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I’ve come here to this community for a discussion about many issues, from the war in Iraq to filibustering Sam Alito to stopping drilling in the Arctic --and many others.

And now I’m glad that the folks (special thanks to Meteor Blades and Patriot Daily) here are coordinating this period to try and focus discussion on an issue I’m working on hours and hours each week in the Senate -- climate change and the effort to build a new, clean energy economy to help address it.

A few times when I’ve been here, and then followed up on the comments, I’ve seen a thread run through the discussion: sort of a, “why is John Kerry preaching to the choir/we all get it.”

So – informed by that – let me skip the things I think we all know and already share – and I’ll hit a few points in the run-up to Copenhagen that I think have perhaps not been fleshed out as much and ought to be in the mix – ten things that are important to keep in the back of all of our minds as we both understand this process and help push it forward

  1. Yes, health care and a whole lot of other debates have sucked up plenty of oxygen but there’s been a massive behind the scenes effort on climate in the Senate. But there’s also been tangible progress in the 12 months since leaders gathered in Poznan: Firm commitments from China, India, and Brazil.  A climate bill passed by the US House of Representatives and two Senate Committees, and let’s not lose sight of three major steps the Obama Administration has taken. First, President Obama’s announcement that the United States’ opening negotiating position is a reduction greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is an important step to get other large emitters on board by showing that the United States will do its part. Second, the United States has rightly focused on China’s role in global climate change, and as a result, China recently announced a reduction target in carbon intensity of 40-45% by 2020 on the heels of President Obama’s trip there and his announcement of an emissions target. The United States and China also signed a raft of joint agreements on clean energy cooperation, which pave the way for cooperation with other countries such as India. And third – the EPA’s endangerment finding is no small deal – more on that next.
  1. The EPA’s announcement – it’s a really important message for everyone in the Senate. It tells reluctant Senators that there’s no ducking the issue. And it gives powerful forces in their states a reason to actually want the Senate to act – because imposed regulations by definition will not include the job protections and investment incentives we are proposing in the Senate today.  In other words - some who now aim to grind the legislative process to a halt would later come running to Congress to secure the kinds of incentives we can pass today.  So instead, the EPA announcement gives folks like me and Lindsey Graham a powerful message to use to push action on the legislation to get those incentives and job protections I mentioned.
  1. You’re going to hear some people – including I’d guess some of our allies on this issue – say that we should be farther along in Copenhagen. I’ve been going to these meetings for 17 years; trust me, no one wishes we were farther along than I do. But – don’t underestimate the difference it makes for the US to be sending a President who is constructively engaged. Don’t measure Copenhagen’s success by unanimity; you’ll always be disappointed. Do we still have our differences with other countries on climate change?  Of course.  But 60 heads of state aren’t traveling to Denmark in the dead of winter to make excuses.  They are coming to make a commitment, and for the first time in a decade, a global breakthrough is within our reach.
  1. OK, Kerry, you’re probably asking – what’s the breakthrough? What can we accomplish here in Copenhagen?  Countries of the world need to leave Copenhagen more convinced that a deal is doable—and more committed to building momentum, building trust, and creating a virtuous circle where every nation’s new commitments empower others to go further.
  1. It’s true we are not agreeing to something legally binding in Copenhagen.  But this can still be a watershed moment if we come home with a comprehensive political agreement at the highest level; with demonstrable progress on targets and timetables, verification, financing, and a process to coming back together to take these promises and make them legally binding.
  1. All politics is still local. The place where the results in Copenhagen may reverberate the loudest is the United States Senate. Things are already moving --  Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving member of Congress ever, author of the 1998 Byrd-Hagel amendment many associate with the death of the Kyoto Protocol, wrote just this month, “To deny the mounting science of climate change is to stick our heads in the sand and say “deal me out.” West Virginia would be much smarter to stay at the table.” Copenhagen is so important because it offers an answer to the question we hear from so many Senators:  “if I cast this vote, and we reduce our emissions, where’s the guarantee that other countries will act too?” President Obama has defined a path to an international agreement that challenges the developed and developing nations of the to fulfill their obligations; it is an important counter to those on the fence at home who believe that the United States shouldn’t act if other countries won’t join with us.
  1. The Majority Leader is a tough position – there’s no tougher job than Majority Leader in the Senate; the phrase “herding cats” has never been more apt – but he’s gutsy as hell – despite the campaign of his life, he’s committed to get this bill on the floor early in 2010. But, I think we’ve all seen plenty of times, the Majority Leader can’t push a reluctant caucus by himself, the myth of LBJ just doesn’t fit the reality of today’s Senate. We will need your help then to push and prod some Democrats. Including some favorites here who haven’t yet stepped out on this issue.
  1. I’m relaunching my website Truth Fights Back to combat the smears and untruths that are coming our way and will only intensify as this debate congeals. I’ll have more on that another day.
  1. We’re not going to have a perfect bill. I wish we could. But like Ted Kennedy taught us, you fight for the ideal but you keep your eye on the prize to get progress any way, anyhow. Yes, the road to 60 votes includes some nuclear power and some other pieces that you wouldn’t have to consider if you had 60 Senators named Kerry or Gore. But the planet can’t wait for perfection.
  1. No matter the ways you disagree with him on other issues or on who should be President (and he and I joke that we noisily debated Obama vs. McCain on every show except the Food Channel) – give Lindsey Graham credit for having a backbone of steel on this issue and working with me.

So there’s the reality of the debate as clearly as I can lay it out. I’m not going to come here and blow smoke; it’s already a tough fight, and it’s just going to get tougher. We’re going to have to push hard on some Democrats who aren’t all the way there yet, and give some support to some Republicans who will work with us. And we have to work like hell to influence the debate and politics of this every way we can until it’s a lot harder to oppose this legislation than it is to support it.

update: A lot of great comments in here. I have to run to catch a flight home to Boston, but I'll try to loop back later if I can. And I'll read through all the comments for sure on my flight back to DC tomorrow.

Originally posted to John Kerry on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:30 AM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (304+ / 0-)
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  •  Have you reviewed Cantwell -Collins? (19+ / 0-)

    My report shows how a typical family of four would receive tax-free monthly checks from the government averaging $1,100 per year, or up to $21,000 between 2012 and 2030.- Maria Cantwell

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:32:19 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator Kerry, I'm glad (27+ / 0-)

    the Truth fights back website will be reactivated.

    And though health care has sucked up a lot of debate, there is a connection between environment and health care.  

  •  If most Americans understood the (11+ / 0-)

    interplay of politics and government (aside from basic science), your job would be a whole lot easier.  And Sen. Graham's would be a whole lot harder.

    When in doubt, tweak the freeqs.

    by wozzle on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:35:49 AM PST

  •  I wish people would listen more to scientists tha (12+ / 0-)

    n to Sarah Palin on this issue.

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:37:30 AM PST

  •  From my Senator Cantwell (16+ / 0-)

    My Fellow Washingtonian,

    Today, Sen. Susan Collins from Maine and I introduced bipartisan legislation that will reduce global warming pollution, move our economy off foreign oil, and spur the growth of the clean energy economy -- the largest potential source of new jobs and prosperity today and in the future. This bill achieves two important objectives: protecting the climate and Washington state from catastrophic change, and returning money directly back to Americans.

    The Carbon Limits and Energy for America's Renewal (CLEAR) Act gradually limits the amount of fossil fuels entering the U.S. economy by requiring fossil fuel producers and importers to bid at an auction for permits. Out of the money raised at the auction, three-fourths goes directly back to every American, and one-fourth goes toward clean energy investment. Eventually, as the amount of carbon allowed into the market declines over time, we will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, and by over 80 percent before 2050.

    You are rightfully concerned about rising energy bills during America's transition to a clean energy economy. That's why the CLEAR Act is rooted in protecting consumers, with most of the monthly carbon auctions going straight to your pockets. This monthly dividend, made out to each American on an equal per capita basis, is meant to compensate for any higher energy rates experienced. I released a report today that shows how, with the assistance of these energy security dividends, all but the wealthiest ten percent of Washingtonians (who use the most energy) do not lose money but instead come out ahead. My report shows how a typical family of four would receive tax-free monthly checks from the government averaging $1,100 per year, or up to $21,000 between 2012 and 2030.

    The remaining quarter of auction revenue would go toward clean energy research and development, assistance to communities and workers transitioning to a clean energy economy, energy efficiency programs, and reductions in non-CO2 greenhouse gases.

    The CLEAR Act invests in America's future by positioning the United States as a global leader in clean energy expansion, creating jobs and recharging our economy at home.  With the right policies, tens of millions of green jobs can be created by 2030, strengthening our economy by shipping these technologies to customers around the world.

    On my web site, you can find additional information about the CLEAR Act, including the legislative text, a one-page summary and frequently asked questions. The longer we wait to tackle these issues of energy independence and emissions reductions, the larger the economic and social costs of adapting to climate change will grow. The time to act is now.

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:37:59 AM PST

  •  question... (47+ / 0-)

    Clearly a large reason why corporations outsource their American jobs overseas is due to being able to pay lower wages.  But a bigger unspoken piece of the picture is that they skirt out of having to abide by USA environmental laws.

    When is Congress going to enact legislation that requires any global corporation who wants to sell their products to US consumers to follow the SAME environmental (and pay) scales as they would have to in this country? When will Congress enact a pollution tax, a re-importation tax, and other measures to get these corporations to follow our laws if they want to sell in this country?

  •  This is going to be a tough nut (5+ / 0-)

    nobody will be happy with anything that comes out of it (goes too far vs. doesn't do enough).

    I'm behind you 100% Senator (except for that giving Lindsey Graham credit thingie)

  •  So, what have you against Food Channel? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc, Indie Liberal, rainmanjr, geomoo

    But seriously, it might actually be an idea, given the impact that climate change has and will continue to have on global food production from farms to fisheries.

    And yes, Graham surprises me.

    It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

    by oxon on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:39:56 AM PST

    •  You beat me to this (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karenc, NYFM, Indie Liberal, rainmanjr, oxon

      We already see significant food shortages in parts of the world that are experiencing the effects of climate change. This is manifested by mass migrations and genocides currently in progress.

      It's all about climate change.

      Eventually, this will become a military issue and a threat to our country and other developed nations.

      Senator Kerry is keenly aware of these issues and has addressed them in detail is the past. Although this diary doesn't focus on these issues, they remain as powerful arguments that may influence actions in Congress.

      "I believe in eight of the Ten Commandments" - Steve Martin

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:25:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Feingold (26+ / 0-)

    Senator Kerry - What can we in WI do to try to change Feingold's mind on this?

    I most certainly understand his concerns.  I manage a low-income senior apartment building.  These people cannot afford even a minimal increase in their utility bills.  But there must be a way to push the CC agenda and not cause coal-using states to suffer increased energy costs.  

    In my building, we are all-electric.  That includeds heat, and it's been below ten degrees for a few days now.  Do the math - it's not pretty.  My tenants pay 30% of their monthly income as rent - I have one married couple who pays $17 per month.  Does anyone honestly think they can afford even a slight increase in their electric bill?  And they aren't alone, I have a building full of seniors in almost as bad financial circumstances.  

    Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4360+ dead - Bring them home

    by Miss Blue on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:41:09 AM PST

  •  When you're done, some jobs would be nice! (9+ / 0-)

    Keep up the good work.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:41:38 AM PST

  •  Republican Delegation (19+ / 0-)

    Senator Kerry,
    Do you think it is appropriate for Sen. Inhoffe, Rep. Barton, and others in the Republican delegation to be in Copenhagen trying to undermine U.S. foreign policy?  Or should politics stop at the water's edge?

    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

    by oregonj on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:42:06 AM PST

  •  Thanks, senator, for your hard work (9+ / 0-)

    and wicked smahts.

    And, for the new CO2 regulations, thanks to the president for keeping campaign promises... of the previous president.

    Finally, some new songs up at da web site!

    by Crashing Vor on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:42:13 AM PST

  •  there are jobs for Americans (24+ / 0-)

    if we act decisively on these issues.  If we don't, many of those jobs will be in other nations, like China.

    And if we want a healthy future for our descendants, we need to act now.

    In his Nobel lecture the President noted the connection between addressing issues of Global Climate Change and world security.  The Pentagon recognizes the threat to our own national security.

    It is good to see that you have never given up on this issue, that throughout your Senate career you have been willing to return to this subject again and again.

    Thank you for lending your name and your time to help keep the issue visible -  here and elsewhere.

    I will have no direct biological descendants.  I will have collateral descendants, through nieces and nephews.  I am equally concerned about the children I teach, their future, and that of their progeny.

    Again, thanks.


    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:42:28 AM PST

  •  Senator Kerry, thank you very much for (24+ / 0-)

    participating in this, and -- more importantly -- for taking the lead on the most important issue of a generation or more.  

    I understand the sausage-making nature of the Senate, but more oil drilling is absolutely dead wrong.  To paraphrase a Vietnam-era line, it shouldn't be necessary to destroy the planet in order to save it.

  •  Where Do You Stand on the Idea (9+ / 0-)

    Wealthy nations should help fund the greening of the developing nations?  I'm curious for your analysis of why China thinks it should be in that category of poor nation that needs money from USA + European countries to clean up its CO2.

    Thanks in advance for your time and trouble in responding.

    "Give me but one firm spot to stand, and I will move the earth." -- Archimedes

    by Limelite on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:47:46 AM PST

  •  Regarding cap and trade, and coal (12+ / 0-)

    Dr. James Hansen, the climate scientist from NASA was a guest on our local NPR radio station, and he said that he doesn't believe that cap and trade will be effective enough in controlling emissions to a low enough level.  He said that unless we shut down all coal producing plants by ... (I forgot when but I think it was within 2 years or so) that it will be too late.  I haven't read his book "Storms of My Grandchildren" yet and I'm sure the info is in there.  But he sais the problem is that there are 37 coal producing states and each one has 2 senators.  Anyway, my question is, what do you think of this, and is there any way to really shut down the coal plants soon enough to stop the climate crisis in time?

    If I'm not an activist, would that make me a pacifist?

    by pensivelady on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:49:27 AM PST

  •  Thank you SO much, Senator for this: (10+ / 0-)

    But, I think we’ve all seen plenty of times, the Majority Leader can’t push a reluctant caucus by himself, the myth of LBJ just doesn’t fit the reality of today’s Senate.

    I think it helps give us some perspective on the debates going on as we speak on Health Care as well as so many other issues.  But I agree with a previous commenter about punishing Senator Lieberman by stripping him of his chairmanships and seniority.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:51:19 AM PST

    •  Rid the Senate of filibuster rule (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      social democrat, psnyder, yowsta, J M F

      and return to majority rule. The filibuster is a tradition and a senate-made rule that is not in the Constitution. It strikes me as undemocratic.  Majority rule is democratic.

      No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

      by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:11:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Majority rule *can* be tyranny (5+ / 0-)

        The most important aspect of democracy is protection of minority rights.

        That said, the current system is obviously broken.  I'd like to see them return to requiring actual filibusters, not imaginary ones, and go from there.

        I'm not anti-environmentalism, I'm anti-colonialism.

        by sneakers563 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:26:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The most important? Well... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satanicpanic, sneakers563

          Through their sensitivity to protecting minority rights, the Democratic majority in the Senate sacrifices the other great principle of our government: majority rule.  It acts as though in order to protect minority rights, they have to either pass large parts of the minority's agenda or surrender fundamental parts of their own. Newsflash, Democratic Senate Majority: "protection of minority rights" does not equal "minority rule." Protect and practice both great principles of our government.

          Of course, Republicans in the majority don't make that same mistake, since they couldn't care less about protecting minority rights...until they're in the minority.

          American democracy: One dollar, one vote. See? Equality!

          by psnyder on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:07:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Totally agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Miss Blue, psnyder

            There needs to be a balance, and it's totally unbalanced right now.

            There needs to be some kind of cost to being obstructionists.  Conversely, there also needs to be some kind of cost associated with passing something that the minority party really, really doesn't want.  It needs to be very difficult (but still possible) to stop popular legislation, but it also needs to be very difficult (but still possible) to pass legislation that the minority party is adamantly opposed to.  I don't know of a way to accomplish both those goals other than to require an actual, live filibuster.

            Or maybe it's just personal: I'd like to see Joe Lieberman forced to wear diapers and a catheter in order to stop HCR...

            I'm not anti-environmentalism, I'm anti-colonialism.

            by sneakers563 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:41:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Chairmanships/senority can only (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sc kitty

      be changed after elections, I believe. Perhaps we won't have to deal with it after 2010

      -6.88 eco -6.15 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

      by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:12:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that's all extra-Constitutional stuff. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't recall anywhere in Article I where the elaborate conventions of the Senate are laid down. That doesn't make them less important to the process. It just means that they don't have the rigidity and sanctity of Constitutional stipulations.

        American democracy: One dollar, one vote. See? Equality!

        by psnyder on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:19:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are reality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They are important for people to recognize that nothing can be done about Senator Lieberman at this time.

          For the Senators they have sanctity, the Senate rules are not going to be changed.

          -6.88 eco -6.15 soc 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

          by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:01:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  An easier sell to the public (6+ / 0-)

    and then hopefully to the Senate, these 2 features of the Cantwell-Collins CLEAR Act:

    [...] a typical family of four would receive tax-free monthly checks from the government averaging $1,100 per year, or up to $21,000 between 2012 and 2030.

    All permits, called “carbon shares,” that comprise the cap are to be sold at auction. There are no free pollution allowances for any industry, economic sector, or interest group.

    Every carbon producer – oil companies, oil importers, coal companies – must participate in the auction or be subject to strong punitive measures.

    1. No free ride for polluters.
    1. Every family gets $1,100 to offset higher energy prices.

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:51:21 AM PST

  •  Senator Kerry, thanks for your efforts (5+ / 0-)

    to share this information with us. We support who you are.

    Single Payer is the Moral Option. Educate for single payer today.... Visit Physicians for A National Health Plan www pnhp com

    by divineorder on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:52:06 AM PST

  •  Also, on selling a bill (5+ / 0-)

    2 women
    2 coasts
    2 parties

    Also, the name. CLEAR.

    Senator: Is there a way to merge the two bills? Are they too opposite to merge?

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:55:01 AM PST

  •  $ from fees need to go into creating jobs (6+ / 0-)

    Legislation needs to be written so that everyone can see the positive link to creating good American jobs.

    Senator Graham's proposal to research an advanced spent fuel reprocessing in South Carolina might have large benefits down the line in fighting climate change. Most "clean coal" research, however, has limited utility because the total amount of CO2 to be disposed of far exceeds our capacity to dispose of it.

    We cannot allow more coal fired power plants to be built hoping that some day coal will be clean. It's a recipe for climate catastrophe.

    There are some areas where we can compromise. There are some areas where we cannot if we wish to have a habitable planet for future generations.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:58:03 AM PST

    •  Jobs Jobs Jobs (5+ / 0-)

      Can't recommend this comment enough.  There are a number of ways to create new jobs and they don't all have to be a jobs program from the federal government.  A focus and a mindset of creating jobs in this country can and should permeate the agenda of all politicians, policy makers and activists.  It can and should be an important goal synergistic with climate change, and other top agenda issues.

      From Krugman's column on Friday:

      Some background: I don’t think many people grasp just how much job creation we need to climb out of the hole we’re in. You can’t just look at the eight million jobs that America has lost since the recession began, because the nation needs to keep adding jobs — more than 100,000 a month — to keep up with a growing population. And that means that we need really big job gains, month after month, if we want to see America return to anything that feels like full employment.

      How big? My back of the envelope calculation says that we need to add around 18 million jobs over the next five years, or 300,000 jobs a month. This puts last week’s employment report, which showed job losses of "only" 11,000 in November, in perspective. It was basically a terrible report, which was reported as good news only because we’ve been down so long that it looks like up to the financial press.

  •  Senator Kerry - A question for you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ben masel, psnyder, sc kitty, aliasalias

    At the College Convention in Manchester, NH in 2004 you promised me in person to answer the Vote Hemp candidate survey on industrial hemp, which is excellent at sequestering carbon when used as a building material. After repeatedly contacting your campaign we never received a reply. Here is an opportunity to answer them again. Not one word has been changed. Will you please answer them now?

    1. Do you support allowing U.S. farmers to grow low-THC industrial hemp under a regulated system like the ones in Canada and the European Union and would you sign into law legislation furthering that goal?

    Yes No Undecided

    1. The Bush Administration has attempted to ban nutritious and safe hemp seed products that are exempt from the definition of marijuana. These foods products include bread, waffles, energy bars, non-dairy milk, and many other items that have been sold for years in thousands of stores. They DO NOT get people high or cause people to fail drug tests. They DO contain an excellent balance of essential fatty acids and protein. Do you feel that hemp food products should remain legal?

    Yes No Undecided

    1. Hemp is an excellent source of fiber that can be used in a wide range of products including paper, clothing, auto parts, and building materials. Do you think these non-food products should continue to be imported instead of being grown and manufactured domestically?

    Yes No Undecided

    1. The Drug Enforcement Administration has made the research of industrial hemp nearly impossible by denying or delaying permits to researchers in Hawaii and elsewhere. Would you support or introduce legislation to allow states to conduct research on industrial hemp without a special permit from DEA?

    Yes No Undecided

    "The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson

    by tommurphy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:58:57 AM PST

  •  Pushing and supporting we can do. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Indie Liberal

    Influence the debate and politics, we will try. Helping to correct the facts, we can do.

    So glad you are my Senior Senator. Thank you.

    -6.88 eco -6.15 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

    by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:03:41 AM PST

  •  Thanks, Sen. Kerry. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm an ex-pat in France who votes in Massachusetts (by absentee ballot)... and I've been pleased to cast my vote for you over the years.

    I look at the future of our biosphere with enough trepidation that I have seriously counseled my grown children to think long and hard before bringing children into the world. If we do not get a handle on decreasing CO2 and other emissions right now, along with dealing constructively with so many other issues (water, overfishing, ... the list seems endless at times), the world my potential grandchildren will inherit will be one of endless wars over water, viable land (as refugees pour in from flooded coastal areas), food shortages, and the like. It is a grim picture that too many people, legislators and leaders alike, refuse to look at squarely.

    Thank you for being one of the exceptions to the rule, and thanks for your work.

    Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

    by mofembot on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:04:51 AM PST

  •   Earth: Glacier Comparisions (0+ / 0-)

    "I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it's always 20 years behind" -Mark Twain

    by vet on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:06:25 AM PST

  •  Thank you very much for coming here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Liberal, Jail the BFEE

    and giving your opinion.  Now go and give those Dinos hell before they ruin the party and this Earth!

    •  Yeah thanks (0+ / 0-)

      for coming. Not sure what all you can accomplish but at least you aren't rolling over.
      How is that not drilling in the artic debate working out? Oh yeah, the Obama admin just let shell open 3 new drilling sites. Well, thanks for trying

      Would the current HCR Bill have helped Obama's mom on her death bed? Wasn't that his passion for HCR?

      by snoopydawg on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:14:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eye candy - at Seattle Center today (15+ / 0-)

    Zero emission all-electric Nissan LEAF. Debuts in Washington. Energy partnership will construct 2,200 charging stations in western Washington
    Nissan LEAF Debuts in Washington

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:08:05 AM PST

    •  Electric /= zero emissions. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MH in PA, skohayes

      Different pipe.

      Resisting Dumb wars since 1968

      by ben masel on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:22:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is zero emissions if the electricity (0+ / 0-)

        comes from zero carbon sources, yes?

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:46:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have a divide by zero in your title (0+ / 0-)

        Your result yields "Positive or negative infinite electric / emissions".  Since negative electric potential is essentially equivalent to positive, this could be phrased as "there are no emissions from electricity".


        On a more serious note, the "long tailpipe" for EVs is a widely debunked myth.  Even charging on our current grid, EVs are cleaner than gasoline cars.  And the grid is getting cleaner while gasoline gets dirtier.

  •  Bill Richardson and the West (7+ / 0-)

    I have lived in a variety of western states, Texas, Washington, California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

    New Mexico is moving in an astoundingly progressive direction on energy issues because of Bill Richardson.  It doesn't seem to me that Bingaman is really the reason for this.

    The problem for these western states is the hard reality that they would all be dirt poor states where people lived hardscrabble lives were it not for oil and gas and the other extractive resources.

    Thus, there is a suspicion of anything that might threaten the wealth basis for the economy that people benefit from, and which has created the rise of the Sunbelt.

    Richardson has been effective at creating a green jobs and business development case, which adds to the prospects that prosperity might continue to grow.

    That may be the key nationally, to the problem of how to get progress.  

    I think Obama's harnessing the economic recovery to the green jobs and infrastructure upgrade circumstance is a brilliant strategy that could do for the nation what Richardson has been doing for New Mexico.

    My only question is whether you have studied this as a case in how to create a national political breakthrough.

    I would also point out the name, Roger Duncan, in Austin, Texas.  As a city councilmember in the early '80s, he brilliantly led into being a progressive coalition that supported converting the municipally owned electric utiltity from an all electric economic model to a conservation based one.  He also innovated green building, green zoning and recycling.  These have since been used as models to follow in other cities.

    I hope that you and other national leaders can recognize the efforts of individuals like this who we all really owe a lot of thanks to for creating innovative policy at a time when, with Reagan in the White House, it seemed impossible.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:08:08 AM PST

    •  Add'l on Richardson, Duncan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue, CuriousBoston

      National breakthroughs on smart energy policy today are possible because of the unnoticed and unheralded work of people on the local level, who led the way decades before there was any help from Washington.

      Because there are now real balance sheets proving economic models, it is more possible to build on actual success, rather than having to start from absolute zero.

      I think Roger Duncan's work is incalculable in its value to the nation, because of his decades as a civic leader (head of a city department after leaving the Council) he has quietly been instrumental in creating de facto national policy by being a consultant to other municipal leaders across the country.  

      There are other citizens in Austin as well.  Shudde Fath has been an activist since the days she campaigned for Lyndon Johnson - for Congress.  She is still active in her nineties.  It was her mentoring the young Roger Duncan and then supporting him that gave him an early boost towards public service.  

      These kinds of stories need national attention.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:21:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A lot of people deserve credit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, CuriousBoston

      For what is going on in NM. Governor Richardson has been spearheading much of the green industry/ job creation, but the whole Congressional delegation has worked to channel substantial federal funds into projects (though not as much as asked for).  Every state department is assessing how to encourage conservation & what can be done to make their operations greener (like a bunch of state parks have gotten solar makeovers), and municipalities are working with the state to identify needs/ assets in each community. Finally, the Western Governors Association, who are all pretty much on board with reducing emissions & otherwise mitigating the effects of catastrophic climate change, have been heartily and publicly supporting Richardson's work.

      •  The reason this should be more known (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, CuriousBoston

        Arguments on the national level have been reduced to stereotypes and this makes progress even harder to make at the Congressional level.

        The media doesn't see the relevance of real progress made at local and state levels in the West, where it is a pragmatic concern.  Also, there is a lot of special interest money involved.

        Nationally, the case for progressive policy might be easier if successful efforts could be spotlighted by Congressional leaders or the White House.  It would be a great thing to do.

        A lot of times it does not seem that anybody in Washington knows about what is going on that could actually be the basis for gaining the credibility to act with those who are reluctant to move.  

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:37:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There ought to be a Kennedy Center Honors (4+ / 0-)

          for achievements that lead the nation in the breakthroughs needed to move energy or environmental policy forward, particularly to spotlight the fact that, while people have been in the dark about this, progress or the basis for progress has actually happened.  

          If there was a spotlight equal in terms of the attention that the Kennedy Center Honors gets, it would turn public perception around and make innovative Congressional action more doable.

          hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

          by Stuart Heady on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:41:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for coming Senator Kerry. Brazil... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, gettowork, CuriousBoston

    Are there other industrialized nations in the southern hemisphere besides Brazil involved? And what can be done to slow deforestation in South America?

    Give me a public option

    by tlemon on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:11:43 AM PST

  •  It's too bad.... (3+ / 0-)

    my two senators from Texas are so bought and paid for by the traditional, carbon-based energy industry down here.  We really have no representation if we buck that line of big money and corruption.  Those of us who DO care about the truth and the decaying Earth are muted by big oil, big insurance and big real estate.  What do you suggest, other than the obvious, that we do to get their attention?  

    Everything down here is along party lines and there simply aren't enough Democratic votes to get these goobers in the Senate or Congress to do the right thing by the people.  This applies to energy, health care reform or anything else having to do with taking care of the majority of people or the poor.  

    It is very disheartening.

    "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

    by dolfin66 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:12:47 AM PST

    •  And it's a shame, because Texas has the biggest (5+ / 0-)

      wind industry in the nation -- in a very Texan (unregulated, Wild West, effective) way.  I hope that eventually the wind industry will have as much clout in state politics as the oil & gas industry...someday.

      •  I won't live long enough... (0+ / 0-)

        to see that.  The political players will do with wind what they do with education:  use it to get elected, then let it lie fallow.  It's all bullshit, all the time.  West Texas is empty.  Putting the windmills there is a really good thing.  The wind blows all the time, but it takes 1,000 of these things to generate the power that one nuclear plant could.  I know.  I know.  But we still build the best nuclear plants in the world... or at least we did until fear once again canceled that part of our future.  You don't think the oil, gas and coal lobbies had anything to do with that do you?  Nah.  Me neither.

        "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

        by dolfin66 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:11:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As I say to any vet... (6+ / 0-)
    Thank you for your service, Senator.

    "She's petite, extremely beautiful, and heavily armed." -1995 documentary Canadian Bacon

    by Tom Seaview on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:18:54 AM PST

  •  How can you trust Republican Senators? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    When, through words and actions, have shown they have no desire to work with Democrats in any meaningful way and will obstruct just for the sake of doing so because they believe it will help them politically in 2010 and 2012?

    I understand that there are senate Democrats who due to their home state industries are against climate reforms and that you will need Republican support, I just hope you are keenly aware that they cannot be trusted and likely have ulterior motives to delay if not derail with poison pills.  

    When is the last time the Obama Administration has pleasantly surprised you - Made you think to yourself "Wow, I didn't think they had that in them"?

    by Jonze on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:19:57 AM PST

  •  60? And HOW Many Times Did Bush Have 60? You (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, Paul Goodman, Cassiodorus, SolarMom
    Hidden by:

    need political lessons from back alley bar fighters in Southie, NOT more Kennan / Gergen wannabees hoping to be K-School pooh-bahs, racking up the frequent flyer miles 'tween Cambridge and Georgetown.

    Really Senator, the excuses for Democratic losing to right wing LIARS are

    just too old
    just too lame
    just more of the same

    My high school drop out stepfather, drafted outta the barrooms of Holyoke, summed up politics quite well:

    -wish in 1 hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first.

    -money talks and shit walks.

    -if shit had wings, it could fly.

    IF you want to beat these flat earth right wing fascist liars, you and the Dem caucus need guys from Holyoke, NOT more eggheads from Harvard.


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:24:42 AM PST

    •  Don't think you get a pass, Senator. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yes, you are progressive, and yes, you vote the right way on all my issues.  But when Democrats have 60 votes, that's not enough.

      You will be judged on how effective you are. Just voting for a Public Option isn't good enough.  Show us that you are effective enough to make some moderate Republicans vote for it also! Twist arms, trade favors, and make it happen.

      If you can't use the power of a Senate seat, perhaps another, tougher Progressive might do a better job.  The Republicans seem to be able to pass things with 55 seats.  

      Why can't you pass things with 60?

      •  Why don't you ask the Majority Leader Reid that (0+ / 0-)

        as well as go after the Conservdems?

        Interesting, Do you hold other progressive liberal politicians to the same standard you hold Kerry or do you just give them a pass?

        Just sayin.

        •  Nobody gets a pass. (0+ / 0-)

          But we need to start judging on results.

          It is not enough for a safe-seat Progressive like Kerry to say "well, I tried, but there weren't enough votes".

          I refuse to believe than NONE of those 40 Republicans has a pet project they would like get or a tough primary, or special favor or three, that they would trade for a Health Reform vote.

          The sad truth is we never know what backroom deals get made. We don't know which Democrats are just talking about change, and which are actively using real political muscle to make it happen.

          So, we need to judge based on results. Don't tell me what you "support". Don't show me bills. Show me laws.

          That is the only way we can be sure.

          •  Good. You run for Congress then n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  Another thing (0+ / 0-)

              Not making excuses, and understand you are frustrated with the results, we all are. The ones holding up progress are the ones who need to go. They know who they are.

              •  They know who they are.... (0+ / 0-)

                ...but do WE know who they are?

                •  I do. I watch regularly and I know who needs... (0+ / 0-)

         be voted out.  It's not Kerry.  As to the 60 votes, I suggest a little research on the true count, when you have Independents, Blue Dogs, etc.

                  At a time when many worry that we have become a society of MORAL relativists,I worry,and too few worry,that we have a government of FACTUAL relativists.-J.Kerry

                  by YvonneCa on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:19:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You cannot look at vote counts... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... because they don't always tell the whole story.

                    Legislators can make pre-arranged deals to pass or fail something.  Then they vote according to a script to make the count come out right.

                    This happened in the House when their bill passed. Dennis Kucinich voted against it. Nobody thinks he's anti-reform, but he knew it would pass so he had the lee-way to make a statement ("this bill isn't Liberal enough") with his vote.

                    Sometimes Legislators who are against something vote for it...when they know it has no chance of passing!  Then they say "I supported X, I'm on record...blah-blah-blah..."

                    Sometimes Senators could have worked harder to turn an opposing vote -- they could have used threats, promises, or called in favors -- but they didn't. It is difficult for voters to know when these situation occur.

                    This is why sometimes we have to just judge by results.

    •  to mrobinson & you're HR. "petition government (0+ / 0-)

      for redress of grievance" apparantly only works when YOU approve of my 'free' speech or the 'free' speech?

      I do love how the anti-right wing crowd has its own speech scrubbers!

      I guess it isn't possible to appreciate hypocrisy when 1 is too much of a hypocrite to see hypocrisy??

      Robert Murphy
      Holyoke High School Grad, 1978

      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:20:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's insulting to the (9+ / 0-)

      Senator, I wish I could hide rate it. You are talking about an accomplished Senator in Foreign Relations, Climate Change, and other issues.

      Insults and whining are not a solution. I'm sure barfights are not the solution. I'm sure Senator Kerry is very, very much aware of the money involved in politics.

      Senator Kerry, I apologize for this.

      -6.88 eco -6.15 soc 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

      by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:24:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So we live on different sides of the tracks, OR (0+ / 0-)

        you wished you too lived on Beacon Hill?

        either way, my voice from my side of the tracks should be silenced?

        I worked as a cook in Boston from 1982 to 1989 - I piled up a mountain of debt to go to cooking school, and, given that my family was on welfare in the 70's when I was a teenager, I'm glad I was able to borrow the money to increase my skills to increa$e my opportunitie$ in life.

        HOWEVER, what have our Democrats accomplished since ... Tip O'Neil enabled RayGun's tax cuts for rich pigs AND cut the tattered safety net?

        In the last 30 years, Us bottom feeders - that unruly wrong side of the tracks appx 186,000,000/ 211,000,000 making 75k a year or less in 2008 money income (or, how about the 160,000,000 living on UNDER 50 grand) - have

        LESS job security,
        LESS income security when you lose the job,
        LESS housing security (ability to live in a safe neigborhood on your job ... which you hopefully don't lose)
        LESS retraining security (you ever been laid off and tried to use these programs? )
        LESS retirement security,
        LESS health ha ha ha security

        Like Oh My God! I won't get invited to the nice houses in Newton or Brookline or Beacon Hill by pointing out THE TRUTH for us bottom feeders! LOMG.

        IF the Senator doesn't like what I say, he can ignore it, or fix it.

        YOUR censorship is pathetic. Try reading the Bill of Rights, AND, try learning WHY there is a little clause about 'petitioning government for redress of grievance..."


        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:34:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why can't you make your point without: (9+ / 0-)
      1.  Using offensive language
      1.  Trying to start class warfare

      Highly unhelpful comment.  Pointless, actually.

      •  please see my 2 responses above. cla$$ i$ why we (0+ / 0-)


        there are those who can afford to incessant losing to fascists, and

        there are those who think they can lose, and

        in each group there are those who are most interested in fitting in with the right crowd, and the right crowd can either afford to deal with life by singing "My Favorite Things", or, those who want to be / think they're 1 of the "My Favorite Thing" hummers.

        $ocial Cla$$ = we the peeee-ons lose.

        Isn't it OFFENSIVE to work your ass off for 30 years of losing for the same excuses over and over?


        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:03:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Too My Critics - John Emerson - "The Wonk ... (0+ / 0-)

      The Wonk Demographic and the Stupid Voters
      by: John Emerson
      Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:00

      lots of big words, big paragraphs, no idiocy like mis-speling $ocial cla$$ ...


      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:43:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary to read (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for Seattle!

    (4JKbfIA Kerry Freedom Fighter)

    Get a reputation as an early rise and you can sleep all day.

    by DiAnne on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:24:52 AM PST

  •  error (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shenderson, CuriousBoston

    I mean thanks FROM Seattle

    Get a reputation as an early rise and you can sleep all day.

    by DiAnne on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:25:08 AM PST

  •  $1.3 trillion a year for weapons (6+ / 0-)

    I only hope that we can find the leadership to change directions to development and peacekeeping from supporting military hardware.

    I remain convinced that world poverty is a global security issue. An example is Bangladesh. If we don't help developing nations deal with climate change where will their populations go?

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

    by ohcanada on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:31:33 AM PST

  •  This isn't about party (10+ / 0-)

    It isn't about even just our country. It's about this earth and making sure we can preserve it for future generations when we are long gone. Thank you Senators Kerry and Graham, we have your backs all the way.

    "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

    by theone718 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:31:59 AM PST

  •  Enjoyed your interview on Charlie Rose Show (9+ / 0-)

    last week.
     Thank you for emphasizing that a focus on green tech is a win/win/win for the U.S.- 1) creation of jobs IN the U.S., 2)decrease in carbon emissions, 3)decrease in dependence on foreign energy sources (national security issue).

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:33:49 AM PST

  •  In real America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the concern is about jobs, not the temperature or sea level 50 years from now.

    A Green Jobs bill can pass, a Global Warming Bill cannot.

    The sins of 2000 gave us the penance of 2001-2009. Don't repeat them.

    by Paul Goodman on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:35:43 AM PST

  •  But you won't get a treaty out of it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First off, Sen. Kerry, thank you for your hard work on this issue. Kudos should also go to Sen.Graham on this one.

    I want to ask, though, whether any agreement the President reaches in Copenhagen amounts to a treaty, and will the Republicans insist that it is such, and therefore requires 67 votes - something I feel is impossible to reach in this ultra-politicized climate. Do you see that as a roadblock they will construct in an effort to further stymie climate change legislation?

    In a normal political environment, this would not even be a question. But not these days.

    Republicans can't accept that they've lost. Democrats can't accept that they've won.

    by DanK Is Back on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:37:13 AM PST

  •  With all due respect Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, Picot verde, terryhallinan

    I find this part of your initiative to be disgraceful.

    By spurring the development and deployment of new clean energy technologies and increasing our supply of domestically produced oil and natural gas on land and offshore, our legislation will ensure America's energy security. We will do so in a way that sends money back to the states that opt to drill and also provides new federal government revenues to advance climate mitigation goals.

    I fail to see how incentives for oil and gas exploration and exploitation serve the best interests of anyone except the fossil fuels companies.

    I also find the emphasis on nuclear power to be questionable. While nuclear power has low greenhouse gas emissions, it consumes water in large quantity, the extraction of uranium creates massive toxic waste dumps which have never been cleaned up, the waste disposal problem has not been solved.

    The 2005 Energy bill gave huge subsidies to these same industries. More subsidies of the oil, gas, and nuclear industries is unacceptable from an environmental protection standpoint.

    The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

    by DWG on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:39:45 AM PST

    •  Dude... (7+ / 0-)

      ...he pretty much answered this in #9 above. And #10 really -- you can't get the votes unless you make some compromises.

      There's a limit to how much CCS or nuclear will actually happen even with this bill, because other stuff (biomass, natural gas, even wind) will be cheaper and faster to get on line, and efficiency will reduce the need for new energy sources.  Let's work to make renewables cheaper.  

      •  You cannot get anything useful (4+ / 0-)

        if accomplish nothing. Clean Coal is a myth. Nuclear is problematic. Incentives for oil and gas are stupid.

        I have heard this argument before -

        you can't get the votes unless you make some compromises.

        We are headed to healthcare reform that may end up being nothing more than a mandate to buy private insurance with the prohibition of denying coverage for pre-existing conditions (something even the Republicans under Boehner are talking about watering down).

        Let's make renewables cheaper, NOT bribe the assholes that got us into the mess.

        The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

        by DWG on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:30:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you propose to make (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Indie Liberal

          renewables cheaper? How will that help the ice from melting? How will that help the extreme weather? How will that help infighting over water in the Western USA? How will that help misplaced millions because their islands and lowlands are gone.

          It's easy to critize, when you don't know the workings of Congress.

          We need to vent sometimes. I'm curious about your answers to my questions. Thanks.

          -6.88 eco -6.15 soc 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

          by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:10:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here are my answers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mullsinco, satanicpanic

            You want to make renewables cheaper? Simple, improve economies of scale. If zoning laws required the implementation of solar technologies, particularly given new advances that improve efficiency by 40%, the costs would drop as more companies competed for what is now largely niche market. Invest in research on storage, which is the current limitation on solar and wind generation. Provide tax breaks and incentives for companies to invest in product and adoption of clean renewables. Incentives for oil, coal, and gas are stupid. Actually, beyond stupid.

            The ice will continue to melt as long as C02 levels continue to increase. You do realize that CO2 levels are the highest level that they have been in about 5 million years. They have risen precipitously in the past century, particularly the last 30 years. CO2 levels are the biggest driver in global temperatures and temperatures lag behind the CO2 levels. If reversing CO2 levels does not come quickly, it may be too late to stave off the rise in temperatures which will melt the arctic cap, Greenland sheet, and glacial ice. When that happens, we are screwed. The time to act is now.

            How will it help extreme weather? Extreme weather is just one of many symptoms of a rapidly changing climate, along with ice melt, sea level rise, and disruption of jet stream and thermohaline circulation. Again, the time to act is now.

            Infighting over water will grow, not only in the western United States with climate change. The problems in the west are compounded by idiot policies. One of most extensive wastes of water in human history is known as Las Vegas.

            Once we have climate refugees on mass scale, we will have a breakdown of society and chaos. Again, the time to act is now.

            I know the workings of Congress. I gave the example of their most recent failure. I do know that you start negotiations by asking for the sun and moon and accept the sun as a compromise. What we see here is an opening bargaining position that is already weak, filled with promises to provide incentives to the fossil fuels industries and vague promises about alternatives and a weak cap and trade scheme. You assume that if the weak proposal offered up by Kerry, Lieberman, and Graham were adopted without change, it would produce the promised 17% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005  levels. Frankly, I see many reasons why it won't produce as much benefit and IF WATERED DOWN by additional compromises, will accomplish nothing useful.

            There are stronger bills that have been proposed and frankly I see Kerry's compromise effort as a step in the wrong direction.

            Healthcare reform provides a real empirical test of Congressional cowardice to the do right thing. There are millions of people in our country suffering from lack of access to quality care and/or going bankrupt due to medical bills. It is clear our current system is failing and there is terrible suffering already in our midst. Despite that suffering, the politicians compromised to the point that the impact will be negligible. The worst of the climate crisis and human costs are in the future, probably a few decades away. If you cannot get Congress to respond effectively to the suffering right under their noses, then you can bet that Congress will accomplish even less when the worst is yet to come.

            The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

            by DWG on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:21:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Great points: HCR good analogy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The Democrats in Congress lost the battle before it ever started, by beginning with the public option instead of demanding single payer and compromising on a public option.  This legislation repeats that mistake.

            •  Ok, for renewables you chose (0+ / 0-)

              solar. Is it remotely possible to pass building codes on a national level? A state level? County? City? To apply to new construction only? That's the stick. I don't think it's feasible.

              The carrot. Solar panels are going to be sold at Home Depot, to be installed by professionals or experienced DIYers. The implication is easy to hook onto the national grid, lower energy costs, rapidly dropping costs for the panels. And credits for going solar, I think that is critical.

              Updating the national grid is critical. I don't know if that is in the bill. Tighter regulation to maintain the grid? Essential. We are overdue for a large scale blackout.

              Yes. I know the the CO2 levels are at their highest. You state "I know the workings of Congress." I don't think that is true. Is it really possible to do what you want, given the money and people involved?

              If it were possible, Kerry and others wouldn't be getting so much resistance on the proposed bill.

              There is a huge distance between what is needed, and what we get.

              -6.88 eco -6.15 soc 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

              by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:53:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then we are screwed (0+ / 0-)

                There needs to be more carrots for renewables and storage, not to mention modernizing the electric grid. Those things are easy and readily within our grasp. Building codes can change rapidly, especially for new construction.

                We are saying the same thing about Congress only I am saying far more harshly. It does not work under the best of circumstances unless some little prick wants to pass welfare for the wealthy, spend more on defense contracts, or attack some country (preferably one with a weak military and lots of oil). Kerry is running into resistance because fossil fuels industries do not want regulation or competition, but they have the money to fund one of the most dishonest campaigns in history. They have have been fighting the science and scientists for over 20 years.

                If we do not get what we need, we are screwed. We are the largest greenhouse gas polluter. If we do not change, no one else will either until we are beyond the tipping point and the climate begins to change rapidly for the worse. You believe that a quarter loaf is better than nothing from Congress. I believe a quarter loaf is nothing at all.

                The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

                by DWG on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:37:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry - Lieberman - Graham (5+ / 0-)

    Senator ...

    Let me say, with all my (deep) respect for your passion and work on this issue, I am deeply disappointed that your name is on the material that I've seen.

    The template, that is provided, seems likely to entrench us into troublesome and harmful policies and not set us up for the required steps forward.

  •  Since you say you are open to input... (11+ / 0-)

    First, thank you for leading on this important issue.

    Looking past arguments about who wins/who loses in cap and trade, coal vs nukes, is climate change man made, etc. comes "what do we actually DO"? There really doesn't need to be more debate about the role of energy efficiency. I'd like to see a clear statement along the lines of California's policy that energy efficiency and demand response are "first in the loading order". Renewables and other forms of generation depend on knowing what size load has to be supported. So "rightsize" the load with efficiency and demand response.

    Unfortunately, efficiency is getting lip service and being painted into a tight little corner of weatherization. But efficiency means much more than weatherization. What if every federal building was retrofitted to latest viable efficiency technologies? Sure, it would cost a lot, but it would save a lot, it would create jobs, and it would put the federal level in the role of doing instead of just talking. BTW, I'm not just talking about old remedies like replacing T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts with T8 lamps and electronic ballasts. That line of thinking produces "shallow" retrofits that will have to be revisited in a few short years. Instead, think "deep" retrofits.

    California has been investing in R&D for deep retrofits (and equivalent new construction solutions). Go look at and click thru on the "Seeing is Believing" link. The technology solutions shown there should be tried and, hopefully adopted, as standards by the feds in a true partnership with the state. Likewise for New York, which has an impressive R&D program at NYSERDA.

    Now multiply the savings and benefits by spreading to all other public facilities at the state and local (cities, counties, special districts and school districts) level. Imagine the costs dropping with bulk purchasing. Visualize the private sector realizing that energy efficiency and demand response is "true green" (not just "greenwashing").

    What's blocking this? Stimulus funding has not been strategic and won't result in significant energy savings. DOE is throwing money at national labs but continues to ignore the notion of partnering with states that have been leading the way. Congress seems to think efficiency is low priority. "Green jobs" discussions are not tuned into the building industry, trade unions and contractors' needs. I could go on.

    I hope at least some of the above ideas will get filtered thru into the light of policy discussions. Thank you for taking time to read this.  

  •  One source of frustration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nio, UTvoter

    for progressives here and elsewhere is how the Senate does business. My view is that the Senate should return to majority rule and abolish the filibuster, which is after all just a Senate rule, not part of the Constitution.

    The Senate lost the respect of some progressives throughout the HCR summer stalling. A few  Democratic Senators look like vain preening peacocks and their words sound false. They look greedy and selfish because they are. When honorable Senators enable them, it brings all Senators down. When good Dems apologize for weak leadership, it makes some of us in the base feel like howling in frustration. I got 81 percent of my precinct out to the polls for you, Sen. Kerry, one of the best records in our legislative district. So what I say here sits on top of a lot of door-knocking.  

    Please don't tell me what a tough job the Majority Leader has when he has a 60 vote caucus that the Republican Senate didn't have - and managed to get their way. I want to see the Democratic leadership in the Senate to "lead, follow or get out of the way," as my retired military husband used to say. Just don't tell me this:

    The Majority Leader is a tough position – there’s no tougher job than Majority Leader in the Senate; the phrase “herding cats” has never been more apt – but he’s gutsy as hell – despite the campaign of his life, he’s committed to get this bill on the floor early in 2010. But, I think we’ve all seen plenty of times, the Majority Leader can’t push a reluctant caucus by himself, the myth of LBJ just doesn’t fit the reality of today’s Senate.

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:44:24 AM PST

  •  Senator, what are your thoughts on a Green Bank? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  As you say, we need to get this started now. (4+ / 0-)

    But since the announced targets and cap and trade are not nearly enough in the long run, keep coming back to this every year until we get what we need.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:49:36 AM PST

  •  Good luck Senator. I'll do what I can. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Liberal, satanicpanic

    And, I agree with you about Senator Graham, he has taken a lot of heat for working with you on this. But, you also seem to have given up a lot too. Drilling? A big push for more nuclear power. After these concessions,I would hope we would be able to get this passed. Even old Scrooge McCain couldn't find anything to complain about in this bill.

  •  AboutTruth Fights Back (8+ / 0-)

    Glad to see you doing this, Senator. Thank you so much for everything you do.

    I'm pretty interested in the propoganda wars that surround climate change, and I think we can do a lot better. We won't convince the people who have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo, but we can convince many of the people who don't -- those who do not question the propoganda line.

    As you said in a little different context, all politics is local. We have to talk to our neighbors about climate change. Your webpage will be a great help.

    Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

    by rb137 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:08:38 AM PST

  •  "Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem" (10+ / 0-)

    Not mentioned enough in this debate:

    "Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem"

    "Ocean acidification: an underwater time-bomb"

    Notable, as well:

    The Sixth Extinction, by Jeff Corwin

    There is a holocaust happening. Right now. And it's not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis.

    Species are going extinct en masse.

    Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth.

    "Mass Extinction Underway"

    •  Just think for a moment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nio, cultural worker

      When the cycle is complete with humans having exterminated themselves and most life, Mother Earth will get another chance to evolve an intelligent species.

      Many people miss the Divine Wisdom in such a plan.

      Best,  Terry

      •  wow ... (3+ / 0-)

        I'd sure like us to succeed as a species. Only way that can happen, though, is for tribalism, selfishness, and short-sightedness (is that all from the "lizard brain") to be bred out of us and cooperation, social justice, and the long view to be bred in. I'm not sure our brains can evolve fast enough to get us out of this predicament.

        When will we ever learn that PROFIT cannot be a part of the equation when endangering people's lives adds to a company's bottom line?--Earicicle

        by billlaurelMD on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:18:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't think so. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cultural worker

        I read something recently that calculated that within the several billion years the sun had left before expanding and frying us to a crisp the earth probably couldn't balance conditions again for life.

        And the billions of years needed to evolve intelligent life would be greater than the end of the earth.

        •  Lot Can Happen In Just One Billion Years (0+ / 0-)

          If we can be dumbed down to babbling idjits in just a couple of decades think of how life can progress in just a million years.

          Mother Earth has fuel for 10 billion years but will probably be within the expanding sphere of the dying Father Sun in 8 billion years.

          Give or take a few years.

          We men are always screwing things up when the womenfolk are bent on doing good.

          Sun-maddened kossacks look to the sun for deliverance and forget their poor mother.

          Sure hope mother can bear some intelligent children in her lifetime.  She is very fertile but has a lousy mate.

          Best,  Terry

    •  I read somewhere that "new" species in the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satanicpanic, CuriousBoston

      rain forest were going extinct faster than we could catalogue them.

      That something was disappearing before we could even know that it was here and what it was--

      I found that heart-breaking. And yet another measure of the mess we are in, that we are creating.

      We work in the dark. We do what we can. We give what we have. Our doubt is our passion. Our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

      by cultural worker on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:44:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  From Al Gore blog - pass the bill (3+ / 0-)

    According the Air Force Times: "The largest solar neighborhood in the continental U.S. will be on an Air Force base in Arizona’s Sonora Desert, where the sun shines 350 days a year."

    "Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson is putting the finishing touches on its record-setting “green” privatized housing development called Soaring Heights Communities, according to Col. Charles Hunter, commander of the base’s 355th Mission Support Group, which oversees the project."

    These steps are important, but even more vital to solving the climate crisis is passing the bill currently before the Senate. Over the next few weeks we need to demonstrate the overwhelming public support for this legislation.

    The Alliance for Climate Protection is giving you the opportunity to show your friends, neighbors, Congressmen and Senators why you support this bill. Add your voice to the Repower America Wall today by clicking here.

    No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:22:18 AM PST

    •  But, James Hansen, (0+ / 0-)

      who is actually a scientist and one of the leading authorities on human-caused global warming, says the bill would essentially be worse than no bill.  I think he referred to the cap-and-trade within the legislation as a "Ponzi scheme."

      I don't know that he's right; but (a) he knows a great deal more about the problem than I do, and (b) I don't think he's got a financial dog in the hunt on this issue to the same extent that many cheerleading for the Senate bill might.

      •  His expertise is on the science (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Luftmensch, Indie Liberal

        It is not on the politics of getting legislation passed or on the econonomic/financial means to get to what the science says needs to be done.  

        I have often heard Senator Kerry and Al Gore saying that they listen to the scientists and that informs what they legislate. I assume that they have spoken with many experts on the financial/ economic issues as well on what methods will move companies to bring carbon to the needed  level. Kerry himself has more expertise on what will pass the US Senate than Hansen does.

        •  Great point (0+ / 0-)

          But, if one of the most widely acclaimed experts is calling the POLICY an ineffectual "Ponzi scheme" which would be worse than passing no bill, I think he is addressing the scientific effects resulting from the legislation.  And he is qualified to address that subject.

          It is just like the health care reform debate:  some folks think passing ANY bill is better than not passing a bill, and some think that passing a bill which doesn't address the problem (and may very well make it worse) is worse than not passing a bill at all.

  •  Why Should We Believe Or Support The Democratic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mullsinco, nio, UTvoter

    Party about their stated intentions on climate change legislation when they have so miserably botched healthcare reform?

    •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karenc, CuriousBoston

      because climate change affects the whole world and its peoples, and every living thing on this planet, not just us, and certainly not one political party.

      A word about HCR: I don't think anyone is completely enamored of what looks to be the "final solution" for Healthcare. Of course we haven't seen what the conference may do yet to add or detract from pending legislation, so it still might be premature to anticipate what it will ultimately look like. And as well, there is still some time to affect that outcome.

      And not to defend the lackluster efforts of some in the Senate, but if you look at the history of reform in this country, there was probably never a time when one session of Congress adequately addressed a vital issue. We know that about Social Security and Medicare and we know that about issues of social justice as much as some of us Liberals or Progressives chomp at the bit of reform, and are anxious to see the full measure of it, there has to be some realization that the work is ongoing and that improvements are sometimes incremental.

      What good is the fight, if you only fight for fighting's sake?

      Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

      by valadon on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:40:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Senator, we appreciate your efforts, but frankly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mullsinco, kerplunk, washdcnow

    I have very little faith in the Congress at this point. Just like HCR, the climate change legislation is being held hostage by special interests and your colleagues who are sent to DC by them.

    Max Baucus and his pals from the oil  industry.

    "For the cost of deploying one soldier for one year, it is possible to build about 20 schools." N. Kristof

    by UTvoter on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:26:19 AM PST

  •  Thanks, Senator Kerry; but, (0+ / 0-)

    the actions proposed in the Senate are wholly inadequate to the greatest single challenge to the well-being of the human race in general since the onset of the nuclear arms race.

    Virtually every credible scientist and scientific organization has concluded that far more drastic cuts in carbon emissions must be put into place--in a far more rapid manner than proposed either in the Senate or by the Obama Admin's position at Copenhagen--if we are to have any hope of heading off catastrophic loss of human life and widescale shortages of food, water, and shelter, forest death, desertification, the collapse of the ocean food chain...

    We face a moral imperative that goes far beyond job protections for dying industries in the United States.  Our continued viability as a species on the only planet we've got may well be at stake.  Meanwhile, the Senate dithers--not because of a lack of efforts from people like you.  Look:  the Senate can't even pass wildly popular health care reform legislation!

    I am also deeply skeptical of your legislation precisely because it is co-sponsored by Lindsey Graham.  I am resolutely convinced--as a 30-year student of this issue and the political workings of the United States Congress--that bipartisan sponsorship of a bill provides the strongest indication that it will be merely "spin" designed to bamboozle the average citizen into thinking the issue has been solved.

    That's why I'm hoping that the Senate legislation fails, and that the EPA steps in to take the necessary drastic action.

    As Gary Hart said, there are some things more important than the preservation of incumbency.  Unfortunately, virtually no one in the decidedly anti-democratic US Senate seems to agree with this.

    •  Bipartisnship is needed-be pragmatic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, MH in PA, aliasalias

      Kennedy worked with Republicans to pass blockbuster bills. Hoping for Senate legislation to fail, and for the EPA to step in will not work.

      The EPA is an agency. Its powers are limited.

      Congress has the purse strings. Citizens vote for Congress. Citizens do not have any power or influence over the EPA.

      If the EPA establishes regulations, what power does it have? Fines.

      A new administration would be able to reverse EPA regs with a stroke of a pen. A bill signed by the President? No reverse.

      A signed law to show other countries? Acceptable.
      Regulations? Not acceptable.

      -6.88 eco -6.15 soc 12-12-09 Hist Channel 8-10 PM Howard Zinn -The People Speak

      by CuriousBoston on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:46:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am being pragmatic (0+ / 0-)

        Any bill capable of passing this Senate will be sufficiently toothless and full of coal-plant-sized loopholes as to be completely ineffectual in actually dealing with the urgent problem.  It will provide political cover for Senators who wish to look (a) like they are actually dealing with the problem and (b) as if they are bipartisan.

        As for citizens having any power or influence over Congress, guess again:  we thought we were electing a Democratic Congress in '06 and '08; and we thought the much-begged-for 60-vote margin would magically produce long-awaited progressive, effective legislation.  Instead, as Dick Durbin recently said, "Banks own this place."

        The signed law is already in place.  It is called the Clean Air Act (which, by the way, would NEVER pass this Congress).  

        As for the EPA's powers being limited, the US Supreme Court ruling in Mass. v EPA (2007) confirmed the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases under the CAA.  Under the CAA, the EPA has the power to enforce absolute emissions caps at individual facilities, enforce vehicle fuel economy standards, and probably even set and enforce stringent new renewable energy requirements.  And, in addition to fines, the EPA can seek injunctive relief which could include actually shutting down individual massive coal-fired plants,

        A bill signed by the President can be reversed by a new Congress and President.

        Finally, regulations are the enforcement mechanism for any legislation passed by Congress.

        So, remind me again, why are regulations "not acceptable?"

  •  Senator, At What Point Will You Be Joining (0+ / 0-)

    with Sarah Palin and endorsing her Climate Change proposals?

  •  Please push the jobs angle as much as you can (8+ / 0-)

    Senator Kerry:  I am in a red state (Georgia) that is not that focused on global climate change.  But it is hurting in this economic downturn.  I read the following two articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in the same day.  The contrast is remarkable:

    Jobless claims high and state fund nearly dry

    Nearly as many Georgians filed new jobless claims last month as in November a year ago – a grim sign that the job market continues to deteriorate badly.

    Nearly 73,000 laid-off workers placed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. That is a decrease of just 2.9 percent from the same month last year in the aftermath of the financial meltdown that sent the economy diving.

    More than 1 million people – more than 20 percent of the state’s work force -- have filed for jobless benefits since recession started in late 2007, said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

    "It is astounding," he said. "That is why I think the crisis is worse even than it first appears."

    The recent filings not only signal a miserable job market, but they also force the state’s benefits system close to the edge.

    In two years, the state has paid roughly $2.6 billion to laid-off Georgians. That flood of checks has left the state’s trust fund nearly dry. In the next week, Thurmond will likely ask the federal government for a loan so the state can keep paying its share of the benefits.

    For Norcross-based company, solar energy production is hot

    Solar-cell maker Suniva recently finished the first stage of a possible half-billion dollar deal with an Indian energy company.

    The Norcross-based company is helping a North Carolina firm build a "solar farm" outside Asheville. It also plans to construct a $250 million manufacturing plant in Michigan.

    But the real payoff for the still young, high-tech start-up may come from Washington.

    President Obama promises $150 billion in alternative-energy spending – money for solar, wind, ethanol and other renewable energies -- over the next decade.

    "We’ve seen a good deal of progress in the last 11 months or so, but more can be done," Bryan Ashley, chief marketing officer for Suniva, said Thursday. "Still, things are heating up quite a bit."

    Obama travels to Copenhagen next week for the United Nations climate change summit where calls to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other sources could lead to a greater emphasis on renewable energy – and profits for Suniva.

    The solar power industry notched 16 percent growth last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington-based nonprofit. Jobs created by photovoltaic solar cell manufacturers, like Suniva, jumped 81 percent from the previous year.

    Ashley said Suniva will increase its Georgia workforce next year by 50 percent. Today it employs 130 people at its clean, un-factory-like factory in Norcross.

    If people can be shown how this bill will help the American economy (and we need a consistent simple message on this), you will find more supporting it which would hopefully lead to more Senators supporting it.

  •  CO2 not only manmade greenhouse gas (4+ / 0-)

    Nitrous Oxide is 280 times as potent an atmospheric insulator, and it's concentration has also been steadily increasing due to human activity.

    Some's produced in internal combustion engines, more in industrial processes, but the largest contributor's the breakdown of ammonia fertilizer.

    Resisting Dumb wars since 1968

    by ben masel on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:52:01 AM PST

  •  Senator Kerry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NASA's James Hansen, one of the world's foremost climate alarmists, called the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the anti-global warming bill that recently passed the House, "less than worthless."

    Not only that, he referred to it as a "counterfeit climate bill" that employs a "Ponzi-like 'cap-and-trade' scheme" setting the nation on a "disaster course".

    The US is playing a game with it's 4% decrease over 1992 numbers.

    The methane is melting.

    I am scared of what that means.

    Run-away global warming.

    Catastrophe for earth and us.

    •  Thank you for pointing this out! (0+ / 0-)

      It is why I remain convinced that we must hope for this whitewash of a bill to fail, and for EPA to use its authority under the CAA (confirmed by Mass. v. EPA in 2007) to regulate all greenhouse gases.

      The Senator (and his cosponsor Lindsey Graham) even referred to the Bogeyman of the EPA as a threat to try to jam through their weak legislation.  Their Op-Ed (reproduced at dKos a few weeks back) even specifically stated the dire threat that EPA regulations would be much more stringent.

      Go EPA!

  •  thank for the summary, Senator (5+ / 0-)

    it was very informative, and hopeful.

    and Thanks for your dedication,
    and hard work,
    to actually build that better world,
    we all want.

    you continue to be  a True Patriot, sir.

    (as you always have been)

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:16:43 AM PST

    •  See? You preach to the choir (0+ / 0-)

      in order to get them to sing.
      Course some of them are off key, some don't know all the words and some are singing a different song altogether, but hey, that's what you get with a Democratic choir.
      I give it an 8. It's got a nice beat and you can dance to it.

      A Home Depot gift card - the new fruit cake.

      by ZenTrainer on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:27:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  End the filibuster and restore democracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, teachingmathnow

    to the Senate.

    •  good sig line (0+ / 0-)

      End the filibuster and restore democracy because the United States Senate is the least democratic institution we have, probably the least democratic of all world democracies, according to Thom Hartmann.

      No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

      by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:39:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also - why is value added with the Senate? (0+ / 0-)

        Just like the question, what value do the insurance companies add? What democratic value is added to our democracy by the United States Senate?

        No public option, no re-election. It's not complicated.

        by mrobinson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:41:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I got HR'd for questioning Kerry (0+ / 0-)

          Is this the kind of site Kossacks want? He condoned a protester being tasered. Is that really alright with you people? Mrobinson thinks that I need to HR'd. I think I am refreshing his and our memory of what a punk, (Kerry) is. I voted for him and would again against Bush Jr. But Mr. Skull and Bones seemed to have no problem with one of our citizens being tortured by taser. Hey Mrobinson can I taser you for HR'ing me? I would not have the stomach for it, but conceptually it works. C'mon punk, why did you HR me? Speak up and let the community here know why you think it is alright for a dissenter to be tasered. We are waiting.

          •  Senator Kerry did not condone tasering (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Luftmensch, Indie Liberal, gettowork

            He did not even know it had occured until after the event.

          •  Mrobinson hidiing their shame (0+ / 0-)

            What a punk POS. You HR me with no response. I call you out because I am from the Bronx and will always call out scumbags like you. Where is your response to me? Too many punks inhabit this site. I have no HR  check on my posts. I do not understand how people get to HR others. Apparently this is priviledge given to an elite that I am not privy to.  They are a cowardly bunch.  

            •  This is not the Bronx (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karenc, aliasalias

              You don't have HRs to hand out, because you are not a trusted user - and never will be, as long as you ignore the rules and norms of this site.

              Members of Daily Kos become trusted users when they consistently make constructive contributions to the community. It is an automated process - sorry to disappoint you with yet another CT fantasy, but Markos doesn't sit around and manually grant or remove trusted user status from thousands of users 24/7.

              If you stop hurling personal insults at other kossites with no provocation, stop with the misogynistic comments, stop ad homineming Senators who guest post here, and stop promoting a variety of conspiracy theories (that's what CT stands for here), then, over time, if you make comments that other members of the community consider constructive, and they recommend thos comments accordingly, then you will gain trusted user status.

              If you continue with your current behavior, you'll not only remaing untrusted, but you will hit autoban soon enough.

              It's not so bad. You'll find tremendous freedom to talk about whatever the fuck you want, expletives included - as long as you are, overall, on balance, over time, a constructive member of this community.

              Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:45:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you Random (0+ / 0-)

                You have ripped new a new one. But you did not HR me and that is my point. I could give a shit if I ever have an HR box. Like you, I will confront my antagonists to their face. People who HR without comment are punks. You, sir or madame, are not. I am sorry that you think calling a Senator to task for allowing the torture of one of our citizens is an ad hominem attack. If you approve of tasering dissent then you speak more volumes than my supposed vitriol can attest to. You speak of an autoban, I thought that was a well constructed highway in Germany. You seem to think that I am consigned to that fate. If you condone tasering dissenters than I am clearly not one of your ilk. But letting me know what it takes to have an  HR box has been invaluable. I don't need it, as long as people like you allow me to speak my truth. I stand by my comment, HR'ing without comment in so punk. You, Reason, have eluded that distinction. I am very uncomfortable with the ease you have with having dissent quelled with a taser. And you think you represent reason? You disgrace yourself by supporting torture of our citizens. And you have HR rights? Kinda like Obama excusing torture. At least you are not a punk,.

                •  You are engaging in simplistic binary thinking (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Indie Liberal, Rustbelt Dem

                  What folks here are opposing is your ad hominem attacks, your personal insults, your attacks on the messenger instead of the message.

                  Because you are so used to attacking the person instead of the issue, you assume that people who do not support your methods oppose you on the issue.

                  You also seem to think that HRs are about disagreeing with the substance, when, as the rules clearly state, they are to be used when a commenter violates the rules of conduct here.

                  It is your insults that are being HR'd, not your opinions about tasering.

                  No one here is tasering you, we are asking you to either adopt to the way people debate here, or find yourself kicked out.

                  Think of it as our living room. You can't expect to come in here and say, "I don't like your face, so I'm going to take a dump all over your floor". That's what you are doing with your communication here.

                  No one frankly is paying any attention to your argument about tasering, or your critique of the Senator, because your turds are distracting us.

                  Stop shitting all over our living room, and discuss substance like a civilized person.

                  Those are the rules here. Don't like them, there are a million forums on the Internet that wallow in feces all day long. Try 4chan, might be more to your liking.

                  Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:56:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So I will lurk. (0+ / 0-)

                    Where else may I find thoughtful commentary. So much for dissent. Traveling the lonely roads of superbly constucted German highways would bore me to tears. I will read but not post. You win. Pyrrhic though it may be.

                  •  I will peer into your living room (0+ / 0-)

                    as if visiting in an astral state knowing that I am not welcome. I do thank you for giving me the ability to lurk. Oh yes I may post but I am apparently considerd toxic. Your generosity is only exceeded by your sense of impropriety. I am chastened, and will fade into lurkerhood and you can call yourselves proud for removing my ilk.

                    •  Or, you could try communicating differently (0+ / 0-)

                      the same points in a different, more effective way.

                      See, that is the difference between a troll (or a returned troll under a different screen name), who is unwilling to change because his or her goal is not real communication, and someone who is just short-tempered or angry, who can learn to moderate their language.

                      Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 03:35:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  hey John Wayne-abe, I know you DO have a HR (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Indie Liberal

              collecting ability.

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:26:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  BS, you got one HR from me for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Indie Liberal

            " Mr Heinz is a Skull and Crossbones Scumbag" and I hope people click on your comment in th HR link. AND feed you some more pastry.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:23:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Lieberman practically spit on Harry Reid's (0+ / 0-)

        shoes today (when he said he'll vote against the HCR with any PO or medicare expansion), and Reid can do nothing about it since he still supports this illegal practice.

  •  Population, Population, Population (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MH in PA, Calamity Jean

    Thank you Senator Kerry for doing what you can from the Senate, but I would only suggest you ask yourself the ultimate question, is it enough?

    Will the bill you are working so hard at, be enough to stop the catastrophe where tipping points are rapidly approaching?

    There is no technologically conceivable method to switch from fossil fuels to Alt-E that will stop us from going past the tipping points, as long as our population is growing.  All our efforts at conservation or switching to Alt-E will be overwhelmed by a population that grows at even 0.8%/year.

    Reducing the financial incentives for Americans to have more children will do far more to prevent us from passing the tipping points than compromises that actually trade fossil fuel usage from overseas for fossil fuel usage here at home.

    Does any Senator have the courage to talk about this root cause of Global Warming and many other problems soon to face the planet?

    •  'financial incentives to have more children" ? (0+ / 0-)

      where is THAT at? Better yet, where did you get that? Put a link up. I do know that in Texas (pre-Shrub as idiot Gov.) that budget busting allocation of increased incentives for beyond the 3rd child was costing Texas an extra..(cue up those budgets hawks drumbeat)...$28.00 a month! Makes ya wanna have a few huh?

      Today on CSpan2 Al Gore asked the crowd ".. how many people here today Grandparents had 5 or more siblings ? A large number raised their hands. 'How many here today have 5 or more?" Only a few hands went up.

      This is true around the Globe, and in more agriculturally based population infant mortality being down means fewer childbirths are needed.

      I will add this, according to the CIA Factbook   'deaths/100 live births'
       the U.S is #46.


      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:06:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was under the impression that (0+ / 0-)

      the American birthrate was below replacement level, and our population increase was caused by immigration.

      Renewable energy brings national security.

      by Calamity Jean on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:55:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why hasn't more been made of NASA finding water (0+ / 0-)

    on the moon and what that could mean for us one day being able to mine for Helium3 to power nuclear plants safely and cleanly here in the future?  Why isn't more being done to bring the future closer to now?  I've read that one railroad car (a shuttle full) of Helium3 could power the entire United States for a year.  Of course we'd need a futuristic power grid (that would create jobs) to handle all that electricity, but why not dream big?  Meanwhile, we could have solar panels on all the big box stores in America to put electricity into the power grid. (That would mean other jobs.)  China is going to eat our bacon getting to the moon for Helium3 and all we're going to get is a debt clock on how much we owe China.  We are serious saps, IMHO.

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:38:34 AM PST

  •  End all subsidies to fossil fuel production (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crazy like a fox, Picot verde

    and consumption. This seems like a no-brainer. Will your bill do that?

    We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

    by Simian on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:48:34 AM PST

    •  Well, we need more than ending subsidies.... (0+ / 0-)

      we need to have a significant price on carbon. However, practically it shouldn't be done on the backs of the poor in coal states and/or devastate jobs in the already depression-era midwest and Appalachia.

      We need to phase those in, and fairly distribute the costs of conversion to a non-carbon energy system. That is the only way we can muster the political will to move forward now, and be fair at the same time.

      •  We need lots of things beyond ending subsidies (0+ / 0-)

        to fossil fuel production, I agree.  And yet the fact remains that we continue to subsidize fossil fuel production and consumption even as we plan these other measure, which is insane policy.

        We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

        by Simian on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 12:14:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for the updates, some lingering concerns (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde, SolarMom

    I'm concerned that the tens of billions of dollars for "cleaner coal" (e.g., CCS and CTL) do not make economic sense. The most recent USGS data on coal reserves points to a very real possibility that we will be quickly running out of coal before we could ever work out and scale up CCS.

    How can we:
    (a) make sure that money is only spent on CCS/CTL if it makes economic sense compared to other promising technologies,
    (b) make sure that rate-payers don't get stuck with paying for electric company gambles on "cleaner coal" if projects are canceled, and
    (c) reduce the longer term risk by investing a small percentage of that money today to assess how much coal there really is?

    Appalachia needs a hand-up for coal mining communities, not another hand out for coal companies. I applaud the mitigation money for workers displaced by clean air act enforcement--that's a good start (could we do the same for clean water act enforcement??).

    We also need funds to diversify the Appalachian economy. More centralized energy projects that are just big uncertain bets on coal is not diversification...

    They call me Clem Guttata, find me at West Virginia Blue

    by wvablue on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:01:25 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator (5+ / 0-)

    I appreciate the format you used to get to the meat of the situation we face. I think this has been your best diary yet. Obviously no one can speak for everyone, but I'd say that most here are as committed to the necessity of good climate change legislation and global cooperation with respect to this matter as yourself and that we will be there to support your efforts.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:17:01 PM PST

  •  Frank language from a voice of authority. (8+ / 0-)

    I love it.  Thank you so much for coming here today and laying out the situation for us, Senator Kerry.

    Everything is connected.

    by sciphile on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:23:58 PM PST

  •  Thank you for coming to share your valuable (2+ / 0-)

    thoughts and positions. I personally would be most pleased to receive more information about your blog site Truth Fights Back. It is getting increasingly difficult to find places to go where one can TRUST the blog owner to be telling the truth from their perspective at least.

    In my long life I have found that truth also is a pretty moveable feast depending on one's view from the bridge or the river.

    But you, I trust more often than not.  I am reading James Lovelock's  cry of despair and finding it hard to arrive at my own conclusions. He basically seems to think it is too late, not that he advocates doing nothing, but feels we, both the scientiific community and the mass public are looking at the problem wrongly and basically only reducing population to approx. one billion human ebings which he atates is all the planet can sustain.

    I have great admiration fo Lovelock and do tend to believe his Gaia theory of a living planet. I also believe that the planet will survive, humans and sentient life may not, but it seems to me to be an ABSOLUTE TRUTH that the planet cannot sustain growth at its current rate.

    I hope your new blog will address  that issue.

  •  Sen. Kerry: would you please comment on (0+ / 0-)

    the Cantwell/Collins legislation introduced earlier this week?/ Thank you.

  •  Please call them IDIOTS (0+ / 0-)

    When addressing any person who is anti climate change reform, or a global warming denier an Idiot.

    I think we need to adress the stupid people for what they are.  No need to sugar coat it.

    For example.  "Sarah Palin is an idiot.  Her opinion does not deserve any attention.

    I would love to hear John Kerry say that.  

    Please.  Call them out.  

    "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:43:37 PM PST

    •  Let's not stoop to ad-hominem attacks (6+ / 0-)

      Please. It backfires. You might as well shout "I am an IDIOT" because that is how most thoughtful people interpret such statements.

      Resist the urge. You don't need to count to ten first. Just count to one.

      You can bet that Senator Kerry has probably expressed himself using this very same word to others in private. Certainly this thought has crossed his mind.

      Me too.

      Call them out this way:

      Example: "It snowed today. Global warming? Ha ha ha."

      Calling them out: "It snows because it's cold in November. The heavy snow is a symptom of global warming because warmer air holds more moisture. More moisture; more snow or more rain."

      This is 7th grade Earth Science. Most 7th graders can present effective arguments along these lines. It's great entertainment, actually. I have high hopes for our kids.

      Then there's the fact that "climate" includes factors other than "weather". The two are linked, but all arguments fail the logical consistency test.

      Then there are those few who may be cognitive-challenged or socially-challenged. We should feel empathy for their problems. Maybe we should help rather than ridicule.

      It's easier to yell like a 3rd-grader. I have benn overpowered by that urge on occasion.

      "I believe in eight of the Ten Commandments" - Steve Martin

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:58:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, this is modeling good discourse, which (5+ / 0-)

        is sorely lacking among the Republicans and even some of us here.

        Kerry is good at it.  Some wished for a rougher Senator Kerry perhaps, but he is an icon of courage and leadership that models effective communication.

        At the same time, he has been known to let them have it....

        Single Payer is the Moral Option. Educate for single payer today.... Visit Physicians for A National Health Plan www pnhp com

        by divineorder on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:19:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is the Republican Health Care Plan. (0+ / 0-)

          If you get sick, Die quickly.

          This is on the same level of what needs to be done.

          I would love to hear someone say "Sarah Palin is an idiot, and I won't give her the time of day"

          "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

          by EarTo44 on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 09:33:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Senator Kerry (3+ / 0-)

    For fighting the good fight. And for coming here to post about this most important topic. Blessed Be.

    Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for you.

    by Purple Priestess on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:44:58 PM PST

  •  Thanks for posting here, and for your work on (4+ / 0-)

    the climate bill.  I hope you can close the loopholes for shipping and agriculture, and I hope a carbon tax is considered, at least.

    Thanks again, though.  It's important that we communicate every so often, to keep a level of respect and keep the ideas flowing.

  •  Why are there still tax breaks for fossil fuels? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, geodemographics

    From the Environmental Law Institute there is a study of subsidies for fossil($72B) as opposed to renewable resources ($29B). They have a cool graphic but I don't know how to post it. Anyway, why subsidize oil through the Foreign Tax Credit and other tax policies that encourage big oil and big CO2 emissions? Especially when they are making such huge profits!!??

    ELI study

  •  godspeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Liberal

    When can we expect Climate legislation to pass ?

  •  Go AFTER THE climate SKEPTICS (0+ / 0-)

    they have a very thin argument...hire some good assistants, pour over the e-mails, solicit advice from CRU.

    The whole CRU fraud story is bunk.

  •  Climate Change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, fromer

    For me the debate is over, now we need to act.

    If there is one thing that should unite all people. Hopefully it is this that will enable us to make  our own future brighter by clanging our reckless behaviour.

    I we do nothing the future for everyone looks very bleak indeed.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:09:13 PM PST

    •  the debate is never over. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaFeminista, CuriousBoston

      oh, the debate over if there's a problem is over, sure. (At least among the non-lizard brains).

      But there is a necessary, healthy debate needed to discuss what solutions we pursue, what we want a zero-emission world to look like, and on.

      But we need real debate, not Faux News/teabagger sabotage.

      The bear and the rabbit will never agree on how dangerous a dog is.

      by fromer on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:28:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a legal health issue. (0+ / 0-)

    Now that we've got an administration in office that officially and legally admits that pollution and CO2 cause health problems, then I'm not sure why the Blue states can't just go to court and demand that the Red states be forced to cut their emissions.

    Our kids here in the Blue states shouldn't have to die from cancer or get heart disease later in life because of asthma and other cardiovascular problems, just because some ignorant religious nut believes dinosaurs and mankind coexisted.

    People don't get to go around murdering people just because they're religious. At least that's not how it's supposed to be in this country.

  •  A thousand thanks you Senator Kerry. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc, Indie Liberal, CuriousBoston

    One observation:  As the stimulus and health care reform debates have demonstrated, even with the noblest intentions, the Senate is beholden to entrenched industries.

    I hope that any climate change measures that the Senate comes up truly direct funds to green entrepreneurs, small businesses, and researchers.  While the "power of the market" is no panacea, a diverse, widespread, new green economy can not only save our planet, it can save the American middle class.

    Do not trust to regulation alone.  America easily ignores regulation.  Help create market forces that cannot be ignored.

    The bear and the rabbit will never agree on how dangerous a dog is.

    by fromer on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:26:03 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Sen. Kerry. I really like the straight (5+ / 0-)

    talk. Many of us here are on the front lines out in the country working to provide that groundswell of support for addressing climate change.

    I am in Indiana working with a coalition of labor, business and environmental groups to convince our Senators Bayh and Lugar, and our Reps of the need to act NOW. We cannot afford to wait another year or two which as we all fear will drag on to more. Nature and the earth will not wait any longer.

    Thanks for your leadership. We are impatient. Because we worked so hard to have this moment by electing a President who gets it and a majority in Congress. Please, please don't let the Senate fail us as it seems to be doing on health care.

    We cannot compromise with the science of climate change by splitting the difference and eroding the targets bit by bit. The planet will not wait.

    •  Personally I am ready (0+ / 0-)

      for some straight action. Nothing against Senator Kerry in particular but I am getting tired of politicians giving us straight talk then mysteriously giving us different straight talk further down the line.

  •  thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Liberal, CuriousBoston

    Thank you so much for leading this fight in the senate. Although I really wish we could get the bill you sponsored with Sen. Boxer through, I can accept the compromise with Lieberman and Graham as well. Anything that would at least be a step forward at this point.

  •  Are the members of the Democratic Senate... (0+ / 0-)

    ...aware that their "base" would like them to be further left than they are?  

    Are they aware that a substantial number of people who oppose (whatever version of HCR is current) do so because it's too weak, not because it's too strong?  

    Are they aware that a substantial number of people who oppose Waxman-Markey and/or Kerry/Boxer do so because it's too weak, not because it's too strong?

    Or are our phone calls and letters just outnumbered by those from astroturfing temp employees working out of RNC-funded call centers?

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:35:09 PM PST

  •  Senator Kerry, I know where we would find you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at COP15 ... you'd be at Klimaforum! and you would be leading the march of 100,000 .....

    Thanks so much for participating in this weekend of Global Action.

    This movement is beyond politics. And it is time that the United States of America either stood up to the plate or abdicated its role as 'leader of the free world.' Oh yes, we lead in the # of defense weapons sold, the number of illegal wars currently being fought, our role in the modern day civil wars and our abdication of our role as a constitutionally run democracy.

    Senator, I recall so well your role in speaking truth to power during the VietNam war.

    I urge you to support our President now in the event that he has the gumption and integrity to commit the US to sign on to an authentic treaty, one which accepts our role in creating this crisis and recognizes the right of any individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To a future for ALL generations.

    Thank you sir.

    "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

    by boatsie on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:40:07 PM PST

  •  Climate change (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you Senator Kerry for your thoughtful discussion. It is helpful to understand more of the sausage making.
    I don't see this happening anytime soon. Why?
    The forces of do nothing are stronger right now. Energy concerns (aka the Koch brothers) have funded the anti-HCR folks in order to slow down or stop that reform effort and slow down any other legislation. So the forces of "do nothings" make you look like do nothings then you don't get re-elected. I don't understand why they want to stand in the way since they could make money funding "green energy" research while we phase out fossil fuels.

    I think there is also a problem with your messaging. This should be about jobs, saving money and and not sending money to people who hate us (19/20 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi).
    Otherwise, it needs to happen like other good laws, with at least 1 million people protesting in the street.

  •  Your post is lying by omission... (0+ / 0-)

    Everything you said in your diary is true.  Here is what you left out:

    1. You and Senator Lindsay Graham coauthored an op-ed piece in which you talked about seeking Republican votes by adding nuclear power subsidies and drilling for oil.  Oil is  a fossil fuel which makes the problem worse and nuclear waste is dangerous for thousands of years and there is no solution to the problem of storage and disposal.
    1. While Obama is talking about 17% reduction of 2005 levels by 2020, the European Union is talking about reductions of 20-30% from 1990 levels by 2020.  Meanwhile scientists are talking about the necessity of reductions of 40% or signifiicantly more by 2020 as being necessary to prevent disastrous levels of warming.  The US is very far behind where much of the rest of the world is.  Instead of leading, as a nation, we are lagging.
    1. No elected officials (House or Senate) or anybody in the Obama Administration are seriously talking about banning any further addition to burning of coal.  Yet climate scientists, James Hansen for one prominent example, are saying that that is the most important first step to curbing warming.  
    1. Finally, cap and trade has so many potential loopholes and so many possible ways to game the system that it is likely to take years to create a regime that will really reduce emissions.  THat is what has happened in Europe.  A carbon tax is so much easier to administer and politically so much easier a sell to the people because every adult would get a dividend of part or all of the money from the tax.

    What we are likely to come up with from the Senate is going to be so weak that it could be almost useless.  What the world needs is real leadership from this country.  What is happening instead is a half-baked compromise that kowtows to the energy companies.

    The biogeochemical systems of the Earth will do what they do in response to the inputs of greenhouse gases that humanity is adding to the atmosphere at greater and greater rates.  A weak law that only makes small changes is not enough and the future of all life on the planet as we now know it is potentially at stake.

    I implore you to do a lot better for all of us, but especially for future generations to come.

  •  Calls to Senators on Climate Change (4+ / 0-)

    Senator Kerry, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for a great speech at Somerville High last August.  I'm a member of Cambridge-Somerville for Change, and we have made now over 6,000 calls to voters on Health Reform, mostly in other states like Maine, Connecticut, Deleware, and Nevada.  As the energy bill(s) move through the Senate, we'd like to do some of the same for them.  It would be very helpful if you could give us tips from time to time on the key issues to press on, and (to the extent Senate decorum allows) point out key Senators that need to be persuaded.  Keep up the good work.  We need to be sure that existing coal plants are not excluded from regulation under whatever legislation finally is adopted.

  •  Hello Senator Kerry. I've been watching the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy Montrose, CuriousBoston

    Cape Wind Project get stalled and blocked by both sides of the aisle for years now by Senators from Massachusetts to Alaska. This would be a game changing power plant and getting it and more like it built would show some true leadership and the huge potential of offshore wind.
    Talk is cheap.

  •  Sometimes I wonder how things would be different (0+ / 0-)

    if the original plan for nuclear energy, as envisioned back in the late 40s, had been proceeded with. It called for the early introduction of breeders and reprocessing to use all the energy in the fuel instead of a percent or two; that kind of system also ends up producing much more tractable and short-lived waste, and that fact was also known early-on.

    The IFR concept is the breeder reactor concept plus one innovation that allowed more economical on-site reprocessing and refabrication of the fuel. It would not have been a total solution to AGW, but it would have given us a major reduction of emitted CO2 for at least a couple of decades prior to now.

    Nuclear power was our only choice for major new low-CO2 energy generation (after all the hydro sites were built up) until we got to the point of being able to design large, durable, cost-effective wind turbines and efficient, cost-effective solar energy systems.

    That might be a surprising statement. However, the first breeder reactor was built about the time semiconductors were first being experimented with. Helicopter design, which reads into the design of and performance prediction for large wind turbine blades, was also in its infancy at that time. I think it took quite a bit longer for those technologies to mature than it would have taken for breeder reactor and subsequent developments (IFR, etc) to be put into widespread use. It didn't happen because of cost and fear.

    There's a bit of opinion in the above, to be sure. And I don't disparage renewables. Just wondering what if.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:19:21 PM PST

  •  Thank You Senator Kerry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity, Lucy Montrose

    Thank you Senator for helping to get the cap and trade bill threw the senate.I send Lindsay Graham an Email once a month on this issue and he usually responds positively. I hope you guy's can really pull this off because the future of our species depends on it.

    Merry Christmas

    Crank up the crazy and rip off the knob! Stephen Colbert

    by Dugits on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 05:28:59 PM PST

  •  Provide China with Green Technology... (0+ / 0-)

    in exchange for reduction in US debt.

    This is just a 'brainstorming' idea, possibly flawed beyond my knowledge. Since China holds so much US debt, couldn't we strike a deal in which we provide China with Green Technology -- wind turbines, solar, etc. -- and China writes off US debt.  It sounds like a win-win situation -- massive jobs created in the US, China gets massive help in transforming its energy infrastructure, US has less debt, and China exchanges paper debt for tangible, physical assets.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 05:32:43 PM PST

  •  Sorry, but why should we listen to the Senate? (0+ / 0-)
    Sorry, but the Senate's track record hasn't been that stellar lately and it's becoming very difficult to generate any enthusiasm over any pending legislation since most of us believe that Lieberman and the rest of his so called moderate Democrat ilk in the Senate will trash it.
  •  More education is needed on Climate Change (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you senator for this and other efforts.

    Not to go off topic, but I am sure if other favorite Liberal/Democrats, Progressives were taking on this issue, the reception, if not reaction in this diary would be far different.

    That said, I do hope that you and your collegues (though I can understand the pessimism in Kossacks) will communicate aka educate more about Climate Change and how it relates to minority communities, as far as Green Jobs and the awareness of environmental racism.

    Clmate Change has always has a "Who cares?" vibe in our communities. The environment is not just a "white liberal" issue. It's a universal cause/issue that can be tied to things like the economy, jobs, education, and in some ways, health care.

  •  I just noticed that Senator Kerry's UID is 52. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Liberal, gettowork

    Thanks for being with us from the very beginning, Senator!

    Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

    by Lucy Montrose on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:00:34 PM PST

  •  No Climate Bubble Economy (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you Senator for giving us an opportunity to express our thoughts and concerns regarding climate change legislation.  My concerns are fairly simple:  please do not enable another financial bubble in "climate and environment" derivatives and other junk vehicles.  Cap and trade schemes, while economically a provocative and sexy idea, have a very real potential to inflate another Wall Street bubble.  Wall Street has already gambled our homes away, dabbled with our life insurance policies, demanded shareholder profits over our health and now they will want to meddle with our fragile environment. The "masters of the universe" have done enough, thank you!

  •  Senator Kerry, thank you (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for continuing to include the netroots as part of the conversation surrounding climate change. Many of our most passionate activists here work in various Scientific fields and really know their stuff.

    I'm concerned about the difficulty presented by some of the more conservative members of the Senate Finance Committee, such as Max Baucus, who proved obstructionist from the get-go with Health Care Reform. It's my understanding that he remains a gatekeeper, of sorts, through which all other bills must initially pass.

    I am also deeply concerned by other Democratic obstructionists I've seen -- those working not only against the most Progressive wings of the Party but also those working against all but the most Conservative wings of the Party -- Lincoln, Nelson, Landrieu, Conrad, and several others (yes, Lieberman).

    I hope the Democratic Party finds better ways to work around in-party obstructions. The anger that has resulted is palpable, and the fate of this planet is too urgent, too non-partisan, too above immediate corporate interests to jeapordize. If some Republicans, some moderate Republicans, can be worked with, I say that's good politics. This is too big of an issue. But please don't let them string the Party along, such as with Olympia Snowe: it created poor public perception amongst Democratic activists who will be pushing to GOTV for the Party in 2010 and 2012.

    I wish you Godspeed in finding ways to work effectively around those who would subvert your good work even from within the Democratic Party.

    You were a passionate advocate for Health Care Reform. I watched you closely, along with Senator Rockafeller. Your words moved me greatly. Thank you for your commitment to ethics above all else.

    "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Gandhi

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:32:13 PM PST

  •  Thanks for coming here (2+ / 0-)

    and for sticking with the climate bill.

    I would recommend simply freeing up more PACE funding, (like the Biden Recovery Through Retrofit program) because the demand for it could really speed up adoptions.

    I was surprised to find that simply making PACE available is so successful to the point where, now Rooftop Solar Now Provides 4% of Sonoma County Energy

    People can simply swap out out the electricity bill for a prop tax payment that is a straight swap and get solar instead. When Berkeley First started it it sold out in 9 minutes.

  •  Perfection is illusory, but the urgency is real (0+ / 0-)

    No one asks for perfection, but we need to take some big steps right away. We can take still bigger step down the road in the future, but tiptoeing down the road won't get us much closer. No one can even say what a perfect bill or perfect treaty would be, but we need bold action now. The less we achieve now, the more dire the situation will get. Those who counsel against taking drastic or even bold action ensure the inevitability of having to take still more drastic action later on.

    From a more purely parochial American standpoint, if we get going on developing our own alternative energy infrastructure and manufacture, we'll be better positioned as an economy in the new reality to come. That may sound like gibberish, but the point is there is no point in waiting or taking a go-slow approach. Full bore ahead -- if not drill, baby, drill, then how about Green, baby, green...

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:44:25 PM PST

  •  Questions: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy Montrose

    Do you think your colleagues understand

       * the secondary impacts of fossil fuel use?  Health care (National Academy of Sciences) estimate $130+ billion year in health care costs from burning fossil fuels), water pollution (what will impact of fracking be on NY City's water supply?), etc ...
       * the high financial payoffs of energy efficiency?
       * that renewable energy is increasing cost competitive, even without dealing with fossil fuel's subsidies and "externalities"?
       * that renewable energy costs are being driven down quickly?
       * how fast economic competitors (PRC, India, EU) are moving on clean energy technology?

  •  Problem is, I don't believe you. (0+ / 0-)

    Is the climate changing?  Yes.  Will Obama and Democrats do anything about it?  Yes, cave in to Republicans and mandate everyone pay for breathing so that they can give the money to the war contractors, bankers,  big pharma, insurance industry oil companies,.

    The last year has clearly demonstrated to all willing to see that the Democratic Party has changed sides.  You don't give a damn about working people and the middle class.  As Taibbi has been pointing out for the last four months, Democrats are owned, lock stock and barrel, by the banks, warlords, lobbyists, and Goldman Sachs.   So until I see evidence to the contrary, no money, no votes, no tips, and no recommends.   The same way you abandoned us, I am abandoning this shell of a party.  LBJ and FDR must be spinning in their graves.

    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

    by dkmich on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:38:59 AM PST

    •  Painting all Democrats with a broadbrush, (0+ / 0-)

      How productive.

      •  cruel perhaps, but that's the way it looks... (0+ / 0-)

        It may be that a handful of democrats. And the Blue Dog Democrats are the worst offenders. But the willingness of the Senate and White House to go along with neoliberal solutions to problems, creates the space for the blue dog democrats, their fellow travellers and Republicans to turn any project into a boondoggle for corporate america.

        Like it or not, there are many of us who do not fully trust the democrats, thanks to their votes for 2 wars, the US Patriot Act, 'welfare reform', deregulation, free trade agreements, etc. etc.

        Given the track record of the white house and senate so far this year -- the stimulus plan, the health care proposal, the utter lack of job-making legislation, while the white house celebrates the end of the recession -- its fair for someone who's seen this before, think they're watching a rerun.

        Perhaps, if the Senate and the white house do more things that benefit people without letting the private sector get their greedy mitts all over it or turn it into some empty symbolic nonsense), then that cynicism will fade. Our national debt will go down as well.

        One way would be for the government to robustly support solar panel installation on homes. Not just those families that are 'deserving' or 'responsible' -- or any of that priviliged, middle class tripe -- but every home.

        When I say support, I mean support like Rooosevelt did when he talked America into boarding up their fireplaces and replacing them with indoor heating back in the '30's.

        That would demonstrate a commitment not only to freeing our country of foreign energy resouces, but to free the ordinary American from the choking grip of the energy industry.
        It would also give us reason to hope that Congress and the White House represent the American people, and not simply US (big) business interests.

  •  Thank you, Senator Kerry, for your leadership.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Liberal

    ..on this most important issue. And while I disagree with him on most everything else, Senator Graham gets my applause for going against the grain of his party and getting on board with this, too.

    What can we do--in your judgment, from your own background as an activist for these causes-- as grassroots supporters of this cause, to further advance it and fight back against the "Climategate"/"Flat Earth Caucus" (as you so eloquently put it before) folks and their distortions, that are currently all over the main stream media these days?  Oh and I would PAY to see you debate Sarah Palin on this (or anything else). You'd of course win, hands down. :)

  •  Here is my views on Climate Change: (0+ / 0-)

    I like the idea behind cap and trade.

    However, I think we should invest in new technologies so we can no longer rely on foreign oil.

    My suggestion for investing in new technologies?  I think we should give NASA a stimulus check (maybe $500 billion?) and tell them to set people on the Moon and on Mars.  We got semi-conductors from the space race, who knows what other wonders we'll get from going to Mars?

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