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Barbara Boxer sketches global-warming 'principles'

Winding up for what promises to be the strongest congressional push yet for a comprehensive bill to fight global warming, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) announced a set of "principles" this morning in Washington that will guide her as she drafts a cap-and-trade bill to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.

She also unveiled the rhetoric, which the Los Angeles Times previewed last month, that Democrats in Congress and the White House will use to sell the plan, telling a press conference, "This is a great way to reinvigorate the economy."

Boxer chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the starting point for global-warming legislation in the Senate. (A fellow Californian, Rep. Harry Waxman, chairs the House committee that will simultaneously launch its own global-warming push.)  Her announcement today gave no details on emission-reduction targets or a host of other issues closely watched by business and environmental groups.

But it made several broad promises, in keeping with Boxer's pledge for a less complicated bill than the cap-and-trade push that failed in the Senate last year. Among them:

* To reduce emissions "to levels guided by science to avoid dangerous global warming" and to set targets that are "certain and enforceable," as well as adjustable.

* To maintain state and local anti-warming efforts.

* To utilize a market-based system -- that means cap-and-trade, as opposed to a carbon tax, which some economists favor to reduce emissions.

* To use proceeds from the sales of emissions permits for a variety of uses, including: support for consumers, governments, businesses and workers (presumably to help offset higher energy prices under the system); investments in alternative energy; preserving wildlife and ecosystems threatened by warming; and money for developing nations to help them respond to warming.

* To ensure a "level global playing field ... so that countries contribute their fair share to the international effort to combat global warming."

To steer any cap-and-trade bill through the Senate, Boxer and her allies will need to win several Republican votes, along with a large chunk of centrist Democrats. Several Democrats from the environment committee joined Boxer's press conference today, and she said the entire Democratic side of the panel endorsed the principles.

"We know that we have to act," Boxer said, "and we intend to act."

But no Republicans showed up, and the committee's top GOP member -- Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a vocal global-warming skeptic -- blasted the principles in a press release.

"At a time when Congress is debating a near-term multi-billion-dollar bailout for the American economy, once again the Democrats are proposing principles for climate legislation that will impose a long-term multi-trillion-dollar energy tax on families and workers,” he said.

“As demonstrated last year, when it comes to drafting comprehensive climate legislation, the devil is in the details. These principles offer nothing more than a punt on all of the difficult issues that Americans expect to be honestly debated. Congressional cap-and-trade bills, often touted as an ‘insurance policy’ against global warming, would instead be nothing more than all economic pain for no climate gain. We look forward to debating these tough issues in the Committee this year.”

--Jim Tankersley

Comments () | Archives (22)

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Paragraph4 of my last entry should have said "NOT good", but I'm sure most everyone got my meaning.

Barbara L | February 05, 2009 at 09:26 AM

"Causation: CO2 absorbs sunlight. This has been known for 200 years."

That's actually not correct. CO2 lets the Sun's incoming radiation (shorter wavelengths) pass right by. What CO2 does is absorb the radiation emitted by the warmed Earth below it. That outgoing radiation has a range of longer wavelengths and there 2 or 3 small bands where CO2 can absorb the energy. Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas responsible for about 95% of the Greenhous gas absorbed outgoing radiation. Some wavelengths don't even get absorbed and pass right on out to space.

Sorry, but when you miss such a fundamental piece of science the credibility of everything else you say is in doubt.

I strongly suggest you do some more reading. A good start is the climate library at

You need to get beyond the propaganda that is fed to all of us. The consequences of this having been a fraud are, beyond the loss of the credibility of an incestuous group of Government funded Global Warming researchers, is good. It means that limited resources that would have been wasted on sequestering plant food from the air, trading CO2 credits like bad mortgages, and increasing costs on everything can now be avoided.

Yes to energy conservation.

Yes to pursuing alternate energy technologies...
(and clean coal is probably the best since we have a "bazillion" years supply and it gets us energy security).

Yes to local drilling for natural gas and petroleum.
(We can drill with less Environmental risk than the places in the world that now drill- Why do we export our pollution to somebody elses backyard)

No to CO2 sequestering.

No to using a made up catastrophe to pursue idealogical/political goals

Causation: CO2 absorbs sunlight. This has been known for 200 years.

Correlation: yes, the world's temperature is going up. Not in perfect synch, because many naturals factors intervene temporarily. See the Keeling Curve for how Co2 has increased in the last 50 years. See the Volstok ice core data to see that we are now hotter and have more Co2 in the air than in the last 800,000 years.

Data to Support: Lots. Glaciers melting world wide. Rate increasing according to news this week. Devastating heat this week in Australia, 114 F, record heat, species extinction underway. That's just this week's news.

I don't like AGW, I wish it wasn't true, but reality has to be dealt with.
Deniers of Anthropomorphic Global Warmer: come in various sorts. For professional deniers, see
As to the 31,000 'scientists' who signed a petition denying global warming = big lie. See for yourself. I googled on 4 names; no response. No research papers, no University positions, nada. So I checked for the address of a guy in Connecticut, found his residence, and his business address and title. He is the owner of a warehouse! ROTFLMAO.

More and more scientists agree that global warming it not a current threat to us. What is really a threat is the man-mad global warming pseudo-science, particularly when used by Marxists like Obama for political purposes. Hitler used the eugenics pseudo-science to exterminate “inferior” non-Aryans and establish a totalitarian regime. Obama and his lemmings want to use the anthropogenic global warming pseudo-science and establish socialism in the U.S., which would inflict even more harm than Hitler’s eugenics.

"We need to get some broad based support,
to capture the public's imagination...
So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
make simplified, dramatic statements
and make little mention of any doubts...
Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest."
- Stephen Schneider,
Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports

Need I say more?

Posted by: Conrad Dunkerson | February 04, 2009 at 07:16 AM

"2: No idea what you are talking about... for the past 150 years CO2 levels have been going up steadily and so have average temperatures. That's a correlation."

It's not a steady correlation even with the widely publicized CO2 curves. In fact it is quite poor compared to many other natural factors which have much better correlations. And don't forget that correlation does not mean causation anyway. You need to prove a mechanism. Other than a guess at a water vapor magnification of the CO2 warming that is loaded as in INPUT into the models which then show dramatic warming of perhaps 2-9 degrees (don't recall exactly) there is nothing . Even then the models which seem to match the past because they are tweaked to make them align, then fail when you follow the projections. One problem is that every time they do another run, they tweak it to match any actuals up to that date and show the future projection.

And guess what? They have been shown to be no better than what a random walk would look like statistically. They are no good as predictors. They need major work before they can be of predicitve use, and some say that as a non-linear chaotic system they can not be simulate nature using current techniques, unless the instantaneous full field initial conditions of the entire atmosphere and oceans is needed. There is no way to do that today. Perhaps in 500 years such technology will exist, but it doesn't today.

Lastly, have you seen Georg-Becks CO2 curves derived from 90,000 measurements since about 1810? This shows that CO2 was higher twice in the 1800's and also in the 1940's:

Also, try this one as it ties in the politics:

I won't get into your item 3, other than to say that the satellite measurements show a cooling over the last 8 years and the surface temperature records of NASA-GISS are highly questionable. Urban Heat Island effect of growing cities not likely adjusted; data and methods hidden.

They want the world to spend trillions and they won't even let us do our due diligence.

At some point, truth seeking environmentalists will stop the lie about Anthropogenic CO2 causing catastrophic global warming. Then they can focus on true environmental protection. They also need to shed any underlying ulterior intents, such as socialism, that have contaminated their cause.

Return to basic, principled and pragmatic Environmental advocacy and protection. Making a well publicized advertising campaign to renounce their lies about CO2 would actually gain them tremendous respect and new donors like me.

I used to be a member of NRDC and took the position in the early 1990's that curbing CO2 emissions was reasonable under the precautionary principle, which means that even if the predictions were not certain the impact was so significant that action should be taken. However, my position changed after I delved into the science and found it utterly lacking. What's even worse is that this was a ruse from the beginning started by Maurice Strong of the UN and others.

What is going on with our country that we are letting so many frauds under our noses: Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/Wall street bailout; Marxist (non-Natural Born Citizen Usurper-President; Irag War for questionable reasons; ENRON, etc)?

Where will our new leaders come from to help us straighten these things out?

perhaps it be a good idea to limit GHGs emanating from Boxer, Gore & other WarmMongers. if they quit their yapping it might save the planet.

actually, the folks in "bitterly cold Southeast USA" might like a little warming right now!

The father of global warming, Al Gore's mentor, even backed off before he died. He told Congress they needed to look at this more closely cause the evidence just wasn't there. He was worried about the expense of something that was not real. Al Gore then referred to him as a senile old man.

Other scientists say we are entering an ice age. I worry for the future generations. These global warming fanatics (that have no actual scientific proof) will prepare for this warming and the future generations will end up freezing to death.

I'm disappointed that Senator Boxer didn't come out with a more detailed, comprehensive plan. In addition, I'm disappointed that she continues to support a flawed cap and trade scheme. A revenue-neutral carbon tax avoids the evasion and market manipulation that have plagued the cap and trade system, all while providing powerful incentives for the creation of new, climate-friendly technologies.

She's your state bubble-head. Almost up there with Pelosi. No wonder Cali is in such a state of recession.

i think were gonna die

Joe, responses to your four 'facts';
1: Yes, ice core data shows temperatures STARTING to increase before CO2 levels rise. That's only logical. Where do you suppose the extra atmospheric CO2 CAME FROM in the past? There weren't factories putting out tons of the stuff. The whole world didn't suddenly erupt in a massive 100x increase in vulcanism every 100,000 years or so. No, the extra CO2 came from deposits sequestered in permafrost and ice. Thus, when the temperature increased (primarily due to orbital shifts) this 'captured' CO2 was released... causing the temperature to go up more, causing more captured CO2 to be released, et cetera.
2: No idea what you are talking about... for the past 150 years CO2 levels have been going up steadily and so have average temperatures. That's a correlation.
3: No, temperatures haven't been anything like flat the past ten years. 2004-2008 was the hottest five year period ever recorded, followed by 1999-2003 and then 1994-1998.
4: Water vapor? Yes, water absorbs infra-red radiation... but there hasn't been a sustained increase in water vapor over the past century. See, when you get too much water in the air there is this thing called RAIN which acts as a self-correcting mechanism.

Senator Boxer, here is what Climate Code Red says:

--Human emissions have so far produced a global average temperature increase of 0.8 degree C.

--There is another 0.6 degree C. to come due to "thermal inertia", or lags in the system, taking the total long-term global warming induced by human emissions so far to 1.4 degree C.

--If human total emissions continue as they are to 2030 (and don't increase 60% as projected) this would likely add more than 0.4 degrees C. to the system in the next two decades, taking the long-term effect by 2030 to at least 1.7 degrees C. (A 0.3 degree C. increase is predicted for the period 2004-2014 alone by Smith, Cusack et al, 2007).

--Then add the 0.3 degree C. albedo flip effect from the now imminent loss of the Arctic sea ice, and the rise in the system by 2030 is at least 2 degree. C, assuming very optimistically that emissions don't increase at all above their present annual rate! When we consider the potential permafrost releases and the effect of carbon sinks losing capacity, we are on the road to a hellish future, not for what we will do, but WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY DONE.

'Leemans and Eickhout (2004) found that adaptive capacity decreases rapidly with an increasing rate of climate change. Their study finds that five percent of all ecosystems cannot adapt more quickly than 0.1 C per decade over time. Forests will be among the ecosystems to experience problems first because their ability to migrate to stay within the climate zone they are adapted to is limited. If the rate is 0.3 C per decade, 15 percent of ecosystems will not be able to adapt. If the rate should exceed 0.4 C per decade, all ecosystems will be quickly destroyed, opportunistic species will dominate, and the breakdown of biological material will lead to even greater emissions of CO2. This will in turn increase the rate of warming' --Leemans and Eickhout (2004), 'Another reason for concern: regional and global impacts on ecosystems for different levels of climate change,' Global Environmental Change 14, 219–228

In other words, all ecosystems will be quickly destroyed, not for what we will do, but WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY DONE.

"I'm going to tell you something I probably shouldn't: we may not be able to stop global warming. We need to begin curbing global greenhouse emissions right now, but more than a decade after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, the world has utterly failed to do so. Unless the geopolitics of global warming change soon, the Hail Mary pass of geoengineering might become our best shot." --Bryan Walsh, Time Magazine, 17 March 2008

"The alternative (to geoengineering) is the acceptance of a massive natural cull of humanity and a return to an Earth that freely regulates itself but in the hot state." --Dr James Lovelock, August 2008

Ms Boxer is either being disingenuous or she is misinformed:

"What I learned in the past few years is that politicians often adopt convenient policies that can be shown to be inconsistent with long-term success, given readily available scientific data and empirical information on policy impacts." --Dr Jim Hansen, NASA

The comments show little understanding of the issues; fortunately now there is an administration in Washington that does. The cap-and-trade approach is a better choice - at this time. A carbon tax pushes greater innovation and invention; but cap-and-trade permits inflexible infrastructure problems to buy time. After a generation of no silver-bullets, an approach similar to the acid-rain response of the 80s has a greater chance of success.

You people from California get exactly what you deserve.

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Native American Proverb

Two comments. Perhaps some of the global warming politicians should review the petition signed by more then 31000 scientists disavowing man made global warming. This can be seen at
Second the recent PEW poll showed that global warming was in last place ,#32 ,as far as being important to Americans–money and time could be better spent on what is both REAL and vital!

I believe that global warming is a hoax. I have not seen any evidence that man made climate change is real. And I have seen Al Gores movie, and watched all the hype for the last 5 years. This is truley discusting.

"Guided by science"? Where is the science that shows CO2 drives Temperature? How about the following science that says CO2 is innocent.
1) Ice core data - temperature drives CO2 (thru 650K yrs and many glacial- interglacials)
2) Last 150 years of non-correlation (54% a flip of a coin) between temperature and CO2
3) Last 10 years of flat and/or falling temperatures with rising CO2
4) Jim Hansen climate models blaming CO2 for temperature rise – Wrong, Wrong, Wrong by not adequately modeling the most abundant GHG, water vapor, and by not seriously considering clouds.

Sen. James Inhofe is right. Al Gore’s man-made global warming claims are a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, who just assumed the presidency of the European Union, is right when he states that “environmentalism is the new communism and climate change is a dangerous myth.”

Some 650 scientists from around the globe have challenged the man-made global warming claims. The dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of United Nations scientists (52) who authored the media hyped Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

Additionally, more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…”

Preparing to use the global warming hoax, "progressives" (socialists) like Boxer and Obama are planning heavy investments from increased taxes on the US population. Thus, they will increase their power and their control at the expense of the economy and the people.

If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’s friends), increase the power of the UN and socialists like Boxer and Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.


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