Dan Liljenquist: National climate assessment

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  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    May 21, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    So Dan sees we have a problem, it is man-made, but doesn't know the answer? Doesn't sound like a good leader to me. But the answer is kinda obvious: we invest in new technologies an we fix it. Yes, solar, wind, and other renewables might be pricey, but the cost is going down. Research in fusion might bring unlimited power from sea water. Batteries are getting better and cheaper for electric cars. How do we get China and India to go along? By selling them the new technologies we invented that cost less then building a coal plant. It takes some initial effort, but it will yield cleaner air, less dependence on foreign oil, more high tech American jobs, less global conflict over resources. Where is the downside? Anyone who can not see that does not deserve to lead.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    Nate, replying to Tyler D.: "Or is it because I predicted the failure of your economic scheme? ... I've watched socialism hurt people over and over... It's hardly a stretch to believe that it will fail again."

    I have re-read all four of Tyler's posts on this thread and have searched in vain for any advocacy of socialism. Indeed, quite the contrary. In his two posts addressing economics, he has offered free-market solutions. At 5/15 1:00 p.m. he proposed a small budget neutral carbon tax to help alternative energy sources be competitive in the market. At 5/15 9:57 p.m. he defended market-based policies (cap & trade) to control SOx/acid rain and expressed faith in price incentives to stimulate technological innovation by businesses. He hardly comes off as a Bolshevik. If that is socialism, then you have a uber-Ayn Randian view of markets not matched by any reality. Truth is, the US has a mixed economy, predominantly free market but with limited government intervention to rein in the negative effects of monopoly, externalities, and other forms of market failure. Tyler's proposals fall well within the penumbra of American capitalism.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    Nate, replying to Tyler D.: "Growers pump carbon dioxide into their greenhouses to aid photosynthesis and help the plants grow."

    Again with the "CO2 is a plant nutrient" trope. That CO2 is a plant food does not necessarily make it harmless. Phosphate is a plant nutrient (normally the limiting factor in aquatic environments). Phosphate in runoff from Midwestern agricultural fields and detergents going down drains fertilized Lake Erie in the 1960s, setting off a chain of events (eutrophication) that nearly rendered it lifeless.

    What guarantees do we have that CO2 will only promote favorable plant growth? Studies show poison ivy responds well to increased CO2. That'll be great. Western mine reclamationists do not fertilize disturbed lands because experience shows that fertilizer benefits weedy annuals to the detriment of native plants that are addapted to nutrient-poor conditions. Will cheatgrass, tamarisk, and tumbleweeds differentially respond to higher CO2?

    Warmer winters have allowed pine bark beetles to expand their range, threatening montane coniferous forests. Will CO2-enhanced plant growth be offset by insect predation losses?

    It's not that simple to say that because something is beneficial in one arena that it is categorically good in all.

  • HelioTeller Mapleton, UT
    May 18, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    Per capita, China's CO2 output is less than half of ours. Comparing raw output is disingenuous political posturing. Do you also consider ourselves ahead because we consume a fraction of food that China does? What efficient bodies we have.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    Okay. Never mind all the denying nonsense. Let's look at this from another angle. Do you have any idea what your lungs look like from living along the Wasatch Front? If you don't ask someone that works with cadavers.

    The thing is: We can do better.

    That's it. That's all there is to it. We can do better. The burning of fossil fuels, and the extraction, and processing of them cause serious problems. We can do better.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    May 16, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    A well thought out and well put commentary. I don't think all the facts are in. Global cooling actually seems to be our current situation. Besides what can we do with India and China the big CO2 producers. What we can do is conduct research on alternatives. You want people to be poor? Restrain our economy by stopping drilling and fracking.

  • Sensible Scientist Rexburg, ID
    May 16, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    I just spent 3 days in a workshop that included one of the authors of the national climate assessment. He is, indeed, a dismal guy like his dismal report. I found him to be arrogant, closed-minded, and totalitarian. Many intelligent people have a light about them, but he is just dismal.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    So how do we become intelligent consumers of these climate studies? I have a pretty decent chemistry background for an economics major. I'm going to take some more physics so I can read some of these papers. For many, since they don't have physical science backgrounds, these matters are just so much opinion or ideology.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    @Tyler D "...acid rain..."

    Do you not see a difference between the effects of sulfur oxide/nitrogen oxide on surrounding life, and the effects of carbon dioxide? Growers pump carbon dioxide into their greenhouses to aid photosynthesis and help the plants grow.

    "...smarter than God..." again

    Because I predicted that nature will keep on doing what nature does? That's a strange conclusion.

    Or is it because I predicted the failure of your economic scheme? Well, that's an easy one. I've watched socialism hurt people over and over, in both history and my own lifetime. It's hardly a stretch to believe that it will fail again.

    No, here's real hubris:

    "...this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal..." (Barack Obama, 2008, commenting on his own nomination).

    Megalomania at it's finest.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:57 a.m.

    We're pretty sure the climate is warming. We're pretty sure this is being caused by man's various emissions. And we're pretty sure it is going to change the nature of the biosphere, maybe big time. We have becomes masters of our own world. We can create new kinds of life manipulating DNA. And we are changing the environment. In both cases controls are wanting.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:14 a.m.

    For all who strongly believe in climate change, could you give a date as to when the catostophic events are going to happen so that we can all plan for it. With your conviction that this certainty will occur you should have a time frame in mind.
    Will each of you please explain all that you have done to counteract your presence here on earth, please be specific as to your actions.
    As for mr, I don't believe that we humans can damage God's earth beyond repair because he wouldn't let us plus I also don't believe we can affect Mother Nature as much as you would like us to.
    I do believe in being a good steward of the the land, of not polluting and reusing and recycling. I have bought more fuel efficient vehicles and I travel less do the high price of fuel.
    Please explain what you do .

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 15, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    @Nate – “In either case, the result is predicable.”

    So I’ll take your response as a “no” on the rational discussion thing and a “yes” on the “I’m still smarter than God with my predictive powers” thing.

    Seriously though, you sound like the doom & gloom naysayers who attacked Bush Sr. for his market oriented solution (cap & trade) to acid rain. They said it would destroy industry and do nothing to stop acid rain… they were wrong on both counts.

    Further, not only did the solution work but industry adapted quickly and with little (even short term) pain.

    You’re a free market guy, yes? Have some faith in the ingenuity of business to respond to price incentives in a profitable way… they always have in the past, even while fighting tooth & nail every sensible regulation ever devised.

    Or do you believe all the “job killing, over regulation” hyperbole despite American business being the most profitable and cash rich institution in history.

    Reached comment limit… no doubt you’ll have the last word given your multiple logins.

  • CraigB Cedar Hills, 00
    May 15, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    The White House now says climate change. “….. is a problem that is affecting Americans right now." Scary stuff. But they don’t want people to be scared, they just want your money to fix it now. That would be roughly $15,000 per US tax payer through 2030 (Boxer-Sanders carbon tax bill). And to be fair the 1% should pay a lot more than the 99%. Of course since climate change is a global problem I am sure the White House is working with the United Nations on more carbon tax income. Oh, and by the way, on a global scale a US wage earner making over $40,000/yr will now be in the 1%.

    A simple question about the 840-page report with all kinds of references to peer reviewed scientific papers. Why is it that in Figure 2.3 of the report showing earth temperature rise over time it cuts off at the year 2000? Don’t the scientists who put this report together have access to data through 2013? Maybe they just didn’t want to show that part because it doesn’t go up like its suppose to, who knows? The calculation models couldn’t be wrong. Surely not.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    To patriot: If you look at the global picture you would see that this past winter was warmer than average. Only in parts of the U.S. was it colder than average. Even then, Alaska and much of the west coast had a much hotter than average winters. The U.S. is not the world, and just because it didn't happen here doesn't mean it didn't happen.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    Beautiful. So, not only can you change the climate, you can also effectively govern the economic activities of hundreds of millions of people. Do you have any other superpowers?

    Or is it your mythical 97% scientists and experts who have the superpowers?

    In either case, the result is predicable. Worse impoverishment for the world's poor; and little or no effect on the climate, which will just go on doing what nature does.

    Seeing that the climate emergency doesn't require you to change any of your own behavior, maybe it's not that big a deal.

    @Open Minded Mormon

    You're right. I didn't know you were riding the green-energy gravy train. Much is explained.

    @Frozen Fractals "Is it that outlandish to think that we have influence via other ones (CO2 CH4) too?"

    You might need to spell out the level of influence you're talking about. Significantly raising the temperature of the entire globe? Yes, outlandish is just the word.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    May 15, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    I see that Dr. Dan Liljenquist; Ph.D. of Environmental Studies from Harvard University is once again lecturing everyone on the specifics of the global climate change. We should also listen carefully when Dr. Liljenquist speaks. He is a life-long expert in his field and has no political motivations whatsoever.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    "This past winter saw some of the COLDEST and NASTY-IST weather in a long time nation wide."

    Warmest Dec-February for California. It was slightly above average in your state. In the contiguous 48 (not nationwide since Alaska had a warm winter) it was somewhat below average, yes. Globally it was the 4th warmest January and 21st warmest February.

    "So what - golbal warming actually causes global cooling?"

    Nope, which is why it was on the warmer side globally for winters. One thing global warming might cause though is an increase in the amplitude of the jet stream in winter and that allows for more regional extremes in polar vortex positioning (you can kinda see that when we get a top 10 coolest winter for states like Wisconsin while California sets their warmest winter on record at the same time). Regardless, it still means warming overall on average globally.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 15, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    Oh geez- can you ever remember a warmer winter in history? I mean the temps were just like Spring even in January ....at least that is what lib's would want you to believe. In truth - the exact opposite is the case. This past winter saw some of the COLDEST and NASTY-IST weather in a long time nation wide. So what - golbal warming actually causes global cooling? What a bunch of bubble gum science hatched by Al Gore and his team of carpet baggers. The sad thing is we have a president who uses this voodoo science to create enviornment policy.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 15, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    “We must be careful not to get caught up in the hysteria and hyperbole peddled by climatologists who would use their meteorological predictions to justify wholesale reordering of modern society. Alarmists rarely advocate for balanced policies.”

    “Alarmists rarely advocate for balanced policies.” Uh huh. That’s what the residents of Pompei said before Mount Vesuvius erupted . . . And then they died.

    Now we’re supposed to fear the mythical climatologist boogeyman who will implement the “wholesale reordering of modern society?” Why fear it. We should INSIST on it.

    What is the very worst thing that can happen if this nation’s government focuses strongly on the development of green energy? Even if that effort doesn’t result in a significant reduction in global warming, pollution will be less, people will be healthier, and prodigious amounts of inexpensive Green Energy will suffuse the land. And NOTHING stimulates the economy and ensures prosperity like cheap energy.

    Why should we accept this so-called “ modicum of risk” when the corollaries to taking action now will result in the eventual realization of plentiful clean energy?

    Continuous “Conservative” opposition to constructive change is absolutely senseless.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 15, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    I doubt the global warming hype and so does president Obama. Otherwise why would he fly Air force 1 around so often more than any other president.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    I agree with Dan that we need to take a measured response to climate change. Start small. Maybe we can sell cleaner gasoline in Utah? Maybe start with mandating that 20% of Utah's power comes from clean renewable energy (gas doesn't count)? Maybe we can have mileage standards that require, say, 25 miles per gallon for every vehicle sold? That would be small, measured change. Nothing earth-heaving.

    That said, I will bet my last dollar that Mr. Liljenquist would support none of these things. The reality is that for many people of his persuasion, ANY response to climate change will be vilified as terrible for the economy, job-killing, too extreme, or not extreme enough to make a difference anyway so why do it. I challenge Mr. Liljenquist to write in his next column a list of things acceptable to him that would help us fight climate change. Isn't being conservative about hedging one's bets? Doubling down on fossil fuel pollution after 97% of scientists say that is a bad idea seems pretty radical to me.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 15, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    @Nate – “Your belief system says you can affect the climate.”

    And there you go again projecting religious overtones…

    In fact you have it exactly backwards. The facts & evidence suggest we are negatively impacting the climate and that if we can reduce our carbon output to a level handled by the natural carbon cycle, the climate will eventually clean itself up and return to an equilibrium state (changing in the future at its natural rate – many millennia vs. a few decades).

    So in fact I trust the natural order (God) while you continue to believe you know better…

    But again, our objective should be a rational discourse and instead what we continue to see little more than irrationality from the far-right. Just scan the comments here for proof – the denials are all based on scientific ignorance, religious projection, hatred of liberals, knee-jerk mistrust of experts (because some historical “expert” was once wrong), appeals to God to explain the natural occurrences (even after thousands of years demonstrating the abysmal failure of this approach).

    When did the party of Goldwater and Buckley become so illogical & irrational?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    @Madsen Hall Magic
    "I am curious to know why the weatherman has a difficult time getting the 10 day forecast right, but we can predict long-term climate under the guise of "climate chaos" or "climate change" or "gullible warming"...oops, that was supposed to be "global warming". "

    The difference is that with the two we're asking a different question. For the 10 day forecast we're trying to get the exact position of weather systems and any look at a long-range spaghetti plot shows the difficulty of that. For a climate model it's mostly just averages we're looking for (is it warming? etc) rather than what the weather will be Dec. 2, 2087.

    "Your belief system says you can affect the climate. I think that's hubris, but it's what you believe."

    Acid rain. London smog. Ozone hole. We've done lots of things that have affected conditions due to various things we've put in the atmosphere. Is it that outlandish to think that we have influence via other ones (CO2 CH4) too?

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    May 15, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    This topic sure does ruffle feathers. Many are quick to poke holes in any view that fails to entirely agree with leading public “climatologist” voices advocating climate change theories. The fact remains, none of these "scientific" reports are entirely conclusive with respect to (a) origin / trends and (b) countermeasures that can actually make a difference.

    The parallels in this article to Thomas Malthus were symbolic in that we cannot trust populist knowledge so heavily marketed at us from all directions. They do not have all the answers and most of us are not close enough to the research being done in the labs. Many claims have been made by government, business, and special interest groups over the years to sell ideas, but rarely are these as true as claimed.

    Leading theories also take God out of the mix by citing human sources as the sole origin of climate change. This assumes human byproducts are the only way to explain the acceleration of climate change patterns. If there is a God and He created the earth, how is it climate changes aren’t influenced by His hand?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 15, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    From this and other recent articles I take it that we are (slowly) ending the era of denial. We are beginning to get to a wider acceptance that we have a problem.

    Now we need to deal with the "we can't do anything about it" issue.

    No. We absolutely do not need to freak out and change everything. But we do need to sensibly move forward and make course adjustments. The sooner the better.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    @Madsen Hall Magic
    Centerville, UT
    I am curious to know why the weatherman has a difficult time getting the 10 day forecast right, but we can predict long-term climate under the guise of "climate chaos" or "climate change" or "gullible warming"...oops, that was supposed to be "global warming".

    [Because a weather man is looking at day-to-day temperatures, not year-to-year temperatures.
    Like looking at the details of brush strokes of a painting, rather than stepping back and seeing the whole picture.]


    Pleasant Grove, UT
    @Open Minded Mormon "As an Aerospce [sic] Engineer..."

    ...you design planes that burn large quantities of fossil fuels. And you do it for money.

    [Yes, I do. And not, not entirely.
    Guys like me have devloped airpanes today that are 200% more fuel efficient than they used to be? Like making cars that used to get 17mpg, getting 60+ mpg.

    Oh, and BTW -- I've also been on the team developing new fuels and certifying both Commercial and Military jets to run on called Bio-SPK, and FT-SPK -- Algae and plant based fuels. That technology is already done and is already being used. Without you ever even knowing it.]

  • B Man Orem, UT
    May 15, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    Well written article, Mr. Liljenquist.

    Humans will adapt to climate changes, as we always have, and government involvement will do more harm than good.

    The earth hasn't warmed at all in the last 15 years. Climate models have been wrong over 95% of the time.

    The false religion of environmentalism will always hang on to any concept that encourages population reduction.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 15, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    @Eliot – “Dan is mercilessly attacked… “

    Because it’s not him most of our comments are addressed to but the “politicized minds” that continue to let irrationality cloud their judgment.

    Just look at the comment directly following yours and tell me if there is anything rational in that commenter’s denial of climate change. It’s little more than blind hatred of liberals (with a bit of added scientific ignorance – weather vs. climate) masquerading as a reasonable conclusion.

    If people want to call out liberal hypocrisy or bad policy or even question some of the more cataclysmic sounding predictions a few scientists have made, fine – let’s have those discussions. Nothing should be off the table in a free society engaged in rational public discourse.

    But until this denier nonsense is thoroughly debunked these political voices will continue to drown out any real discussion… which is precisely the goal for many of them.


    Actually I think the problem will largely solve itself once alternative energy solutions are price competitive (and a few are really close). A small carbon tax (done in a budget neutral way) would move us there quickly.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    I want to see how Irony Guy and Blue gripe once the price of a gallon of gas hits $10.00 per gallon. What are they going to do then?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    Let's take an objective look at the 1883 Krakatoa eruption. That one volcano killed upwards of 300,000 people, obliterated an entire island, changed weather patterns in the northern hemisphere for over 5 years, lowered the temperature around 1.2 degrees during that time, etc. I'm pretty sure that man's puny efforts over time won't do as much environmental damage as Krakatoa did. Guess what, the earth survived, things returned to normal (as far as can be determined). Mount Pinatubo's blast in 1991 had some of the same effects.

    That's just two volcanos 100 or so years apart. The earth goes through cycles. The current hysteria about climate change is all about money. Algore has become a billionare because of the hysteria and his trading on it.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon "As an Aerospce [sic] Engineer..."

    ...you design planes that burn large quantities of fossil fuels. And you do it for money.

    @Tyler D "The first step to solving any problem is to first recognize there is one (and what the causes are)."

    Now that you think you know...what is the next step? Have you given up burning fossil fuels? The High Priests of Climate Science have spoken. Wake up, man! The planet is stake.

    Your belief system says you can affect the climate. I think that's hubris, but it's what you believe.

    Or do you?

    Actions speak louder than words, you know.

  • Madsen Hall Magic Centerville, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    I am curious to know why the weatherman has a difficult time getting the 10 day forecast right, but we can predict long-term climate under the guise of "climate chaos" or "climate change" or "gullible warming"...oops, that was supposed to be "global warming".

    I don't see Gore, or Obama, or Clinton, or other liberal leaders giving up their SUVs, their jet travels, their big houses that burn through lots of energy. They live the high roller life but ask the rest of the "little people" to scale it down, significantly. See, I believe they only want us to stop using fossil fuels, but they don't really intend the same for themselves. How else would Obama fly all over the world? I don't think his jets will work with a wind mill attached to the fuselage.

    And liberal posters here, who drive their vehicles and live in AC homes, want the people in India, China, Mexico and Brazil to not even think about attaining the American lifestyle.

    I just see and hear a lot of hot air...and its not from the climate.

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    Dan admits that global climate change is real. That means he does not deny climate change nor side with those who do. Furthermore, he makes it clear that he believes climate is influenced by human activity. His piece questions the efficacy of current policies to deal with climate change. He has neither addressed nor denied the science behind global climate change. Instead, it appears he is looking for a place to start a civilized debate on what we can do to protect the future of our planet and our posterity. For this, Dan is mercilessly attacked and mocked by many who would have us believe they are open-minded or at least capable of considering thoughts and ideas different from their own.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    A well thought out and well written opinion piece. While I have disagreed with Dan in the past, I agree with his position on climate change. We know our climate is changing and that we have an impact on it. What the different sides of this issue disagree on is how much of an impact we can have and how we should be reacting to climate change. The idea that the government should be stepping in and forcing us all to accommodate one side of this issue is ridiculous, but of course this is the same government that has forced us all to buy their version of acceptable health care or be penalized. So we shouldn't be surprised.

    Our government should also not be engaged in protecting everyone from the effects of climate change. Our climate is affected by events we have no control over. Studies of the deep layers of arctic ice have revealed particles from coal burned in England in the 1800's. We should all be prepared to react to the impacts of climate change in our own lives and in our own ways.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 15, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Dan, I appreciate your views on the necessity for adaptation to change. Why then do your conservative friends resist any and all attempts to "adapt"? I refer to the rah-rah approach to draining every last drop of oil and burning it, the constant mockery of alternative energy sources, the continual efforts to hobble environmental regulation? Why the never-ending drumbeat of attacks on EPA, BLM, and any agency that seeks to "adapt" instead of riding roughshod over our fragile planet? Why for instance the "conservative" howling over GSE Monument, which prevented the rape of the lovely Kaiparowits Plateau for its coal? I submit that the hearts and minds of conservatives are located in their wallets. Please refute if you can.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    May 15, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    I'd be interested in knowing how many times Dan voted in the legislature to actually DO
    something about this problem. How many times, on the other hand, did he vote as told by industry/business lobbyists who warned that a wrong vote might result in his being labeled a "neo-malthusist"?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    It was one of the warmest winters on record globally. The inability of easterners (California had their warmest winter on record) to realize that a cold winter out east doesn't mean the entire globe had one too is their own problem. The reason for calling it climate change instead of global warming is that the latter makes it seem like it's just warmer temperatures. The former highlights the broad impacts from glacial melt to ocean acidification.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 15, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    @Nate – “This is your 97% talking. Better get into line and march.”

    The first step to solving any problem is to first recognize there is one (and what the causes are).

    Problem is in America today we have a situation where facts, evidence and data appear insufficient to changed highly politicized minds. These minds (ironically, often very religious) do not believe in a God designed natural order of things (in this case, a natural carbon cycle) where changes to this natural order occur over hundreds of thousands of years (one time shocks like volcanoes and meteor strikes notwithstanding).

    Instead they believe we can ignore this natural order, do whatever we want to alter it in unprecedented & ever increasing ways, and the results will be either negligible are awesome (more CO2 means more plants).

    By the way, this is the hubris I was referring to in my earlier “you’re smarter than God” comment.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    I think it's refreshing to finally hear a right wing conservative finally admit the science is correct and climate change is real and human beings play a role in it. The real debate should not be on the science but on the solution(s), if any. I believe human beings are no different than any other animal species when it comes to controlling their actions to avoid over extending the carry capacity of their environment.
    Mother Nature has been around for over a hundred million years, long before man or any religon which he created. She'll survive the era of man, just as she survived every other era in her existence.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Yes, climate change has occurred naturally throughout a Earth's past. That's irrelevant, because the rate of change we're currently causing is happening about 10,000 times faster than prior natural changes. Species simply can't adapt naturally that fast.

    Lillienquist seems to be taking he attitude that as long as he can crank up his A/C a little more there's nothing to worry about. That's incredibly short-sighted.

    The choice now before is whether we land softly or clash hard. Continuing business-as-usual is simply not an option. We do NOT need to shrink the global economy, but we do need to vigorously expand our efforts to to wean our economy away from fossil fuels. Technologies and business models exist to make this succeed. Germany already gets the overwhelming majority of their energy from renewable sources - we're capable of that, too. Even better, in fact.

    Failing to make the effort only guarantees that you fail.

    Climate change denialists need to acknowledge reality and pay attention to the actual science instead of the oil and coal companies who will cheerfully wreck the planet so long as they can make a quick buck from it.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    Ole Danny Boy is doing is monthly pandering to the tea party.

    As much as he tries to appear as a moderate, he always goes back to his low information voter roots. He loves that tea party calling tree!

    It's time the rest of us move on. Those who believe that the earth is flat and that the cure for diseases is to bleed people need to be left behind. We need to stop enabling ill-educated low information voters from having any influence on our politics.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 15, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    "they vastly underestimate mankind’s ability to adapt, survive and progress in a changing world."

    Seriously Dan? Have you listened to your fellow Republicans? There's no discussion in their minds at all. It's all a hoax, not real, a socialist plot to gain control over the economy, a ruse to make money. Need I go on?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:19 a.m.


    "Based on their own models, if Americans immediately stopped consuming all fossil fuels and collectively held our breath for the next 80 years, at best we would see a 0.5 Fahrenheit degree reduction in what climatologists predict will be a 4 degree increase in average global temperatures."

    So, what do you True Believers intend to do? This is your 97% talking. Better get into line and march.

    Sell the car, unless it runs on wind, solar, or biomass. And what's with all that exhaling?

    Get to it. You have a world to save.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    @one vote
    Salt Lake City, UT

    And please don't forget the additional 1.2 Billion people in India...

    America = 320 Million

    For 100 years, Americans have been telling the world to be "just like us".

    Can you even imagine what the world will be like in 20-30 years when --
    India (1.2 bil), China (1.35 bil), Mexico (200 mil), and Brazil (200 mil) ==
    all have people living like people do here in Utah?...
    4,000 sq ft houses, 2 cars, SUVs, and Trucks -- and driving 80mph?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    Dumping of massive amounts of carbon will do something. When everyone in Mexico and China has two cars and a SUV will it still be a non-issue?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    Well said Dan!

    I suspect I'm probably more worried than you about the deleterious effects we are having and are likely to have on our environment. But, the almost hysterical and very UNscientific stance of many of the staunchly zealous environmentalists seem almost as great a threat to our civilization.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    When a politician wanna-be,
    writes one newspaper article after another,
    and consistantly sides with the 3% of the Global Warming deniers,
    and argues against "Science",
    and loathes the EPA,

    Who do we believe --

    The Scientists who report Science based on facts and data?
    The Political Politician Newspaper writer who will say or do anything to get elected?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    I agree that we need to be adaptable to deal with climate change. That includes being willing to embrace renewable energy, being willing to cooperate with other countries like China and India, and thoughtfully considering economic policies that will help shift consumption patterns. But I think some people argue that we need to adapt while at the same time rejecting out of hand any of the changes that are key to adaptation.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    May 15, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    "The overall human condition is far better today than it was in 1895 when we first started recording global temperatures."

    So, because we have made economic and scientific advancements over the last 119 years we shouldn't worry about the dire consequences of global warming?

    Mr. Liljenquist is an economist by training, after reading this I'm convinced that he knows no more about climate science than the man on the street. Rather than have people write outside of their area of expertise, why not have a qualified professional like BYU's Summer Rupper, a climate scientist, give us their opinion?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:30 a.m.

    "Thomas Malthus, who famously predicted that population growth in Europe would lead to the extinction of the human race." Famously predicted my foot! Malthus was not an idiot. His main concern was the state of the lower economic classes whom he believed were often hurt by population increases. His concern was to occasionally put brakes on population increases through various means such as postponed marriage and absolute chastity outside of marriage. If population couldn't be controlled is such ways, population brakes like food shortages could afflict the lower classes. Malthus did not subscribe to the notion that mankind was fated for a catastrophe due to population overshooting resources.To my knowledge he never predicted the extinction of the human race.

    Your uniformed views of Malthus makes me question your views of climate change.