CA delegates bring big agenda to climate talks

paris_eiffel_tower_climateWith an outsized delegation from California in attendance, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change began its work toward what environmentalists expect will be a significant new framework for policy.

Although “it remains to be seen whether the gathering of 150 world leaders near Paris will achieve the target of limiting rising global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century,” as the Los Angeles Times observed, Gov. Jerry Brown was poised to hit his own mark — a battery of 21 appearances over seven days. According to the Times, Brown’s itinerary included “a discussion about California’s renewable-energy efforts, a keynote speech at a session with climate scientists about research and policy, and a talk on how China and California are cooperating to curb air pollution and promote clean technology.”

Setting an agenda

Those in attendance with Gov. Brown expected that the state’s protracted effort to implement a strict emissions policy could make it a sort of stalking horse for a broader federal agenda. Dan Kammen, an energy professor at UC Berkeley in the California delegation, suggested to National Public Radio that “getting a lead actor like California really helps the federal government see what the options are, see what the hurdles are likely to be.”

The state has made far greater strides than others in pushing climate regulations, including the first regime in the U.S. for capping carbon emissions and regulating a market for credits among emitters. But setbacks this year suggested that lawmakers may have begun to find an upper bound to environmental restrictions on energy use. “Brown and Democratic leaders were forced to drop a mandate to cut California’s oil use in half by 2030 amid heavy oil industry lobbying,” the Orange County Register recalled. Nevertheless, legislators did pass, and Brown signed, laws “requiring the state to boost renewable electricity use to 50 percent and double energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030.”

The economic game

On the strength of these policies alone, the Golden State’s delegates will not be starved for attention in Paris. They hope to parlay the friendly audience into gaining some advantages that could help tip the balance in Sacramento further in their favor. Central to the delegation’s plans for putting California center stage: finding economic leverage. Already, leading Californians have made public commitments to boost alternative energies. Bill Gates, for instance, recently announced “a new, multibillion fund to support green energy technology, with nearly a third of its members from California,” as the Sacramento Bee reported.

“Framing greenhouse gas reduction requirements as a business proposition is significant to [state Senate President Pro tem Kevin] de León and other Democratic lawmakers. While many conservatives argue that the strict emissions regulations hurt businesses, de León and other Democrats argue a growing clean technology sector creates jobs,” the paper added.

Bringing in business

In a call with reporters, de León bluntly noted that one key aim of the California delegation to Paris was to return with significant investment capital. They’ve ensured that industry leaders came along for the ride, with representation from California’s utilities on hand and in the mix.

On the same call, state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, told reporters “she’s looking forward to serving on a panel about transportation policy alongside representatives from Vermont, the United Kingdom, Pacific Gas & Electric and the automaker BMW,” according to the The Desert Sun. PG&E sent four top officers to Paris, including Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Tony Earley. “PG&E’s leaders will speak during multiple events at the two-week summit,” SolarServer noted. The energy utility, California’s largest, has pledged its support for the state’s new target of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

15 comments

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  1. Ronald
    Ronald 2 December, 2015, 05:50

    Alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are ONLY able to provide intermittent “electricity” to the grid. Neither wind nor solar renewable alternatives can produce the chemicals and chemical by-products from crude oil that are required to manufacture the components required of all the industries and infrastructures.

    The increasing use of fossil fuel energy has been the foundation of the industrialization of civilization from the development of machinery and products for: transportation systems, sewage treatment, sanitation systems, water purification systems, agricultural productivity, vaccinations, pharmaceuticals, medications, eradication of most diseases, electronics, communication systems, and so on.

    Unless you’re a caveman hiking in Yosemite, barefoot and naked, virtually everything you see, touch, and use in your daily lives is derived from the benefits of our use of one or more of the fossil fuels; oil, coal and gas.

    Eliminating fossil fuels use in transportation and the infrastructures that support life as we know it would mean going back to horses, bicycles and walking or woefully inadequate, impractical mass transit, and taking freight movement back to the nineteenth century.

    The next big challenge for humanity is mitigating climate change responsibly and cost-effectively. Achieving this must involve an international strategy that realistically includes conserving fossil fuels as a precious resource for all of mankind while diversifying our global energy portfolio to take advantage of evolving technologies and alternative sources. Let’s hope that future generations will be up to the challenge facing humanity to mitigate climate change responsibly and cost-effectively.

    Reply this comment
    • Bruce
      Bruce 2 December, 2015, 09:43

      The argument that global warming is a vehicle for global socialism has not been proven untrue in my view, although the verdict is not in. For me to give my hard-earned money, through a corrupt U.N., to a foreign country is unacceptable. Your points are spot-on.

      Reply this comment
    • Just Another Disgruntled Citizen
      Just Another Disgruntled Citizen 2 December, 2015, 16:13

      This reminds me about the story I read in the newspaper about a perfectly wonderful renewable source of energy: cow, horse & pig manure for conversion to clean methane gas, both vapor and liquid. Apparently the technology is quite advanced and competitive. And, it would help us deal with the problem of all the manure around that is so cheap in some areas farmers give it away free for the taking. Plus, it would help us conserve petroleum resources and become less dependent on outside sources.
      This is a technology that third-world countries could adopt and as they improve their situation as they see fit, would be more and more abundant. It would also help them remain independent and self-sufficient.
      I prefer this to ugly giant solar projects and bird-killing wind-machines and electric & hydrogen powered motor vehicles. I have no quarrel with fossil fuel. And I think the technology exists to convert the never-mentioned tire mountains around the world (which can catch fire and burn uncontrollably for years with appalling results) into clean fuel.
      The problem I’m having with this climate-change controversy is that the advocates of the gloom-and-doom scenario have not made a rational case for their assertions that whatever is happening to the world’s climate is largely caused by human beings. I question their conclusions. I question their data. I question their methodology. I question their motives. I question anyone who thinks whatever they think is happening is an excuse to bully other people. I want my incandescent lightbulbs back.
      And, if these climate-change folks want to cool the earth down quick, let them go out into the world’s oceans and clean up the floating islands of plastic debris that raise the temperature of sea-water under them, disturb the habitat of fish and other sea-creatures, and ruin the view.
      Clean up our act, yes. Destroy our quality of life and liberty, no.

      Reply this comment
  2. Bruce
    Bruce 2 December, 2015, 06:50

    An opposite prediction of global warming is a solar hibernation, supported by numerous worldwide scientist. John L. Casey is one of those scientist and predicts a severe drop of temperature by the end of 2016. Food sources are to be scarcer and using food for fuel unwise. In the book “Global Crisis” by Geoffrey Parker who chronicles the stress on society during the Maunder Minimum solar hibernation of the 1600’s, it was not uncommon to see El Nino’s in consecutive years as opposed to one every five years. Those two, the temperature drop at the end of 2016 and another El Nino will be closely watched by these eyes. Sunspots are diminishing dramatically as reported by NASA and the suns radiation follows. It looks like the 206 years solar cycle is upon us and another minimum akin to the Maunder and Dalton periods is real. All energy will be needed.

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    • Just Another Disgruntled Citizen
      Just Another Disgruntled Citizen 2 December, 2015, 11:10

      Besides being amused by Poulos’ ability to write this column with a straight face, I am curious about the information provided by climate-change dissident-scientists mentioned in your comment. There is also an interesting book “The Third Horseman: A Story of Weather, War & the Famine History Forgot” by William Rosen wherein the author describes a 400-year period between the 9th and 14th centuries when Europe was the scene of a sudden mini-Ice Age that caused crop failures, famine and epidemic disease until the weather started warming up. [My own note: it is thought by some historians that these calamities helped precipitate the Protestant Reformation.]

      Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 December, 2015, 09:03

    Now the doomers are trotting out verbose nerds!

    So painful!

    Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 2 December, 2015, 10:44

      Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation! That’s very impressive Uhaul. Did you finally get your GED?

      Reply this comment
      • Ulysses Uhaul
        Ulysses Uhaul 2 December, 2015, 22:30

        Dys

        Just a common moving guy ferreting out a living serving Graboids and doomers. Excuse my language problems. You’re so intimidating to the fair and balanced….

        Sob!

        Reply this comment
  4. Irv
    Irv 2 December, 2015, 10:12

    MMGW/CC is now and always has been a huge HOAX~~Solar power and wind power, as Ronald stated, is an intermittent power source. Therefore, to me, neither sources should be used as a primary power supply But ~~Jerry Brown>>Jerry Brown keeps making a fool of himself and the good residents of the state.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 2 December, 2015, 10:49

    “They hope to parlay the friendly audience into gaining some advantages that could help tip the balance in Sacramento further in their favor.”

    Really? How in the world would it be possible to “tip the balance” in Excremento any further in their favor? Perhaps show trials followed by public execution of Republican legislators.

    Not that Retardpublican politicos provide any actual opposition these days.

    Reply this comment
  6. Just Another Disgruntled Citizen
    Just Another Disgruntled Citizen 2 December, 2015, 13:07

    So many good observations about such an infuriating subject. Do you notice how the advocates of Climate Change keep Climate Change Deniers (as they like to call us–which is ludicrous because none of us is claiming the climate isn’t changing, we just don’t agree with their scenario) arguing about scientific method instead of their politics?
    Personally, I don’t think they are really interested in participating in a public discussion about climatology. I think they are interested in Control.
    For example, whenever I ask them questions–which are, in fact, sincere because I am curious–they become enraged. I’ve been insulted, slandered, verbally assaulted. And, if you agree with me and not them, you, too, are suffering from Cognitive Dissonance–meaning we deny the climate is changing. Which is ludicrous because I have never believed that climate doesn’t change. I just don’t agree with their scenario. But, even if I did, I would not agree with their solution.
    I think the question we should be asking is how far are they willing to go to have their way?

    Reply this comment
  7. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 2 December, 2015, 13:47

    How about harnessing all that Hot Air in Paris it would go a long way as a alternative energy and unlike windturbines its not harmful to the birdies

    Reply this comment
  8. desmond
    desmond 2 December, 2015, 19:04

    Word is the Governor and his woman moved into mansion.
    F ing hypocrite. A total asshole and fraud. Plus, his head looks like a Richard.

    Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 2 December, 2015, 22:20

    Dumb ideas like turning freeways and overpasses into dumb elevated bike paths I mean California liberls are always coming up with dumb ideas like that

    Reply this comment

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