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Supreme Court Amicus Curiae from scientists

Filed under: — group @ 29 November 2006

In the wake of the NY times editorial yesterday, we’ve been asked to provide a link to the Amicus Curiae (draft) written by David Battisti, Christopher Field, Inez Fung, James E. Hansen, John Harte, Eugenia Kalnay, Daniel Kirk-Davidoff, James C. Mcwilliams, Jonathan T. Overpeck, F. Sherwood Rowland, Joellen Russell, Scott R. Saleska, John M. Wallace and Steven C. Wofsy in the current Supreme Court case (Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al vs. US EPA et al). Some discussion of this statement is also available at Prometheus.

Update: The actual brief (of which the first link was a draft) is available here (see comments below).

Update 2: We also note that on the final brief, Mario Molina, Ed Sarachik, Bill Easterling, and Pam Matson were additional signers.


136 Responses to “Supreme Court Amicus Curiae from scientists”

  1. 101
    Doug Watts says:

    RE: #100. Todd, see the above discussion on S.D. Warren v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection. The case and the Court’s decision touch on the exact issue you are raising.

  2. 102
    Sashka says:

    Re: #88

    Please don’t dredge up the tired and discredited old canard that vehicle efficiency is better addressed through market forces than through government regulations.

    So the market forces is a (no less!) discredited old canard? I presume this comes from someone who enjoys the benefits of living in a capitalist country, right? I don’t think any further comment is needed.

  3. 103
    Sashka says:

    Re: #90

    Critera for what is worth protecting, the degree of proof required to make such choices, the influence of uncertainty on the decision, balancing the costs of inaction with the cost of action are all value-based policy judgments. Your values, my values and the Supreme Court’s values may well differ on this subject, and science cannot bridge this gap.

    You are right. Science must precede the discussion of values, not bridge the differences. When we know the base scenario and what we want to achieve and associated uncertainties then it’s time to talk about whether it’s worth it or not.

    Unfortunately the vocal majority here just wants to jump to action omitting preceding steps.

  4. 104
    Sashka says:

    Re: #97

    Since you mentioned lies (to me, it includes lies by omission), let me point to this page

    http://www2.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/Newsroom/OpEds/Corporate_NR_OE_ClimateChange.asp

    where Exxon talks about their investment in the climate change research, emission reduction technologies and even Bermuda Biological Station. You do have a link to this page in your blog, don’t you?

  5. 105
    John L. McCormick says:

    RE # 104

    I went to that link.

    It had the feel of low-tar cigarette research in my opinion.

  6. 106
    Grant says:

    Re: #102

    So the market forces is a (no less!) discredited old canard? I presume this comes from someone who enjoys the benefits of living in a capitalist country, right? I don’t think any further comment is needed.

    You’ve misrepresented his claim. He never implied that the “discredited old canard” is “market forces,” rather that it is the “better addressed through market forces than through government regulations” part.

    You may dispute this idea, and you may be right. But to discredit his statement by your mischaracterization is a fine example of the logical fallacy known as “straw man.”

  7. 107
    Phillip Shaw says:

    Re 102:

    As they relate to vehicle safety and emissions standards, yes, market forces are a tired and discredited old canard. Vehicle manufacturers have historically fought the introduction of safety and emission control technology by invoking the cry “This will cost jobs because consumers won’t pay for seat belts/airbags/unleaded gas/catalytic converters/fuel efficiency/anti-lock brakes/hybrid drivetrains”. And the automakers have been consistently wrong. Today we hear the same lame defense being offered by american automakers when asked why they don’t offer electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Is it any wonder why they continue to lose market-share to more strategically minded foreign automakers?

  8. 108
    Hank Roberts says:

    Yep. The royal libertarian argument doesn’t even work by pointing to how Japanese and Chinese automobiles are driving US automobiles out of the market while providing better safety and pollution features, because those are their governments’ requirements, not pure free choices by individual car makers to make better cars in the hope people will buy them.

    Car safety and pollution laws are like property insurance for homeowners and DPT vaccination for children — nobody believes they personally have the bad luck that they will need it, most people would go without it unless required to buy it, and yet overall, everyone benefits from having these services required because they not only spread the cost, they reduce the total damage overall.

  9. 109
    Sashka says:

    Re: #107

    Repeating this word ad infinum doesn’t make it any more true.

    To my (limited) knowledge, the emissions trading in NOX and SOX have been effective market-based mechanism of pollution control.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissions_trading
    http://www.climatebiz.com/sections/emissionstrading.cfm

    Europe has already started trading in CO2 emission credits. I hope, US will follow soon:

    http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/

  10. 110
    James says:

    Re #107: We might also take into consideration the vectors along which market forces act. To drive an increase in fuel efficiency, fuel cost has to be significant, otherwise there’s no resultant force. Despite the sounds of whining at every small increase, for most people in the US it’s not – compare purchase price of typical vehicle vs lifetime cost of fuel.

    On the other hand, if you can use advertising to convince the gullible that big, inefficient vehicles are safer, more prestitious, or will enhance their sex life, you’ve created a new vector along which market forces will act…

  11. 111
    John L. McCormick says:

    RE # 109

    Sashka, you said:

    [To my (limited) knowledge, the emissions trading in NOX and SOX have been effective market-based mechanism of pollution control.]

    Allow me to add some informtion to your (limited) knowledge regarding the effectiveness of the US SOX emission trading program.

    It utilimately put a premium on low sulfur complaince coal for Eastern coal-buring electric generation units the operators opted not to retrofit with a SO2 scrubber.

    God made the mistake of putting that high btu, low sulfur coal in the high elevations of the Appalachian Mountains where Massey and other coal companies obliged by ripping the tops off those beautiful mountain peaks and shoving the spoils down into the riverine vallies.

    So much for effective. Lakes in Maine dodged a bullet. Appalachian Mountains of WV, VA, KY took the bullet.

  12. 112
    Dano says:

    RE 110 (James):

    On the other hand, if you can use advertising to convince the gullible that big, inefficient vehicles are safer, more prestigious, or will enhance their sex life, you’ve created a new vector along which market forces will act…

    Hence the vehement reaction to visual AGW stimuli such as Gore’s movie. Folks know advertising is effective, and if you allow pro-science AGW movies to continue, there is the real possibility that people will be swayed. They don’t spend $US200B on advertising for nothing.

    But back to the topic. The prevalance of certain inaccurate comments in this thread reflect the SC Justices: as a society, we are separated from the natural environment by the built environment.

    This separation prevents us from understanding the issue at hand. This may also affect the standing issue, which Mr McCormick is getting at above.

    Best,

    D

  13. 113
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    There was a good article in the NY times about the use of science in the courts and the current supreme court global warming case.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/science/05law.html?th&emc=th

    Re #107, 109, 110 et al
    NOX and SOX were reduced because the industries that emitted it were forced to by the EPA. The regulations do use market based incentives. The polluting industries vehemently fought environmental regulation, and without the EPA’s intervention NOX and SOX would not have been reduced.

    Pollution has been reduced because of regulatory action, not because of market forces. The free market has built-in obstacles to environmental protection. Environmental regulations that mix mandatory limits with market forces are usually effective and efficient.

  14. 114
    Roger Smith says:

    The Chicago Climate Exchange is of limited value as the pollution reduction goals corporations set are essentially voluntary (read: weak) and verification is even weaker with some real problems of double-counting. There are no penalties for non-compliance that I am aware of, making it a nice training ground but little more.

    The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (northeast from NJ-Maine) is a mandatory program that will cap power plant emissions in this region and allow credit trading within the region. Markets exist within political constraints- if you want to see the failure of purely voluntary initiatives, look at the Bush carbon intensity fiasco.

    “God made the mistake of putting that high btu, low sulfur coal in the high elevations of the Appalachian Mountains where Massey and other coal companies obliged by ripping the tops off those beautiful mountain peaks and shoving the spoils down into the riverine vallies.
    So much for effective. Lakes in Maine dodged a bullet. Appalachian Mountains of WV, VA, KY took the bullet. ”
    Stringent state air regulations are no subsitute for stringent Federal and state water regulations and strict enforcement. It’s not just the lakes and forests that suffered- SO2 kills thousands of people every year. CT’s regulations pushed the Bridgeport coal plant to move to Indonesian coal (who knows what the regs are there…) AND install scrubbers, and New England’s largest coal plants source their coal from Columbia.

  15. 115
    Hank Roberts says:

    A longer post may have been lost; if so, this will suffice: Stephen Jay Gould on Justice Scalia’s reasoning in a previous case, about teaching evolution. At the time, Scalia believed the creationists’ definitions, and based his reasoning entirely on them. He’s had years since to learn more about science than he did at the time. I expect he’ll show he’s grown.
    http://www.sjgarchive.org/library/text/b16/p0137.htm

  16. 116
    Sashka says:

    Re: 111

    God made the mistake of putting that high btu, low sulfur coal in the high elevations of the Appalachian Mountains where Massey and other coal companies obliged by ripping the tops off those beautiful mountain peaks and shoving the spoils down into the riverine vallies.

    Thank you for that. I never heard of coal companies mining the tops of mountain peaks. My poor imagination fails to picture heavy equipment climbing up the steep slopes to the top.

    What I do know, however, is that at least some of the low sulphur coal is currently imported from Indonesia. Somebody took a bullet indeed. The American coal miners, for example.

    But the pollution is reduced as required by the Clean Air Act. And you still have power in your house. What else do you want? A perpetuum mobile?

  17. 117
    Doug Watts says:

    I would hate to see a “free market based alternative” to fire and electrical codes for buildings and homes.

    Under this alternative to the dreaded, inefficient “command and control” paradigm, home owners and apartment landlords would be free to use and install even the most disastrously unsafe and flammable materials during home construction if these materials achieved the owners’ short-term economic objectives. Then the “market” would determine the efficacy of such decisions based upon the number of burned corpses of children and other helpless folk consumed in the resulting completely avoidable blazes.

    This way, educated renters would have the “market freedom” to select an apartment without fire escapes in exchange for a slightly lower monthly rent and thus be encouraged to not smoke in bed because there’s no way to get out if the building catches on fire.

    It’s so obvious. Fire escapes = rewarding bad behavior. No fire escapes = encouraging responsible use of flames.

    Sorry for the cynicism but there is a very good reason why we do not, as a society, rely upon “market based solutions” for food and drug safety and fire, electrical and building codes but instead rely upon the heinous pariah of “command and control” approaches to these basic components of contemporary life.

    Cheers.

  18. 118
    Sashka says:

    Re: #113

    Environmental regulations that mix mandatory limits with market forces are usually effective and efficient

    OK, fair enough.

  19. 119
    Marcus says:

    Re #111: There’s some interesting history behind sulfur regulations: I remember hearing that Senator Byrd (West Virginia) pushed hard for mandatory scrubbers because eastern coal in general contains more sulfur than western coal, and having an emissions standard (or cap and trade) would give industries the option to use western coal rather than scrubbers.

    Is this a bad thing? Well, for the sites with clean coal, yes. But I don’t think that is really a good critique of the SO2 trading program. If you are upset with the results of coal mining, then you should be regulating the mining process, not trying to affect it at a distance by tweaking your SO2 control program. Much as I disagree with Sashka in general, I think he is correct that the SO2 cap and trade program has been an extremely cost effective way to reduce emissions, and ideally that makes it easier to create tighter emissions standards in the future.

    This does not mean that cap and trade is appropriate to every situation: you need to have well quantified emissions, a politically acceptable way to allocate permits, not too much temporal or geographical variation in impacts (though you can theoretically design your trading program to take into account time and geography: I believe LA’s NOx trading regimes have different geographic sectors, for example), and the constraint should be designed to be equivalent or stronger to the alternate non-market measure being proposed. But if these conditions are met, then yes, market based mechanisms will usually outperform standards based mechanisms.

  20. 120
    Sashka says:

    Re: #117

    It’s a good post but it wasn’t necessary. I do appreciate that free market approach has its limits. It doesn’t follow that it won’t work in the case of CO2 emissions. If there is an intellegible argument as to why CO2 will be different from SOX and NOX – I’m willing to listen carefully. Otherwise it’s just rhetorics.

  21. 121
    yartrebo says:

    Regarding wetlands, they are capable of moving inland under two conditions:
    1 – There is flat land behind the existing wetlands that can be used.
    2 – Sea levels rise fairly slowly.

    Humans have been quite detrimental to both factors, which are major reasons why we are losing so many wetlands.

  22. 122
    Steve Reynolds says:

    Re 117> I would hate to see a “free market based alternative” to fire and electrical codes for buildings and homes.

    Underwriters Laboritories has been a “free market based alternative” for many years. Insurance companies can require compliance. Government is not needed for everything, unless you believe everyone should be treated as a child by ‘big mother’.

  23. 123
    Doug Watts says:

    Sashka: A prerequisite to any CO2 tradings plan is that the US EPA recognizes CO2 as a pollutant pursuant to the Clean Air Act. The EPA refuses to do this, hence the Supreme Court case and this thread. The US EPA is the obstacle. If they simply agreed to regulate CO2 as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, we could be talking seriously about the various plusses and minuses of command & control vs. offsets trading. But that is not the case, thanks solely to the US EPA. This never should have reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the first place.

  24. 124

    Meanwhile back in the Legislative branch, Rush Limbaugh staffer turned Senatorial climate guru Marc Morano has invited us all to a curious Washington DC event-

    December 5, 2006

    Dear Concerned Citizen,

    Thank you for expressing your support for Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Chairman of Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW). We would like to alert you to tomorrow’s (Wednesday December 6, 2006) Media and Climate Change Full Committee Hearing at 9:30am (ET).

    The EPW hearing will look at how the media has presented scientific evidence regarding predictions of human caused catastrophic global warming. The Committee will examine the media’s history of hyping climate fears going back over 100 years and look at how today’s media covers the complex issues of climate science. You can view this hearing live by going to http://epw.senate.gov/epwmultimedia/epwmultimedia.htm or check C-SPAN to view broadcast of the hearing.

    Senator Inhofe has called global warming “the most media-hyped environmental issue of all time …. This hearing will serve to advance the interests of sound science and encourage rational policy decisions,” said EPW Majority Communications Director Marc Morano.

    Related Links:

    Renowned Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming – Caps Year of Vindication for Skeptics

    http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264777

    See also DrudgeReport.com linking to this Washington Times article out today:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20061205-121929-8314r.htm

    I hope the Senator and his staff recieve a warm reception.

  25. 125
    Eli Rabett says:

    Desmogblog has some of the statments for this hearing.

  26. 126
    Richard says:

    Scott (#31)

    Thanks for the links. Is there a rebuttal to the arguments in the CEI brief?

    Thanks,
    Richard

  27. 127
    Sashka says:

    Re: #123

    Doug, please notice that I never objected to CO2 being recognized as a pollutant. My point in this thread is that focusing on cars is a dumb approach to fighting GW and that the states have no appreaciable harm from car emissions.

  28. 128
    Sashka says:

    Re: #124

    I found it curious that they called Dan Schrag to testify. I wonder what they expect him to say.

  29. 129
    Doug Watts says:

    Sashka — View noted and corrected.

  30. 130
    Doug Watts says:

    Regarding wetlands, they are capable of moving inland under two conditions:
    1 – There is flat land behind the existing wetlands that can be used.
    2 – Sea levels rise fairly slowly.

    Humans have been quite detrimental to both factors, which are major reasons why we are losing so many wetlands.

    Comment by yartrebo � 5 Dec 2006 @ 6:07 pm.
    ——
    Massachusetts has very stringent wetlands protection laws, in part because we have so many wetlands, especially in southeastern Mass. As previously stated, the coastal wetlands (brackish to highly saline) constitute an incredibly important resource as nursery grounds for shellfish, crustaceans and fish as well as migratory bird habitat. These habitats are critical to the state’s commercial and recreational fish and shellfish industries, which are very substantial. So in this court case, Massachusetts is attempting to ensure these areas receive as much protection as can be afforded to them under federal law.

  31. 131

    To Richard (#126) about whether there was a reply to CEI brief.

    There was no formal venue for a reply, at least not before the court. The general consensus of those of us who discussed it was that the CEI brief was pretty poor anyway. For what it is worth, below are some comments I emailed to my colleagues after I reviewed the CEI brief, followed by comments by Dr. Curt Covey, whose work was cited in the CEI brief:

    — begin quoted excerpts of my email —

    Our climate scientist brief focused narrowly and conservatively on two questions: (1) whether the state of the science was accurately represented by the EPA and by the lower court, and (2) whether the science is sufficiently compelling to support a judgement that the legal standard for regulation is met (i.e., may greenhouse gas emissions “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare”?)

    A relevant claim that our scientists brief is wrong or misleading would therefore have to consist of an argument that either (1) the state of the science was in fact accurately characterized by the EPA or the Appeals Court, or (2) that in fact, greenhouse gas emissions may NOT be reasonably anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. The CEI brief does neither, so I suspect it will not have much relevance to the case at hand.

    The CEI brief discusses a range of broad questions on which the Climate Scientist’s brief takes no position (e.g. whether the “net” effects of CO2 emissions “will” endanger public health or welfare, or what history would have been like if industrial development had taken a less CO2-intensive trajectory), and quibbles with technical details which have little or no effect on the answer to the overall question no matter how they are resolved (e.g. whether the NRC/NAS statement in 2001 that post-1950 ocean warming was 0.050C is meaningfully different from the Levins et al. 2005, more recent figure of 0.037C).

    As far as the technical details, a quick survey convinces me there is not much there. Just to cite a few, taken more or less at random (I have not had time to look at all):

    CO2 growth rates (CEI, p. 11): arguments about what growth rates for CO2 emissions that some models use are besides the point of what the science says about the climate sensitivity of the earth system (emissions growth rates are if anything an economic question). It is well-recognized that many of the original emissions scenarios in IPCC overstated the trajectories that were actually realized (indeed, this was a minor point made in the NRC/NAS 2001 report that was picked up on, and misunderstood or misrepresented, by the Appeals Court), but so what? Unless they are arguing that actual BAU emissions will be so low as to prevent CO2 from any further significant build up (or at least stay under a doubling), this is a detail entirely irrelevant to climate science, and almost entirely irrelevant to the question about “reasonable anticipation of endangerment”.

    Hurricanes (CEI, p. 16). We barely mention this, as a parenthetical (not as a “prediction” but as a citation of IPCC TAR’s reference to “likely increases” in tropical storm intensities). I am surprised they went after this, with all the recent work showing that the evidence for this has only gotten stronger since 2001. Yes, there is still debate about whether it has reached canonical levels of statistical significance (95% confidence), and there are problems with data quality yet to be fully resolved, but the standard in the law is lower (â��may reasonably anticipateâ�� endangerment). Are they arguing, in the light of Emanual 2005, and Webster et al., 2005, that it would be entirely unreasonable to anticipate stronger hurricanes in the future? If not, what is the point?

    Satellite and surface temp records (CEI p. 23). The main substantive thing we said with respect to this is that “all available data sets show that both the surface and the troposphere have warmed,” which the CEI brief criticizes. But the quote they criticize is not ours, it is from the U.S. CSSP (2006) re-assessment (the subtitle of which is “understanding and reconciling differences”). An author of the CSSP (and of the Executive Summary, from which our quote is taken) is John Christy, who is an amicus on the CEI brief. Is he arguing against himself? Perhaps he didnâ��t realize this CEI comment was in there when he signed on.

    —- end Saleska quotes —-

    With regard to the CO2 scenarios, the CEI brief cited a paper by Curt Covey. My colleague and co-amici David Battisti inquired of Dr. Covey if he had any comments about the way CEI cited his work, and he responded, saying we were free to circulate his comments. Here they are:

    — begin quote of Covey email —-

    Dear Prof. Battisti,

    Part of my job here at LLNL is to accurately communicate the results of
    my work to scientific colleagues and the public. Accordingly, you
    should feel free to share the comments below.

    Page 11 of the brief begins, “As shown below, computer models predicting
    future warming must overestimate warming, because they generally use an
    incorrect increase in carbon dioxide concentration of 1% per year.” It
    is not true that models “generally use” this rate of increase. Model
    simulations of 20th century global warming typically use actual observed
    amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, together with other human (for
    example chloroflorocarbons or CFCs) and natural (solar brightness
    variations, volcanic eruptions, …) climate-forcing factors. Model
    simulations of future global warming use analogous input; of course it
    is not possible to observe the future, so a variety of scenarios
    involving possible atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, etc.,
    are employed. These range from stabilization of atmospheric carbon
    dioxide at twice its pre-industrial value by the end of this century
    (IPCC SRES B1) to continuously increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide at
    the rate of a bit less than 1% per year (IPCC SRES A2). Each climate
    model simulating the future is run several times, with several different
    scenarios. All of this has been standard practice in climate modeling
    for the past ten years.

    Pages 11-12 quote my 2003 review paper correctly regarding idealized
    simulations in which atmospheric carbon dioxide is assumed to increase
    at the precise rate of 1% per year. Note that in the end of the quoted
    passage, I say that this rate of increase could “perhaps” be considered
    realistic “as an extreme case in which the world accelerates its
    consumption of fossil fuels while reducing its production of
    anthropogenic aerosols.” I’m no expert on scenarios, but from what I
    hear about China and India I wonder if the world is already on that
    track. In any case, the purpose of the 1%-per-year scenarios is to
    compare different models’ responses to identical input — not to produce
    realistic possibilities of future climate. For the latter purpose,
    climate model output from the IPCC SRES B1, A2 and other scenarios has
    been widely used for several years and has been publicly available for
    over two years on my group’s Web site at
    http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/ipcc/about_ipcc.php.

    Finally it is not true, as implied on Page 12, that “sole reliance on
    models to the exclusion of observed behavior” is the basis of future
    climate prediction. As noted above, modern climate models are used to
    retrospectively simulate the 20th century as well. Simulation of 20th
    century global warming is an important confidence-builder for climate
    models. Indeed, the observed warming during the 20th century cannot be
    explained other than by assuming that the models are reasonably accurate
    in their response to greenhouse gases. This point was clearly made by
    the IPCC report published in 2001. Pages 12-13 ignore all this and
    instead use “a constant-rate warming” of 1.8 degrees C per century
    “based on actual observations.” A constant-rate (i.e. straight-line)
    extrapolation of global warming from the 20th to the 21st century, as in
    the brief’s Figure 2, is a favorite technique of one of the authors, Pat
    Michaels. This technique gives 21st century warming at the low end of
    the spectrum of possibilities resulting from the different model-input
    scenarios. It is one possible future, but it’s never been clear to me
    (or to anyone else I know besides Pat) why the other possibilities —
    all of which involve more global warming — should be ignored.

    Sincerely,
    Curt Covey

    —- end of Covey email —

    Hope that is helpful to you and other interested parties.

    Best,
    Scott

  32. 132
    Roger Smith says:

    On the coal mining thread above, if you have trouble visualizing the removal of mountain tops, here you go:
    http://www.ohvec.org/galleries/mountaintop_removal/007/index.html
    If you’ve been to this part of the country you know we’re not talking about craggy peaks but about older forest-covered mountains. This type of mining is also supposed be less labor intensive (more machinery) than traditional mining or smaller-scale strip mining, so I wouldn’t expect much in the way of employement from it.

  33. 133
    John L. McCormick says:

    RE # 116

    Sashka, open the link posted on # 132 to see the consequence of Appalachian mountaintop mining. Views of the equipment that wrought this destruction, if you are interested, can be accessed at other web sites. Please ask and I will provide, if you are curious.

  34. 134
    T. M. Ritter says:

    Thanks for the cite Doug. Interestingly, the conservative editorial page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch printed an editorial questioning whether the administration’s position in the present case is hypocritical. Typically, you hear a harsh critique of judicial activism from the administration, yet the editorial suggested it was an activist approach to urge the Court to disregard the legislatively defined terms of the Clean Air Act. Although CO2 is not, by most ordinary standards, a pollutant, as vehicle emission, it certainly appears to fall within the definition under the Act. I am curious though, as to whether anything was raised in oral arguments about the breadth of this delegation to the EPA? -Todd

  35. 135
    Sashka says:

    Re: 132-133

    If you’ve been to this part of the country you know we’re not talking about craggy peaks but about older forest-covered mountains.

    No I haven’t. Thank you for he clarification (clearly I couldn’t think of those hills as mountains) and for the site.

    Surely it’s an ugly view but I wonder where one can see a pretty coal mine. What do people want: to have power in their houses but no so much as a cut on the surface of the planet? Unfortunately, energy comes at a price. Which is not to say that regulation is not needed.

  36. 136
    guthrie says:

    AHhh, Sashka touches on one of my bugbears. The world is so large and interconnected these days that it is hard to get home to people what is done in their name, so that they can have cheap clothes and a warm house. Campaigns can help educate people, but its a slow process. Certainly not enough people are involved in educated decision making about what is worth trying to keep, what people are willing to destroy, and what alternatives there are.


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