships that are imperfectly captured by the GCMs. Our approach allows climate sensitivity and its uncertainty to be estimated from direct observations with few assumptions," says co-author Raphael Hebert, a former graduate researcher at McGill University, now working at the Alfred-Wegener-Institut in Potsdam, Germany. In a study for Climate Dynamics, the researchers introduced the new Scaling Climate Response Function (SCRF) model to project the Earth's temperature to 2100. Grounded on historical data, it reduces prediction uncertainties by about half, compared to the approach currently used by the IPCC. In analyzing the results, the researchers found that the threshold for dangerous warming (+1.5C) will likely be crossed between 2027 and 2042. This is a much narrower window than GCMs estimates of between now and 2052. On average, the researchers also found that expected warming was a little lower, by about 10 to 15 percent. They also found, however, that the "very likely warming ranges" of the SCRF were within those of the GCMs, giving the latter support.”
“General Circulation Models (GCMs)”
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby dissident » Tue 22 Dec 2020, 11:31:13

So extrapolation is touted as superior to first principles based ensemble modeling. Yeah, BS much. Clearly the slang definition of "theoretical" is being used in the above. Theory is not some hunch or guess. It is actual empirically derived governing equations that can be used to make real forecasts which are testable. Something that extrapolation cannot do.

Any imperfection of GCMs is irrelevant when compared to extrapolation. Ensemble simulations with current coupled ocean-atmosphere-land (including ice) GCMs can give accurate envelopes on accessible climate states in the coming decades. Some extrapolation relies on the chance that there are sufficient repetitive patterns in historical data that will occur in the "forecast" window. So we have quasi-deterministic constraints being denigrated in comparison to gambling.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 28 Dec 2020, 23:44:42

"2020 weather disasters boosted by Climate Change: report"
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202012/1211243.shtml

"Not surprisingly, the burden fell disproportionately on poor nations, according to the annual tally from global NGO Christian Aid, entitled "Count the cost of 2020: a year of climate breakdown."

Only four percent of economic losses from climate-impacted extreme events in low-income countries were insured, compared with 60 percent in high-income economies, the report said, citing a study in November in The Lancet."

This is an AFP article reprinted by The Global Times.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby REAL Green » Thu 31 Dec 2020, 08:17:22

I heat with wood and I only use dead and dying trees:

“800 scientists: burning forests for electricity or heat releases more 1.5 x more CO2 than coal, 3x more than natural gas”
http://energyskeptic.com/2020/800-scien ... tural-gas/

“Unlike wood wastes, harvesting additional wood just for burning is likely to increase carbon in the atmosphere for decades to centuries. This effect results from the fact that wood is a carbon-based fuel whose harvest and use are inefficient from a greenhouse gas (GHG) perspective. Typically, around one third or more of each harvested tree is contained in roots and small branches that are properly left in the forest to protect soils but that decompose and release carbon. Wood that reaches a power plant can displace fossil emissions but per kWh of electricity typically emits 1.5x the CO2 of coal and 3x the CO2 of natural gas because of wood’s carbon bonds, water content and lower burning temperature (and pelletizing wood provides no net advantages). Allowing trees to regrow can reabsorb the carbon, but for some years a regrowing forest typically absorbs less carbon than if the forest were left unharvested, increasing the carbon debt. Eventually, the regrowing forest grows faster and the additional carbon it then absorbs plus the reduction in fossil fuels can together pay back the carbon debt on the first stand harvested. But even then, carbon debt remains on the additional stands harvested in succeeding years, and it takes more years for more stands to regrow before there is just carbon parity between use of wood and fossil fuels. It then takes many more years of forest regrowth to achieve substantial GHG reductions. The renewability of trees, unlike fossil fuels, helps explain why biomass can eventually reduce GHGs but only over long periods. The amount of increase in GHGs by 2050 depends on which and how forests are ultimately harvested, how the energy is used and whether wood replaces coal, oil or natural gas. Yet overall, replacing fossil fuels with wood will likely result in 2-3x more carbon in the atmosphere in 2050 per gigajoule of final energy. Because the likely renewable alternative would be truly low carbon solar or wind, the plausible, net effect of the biomass provisions could be to turn a ~5% decrease in energy emissions by 2050 into increases of ~5–10% or even more.”
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 31 Dec 2020, 10:03:56

I also heat with wood and today have a logger cutting out all my marketable ash trees before the Emerald ash borer kills them and renders them useless. So far he has cut out about 200 marketable saw logs and shipped 90 of them. The tops smaller then ten inch in diameter have been left in the woods for me to collect with my grapple tractor later for fire wood. Also cull logs and crooked sections have been piled for fire wood. In all I'd estimate that 80 percent of each tree's mass has gone to the mill with the remains going to firewood or small brush left to rot in the woods.
As this was a selective cut of a one hundred year old forest plot the surrounding Maples and other species remaining will quickly take advantage in the reduction in competition for sunlight and ground water and close in all the gaps in the canopy the cutting has opened up. This will keep the sequestration of CO2 on that acreage about constant.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 31 Dec 2020, 15:16:40

REAL Green wrote:I heat with wood and I only use dead and dying trees:

“800 scientists: burning forests for electricity or heat releases more 1.5 x more CO2 than coal, 3x more than natural gas”
http://energyskeptic.com/2020/800-scien ... tural-gas/

“Unlike wood wastes, harvesting additional wood just for burning is likely to increase carbon in the atmosphere for decades to centuries. This effect results from the fact that wood is a carbon-based fuel whose harvest and use are inefficient from a greenhouse gas (GHG) perspective. Typically, around one third or more of each harvested tree is contained in roots and small branches that are properly left in the forest to protect soils but that decompose and release carbon. Wood that reaches a power plant can displace fossil emissions but per kWh of electricity typically emits 1.5x the CO2 of coal and 3x the CO2 of natural gas because of wood’s carbon bonds, water content and lower burning temperature (and pelletizing wood provides no net advantages). Allowing trees to regrow can reabsorb the carbon, but for some years a regrowing forest typically absorbs less carbon than if the forest were left unharvested, increasing the carbon debt. Eventually, the regrowing forest grows faster and the additional carbon it then absorbs plus the reduction in fossil fuels can together pay back the carbon debt on the first stand harvested. But even then, carbon debt remains on the additional stands harvested in succeeding years, and it takes more years for more stands to regrow before there is just carbon parity between use of wood and fossil fuels. It then takes many more years of forest regrowth to achieve substantial GHG reductions. The renewability of trees, unlike fossil fuels, helps explain why biomass can eventually reduce GHGs but only over long periods. The amount of increase in GHGs by 2050 depends on which and how forests are ultimately harvested, how the energy is used and whether wood replaces coal, oil or natural gas. Yet overall, replacing fossil fuels with wood will likely result in 2-3x more carbon in the atmosphere in 2050 per gigajoule of final energy. Because the likely renewable alternative would be truly low carbon solar or wind, the plausible, net effect of the biomass provisions could be to turn a ~5% decrease in energy emissions by 2050 into increases of ~5–10% or even more.”


While I believe the way they are approaching the burning of biomass in the 2015 accords are insane I think claiming a 30 year overhang and extreme higher CO2 emissions is a specious argument. The proper thing to do IMO would be to mandate that paper waste be separated out of trash streams and used as a biofuel set aside. This material could be used as fuel or better yet compressed into a compact form and stored in an out of the way location where it would be retrievable if ever so desired. Today some municipalities operate trash incinerator plants but many more consign this viable biofuel to landfills where it gets buried mixed together with all the rest. The paper/wood products part of the trash is genuinely biofuel with all the energy inputs you could desire in terms of drying already sunk costs in its manufacturing. Land-filling this stuff when you have a biofuel mandate is a loopy kind of thing to be doing. At the same time glass and metal in trash are pretty clearly recyclable at a smaller energy cost than newly manufacturing those materials from raw ingredients. That just leaves food waste and petrochemical product waste (plastics of every sort) Food tends to be very moist and incinerating it usually has a negative energy return because you have to drive all the moisture out soaking up energy from other items in the fire. Plastics on the other hand are plenty energy dense but often contain additives like chlorine that are a major pollution issue when burned. If any part of garbage should be land-filled those two have the greatest justification, however waste food could easily go through a process similar to what we do with raw sewage where it would be digested by microbial life leaving behind a useful fertilizer residue aka compost. The more we reuse sewage solids and compost for farming the less petrochemical derived fertilizers we will need.

What I am getting at here is just because one politically motivated treaty has stupidly written rules doesn't make the concept of biomass completely stupid, just implementation following that set of rules. These sort of regulatory directives should never be written by lawyers other than in close consultation with scientific experts who understand the ramifications/nuances of how they should be implemented to achieve the stated goals. Writing them without taking into account the human tendency to seek out the least effort pathways to getting the reward on the one hand the the impacts caused by whatever the cheapest methods is without preventing the negative ones to the greatest extent possible is the only responsible way to write these sorts of regulations.

It reminds me of the US government back about 25 years ago regulating that school lunches must have X servings of fruits and vegetables in each meal, then consulting with the Heinze corporation which got one of the approved servings defined as "Ketchup". Up until that time the USA had two competing spellings for the condiment and Catsup was actually slightly more popular. After the regulation passed every other condiment company switched to the spelling Ketchup so they could continue to market their product to the school system because schools nationwide started dropping contracts for "Catsup" so they could buy "Ketchup" and meet the federal mandate without actually doing a thing to improve the health of student meals.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby dissident » Thu 31 Dec 2020, 18:01:23

This study fails the smell test for me. If a forest is planted on abandoned farm land (like most of southern Ontario), then burning this forest will not be 1.5 x coal in terms of CO2 loading. That is just a nonsense claim. Coal, oil and natural gas are pure exogenous injections of CO2 into the atmosphere. A grown forest for fuel is an actual sink for atmospheric CO2. Roots and forest floor biomass are not a net source of CO2 into the atmosphere since they formed thanks to the uptake of atmospheric CO2.

The authors of this piece seem to think that there is no such thing as soil and any vegetation inevitably turns into CO2. This is yet more pure inanity. A substantial amount of the plant matter (including roots) results in the formation of humic compounds which cannot be consumed by bacteria. This gives us the organic fraction of soil.

So harvested biomass is recycling CO2 at the very most and actually involves a net sequestration of carbon. How this can

likely to increase carbon in the atmosphere for decades to centuries


is grade A drivel.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 10 Jan 2021, 22:38:31

"Global temperatures reached record highs in 2020, EU scientists say"
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1212353.shtml

This is a Global Times reprint of a Reuters article.

"The year 2020 tied with 2016 as the world's warmest on record, rounding off the hottest decade globally as the impacts of climate change intensified, the European Union's Copernicus Earth observation service said on Friday.

In the US, the warmer temperatures contributed to a record 22 separate disasters that each caused more than 1 billion dollars of damage, including wildfires and hurricanes, according to a new US government report."
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby FamousDrScanlon » Fri 15 Jan 2021, 03:26:57

2020 was hottest year on record by narrow margin, Nasa says

Due to different methods, US Noaa judged year as fractionally cooler than 2016 while UK Met Office put 2020 in close second place


“The world’s seven hottest years on record have now all occurred since 2014, with the 10 warmest all taking place in the last 15 years. There have now been 44 consecutive years where global temperatures have been above the 20th-century average.

Scientists said average temperatures will keep edging upwards due to the huge amount of greenhouse gases we are expelling into the atmosphere. “This isn’t the new normal,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “This is a precursor of more to come.”

The record, or near-record, heat came despite the moderately cooling influence of La Niña, a periodic climate event. “While the current La Niña event will likely end up affecting 2021 temperature more than 2020, it definitely had a cooling effect on the last quarter of the year,” said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, which found 2020 was narrowly the second hottest year on record.

“It suggests that we’ve added an equivalent of a permanent El Niño event worth of global warming in just the last five years,” Hausfather added, in reference to the counterpart climate event that typically raises temperatures.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ecord-nasa
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby jedrider » Fri 15 Jan 2021, 14:16:14

Something is 'cookin' here. I think it's us.

Europe and Asia appears to have taken the brunt of this warming trend. I just saw a PBS nature programs on the European Alps that showed Ibex's being harassed by mosquitos and having to squat on dreg instead of their usual ice fields.

Even in California, it is so, so apparent that the weather has changed (and in the whole of the U.S.A. for that matter). Can anyone in Europe or Asia comment on this?
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 15 Jan 2021, 17:47:37

jedrider wrote:Something is 'cookin' here. I think it's us.

Europe and Asia appears to have taken the brunt of this warming trend.


Actually, the warming in the sub-Arctic and the Arctic is several times larger then in the mid-latitudes of Europe or Asia.

Image

I can see the effects of climate change all around me here in central Alaska.

And now its getting even warmer...... We're having an incredibly warm winter so far here in Alaska. I'm very curious to see the climate data and find out if this winter is the warmest winter on record for Alaska, and just how much warmer it is then winters used to be way back in the 20th century.

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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby JuanP » Tue 19 Jan 2021, 14:02:54

"Worried about Earth's future? Well, the outlook is worse than even scientists can grasp"
https://phys.org/news/2021-01-earth-fut ... tists.html

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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 19 Jan 2021, 17:30:43

JuanP wrote:
But Gods willing Millennials will save us!


I just handed one a shovel today to load the back of a pick up truck with gravel. She did a pretty good job considering.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby JuanP » Tue 19 Jan 2021, 20:45:06

Ibon wrote:
JuanP wrote:
But Gods willing Millennials will save us!


I just handed one a shovel today to load the back of a pick up truck with gravel. She did a pretty good job considering.


That's really hard work! Ah, to be young again! :-D

One of the things I love about the USA is the easy availability of power tools and heavy machinery. You can do a day's work in a couple of minutes! At our urban farm in Miami we allow an arborist to park his bobcat there for free in exchange for using it whenever we want to turn compost or move soil, sand, rocks, or gravel around. We get a lot of free mulch from local arborists. And, it is coming in very handy because we are raising the ground 6 to 15 feet to make it flood proof and create our own mini water basin with a high perimeter, swales, berms, and the pond. The one acre pond is at the aquifer's level and does not have a liner. It's all part of the Permaculture design I created for the property. We get the fill for free from 3 companies that dig holes to put in pools, cisterns, and septic tanks, etc.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 22 Jan 2021, 14:45:09

Prominent economist says a carbon tax is the best way to force down fossil fuel use and calls on Biden Administration to enact a carbon tax

carbon-pricing-could-be-the-biden-administrations-climate-tool

Image
I second that emotion.

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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby mousepad » Fri 22 Jan 2021, 15:05:56

Plantagenet wrote:Prominent economist says a carbon tax is the best way to force down fossil fuel use

What brings co2 down in the long run is massive investment in clean energy.
Has nothing to do with carbon tax. Could be any tax.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 22 Jan 2021, 17:29:32

mousepad wrote:
Plantagenet wrote:Prominent economist says a carbon tax is the best way to force down fossil fuel use

What brings co2 down in the long run is massive investment in clean energy.
Has nothing to do with carbon tax. Could be any tax.


Many prominent economists disagree with you, as does Prof. James Hansen, the leading scientist on global warming.

One of the most basic rules for governing the US is....

"if you want more of something, subsidize it
If you want less of something, tax it.
"

In practical terms that means if we want less carbon going into the atmosphere we should put a tax on carbon going into the atmosphere.

The problem with relying only on subsidies or massive investment in clean energy is that carbon emissions PERMEATE the entire economy. A subsidy, like the current $7000 subsidy for buying an EV only addresses a teeny tiny part of the problem but do nothing about CO2 emissions from constructing buildings and running farms and military operations and ocean fishing and heating homes and keeping hospitals and 24 hour groceries open and everything else that happens in the economy. CO2 emissions are EVERYWHERE..... with some of the biggest sources being road construction and factories. In contrast, a tax on carbon would incentivize every part of the economy to wring carbon emissions out of their systems to reduce their taxes. A carbon tax is simple and easy and clear and has been proven effective.

Whats not to like about a carbon tax?

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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby aadbrd » Fri 22 Jan 2021, 18:16:46

Plantagenet wrote:Whats not to like about a carbon tax?


Ask Republicans whether they'll accept anything with the word "tax" in it.
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Re: Global Warming / Climate Changes Pt. 22

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 22 Jan 2021, 18:47:15

aadbrd wrote:
Plantagenet wrote:Whats not to like about a carbon tax?


Ask Republicans whether they'll accept anything with the word "tax" in it.


Republicans don't get a say in this. The USA has a Democrat President and a Democrat majority in both chambers of congress. Biden won the election, remember? You can't blame Republicans for anything anymore. Whatever the US government does the next two years is 100% up to the Democrats. If we don't get a carbon tax it will be the Democrats fault. Trump is in Palm Beach playing golf now. I am in favor of a carbon tax and also a gasoline tax, too. A gallon of gas should cost no less than US$10.
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