Climate Legislation Buried by Economic Meltdown?

Sheryl CanterThere’s been a lot of buzz lately about the financial meltdown making lawmakers think that climate change legislation is less urgent. But while we worry about the financial markets, global warming marches relentlessly on. The science knows nothing of credit markets and there will be no pause in the march towards catastrophe while we work that out.

In fact, climate change legislation could well solve both problems. David Roberts talked about this at length in a post this week on Gristmill. Here’s an excerpt:

Greens and economists need to be making the point that these green investments are not something we need to do in spite of economic woes, or in conjunction with measures to turn the economy around. They are the measures to turn the economy around. Kudos to Cathy Zoi of We for making the case, but she could use some backup.

There won’t be much time to do something serious on climate. The news from scientists looks worse and worse every day.

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

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  1. mikes
    Posted October 16, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Permalink


    1. Atmospheric temperatures are the coolest they have been in more than a decade:

    2. Ocean heat content (even more important than #1) has been dropping for 5 years (Levitus, slide 16).

    3. Sea levels are falling.

    Cheer up! Actually, the news these days is quite good on the global warming front.


  2. Posted October 17, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Have you seen George Soros’s comments? He says that it’ll be investing in green technology that’ll be the way out of this financial mess.

    Incidentally, you might want to visit my site. It’s one of the most popular green investing sites on the web. It also covers the latest related global news and research too. It’s at

    Best wishes, Ron Robins

  3. handleyp68
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I am confused about the global warming debate. What do you say about the disappearing ice. And I live in Fl. and the water levels are most definately rising here. Please explain your findings that the water levels are shrinking.
    Thanks Paul

  4. mikes
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Happy to explain what appears to be a contradiction: Melting ice while I am talking about cooling temperatures.

    The ice is disappearing due to increased soot pollution, primarily from China. When you darken snow and ice, it melts much more quickly. See the results of a simple demonstration I did at: .

    Recent published scientific research demonstrates that 94% (!) of the ice melt is due to darkening rather than ‘global warming.’ In fact, temperatures were colder than normal in the arctic this past summer yet there was still a relatively large ice melt.

    You can demonstrate for yourself that soot is the primary factor by watching this graph, updated daily: .

    If warm temperatures were causing less than normal ice, it would stay below normal throughout the year. However, the fact that the ice rapidly recovers to normal or greater extent in winter (when there is no sunlight in polar regions) indicates it is the darkening of the ice field that causes the rapid melt.

    Now, one could argue that melting due to soot is a bad thing and it may well be. But, changing CO2 levels will have virtually no effect on soot melt.

    With regard to lessening ocean heat content, upload: and go to slide 16.

    You can see a graph of the lowering sea level here: .

    With regard to Soros’ comments about boosting ‘green’ energy, General Electric is doing the opposite. It is throwing in the towel on ‘green energy.’

    From The Wall Street Journal, “General Electric is the latest to throw in the towel, after the abrupt departure of Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley. The conglomerate, which makes energy gear like wind and gas turbines as well as underwriting renewable-energy projects, says it is bailing out of the clean-tech investment game for now, once it finishes with existing projects”

    Hope this answers your questions.


  5. Posted December 25, 2008 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    A climate catastrophe??? Why be an alarmist? There is no evidence of an impending catastrophe. In fact the evidence points more and more to natural causes for our climate change. Did you know that there is only 39 parts per 100,000 of CO2 in the atmosphere? So if it goes up 50% that’s only about 60 parts per 100K. That isn’t very much. The IPCC used weak data and made many assumptions, because there are many with a financial interest in man made global warning.

    Dr. Roy Spencer’s new website is worth visiting. It explains very well what is going on. A responsible scientific approach is needed, not an alarmist political approach. Cap and Trade is a money making and control scheme.

    Please see