Letter to the Editor: Glendale’s support of Climate Change Accord, by Daniel Brotman

Readers weigh in on Glendale’s support of Climate Change Accord, Prop 64 Survey

Re: “Council supports climate initiative,” July 15-16. Thank you to leaders of the Jewel City for taking a public stand on the climate crisis, without doubt the No. 1 challenge we face as a society. Gov. Jerry Brown recently called climate change a threat to the existence of organized humanity, and he was right.

It is sadly no exaggeration to say that Glendale will be unlivable within the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren if we fail to respond quickly and aggressively. I look forward to working with the council on next steps, including a serious Climate Action Plan that includes a commitment to move to 100% renewable energy by no later than 2035, and a serious second look at whether we should be building a new CO2 spewing 250 megawatt gas plant at the site of the Grayson facility n south Glendale.

Daniel Brotman
Adjunct Professor of Economics, Glendale Community College
Glendale News Press http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/opinion/tn-gnp-me-mailbag-20170720-story.html


Letter to the editor: Shake off false reassurances, by Jan Freed

Jul 23, 2017

I realize environmental groups were critical of the recent extension of cap and trade; it won’t do the job of emissions reductions in time.

Your Associated Press article (“Republican lawmakers give climate law a boost,” July 18), though, made sense. The story noted, “But …. California’s bipartisan approach is one that can be replicated elsewhere.” Hopefully bipartisan action continues in Congress..

A bipartisan Congressional group, the Climate Solutions Caucus recently opposed an amendment that would have forbidden the Dept. of Defense from acting in response to changes in climate and sea levels. The amendment failed.

 Congress also can pass a national ‘carbon fee and dividend’ bill.

The carbon fees are paid by polluter industries and all fees are rebated to citizens. Rebates slowly increase and ‘pay’ consumers to find low carbon goods and services; most citizens come out ahead.

Estimates (REMI, Treasury Department) are so positive! Millions of new jobs created, emissions drop rapidly, many thousands are lives saved from illness and death (pollution kills).

We can stop climate change as the real death spiral, happening in our children’s lives and on for generations. We must shake off false reassurances from the Carbon Lobby.

Drumpf risks new tariffs hurting US workers and businesses

President Drumpf’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement goes against the climate and economic interests of the United States, argues the author of this opinion piece, and could lead to tariff measures imposed by leading trading partners that are legal under international trade law.

President Drumpf’s 1 June action exiting the Paris Climate Agreement, announced with a speech heavy with imaginary facts, probably will achieve the opposite of what he promised. His reckless blunder may drive other countries to enact new tariffs on US exports, which will harm, not help, American workers and businesses needlessly. The rest of the world was holding back, given US leadership in achieving Paris, but facing Drumpf, the European Parliament has already debated this possible response.

Leading US trade partners – including Mexico, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Chile, and Australia – already impose a price on their own carbon pollution, and Canada, China, and others have decided to do so. China will operate the largest carbon pricing system in the world at the end of this year. Other nations are raising their own companies’ costs and putting them at a disadvantage in international trade, because they know climate change and air pollution will be even worse for them.

Their carbon emissions per person (including in China) are already less than half of America’s, and dramatically less in India. We Americans are responsible for the largest share of historical world greenhouse gas accumulations. And we are still the second largest emitter of new carbon pollution every year. Far from “laughing at us,” as Drumpf suggested, our partner countries have been leading and tolerating us.

But now that Drumpf has reversed US policy and moved aggressively to take advantage of them commercially and pollute their world even more, these nations could level the playing field by slapping new tariffs on goods from countries like ours that do not price our own pollution.

Those tariffs can be legal under global trade law. Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade authorises exceptions for measures related to conservation of an exhaustible natural resource such as clean air, and measures necessary to protect human, animal, or plant life or health, as long as the new tariff does not impose arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination between countries, and is not a disguised restriction on international trade. The World Trade Organization Appellate Body has approved such exceptions, including for US environmental laws that impede trade. Acting in the name of the Paris Agreement, a universally-signed environmental agreement, will further bolster the case that these measures qualify for Article XX.

Last year the US exported $2.2 trillion worth of goods and services. So now in the line of fire are US workers and companies that manufacture cars, aircraft, industrial machines, semiconductors, telecommunications gear, medical equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Equally vulnerable are farmers and ranchers who sell soybeans, corn, meat, and poultry.

The US exports coal, crude oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum products. It has a trade surplus in refined products. Could this be why Exxon, US coal companies, and so many other companies urged Drumpf not to do this?

So Drumpf’s action was foolhardy even if one cared only about short-term US economic self-interest. This is before considering the greater harm he is causing Americans and the world by intensifying the coastal flooding, extreme weather, and illness we already suffer because of climate change, and by sacrificing international cooperation we need for a whole range of foreign policy goals.

To top it all, President Drumpf’s withdrawal was completely unnecessary. The UN agreement imposes no concrete policy steps on any country. What it requires is that each country make some pledge – of its own choice – to take action to address climate change beginning in 2020, and to implement its pledge. Drumpf could have changed President Obama’s pledge without withdrawing.

Drumpf’s claim that Paris exposed the US to legal liability is also threadbare. The Agreement does not authorise material sanctions against any country for failing to comply.

Perhaps Drumpf hoped that by triggering nationalistic pride, he might fool some Americans into accepting a reversal that will harm them. But most Americans disapprove of his move. Even among Drumpf voters, more than 6 in 10 favour taxing or regulating the pollution that causes global warming, or both, and only 1 in 5 support neither, according to a Yale survey.

Americans can have greater prosperity and protection from climate change at the same time. But to get them, we certainly need more competent, responsible leaders.

John S. Odell is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC) and Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Kissing Paris goodbye, by Nancy Dorado-Curl

Regarding President Trump and the Paris climate accord: It reminds me of me as a child in the backyard. It would be raining outside, but I had made a playhouse from a shipping box, customized with windows, a door and curtains. I imagined it wasn’t raining, and I would sing and play in the soggy box until my mother screamed to get inside because “I would catch my death.”

Trump lives in a childish world of denial and ignorance. Scientific data backs up the relationship between CO2 emissions and climate change. Everybody else gets it. Why not Trump? Admission of error, to see the bigger picture — that makes a man.

For example, Mar-a-Lago is in Florida, the same state as Miami, which is planning to spend $500 million on pumps and elevated streets combating seawater flooding.

The only sane thing to do is to remain in the Paris accord, push for carbon tax and fee dividend and hope to God we can squeak in under the 400 ppm of C02 recommended by scientists, many of whom by now are probably unemployed.

Nancy Dorado-Curl, San Gabriel
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

The Paris accords: Letter in the Pasadena Star News by Jan Freed

The Paris accords

I enthusiastically applaud Elon Musk and other top business leaders publicly supporting the Paris talks.

We can easily achieve reductions in emissions with a slowly rising price on pollution signed into law. Rebates from the fees would put real money — hundreds of dollars a month — into citizens’ pockets, create millions of jobs and save hundreds of thousands of lives within two decades, say a variety of studies (such as REMI). Economists of all stripes say this conservative solution is the most effective one. See citizensclimatelobby.org for more information.

President Trump is looking for love in all the wrong places. By making Paris even stronger, he would win the respect, admiration and gratitude of hundreds of millions of people, both here and worldwide. This certainty might transcend his loyalty to fossil-fuel interests, who just want to keep us burning the stuff.

— Jan Freed, Eagle Rock

Published at:  http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinion/20170522/a-complaint-about-u2s-performance-at-the-rose-bowl-letters

Trump doesn’t know the art of the legislative deal: Letters by Jan Freed and Craig R. Hover

Good act, poor president

Regarding your Question of the Week about how President Trump is doing at 100 days (April 25): Can someone name a piece of legislation Mr. Deal Maker has passed so far? FDR passed 15 bills in his first 100 days. Trump’s PR pen’s flourishes mean only “See, Dear Base, what a dashing, alpha guy I am?” and have little actual effect. Important government positions remain unfilled or filled by unqualified, corporate shills.

His immigration proposals must pass the three-way test: “Is it cruel, is it stupid, is it costly?”

He rattles his sword at North Korea and backs it into an unpredictable position. He unravels the EPA that has saved thousands of lives and $38 billion in net benefits. He brings us closer to the “game over” edge of the climate crisis, in the face of mountains of evidence. He will personally profit from his presidency and please the crocodilian Vladimir Putin. Will a flaccid Congress continue to grin and bear it?

He is a very poor president with a very good act.

​— Jan Freed, Eagle Rock

It’s a survival issue

It’s time to wake up. Global warming is not an economic issue. It is a survival issue.

Your article (May 1) goes on about coastline-related economic impacts 70 years from now. It, like virtually all other such pieces in the mainstream press, completely glosses over the real problem. If global warming is not stopped altogether soon, sea-level rise will be the least of our children’s problems.

In their own lifetime, summertime surface temperatures will be between 125 degrees and 144 degrees Fahrenheit in much of the U.S. and up to 157 degrees elsewhere. This environment will be fatal to 90 percent of the world’s population. To prevent this, we must engage in a World War II level of effort now before it stops us.

— Craig R. Hover, Monrovia



Opinion. Some advice for disillusioned EPA scientists: ‘Don’t quit, fight’

Letter by Judith Trumbo, La Cañada , Flintridge. Published in the Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2017

To the editor: Thank you for the update on the unsung public servants of the EPA. As a former Los Angeles County urban planner, I know that the professional staff at the EPA is largely motivated by furthering the public interest.

The Trump administration can deny science, but it cannot change the basic chemistry and physics of climate change. We need the work of the EPA to continue, and we need a market solution as well: a fee on carbon emissions.