The Democrats’ climate change conundrum

The Democrats’ climate change conundrum, by Henry Gass.

Climate change is a top liberal priority, but that very urgency is making the issue divisive as much as unifying for Democrats.

A wide rift has opened over a basic question: Just how ambitious should the Democratic Party be in trying to reduce carbon emissions and stabilize Earth’s climate? …

One of Sanders’s delegates is Bill McKibben, a climate activist and founder of the environmental advocacy group 350.org, who last Monday wrote in Politico that the Clinton campaign was “obstructing change to the Democratic platform,” particularly on climate policies. In particular, he highlighted how two of his proposals – to call for a carbon tax and a ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the platform – were voted down 7 to 6.

Young Democrats want big radical changes now:

But this approach may not pass muster with climate hawks who increasingly see climate change not as a political or policy issue, but as an urgent existential one. …

“I don’t think on climate we can afford a middle ground,” adds Avery Raines, the group’s environmental advocacy fellow. “Americans cannot afford to compromise in any way.” …

But climate change is not an ordinary political issue, says Mr. Hasz. “This isn’t a fight over politics, this is a fight over physics, and the climate policy ambitions right now don’t acknowledge that,” he adds.

Actually you’re wrong there Mr Hasz. This is not a fight over physics — the physics of climate change is reasonable settled and not challenged by serious scientists. This is a fight over modeling — the modelers have omitted a large, crucial feedback since the first model of 1896. This feedback renders increasing carbon dioxide fairly impotent, and is fully compatible with the physics.