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Waterloo....perhaps?

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Local Rebel
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25 posted 10-20-2011 04:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Republicans are taking their Solyndra scandalmongering to the next level at today's hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They've called two critics of the Department of Energy to testify -- and will allow no response from DOE, even after Democrats on the committee requested that someone from the department's loan-guarantee program be allowed to testify.

Suffice to say, these are not the actions of people seeking the unvarnished truth.

Explaining why this is so egregious requires a little backstory. A little over a year after the original Solyndra loan guarantee was approved, the company was running low on cash. Its investors, however, were loathe to take on more risk. At that point, DOE officials (including Jonathan Silver, the head of the loan-guarantee program) faced a choice: Share some of that risk and give the company the best possible chance to survive, or pull the plug.

DOE chose to help out. Early this year, it structured a deal with Solyndra's two biggest investors, Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capital Partners. The investors would kick in $75 million more in investment capital for Solyndra. In exchange, DOE would put them ahead of taxpayers in line to get paid back if the company should default (but only for that $75 million).

In February, the chief financial officer at the Treasury Department's Federal Financing Bank, Gary Burner, sent a huffy email. Politico has the story:

"Unless DOE has other authorities, these adjustments may require approval of the Department of Justice," Burner wrote to Susan Richardson, chief counsel in DOE's Loan Programs Office, and Frances Nwachuku, director of portfolio management in the same office.

"Let me know if you need the name of a contact at DOJ," he added.

DOE officials pushed back a few hours later.

“I believe there is a gross misunderstanding of the outcome of the negotiated restructuring of the Solyndra obligation to DOE," Nwachuku replied. "Could you give me a call to discuss."

David Frantz, the director of DOE's Loan Guarantee Office, also spoke up in an email that shrugged off the Treasury official's concern. “I think his point was just a heads up," he wrote. "I do not believe there is an issue here and fear Gary may have some misunderstanding."

But six months later, as Solyndra edged closer to filing for bankruptcy protection, a top Treasury official reminded colleagues in the White House Office of Management and Budget that DOE had been warned about its plans to change the terms of the loan guarantee.

"In February we requested in writing that DOE seek the Department of Justice's approval of any proposed restructuring," Mary J. Miller, assistant secretary for financial markets at Treasury, wrote to Jeffrey Zientz at OMB. “To our knowledge, that has never happened."
DOE lawyers, who had reviewed the restructuring, thought -- and still think -- that Burner is completely off base. "[I] fear Gary may have some misunderstanding" is the kind of condescending thing you say when the misunderstanding is pretty obvious. Generally speaking, it makes sense that the people running the program will have a better understanding of the legal ins and outs than a guy from Treasury.

It wasn't until later, in August, when it was clear Solyndra was in serious trouble, that Miller wrote to OMB to tattle on DOE in what looks to me like a classic case of ass-covering.

But I'm not a lawyer. I don't know who had the right of it, DOE or Burner. If I cared to find out who had the right of it, I would invite Burner and someone from DOE to come to Congress to explain the difference of opinion. Perhaps invite some outside authorities on the 2005 energy bill and its loan-guarantee rules.

But that's not what Republicans are doing. They've had five hearings in as many weeks, sniffing around frantically for something scandal-ish in this "scandal," and they're not going to let this opportunity pass. So they're calling Burner and another Treasury official to testify ... and that's it. They're allowing the only inside critics of DOE they can find to air serious charges, unrebutted and unbalanced by DOE or anyone else.

Again: Is that the kind of thing you do when you're seeking the truth?

Naturally Democrats on the committee are [urinated] Ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) requested that someone from DOE be invited. Republicans told them to bug off. Says DeGette:

I'd like to have the [DOE] witnesses there to say, 'You said you should contact the Justice Department. Did you contact the Justice Department? If not, why not? What did you do?' That's the kind of full investigation that would be helpful to the committee rather than to just be able to have some sound bites.
But of course, sound bites are exactly what Republicans want. They know the hearing will produce some vaguely damning quotes. They know that the insider political press will dutifully print those quotes. Then they will huff and puff with outrage that DOE must answer the charges (that it wasn't allowed to answer). And the insider political press will dutifully print their outraged statements. And on and on, a perpetual motion machine of horsesh*t.

This is no longer really about what happened at Solyndra, if it ever was. Like most of what congressional Republicans have done since Jan. 20, 2009, it is primarily intended to obstruct and discredit the Obama administration.
http://www.grist.org/politics/2011-10-13-house-hearing-marks-new-low-in-solyndra-wi tch-hunt

Balladeer
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26 posted 10-20-2011 04:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ok, Uncas, I will ask one more time - and copy and paste one more time since my response to your question is there and you continue not to see it.


Energy Department officials were warned that their plan to help a failing solar company by restructuring its $535 million federal loan could violate the law and should be cleared with the Justice Department, according to newly obtained e-mails from within the Obama administration.

The e-mails show that Mary Miller, an assistant Treasury secretary, wrote to Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy OMB director, expressing concern. She said that the deal could violate federal law because it put investors’ interests ahead of taxpayers’ and that she had advised that it should be reviewed by the Justice Department. “To our knowledge that never happened,” Miller wrote in a Aug. 17, 2011, memo to the OMB. In February, the restructuring was approved by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.


I will also duplicate my questions one more time since you didn't bother to answer them..

So what did they mean  by that? What could violate the law that caused them to issue such a warning?
Why  did the deputy OMB director have concern that the deal could violate federal law?


I didn't bring up those warnings, Uncas. They did. The Energy Department officials felt the restructuring could violatethe law? How? I have no idea. Ask them. It's their concern and warning. Why did the  assistant Treasury secretary show concern  that federal laws could be violated? Again, ask her. It was HER concern.

Neither did you address my reasoning on why there should be a fuss but I didn't expect one. After all, how does one defend ignoring one's own experts and investing in losing companies and wasting a billion of the taxpayer's money and then simply saying, "Oh, well. Hindsight is 20-20". There was no need for hindsight. There was plenty of foresight. He simply ignored it.
Local Rebel
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27 posted 10-20-2011 04:33 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Why won't the Republicans let the DOE testify Mike?  Don't you want to hear what they have to say on the record?
Balladeer
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28 posted 10-20-2011 04:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You'll have to ask them, LR, not me.

Shall I start asking you to explain Obama's thought processes? I'll be happy to oblige if you like.
Local Rebel
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29 posted 10-20-2011 05:34 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Obama isn't keeping anyone from testifying.  I asked you about YOUR thoghts.  Do you think the Republicans should have someone from DoE to respond?  If not, why not?  What purpose do YOU think it serves to exclude the very people who decided the restructuring was OK?  Is that YOUR America, where someone gets to accuse you of something but you don't get to say anything?  Or does that sound like someplace else?
Uncas
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30 posted 10-20-2011 05:38 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Ok, Uncas, I will ask one more time - and copy and paste one more time since my response to your question is there and you continue not to see it.


But your answer isn't there Mike, by your own admission you're just cutting and pasting the opinion of someone else. Call me a sceptic but I don't believe a word of what they're saying, especially after checking the facts.

Mary Miller, an assistant Treasury secretary, wrote to Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy OMB director, expressing concern. She said that the deal could violate federal law because it put investors’ interests ahead of taxpayers’

I think Mary Millar was wrong Mike and apparently so did a lot of other people who disregarded her suggestion. At the time not restructuring the loan guarantee would have endangered taxpayers interests far more than restructuring. Without the 75 million additional private investment the Fab II facility wouldn't have been completed and Solyndra would have been forced into bankruptcy without a major asset to liquidate.

Even if you take away the advantage of the additional 75 million of private investment there's still no net detrimental impact of the restructuring as far as taxpayers are concerned.

.
Balladeer
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31 posted 10-20-2011 08:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LR, I don't know enough about their plans to make an intelligent guess, although you are trying your best to pin me against the wall to do so. An article from a fellow who makes such unbiased statements as like most of what congressional Republicans have done since Jan. 20, 2009, it is primarily intended to obstruct and discredit the Obama administration. isn't going to do it, either.
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32 posted 10-20-2011 08:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes,Uncas, cutting and  pasting the opinions of others....the others being members of Obama's administration. You feel Mary was wrong? Ok, you are entitled to do so. Why do you suppose she made the statement in the first place? What could cause her to even offer that opinion? Why did the deputy OMB director have such concerns about the possible violation of federal law? Did she just wake up one morning and say, "Think I'll warn Obama not to break the law today."? Where there's smoke....


At the time not restructuring the loan guarantee would have endangered taxpayers interests far more than restructuring.

Really? You mean it worked out a lot better for taxpayer interests this way.....?
Bob K
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33 posted 10-20-2011 09:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Where there's smoke!?

     Don't make me laugh.  This is the equivalent of saying, All accusations are true, simply because an accusation is made.  And if the democrats on the committee are not permitted to bring other witnesses, what we have here is a kangaroo court.  What is the information that the Republican party wishes to suppress, and why does it wish to suppress it?

[This message has been edited by Ron (10-22-2011 12:01 PM).]

Ron
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34 posted 10-22-2011 10:24 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I've removed several posts from this thread that were directed at posters when everyone here knows they should be directed at posts. Please try to stay on track, guys.
Uncas
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35 posted 10-22-2011 11:19 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
You feel Mary was wrong? Ok, you are entitled to do so. Why do you suppose she made the statement in the first place?


My best guess would be that she was confused Mike - the law says that deals shouldn't be made that subordinates a claim and endangers taxpayers money, she saw that the deal included the first part of that and wasn't sure if the second part was applicable - so she flagged her concern.  


quote:
Really? You mean it worked out a lot better for taxpayer interests this way.....?


Better than folding the company before the completion of the major asset? Yes, but  as I said at the very worst the restructuring definitely didn't endanger taxpayers money any more than it was already endangered.

The government had guaranteed to repay loans up to the amount of 535 million, if the company had folded without the restructuring that's the amount they would be liable to repay and it's the same amount that they're still liable to pay after the restructure.

.
Balladeer
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36 posted 10-22-2011 05:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ok, Uncas, you feel that Mary was mistaken. That's fine. Since you have studied this fairly thoroughly, I would appreciate your opinions or input into the other points that have been noted.


(1)Industry analysts and government auditors fault the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the business proposals or take note of troubling signs already evident in the solar energy marketplace.
    "It was alarming," said Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, which found that Energy Department preliminary loan approvals -- including the one for Solyndra -- were granted at times before officials had completed mandatory evaluations of the financial and engineering viability of the projects. "They can't really evaluate the risks without following the rules."


SHould the business proposals have been properly evaluated or was the GAO mistaken?


(2)A 2009 report by the Energy Department's inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks.

Should there have been more quality control?

(3)In July 2010, the Government Accountability Office said the Energy Department had bypassed required steps for funding awards to five of 10 applicants that received conditional loan guarantees.

What wowuld be a valid excuse for bypassing required steps for funding awards?


(4)In March, DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman again faulted the loan program for poor record keeping. A report by Friedman said the program "could not always readily demonstrate, through systematically organized records ... how it resolved or mitigated relevant risks prior to granting loan guarantees." According to the report, the department kept limited or no electronic data on 15 of 18 loan guarantees examined.

Again poor record keeping and failure to evaluate relevant risks? Wise to do it anyway??


(5)Jim McTague of Barron’s noted over the weekend that, two months before Obama’s glowing speech, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a fear-filled note in its audit of the company, which has accumulated losses of $558 million in its five-year lifetime. The firm noted that Solyndra “has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

Why would Obama consider Solyndra to be a good risk in light of it's history?  On the basis of all these facts and red flags, do you feel it was wise to risk half a billion dollars on such a company?

Any opinion would be appreciated
Uncas
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37 posted 10-22-2011 07:28 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
SHould the business proposals have been properly evaluated or was the GAO mistaken?


I believe that they were properly evaluated Mike, both under the Bush administration and later the Obama administration. When the original loan guarantee was set up the company looked viable, by the time of the restructure it was clear that without addition private investment the company would fail.

quote:
Should there have been more quality control?


In hindsight, yes, but it'd be difficult to put enough control in to select a winner every time. The loan agreement was checked twice by independent career professionals, once in January when Bush presented it and again in March when it was put forward again by Obama. The first time it was remanded back to the DOE 'without prejudice' for more information, the second time it passed.

quote:
What would be a valid excuse for bypassing required steps for funding awards?


Which steps do you believe were bypassed Mike?

quote:
Again poor record keeping and failure to evaluate relevant risks? Wise to do it anyway??


Not really, but then again neither is betting against yourself which is what, in effect, the government did - they provided loan guarantees for multiple technologies, some of which were direct competitors. At least one of them was unlikely to make it.

quote:
Why would Obama consider Solyndra to be a good risk in light of it's history? On the basis of all these facts and red flags, do you feel it was wise to risk half a billion dollars on such a company?


The report from PWC came out in March 2010 Mike, Obama's speech was in May 2010 by which time the loan agreement had been in place for 8 months - if he'd said anything other than what he said I think he'd definitely have been guilty of endangering taxpayers money. There's also an interesting sidenote that's worth mentioning - shortly after the PWC report was released private investors pumped another 175 million into Solyndra, I'm guessing that they thought it was worth a risk.

.

[This message has been edited by Uncas (10-23-2011 06:09 AM).]

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38 posted 10-22-2011 10:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

.I believe that they were properly evaluated Mike, both under the Bush administration and later the Obama administration.

So you are calling the Industry analysts and government auditors, along with Frank Rusco of the GAO, liars....ot maybe just mistaken, like Mary?

Which steps do you believe were bypassed Mike?

The ones that the GAO said were bypassed....or were they mistaken, too, like Mary and the industry analysts and government auditors?

if he'd said anything other than what he said I think he'd definitely have been guilty of endangering taxpayers money.

You're saying he didn't endanger taxpayer money? He lost half a billion by ignoring everything I listed....that's not endangering?

Anyway, thanks for responding. You answered the question on my mind completely
Ron
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39 posted 10-23-2011 05:19 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

May I?  

1. Which evaluations weren't followed?

2. What quality controls were lacking?

3. Which steps were bypassed?

4. What records were missing?

5. And this, I think, is the entire crux of the matter: How many loans have been granted under this program to low- or no-risk companies? One would hope not too many, since the whole impetus of the legislation was to "support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks." Frankly, if there weren't any failures I think it would be a strong indication we weren't assigning clean-energy a high enough priority.

Personally, I think the questions you've raised are legitimate concerns, Mike. Then again, I also had serious concerns about death panels, too. When I was able to move beyond generalities -- which is exactly what your first four points above are -- to specifics, I quickly decided the death panel concerns were ... unfounded (not the first word that came to mind).

We absolutely need watchdogs, people to oversee government functions and protect us from the waste and inefficiencies that are rampant at every level. But if there's any one thing I've learned in The Alley in recent years it's that the watchdogs need watching, too.

The watchdogs, if they are to be taken seriously in this era of extreme partisanship, need to be specific with their complaints. Generalities are just going to get lost within the clutter of lies and propaganda that have become so prevalent for both parties.


Uncas
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40 posted 10-23-2011 06:55 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
So you are calling the Industry analysts and government auditors, along with Frank Rusco of the GAO, liars....ot maybe just mistaken, like Mary?



No Mike, Mary was mistaken, the others were either stating the bleeding obvious or reporting after the fact, or both. As Ron has pointed out there's an inherent risk involved in the loan guarantee program given that all the companies receiving the loan guarantees have already been knocked back for being high risk. I'd be amazed, under those circumstances, if I didn't see reports regarding how risky they were.

Were steps bypassed?

As far as I can tell all the required steps in the loan guarantee process were taken but if you give me an example of a step that was missed I'll check it out.

quote:
You're saying he didn't endanger taxpayer money? He lost half a billion by ignoring everything I listed....that's not endangering?


As I've said issuing loan guarantees is inherently risky Mike so yes, the government endangers taxpayers money every time it issues such a guarantee. That's nothing new or illegal though, if you think about it the government endangers taxpayers money every time it spends a dime, that endangerment is normal and acceptable. What the government can't do is endanger money already committed by subordinating taxpayers money in favour of private investors.

For instance if the US decided to build a missile shield in partnership with Israel, with each putting up 50% of the costs, that's legally endangering taxpayers money - if the missile shield never worked the money is lost. However if the President subsequently changed the terms of the agreement, when it looked like the missile shield wasn't going to work, by promising that any losses would be met solely by the US - that's illegally endangering taxpayers money.

quote:
Anyway, thanks for responding. You answered the question on my mind completely


No problem  - I'll add mindreading to my CV.

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41 posted 10-23-2011 07:22 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Generalities are just going to get lost within the clutter of lies and propaganda that have become so prevalent for both parties.

True enough, Ron, as is the comment on extreme  partisanship.  That is one of my points. These are government people and agencies, not a group of republicans out to "get Obama". That's a reason why I think their words carry weight.


Gregory Friedman was appointed by Clinton in 1998.


Mary Miller?....With the federal deficit exploding in late 2009, President Obama turned to Miller, a top executive at Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price, to manage the government’s unprecedented borrowing efforts. As assistant secretary for financial markets, Miller will act as the caretaker of the federal debt, responsible for the Treasury securities sales that keep the country running.


A July 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office found that the department committed to back the loans without completing required studies of market, legal and technical issues. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/26/nation/la-na-energy-loans-20110927/2

I'm not going to dig back a July 2010 report to prove my point but suffice to say that, since there was an official report, there would be specifics relating to how the required sutdies were not performed.

I don't see the "extreme partisanship" here, Ron. I see agencies and individuals actually looking our for the American people and even looking out for Obama, trying to avert him ahead of time from making bad decisions which could hurt him, along with the country.


Here are a couple of excellent articles, if anyone is interested, showing why Solyndra was more than just a "bad luck" investment.
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/09/solyndra_scandal_only_the_beginning.html http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/us/politics/in-rush-to-assist-solyndra-united-states-missed-warning-signs.html?pagewanted=all
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42 posted 10-23-2011 07:25 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Good, Uncas. Your mindreading ability should be able to tell you what the question on my mind was, then
Uncas
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43 posted 10-23-2011 08:37 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
I'm not going to dig back a July 2010 report to prove my point but suffice to say that, since there was an official report, there would be specifics relating to how the required sutdies were not performed.



I've read the report Mike and the statement above is incorrect.

.
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44 posted 10-27-2011 06:47 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

“But despite a Democrat-controlled House and Senate in 2009–2010, President Obama never passed into law any global-warming legislation. Now the issue is deader than a doornail — despite the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency to enact new regulations that would never pass Congress. . . .

Unfortunately, during the last three years “green” has also become synonymous with Solyndra-style crony capitalism. Commonsense ideas like more windmills, solar panels, retro-fitted houses, and electric cars have all been in the news lately. But the common themes were depressingly similar: few jobs created and little competitively priced energy produced, but plenty of political donors who landed hundreds of millions of dollars in low-interest loans from the government. . .

We simply don’t know positively whether recent human activity has caused the planet to warm up to dangerous levels. But we do know that those who insist it has are sometimes disingenuous, often profit-minded, and nearly always impractical.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/281392/global-warming-rip-victor-davis-hanson  


The article is worth reading in its entirety.  I especially liked the trip down
memory lane of “global warming” to “climate change” to  “climate chaos.”

.

Uncas
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45 posted 10-27-2011 07:02 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


So you don't believe the overwhelming evidence that the climate is getting warmer?

Odd, I thought the recent study funded by climate sceptics had settled that particular argument once and for all.
http://www.themorningsun.com/articles/2011/10/27/opinion/doc4ea9a149367a4444496959.txt
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46 posted 10-27-2011 07:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So you don't believe the overwhelming evidence that the climate is getting warmer?



Not sure why you would ask that question, Uncas, after reading...

We simply don’t know positively whether recent human activity has caused the planet to warm up to dangerous levels. But we do know that those who insist it has are sometimes disingenuous, often profit-minded, and nearly always impractical.”
Uncas
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47 posted 10-28-2011 01:26 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Not sure why you would ask that question, Uncas,


It was unclear to me whether Huan believed that global warming was occurring Mike, I thought asking him directly might be a good idea - I tried mind reading but it only seems to work sporadically.

Bob K
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48 posted 10-28-2011 01:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I read the NR opinion piece.  Mr Davis is as always a fine writer.  I enjoyed his comments about the language of discussion on climate, but I think it is an academic side issue, significant as language study and semantics, but not cutting to the core of the issues.

     Is the Pollution we're dumping into the atmosphere harming the environment in a serioius way?

     Is the Pollution altering the  climate?

     The discussion is often framed as though we only need address the second question.  As an asthmatic, I'd like to suggest to you that this is not the case, and that hydrocarbons are not the only toxins we need to address.

     Mr. Davis takes this position and tackles only fossil fuels.  As a essayist on the effects of hydrocarbons, he is an excellent Historian of the classical Greek military.

     Mike, by the way, please let us know the source of your quotes.  I was puzzled in my attempts to find that quote in the article Uncas quoted, and read the thing three times more than I needed to trying to find it.  A simple note would have solved my puzzle.

     Speaking of Uncas's article, I found this passage in it which I thought worth quoting:

quote:

Muller’s findings have been followed by what has become a familiar flow of editorial pieces: The contrarians are increasingly isolated, and that it’s time to have an adult conversation about climate and energy.

Of course we ought to do that, but the contrarians have been isolated for a very long time. The problem is that they don’t know it, and don’t know how alone they really are when it comes to support from scientists (from across basically every discipline). People who are unaware of how out-of-touch they are with reality aren’t going to give up just because they are once again told that they’re living in a fantasy world. In fact, since last week, contrarians have turned on Muller, suggesting that he was a sort of climate Manchurian candidate all along.

To longtime observers of the issue, this was something to be expected. Climate contrarians operate in their own echo chamber, and those who depart from it are considered worse than the enemy. They are considered apostates of the cause. A mere objective analysis of the evidence isn’t going to change their minds. In fact, it’s just evidence that the game has been fixed against them all along.

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49 posted 10-28-2011 02:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Oh, ok, Uncas. It seemed clear to me that his statement dealt, not with whether global warming was happening, but whether it is man-made, directed, or natural. People can read things different ways, I suppose. Just curious....
 
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