|President Obama, V-P Biden, and House Speaker Pelosi, 2009|
Source: White House
Willis was whining about the fact that in the Policy Forum of Science today (or yesterday here) there was an article by President Obama. It appears to be a Science mag article, in which case it will probably be in this week's edition, which will come out this Friday. For now the full article is available online (open access).
The article has the title "The irreversible momentum of clean energy" and is about, yes, renewable energy and particularly how mitigation of greenhouse gases can boost the economy, and doesn't have to conflict with economic growth. The subtitle is "Private-sector incentives help drive decoupling of emissions and economic growth".
Now whether you are a "Limits to Growth" person or you think that growth can go on and on for the long term, the article sets out some of the achievements in the USA since Obama took office in 2008. For example:
Since 2008, the United States has experienced the first sustained period of rapid GHG emissions reductions and simultaneous economic growth on record. Specifically, CO2 emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5% from 2008 to 2015, while the economy grew by more than 10%. In this same period, the amount of energy consumed per dollar of real gross domestic product (GDP) fell by almost 11%, the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy consumed declined by 8%, and CO2 emitted per dollar of GDP declined by 18% (2).
The Science article addresses a number of points, including:
- the cost of renewable energy is falling dramatically, citing the US Department of Energy: "Renewable electricity costs also fell dramatically between 2008 and 2015: the cost of electricity fell 41% for wind, 54% for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, and 64% for utility-scale PV",
- investment in clean energy is at a record high, citing an article at Bloomberg: "2015 was a record year for clean-energy investment, with those energy sources attracting twice as much global capital as fossil fuels"
- the many economic benefits of a low carbon future
- the benefits to business and industry of increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy waste,
- the increase in jobs, and the dominance of renewable energy employment, compared to employment in the fossil fuel sector. Citing another report from the Department of Energy (BW Research Partnership, U.S. Energy and Employment Report (DOE, Washington, DC, 2017) - no link): "A U.S. Department of Energy report released this week found that ~2.2 million Americans are currently employed in the design, installation, and manufacture of energy-efficiency products and services. This compares with the roughly 1.1 million Americans who are employed in the production of fossil fuels and their use for electric power generation",
- the risk to the USA and the world if it reneges on the Paris agreement,
- the fact that so many countries, not just developed countries, have signed on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and
- most important of all, the danger caused if there is no ongoing action to mitigate global warming.
That last point was made forcefully throughout the article, from the opening para through to the end.
Left unchecked, the continued growth of GHG emissions could cause global average temperatures to increase by another 4°C or more by 2100 and by 1.5 to 2 times as much in many midcontinent and far northern locations....The achievements of the past eight years are quite good, but they could have been so much greater if not for a hostile legislature, filled with anti-science lawmakers in thrall to fossil fuel companies.
...We have long known, on the basis of a massive scientific record, that the urgency of acting to mitigate climate change is real and cannot be ignored.
In closing, outgoing President Obama left a message for incoming President Trump:
Despite the policy uncertainty that we face, I remain convinced that no country is better suited to confront the climate challenge and reap the economic benefits of a low-carbon future than the United States and that continued participation in the Paris process will yield great benefit for the American people, as well as the international community. Prudent U.S. policy over the next several decades would prioritize, among other actions, decarbonizing the U.S. energy system, storing carbon and reducing emissions within U.S. lands, and reducing non-CO2 emissions (23).
Of course, one of the great advantages of our system of government is that each president is able to chart his or her own policy course. And President-elect Donald Trump will have the opportunity to do so. The latest science and economics provide a helpful guide for what the future may bring, in many cases independent of near-term policy choices, when it comes to combatting climate change and transitioning to a clean-energy economy.
Willis Eschenbach doesn't disagree - he just dogwhistles racism and can't wait for Trump to take office
Who'd have thought - Willis Eschenbach prefers to revert to a twentieth century world, and is a big fan of the unstable, narcissistic, insecure, sexual predator Donald Trump. Well, that shouldn't be a total surprise. Willis hasn't tried to hide his sexism in the past. I'm a bit surprised that he's so against economic revitalisation and modernisation of the energy sector.
Willis isn't one for evidence or sources. He referred to the article as a "puff piece". He didn't deny anything that was in the article. In fact he didn't show much interest in the content of the article at all, except for making a sarcastic comment about this paragraph:
At the same time, evidence is mounting that any economic strategy that ignores carbon pollution will impose tremendous costs to the global economy and will result in fewer jobs and less economic growth over the long term. Estimates of the economic damages from warming of 4°C over preindustrial levels range from 1% to 5% of global GDP each year by 2100 (4). One of the most frequently cited economic models pins the estimate of annual damages from warming of 4°C at ~4% of global GDP (4–6), which could lead to lost U.S. federal revenue of roughly $340 billion to $690 billion annually (7).Willis' sarcastic response to the notion of the tremendous cost of ignoring carbon pollution was a trite: "Ignoring “carbon pollution” will lead to loss of US Federal revenue? OMG … can’t have that."
Willis started out saying how afraid he is (one of the symptoms of a right wing authoritarian follower) - this is where I got the "beclown" in the title:
I fear that Science magazine has beclowned itself as badly as the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. They’ve published a “scientific” policy paper by the noted climate scientist Barack Hussein Obama. Not a paper with Obama as one of the signatories. No, Science magazine claims that the President wrote the deathless prose all by himself, not a co-author in sight.On the matter of the claim of "all by himself" and co-authorship, Willis was not very observant. If he'd read to the end of the References and Notes at the bottom of the article, he'd have seen this acknowledgement:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: B. Deese, J. Holdren, S. Murray, and D. Hornung contributed to the researching, drafting, and editing of this article.Further down Willis showed that he's not just sexist, he's also racist. He had the nerve to suggest that President Obama had "help" in becoming the President of the Harvard Law Review. His words were:
Obama made it into Science magazine (or to be the Editor of the Harvard Law Review) on his own merits?Going by what Willis suggested, it would not be unreasonable to think that he also bought into Donald Trump's birther conspiracy. Actually, the office Obama held with the Harvard Law Review was not just editor, it was President. Back in 1990, it was still considered unusual for an African American to achieve anything, as evidenced by this New York Times article. I particularly liked this quote from the NY Times:
Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama's selection. ''For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,'' said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ''But I hope it won't overwhelm this individual student's achievement.''I guess Professor Kennedy would now acknowledge it didn't overwhelm the achievement of Barack Obama:)
The conclusion I draw from Willis' puff piece is that he is wanting to paint President Obama as a failure, express his support for Donald Trump, distract WUWT readers away from the message that shifting to renewables is good for the climate and good for the economy.
By the way, in case you missed the link up top, Science often publishes Policy Forum articles. Nature publishes policy-related articles, too. Scientific research isn't done in a vacuum.
From the WUWT comments
Naturally enough, almost all of Willis Eschenbach's fans weren't interested in the content of the article either. Their ideology (and racism) overwhelmed them. There were a lot of silly one-liners (or close) from the empty heads at WUWT.
Chimp's thought you'd think is a Poe anywhere else. I mean how many epithets can a right wing extremist fit into a short sentence?
January 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm
More Stalinist personality cultism from the government-academic-Green industrial complex.
Joel Snider is probably not taking a pot shot at Willis Eschenbach:
January 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm
I think I just burst a blood vessel in my head.
BallBounces is talking about who knows what. Maybe its code that only white supremacists can understand:
January 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm
We heard the splat all the way down here in Phoenix!
Goldrider has fallen for fake news and conspiracy nonsense:
January 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm
There’s a reason why Trump won. A whole lot of them, actually. Denial of reality by the Left for me was Reason Number One for my vote.
Adam Gallon thinks a science journal is no more than light theatrical entertainment:
January 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm
Peer revued, must be right, true, truthful!
Scott Frasier responded to Willis' racist dogwhistle and wrote:
January 9, 2017 at 1:35 pmThat drew a negative reaction from MarkW, who didn't object to Willis' racist prompts:
“Yo, Barry, you did it, mah ni88a!”
January 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm
racism has no place on this site.
Either Willis Eschenbach acknowledges that he himself is odious, or he figures he's the only one allowed to make racist remarks at WUWT:
January 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm
Agreed. Racism is odious.
Oddly, SMC isn't too concerned about Donald Trump getting him "into a nuclear"
January 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm
As long as President Obama doesn’t get us into a nuclear before he leaves, I really don’t care what he says about anything. He’s gone in 10 days, and some change. Jan 20 can’t come fast enough.
Most of the comments echoed the sentiments of Sunsettommy. That's despite the fact that President Obama leaves as one of the most popular US Presidents of all time:
January 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm
Worse President in American history.
After getting more than half way down the page of mindless meanderings, I finally came across someone who claims to have actually read the article in Science. jimbobby wrote:
January 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Had a quick look at the full report of BHO – I only lasted the first two paragraphs and had to leave laughing. BHO trumpeting his “achievement” … 8% reduction in CO2 “pollution” (when CO2 is an inert gas) and at the same time increasing economic growth of 10% over 8 years.
Think about that .. economic growth measured in $terms averaging 1.25% for each year of his presidency. Factor in inflation and there is no economic growth – factor in the increase in the cost of power alone and there is economic decline
But BHO says it so beautifully I’m sure the environmentalists are amazed by his brilliance !!
I'll leave you with the last comment, from Dan Pangburn, who you may recall gets science woefully wrong. He might not be right this time, either. I'll bet that some deniers now at WUWT will go to their graves with their heads full of "climate hoax" conspiracy theories, even if all the sea ice in the Arctic has melted and some parts of the world have become uninhabitable from global warming.
January 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm
Eventually politicians and charlatans will be forced to understand that Mother Nature does not do politics or take directing.
References and further reading
Barack Obama. "The irreversible momentum of clean energy". Science (2017) DOI: 10.1126/science.aam6284 (open access)
Revolution...Now - US Department of Energy, September 2016
Clean Energy Investment By the Numbers - End of Year 2015 - Angus McCrone and Luke Mills, Bloomberg,
From the HotWhopper archives
- Wondering Willis as a concerned climate scientist (showing his sexism) - August 2013
- and lots more about Willis Eschenbach's "wonderings"