Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One If By Law Two If By Executive Order

Don't tell Eli or your local US government official that the Obama administration is ignoring climate change.  They may not be passing laws but they are doing stuff, often under cover of bureaucratese, but things that really affect the nation (EPA CO2 regs) and more.  Not noticed by many, Executive Order 13514, issued October 5, 2009 set forth serious motherhood

In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the Federal Government must lead by example. It is therefore the policy of the United States that Federal agencies shall increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and storm water management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution;leverage agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products,and services; design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations;strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which Federal facilities are located; and inform Federal employees about and involve them in the achievement of these goals.
but EO 13514 does have hard and fast goals for reducing some emissions, including those from motor vehicles
reducing, if the agency operates a fleet of at least 20 motor vehicles, the agency fleet's total consumption of petroleum products by a minimum of 2 percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2020, relative to a baseline of fiscal year 2005;
More importantly it set up a consistent set of requirements for reporting emissions across the federal government AND contractors and required formulation of plans to REDUCE total greenhouse gas emissions.
within 90 days of the date of this order, establish and report to the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ Chair) and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget(OMB Director) a percentage reduction target for agency-wide reductions of scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by fiscal year 2020, relative to a fiscal year 2008 baseline of the agency's scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions.Where appropriate, the target shall exclude direct emissions from excluded vehicles and equipment and from electric power produced and sold commercially to other parties in the course of regular business [TVA clause-ER].
Scope 1 is ghgs directly produced by the feds, scope 2 is ghgs resulting from the generation of power used by the feds and scope 3 (they had 240 days to report) are ghgs produced by others in activities related to federal government activities. Like everyone else, NIH is signed up  and OMB is issuing scorecards to the agencies, some doing better than others but they do have to bring them home and show em to dad and mom.

Quibbling may commence, but Eli was at a meeting last week where some of the large agencies described, en passant to the assembled peasants how this is controlling their planning. 

20 comments:

John Mashey said...

See the 40-min interview (3rd video) with Admiral(ret) Gary Roughead. He talked about the Navy energy efficiency task force and its results. He had a climate task force, too, and it also produced interesting results (I talked to him afterwards. His reply to "What worries you about climate?" was an interesting list. Quiz: what do you thinak was #1 on his list?

david lewis said...

Answer to pop quiz:

As CNO, Roughead asked the NAS to carry out a study examining the global implications of climate change for the US Navy.

Action area 1 found by that study was US ratification of the Law of the Sea given what climate change is doing to the sea ice which until now has restricted naval operations in the Arctic Ocean.

So, obviously, the number one concern of the US Navy when it comes to climate change is what sea level rise is going to do to its port facilities.

Or it could be that the number one concern could become how to ignore the issue if a Republican ever becomes President and Commander in Chief again.

The US Navy could play a role if, under a Republican President, it becomes necessary to detain all US climate scientists, I mean those criminal hoax perpetrators to keep them from misleading our youth and corrupting our precious bodily fluids.

John Mashey said...

Sorry, I asked Admiral Roughead what worried *him*.

Arctic was #2

Low Pacific bases was 3.

Norfolk and San Diego were 4, not because less important, but believed to have more time.


#1 was the fact that Karachi, PK was at sea level...

Steve Bloom said...

Circulation changes are going to be problem for PK sooner than SLR.

Steve Bloom said...

Eli, the difficulty is that however good the Obama administration may be relative to what has come before, the actions they've taken fall far short of the trajectory we need to be on. See this discussion.

cRR Kampen said...

Now, we're gonna pay. First checks are coming in:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/sep/19/mass-slaughter-farm-animals-food-prices.

I more than vaguely seem to remember this kind of thing is a beginning to the end.

david lewis said...

Obviously, since the Senate hasn't been interested in making the US a party to the Law of the Sea for any other reason, a hoax type issue like climate change which the Republican Candidate for President led the RNC in a one minute display of their open scorn for anyone who takes it seriously at Tampa isn't going to change what the more than 40 Republican Senators who will still be in the US Senate after the next election do about any concern the US Navy has about this new ocean that is opening up, which isn't happening by the way, any time soon.

The Republican Party platform adopted in Tampa specifically chastised Obama for elevating the climate change hoax to the level of national security as an issue. The first thing a new Republican Administration would do, obviously, is throw all the reports this CNO commissioned such as the "National Security Implications of Climate Change for US Forces" into the dumpster where they belong.

It is interesting to consider why Karachi's status, sea level wise, is of concern to a US CNO. Pakistan did not show up on the chart of "Top 15 countries by population exposed today and in the 2070s to coastal flooding" presented to him by the NAS when he asked them what he should be concerned about.

It speaks volumes, to every country in the world, about what having a few hundred nukes lying around in your powder keg factionalized country can do in the way of making Washington pay attention to you.

Jeffrey Davis said...

I'm a bore on the subject of the agriculture and AGW. The "Arab Spring" grew from an increase in food prices, and Pakistan lost 2 years (in a row) of its agriculture to floods. Pakistan not only has nukes it has an active, powerful, armed element of radical Islamists.

The dire part of AGW has been underway for quite some time, and it isn't going to get better. When I read the fatuous, creepy, idiotic climate denialists, steam whistles from this little flange in my neck like a cartoon character. Put aside the future and its horrors, on a very practical level they're committing treason today.

cRR Kampen said...

An Arab, Asian, African en American Summer coming up now.

We've warned the hell outta us.
Time to sit back, relax and enjoy the mayhem.

EliRabett said...

Eli is of the opinion that one can always exceed goals, and that something like this EO concentrates minds.

Russell said...

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country by buying a fleet of at least 20 used cars , no, make that Chevy Volts , from this man , at a rate of 2 % annually relative to fiscal year 2005

Because what's good for General Motors is good for the USA .

EliRabett said...

We own the damn thing.

John Mashey said...

More on Roughead, Karachi, PK.

This was in context of other discussions of the geopolitical stresses caused by climate change in unstable parts of the world.

In addition, it was clear (a has been the case with other experiences with senior military), that Roughead (a) thought in longer terms than the next election cycle
and
(b) was responsible for having to spend money effectively to be ready for problems.

I think PK has other climate problems (floods/droughts), but I speculate he picked this one because the Navy cares about SLR and thinks about its geopolitcal effects.

Russell said...

EliRabett said...
We own the damn thing.

Then let's swap it for Ferarri. At current MPG figures we might as well have some fun.

Anonymous said...

Exceeding goals is fine. But if Obama doesn't publicize why the initiative exists, far, wide and repetitively, from the presidential bully pulpit (essentially unused for 3.75 years), then the real significance of the EO is squandered.

John Puma

EliRabett said...

They own Chrysler

Russell said...

Then owning them must surely be good for America.

Just take a look at the Chrysler building

david lewis said...

Anyway, thanks for drawing my attention to former CNO Roughhead's video clip, which got me reading the report the NAS came up with on his order. Its the kind of thing I expected military types to be looking at seriously.

One of the first guys I met when I became interested in climate change was a general officer of the Canadian Forces who had the job of appearing before the Canadian Cabinet periodically to tell them what the overall picture was - the kind of thing Roughead was talking about in the video when he said a big thing on his mind was leaving a Navy that 20 years from now the US taxpayer could no longer afford.

Anyway, this was 25 or so years ago. This general told me he regularly told Canada's Prime Minister et.al. that Canada was toasted when the then current predictions about increasing international tension and increasing migration due to climate change came true. The topic of 100 million Americans moving north came up.

The only high level US Navy clown I had heard recently on the subject of climate change was a guy who showed up on NPR whose only concern was the effect of sea level rise on Navy shore installations, who thought doing nothing for a few more years couldn't hurt, as it only meant a few more millimeters.

I like to know that my Titanic at least has some intelligence on the bridge even though we've hit the iceberg already....

Aaron said...

Jeff,
The bottom line is always food, except during a drought, when the bottom line is water to grow food.

The price of food is going up, and that is very hard on folks that make things that we NEED, and can no longer make for ourselves (because we shipped the factory over there.) Any real hunger in SE Asia or Asia would be very hard on the US economy. And, AGW seems certain to impact industrial agriculture much sooner than the IPCC suggested.

Jeffrey Davis said...

OK. From memory.

Listen my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
On the 18th of April, in '75,
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march,
By land or by sea, on the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the old North Church.
One if by land. Two if by sea,
And I on the opposite shore will be
Ready to ride and spread the alarm,
To every Middlesex village and farm.

How'd I do? Miss MacIvor's 5th grade class.
1960-1961. St. Christopher, Rocky River, Ohio
I think I also learned a bunch of the bells, bells,
bells, bells, bells, bells, bells,
and the clanging and the clanging of the bells,
the tintinabulation of the bells etc.
But I don't remember that at all well, well, well,
well, well.