While Germany Is Headed for 80% Renewable Energy, We’re Getting Left in the Dust

Reprinted from Alternet

By Tara Lohan

Osha Gray Davidson discusses his new book “Clean Break,” about the keys to Germany’s success with renewables and why the U.S. is getting its butt kicked.

When you think of places with great potential for solar energy, what comes to mind? Maybe the American Southwest, perhaps the Middle East. What probably doesn’t come to mind is Germany — and yet Germany is leading a global revolution in renewable energy, with solar playing a key part.

In the U.S., we now get 6 percent of our energy from renewables, which is exactly where Germany was in 2000. And then it passed the Renewable Energy Act and jumpstarted a movement known as Energiewende. Twelve years later, Germany gets over 25 percent of its energy from renewables and it is surpassing all of its benchmarks to be 80 percent renewable-powered by 2050.

In his new book, Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn From It, Osha Gray Davidson explains how Germany made such a significant leap. Here are some shocking numbers he breaks down in the book:

25 percent of Germany’s electricity now comes from solar, wind and biomass. A third of the world’s installed solar capacity is found in Germany, a nation that gets roughly the same amount of sunlight as Alaska. A whopping 65 percent of the country’s total renewable power capacity is now owned by individuals, cooperatives and communities, leaving Germany’s once all-powerful utilities with just a sliver (6.5 percent) of this burgeoning sector.

AlterNet interviewed Davidson about his new book, and got his take on whether or not the U.S. can catch up to the green energy revolution.

Tara Lohan: You went to Germany interested in its clean energy revolution. Despite the research you’d done, were you surprised by what you found there?

Osha Gray Davidson: No matter how much I read about it beforehand, it couldn’t prepare me for what I saw. I write in the book about traveling by train from Hamburg in the north down to Freiburg in the very south. It was something like a five-hour train ride but there wasn’t more than 15 minutes that went by without seeing either wind turbines on the hills or farm fields or solar panels on roofs of houses, barns, anything that had a south-facing roof. Even knowing how much energy they get — now it is 26 percent — from renewables, it doesn’t prepare you for what’s it’s like to live or visit a society that is moving in a big way to renewable energy.

TL: Does hitting their goal of 80 percent renewable power by 2050 seem realistic?

OGD: The reason it does seem realistic to me is they started out in the year 2000 with 6 percent renewable power and they’ve had a series of targets and so far they’ve been surpassing the targets. In the year 2020 their target was 30 percent, they are so far along now that they’ve moved that target to 35 percent. Everyone I’ve talked to there across the political spectrum says that 35 percent renewable energy by 2030 is completely doable.

When you look at how much money they’re putting into this and how it’s designed, and it’s not universal support, but there is overwhelming support for this transformation throughout Germany. Knowing all that, yes, I can see them getting to 80 percent by 2050.

TL: What has been the key to their success so far?

OGD: A couple of things. One, they made a decision to do this and I think when a government and a population make a decision to do something and it’s widespread that changes a whole lot because it’s always a matter of political will, not technological will, that makes the difference. The support is key and the way that they got that support is they designed policies that would give everybody — all residents of Germany — a way to have skin in the game. Sixty-five percent of all renewable energy in Germany is owned by individuals and cooperatives and groups of small investors.

Germany gets unfairly tarred as doing this as a command-and-control program — the energy transformation — according to its critics, mostly in the United States, say it’s a socialist program, and nothing could be further from the truth. It is incredibly market-based, far more than our energy policies, to the extent that we actually have any.

Everybody in Germany has a chance to participate; they can become a utility essentially. If you want to put solar panels on your roof, or if you’re a renter and want to get together with a group of friends and invest in solar panels or a windmill or a windfarm or chuches … I saw many churches in Germany covered in solar panels and found out they’ve lowered their electricity bills by a huge extent by taking part in this. Giving everyone the financial incentive in making this work is really key.

TL: It seems like such a big transformation in 12 years to go from big power corporations to so much smaller, more distributed, community-run energy sources.

OGD: Yeah and that is key, that it’s distributed rather than centralized. It’s disappointing in the United States that we don’t really have that conversation at all. It’s just assumed here that energy, whether it’s fossil fuel, nuclear or renewable, is going to be produced by a large utility.

In Germany, the large utilities — the Big Four, they’re called — they have about 6 percent renewable energy capacity. But that is by design. When the Renewable Energy Act was written and then passed in 2000, one of the keys was understanding that you have to give everybody an incentive. Even though Germans, to a greater extent than Americans, know that global warming is a huge problem and that it needs to be solved, that isn’t enough to make an energy transformation.

A lot of people here who understand it and know that climate change is a problem can’t really do much about it because even if they put solar panels up — what is that going to do — it’s one tiny piece of something. In Germany they know that they’re plugging into a much larger movement that is going to have an effect and beside from that, you do get a financial benefit; you earn money by putting solar panels on the roof.

To install a similar sized array on a rooftop in Germany costs half as much as it does in the States even though the hardware costs are all the same. It’s the process of putting it up that’s much cheaper — the soft costs. And then you earn money. As opposed to here, where the best you can do with net metering is lower your utility bill to zero. But there, beyond that, you can actually make some coin off of it. Anybody can.

TL: It must help if you’re making investments of tens of thousands of dollars that the overall political will is there and it’s not going to shift every time there is an election.

OGD: Exactly. And that’s another part of the policy design from the Renewable Energy Act that you’re guaranteed a certain price for the power you produce for 20 years. So businesses, including individuals, know exactly how long it will take them to recoup the costs and start earning money on it — and how much they’ll make for the next 20 years. A lot of small businesses are doing this because there is policy certainty. In the U.S. we’ve just seen here with the Wind Production Tax Credit, the fact that it’s going to expire here on December 31st unless Congress extends it, wind manufacturers have already laid off several hundred people in the United States because of that policy uncertainty.

TL: Do you think it’s possible in the United States, considering the strength of our energy lobby, to move toward more sources of distributed power?

OGD: I do, and it’s because when you talk to people in Germany and read about the history of this you realize the problems were not the same but were equivalent — people said “you’re crazy, you’re not going to achieve any of these goals.” But this was really a bottom-up movement that forced politicians to get behind it, politicians from across the spectrum. So the center-right governing party now, Angel Merkel’s party, they are for the Energiewende. They are not doing it very effectively, they’re mismanaging it. But it’s fascinating, I just got used to in the United States if you see someone who has solar or wind you generally know politically where they’re going to be on the spectrum in the United States. In Germany you have absolutely no idea from someone’s involvement in renewable energy, where they are on the political spectrum.

TL: And they are making all these leaps with renewable energy while at the same time shutting down their nuclear facilities.

OGD: The whole anti-nuclear aspect is a big one in Germany because like Japan, they lived through a nuclear crisis with Chernobyl in 1986. In Germany there are still parts where you can’t harvest mushrooms because of the radioactive contamination from Chernobyl.

It was a big deal in Germany. The kids had to stay inside for days at a time and they didn’t know what was going to happen. As it turned out, the radioactivity was less in Germany than it was in some of the Scandinavian countries because of the wind patterns. And German farmers remember having to destroy a lot of crops because of contamination. So for them, moving to renewables made sense just as farmers wanting to protect their land and their crops and their way of life.

TL: What was the pushback in Germany when decisions were made to shut down the nuclear plants?

OGD: A little after 2000 there was an amendment to the Renewable Energy Act that was worked out in agreement with the nuclear power plant owners to phase out nuclear. It was going to be done in an orderly way that they could count on as these plants aged they would have to shut them down anyway. They were part of that — they weren’t just forced out until the Merkel government came in. This is what I mean by the mismanagement of it.

Her government extended the licenses of nuclear plants and there were huge demonstrations throughout Germany against that and then six months or so later was when Fukushima happened and lo and behold Angela Merkel turned anti-nuclear. So she went from extending the licenses and abrogating that plan they had with nuclear power companies to then all of a sudden essentially closing them down.

That’s caused a lot of problems in Germany and I think the critics of closing them down immediately have a really good point that she took offline low-carbon energy producers that were going to be phased out anyway.

TL: I’m wondering about the kinds of infrastructure that needs to be built or upgraded when you’re talking about generating energy from renewables. You wrote in the book about how they need $25 billion more for new power lines — where does that money come from? Who’s footing the bill?

OGD: Well, that’s the question. They’re still debating that and there is no easy answer. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that this transition is an easy one and a cost-free one — it’s just that not doing anything is far costlier. As several people there have pointed out, everyone is going to move to a renewable energy economy eventually, because they’re dependent on non-renewable fuels. Germany has a headstart by doing it early, but there are costs related to doing it early. Germans were paying more to install solar panels at the very beginning before the price got cut by mass production.

But Germany is way ahead in other ways including their export economy, and not just the solar panels which have been a problem in trying to keep up with China on that now. China’s manufacturing plants that make solar panels — those were bought from Germany — the plants themselves, all of that technology came from Germany. So they’re still reaping rewards.

And the extra cost that they’re paying, you have to look at where it is going and mostly it is to citizens of Germany — it’s creating jobs, over 300,000 jobs in renewable energy there. So the costs were higher but the money stayed within Germany and stayed within small towns. It’s being spent wisely and it’s helping the German economy. It’s not just a cost, it’s also a benefit.

TL: What did you think of their use of biomass? I know that can be a mixed bag when it comes to environmental impacts.

OGD: Yes, and there is debate on it in Germany. It is like most other forms of energy in that you can do it wrong or you can do it right. One big objection is using corn — growing corn, a food crop, and then burning it, using it for energy production. It drives up food costs and it’s probably not a good use of land. So that’s one example of using biomass in an unsustainable fashion.

But I saw some biomass projects that were using sustainably harvested wood from woodlots and just trimmings. I watched them trimming trees on the side of the road and the wood chips would be taken by this farmer to a community heating unit in this tiny town in the Black Forest, St. Peter, where they have this community heating project using sustainably harvested wood chips to heat over 200 houses and businesses and they’re cutting back on C02 emissions because it’s replacing oil burning furnaces. And it’s a cooperative, so all of the people who live there — the 200 homes — not only is the heat cheaper but they get any financial returns.

So biomass can be done in a sustainable way or it can not be.

TL: Was it frustrating at all for you to see all this progress in Germany and to think about where the conversation is at right now in the U.S. — where we barely speak about climate change and if we do we still have people insisting that we debate its existence?

OGD: I went back and forth on this when I was in Germany. I’d see all of this stuff — in Hamburg, the public transportation system, the whole built environment, which is a big part of the energy change. Ninety-nine percent of residents in Hamburg live within 300 meters of public transport. Germans own cars to a far lesser extent because they have such a great transportation system. The built environment is created for mass transportation and bikes and walking.

And yes, I was alternately frustrated that we didn’t have that and hopeful because I saw what was possible. In the States a lot of the discussion is about theory — what can we get — but it doesn’t have to be a theoretical conversation and that was what I took away from Germany. They are actually doing it and I do think that if they can do that then yes, we can do that here.

The main driver in Germany was citizens’ groups who wanted out of nuclear power, that was one of the very first issues. Ursula Sladek was a school teacher and her husband was a village doctor when Chernobyl blew and all the radioactive fallout fell on their area, they were in one of the most heavily contaminated areas. Ursula didn’t want to be part of a nuclear society anymore and went to the utility which was a monopoly back then and said “we don’t want you to use nuclear anymore” — she had gotten a group of friends and neighbors together. And the utility said, “ha, we don’t care what you want.”

From that, Ursula and this group in town now run the largest green cooperative in Germany and they have 180,000 households and business members of their little company in this tiny town in the Black Forest.

I always ask “What lessons can Americans learn?” And the overwhelming theme was, “just start doing it, that’s what we did.” And Ursula is such a great example of that. It took them 10 years in this David and Goliath battle with their utility. As she’s pointed out, “we didn’t shut down a single nuke plant, and that was all we were trying to do. But we’ve helped start a renewable energy revolution.”

When I asked her about what we Americans could learn, she didn’t answer at first and she looked around at this office she was in, the headquarters with solar panels on the roof and she said, “This is something that is very American isn’t it? You Americans are people who say we can do it — we can do it ourselves.”

She in fact was inspired by Jimmy Carter, a lot of the people who started the Energiewende in Germany, including Hans-Josef Fell who was the main author of the Renewable Energy Act, he was inspired by Jimmy Carter and the renewable energy revolution that he tried to start here in the U.S. by putting solar panels on the roof of the White House and funding solar projects throughout the country and wind projects. Fell said he looked around and saw pictures of all of that and wondered why they couldn’t have that in Germany. And now the situation is simply reversed.

We did start down that road, and when Reagan came in a decision was made to scuttle that and to go back to dependence on fossil fuels.

I think that if Americans now take a look at Germany and see what they’ve done and start doing that now here, yes, I think we can get to where Germany is and in fact the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Colorado, the main government technology center for renewable energies, came out with a report this past year that said by the year 2050 the U.S. could be getting 80 percent of our power from renewables; by coincidence, that’s exactly what Germany’s goal is.

We obviously have the resources to do it. So I think it’s a matter of political will and also empowerment. A lot of Americans feel there is nothing they can do because of all these big companies — well, I don’t have much patience for that. The Germans could have said the same thing, but they rolled up their sleeves and started taking action at a local level and eventually that forced political leaders to respond.

So, we shouldn’t whine about it — we should get busy and do it.

Osha Gray Davidson’s new book Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn From It (InsideClimate News, 2012), is available as an e-book here.

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet and editor of the new book Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource. You can follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.

6 Reasons the Fiscal Cliff is a Scam

Reprinted from Alternet

By James K. Galbraith

The so-called “fiscal cliff” is a mechanism for rolling back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Stripped to essentials, the fiscal cliff is a device constructed to force a rollback of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as the price of avoiding tax increases and disruptive cuts in federal civilian programs and in the military.  It was policy-making by hostage-taking, timed for the lame duck session, a contrived crisis, the plain idea now unfolding was to force a stampede.

In the nature of stampedes arguments become confused; panic flows from fear, when multiple forces – economic and political in this instance – all appear to push the same way.  It is therefore useful to sort through those forces, breaking them down into separate questions, and to ask whether any of them justify the voices of doom.

First, is there a looming crisis of debt or deficits, such that sacrifices in general are necessary?  No, there is not.  Not in the short run – as almost everyone agrees.  But also: not in the long run.  What we have are computer projections, based on arbitrary – and in fact capricious – assumptions.  But even the computer projections no longer show much of a crisis. CBO has adjusted its interest rate forecast, and even under its “alternative fiscal scenario” the debt/GDP ratio now stabilizes after a few years.

Second, is there a looming crisis of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, such that these programs must be reformed?  No, there is not.  Social insurance programs are not businesses. They are not required to make a profit; they need not be funded from any particular stream of tax revenues over any particular time horizon.  Reasonable control of health care costs – public and private – is necessary and also sufficient to keep the costs of Medicare and Medicaid within bounds.

Third,  would the military sequestration programmed to start in January be a disaster?  No, it would not be.  Military spending is set in any event to decline – and it should decline as we adjust our military programs to our national security needs.  The sequester is at worst harmless; at best it’s an invitation to speed the process of moving away from a Cold War force structure to one suited to the modern world.

Fourth, would the upper-end tax increases programmed to take effect in January be a disaster?  No, they would not be.  There is no evidence that the low tax rates on the wealthy encourage them to spend or invest, no evidence that higher tax rates would deter the spending and investment that they might otherwise do.

Fifth, would the middle-class tax increases, end of unemployment insurance and the abrupt end of the payroll tax holiday programmed for the end of January risk cutting into the main lines of consumer spending, business profits and economic growth?  Yes, over time it would.  But the effects in the first few weeks will be minimal, and Congress could act on these matters separately, with a clean bill either before the end of the year or early in the new one.

Sixth, what about all the other cuts in discretionary federal spending?  Yes, some of these would be very damaging if allowed.  Simple solution: don’t allow them.

In short, Members of Congress: if you can, just pass the President’s bill on middle-class taxes, and, if you can, eliminate the domestic sequester. Then, please go home.  Enjoy the holidays. Come back in January prepared to extend unemployment insurance, to phase out the payroll tax holiday gradually, to restore stable funding to necessary programs and to start dealing with our real problems:  jobs, foreclosures, infrastructure and climate change.

There is No Deficit Problem

Joshua Holland, on his Alternet Radio Hour for November 10th, mentioned an interesting calculation done by economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). According to Baker, if the United States had average health care costs closer to those of most other (OECD) industrialized nations (rather than twice those), we would have no deficit problem:

If the US had the health care costs of Australia, we’d see public debt in 2022 fall from a projected 90 percent of GDP to a much more manageable 60 percent. Having the same costs as Canada and Germany would make that number only slightly higher, at around 64 percent of GDP.


Therefore, while we’ll continue to be bombarded with talk of the need for “shared sacrifice” and a “grand compromise” involving cuts to essential programs like Social Security and Medicare to curb future deficits, the real issue is a broken private sector healthcare system. If costs in the healthcare system are not brought under control, there are no realistic solutions to the deficit problem.

Thus, what we refer to as a deficit problem is fundamentally a health care cost problem.

You can be certain, though, that there are many who understand that you should never let a good crisis go to waste, and are even willing to manufacture one (think “fiscal cliff”) in order to get their greedy mitts on such beautiful money pools as the Social Security trust fund. Or even just in order — as an ideological “good” in itself — to further chip aware at the New Deal safety-net.

Heidi Hall Announces 2014 Campaign for California’s Congressional District 01

Just a couple of weeks after Doug LaMalfa’s victory over Jim Reed for California’s Congressional District 1, Grass Valley resident Heidi Hall today announced her 2014 campaign for that seat.

Here in part is how Heidi explains her decision to enter the race:

In 2005, after spending many happy childhood summers and vacations in the Sierra Nevada foothills, I moved permanently to Grass Valley where I finished raising my boys. I have spent my life working to keep our water and air clean, and to create a healthy world for my children and their generation, volunteering in various organizations along the way.

I grew up with enough. Not wealth and privilege, but enough. Fortunately, I was able to fill my thirst for education about our world with an excellent education at a top rate college and university, thanks to both my own hard work and the generosity of low-interest government loans. As I built a career, got married and raised two sons, I also paid back every dime of those loans, making the last payment ten years after I graduated. This was a winning situation for me, my family, my community and our country. My oldest son chose to join the Army after he graduated from high school, and today is back in civilian life working 6 days a week to support his loved ones. My youngest son is a senior in high school. It is not easier for my children to step out into the world today; it is harder. That is not how it is supposed to be.

As my children are grown, I have watched this country veer from a land of opportunity towards a country of greed, inequality and dysfunction, leaving women, children, local communities, and our own environment last on a long list of items to be protected. We have engaged in binge spending on the military, corporate handouts, and bank rescues. The 2012 election has shown that there are a great deal of ordinary Americans who do not care for this change and want economic stability, equality of opportunity, and an ethic of helping the disadvantaged to be restored. We also want a well-run, right-sized government, and we do not want it involved in the personal health and relationship choices we make as adults.

I am stepping into the arena today, as a working woman and mother, to stand up and use my voice to move this country forward, not backward.

See Heidi’s campaign website here: “Heidi Hall for US Congress” (in progress, check back soon for donate function).

Rita Hayworth – Stayin’ Alive

The Little Bedtime Story of Mitch McConnell’s Top Political Priority and How It Worked Out for Him (and Us)

Here (below) is a 7-minute video recap of the GOP’s strategy after Obama was elected.

You yourself — having just lived through the 2012 presidential election — can supply the ending to this little bedtime story, which admittedly has a distinct liberal bias (in the same way that reality has a liberal bias).

Some of us read this story of earnestness and betrayal as sad but having a happy 2012 ending.

But many others see it differently and feel that the ending is quite melancholy. They should read it as a kind of morality tale, and search their own souls for the obvious answer to “what went wrong.” The lessons of most bedtime stories are obvious, and this story is no different. But many who should get it won’t get it, and are likely to double-down and keep following their losing strategy that also imposes losses on the rest of us (because we really are all in the same boat after all).

But don’t despair. Despite their recent pernicious influence on all of us, those who are likely to learn nothing from the story are happily fated to dwindle in numbers until they just don’t matter anymore.

Because it’s all about demographics and values.

Watch, reflect and enjoy.

Or … not.

The Federal Budget Deficit is Too SMALL

Professor Bill Black (author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One) is outraged over the phony “fiscal cliff,” because there seems to be a bipartisan consensus (including President Obama) that the solution to that “crisis” is to engage in austerity measures, to cut government spending by various means, including the shredding of the safety net (Social Security, Medicare).

Black explains at length why this is an economically illiterate and “suicidal” approach:

Keynes has again proven correct.  Europe adopted austerity and needlessly and destructively hurled the Eurozone back into recession.  We would have to be insane to engage in such financial suicide.


The federal budget deficit is too small. You did not misread that sentence. It is a logical consequence of the CBO’s reasoning in warning in its November 2012 report against the austerity of the “fiscal cliff.” We would have recovered more quickly from the recession if we had increased more substantially our governmental spending and reduced (net) taxes. Both parties’ leaders purport to understand (hence their embrace of the CBO report) the suicidal nature of austerity, but both pander to the electorate by railing at the deficit. It is as dishonest as it is economically illiterate and it has created a massive barrier to getting the public to back rational policies. The U.S. has had much larger deficits (relative to our GDP) during and after World War II. Those deficits allowed us to defeat the Axis powers, recover from the Great Depression, attain full employment, extend the safety net, and achieve robust economic growth without destructive inflation.


Obama needs a real jobs guarantee program for every American able and willing to work. There is no greater waste than leaving over 20 million Americans underemployed, and Republicans’ ideological fantasies about the unemployed cannot survive a jobs guarantee program. The administration should also fund revenue sharing. The original stimulus plan had a major revenue sharing component, but a coalition of conservative (“blue dog”) Democrats and Republicans killed it. This was a travesty. A national government with a sovereign currency is not like a state or local government [or like an individual household either – ed]. It can and should run a deficit in response to a recession. A state or local government cannot do so. It was certain that state and local governments would suffer severe drops in revenues at the same time that the need for increased state spending to help the unemployed. The inevitable result was that state and local governments would have to fire over one hundred thousand workers and add to unemployment during the Great Recession. The win-win is revenue sharing – a Republican policy initiative. The federal government transfers hundreds of billions of dollars to the state and local governments, which allows them to avoid firing the workers and cutting social services when they are most needed. All of this allows the economy to recover more quickly and eventually reduces the deficit. It also makes America vastly more humane.

Read the full article here: “Why Jobs Should be Obama’s Top Priority — Not Suicidal Austerity

Organic “Traitor” Brands

If you were disappointed by the defeat of Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative, here’s your chance to give a little payback to some of the big corporations who defeated it (by boycotting the products of their organic food subsidiaries):

“Brands like Kashi. Honest Tea. Naked Juice. Muir Glen, Horizon, Silk, and Morningstar Farms … ” (oh man, we love their tofu sausage … oh well … bye!).

Read the full article here: “Payback Time: Boycott the Organic and ‘Natural’ Traitor Brands that Helped Kill Prop 37

Climate Change Channel — 24 Hour Live Feed

All day today, this is live

Climate science is Nate Silver and U.S. politics is Karl Rove

If climate scientists say that a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperature by the year 2100 would be “catastrophic” — and they do — what word should we use to describe the more likely 10 degree increase? We’re starting to get into actual phrases like “civilization destroying.”

The “Nate Silvers of climate science” (the empiricists) predict a climate “landslide” (not in the good sense), according to a clever but terrifying article by David Roberts of Grist:

Throughout this long, crazy campaign, there’s been a tension simmering between empiricists like Nate Silver and Sam Wang, who cited poll data showing Obama with a small but durable lead, and pundits who trusted their “guts” and the “narrative,” both of which indicated that Romney had all the momentum after the first debate.

In the face of model projections like Silver’s, Jonah Goldberg said that “the soul … is not so easily number-crunched.” David Brooks warned that “experts with fancy computer models are terrible at predicting human behavior.” Joe Scarborough said “anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a tossup right now is such an ideologue.” Peggy Noonan said that “the vibrations are right” for a Romney win. All sorts of conservative pundits were convinced the Romney campaign just felt like a winner.


As it happens, there’s another issue in American politics where empiricists are forecasting the future and being ignored. Here’s what the Nate Silvers of climate science are up to:

” … the world could be in for a devastating increase of about eight degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, resulting in drastically higher seas, disappearing coastlines and more severe droughts, floods and other destructive weather.”

At our current rate rate of decarbonization (1.6 percent) we are on track for a temperature rise of 10.8 degrees (6 degrees Celsius) by 2100.

Let’s be clear about this. Scientists consider 3.6 degrees catastrophic. There are serious scientists who doubt that human civilization can endure at all in the face of 7.2 degrees. And we are headed for 10.8.

Read David Roberts’ complete article, “Climate science is Nate Silver and U.S. politics is Karl Rove

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