Archive for August 10th, 2009

Obama: Post-partisan or Most-partisan?

August 10, 2009

If you listen to President Obama these days, you are likely to hear him attack and deride people who oppose or raise questions about his policies.

Just today, for example, he blasted critics of his healthcare reform policies:

“I don’t find Canadians particularly scary, but I guess some of the opponents of reform think that they make a good bogeyman.”

Also today, he blasted critics of his policy on Honduras:

“The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways.”

The Detroit News recently editorialized that:

President Barack Obama is chiding critics of his carbon cap-and-trade proposal to combat global warming for being afraid of a future shaped by new energy technologies and thriving with so-called green jobs.

So is he really the post-partisan politician that was pitched to America in 2008? You decide in the poll below:

President Obama: Post-partisan or...

President Obama: Post-partisan or...

... just most-partisan?

... just most-partisan?

NAS: International CO2 limits unenforceable

August 10, 2009

This July 28 letter from the National Academy of Sciences says that there is no existing way to monitor CO2 emissions around the world — meaning that there would be no way to verify that countries around the world are complying with emissions limits that may be set by international treaty.

Of course, monitoring and verification are just the first steps of enforcement. How would anyone actually compel China, India, Mexico, Russia and the rest of the developing world to comply with limits on emitting greenhouse gases?

Would the UN invade? Would Wal-Mart be forced to stop buying Chinese? What about the sort of international sanctions that have worked so well with Iran and North Korea? A beer summit? What?

Northeasterners forced to give up oil heat?

August 10, 2009

Northeastern governors may ban home furnaces that burn oil in order to meet greenhouse gas emission limits.

The governors are expected to approve “a blueprint for slashing carbon dioxide from cars — and perhaps home furnaces — by January,” reports ClimateWire.

About half of Massachusetts 2 millions homes, for example, rely on oil heat. “Thousands of homes might have to replace oil furnaces with wood-burning heaters” or with heat from renewable electricity or natural gas, or upgrade furnaces to burning biofuels, ClimateWire reports.

New home furnaces cost between $3,000 to $5,000.

There would also be international trade implications from such a policy since about half of the region’s heating oil comes from Canadian tar sands.