The new, young, and hopefully-more-effective face of American gun reform

Quite a bit has happened over the past few days, since we first learned of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. While it doesn’t look as though the 19 year old killer had connections to a white nationalist hate group, as was first reported, it would seem that he learned marksmanship at the school, thanks at least in part to a $10,000 grant from the NRA. [For what it’s wroth, he’s also known to have worn one of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats.] And, of course, as we discussed yesterday, we’ve gotten a little more insight into the character of our President, who first took the opportunity to blame the shooter’s “neighbors and classmates”, and then went on to use the shooting for his own purposes, suggesting that the FBI should stop investigating him, and focus instead on stopping the next mass shooting from happening. [“They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”, Trump tweeted.] But, most importantly, we’ve learned that we have capable young leaders emerging at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that aren’t going to accept the status quo as dictated by by the NRA and its enablers in Congress, who offer “thoughts and prayers” while telling us that more guns is the only solution. [The facts, by the way, tell us that gun control actually does lead to fewer murders, which is why the NRA got Congress to ban federal research into gun violence.] Here, for those of you who have yet to hear the voices of these young men and women in Florida, who just days ago lost so many of their friends and teachers, are a few representative quotes.

Senior Emma Gonzalez: “We are going to be the difference… Maybe the adults have got used to saying, ‘It is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And, in this case, if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead… We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because… we are going to be the last mass shooting… They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS!”

Junior Alfonso Calderon: “This time it’s going to be different because for once, instead of grieving, we got straight to the point… We’re not asking to repeal the second amendment, we’re asking for common sense, like more intensive background checks. It’s always a troubled young man, in our case somebody who’s been expelled, reported to police 39 times, and he’s still able to buy a weapon of war without anybody flinching. It’s just not viable any more.”

Junior Cameron Kasky: “You’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around.”

Junior David Hogg: “If you can’t get elected without taking money from child murderers (a.k.a. the NRA), why are you running?”

Freshman Christine Yared: We can’t let innocent people’s deaths be in vain. We need to work together beyond political parties to make sure this never happens again. We need tougher gun laws.

If a person is not old enough to be able to rent a car or buy a beer, then he should not be able to legally purchase a weapon of mass destruction. This could have been prevented. If the killer had been properly treated for his mental illness, maybe this would not have happened. If there were proper background checks, then those who should not have guns would not have them.

We need to vote for those who are for stricter laws and kick out those who won’t take action. We need to expose the truth about gun violence and the corruption around guns. Please.

It’s devastating that this happened on Valentine’s Day, a day that’s supposed to be about love. Take this as a sign to hug your loved ones and be sure to tell them you love them every day because you never know when it will be their last.

If you have any heart, or care about anyone or anything, you need to be an advocate for change. Don’t let any more children suffer like we have. Don’t continue this cycle. This may not seem relevant to you. But next time it could be your family, your friends, your neighbors. Next time, it could be you.

I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but, just in case you missed it, here’s video of Emma Gonzalez.

So, as Trump was apparently seeking the input of his wealthy golf buddies at Mar-a-Lago, these young people, with the help of their supporters, didn’t waste any time fighting back, organizing, and calling for school walk-outs and marches across the United States. While both events are still evolving, it looks as though the #NationalSchoolWalkout will be for 17 minutes beginning at 10:00 AM on March 14, 2018, and the March for our Lives march on Washington will be on the 24th.

I’m a bit jaded, having watched over the past several decades as the Republicans have allowed the NRA to dictate policy while avoiding all responsibility for the ever-climbing death toll, but I’m actually hopeful that something positive may come of this. As we know, there are, in spite of what the Republicans have told us, a number of immediate actions which can be taken to curb gun violence, from the banning of assault weapons, to the expansion of background checks, all of which have majority support across the United States. The problem in the past has been that we haven’t been able to hold the attention of the American people, who, even after horrendous events, like the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead, eventually come to accept the fact nothing will change, and move on. In this case, though, the students of Parkland aren’t giving us that option. They aren’t allowing us to just move on. They’re dominating news cycles, and they’re planing events over the course of the next month that will culminate with a march on Washington. This isn’t just going to go away. They’re not going to let it.

So now the ugliness begins, as the far right attempts to kill the movement by inferring ulterior motives on the part of these grieving students. [See just one example below.] And we cannot allow that to happen. For the sake of not only these kids, but kids everywhere, we need to help amplify the voices of these Florida students and drown out the disinformation campaigns we’re going to see over the coming weeks. This, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, is important.

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  1. Judd Legum by proxy
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The disgusting new smear campaign against students who survived the Parkland massacre

  2. John Galt
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Freedom isn’t free. We need to pay for it with the lives of our children. If you can’t accept that, maybe you should move to Canada.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Media Matters: CNN pro-Trump commentator says that secretive forces are behind Parkland survivors’ gun reform rally

  4. CNN
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    These Florida lawmakers accepted money from the National Rifle Association

  5. Kit
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Emma G. had another good quote yesterday about Trump. “The best thing for us to do is ignore him and to continue fighting our fight, the fight he refuses to acknowledge,” she said.

  6. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    What kind of society do we have when our great hope is that the children might be able to do something because the adults have been so ineffective? Maybe after guns they will take on income inequality, racism, climate change etc.

    After all it was the kids in the sixties who did change things. Do kids today even know that? Was it the change they brought that created the world as it is today?

    Best of luck to them!

  7. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I had to look up the statistics for school shooting deaths and Chicagos annual gun related deaths. It’s a long road.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Sad– there’s a lot we can do. The most effective means for social change is always for those directly impacted to advocate for their own interests.

    I find kids actively participating in democracy, first DACA kids and now this, as extremely hopeful. I know Trump is susceptible to the plight of children. He meets with students from Parkland in two days. I have some hope he will betray his base in the right way this time. We will have to fight hard against the registry of the mentally ill though.

    Adults are consistently worse than their kids. Each generation is mostly better and more humane. I have often thought that progress is generational. Only because we olds resist change. And the youngs just live the change. There is ample evidence this is happening re climate action. It certainly happened re homophobia. It’s great to raise a child these days. To see the progress already made in hearts and minds. I’m fascinated to see the new mistakes they make too.

    I’m all in for supporting civic action by kids. I’m happy to follow their lead.

  9. site admin
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    If you follow the link above that says “a number of immediate actions which can be taken to curb gun violence, from the banning of assault weapons, to the expansion of background checks, all of which have majority support across the United States,” it will take you to a great NYT piece put out after the Las Vegas shooting that shows which actions, according to experts, would be the most effective, and how much pubic support each of those individual ideas has. It’s really fascinating. The takeaway is this – there are things we can do right now that would be impactful, and enjoy broad support.

  10. Lisa Bashert
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    There was an excellent MLive article which highlighted the situation in Michigan and the areas of broad agreement between gun owners and non-owners to decrease gun violence. By the award winning investigative reporter Garrett Ellison, who has been instrumental in covering local efforts on Water Protection! (If I knew how to link it, I would — can you, Mark?)

  11. M
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    The vile former congressman Jack Kingston:

    O really? “Students” are planning a nationwide rally? Not left wing gun control activists using 17yr kids in the wake of a horrible tragedy? #Soros #Resistance #Antifa #DNC

  12. M
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    From Channel 7 News in South Forida.

    “Large group of students from West Boca High have walked out of class & are heading toward Stoneman Douglas HS.”

  13. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Amal Clooney just donated a half million to the kids for their march. Helpful?

  14. ABC News
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    ONE LESS: Scott Pappalardo owned his AR-15 rifle for more than 30 years. He even has a Second Amendment tattoo on his arm. This weekend, he destroyed his gun “to make sure this weapon will never be able to take a life.”

  15. Proton
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
    Thursday, October 5, 2017
    The Hypocrisy of Liberal Interventionists
    “On the very same day that former Vice President Joe Biden tweepily called for legislation to end the gun violence that “tears our families apart,” the managing director of his new liberal interventionist think tank published a New York Times editorial calling for even more American guns and violence in the proxy war against Russia in the eastern Ukraine.
    Just because the ruling class warriors so easily cry their crocodile tears and tweet their maudlin thoughts and prayers over every pathologically regular outburst of domestic mayhem and death doesn’t mean they will ever call a truce in their own international violence – not even for one single day. There’s way too much profit to be made in state-sanctioned death and destruction to ever take a break from it.”

  16. Meanwhile on Fox News
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    ‘We’ve Got to Protect the Kids, Period’: Ohio Sheriff Offers Free Gun Training to Teachers

  17. Lynne
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    SAD: What kind of society do we have when our great hope is that the children might be able to do something because the adults have been so ineffective? Maybe after guns they will take on income inequality, racism, climate change etc.

    JH: Adults are consistently worse than their kids. Each generation is mostly better and more humane. I have often thought that progress is generational. Only because we olds resist change. And the youngs just live the change.

    I think Jean is right on the money with this one. I see it as a good reason why it is actually a good thing that humans don’t have longer lifespans. We need to die for progress to occur because as we age, we get more set in our ways and a little more tired too. Young people have both the will and the energy to change. Luckily it looks like a good number of the changes that the younger generation wants are going to be positive. Also good news, around 2 million old people will die before November and there are around 4 million 17 year olds who are going to turn 18 before election day. If those young people get engaged, it could be a big game changer.

  18. EOS
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Taking rights away from the law-abiding will not stop the criminals.

  19. M
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Serious question, EOS. Should todlers be able to drive?

  20. Jim Monsoon
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    EOS – Wrong. If we took everyone’s guns away then many hundreds of lives would be saved each year. It’s pretty simple.

  21. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Sad– there’s a lot we can do. The most effective means for social change is always for those directly impacted to advocate for their own interests.

    Why haven’t the adults been effectively advocating for social change when the survival of their children would seem to be in their own interest? Maybe Lynne is right and the best thing we can do is just die. But that makes me Sad.

    And what about those kids in Chicago? Maybe their only hope is a Wakandian embassy. Apparently America is unable to deliver.

  22. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


  23. Lynne
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I am sorry Sad, i didn’t mean to make you sad. I actually have found that knowing that old people dying is an important part of human progress has made me feel better about my eventual death but I can see how others might not see it in such a positive light.

    You know what is making me happy right now about our world and our future. This book!

  24. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve given up on books. From now on it’s just comic books. I liked that Jermaine Dickerson, he’s on the right track. I need more heroes.

  25. wobblie
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump just did more for gun control than Obama did in eight years. When the youth lead, the leaders will follow–eventually. DJT just ordered Sessions to ban bump stocks.

  26. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Now Oprah and Steven Spielberg have each given a half million to the march. This could be an epic showdown! A proxy war. Maybe HW was right and things are going to get real. March 24th 2018. Washington D.C. Trump versus the American children. Smackdown!

  27. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Hey EOS, do you remember that story about David and Goliath?

  28. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Banning bump stocks is stupid and useless since they can be easily fabricated.

    He should be calling for bans on semi-automatic weapons.

  29. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Leave it to Mr. Wobblie to be so contemptuous of the “corporate Democrats” that he joins team Trump.


  30. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s unbelievable how the Berners were so willing to defend poorly conceived, pie in the sky ideas on everything from health care to education, but when it comes to guns, the best that the same people can do is ask for a ban on something that isn’t involved in 99.9% of gun deaths in the US.

    Talk about setting one’s sites low.

  31. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Are people so stupid to not realize this is just a giveaway to the NRA? If Congress passes laws on bump stocks, it doesn’t have to pass legislation that would actually reduce gun injury and death.

  32. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the link to make your donation. As the NRA has taught us -money talks.

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung: The president has said he’ll support the bumpstock ban. Everyone else is asking for a lot more, some more likely and more effective than others. Trump meets with the Parkland students tomorrow. Assuming the whole thing isn’t stocked with Trumper/NRA stooge kids, I’m going to be interested to see what they ask for. This should not end with bump stocks. I dont think we’ll be that easily bought off this time. We’ll see.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The big danger in my mind is a diversion into a registry of the mentally ill. The mentally ill are half as likely to be violent as the rest of the population, and four times more likely to be victims of violence. The mentally ill are responsible for less than 5% of all violent crimes. The whole registry things plays to fears of mental illness and will do nothing but further stigmatize them and further limit our ability to treat it going forward.

    I’m a broken record on that piece of this. I think we need to get out in front of it, because fear of mental illness ranks right up there with compassion for children in capacity to move.

  35. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    “The president has said he’ll support the bumpstock ban.”

    So what? If that’s all he’s saying he’ll support, then everything else is DOA. He’s basically signaled the NRA that he’s their friend.

  36. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    People who are calling for “crazy registries” are missing the point.

    Who decides who is crazy? Crazy registries are the true creeping tyranny.

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Let’s wait and see on that.
    We already know he’s the NRA’s friend.
    We also know he’s easily suggestible and desperate to be loved. He was elected in part because he, by his own account, just repeated any phrases that got his crowds cheering. He has a different crowd now.
    This isn’t over yet.

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    “Crazy registries are the true creeping tyranny.” — for real.
    Unbelievably dangerous.

  39. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Wow, the readership of this site is now joining the Trump train.

    When will Mark Maynard himself start singing the praises of Donald Trump over the useless “bump stock compromise.”

  40. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Everyone I know will end up on those registries.

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Today the Florida house refused to consider a gun ban the same day they announced that pornography poses a mental health risk. Carry on.

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    It’s all going to be ok. We can just buy bullet proof blankets for our kids:

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    For the record, I’m not joining the Trump train, just because I think he changes his mind on issues depending on the audience and has no compass with which to direct his own policy but a need for attention and accolade. That’s all well documented.

  44. EOS
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I’m all for saving lives. I’ve marched in D.C. on several occasions. I don’t think many on this site really want to delve into the real sources of gun violence in our country or consider the main reasons our young are being killed. It’s far easier to exploit a single random act of violence. Especially when it is politically correct to be outraged because the shooter is a white male.

    More than 60% of all gun deaths are suicides. Among whites, 77% of gun deaths are suicides. Among blacks, 82% of all gun deaths are homicides. In NYC, inthe first half of 2012, 96% of all shooting victims and 97% of all shooting suspects were black or Latino.

    In the U.S., there are 3300 abortions daily, 137 per hour.

    17 innocent lives were lost at the hands of this troubled individual. But more are lost every 2 1/2 minutes in our country at the hands of abortionists, hour after hour, day after day. You are right. Something needs to be done to stop all this senseless killing.

  45. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Once again, EOS tries to pivot the conversation to some random and unrelated topic of great concern to her.
    I don’t give a fuck about fetuses, EOS. Sorry. I’m interested in minimizing lived suffering. You clearly are not.

    Back to gun violence: It’s very true that the vast majority of gun violence is perpetrated by people one knows and most likely takes place in one’s own home. Mass shootings of children in schools create momentum towards change in ways that individual private acts of violence do not. I have complicated feelings about this, but that’s the reality. The good news is the same research and legislation that could prevent mass shootings will also positively impact domestic and other shootings. It’s true that none of us have adequate information, because the CDC has been prevented from researching gun safety and gun violence.

    This is happening. Your side is losing. Even Trump cant help you. The rate of abortions will go down as we get smarter about contraception and sex ed. But your cheap moralism is never going to stop people from having sex or stop abortions from taking place. 42% of American women have had an abortion. I wonder how many abortions Trump has personally paid for? That would be good to know. I know he tells you he;s anti-abortion. He also tells you the bible is his favorite book, next to his own. Abortion is never, ever going to go away, because of pinched up, bible thumpers like you. Thank God.

  46. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Not on team Trump–but given the growing number of special election victories the Democrats are winning he may be the best thing for that party since tricky Dick. Obama and the Democrats were cowards about gun control. They did not want to touch it with a 10 foot stick. Obama’s only real executive order (a number of executive “actions” which do not have force of law) was the one on back ground checks that Trump rescinded last year.

    Corporate Democrats are 100% pro-war, pro-banker, pro-pharma industry, pro-prison industry. There “gradualism and incrementalism” is dooming the future of our children. If they are not relentlessly pushed to the left all we will get is Republican light.

    Dennis Kucinch announced the other day that if elected Governor of Ohio he will ban fracking in the state and launch lawsuits against the fracking industry modeled after the lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Where are your Corporate Democrats on fracking—the economics that caused the poisoning of Flint–just one of its evils.

  47. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Wobblie— please explain the connection between Fracking and the Fint water crisis. Genuinely curious. Was water policy in mi directed by fracking water supply needs? (That’s what I’m imagining could be the scenario.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    EOS has apparently never heard of ‘suicide by cop.’ Once again she attempts to paint violence in the Black community as some sort of moral or cultural failure on their part, instead of the predictible consequence of systemic oppression and poverty. One duplicated by marginalized people in any place where they differ similar oppression. But most of those places (which aren’t war zones) have some measure of effective gun control, which demonstrably saves many lives, even under the worst circumstances. And what happens in war zones where places are flooded with weaponry, legal or otherwise? Yep.

  49. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    JH, the only reason the new water district KWA was created was to bring water through the thumb for fracking. They needed an end point consumer ie. Flint to provide political cover and to justify cost.
    The fossil fuel folks have this country by the throat and are going to milk every dime out of us, global warming be damned,they want there profits now.

    My entire life, (and I seem to be older than almost everyone else on this page) the fossil fuel industry has called the tune. The only sane foreign policy for the last 40 years (ie. since Jimmy Carter, the last decent man we’ve had as a President) has been renewable energy. I remember back in the early 70’s when we were fighting nuclear power in central Illinois. The Illinois Pork Association built a windmill at the state fair. It was not some new high tech wind turbine, but a fairly old technology windmill. For the cost of one nuke (they were wanting to build 3) they could build enough of these windmills to generate as much power as the 3 projected nukes. First they hijack that for ethanol (the corn lobby gets there’s) and then we go to war repeatedly to keep oil cheap.

  50. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “The Illinois Pork Association built a windmill at the state fair. It was not some new high tech wind turbine, but a fairly old technology windmill. ”

    Before the massive expansion of a power grid, windmills were the most common source of energy in the countryside. You can see the remains of them in trash heaps all throughout rural Michigan.

  51. Tommy
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Give EOS a break. He/She is on to something here. Something does have to happen to stop the senseless killing – let’s call classrooms class ‘wombs’ and the Republicans will protect that shit all day long!

  52. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Here is a bit of news for the Hyperbole Warlord

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Wobblie– I’m hearing the same complaint re the tax cut here in Whitmore Lake, an area with many Trump voters. It’s up to employers to implement the new tax table in their payroll. The tables were available end of Jan and were supposed to be implemented by Feb 15. I know a few companies who use professional payroll services and they have not implemented yet, which is egregious. It’s really up to employees to check to see if it’s been implemented.. I’m not saying this as support for the new tax code or to deny what that poll reveals about employee perceptions. I’m just not sure we have all the necessary information to assess the new tax code impact yet.

    Re Fracking. I do remember that assessment. I’m not sure I would point to fracking as the primary cause of Flint’s water crisis, but it was certainly a motivating force behind some too quick and ill considered changes. It for sure represents the general inclination to privilege business interests over the citizenry’s, especially in communities of color. I’m not opposed to fracking. It is killing coal. It’s reduced US GHG emissions by more than 10% (and yes, methane is accounted for in that). Even if we had a fully developed renewable energy infrastructure, without energy storage capacity, we would still need either natural gas, coal or nuclear energy (my preference) to cover the gaps. Your relentless romanticization of old technologies is not going to get us to the necessary GHG reductions.

    I’m from an area of PA heavily impacted by fracking (and within the 15 mile evacuation zone for 3 mile Island FWIW). Go ahead and call me an incrementalist, but I’d rather the left had pushed to adequately regulate the emerging industry than unsuccessfully tried to stop it entirely. We have very little information in places like PA about the overall impact. (Please don’t offer anecdotes here; many of those are questionable) We don’t have that information, because, like the gun manufacturers, the natural gas industry has limited research into improving the safety of fracking. They have even limited doctors from getting or sharing information about what chemicals their patients may have been exposed to. It’s a damn mess, but honestly the fervor and misinformation peddled by anti-fracking activists has not helped improve conditions. They are insulting to the people who live in those communities, fail to seek reasonable resolution, and generally pushed the whole industry into a defensive and dysfunctional posture.

    I’m sure they are very self-satisfied about how right they are though.

  54. Lynne
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Corporate Democrats are 100% pro-war, pro-banker, pro-pharma industry, pro-prison industry.

    So, in other words, they are like unicorns and dont exist? I can’t think of a single Democrat who is THAT extreme.

    I support fracking bans but only if they are well thought out and have measures in place to replace the energy we get from fracking with clean energy. Simply banning fracking will result in that energy being replaced with coal, which is MUCH worse

  55. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    JH, just mentioned that she is pro-fracking, ” I’m not opposed to fracking.” The ACA is nothing but a give away to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Romney developed it in Massachusetts. Congress with most of the Democratic caucus gave an EXTRA 167 BILLION dollars to the Department of Defense in the budget. Lynn do you pay any attention to what the Democrats do? Or do you just automatically line up behind them because they “represent” your tribe.
    Hillary did not win the nomination against Obama because she voted for the Iraq war. That was 16 years ago and that war for all practical purposes is ongoing with Democratic support (The Authorization to use Military Force is the law, and the Democrats do nothing).

    AS long as people sit back and let the wars go on the future is bleak. The Democrats are nothing but complicit and enablers of this evil. If the people do not demand better, all we will get is shit. More burning of fossil fuels and the creation of a living hell for our children. Do you pay attention to the weather? Or do you just not care ?

    Countries that have embraced the 21st. century are busy replacing fossil fuels with renewables. China will surpass the US in renewable s in the next couple of years. You people just don’t get how close to the edge we are. Fracking, oil shale, these are technologies that given our reality are like setting up death camps for our children.

    If we don’t relentlessly demand better all we will get is shit. The children know this, and are on the move, may the old folks follow and demand a future for them.

  56. M
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “The ACA is nothing but a give away to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.”

    I think what you’re neglecting to account for is the fact that we live in the real world. Is the ACA perfect? No. Could it have been better? Yes. But, at the same time, millions of Americans now how insurance that wouldn’t have had it otherwise. Don’t let great be the enemy of good, Wobblie. The ACA was a great first step toward something the Democrats have been trying to get done since the Johnson administration. Sure, it could have been better, but Obama found a way to make it a reality where others had failed. Let’s accept that and move on, fighting to make it better. Politics is ugly and messy and it takes decades for change to happen sometimes. Don’t complain. keep fighting.

  57. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    ““The ACA is nothing but a give away to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.”


  58. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh well there you go. They didnt wait until the appointed march time. Kids are walking out of school everywhere. Bongress is being swarmed by DC area students as we speak. Bam! Suck it Trump!

    (My daughter is really mad right now that she couldn’t justify her school avoidance with political action.)

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    **Congress not Bongress, but funny the other way.

  60. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The Democratic Party and Obama would not even consider single payer. ACA is not good, it is a palliative when we need a cure. Fracking and oil from shale are not answers to our energy problems, they are creating an even worse future. Note in the article below that the 4 other warmest January’s on record all occurred in this century. We must demand and support only those politicians who refuse to take money from corporate interest.

    We don’t have a real opposition party today. It is all about Trump. He is just a cruder more honest version of every Republican opportunist who has ran for office (not really much different than Dick Nixon). Where is opposition to the policies? The Democrats are pro-war. As Jean Henry and Lynn state they are not opposed to fracking, that must include all the pipelines that go with those technologies. As a consequence of being pro-war they must also accept responsibility for the cuts to all the social programs that are on the books–the war economy demands austerity.

    “Obama found a way to make it a reality where others had failed.” Obama and the Democrats sold us out pure and simple. During his first months in office the Democrats had an absolute majority in the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. A simple gradual expansion of Medicare could have been accomplished. Every year add people at the bottom. But the “gradual incrementalist” would not even consider it. What absolute horse shit.

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie misinterprets my position for maximum political tweak, and then follows it up with the quote I actually made that makes clear what he’s doing. Even HW wasnt that stupid.

    “JH, just mentioned that she is pro-fracking, ” I’m not opposed to fracking.””

    Let me add how I further clarified: “Even if we had a fully developed renewable energy infrastructure, without energy storage capacity, we would still need either natural gas, coal or nuclear energy (my preference) to cover the gaps.”

    All that said, I would rather be considered ‘pro-fracking’ than part of a zero compromise, magical thinking contingent on the left that consistently screws the very people they profess to be most concerned about by being completely unrealistic and startlingly poorly informed.

    Wobblie– it’s very clear to me that you enjoy being bitter and self-righteous more than you care about the fate of other people or the earth. If you cared more about the latter, you could not take the positions you do. This is a democracy, you dolt. Democracy is a peace process, intended to limit the war mongering you so hate via mediation between many interests and belief systems. You are the least peaceful anti-war activist I can imagine. I left the bible belt to get away from moralistic ideologues like you.

    Your political philosophy is corrupt and self-serving. Maybe go take some protesting students some donuts or something.

  62. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

  63. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    “The Democratic Party and Obama would not even consider single payer.”

    I never understood why people in the US are stuck on a single payer model, when some countries in the world which have near universal coverage don’t even have it.

    I really believe it is the only model that American leftists understand. Kind of like how the only gun they can name is an AR-15.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    IL— this May improve your mood. The parkland student protest leaders are refusing to meet with Trump. They don’t want to give him the photo op.

    And.., Not only are kids across the country walking out of school today in protest, they are swarming the halls of Congress right now.

    “If you can’t get elected without taking money from child murderers, why are you running?”

  65. M
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s difficult to remember the environment at the time, and the way the Republicans had circled the wagons to defeat health care reform. They poured millions of dollars into the fight, framing the whole thing as a “government takeover of health care.” And many Democrats paid for their support of Obamacare with their careers. Those Democratic majorities you mentioned were quickly erased. So it really wasn’t as easy as you let on. Thankfully they played it right, and the Republicans have been unable to kill Obamacare as it was structured. Had they passed single-payer, who knows what would have happened when the Republicans re-took Congress. Here’s an article from Salon about the debate that took place within the party, if you’re interested.

    “Why Obama snubbed single-payer”

  66. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    What do we want?
    Universal Health Care coverage!
    When do we want it?
    How do will we get it?
    By any means necessary!

    This, for Wobblie, is the position of bought-in, establishment-loving, complicit people who don’t care enough.

  67. Lynne
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    wobble, has anything the far left has done moved us closer to single payer? Or peace? Or lower emissions? You dont see it from from my POV YOU have done more harm than good by demanding everything and settling for nothing less than that. Incremental change is still change, even if is slower than you would like. Instead the far left sets us back as happened in 2000 and then again in 2016.

    Do you pay any attention to what the Green Party/Bernie peeps do? Or do you just automatically line up behind them because they “represent” your tribe. <see how obnoxious that sounds? ESPECIALLY coming from a hypocrite such as yourself. Perhaps you are projecting your own way of thinking onto others?

  68. Lynne
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    M, the Republicans have essentially killed Obamacare by eliminating the mandate to have insurance. So thanks for nothing wobblie

  69. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    JH, you are the magical thinker if you believe things are going to get any better for our children with your gradualism and incrementalism. Pro Nuke– you are captured by the corporations. We are getting all sorts of gradual change, soon the temperature will gradually rise and we’ll have an ice free arctic. Corporations with their short sighted view of only the next quarters profits actually think that is a good thing.

    As I pointed out earlier, a gradual expansion of Medicare could have easily been accomplished but Obama ( who has now collected over $1,000,000 for speeches he has given to Wall Street since leaving office) would not have it.

    As I pointed out earlier the only sane foreign policy is a sustainable renewable energy policy. No one wants to comment on that elephant in the room . Who is all for more war, this time with the Russians. The Democratic Party that’s who.

    IL–We are stuck on single payer because we have one for everyone over 65 already. And it works. Why is everyone trying to reinvent the wheel when we have had it since 1965. You people are the magical thinkers. A three sentence piece of legislation would have been sufficient.

  70. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    JH sounds like you are impressed with those extremest pie in the sky students.

  71. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Lynn, I voted for Obama twice. Voted straight Democratic most of my life, with only a few votes for independents. Gotten me and folks like me shit. No card check, despite us union folks busting our asses to get your liberal sell outs elected time after time. No reform of labor laws at all. Hardly even a friendly face in Democratic Administrations–I know I used to meet with Labor Department folks on Trade Issues all the time during the Clinton and Obama administrations. Given how they treated us it was almost better dealing with the Bush folks. No real support for alternative energy, constant bending to Corporate interest.

    Most working folks are anti-war, and the Democrats do nothing.

  72. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Thank god for the students. When I was in high school, thanks to SDS and the Yippies we had three student strikes. Showed the teachers the way and they struck in my senior year. We walked their picket line–hey and you know in no time the wars ended.

  73. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I am impressed with the students. I dont think they are in any way extremist.

    Let’s get something straight.

    1) I worked on climate action initiatives for 5 years

    2) I grew up in the evacuation zone for 3 mile island. I was 12. I didn’t want to leave my pony. I dont know what my parents were thinking, but we didn’t evacuate. We waited 3 days for them to order it or give the all clear. But that hydrogen bubble stopped expanding. If it had gone otherwise we would not have been able to get out in time. My dad’s friend rowed a boat out every day and took samples to measure the strontium 90 being released into the Susquehanna river. We voted to close them down. And Gov Richard Thornburg (asshole) opened it up anyway. We protested. We marched and wrote. We still have nuclear energy and unsafe storage of its waste…

    3) In spite of all that, knowing personally all that, I support new nuclear energy development. I have looked at the models that allow us to meet ghg emissions targets without nuclear, and they are too far fetched. (Amory Lovins has the best one). I have studied the hell out of this.

    I’m telling you are are dangerously full of shit.

    Dont EVER fucking tell me I don’t care enough or don’t know enough. Much less that I’m a corporate apologist.
    I care and know enough to change my point of view. I care and know enough to let go of my massive fucking anxiety every time I see a nuclear reactor, you self righteous prick.

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    PS Labor sold itself out by voting for Reagan and forcing the Dems to the center.

    That’s on you union working class white guys.

    It was racist then– not liking the integrated unions advocating for civil rights, etc

    And it was racist when your compatriots voted for Trump.

    I love and appreciate organized labor enough not to want to romanticize its past. When they come back I hope they are better. And not full of a bunch of turn coats.

  75. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    In general, I am pro nuclear in the US. In other places, not so much.

  76. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I have met more climate change proselytizers who are way too eager to take the opportunity to wag fingers at American consumption etc, as though that somehow distances them from responsibility. Their idea of addressing climate change is taking classes on ‘peak oil’ (didn’t happen) or how to live off the grid (a waste/isolationist) or how to card and spin your own wool (useless/paranoid). They are moralistic lifestyle fanatics whose only zero net is zero net positive impact on climate action. They are leftist evangelicals breathlessly waiting for Mother Nature to punish the rest of us for not heeding their warnings. Everyone else but they is to blame. Meanwhile the very fact of living in the US means they are personally likely in the top 1% of climate impact. They are like evangelicals who go around wagging fingers and then screw the babysitter.

  77. Wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Jean you are very wrong about the labor movement. The most integrated by race and gender organizations are labor unions. Also age. Every progressive act this country has taken was first advocated by organized labor. Protection for hiv workers were being included in our contacts as early as 1985. We still fight for Affimative action in our contracts. Do you even know what that is. We have been advocating for peace not bombs for ever. You liberals sell us out when ever the going gets rough. We are your latest scape goats for an ideology that has failed our country.

  78. Proton
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie, GROW UP and stop your infantile insistance on perfection.

    The permanent war economy, neocon-inspired belicosity, creeping fascism, mass murder, corruption, high-level criminality, militarization of police, a growing prison-industrial complex, gross and rising inequalities, and prostration before corporate interests are simply part of the sensible incrementalist path toward a better world, embraced not only by the Democratic Party, but by all mature right-thinking people. It is all OK, provided middle-class New York women and LGBT people get equal pay. Opposition to war and murder is at best quaint, and at worst unrealistic, self-serving and vain, and you’re a fucking dolt who understands nothing about DEMOCRACY if you don’t see that. STOP your fucking moralistic and self-righteous grandstanding, and don’t EVER fucking tell us that our support of war, fascism, blood-soaked murderers, and policies that risk the extermination of life on earth is less than fucking commendable, you fucking prick!

  79. wobblie
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Proton thanks for setting me straight. I’ll get my head turned around and become a right thinking person.

  80. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie— Yeah I know what affirmative action is… I also know that the labor movement is now integrated. And I know that many wwc union members voted for Reagan in large numbers , who was a union buster. I know it was Reagan Democrats who Clinton won back by moving to the center. Why do YOU think so many unions members voted for Reagan— a fact. Why do you think they did that?

    Please spare me the perfect union fantasy. As I said, I support labor and believe strongly in collective bargaining and action. I also know that the working class is easily divided against itself. The history of racism within unions and especially among union members is long and storied. What they are now does not change that history. The reality is that before they were busted, they had to be weakened by being divided against one another. Racism did that.

    Just like racism voted in a Trump.

    Being against incrementalism is being against progress. Incrementalism is connoted in the very word.

  81. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Wobblie demands ideological perfection. He will settle for no less.

    “With a stroke of a pen, everyone could have Medicare.”

    Whose pen? Congress? That’s a lot of pens.

    Again, without defending the situation of the US health care sector,there are many countries around the world who do have mostly universal care that don’t rely on single payer systems. Japan and Germany come to mind.

    But those are insignificant countries, I guess.

  82. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Mr Wobblie has autocratic fantasies perhaps. Not our current autocrat; one who thinks and believes as he does. Same fucking difference.

  83. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink
    The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017 (HTML)
    Tuesday 12 September 2017
    Foreword by S. David Freeman
    “[T]his 2017 World Nuclear Industry Status Report is perhaps the most decisive document in the history of nuclear power. The report makes clear, in telling detail, that the debate is over. Nuclear power has been eclipsed by the sun and the wind. These renewable, free-fuel sources are no longer a dream or a projection — they are a reality that are replacing nuclear as the preferred choice for new power plants worldwide.
    The value of this report is that this conclusion no longer relies on hope or opinion but is what is actually happening. In country after country the facts are the same. Nuclear power is far from dead but it is in decline and renewable energy is growing by leaps and bounds…. nowhere in the world, where there is a competitive market for electricity, has even one single nuclear power plant been initiated. Only where the government or the consumer takes the risks of cost overruns and delays is nuclear power even being considered…. since 1997, worldwide, renewable energy has produced four times as many new kilowatt-hours of electricity than nuclear power.
    Maybe the Revolution has not been televised, but it is well underway. Renewable energy is a lower cost and cleaner, safer alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power.
    The world no longer needs to build nuclear power plants to avoid climate change and certainly not to save money. If you have any doubt about that fact please read the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017.”

  84. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink
    New Mark Z. Jacobson Study Draws A Roadmap To 100% Renewable Energy
    February 8th, 2018

  85. Jean Henry
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I’m all for a 100% renewable future. If I wasn’t clear, I support nuclear as a transitional energy source. I think of natural gas as the same. The Jacobson study has serious flaws, both in methodology and assumptions. I cant assess the methodology. but others have:

    The assumptions are that battery storage technologies will develop to the point of full utility by 2030. (This could happen, but is by no means a certainty) The other less likely assumption is that we will have electric powered jets by then. It’s essential to start moving now to reduce our ghg emissions as much as possible, which means we need to use the clean technology available to us now, while working on other solutions. There are really interesting possibilities for nuclear fission. I don’t believe we can afford to abandon any potential avenues. I believe strongly in the positive economic, as well as environmental and global security potential of developing clean energy technology.

    None of this addresses the political barriers to realizing Jacobson’s scenario. Having a model, does not mean you can get every country to row their boat in the same direction. I think there are actually considerable risks in relying on one model rather than working on all fronts. I’m committed to climate action. I’m not interested in waiting around for all the countries of the world to implement some plan that comes out of a lab in Stanford. We dont need to put all our eggs in one basket. Many chickens, many baskets. Wobblie is right about one thing. Time is wasting. Thank goodness the private sector is moving hard and fast on these technologies, in spite of our dysfunctional and denialist government.

  86. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink
    The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017 (HTML)
    Tuesday 12 September 2017
    Foreword by S. David Freeman
    “[T]his 2017 World Nuclear Industry Status Report is perhaps the most decisive document in the history of nuclear power. The report makes clear, in telling detail, that THE DEBATE IS OVER. NUCLEAR POWER HAS BEEN ECLIPSED BY THE SUN AND THE WIND. These renewable, free-fuel sources are no longer a dream or a projection — they are a reality that are replacing nuclear as the preferred choice for new power plants worldwide…. THE WORLD NO LONGER NEEDS TO BUILD NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS TO AVOID CLIMATE CHANGE AND CERTAINLY NOT TO SAVE MONEY.”

  87. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Jacobson demolishes Clack:

  88. Jean Henry
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, single studies weaving out an ideal scenario do not make policy in a single country, much less in the whole world. Good luck getting China to stop construction of nuclear facilities because a study from Stanford says they dont need to.

    Being angry that the entire world does not conform to your worldview must be a misery-making.

    I see no reason not to move on all fronts to address climate change. I’m not interested in closing off any avenues that reduce our climate impact right now. That’s our best hope. I would be more happy than anyone if humans could support themselves on entirely renewable energy.I suspect something close to that could happen in my lifetime, if I don’t get run over by an autonomous vehicle.

    PS I have plans to make my home net zero energy and ideally run my vehicle mostly off of a rooftop solar install in the next 5 years. How about you?

  89. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The relentless romanticization of old, risky and far-too-expensive technologies, like nuclear energy, is not going to get us to the necessary GHG reductions.

    No need to wait around for all the countries of the world to implement some plan that comes out of a lab in Stanford, since many countries, including the largest ones, are already moving ahead with the renewables buildout at a terrific pace. Nuclear is dead in the water, and fossil fuels face ever-increasing costs and declining EROI (which is always what peak oil was about; not “running out of oil”, which will never happen), while renewables have collapsing costs and increasing EROI. The models of the lab in Stanford are mainly useful to counter the prevalent (principally fossil/nuclear industry-derived) lies about the inadequacy of renewables — lies that are repeated by the ignorant and the stupid. And by corporate shills.

    Peter Egan • 13 days ago
    “The study totally fails to understand the market driven changes taking place in our electricity networks.
    The networks were developed with few large generators and millions of customers. New technology, that does not require a fuel, is adding millions of generating and storage devices to the networks we should now call the electricity cloud – E-Cloud – due to its similarities to the data cloud.
    As the E-Cloud grows in the number of connected generating and storage devices, the easier it becomes to match supply to demand. Reliability favours storing electricity close to where it is used and amongst lots of devices.
    Local storage will favour smaller pumped-hydro plants as large sites near cities will be hard to obtain.
    Due to response times and transmission losses, network owners are likely to add batteries to the substations spread across our cities towns and countryside.
    The low cost per MWh of large-scale solar will see its economics dominated by the cost of technology for overnight energy storage. Seasonal solar variation, with a minimum down to 1/4 the maximum, will likely be covered by extra solar capacity.
    Energy storage is easy duty for EV batteries plugged into the E-Cloud using Level 1 or 2 chargers. As the rollout of EVs gains momentum, it will be worth the while of electricity retailers to offer financial incentives to EV owners to leave them plugged into the E-Cloud for electricity market participation when not in use.
    “Fuel” will become a dirty word in the next few decades. Within 50 years, only long range aircraft will use fuels and they will be renewably sourced. The SpaceX LOX/LCH4 fuel source for its BFR will surely dominate the launch market due to rocket packaging and efficiency benefits.”

  90. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Single studies weaving out an ideal scenario are, of course, not intended to “make policy”.

    China will continue, or stop, construction of nuclear facilities based on results on the ground, mainly cost and EROI. Check back in 10 years.

    Being angry because you have been called out on your red herrings, non-sequiters, flimsy attempts to obfuscate, and ignorance (or stupidity) must be misery-making.

  91. Jean Henry
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Proton– I would like nothing more than to be wrong about this. I hope you are right. I understand the tide is turning. Renewables have better and better ROI, no thanks to government investment but thanks to all those corporate shills…

    We’re on the same side here. We see only slightly different paths forward. Cheers.

  92. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    “The relentless romanticization of old, risky and far-too-expensive technologies, like nuclear energy, is not going to get us to the necessary GHG reductions.”

    Well, true, but back in the bad old days of the 60, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, there weren’t many efficient options for providing the scale of power required.

    Fossil fuels, in the end caused far more damage and misery than nuclear did, despite the claims of well meaning protesters throughout history. Granted, those protests helped insure that the damage was minimized, but still, despite disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, the world was much worse off for fossil fuels than nuclear.

    Regardless, I believe that nuclear is just one tool that will allow a phase out of large scale dependence of fossil fuels. The others, of course, consist of renewables. I personally support their rapid development so that we may eventually phase out nuclear as well. .

  93. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Renewables have better and better EROI with every thanks to government investment in the form of subsidies, which were necessary to prime the pump. Unfortunately, the subsidies given to renewables are and have been (for decades) dwarfed by the subsidies given to fossil and nuclear which, all-in, amount to $trillions per year. A portion of those subsidies went to finance the concerted corporate propaganda effort to smear renewables — an effort that is still ongoing, and is evident in e.g. JH’s posts. Bottom line: the renewables breakthrough of the past 5-10 years (dramatically collapsing costs, to the point where further fossil and nuclear buildout no longer make economic sense) could have and should have happened 20 years earlier, and WOULD have happened 20 years earlier, were it not for the fossil/nuke motherfuckers and their armies of apologists, including of course the corporatized Democratic Party.

  94. Proton
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Back in the bad old days of the 80s, 90s and 00s, renewables were waiting for sufficient scale-up to allow cost collapse (which has now happened, finally), thereby fostering further scale-up — a virtuous cycle. But prevailing corporate interests, with no resistance from our political “leaders” in either party, did not allow it. Renewables have clawed their way up by their fingernails, against great opposition, which persists to this moment in the form of shallow objections (“intermittency!” “storage!” etc.).

  95. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Maybe. I tend to shy away from conspiracy theories when it comes to the private sector. If something is seen as potentially profitable, the private sector will move toward it. Unfortunately, in the 60s-00s renewables weren’t profitable given how cheap commodities were, particularly during the 90s and the early 00s.

    Note that in the 1970s when oil prices were high, there was a push toward renewables. When commodity prices came down again, the enthusiasm waned.

  96. Jean Henry
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for federal subsidy for renewable energy. They can not, however, be credited entirely or even for the most part with making renewable energy more affordable, effective and a better investment. Their concurrent heavier investment in fossil fuels is a big part of that. The global economy and global demand pushed the industry to enough volume and technological improvement to make both solar and wind more viable. Some of the private sector were a drag on progress. Many pushed it forward. Corporations don’t act in lockstep. It’s simply not as simple with good guys and bad guys as you believe. I will agree however that the Dems did little to move things forward. And the GOP did less. Liberal hand wringing was useless. Luckily corporations sustain themselves by looking far ahead and anticipating change and capitalizing on it.
    I had a lot of the same core beliefs as you Proton, before working on Climate action. I had agrarian and communal progressive ideals. I was fucking spiritual about the need for personal behavior change. I moved to embrace technological innovation as the prime driver behind changing human behavior and consumption, It’s that work, specifically, that convinced me that only the private sector can move quickly enough towards the change we need to make to save our asses. I’m for sure not interested in waiting for governments to take the lead.
    I’m sure as hell not going to give them credit for making the necessary changes. We are so far from that now. But the private sector plugs along with trillions in investment in energy efficiency and clean tech.
    I guess I’m just stupid and naive or something.

  97. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Ohhh… the agrarian fantasy bunch.

  98. Demetrius
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Using nuclear power as a “bridge” on the way to a renewable future is a great idea … as long as you ignore the following:

    * It generates tons of extraordinarily lethal waste that will remain in our environment for tens of thousands of years.
    * There is no safe method for disposing of this waste that can guarantee it will remain contained (safely separated) for tens of thousands of years.
    * Safe operation and waste management require a stable political and social order. (No wars, revolutions, societal breakdowns, for tens of thousands of years, etc.)
    * Safe operation and waste management cannot be guaranteed against man-made or natural disasters. (Fukushima, anyone?)
    *Nuclear power only SEEMS “cost-effective” because, unlike other power sources, it is not required to pay for liability insurance. In fact we, as taxpayers, are on the hook for any potential payouts … which provides a hidden, yet very effective subsidy.

    So if anything, our reliance on nuclear power is a crutch and, ultimately, a barrier to fully embracing renewable energy sources.

  99. Jean Henry
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Guys, we still don’t have adequate energy storage capacity.
    Would that politics/corporate greed was the only barrier.
    As for the risks of nuclear energy— check. In spite of growing up in a time with relentlessly perpetuated fears of total nuclear destruction, it turns out it was simple fossil fuel that was doing is in.
    I’m not all in for giving up nuclear right away to force the technology. Sometimes that approach works. Sometimes it’s a disaster. None of us have really known energy insecurity at home. I’ve spent time in places that do. It’s a big deal.

  100. Jean Henry
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    IL— I’m the one who had the agrarian fantasy. ‘The solution is to make everything smaller!’ (I don’t know the rest of this ‘bunch’ from Adam.) You and I would have had better arguments back then.

  101. Lynne
    Posted February 22, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I am not convinced that we can’t find something to do with that nuclear waste although I concede that solutions are a not in the near future. Still, there has been some progress. I read something not to long ago about some university encasing small amounts of nuclear waste into artificial diamonds to create batteries which could last for thousands of years. Still, yes, there are concerns and it may or may not be the most viable option. All of those things Demetrius mentioned are indeed real problems with nuclear power and should be weighed against the problems which arise from other forms of energy use.

    I think what some idealists fail to consider are the consequences, both positive and negative, of our energy choices. For instance, wobblie claims that I am pro fracking. That isn’t entirely true. I just think it is less harmful than coal. That is where I am with nuclear power, btw. Nukes are less harmful than coal and also less harmful than fracking. I haven ‘t fully researched it but there are negative aspects to renewable energy sources too. eg the manufacture of solar panels uses some pretty toxic chemicals.

    My position is that we should get some experts together and carefully weigh the pros and cons of every energy source and then pick the least harmful method (something which likely will vary by location)

    If *that* is a pro fracking position, I think it is safe to say that wobblie’s position is pro coal since right now the natural gas we gain from fracking is replacing coal and any efforts to eliminate fracking without a fully thought out plan for how to replace the energy we get from natural gas will result in people reverting to coal as long as that is the cheapest option.

    This actually is ultimately my problem with the far left. As a group, they aren’t too inclined to actually get in the weeds and figure out HOW to make things work. Single payer is a good example. It is a hard sell and that is the reality that people like Obama and Clinton were working with. 85% of people in our country have what they see as good health care either in the form of public insurance or in the form of insurance they receive from their employers. Very few voters understand things like how our current system has an effect on the health care market that makes our health care much more expensive than it needs to be. They think that single payer will mean that they have to pay more taxes and it is a belief that is so ingrained that even though the USA spends more in taxpayer money per capita on public healthcare benefits (Medicaid, Medicare, the VA) than nations with single payer systems and adopting a single payer system might actually lower taxes. Heck, a lot of people don’t even realize that *they* are paying for their own insurance in the sense that their employers consider it part of their total compensation and that a single payer system would likely mean that they would still receive the same compensation but in a different form (like actual money most likely). I have yet to see a far left politician including St Bernie present an actual plan for convincing people.

    Instead they just vilify people who recognize these obstacles and then choose some incremental approach as doing nothing. It is straight up BS and frankly, part of the problem. I mean had Clinton won and had the left delivered her a congress she could work with in 2018, I suspect strongly that if Congress were to add a public option to the ACA, she would have supported it. Instead we are going backwards (no CHP, end of mandate which is going to kill ACA, a tax plan designed to put us in a financial situation where we are forced to cut back on Medicare/Social Security, etc) Way to go, guys.

  102. Meta
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Daily Beast: “Nikolas Cruz Was a Racist. Does That Make His Attack Terrorism? We just learned that the school shooter carved swastikas into his gun magazines. And he hated Jews, African Americans, and immigrants. Can we talk about this?”

    On Tuesday, we learned a new, bone-chilling fact about the Parkland, Florida high school gunman Nikolas Cruz that should’ve made national headlines but didn’t. That new development was that Cruz had etched swastikas on the ammunition magazines he carried on the day he committed his brutal massacre that took 17 lives.

    When I first heard of this development, my jaw dropped for two reasons. First, does anyone actually believe if Cruz had etched the words “Allah Akbar” on his gun magazines we wouldn’t have heard about that for nearly two weeks after the attack? No way. I can assure you that information would’ve been made public, intentionally or by way of a leak. And then Donald Trump would almost certainly have pounced–without waiting for additional evidence–to label this an Islamic terror attack and try to use it to further his own political agenda.

    But what also was shocking is that despite this new piece of evidence, together with Cruz’s known history of hate directed at people of color and Jews, we aren’t seeing a fuller discussion in the media about whether this shooting was inspired by Cruz’s apparent white supremacist ideology.

    As CNN had reported within days of the February 14 attack, Cruz had in the past spewed vile comments in a private Instagram chatroom where he shared his hatred of “jews, ni**ers, immigrants.” Cruz also wrote about killing Mexicans and hating black people simply because of their skin color and he slammed Jews because in his twisted view they wanted to destroy the world.

    And Cruz’s white supremacist views also made their way from the online world to the real world. One of Cruz’s classmates reportedly told a social worker that Cruz had drawn a swastika on his book back next to the words “I hate ni***rs.” He also shared with other students his “hating on” Islam and slamming all Muslims as “terrorists and bombers.” And Cruz was also seen wearing a Trump MAGA hat when he was enrolled in school well before the attack.

    Read more:

  103. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Meta– There is no point in talking about Criz’ racism if we arent also willing to talk about the racism inherent to an entire culture that clearly cares more about the lives and voices of the affluent and mostly white than those of young people of color disproportionately at risk for gun violence who have been advocating for years. Racism has many faces. The obvious ones are easy to disarm, the kinds of bias that are shielded and insidious are those that persist. If we keep focussing on AR-15s and arming school guards and mental health etc (how to prevent Parkland from happening again…), we are going to do nothing about most gun violence which happens with handguns, at home, and at the hands of close family or friends. In fact many of the proposed solutions could easily exacerbate the oppression and marginalization that people of color already experience.

  104. I thought you might appreciate this headline
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “Georgia gubernatorial candidate points gun at teen in campaign ad”

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] « The new, young, and hopefully-more-effective face of American gun reform […]

  2. […] like it’s collectively started to dawn on members of the White House Press Corps that, if the kids in Parkland can stand up and push back, them, maybe, as full grown adults, they might be able to do the same […]

  3. […] good news is, these kids aren’t going away. Trump and the NRA can talk all they want about putting more guns in school and training teachers […]

  4. […] few days ago, in response to a post that I’d written about the young leaders emerging from the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, there was an interesting exchange between two of our favorite commenters, Jean [the first comment […]

  5. […] after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida this past February that left 17 dead, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was charged with creating a School Safety Commission. Well, as […]

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