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Comments about ‘Robert J. Samuelson: The truth on global warming: We have no solution’

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Published: Wednesday, May 14 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I agree with this op-ed. The free market is a absolutely great at devising solutions to problems when it gets the proper price signals. Impose a carbon tax, start it very low but have it rise steeply, so that in twenty years it is rather high. Then let the free market go to work.

The cost of solar energy has fallen so fast that it is now totally competitive with coal in sunny climates such as Arizona's. It will continue to decrease as long as we know that carbon based energy will get more expensive in the future. MIT has been doing marvelous work on storing solar energy. Give them some tax incentives to continue their work.

We also need to impose the carbon tax on imports so that we do not disadvantage our domestic manufacturers. This is a problem that can be solved, provided we act now. I am quite worried, however, that we will do nothing, and our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will hate us for it.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, indeed these are nettlesome issues. First, it turns out that the "population bomb" is in fact very real. Climate change deniers often cite in these blogs the allegedly false notion of a population bomb as "proof" that the climate change theory is also wrong. But in fact it's the growing population which requires the economy to get larger and larger, and emit more and more CO2. So maybe we ought to look at slowing population growth as a worthy goal, but that is going to be as controversial as SSM.

Another even more difficult issue is the idea that capitalism itself requires economic growth. The system is not stable unless we have a lead foot on the economic accelerator. We need economic growth both for a growing population, but also because capitalism itself needs it to survive. There is abundant evidence that capitalism simply doesn't know what to do with a steady state economy. Study economic theory at any university. The theory assumes growth. Period. That's what Keynes said.

So what are we going to do? There's not enough room to discuss.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Having a discussion concerning, what, if anything can be done about climate change going forward is not unreasonable. Questioning $$ spent vs greenhouse gas reductions expected (ie, cost benefit analysis) makes perfect sense.

But to argue against its existence, based on a small subset of scientists, the rantings of radio entertainers or on ones political party affiliation, makes no sense at all.

Funny how deniers question the impartiality of 97% of climate scientists while having complete faith in the motives of the 3% with which they agree.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I wonder if Samuelson read "Despite our belief that cancer and disease poses catastrophic threats to many of the world's 7 billion inhabitants, we acknowledge that we now lack the technologies to stop it...." I mean, how many people out there battle and spend countless sums of money in futility against terminal disease knowing that ultimately they will loose the battle as we don't have an assured way of beating many terminal cancers?

To walk from the battle of disease and cancer would bring a howl of condemnation. The throwing up of the hands in defeat would not be accepted.

So why are we so willing to declare defeat here? How long did people toil to find cures to ailments that seemed incurable - only to have those diseases ultimately tamed. We at this time don't know how to cure global warming - but we know the benefit is of reducing pollution, and over consumption. Just as we are extolled to have a balanced diet, we too can sensibly use energy and ensure out environment we live is healthy. We will all ultimately die, but we continue battle on to ensure to ensure quality of life.

Politics is the difference.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Deniers -- Consider, they said, a contrasting study headed by a Harvard researcher. It found that heat-related deaths in 105 U.S. cities had declined since the late 1980s.

======

This is a classic "cause and effect" disassociation people,
with zero correlation --

WHO had central air conditioning in the 1980's?

It's like arguing that automobile deaths are down,
therefore there are less accidents,
while dis-associating and willfully ignoring the fact that new and better safety laws and devices i.e., Seat Belts, air bags, and anti-lock brakes -- are the factor for the lower number.

BTW -- If we can't counter the effects,
The only thing we have is to minimize the out-put.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The truth is, the GOP doesn't. Democrats do.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

THE best and most truthful article on "global warming" ever written, period! By the way, two days ago record low temperatures were recorded for this time of year in S.E. Idaho. Why does that matter? One would think that if we really have "global warming" we would have no such record low temperatures anywhere on the earth being a global problem. In other words, it should be getting warmer everywhere on the planet but clearly that is not happening.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"One would think that if we really have "global warming" we would have no such record low temperatures anywhere on the earth being a global problem"

In a related issue, I spent some time on the beach last weekend. I clearly saw the ocean levels drop by a foot or two in just a couple of hours.

One would think that no such sea level drop would occur if the oceans were rising.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Yes Mountainman..... the whole science of micro climates is bunk science too. On the same note, we have already had 3 plus 90 degree days here in North Carolina. In case you are wondering, these are not normal for this time of year.

For the record, I do believe there is global warming, and no, I don't think it is totally man mad, or even mostly man made. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the contribution man has on the event.

Take Utah's inversion as an example. Man has next to nothing with the events that cause an inversion. But man has a direct impact on the health risk due to inversion by what we add to it. Man doesn't cause inversions, but man does make inversions hazardous. Likewise we probably aren't causing global warming... but we surely don't need to add to its impact.

It isn't an either or discussion...

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

I used to say "pray for your children"; now I guess I'm going to have to say "pray for yourself".

It's going to get hot around here (for you Christians, you can say that "god is burning us for our sins if it makes you feel any better).

Eli Tesecular PhD
Salt Lake City, UT

Mountanman,
Did you not get the memo? Record cold confirms global warming, just like severe snow storms(or the lack of them), just like record numbers of hurricanes and tornados(or the lack of them), just like melting icecaps(or their refreezing).

And don't even think about bringing up the 17 year pause. The heat is accumulating deep in the ocean, ready to rise up any time now any wipe out humanity, much like Sharknado.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@DesNews... the term "Global Warming" passe now. The NEW term is "Climate Chaos" (since it could go up... or down... you never know... it's a complex system, and besides... it sounds like a super-hero or something cool).

Google "Stop Climate Chaos" Wikipedia... and get with the program!

"Global Warming" is out... "Climate Chaos" is in...

====

Saw this in another paper yesterday...

"Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed French foreign minister Laurent Fabius to the State Department in Washington to discuss a range of issues, from Iran to Syria to climate change. Or, in the words of the foreign minister, "climate chaos." Kerry and Fabius made a joint appearance before their meeting, and the foreign minister warned that only 500 days remained to avoid "climate chaos"...

Did you get that people... we have only (lets see.. do the math...) 499 DAYS LEFT... to avoid Climate Chaos!!!

===

Sounds so much like the plot from a Hollywood movie... it's almost funny.

===

I'm going to keep doing all I can. But I'll check back in 499 days to see if Fabius (and his scientists) are better than Al Gore's at predictions...

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Oh good . . . Another article quoting a Koch-brothers’-funded “Think Tank.”

FYI, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute are just a few of the phony “Think Tanks” funded by the Koch brothers. Their credibility is deservedly zero . . . much like that of the Koch Brothers’ funded Tea Party, and the Koch Brothers employees in Congress who pretend to work for America.

“We have no solution.” If Republicans were honest, that would be the motto and the entire platform of the Republican Party.

Global Warming is here, but its ill effects can still be mitigated. Green energy sources are the best bet.

“So far, it's not commercially viable.”

Yes, and that’s why the private sector is absolutely WORTHLESS acting on its own. That’s why we need the intervention of GOVERNMENT. We need government and private sector cooperation in conducting research, and developing and building green infrastructure.

We need a sense of urgency and an international Manhattan Project, where the best minds in the world focus on the goal of green energy.

We certainly don’t need the “Conservative” refrain: “We have no solution.”

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

We have solutions...

We have no will.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Roland,
The idea that a carbon tax is a free-market solution is a fallacy. A carbon tax is an artificial influence on the free market. Artificial is NOT free market.

To the lefties,
As the article says, nothing will “improve” if you cannot get the Chinese to go along. How do you propose we do that? Are you willing to “enforce” it on them? How do you propose that?

Maverick,
You do? Care to tell us what it is?

Eli,
You’ve got it – broken the liberal code. Global warming is proved by everything. Record cold, record snow, record prison recidivism, gang warfare, hunger, outcome of NBA series. If there is any way they can think to bend it, everything proves global warming.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

“No sane government will sacrifice its economy today — by dramatically curtailing fossil fuel use — for the uncertain benefits of less global warming sometime in the foggy future.”

This captures the entire problem in a nutshell. We are amazingly short sighted creatures and are wired to weight immediate problems far more than future problems.

The only way to tackle this problem is through technological innovation that will produce economic benefits in excess of current (fossil fuel) benefits.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

"The most obvious idea is a carbon tax to help finance government and stimulate energy-saving technologies and new forms of non-carbon energy."

Stimulate?????

Taxes don't stimulate, they oppress. They suppress will to work and the economy overall. This is why they must be minimal and prudent.

EVERY business that ships any product, or has a building to heat, or uses a computer or equipment, will have to lay off people to pay for the energy.

EVERY household, the poor included, will pay more for every morsel of food. The elderly and the children of the poor will live, and many will die, in cold houses in the winter.

This is a tax that will hit and hurt the poor like no other.

This tax proposal shows what liberals are all about.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re: "WHO had central air conditioning in the 1980's"...

Oh great... now central air being more available and more affordable than it was in the 80s is even proof of Climate Chaos....

Who had air conditioning in their CARS before 1950?.... Even MORE proof of Climate Chaos!!!

====

Let's just do what we can to live a good clean life. Let's not try to cram our Climate Chaos religion down other's throats... and just get along.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"To the lefties,
As the article says, nothing will “improve” if you cannot get the Chinese to go along. How do you propose we do that? Are you willing to “enforce” it on them? How do you propose that?"

Absolutely love the logic. Unless I can get everyone else on the highway to drive safe, why should I? It seems the "righties" have and excuse not to do anything for everything. Now its the other guy will not go the right thing, so why should we bother doing the right thing.

I would love to see that logic used in church.

Why have the war on drugs if we can't make everyone stop using drugs.... why bother...

What people do in Salt Lake Valley impacts the quality directly of the people living in Salt Lake Valley.... that should be enough.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

If there will be climate change(s) and if there is not much of substance that we can do to stop or mitigate it then it appears to me that we spend time and effort in adjusting to the changes.

Some times I get the impression that we seem hell-bent to keep the status-quo at all costs when some thought could be given to how to adjust to new climate norms.

Energy efficient housing for less use of carbon based fuels? Less lawns and heavy water consuming flora? More efficient life styles adopted by the citizens and not forced upon them by a corrupt political process may be some ideas.

Third world countries are going to continue to develop and enter their own industrial age. Planners and control freaks may think that everyone, but them, should live in idyllic semi-primitive villages and mid-19th century life styles, but the Third world wants their day in the sun too.

Adapt, overcome, adjust instead of fighting to control the uncontrollable - nature. And even more humorous, IMO, fighting nature with a tax! How bourgeois can that be?

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