Monday, March 06, 2006

Climate Change

That is right, I said "climate change." Frank Luntz said that we should not use "global warming" any more. In fact, most new outlets are now using the term climate change so maybe this is how I get to be Main Stream Media.

Luntz advises that, “’Climate change’ is less frightening than ’global warming.’ ... While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge” Source: Environmental Working Group.

However, some will still call it Global Warming. One of those who did was California Department of Resources Secretary, Mike Chrismann. In testimony before the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Committee on Resources last October, Chrismann said that the biggest danger to the Delta Levee system came from Global Warming.

This month, we have already had two very important stories on climate change. The first if from the BBC. It deals with the causese of Global Warming, sorry, climate change (no caps, not so emotional).

Consensus grows on climate change
By Roger Harrabin
Environment Correspondent, BBC News

The global scientific body on climate change will report soon that only greenhouse gas emissions can explain freak weather patterns. (Emphasis is mine.).

Simultaneous changes in sea ice, glaciers, droughts, floods, ecosystems, ocean acidification and wildlife migration are taking place.

The second story has been carried all over, but let me cite the Weekend Australian section of Science and Nature, March 04, 2006. Afterall, the Aussies are our partners.

Sea level change revised upwards as satellites show Antarctic melt
Mark Henderson
March 04, 2006

THE Antarctic ice sheet, which holds 70per cent of the world's fresh water, has shrunk significantly in the past four years, the first observations from a pair of satellites show.

The frozen continent is shedding about 152cukm of ice every year, enough to supply the city of Los Angeles with water for 36 years, according to research that suggests global sea levels could rise more rapidly than predicted.

Scientists had expected that over the coming century global warming would increase the size of the Antarctic ice sheet, as higher temperatures brought increased snowfall, but the new data suggest it is losing mass.

The findings, from the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) launched in 2002, suggest the ice sheet would increase sea levels by up to 45m if it were all released.

The West Antarctic ice sheet, where most melting is taking place, alone holds water that would raise the sea level by more than 6m.

My question is this: How high are you going to make the levees, Mr. Schwarzenegger?


Roger, Gone Green said...

Climate change . . . oh yes that works: Catastrophic climate change; unnatural climate change, artificial climate change; disastrous climate change . . .Global Warming is confusing, because "warm" sounds okay.

Lisa said...

Yes, but global is scary, Roger.

You know, jobs gone away, terrorism, etc.

You're definitely on to something, Wes. My gawd, look at the success the right has had manipulating language: "partial birth" abortion, pro-life, death tax, eternal war for eternal peace, etc.

Katrina vanden Huevel of The Nation Magazine was just on c-span2 with her new book, "The Definitions of Republicanisms."

Remember all those items posted in Cal Greens Forum about how voting is EMOTIONAL, not too rational, especially in the good 'ole U.S.A.

Wes said...

And here is the rub: This is not about the labels. It is about finding a way to make people see that there really are tipping points that make a didfference. I made fun of the labeling, but think what a sea level rise of 6 meters (20 feet) really means to the Delta? to the Netherlands? to the Maldive Islands? In the old chicken / hog joke about ham and eggs. We need to be the hog, truly committed. The following is from Carl Pope's blog entry today.

"We need to be clear -- unless environmentalists can run, and win, statewide in the South, we can never muster enough influence nationally to shape this country's agenda. We can't continue with a situation where, in spite of very strong local environmental concerns and support, we have one set of election patterns north of the line that stretches from Richmond to El Paso, and a completely different pattern in statewide elections -- federal and state -- below that line."

I intend to ask what our Green Party's statewide candidates are going to say, or do, about the environment, especially the Delta.

Lisa said...

Wes, would you be willing to brief our candidates on Delta issues? You must be the most knowledgeable person in the state party, candidate or otherwise, on this issue. We should put all your digging to work.

I think you should be briefing candidates, cuz you probably know more than them! Most are consumed by the details of trying to build a campaign.

For instance, my colleague in the LA Greens, Peter Thottam, that I have been helping register Greens and get sigs, is consumed,for starters, just trying to make it on the ballot for Assembly.

Then he will be consumed trying to do minimal fundraising, keep up a simple decently designed website, attend various meetings throughout his district (from Venice to the South Bay)to meet constituents, try to get ANY minimal media coverage, in addition to developing positions on issues!

And yes, he is running for a statewide office, but issues of the Delta are probably more talked about up north.

Maybe you could tell Warren in the CCWG that you are offering to be a resource to statewide canidates on this issue.

And when Peter gets a minute to catch his breath, finishing an MBA at the same time, can I have him contact you?


Wes said...

There should be no reason why this can not be worked out. The question is how and when. Actually, without a formal meeting, then it had best be done online, or 1 on 1.

I would correct one thing. If you believe that the issues of the delta are more talked about up north, you would be right is you only include bureaucrats and academics. It is better to keep the general population in the dark.

There are some changes for the better, but there is so little political will demonstrated by politicians that I do get discouraged.

The California Water Plan claims to have public input. The plan itself is an introduction plus 5 volumes, one of which is over 14oo pages. No candidate, politician or public stakeholder is going to wade through all of that no matter how much of a policy wonk they are.

Lisa said...

I'm talking about when Peter meets people in his district they ask him mainly about local issues: affordable housing crisis, seniors being evicted in Venice, graffiti, crime, can Venice secede from LA, etc. Actually many of them are city issues that wouldn't even be in his jurisdiction as an Assemblymember.

It is a learning experience.

I stood with him 3 days in front of the Venice post office and the Venice Farmers Market getting people to sign his petition to get on the ballot (first we had to convince most to switch to Green--not too difficult in Venice).

Venice is the Berkeley of So CAl , so the good news is that many are informed. Many wanted to talk about the war and civil liberties and the bad overall direction this country is taking.

all this when you say "will you sign to help us get a candidate on the ballot for a state office?"

Sorry, people weren't asking about the levees in the Delta.

of course if he actually gets on the ballot and into a debate these issues could come up or he could raise them.

We have so little resources for Green candidates, as I said, that any support we can give candidates to help develop position papers would be helpful. This is one area where I would like us to be more centralized (gasp), but even the Campaigns and Candidates Work Group has few resources

Did you know there is some kind of Green candidates training being put on by the state party in Petuluma? Ask Warner.


Lisa said...

The environmental issue that is probably most on people's minds in the 53rd Assembly District is the Ballona Wetlands, the methane gas under the development there, and trying to save the last of the West Bluffs.

Roger, Gone Green said...

Actually, I think "global" gives non-greens mental refuge too. "Its not problem because I can't change the world." Or "I didn't cause this world-wide problem, so how can I be expected to fix it?" And of course "Well what are They doing it about it?"


I will suggest that for most people --even those that think they are not susceptible to facile thinking -- labels are everything until it's too late.

Consider: A pit-bull behind a short fence is a danger; a Golden Lab is a smart teddy bear. Once its teeth are implanted in ones backside, it doesn't so much matter what kind of dog it is.