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Author Topic: The Environment  (Read 7201 times)

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Thad

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2008, 02:23:25 PM »

Are they actually caving [...] Or are they holding off [...] until they have a President that won't veto it, because attaching it to stuff that needs to happen [...] will do more harm than good?

This has pretty much been the excuse they've used for every single one of their failures for the last two years.  "Sorry, we CAN'T do what you elected us to do, we need a bigger majority and a Democrat in the White House."

I've earlier referenced a story I read in Rolling Stone last February(?) that posited this was their plan all along, to deliberately fail on everything and use that as a wedge to get more seats and a Democratic President.  I've said that at the time I thought that was a little cynical even for my tastes, but that I'm beginning to believe it.
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Detonator

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2008, 03:58:34 PM »

I've earlier referenced a story I read in Rolling Stone last February(?) that posited this was their plan all along, to deliberately fail on everything and use that as a wedge to get more seats and a Democratic President.  I've said that at the time I thought that was a little cynical even for my tastes, but that I'm beginning to believe it.

I was going to say that requiring a high majority in two of the three government branches in order to get anything done shows a fundamental flaw in our governmental process.  Then I realized that's the most obvious thing anyone has ever said.
 
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Thad

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2008, 04:29:54 PM »

"Flaw" is subjective.  It's an inherently conservative -- in the traditional sense, not the "$700 billion bailout" sense -- tool to prevent a slim majority from doing something controversial.

Where it breaks down is when the opposition party is a bunch of fucking pussies and one party controls all three branches of the government.  This, of course, is exactly what happened between 2003 and 2006.

I recall thinking, back in '05 when the Republicans sought the so-called "nuclear option" of declaring filibusters unconstitutional, "Wow, you know, that's going to suck for the next couple of years, but in the long run they'd really be fucking themselves, because the filibuster is an inherently conservative weapon."

Sure enough, if the Republicans weren't filibustering pretty much EVERYTHING that hit the floor, we'd likely be better off right now.  Of course, that doesn't solve the veto problem, but of course veto power cuts both ways and we'd be happy to have it if we had a Republican Congress and Democratic President.

Assuming, of course, it were a Democratic President who actually EXERCISED his veto power.  Yeah, I'm still pissed at Clinton for signing the DMCA.
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Royal☭

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2008, 05:17:01 PM »

I'd just as soon call the Democrats on their bullshit at every opportunity.  They should spend the time, resources, and tax payer dollars to push a bill through that Bush would veto.  That way they can place blame for things like kids not getting health care squarely on the president.  Instead, they give up at the first opportunity.

Maybe a letter to Nancy Pelosi containing the words "hatchet-faced cunt" would make me feel better.
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Arc

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2009, 08:32:06 PM »

Obama to let (14) states restrict emissions standards.

The Bush Administration's Environmental Protection Agency could claim to be the only agency as neutered as the State Department. Funny how Republicans are opposed to State's Rights whenever it doesn't fall neatly into their agenda.
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TA

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2009, 10:38:06 PM »

Blrf.  I'm not sure I like the idea of state-specific emissions standards.  Strict emissions standards seems like it should be federal, if only to avoid the situation of a car suddenly ceasing to be street-legal on crossing a border.

Then again, I'm pretty not-a-fan of states' rights in general, but this seems to be something inextricably tied to interstate commerce.
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Burrito Al Pastor

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2009, 11:06:20 PM »

As much as I like state's rights, I have to agree; this falls under interstate commerce, and it's also a good example of why that clause exists. Emissions requirements on immobile things are fine, but this would be nightmarish for the already-ailing automotive industry on a logistical level. Better to just put one set of good federal rules in place.
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Arc

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2009, 11:08:28 PM »

a car suddenly ceasing to be street-legal on crossing a border.

From my reading, it simply states that manufacturers must meet state emissions standards if sales are to be made there. No apocalyptic border traveling oddities included. Emissions standards are not priority in states with small populations per square mile, but in California the national standard is producing safety hazards. Leading the way, they are to prove that such standards are viable on the national level.
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Burrito Al Pastor

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2009, 12:16:09 AM »

But the auto industry still has to either conform to fifty discrete sets of regulations or not make some cars available in some states.
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Arc

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2009, 12:39:14 AM »

Not quite. Going below the national standard will still not be permitted, and the majority of states are likely to stay within this set. At most, we're looking at 15 sets of standards, many of which will likely equal one another. A higher tier has been created, but likely not one that exceeds the standards found in the majority of the first world.
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Thad

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2009, 06:07:36 AM »

Another way of putting it:

Better to just put one set of good federal rules in place.

Of course it is.  But that's going to take time.  This is a stopgap.
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Mongrel

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2010, 09:56:46 AM »

Hah, I knew we had an environment thread.

Anyway,

Plankton - bedrock of both the ocean's food supply and the planet's CO2-to-Oxygen conversion process - has nearly half-disappeared since 1950.

There's been a lot of environmental stories in the past several decades. I don't think it's hyperbolic to say that this is at least the most important one since the Ozone Hole story broke, and is possibly even bigger.
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SCD

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2010, 06:24:18 PM »

Since I've moved out to the Capital Region, I've been able to be in close company with one of the former Senior Scientific Advisors in the civil service with a MSc in Oceanography, which is a lot more than I know, as I really never knew that oceans had graphs...  (applause)

When I showed him the link (thank you, Mongrel) the first thing he said was "I told you so".  He reminded me that when I visited once in 05, he was talking about one of the side effects of climate change, and something he refers as the "ocean gradient".  It is changing pretty drastically, and while he pointed out that this temperature gradient has changed many times before to temperatures well above and well below, no one believes it has done this so fast.  Something I remember from the conversation is that as a result, the acidity of the ocean floor has changed - the PH scale has decreased and that's what people feared might be killing the photoplankton, if that was the case. 

Dalhousie has proven now that they are dying, and acidity being the chief culprit seems to be the next thing they may look at. 

What it comes down to in our world is that many people did not fear the destruction of the remaining rainforests as "the real CO2 sink was in the oceans" and now we have this bad news. 

He ended the night saying that we still have centuries upon centuries of O2 in the atmosphere left.  I take that as three, knowing the guy. 

As this is science, and that I am not the foremost scholar on the stuff, my word here is not gospel, but it should give people an idea of what the eggheads are looking at next.  Fun times.
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Smiler

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2010, 06:52:53 PM »

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JDigital

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2010, 07:17:25 PM »

But why is it disappearing? Shouldn't it be thriving thanks to all the overfishing we do?
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clutch

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2010, 01:46:45 PM »

But why is it disappearing? Shouldn't it be thriving thanks to all the overfishing we do?

Exactly! Wouldn't the answer to low plankton levels be more whaling? Fuckin' whales with their baleens trying to asphyxiate us all.
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SCD

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2010, 01:56:08 PM »

JDigital, it is believed (but not completely proven yet) that the fast change in the ocean gradient of temperature is a major factor in a rise in acidity in the water.  Acidity makes it harder for the plankton to live.
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Ted Belmont

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #57 on: July 30, 2010, 02:18:39 PM »

I think they're dying off just to spite us, those fuckers.
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Classic

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #58 on: July 30, 2010, 02:52:21 PM »

Kind of a cutting off the face to spite your nose policy! I like it!
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Mongrel

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Re: The Environment
« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2010, 07:22:13 AM »

The biggest average larger cargo ships each emit as much pollution as fifty million cars

EDITED link title for some context. Apparently, this applies to just the largest ships, of which there are currently 57 in service worldwide. Smaller ships* are still very bad, given that they still have large engines, also burn bunker fuel, and have no emissions restrictions on their engines either. They're just not "a multiplier of fifty million" bad.

*Not the smallest diesel or gas-turbine ships, but other large cargo vessels.
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