Climate Change Window Dressing

California Climate Change Window Dressing Report ‘05

The February 23, 2005 California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission’s meeting on Global Climate Change offers more of the same and no real solutions.

There is a group of well-paid and connected policy makers that is congratulating itself for their window dressing that once again avoids the elephant in the living room. What is particularly confusing is the way they couch their report, using phrases like the following:

“Climate change has been studied extensively for more than thirty years.  In the face of clear and overwhelming scientific evidence, the time has come for California to act.” 

“The major contributors of greenhouse gases are transportation (nearly 50%) and electricity consumption (25-30%).”

“The implications on vital resources are projected to be significant by 2070:  

Examples include:

Water Availability: The amount of water available for use in agriculture, hydropower, cities, and other needs could drop by as much as 30%. This does not necessarily result from decreasing precipitation.  In fact, as climate change occurs, the Sierras will get more rain and less snow, which will result in a significant increase in winter runoff and lower rivers during the summer. Our system of reservoirs is not currently designed for this scenario, and until they are reconfigured, we will alternate between floods and shortages.

Smog: Southern California is expected to warm significantly, with resulting sharp increases in smog and all related health problems. 

Sea level: As the sea level rises, everything along the sea will be subject to damage. The Sacramento River delta may be damaged by increases in salt water inflow which may put at risk one of the state’s major sources of fresh water, depending how far upstream the salt water flows.”

This sounds rather alarming to me, but it is clear from the solutions proposed in their report that 50% of the problem (the elephant in the room) is virtually ignored, again, still. The only transportation related solution included is the fleet program. Here it is:

“Fleets- Working with other relevant state agencies, require early adoption of low emission vehicles for all utilities’ fleets including light and heavy-duty vehicles.  Efforts should include transportation and all other CPUC regulated entities. Recognize economic value implicit in travel reduction efforts.  Enhanced-efficiency-factor costing methodologies have been developed and are one example of how a purchasing methodology can reduce petroleum consumption and vehicle-related emissions of pollutants.”

The rest of their solutions are to conduct studies, create regulations, set up commissions, share information, and have more meetings to plot and plan to best avoid dealing with the elephant in the living room.

Complicit in this evil charade are not only corporate players representing the auto and energy industries, but also the professional lobbyists who could just as easily be selling tobacco to kids as saving polar bears, so long as the pay is right. I have met these slimy professionals, stuffed into their cheap JC Penney suits with phony smiles and limp handshakes.  It is a brother-sister-hood, well they are hoods and they have a language all their own. Compromise is the name of the game, and the richest gorilla is usually the one who gets to decide what compromise will be made.

In this case, the ongoing compromise is to focus on things like solar energy and fanciful trading programs wherein everything is related to commerce. This provides a handy and acceptable escape route from real responsibility by providing the cover of “COSTS”  - if something costs too much, it is dismissed. Never mind if it is the correct solution, if it costs too much, it is dismissed. 

Please, just ask yourself; How is it that 50% of the problem that is causing climate change is solved by supplying a new fleet for government agents?

Knowing most of the general public will not bother to read them, they boldly put their plans online, and will later correctly state that everything was done in public hearings, and the majority ruled. Visit the following for their latest offering:

I realize there are some good people involved and that at least something is being done, but it is really amazing to me that these learned professionals who know the truth can settle for such an anemic response to a very real problem. On the other hand, folks are folks, and if no one from the general public is watching, and someone with a fat checkbook is offering, well, we all have families to take care of, right? This payoff is rarely anything blatant, unless you call a paycheck or consultant fee blatant. The brainwashing is all very subtle and this is the purpose for all of the meetings and hearings. Not to discover anything new, or implement any real solutions, but only to pound the existing agenda into the heads of participants, supporting each other’s half-truths and compromises to perpetuate the cycle of studies, meetings and conventions, and to get a new fleet for government agents.

What a joke. Here are two solutions that will solve the problem, right now.

1. The MISSION of the PEACE TRAIN to DC is to deliver a message of PEACE THROUGH CONSERVATION to the WORLD.

2. The MISSION of the Drive 55 Conservation Project is to reduce petroleum consumption by 20%-50%.

Average BTU consumed Per Passenger mile by mode of travel:

SUV: 4,591

Air: 4,123

Bus: 3,729

Car: 3,672

Train: 2,138

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

According to a 2004 Transportation Research Board report, public transportation:

* Reduces CO2 emissions by more than 7.4 million tons per year in the U.S.

* Produces 95% less CO, at least 92% fewer VOCs, and nearly half as much CO2  and NOx for every passenger mile traveled than private vehicles

Tim Castleman