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Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Progress' On Climate Change

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the climate-change-is-change-we-can-believe-in dept.

Earth 583

astroengine writes "President Barack Obama called for 'meaningful progress' on tackling climate change in his State of the Union speech in Washington, DC on Tuesday night. While acknowledging that 'no single event makes a trend,' the President noted that the United States had been buffeted by extreme weather events that in many cases encapsulated the predictions of climate scientists. 'But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it's too late,' Obama added." Other significant statements from Obama's speech: 34,000 troops coming back from Afghanistan over the next year; new gun regulations "deserve a vote"; rewards for schools that focus on STEM education; increases in tech research; a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.00/hr and tie it to inflation; and a proposal to use oil and gas revenues to fund a move away from oil and gas,

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Democrat proposes more spending, what a surprize (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882357)

Our Dear Leader has spoken: spend spend spend and don't argue about how to pay for it. Just keep spending and everything will work out ok.

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882419)

Well, if he was a Republican... he'd do the same, then lower taxes. Maybe a hair different on what exactly he'd spend it on, but otherwise, very little difference.

There's so little actual difference left between the two parties' stances that the strife and "you people"-ing has long since ceased to make sense. Why then even do it? Clearly it's not about any actual issue, and hasn't been for a long, long time.

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882623)

If that's the case, why vote Democrat instead of Republican?

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882633)

This is indeed a good question.

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42883107)

Coming up on this last election, I made the mistake of thinking the appropriate question was really, "why vote for either of them". For this reason, among others.

But now I'm left wondering if I screwed up. Not that my vote matters more than anyone else, but I was listening to the Address and thinking, as much as I disliked Romney, would his Address have been, "spend billions, raise taxes, ban guns, spend billions more"? I don't think it would have been. His platform, for all the things I disagreed with, was more like, "curb spending, close tax loopholes, that's all." I mean, he wasn't going to get to shut down PBS, or any of the other hyperbole we ate up.

Honestly, I feel like a sucker.

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (0)

michrech (468134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882921)

For me, voting Democrat came down to social issues and *where* the Democrats wish to 'spend spend spend' compared to the Republicans...

If that's the case, why vote Democrat instead of Republican?

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (3, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882753)

Yeah, god forbid Congress set our tax levels back up to the high rates of the Ronald Reagan era. That Reagan dude was clearly a fucking socialist.

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882853)

How about setting spending levels back to what they were in the Reagan era too? Ooooh, not so interested in that, are you?

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883079)

I agree, lets also trim government down to the same size as it was then. Oh wait - can't have that, can we?

Re:Democrat proposes more spending, what a surpriz (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883097)

How about setting spending levels back to what they were in the Reagan era too? Ooooh, not so interested in that, are you?

Spot on, AC, spot on.

at least he's consistent.. (2)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882359)

along with the rest of the US government...

Not News For Nerds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882371)

Do you really need a SOTU discussion thread here? I suppose if you wanted to focus the climate change and other science related topics is ok, but minimum wage stuff is so unrelated to nerd or tech news.

This is not a site for politics editors. Put that in your personal blog (This is an ontopic meta comment).

Re:Not News For Nerds (5, Informative)

darjen (879890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882437)

I've been reading Slashdot for over 10 years, and there has been politics ever since I remember. Nerds care about this stuff too.

Re:Not News For Nerds (1)

rroman (2627559) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882883)

The minimum wage may not be "tech news", however, it is stuff that matters since it affects the economy of the USA and thus the economy of the whole world. I'm not from USA but I appreciate knowing about it.

Excellent. (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882375)

Best set of policies I've ever seen from an American President. Hope he manages to get some of them through.

Re:Excellent. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882413)

They're just proposals. Merely ideas spoken out loud.

Re:Excellent. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882635)

What else do you expect? It's a speech, not a bill. I suppose he could get up there and read proposed legislation but about the middle of paragraph 2, everybody would tune out, including Congress. THEY don't even read bills on the House floor.

Re:Excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42883067)

Given is past record of condemning something, and then doing it, or supporting something an then not, I wonder what is really going to happen. :/

Re:Excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882641)

...and the sheeple listen and follow his instructions. They will contact their reps and demand Obama's well intentioned "ideas". We are not in this mess entirely because of the politicians. The PEOPLE who put them there in the first place must accept some of the blame, too.
Good intentions do not lead to good results.

Re:Excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882591)

It's all bullshit, as usual. Another communist wants to spend trillions of dollars we don't have when we're already borrowing .40 on every dollar.

It sounds good, politically, to triple down on environmental legislation and spending, except nobody cares about solving any real problems and we don't have the money. Their answer is always to just take more money from the people who can't afford it.

More drone deaths (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882383)

GITMO will remain open, more spending - yep, hope and change.

Re:More drone deaths (4, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882715)

Do you remember what happened when he actually tried to close it? Congress refused to let it happen. The only way he's going to get the detention camp closed is if he orders the release of all the prisoners.

Re:More drone deaths (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882791)

...which is what he should do, given the dubious legality of the prison camp to begin with. And yes, there will be people pointing the finger at him, but he has at least three excellent come back arguments:

1. Congress has had years to do something about this and has refused to act.

2. The camp is unconstitutional.

3. The camp does more harm than good.

The problem is we have a President who prefers to appear to be a wimpy appeaser of right wing extremists than be an actual liberal.

Re:More drone deaths (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882855)

I can't imagine the amount of foaming mouths and mad screeching from the right wingnutters should that ever happen. Would probably amount to straight-out political suicide.

Re:More drone deaths (2)

JWW (79176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883043)

I could see Obama doing that. Then he could just drone them all as soon as they are released.

The God Is Getting Crazy (3, Funny)

ixarux (1652631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882391)

Nonsense. Climate change is God's wrath for allowing a black (probably Muslim, possibly alien) Democratic President to come to power.

Re:The God Is Getting Crazy (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882649)

Based on what the nutters keep claiming, it's fairly obvious that they think Obama is a Timelord.

Re:The God Is Getting Crazy (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882745)

Nonsense. Climate change is God's wrath for allowing a black (probably Muslim, possibly alien) Democratic President to come to power.

Somehow I doubt that [telegraph.co.uk] .

But but but according to Marco Rubio... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882397)

We can't change or influence the weather in any way! That means doing anything is futility itself.

The only thing we can do is continue to burn resources that God has given to US, to use, as we see fit.

Certainly we can't dare to invest in alternative energy companies at all because they are universally like Solyndra and thus fail due to no particular misconduct or malfeasance of their own, but to the machinations of foreign nations which we pretend don't happen and instead blindly blame the company itself and use the name as a new shibboleth.

Re:But but but according to Marco Rubio... (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882655)

What was the drinking game trigger that caused Rubio to take a drink in the middle of his speech I wonder....

Re:But but but according to Marco Rubio... (1)

Atrox Canis (1266568) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883007)

Just prior to making his speech on live TV, he had recorded an 18 min session in Spanish. I suspect he might have, oh, I don't know, been thirsty.

Gun Regulations Do NOT Deserve A Vote! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882409)

What part of the second amendment do these people not understand? We do not have people vote to infringe issues and rights that are inshrined in the Constitution and are a part of the history and fabric of this great nation.

This would be like saying that we should have a vote on limiting free speech. It cannot and should not happen.

Re:Gun Regulations Do NOT Deserve A Vote! (1, Flamebait)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882463)

Yes, it can happen, and it should. If our democracy and constitution fails due to tyranny from the hands of our power hungry usurpers then we get what we deserve. "Those who would sacrifice some of their liberty for safety deserve neither." - loose quote. There comes a point where our constitution must be tested, and let it stand the test of trial.

Re:Gun Regulations Do NOT Deserve A Vote! (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882769)

When did the definition of tyranny become "Government doing something I don't like"? Because that sure seems to be what people are meaning by the word these days.

If you think Obama is breaking the law, give solid examples. If you think he is lying, give facts that attempt to prove your case. If and when your facts are shown to be lacking, acknowledge the fact and come up with a different argument. At the moment the people that don't like Obama are throwing words around like rocks but I never, EVER see any facts coming about.

I hate what is going on with the drones, but the absolute lack of rationality in Obama's opposition right now keeps driving me to make comments. Get some rational leaders and get some good arguments with honest to goodness FACTS that aren't simply word twisting and I'm sure people will listen to your side, but right now you're no better than the loud, drunk redneck in a saloon.

Re:Gun Regulations Do NOT Deserve A Vote! (1)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882881)

And why do Obama supporters automatically assume that when someone talks about government tyranny that we're speaking in regards to their dear leader? I'm actually talking about the part of government that proposes and passes laws - because ultimately that's where everything is going to go down in regards to gun control legislation.

Re:Gun Regulations Do NOT Deserve A Vote! (4, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883117)

The definition of tyranny was and remains a government that does not protect the natural rights of its people. The fact that people don't like a government which, like ours, routinely abrogates those rights does not mean that the abrogation is not tyrannical. So just to give one example, the President asserts the right to kill Americans without due process if he deems them to be a terrorist threat, even in America, on the theory that "the battlefield is everywhere." Is that, the utter abrogation of the right to life, not to be taken without due process of law (which doesn't simply mean making a law, or worse a regulation, or worst an executive order), not tyranny? And before you stalk off about this, yes, Bush was tyrannical, too, as witness the Padilla case.

Re:Gun Regulations Do NOT Deserve A Vote! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882815)

Please read the entire second amendment. It mentions the need for a "well regulated militia"

Old Stories (-1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882427)

There was a certain King Canute who went to the beach one day and ordered the tide to stop flowing. I can imagine Obama's ideas and efforts will have exactly the same effect. While he's at it he should make tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes illegal.

Re:Old Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882497)

You're right, Canute should have ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the tides.

Or whatever his Danish equivalent was. Either that, or conquered the Netherlands to get their expertise.

Then he could have had the Thames Barrier constructed.

Sorry dude, but your apocryphal story which was about appealing to the divine doesn't even hold water.

Re: Old Stories (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883071)

I don't get your point. The Danes did not try to outlaw the tides. They constructed protection against them. The tides are still there.

The argument here is that by and large climate change politics is about trying to outlaw the tides. It just won't work. Sure the science is indisputable. The climate is changing and humans affect the environment. However the still overlooked inconvenient truth is that it is just as certain that climate change cannot be reversed. To survive our society will have to adapt to accommodate the changing climate.

I am not saying we should stop paying heed to our rate of carbon consumption and release into the atmosphere or that measures to curtail the same would have no effect. However credible studies on the degree of effectiveness of carbon reduction measures is conspicuously absent. In the meantime history has shown that the climate can change enough to cause great strife even in times when we had far less impact on climate than we do now. From about 1100 AD when the world was about as warm as it has been in modern times to the 1600s when other was a mini ice age to the dust bowl of the great depression we have had to adapt to conditions beyond our control.

My biggest fear is that politics and science in this debate have been so conflated that humanity is not taking in the complete picture and instead governments tilt at windmills trying to do the equivalent of outlawing the laws of nature.

Horrible Analogy (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882515)

There was a certain King Canute who went to the beach one day and ordered the tide to stop flowing. I can imagine Obama's ideas and efforts will have exactly the same effect.

Your analogy is terrible. History and other countries have shown that industry and consumers don't give a shit about the environment. And that goes for both capitalistic and socialistic societies. We've shown in the past that government regulation can fix things like CFCs and the pollution of drinking water so what's so batshit insane about proposing we fix this with regulations?

Your analogy would work if King Canute had previously ordered a lake to split in two and it had worked.

While he's at it he should make tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes illegal.

I don't know what this is? Some throwback to that bullshit logic about gun control? I guess people are still being murdered so we should revoke all the laws outlawing murders? I mean, when murdering is outlawed then only murderers will have the ability to murder people!

It's not about controlling the weather. The weather is a symptom of the problem of spewing tons and tons of carbon and greenhouse gases into the air and environment. So he's tackling the root cause of the problem, not making a symptom illegal ... is this some new parroted right-wing narrative you're getting from Facebook or something?

Re:Horrible Analogy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882869)

Your analogy is terrible

It's also incorrect. The story is not about Canute's arrogance but his humility. He wanted to show his adherents that a king may not command everything so he illustrated, so the story goes, by commanding the tide with predictable results.

Like Guy Fawkes in America, he is now remembered for doing exactly the opposite of what he did.

Re:Old Stories (1)

ixarux (1652631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882549)

Umm..
Canute ordered the tide to stop flowing to show his followers that while the deeds of kings might appear great in the minds of men, they were nothing in the face of God's power.

Geez... At least get the old stories right before using them in an absurd analogy.

Re:Old Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882637)

Who the hell marked this as Insightful? This is a classic example of reading comprehension failure, poor analogies and excessive generalizations.

Re:Old Stories (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882747)

While he's at it he should make tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes illegal.

I don't understand how you can construe this out of what was written. He's not proposing "legislation against nature" yet you somehow managed to interpret it this way. Does '12 hottest years on record' not lead you to any kind of logical clarity?

Ending the Afghanistan occupation - again (0)

xiando (770382) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882445)

So the US is ending their occupation of Afghanistan again? Like they did the last few times they announced a "full withdraw"? The only thing I find more amazing than official US propaganda is that most people seem to believe it.

Re:Ending the Afghanistan occupation - again (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882535)

So the US is ending their occupation of Afghanistan again? Like they did the last few times they announced a "full withdraw"?

Could you provide some links to these previous announcements about Afghanistan, and when they would occur?

The only thing I find more amazing than official US propaganda is that most people seem to believe it.

Indeed. By the way, where do you get your info from? A "trustworthy" party organ?

Last US troops withdraw from Iraq [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Ending the Afghanistan occupation - again (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883101)

You don't believe that when thousands of military personnel and contractors are given diplomatic immunity that they suddenly stop being part of the military, do you? There are still thousands of US military in Iraq, most of them stationed, sorry "being diplomatic", in the US embassy complex (which is almost the size of the entire Vatican City State).

Citation needed? Would you believe the Governemnt's own Accountability Office in the Department of State? Try http://iraq.usembassy.gov/political-military-affairs.html and http://iraq.usembassy.gov/security-office.html for a start, found in about 10 seconds of googling.

Are You Confusing Afghanistan with Iraq? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882569)

So the US is ending their occupation of Afghanistan again?

Where on Earth did you read this? Are you confusing Afghanistan with Iraq?

Like they did the last few times they announced a "full withdraw"? The only thing I find more amazing than official US propaganda is that most people seem to believe it.

[citations needed] on the "last few times" and I'm almost certain that they never have announced a "full withdraw" (why do you even bother using quotes on that phrase). Actually, it's really hard but if you read the summary he announced the removal of 34,000 troops. Removing 34,000 != "full withdraw"

Seriously, are you ripping on him for something no one ever said? It's really hard to talk about "Official US propaganda" when you're muddying it up even further by imagining crap.

Get on with it! (5, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882449)

It strikes me that if you just let this man run the country for the remainder of his term without obstruction America could be the country that most people in the world have been told it is. And the whole world would be a better place.

Alternatively you can obstruct him at every turn and show that you are hypocrites that talk democracy and freedom, but are nothing more than corporate shrills doing the bidding of lobbyists, none of which are working for the American people, let alone the world.

And if you won't, for fuck sake let him run another country. Australia would love to have Obama as the leader. People of his mien come once a generation FFS.

Re:Get on with it! (4, Interesting)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882501)

Yeah as an Aussie I would say I'd much rather Obama than any of our politicians at the moment. They seem to have one of the easiest political jobs in the world and yet still fail to remotely suggest any grand future plans for our country, just more of the same sh*t I've been hearing for years.

Re:Get on with it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882513)

It strikes me that if you just let this man run the country for the remainder of his term without obstruction America could be the country that most people in the world have been told it is.

True, but some of us would prefer to have other nations think of the US as a place of knowledge, learning and benevolence, rather than an angry bully, clinging to dreams of Empire, that will happily incinerate your family with a Hellfire launched from a drone.

Re:Get on with it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882661)

Can we have the man who expanded and extended the Patriot Act make American "be the country that most people in the world have been told it is"?
 
I don't think so.

Re:Get on with it! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882717)

It strikes me that if you just let this man run the country for the remainder of his term without obstruction ...

Alternatively you can obstruct him at every turn and show that you are hypocrites that talk democracy and freedom...

Comprehension of principles of democracy? : Epic fail

Dodgy indeed.

And if you won't, for fuck sake let him run another country. Australia would love to have Obama as the leader. People of his mien come once a generation

Here is a helpful hint: The person being referred to in Jerusalem [youtube.com] is not President Obama.

Re:Get on with it! (3)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882741)

It strikes me that if you just let this man run the country for the remainder of his term without obstruction America ...

That's not how government works in America. Never has.

Re:Get on with it! (1)

Atrox Canis (1266568) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882865)

But, what if I have an honest objection to the proposed actions put forward by the President? Am I simply supposed to just roll over and submit to his will? And will you be willing to do the same should a Republican be elected President next time? No, the American system is designed to limit the amount of power (read: dominance) that any one branch of government may exercise. I didn't want then President Bush to have unlimited authority during his tenure and I don't want that for President Obama either. President Obama is human and thus able to make mistakes. As are you. I suspect that should you go back and read your original comment, you might see the wording needs a little tweaking so that it doesn't come off as a plea for all the rest of us to just shut the fuck up and do what we're told.

Re:Get on with it! (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882975)

Alternatively you can obstruct him at every turn and show that you are hypocrites that talk democracy and freedom

So, what you are proposing is that Congressmen prove that they are in favor of democracy by voting the opposite of the way their constituents elected them to vote and that they are in favor of freedom by voting to support a man who believes that the government can order you to act against your religious beliefs?
Considering that polls consistently show that more U.S. citizens oppose Obama's policies than support them, I am not sure how you get the idea that voting for his policies represents democracy in action.

Carbon Revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882467)

Carbon Revenue. It's not a tax. It's Revenue for everyone.

Re:Carbon Revenue (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882567)

That and internalizing a formerly externalized cost.

He had plenty of time to do that if he wanted to (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882473)

Giving a nice speech doesn't really convince me of his intentions after sabotaging Kyoto.

Re:He had plenty of time to do that if he wanted t (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882761)

And his "investment in clean energy" historically seems to just mean little more than handing out a billion dollars to businesses who had nothing but powerpoint slides. (And who had probably greased lobbyists palms with silver.)

He's no hero, he's just a businessman who's currently CEO of the biggest business in the world, one that answers to noone, and who's friendly with lots of other businessmen who only answer to him.

I didn't watch the speech (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882487)

Talk is cheap, and the State of the Union address is about pageantry and blowing hot air, not anything that will actually happen. Come back to me when you have a serious effort, which will probably involve legislation, a budget, an actual agency, probably some grant programs, and other tangible steps. Come back to me when thanks to some serious efforts and funding, we have solar or geothermal or hydro power that could handle the entire energy needs of the US. Come back to me when you have serious conservation efforts that make Americans not the most wasteful people on the planet.

You know, people made fun of Jimmy Carter suggesting things like turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater, and for installing solar panels on the White House, but he was basically right about the necessary course of action.

Re:I didn't watch the speech (0)

Duckie37 (2840333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882685)

Actually the big scare then was Global Cooling.. Everyone was afraid we were entering the next ice age. That's where the theory of possibly using Carbon to heat up the earth came about. But since carbon is only about .01% to.07% of the atmosphere it would be pointless..

Re:I didn't watch the speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882809)

News journalists were worried about that... not so much scientists.

Re:I didn't watch the speech (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882837)

No, "Global cooling" was never a "big scare", despite the anti-science myth machine constantly claiming otherwise.

Re:I didn't watch the speech (3, Interesting)

gatzke (2977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882901)

Global cooling was taught in my middle school science text books. I remember the "Igloo Effect" specifically.

Popular press seized on it as well. You may not be old enough to remember, but it was out there in the MSM.

I really like the new rationalization, "blizzards and snow are caused by global warming." Or just cover all the bases and stick with "Climate Change" so you are always right.

Re:I didn't watch the speech (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883095)

Global cooling was taught in my middle school science text books. I remember the "Igloo Effect" specifically.

It's worth pointing out that I also received dubious presentations of unscientific material when I was at Middle School. I remember being told that all oil would run out in 20 years. They even had a presentation by some outside experts to warn us of the impending oil shortage. Was it ever a scientific consensus that all oil would disappear in that time scale? No. Did some environmentalists keep making the claim based upon a dubious argument about the availability of known oil supplies and a complete misunderstanding of economics? Well, yes, but that doesn't change the lack of scientific credibility for the argument. Did the media hype the story? Why yes, but it remains meaningless. And for what it's worth, the "20 years" thing seemed to last... well, 20 years, always being 20 years no matter when the urgent call to action was being made, while "global cooling" was a fad for a few months.

There was never anything approaching a scientific consensus about global cooling, and indeed it was debunked as a hypothesis within a few months of appearing on the radar. It made it into the MSM you say? Why, there's a surprise! Because we all know that the Weekly World News is on a par with Nature for its peer reviewed science.

As for your last paragraph, I strongly suggest you start reading up on the subject rather than relying upon tired simplifications from Fox News (or your Middle School, I guess) and actually start listening to what climate scientists are actually saying, rather than twisted contextually challenged versions of what they're saying. It's certainly more than reasonable for a climate scientist to assert that more severe weather events may be due to temperature changes, given temperature changes will have an affect on weather patterns. But no-one in the climate science group will ever tell you that a particular blizzard was "caused by" global warming.

Re:I didn't watch the speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882905)

The myth that global cooling had any scientific consensus in the 1970s has been repeatedly debunked.

See: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

      "There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an
      imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated
      the peer-reviewed literature even then."

Re:I didn't watch the speech (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882927)

Actually the big scare then was Global Cooling.

No, the big scare that was that the revolution in Iran in 1979 was cutting off the supplies of oil to the US, which was already causing gasoline shortages and other serious problems. Environmental concerns had nothing to do with it.

Re:I didn't watch the speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882851)

... but he was basically right about the necessary course of action.

If you keep flip-flopping back and forth between Global Warming and Global Cooling, you'll probably be right about 50% of the time. Those are pretty good odds for Democrats, so naturally they can't resist.

Of course, you're absolutely correct when it comes to the pointlessness of the SOTU.

Circular Reference (4, Insightful)

gmclapp (2834681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882503)

Now, I'm no economics expert... But aren't minimum wage increases one of the (albeit small) contributors to inflation? And as such, wouldn't tying minimum wage increases to inflation create a circular reference of sorts?

Re:Circular Reference (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882691)

Yes. Either because products are more expensive to product or because demand increases (thanks to more money to the consumer) and causes demand driven price increases.

Re:Circular Reference (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882695)

If we were smart we would increase the minimum wage and at the same time impose tariffs and regulations on importing goods from countries that do not meet minimum human rights, worker pay, and environmental standards. But nobody wants to take on China so we will not do it. So a minimum wage increase if passed at all will increase outsourcing enough to offset inflation contribution.

Re:Circular Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882767)

If we increase the minimum wage again, a bunch of minimum wage workers will lose their jobs again. Just like the last time.

It's worthless because we don't all get wages. (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882775)

So what about the people who get income not in the form of wages?
They should raise the basic income but there is no basic income yet unless you count welfare and welfare is hard to get and they want to make people pay a fee to get it in North Dakota, see: http://www.topix.com/forum/health/womens-health/TEII96LUBC3DL8UJJ [topix.com]

Re:Circular Reference (4, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882797)

But aren't minimum wage increases one of the (albeit small) contributors to inflation?

Some economists think that average wage increases are the primary cause of inflation, some think that price increases in important commodities are the primary cause of inflation. If you're in the first camp, then the importance of a minimum wage increase depends on what percentage of workers make minimum wage, which in the US is about 1% of all workers. If you're in the second camp, then the minimum wage increase has no effect on prices.

And as such, wouldn't tying minimum wage increases to inflation create a circular reference of sorts?

Of sorts, but the effects would probably vary a lot based on what industries we're talking about. The risk is this: The increase in pay leads to an increase in the price of, say, hamburgers, which leads to inflation, which leads to an increase in pay, in a vicious cycle. The alternative is that the increase in pay leads to decreased profits for McDonalds Inc shareholders, which has no effects on inflation whatsoever.

Re:Circular Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882961)

The alternative is that the increase in pay leads to decreased profits for McDonalds Inc shareholders, which has no effects on inflation whatsoever.

upon which the shareholders demand that McDonalds increase profits back to previous levels or higher. so McDonalds increases prices, which has an effect on inflation.

more math and science won't bring jobs (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882555)

It works the other way around. Bring back US manufacturing jobs and there will be more demand for US engineers. Our jobs didn't get outsourced for lack of US skills. They got outsourced due to wage scales. How are you going to compete when some guy in China can do your job for less than the US poverty level?

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882693)

The way we compete with China and India is by improving our skill sets and by automating our factories. If we don't need hundreds and thousands of workers as cheap labor, then we don't need to outsource of jobs. 3D printing is one example of tech that can help. AI may be can help too in this. The other thing that can help is high skill tech jobs like game programming. If more and more folks in the US start learning skills that are sparse then we don't need as many folks from India to do the same jobs. There will be some outsourcing still due to greed/low wages etc but it wont be on such a large scale.

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882887)

If we don't need hundreds and thousands of workers as cheap labor, then we don't need to outsource of jobs.

So what are you going to do with the people who can't hold down a high-tech/creative job? They don't magically vanish, and putting them all in prison would be horribly expensive.

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882709)

How are you going to compete when some guy in China can do your job for less than the US poverty level?

The solution is tariffs on goods from or trade restrictions with countries that do not meet minimum human rights, worker pay, and environmental regulations.

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882711)

And soon if Obama gets his way, the Chinese engineer with advanced training will make less than US minimum wage

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882953)

Nobody has lost a job in the US because someone else could do the job in another country for less.

I can safely say this because while labor may make up a high proportion of the costs of goods and services that you buy, manufacturing labor (as in "people who man assembly lines" - the people who actually lose their jobs when Dell closes a factory and buys circuit boards from Foxconn) make up a tiny proportion of the labor portion. The classic 80:20 rule, which applied during the 1980s and is, today, even worse, tells you that 80% of the "labor" portion of the goods is paid to the top 20% high earners in each company, and high earners generally haven't been outsourced.

Why, then, did Dell and others outsource? Flexibility. It's about being able to send a new PCB layout to a factory and receive the first batch of 100,000 circuit boards inside of a week rather than months. The simple truth is that Foxconn et al ate our lunches. They weren't cheaper (not significantly, anyway), they were simply better at it, and very attractive to companies that didn't want to spend time and money on running a large, inflexible, corporation.

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (5, Informative)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883087)

"Nobody has lost a job in the US because someone else could do the job in another country for less."

Hrmm. Obviously, you've never worked in IT.

I know hundreds of people who were removed from their positions because someone on the other side of the planet could do the same job (actually, they did the job much worse, but apparently that's irrelevant compared to cost) for less than half the price, plus, they aren't being employed as an "employee" so, no health care, matching 401k contributions, or any of that other nonsense that makes a regular employee so expensive.

Re:more math and science won't bring jobs (3, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882987)

How are you going to compete when some guy in China can do your job for less than the US poverty level?

Trade Tariffs.

Climate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882579)

Can someone tell me what the temperature of the earth is supposed to be set at? Apparently it's not set right.

Climate Change? (-1, Troll)

The Shootist (324679) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882603)

Obama can simply kiss my ass

Raising the minimum wage is worse than useless (4, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882757)

Because the trend is to turn us into either unemployed, or independent contractors, or temporary workers. An independent contractor can work for lower than minimum wage so the minimum wage doesn't matter when not everyone is paid in wages. Why not minimum income? Why not government guaranteed basic income? Watch this video for more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sDBF_MbflY [youtube.com]

Right action, unscientific argument (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882785)

Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it's too late,' Obama added."

They *could* be just a freak coincidence...sure they probably aren't, but it's practically impossible to pin individual weather events, or even a pattern of weather events over the span of a decade or two, on global warming. If you toss around bullshit and FUD to support action on global warming you're becoming the enemy to beat the enemy, while simultaneously feeding into their conspiracy theories and jokes.

Re:Right action, unscientific argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882957)

Actually, the scientific experts have been very careful to state that neither the frequency/density nor strength of hurricanes has appeared to change due to recent (last 10, 30, 50 years) data. I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the president used a fallacy to attempt to make his case.

Yeah... (1)

conquistadorst (2759585) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882849)

I love that we have mountains of piled up cash sitting around everywhere to do all these great things. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually not against deficit spending, I'm just against the levels of deficit spending we're doing right now. Our current annual deficit spending is $901B. Yes, so if we eliminated the entire military defense budget. YES, all of it! Every single penny, not a single uniform or weapon in existence. This would still *NOT* cover the deficit gap. We'd still be over $200B short. If we contracted deficit spending now we'd undoubtedly make the economy implode. Let me rephrase that, if we reasonably spent within our means we'd be shambles. That reality should scare the heebeegeebees out of everyone. Yes we can continue spending in hopes it spurs economic development and all sorts of revival goodies. What if it doesn't work? When do we stop? We have some major concerns here, and we're taking some pretty damn big risks. More like a game of chicken with the country. At this point we should be throwing away things that don't directly spur economic development. $40B for school breakfast programs, the hell? Did we forget how to feed our children breakfast? Garbage like that has no place in our house right now.

No such thing as 'man made global warming' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882879)

And 'climate change' is a meaningless term, because the climate is ALWAYS changing.

Here is a rebuttal of Obama's nonsense (not that he actually wrote any of it himself anyway):

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/19683/Obama-fails-climate-science-in-his-State-of-the-Union-address--Climate-Depots-pointbypoint-rebuttal-to-the-Presidents-global-warming-claims

How I laugh at the braindead Slashdot crowd who cling to this ridiculous myth of 'global warming' without looking at the facts.

Not so much, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882889)

The pipeline is being bandied about as going ahead "for teh enegi indepedense!".

Makes zero sense.

Boring! (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882895)

Just like every other State of the Union, it doesn't tell us one damn thing we didn't already know. "The planet's getting warmer." "The poor don't have any money." "Rich people don't pay enough taxes." Zzzzz...

How about this:

"My fellow Americans: yes, the aliens are real. We used to keep them at Roswell, but that got a little too touristy, so Lyndon Johnson had them moved to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Ain't nobody gonna look there," he said, and he was right. Oh, and I really was born in Kenya - suck it."

Progress, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882917)

Did he also proposes "an accurate progress bar" [slashdot.org] for the "Meaningful Progress"?

What about the Budget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42883013)

It seems to me that Obama is pushing initiatives that I'd expect from more socialist European countries but without embracing the much higher tax rates that naturally accompany this. Didn't the US recently back out of a serious commitment to raise taxes?

If the American tax payer isn't paying for all of this, who is?

Re:What about the Budget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42883113)

I already pay 60% of my income in taxes, fuck you very much.

Nothing new (2, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883041)

I like Victor Davis Hanson's take: [realclearpolitics.com]

Sadly we know the Obama boilerplate speech by heart, and so the inaugural address was by now unfortunately straw-man psychodrama. Five years ago, the well-delivered script caused fainting, now it should earn mostly yawns: Fault the well off; invest more borrowed money in more federal programs that have no demonstrable record of success; blame the bad news on others; ignore the $1 trillion-plus annual borrowing; threaten to use more executive orders; demonize the opposition; take bad news abroad and declare it good, and fluff everything up with the hope-and-change cadences that address the trivial and avoid the fundamental.

He wrote that about the inaugural address, but frankly it also applies to the State of the Union, and pretty much every other public utterance by this President.

Choices (1)

JWW (79176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883057)

1) Fix the Economy

or

2) Fix Global Warming

please choose one......

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