Saturday, November 28, 2015

'Carbon Fee and Dividend' to mediate Human Caused Climate Change

Dr. James Hansen and others have advocated since 2008 for a "Carbon Fee and  Dividend" as a viable way to mediate human caused climate change. In my opinion Americans and global citizens should be made more aware of this concept, that it should be discussed widely and implemented as soon as possible.

Photo above by honoring Dr. Hansen for his leadership.

Dr. Hanson is writing a two part essay on this topic November 28 and 29, 2015, just before the Climate Talks in Paris starting December 1.  Here is a link to the first one on November 28.

"...fossil fuels appear cheapest to the consumer only because they do not incorporate their costs to society, including the effects of air pollution, water pollution and climate change. Economies are more efficient if energy prices are honest, including external costs in the price."

"A consequence of this fundamental truth is that climate change can be addressed at no net cost, indeed with economic gain, provided that true costs are added into the price gradually. A simple transparent way to do this is to collect an across-the-board (oil, gas, coal) carbon fee at domestic mines and ports of entry."

"If the funds collected are given in equal amount to all legal residents, the fee is revenue neutral and spurs the economy. This is a conservative approach, because it allows the market to assist change and it does not provide a dime to make government bigger."

Another article By Dr. Hansen provides a shorter summary on this topic titled:  "Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative of a Carbon Fee and Dividend"

"This chapter discusses the importance of a carbon fee and dividend in minimizing the impacts of climate change on humanity and nature. Before outlining the policies needed to produce a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel emissions, it enumerates the fundamental flaws of the Kyoto Protocol from the standpoint of climate science... Specifically, it proposes a flat (across-the-board) rising fee (tax) on carbon emissions. It also explains how such an approach may be implemented both nationally and internationally."

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Internet Provides Networked Scientific Research Publishing.

I have been impressed by the Scientific Method for many years and now watch the Internet for information about scientific studies that are reputable, repeatable and peer reviewed.

This is an interesting article by Oliver Dumon with the title "

How the Internet Changed Science Research and Academic Publishing, Creating the New Research Economy

Dumon notes that "A more significant advancement in the past five years has been the emergence of "networked science" -- the concept that scientific content cannot, and should not, exist in a vacuum. Articles by different authors are now linked to banks of data sets, reference books, videos, presentations and audio tracks. Scientists and engineers representing a wide variety of cross-disciplines can debate research findings in online forums, and society will ultimately benefit from the resulting scientific discourse that will open up limitless new avenues for search and discovery."

Clearly transparency of data and fact checking is important, as some people try to negate important scientific evidence with studies that are not reputable, repeatable and peer reviewed.

Many important ecosystem issues I am deeply concerned about are subject to this negativistic effort to downgrade repeatable scientific evidence.  Human caused global warming is one example and there are many others.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How important is it for citizens to know "What Science Is -- and How and Why It Works."

My final paper for my Master's Degree at Idaho State University contained an examination of a historical survey of "Operationism" and I found a definition as follows:

"Only those propositions based upon operations which are public and repeatable are admitted to the body of science." (Stevens, Theories in Contemporary Psychology, op.cit., p. 74.)

Neil deGrasse Tyson, a contemporary scientist, educator and entertainer reminds us of "What Science Is --and How and Why It Works" in this recent article in the Huffington Post.  The first sentence is " If you cherry-pick scientific truths to serve cultural, economic, religious or political objectives, you undermine the foundations of an informed democracy."

He notes that the scientific "approach to knowing did not take root until early in the 17th century when the astronomer Galileo and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon agreed: conduct experiments to test your hypothesis and allocate your confidence in proportion to the strength of your evidence. Since then, we would further learn not to claim knowledge of a newly discovered truth until multiple researchers, and ultimately the majority of researchers, obtain results consistent with one another."

And he ends the article identifying respected scientific agencies like NASA, NIST, DOE, and NOAA that we all depend on for reputable non-biased information in our contemporary world.  "These centers of research, as well as other trusted sources of published science, can empower politicians in ways that lead to enlightened and informed governance. But this won't happen until the people in charge, and the people who vote for them, come to understand how and why science works.

I found the following graphic on a 6th Grade Science Course in Greeley Colorado

Yellowstone Park Bison are culled to prevent them from following historic winter migration

I read an article on that "Yellowstone Park Proposes Cull of 1,000 Bison This Winter.

As in past years bison killed to prevent them from trespassing on traditional migration lands north of Yellowstone.  The report noted that "last year, park officials planned to kill up to 900 animals and actually removed 737.

This past summer I attended the Speak for Wolves meeting in West Yellowstone where the Buffalo Field Campaign presented graphic visual information about the continued hazing and senseless slaughter of wild bison in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Watch the video they produced below titled "Ten Miles of Hell"

Saturday, November 21, 2015

In early November, 2015 I read  "Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism" by  Chris Hedges in Common Dreams.

"Sheldon Wolin, our most important contemporary political theorist, died Oct. 21 at the age of 93. In his books “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” and “Politics and Vision,” a massive survey of Western political thought that his former student Cornel West calls “magisterial,” Wolin lays bare the realities of our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new and terrifying configuration of corporate power he calls “inverted totalitarianism.”

 People in the comments section of the article point to historical issues related to this topic.

A portion of student debt accumulates when a University mandates an athletic fee.

Today there is an interesting article by the Huffington Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education about "The Student Sports Scam."  A part of a student's debt can accumulate when Public Universities mandate an athletic fee, even if the student does not attend games.  The "scorecard" on this site posts some detailed information about how athletic departments are subsidized across the US and in Idaho, including Boise State.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Do you agree with Bernie Sanders view of Democratic Socialism?

In the nearby Nextdoor neighborhood network where I live there are now over 1600 members. When anything political gets posted some people want to stop the conversation. I just posted a "POLL" that attempts to get open minded people to read Bernie Sanders remarks, and answer simple poll questions without getting into flaming personal remarks to people's answers. Below is the notice I posted on Nextdoor for our nearby neighborhoods in Boise.
Do you agree with Bernie Sanders view of Democratic Socialism?
A summary of Bernie Sander's speech yesterday, November 19, 2015, provides the 12 Best Reasons for being a Democratic Socialist. This summary was provided by Steven Rosenfield/Alternet.…/bernie-sanders-12-best-reasons-be…
I am posting this as a poll with simple "yes" " no" or "undecided" answers hoping open minded neighbors will read the two articles linked here and eventually make their own choices for the next presidential election but not get into a flaming political discussion here on the Nextdoor neighborhood network. 
Below is a link directly to Bernie Sanders remarks on Democratic Socialism in the United States.…/
Sanders stands beside the New Deal, Great Society and civil rights movement.