With the US and China responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions, the future likely turns on bilateral diplomatic progress towards the December 2015 global summit. With tensions increasing between the two powers over the South China Sea and cyber-espionage, it was at least hopeful sign that negotiations towards a climate agreement were not being sacrificed to a new Cold War. The presence of John Podesta, President Barack Obama's top climate change specialist, on last week's US diplomatic delegation to the strategic dialogue with Beijing, was a guarantee of the Obama administration's growing seriousness. But differences over equity between rich and poor nations may be more insurmountable than technical and scientific ones.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
July 11 - Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) today introduced a measure requiring a House vote on Iraq under the War Powers Resolution, forcing the Republican leadership to take action within fifteen days or face an up-or-down vote, which might curb the administration's escalating military intervention in the civil war.
"We are trying to signal to the House leadership that we have a constitutional responsibility on questions of war and peace," McGovern said this morning. "It's all to easy to let things drift. When Congress goes on recess in August, there could be more American troops authorized, or a US bombing. John Boehner doesn't want a debate on Iraq. He's rather sit back. There's a fear that a majority will say they don't want a war."
McGovern's measure is co-authored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). Lee has been circulating a House letter calling for application of the War Powers Resolution. The new measure contains a trigger that is hard to avoid. McGovern is seeking co-authors on his proposal while the clock is running. Lee, along with Republican Rep. Scott Rigell, has gathered nearly one hundred signers on a House letter urging compliance with the War Powers Resolution
McGovern's House Floor Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3VZGjxD7SE&feature=youtu.be
The Resolution: http://mcgovern.house.gov/sites/mcgovern.house.gov/files/McGovern%20HCON%20RES%20105.pdf
The New York Times has published a front-page article raising questions about the past fortune amassed in coal by green billionaire and liberal campaign donor Tom Steyer. The Times' article adds mainstream legitimacy to the mounting GOP attacks on Steyer, who is pledged to spend $100 million on environment campaigns through this November's election. The Times' story, which quotes Australian environmentalists as angry over Steyer's alleged hypocrisy, leaves questions which Steyer will be pressured to answer.
Most environmentalists see themselves on the left of the political spectrum, so what's the Left to do when leaders of finance capital take leading roles in confronting climate change?
That development blossomed into public view last month with a coordinated offensive led by Hank Paulson, the Republican architect of the 2008 Wall Street bailout, and two billionaires, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was a leading opponent of Occupy Wall Street, and Bay Area liberal Democrat Tom Steyer, to try to influence the national dialogue. Paulson initiated the effort with a June 21 manifesto in the New York Times urging a tax on carbon.
David Kilcullen is the brilliant but largely invisible architect of America's failed counter-insurgency policies in Iraq. According to Bob Woodward, Kilcullen was the top counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus during the "surge" of targeted killings of Sunni insurgents, which was coupled with the US-funded alliance with competing Sunni tribes known as "The Awakening", in 2007-8. The Pentagon declared the victory over those insurgents was based on a two-pronged approach of killing the "irreconcilables" while arming and funding the "reconcilables." The terminology was Petraeus' but the doctrine was Kilcullen's.
Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr.
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Doubling the rate of greenhouse gas reductions by 2030
Dear Governor Brown,
We appreciate your steady leadership over the decades as California continues to forge a clean energy model for our country and the world. But, as you have said, we have miles to go before we sleep. More steps are needed if California hopes to continue its leadership as a model for a global green transition.
We call on you now to double California's pace of eliminating deadly greenhouse gas emissions by the target year of 2030. That means a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50-60% over the next 15 years. That goal is consistent with the hope of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions at 450 ppm carbon dioxide equivalent and greenhouse gas reductions of 80% by 2050 set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is both feasible and necessary if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
California, in the Global Warming Solutions Act, already has set, and is on track to achieve, a goal of reducing greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. Our current California Air Resources Board Scoping Plan states “Achieving the low-carbon future will require that the pace of GHG emission reductions accelerate significantly. Emissions from 2020 to 2050 will have to decline several times faster than the rate needed to reach the 2020 emissions limit.” While a doubling of the 2020 goal will seem too aggressive to some, as conditions worsen the goal may well seem too modest. The Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to the Scoping Plan suggests the feasibility of aspiring to a 100% renewable future, a goal we hope you will embrace.
To summarize, we are proposing:
- Doubling the rate of greenhouse gas reductions to 50-60% by 2030
- Staying on track to achieve the IPCC goal of 80% by 2050
- Projecting a future vision of California as a 100% renewable energy state
- Promoting California and its allies as a climate change model in 2015
With a 2030 commitment in place, investor confidence will continue in the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage, smart buildings and demand response. Doubling the investment in renewable energy requires a long lead time for deploying new electric generation and demands a goal to drive a policy framework that will continue steady progress.
The doomsday prophets of the fossil fuel industry have been proven wrong for decades as California progresses towards a renewable future with a growing clean energy economy, consumer savings, and improvements in the air we all breathe. California is a model for US federal policy and is linked by collaboration with many cities, states and foreign nations. Forty years of history shows that only if California leads will the United States follow. It is imperative to create a California model on the challenging road to the next global climate negotiations in 2015. We believe the vision of an eventual 100% renewable resource future will inspire this generation to take whatever steps are needed to save our planet.
If California sets the bar too low for 2030 and beyond, the pace of transition nationally and globally will slow. If California leads, based on responsible science and visionary politics, hope for the country and world will brighten. California should double its greenhouse gas reductions goal for 2030.
V. John White Tom Hayden
Legislative Director, Clean Power Campaign Editor, The Democracy Journal
Dan Jacobson Anne Baker
Legislative Director, Environment California Senior Policy Advisor, CEERT
President Barack Obama entered the wilderness of war alone today by claiming sole authority to send troops to Iraq to "protect" American citizens and "interests." With Iran already bombing ISIS positions and sending top military personnel to Baghdad, and with Syria's Assad regime striking ISIS from the air, the war is sharply escalated.
It's becoming more apparent by the hour that ISIS is transforming its liberated zone into a new Islamic state. A US military intervention will be the major factor in unifying the insurgency into its new identity and overcoming serious internal factional divides with Al Qaeda and other jihadists.
Peggy Noonan such a wonderful writer but pours her talent into mindless propaganda. In her latest memo to the Republican base, Noonan worries over who the American public will blame for the Iraq disaster. She hopes both parties, spinning a tale that erases the Republican roots of the war. She despises Obama so much that all she can say is, "He is out of his depth." In a continuing blindness towards reality, Noonan says the one bright spot is, "…the earnest professionalism of our troops, still unsurpassed." Whoa. If all sides of the debate keep bowing to this unsurpassed excellence, it will be forgotten that the 2007 Baker-Hamilton report concluded that the American troops were at the "breaking point." They were sent to kill thousands of people on targeted midnight raids. They turned their detainees over to the human-rights violators within the Shiite-dominated army. They suffered massive demoralization and injuries, reflected in unprecedented levels of suicide and PTSD. There is no way they are prepared to engage in more ground combat against Muslims. Noonan and the Republican "chicken hawks" should be shamed and retired for pushing our army to the brink of collapse and then cutting back on veterans' health care funding.
Contrary to the original spin, there seems to be no need or rationale for "saving" Baghdad from invading ISIS hordes. As I predicted, the growing Shiite counter-offensive seems to be a sufficient deterrent. It appears that al-Maliki will be forced out politically, perhaps to be replaced by a new Humpty-Dumpty and a patchwork agreement to "reform" the Shiite regime. The immanent danger is that President Barack Obama is preparing to go to war not to "save Baghdad" but to attack the perceived threat of a Sunni jihadist "sanctuary" in the vast zone from southern Syria into northern Iraq. It has been US policy, however, which is partly responsible for fostering the terrorist sanctuary threat, if one actually transpires. The US made an alliance in 2006-7 with the very Sunni tribes in Iraq, (remember "the Awakening"?) which it now considers part of the terrorist insurgency. Similarly, by tacitly supporting the Shiite-related Assad regime in Syria, the US has antagonized Syria's Sunnis and contributed to the conditions that have given rise to the extremist ISIS faction.