Climate Change - We Know How To Fix It -
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KOMOR FOR ARIZONA STATE GOVERNOR
Climate Families Jobs Justice
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Q AND A ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
RESPONSES FROM CANDIDATE
CHRISTIAN R. KOMOR
“WHY ARE YOU ENTERING THE CAMPAIGN NOW AND WHY SO LATE?” (02/14/2018)
Well, first I would ask, “How could the other candidates enter the race so soon and really have the big picture of what’s going on?! It’s like someone who hands their homework in before the teacher even gets done explaining it. Either you’re a genius or you missed something.
I spent the better part of my 20’s training to be a psychologist and I learned that to do a job well you have to study, and study and then study some more. Two years ago, I was researching political history, governmental process, environmental issues, how to reduce teen driver crash rates, the needs of labor unions, our aging Arizonan population and our disenfranchised native Hispanic and LBGT population. I spent some time with the folks doing rescue work on the border – keeping undocumented folks from dying of dehydration in the desert. I spent not nearly enough time with frustrated educators (a challenge for me since I come from a family of frustrated educators) talking about the difficulties providing high quality education in the most cost-effective ways and interfacing public education with Arizona’s institutions of higher learning.
But then early last year I bumped into this pink elephant. He was blowing massive amounts carbon from his trunk right in the middle of the room and what really shocked me was here was this big stinking pink elephant and no one, I mean no one in government (except maybe Bernie Sanders) was even noticing. They were all busy running after these other issues. The pink elephant is that one problem of all problems, the one that is not just a game changer but a game ender: climate change and in about 10 to 15 years good old Mother Earth is going to pick up her bat, ball and glove and kick all of us who can’t afford a space station off the playing field. Game over, done.
So what I bumped into is the hard cold reality that we are still continuing to dump the equivalent of 400,000 nuclear explosions worth of carbon into the atmosphere each and every day like it was an open sewer. And the scary part is that sometime in the 2030’s – there are different models giving us different trajectories, but it’s give or take a few years only – we are about to reach a point of no return beyond which we will not have the resources or the science to stop the process of the Earth moving to new “set points or tipping levels”. Scientists are tracking all kinds of changes from methane release to the appearance of totally new microbes in the soil which are stimulating carbon release – a big, big problem because most of the carbon in our environment is stored in the soil.
Of course, this has happened various times before – we are all familiar with what we call ice ages when most of the water was frozen and things were very, very different. But we weren’t here then and if we had been we would not have been for long. So, once I understand that what we are almost certainly looking at is the end of civilization as we know it by the end of this century it puts all the other issues in a new perspective. It’s hard to worry about Donald Trump when your surrounded by wildfire or in the middle of a force 25 hurricane (and yes those are on the way folks).
And get this, wind and solar and all the sustainability in the world is not going to remove carbon from our atmosphere anywhere near fast enough (really not at all) to stop those “tipping levels” from arriving. Those things are just how we stop putting carbon up in the atmosphere. That’s great for the long run, but if we don’t clear the air now there will be not long-run. We must actively remove carbon and do it now.
The good news is we can fix this, and we can do it quickly, and Arizona can lead the way. But we must wake up to the danger and arm ourselves quickly with the tools we need to fight. We must work together towards a solution now.
So when I say the other candidates are not doing their homework what I mean is it is as if they are debating where to put the new park benches and what color to paint them while. Sure, we have important issues to deal with like education, jobs and healthcare, but it’s really pretty selfish of us. Sure, we can fix all those issues and that will be great for our lifetime – for people my age who will benefit - but our grandchildren will not have that luxury. They will be deciding between being choked to death in dust clouds, being burned up in wildfires, or getting drowned in those force 25 hurricanes. They are going to be in a fight for their very survival.
The worst part – there will be no way left by the time our grandchildren are old enough to make sense of things for them to fix it. No amount of money or effort will do it. You can’t stop a force 25 hurricane and you can’t push methane back under the permafrost no matter how much your economy is booming. So, as I was doing my homework I realized this was a state of emergency already, now – this is war and we need to start acting like it. In WWII the death toll was in 50 to 80 million. This time around it will be pretty much all of us. And if the 1% in the federal government don’t get it they have not read the facts. So we need to get it here at the State level.
So, to finish the story - one year ago I was training with Al Gore and his team on the climate disruption crisis, sustainability and mitigation measures. After that I got really, really lucky and was able to spend 8 months working with a team of senior scientists from around North America who were researching methodology for removing carbon from the atmosphere in a safe and effective manner that would not further disrupt planetary ecology.
And then a friend said "Why don’t you run for Governor if this is such a big problem" – and so I am here and I am with you and I am ready to fight. I hope you will join me. We can still pull ourselves out of this nosedive, but you need to vote people into office who are honest about what thee danger is and not just telling you what you want to hear - the easy stuff about education and jobs. Yeah, that's the easy stuff believe it or not. You need people in office - me or someone else, and that's fine with me just someone who will fight the one battle that must be fought or all the others won't mean much.
And the other question to my long answer here is why don’t I wait until 2022 to run for election when there is no successful, heavily financed Republican incumbent to run against? The answer is, by 2022 it will be pretty much too late – we will have only maybe a decade left to remove billions of tons of carbon from our atmosphere. Yes, my odds of winning election would be much better, but I hope you get it by now that that is not why I am running – to be a politician. In fact, whether we know it or, not politics is no longer setting the clock. Mother Nature is setting the clock and we are out of time to decide. Now is our moment in time to show what we are made of, to step up to the plate. We can do the selfish thing and console ourselves with the last remaining air conditioning or we can rise up, pull together, and fight like never before to save our future. Frankly I think it’s the height of selfishness not to take up this challenge, but ultimate it’s really your choice. We can fix climate change, but you need to do three things – get the big picture – vote someone, anyone, in who really gets what is going on and what to do about it and when it’s time to support the effort to mobilize and draw down carbon from the atmosphere give your support and give 100%. This is something we can take on, we know how take on, and a problem we can fix. I’m ready to do it, I’m just waiting for you! That’s all you have to do: write in your vote for us in November and I promise you we will do everything in our power to fix this climate mess while it can still be fixed or you can string me up outside the State Capitol and I won’t put up a fuss. I’m old school about that. I much prefer action to talk and I think a person ought to keep their word. If elected we will take on climate disruption as our first priority and we will do whatever we have to in order to get the job done.
“YOU TALK ABOUT A PLAN FOR STOPPING GLOBAL WARMING” (02/22/2018)
The vast majority of citizens today are deeply concerned that disruption of our natural climate presents a clear and present danger to our families, economy, and habitable environment – a true State of Emergency. I am running for Governor largely to be a voice for those who are eager for a true fix for the global warming trouble we are in.
Forget about the 1.5 or 2.0 C temperature change debate. The key global warming data is this - levels of carbon in the atmosphere are now over 400ppm and will surpass 450ppm in the 2030’s. We know from geological records that when that has happened before the Earth shifts into a whole new pattern - one incompatible with long-term human survival. Even if every nation on Earth shifted to solar, wind, geothermal and other sustainable energy sources TODAY we would still surpass 450ppm in 10-15 years. The ONLY solution is to actively remove carbon already in the atmosphere. We have a safe way to do this called Ocean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection and we can start it right here in the state of Arizona. Arizona MUST have a Governor in 2018 who understands what is at stake and will fight for your children and grandchildren. They have a right to a future! Will you stand with us and give them one?
True to its pioneering spirit, Arizona has taken on the task of moving as rapidly as possible to sustainable, non-polluting sources of energy and reducing our State-wide “climate footprint”. This is brave and honorable work. However, it is of critical importance that we acknowledge the unequivocal statements by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Science Foundation and thousands of scientists, including those here at home in Arizona’s institutions of higher learning, who have collectively raised the alarm that these efforts at sustainability will not be enough without the actual removal of carbon already in our atmosphere. If we do not take bold and heroic action now, by the end of this century the conditions which have sustained human life may no longer exist. I think we are all in various levels of shock about this - how could we not be?
Now here's the good news. We know how to safely and effectively remove carbon from the atmosphere. By far the safest and most effective method of carbon removal involves a process calledOcean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection. By retrofitting carbon emitting stations like the Navajo Generating Station in Page for example, with new carbon capture technology, carbon pollution can be converted into nutrients. These nutrients, in turn, can be transported to nursery platforms in oligotrophic oceans - areas where there appears to be no sea life - around the equator to feed a special type of algae called Emiliania huxleyi, or EHUX. EHUX are a species of coccolithophore algae which live on carbon. EHUX algae are essentially nature’s own carbon scrubbing system and, if properly encouraged with byproducts from carbon capture, they can both remove carbon from the atmosphere and oceans in the massive levels we need. In addition, when feeling and blooming the EHUX turn a bright white color which will increased solar reflectance and cool the planet - much like painting the roofs of building white. First, we raise the EHUX in sterile, sealed indoor farming units and then turn them loose in the ocean having matured enough to evade predators and problematic biochemistry. So, the thing is we can do this and we can start right here in Arizona! We have already been experimenting with using algae to scrub carbon at the Cholla Generating Station east of Winslow. We have the technology - what we are lacking so far is the awareness and the will and that is why I am speaking to you this afternoon. We need you to speak with your votes and donations so we can get enough people on board to get this underway.
Our administration will develop funding for the AACC Project - research, carbon capture and off-shore proof of concept bioreactor beta testing - through a variety of avenues in small adjustments over diverse vehicles and sectors to avoid placing undue strain on any one element of the economy. To learn more about funding plans check out the "Paying for Revitazona" tab here on the website.
I have already reached out to the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California to eventually discuss partnerships wherein we provide the nutrients captured from carbon emissions and they lead the transportation and farming needed in the AACC process. As host to visitors from around the world, Climate Engineering in Arizona will provide highly visible world leadership and position Arizona as an alternative energy leader and one of the top producers of sustainable energy in the continental United States.
Horrific situations challenge the imaginations of good men and women, but, the amazing thing is, we can actually fix this! We can do it. We can save our future. All we must do is wake up and work together. Vote me into office or vote in someone else who sees the problem and has a solution. This is something we can take on, we know how take on, and a problem we can fix. I’m ready to do it, I’m just waiting for you!
“MANY PEOPLE ARE WORKING ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS DO WE REALLY NEED A GOVERNOR FOCUSING ON THIS?” (03/10/2018)
Lots of people are working on sustainability including the Green Party here in Arizona and they are doing a great job of it, but there is also a big danger there. What people aren’t getting, is that sustainability only works if there is something to sustain! For that you need a safe method of actively removing carbon already in the atmosphere – it’s often called “drawdown”. Everyone is consoling themselves with this sustainability stuff, putting up solar and protecting the parks, and that’s important, but it doesn’t reduce the carbon already in the atmosphere and we must get that and start from there. Yes, we need to reduce the amount of carbon we are putting up into the atmosphere and learn not to avoid doing that in the future – but it’s not going to help us now! Forty years ago, back when Jimmy Carter was putting solar panels on the White House roof we could have gotten away with that, but it’s far too late. That won’t work and if you think it will you need to re-read the research that is still coming out of NASA and NOAA and Oak Ridge and the UNIPCC – they guys who do this for a living and know what’s really occurring. In about 10 to 15 years we are going to be locked into a cascading series of feedback loops and by the end of this century the environment will no longer be livable for humans. Now maybe the top 1% will build enough Space-X rockets to escape – maybe – but you and I, our children and their children sure as heck won’t. It is absolutely crucial to understand that sustainability and carbon removal are two different things and we’ve got to start putting the horse in front of the cart.
We are basically in shock and as a psychologist I understand that, but we just don’t have time to stand anymore than a deer does in headlights. We’re about to be environmental roadkill. If I’m telling you that we are reaching this point where we’re basically going to watch humanity go extinct and we won’t be able to stop at and I’m telling you that I know how to fix this and you don’t at least check the evidence my gosh what does that say about you. And the really, really amazing thing is we can actually fix this! We can do it. We can save our children’s future. All we have to do is wake up and work together. Vote me into office or vote in someone else who sees the problem and has a solution. That would be even better as far as I’m concerned! Arizona is in a position to lead the way in atmospheric repair. Join us now. I will fight for you if you fight alongside me. This is something we can take on, we know how take on, and a problem we can fix. I’m ready to do it, I’m just waiting for you!
“MANY PEOPLE CONCERNED WITH PROTECTING THE EARTH FEEL WE SHOULD NOT TAMPER FURTHER WITH NATURE IN ORDER TO REDUCE EXISTING CARBON CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING” (03/17/2018)
Well, it’s interesting that we have spent over 100 years causing massive disruption tampering with our natural environment for the sake of profit alone. No one got at all bent out of shape about dumping 500 million metric tons of carbon into the air like it was an open sewer in 1900 and 12,000 metric tons in 2010 - and that doesn’t include methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases and the like. So now – now that it’s costing us, the taxpayers (not the companies that profited from all the carbon dumping) $350 billion dollars a year increasing by $20 or 30 billion each year and taking 200 to 300 thousand lives each year as a direct result of global warming and 25 million people are threatened by sea level rise and a large chunk of our GDP is coming from the purchase of supplies purchased to try and mitigate damage from hurricanes, flooding, drought, fires and mass migration - suddenly now everyone is going squeamish over growing some algae in equatorial waters which will rapidly draw down that excess carbon and avert a mass extinction event which includes most of the human race except those wealthy enough to escape.
And that’s probably because the ones getting squeamish are those of us who care about the planet and don’t want to hurt it. The ones ready to dump the mess on us when their done – well there has always been that class of people unfortunately. Yeah, under normal circumstances you do not want to mess with Mother Nature. But these are nothing close to normal circumstances. We are 10 to 15 years away from becoming environmental road kill. So, we need to take the shot. Now were damn sure going to plan it out as carefully as possible and try like heck to not do anything to mess things up more – but if we do nothing, well then there’s nothing to do but get out that fiddle.
Between you and me some scientists think it’s going to take something like Florida sinking into the Atlantic or Europe going into winter and never coming back out to finally get people wake up. I’m hoping the citizens of Arizona are smarter than that, but we’ll see in November.
Now I really don’t talk about Geo-engineering. We’re not interested in Geo-engineering. The implication there is that you are changing the entire environment. It is true that when you change one element of the environment you’re likely to affect many other elements, however the strategy that we have devised with Ocean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection is extremely unlikely to have unintended affects external to the process itself - other than, of course, the ones we intend. We need to actively remove carbon period end of story. We just need to do it carefully, thoughtfully and pragmatically. Ocean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection simply takes the byproduct from fossil fuel based emitters that we transport out into areas of the ocean devoid of life and not involved in the life-cycle of other species, and feed it to a specific type of algae which we place there called Emiliania huxleyi or for short EHUX. The EHUX would not be there naturally because these are areas where nothing is living – it’s just water. Then we let the little guys do the work nature designed them to do. Once we get them going with the by-products from carbon capture they will eat carbon from the atmosphere and the ocean and at the end of their natural very short life cycle racing to the bottom of the ocean.
Now you’re probably thinking the same thing I am – this sound like a big job and yes, it is. We have not had such a big job to tackle since Hitler was rampaging through Europe. So, we need to get going and we need to get started and Arizona is the place to do it and it’s something that we can be tremendously proud of taking on. Someone, and that’s going to be us here in Arizona, needs to step up and say “Look the Panzer tanks are 10 miles outside the city. It’s time to pick our best plan and suck it up and get the job done.” The concern about geoengineering is will we make things worse. Well, it doesn’t get worse than certain doom. In the 2030’s, just around the corner, our deadline to fix it is going to pass and after that, well, some other folks far in the future will be studying us to figure what went wrong and how not to make the same mistakes.If you’re not working on removing carbon from the atmosphere at some level, in some way, your giving up the game even if you don’t realize it. I’m hoping Arizona will show the spirit this state was built on and fight!
“ARIZONA SCHOOLS ARE STILL RANKING AT THE BOTTOM. HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS?” (03/28/2018)
Schools are of such crucial importance. We have made them a big part of raising our children in this country and that’s a choice we have made in our society. We have said that professionals prepare people for life in many ways better than untrained individuals do. We also long ago made a decision that education should be uniform – that government should have a role in determining what is taught.
Teachers and kids are wonderful. There are few things better than the process of discovery and learning and sharing that together. A caring, sensitive and intelligent teacher can be such a big influence in a child’s life, but our schools as institutions are really struggling. They need our help. Underfunding, bullying, discrimination, school violence and, of course, these horrific mass shootings. The answer that the NRA and our current Federal Administration came up with is to sell more guns – this time to teachers. I heard this and I was dumbfounded. I mean it’s a neat trick, a nice spin and a great way to sell even more guns, but obviously it’s the thinking of someone who has no experience with firearms and handling them. When I was training as a Deputy Sheriff one of the first things we learned when we were issued our firearms is weapon retention and, God forbid, weapon recovery if you did lose your weapon in a fight.
Now what’s going to happen if teachers have guns in school? Right, some well-intended teacher will leave their gun in a classroom and...I don’t really need to finish that thought do it? So that’s about the most foolish idea I have ever heard of. Secondly training as a Deputy we did a ton of active shooting in every conceivable scenario – after being sprayed with MACE in the face, when faced with multiple shooters, the use of concealment and cover, different firing positions. Unless we want to give our teachers that kind of close quarter combat training is it really a good idea to be putting them in a position where they are going to need it? For one thing there’s going to be no teachers in their right minds wanting the responsibility for teaching and law enforcement - it’s already hard enough to get good educators now since we have devalued them so much in recent years.
The answer to school safety is straightforward and comes in two parts - and this is the action I will take if elected Governor. Number one protection. Inside airports we create a “sterile” area where obvious weapons are eliminated. You go through screening and yeah you don’t like having to take off your shoes, but it’s worth it to know you are safe and sound and can concentrate on other things once you get inside. Then we have people who are specially trained just in case there is an emergency – in flight they are called Air Marshalls. The Marshalls have specialized weapons and tactics are ready to respond to the situations that might arise in that environment. In any environment there are special variables that come into play – the type of structural design and building materials around you, the patterns of movement of crowds, danger areas that need to be watched more regularly, types of scenarios that typically emerge in that environment. School Marshalls would be trained and specially equipped with the tools for this.
Number two is prevention. A few years ago, I lived in an area where we are surrounded by Amish. Generally, as you might suspect, the Amish are very tight knit. Everybody knows everybody. When someone is struggling with something – perhaps has financial problems, mental illness or a behavior problem – everyone knows about it. Now I don’t know enough about Amish culture to tell you what specific supportive action they might take, but the point is everyone functions within a web of support and awareness of each other.So, one of the things we will work on when I am Governor is getting away from liability-based, reactive protocols and focusing on proactive community-building. Likely we will start with Student Councils and work to grow them to include supportive networks where students are trained and encouraged to take care of one another in part because this is what we want them to do in life after they graduate. Everybody in the school should know if a student is in trouble and a network of support should go into action. Kids are great at this kind of thing, but only if they are empowered. They won’t do it in a “sit down, shut up and do what we tell you” kind of environment. We must dramatically increase connectedness and peer support among students – what research tells us is the true and lasting answer for school violence, bullying and exclusionary sub-grouping.
We must also go beyond problem solving and work to make our schools positive, caring and upbeat kinds of places to be in. We need to ensure that our professional teachers and administrators are supported and fairly compensated for their important work with our children. We also need to hire, train and expect the best professional educators and administrators and part of that starts with a stronger connection with Arizona’s colleges and universities. We want them “paying-it-backward” using their talents, technologies and student-power to strengthen the public educational system they draw life from.
We must also skillfully weave character building into the curriculum in our schools so that we are producing good citizens as well as good students. I’m not talking about religion in schools or taking over parent’s jobs at home. I am talking about a continuation of the principles on which this country was founded – that there are some truths that are “self-evident” – like you don’t steal, lie, and cheat. We must ensure our children are taught the skills they will need for a happy healthy life including: job hunting, good neighbor practices, proactive-protective driver safety, parenting skills, addiction resilience, and leadership.
“YOU HAVE SAID YOUR NOT REALLY A POLITICIAN. WHY SHOULD WE ELECT YOU?” (04/07/2018)
I have always felt politics were, or should be, unnecessary to the process of government. We would be much better off without political parties. People interested in civic leadership would train to do a certain government job and we would look at their test scores as part of the election process – which would be funded by taxes not corporate lobbyists and private parties seeking to forward their own selfish agendas. The main thing is, we should be training people for public service like we train other professionals. I sure as heck would not want my eye surgeon to be in her job because she got voted in! I want someone who has trained for years to do the job and is one of the best at it. Citizens should demand competency evaluations on their elected officials. Same goes for me, although at least I was trained as a scientist to digest research related to a problem and then come up with innovative solutions based on that research.
For those of you have already read articles about the other candidates have you noticed much if not all the talk is about how much money they have raised and how much money they are spending? I find that curious. I mean the issues and concerns that citizens I talk to have are not about how much money a candidate has? What does that have to do with our grasp of the issues or how we will be working for you if elected? I think it just shows how much money and commerce have infected government. Government is about management of shared interests and concerns, solving problems for people. It’s not about who can make the most money by manipulating the system and grabbing it from other people.
“WHY DO YOU NOT SAY WHAT PARTY YOU ARE IN?” (04/11/18)
Good question and thanks for asking. I'm not in any party and am not a big fan of them. They are very expensive, filter out the people who are best for the job in favor of the ones who have the most money and political connections and create an adversarial environment rather than one of collegiality and support. That's fine in a judicial system which benefits from adversarial contest, but not when we are trying to solve important problems. Think about a work setting where a group of people are trying to solve a problem together. They are more likely to succeed if they work together building off of each other’s ideas.
I know this is not fully possible, but I would also prefer that a campaign be about the issues and who has the best grasp of them and is most likely to get them solved - not about personalities. I don't want you to vote for me, I want you to vote for what I can get done for YOU. So, come November remember to write in your vote for me because I won’t show up on the ballot. By then I will have moved from Independent to Write In because, if you can believe this, while the party candidates only need 15,000 signatures Independent candidates need to collect over 100,000! Clearly impossible even with a big political machine which I don’t have. So remember to Write In your vote if you want us to win!
“YOU HAVE NEVER RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE BEFORE?" (04/20/2018)
Nope and I wish I didn’t have to now. But I’ve run organizations and I’ve been in some pretty dark trenches trying to help people make their lives better. I figure if I make people’s lives better while I am in office I’ll have done my job – that’s what counts. I never wanted to be in politics and I’m going to try and stay out of it as much as possible. I’m here because a job needs to get done and I just don’t see anyone else doing it – or even talking about doing it - and that job is addressing our climate crisis and how to get out of this tough spot we are in.
I’m sure there will be a learning curve on being Governor like any job, but the standard state-level governance stuff is not really something I am worried about mastering and being able to deal with successfully. The real trick is getting elected without any major corporate donors which is what I am trying to do. What I am worried about, and what is going to be a major deal is if we can alert and mobilize the citizenry to the danger we are facing with climate change and begin the process of fixing things before we lose that option.
The human spirit is an amazing thing. If the Native Tribes can open their hearts back up to us maybe there is a chance for forgiveness and working together between the fossil fuel industry and Arizona government. The good news is, if we do start now it will be a tough row to hoe, but in 8 years we can be well along the way to remediating climate change. This is something we can take on, we know how take on, and a problem we can fix. I’m ready to do it, I’m just waiting for you!
“YOU’VE BEEN CRITICAL OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP” (04/26/2018)
Last year corporate elements rallied the very groups they had helped disenfranchise and staged a successful coup in Washington. The gang there is now a who’s-who of the 1% dead-set on burning the last 20 trillion dollars of subprime carbon assets remaining in the ground.
This is not the first time the US has slipped into the darkness of plutocracy and we have lost touch with our democratic roots. Now, capitalism, business and industry is great. We all need to put food on the table. Our current system of commerce is the most effective in the history of human civilization, but business is designed to make profits and only that. Corporations are not designed to protect the welfare of the citizenry – that’s governments job. So sure, business would like government out of the way – more profits, but if you go down that road you end up – well, where we are now, at the edge of a cliff. Just recently the Administration released what sounds like a great thing – a plan to revitalize our aging national infrastructure. As a frequent traveler on Interstate 40 near Flagstaff I can tell you we have pot hole up there rivaling the Grand Canyon.
Unfortunately, it now appears that this Administration is confusing “infrastructure for the people” with “infrastructure for the fossil fuel industry” – two very different things. We need an infrastructure deal that creates millions of jobs and helps build the 100% renewable energy-powered world we need -- but this plan is about as far from that as you can get. Again, this is what happens when government is weakened (or replaced) by business – the “swamp” just gets deeper. Industry lobbyists asked for more pipelines, and that’s exactly what they got: a proposal that would trample over Indigenous rights to pave the way for a fossil fuel frenzy. The plan would even let Big Oil build pipelines through national parks. Worse yet, the plan is to pay for this pipeline bonanza with deep cuts to essential programs like food assistance and Medicaid -- a cruel attack on America’s most vulnerable communities -- and by forcing taxpayers in cash-strapped cities and states to pick up most of the tab. So don’t look for Arizona’s infrastructure to get better unless we do it ourselves. It’s time to send someone to the Governor’s office who will keep business out of government.
On January 29, 2017 the Administration signed an executive order on calling on every federal agency to loosen the regulatory reins on fossil fuel industries, the most significant declaration of the administration's intent to retreat from action on climate change. All departments were directed to identify and target for elimination any rules that restrict production of energy, and he set guidance to make it more difficult to put future regulations in place on the coal, oil and natural gas industries. This is what happens when big business takes over government and it must be stopped. The backlash from such a short-sighted policy will be an ecological debt we will not be able to pay.
Ultimately, the role of Democratic government is to determine, promote, and protect the interests of the citizenry it serves. To make decisions for the society to meet goals and maintain order. Specifically, the originating constitutional representatives stated this could best be accomplished by forming a more perfect union or cooperation between citizenry, establishing justice, insuring tranquility, provide for the common defense, promoting the welfare of citizens, and securing the blessings of liberty. So, we need business and we need government – what is lacking now is the separation of business and government. So, no I am not happy the imbalance between commerce and government happening in our country right now and how the citizenry is being left unprotected.
“MUCH OF ARIZONA IS TRIBAL RESERVATION. WHAT WILL YOU DO TO CONTRIBUTE TO GOOD RELATIONS WITH FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE” (05/05/2018)
That’s a tough question. As the civilized world developed one group conquered another and took over it’s territory and resources. I’m not saying I agree with it, but that’s history. What’s different in America is that at least the white folks had some humanity and carved portions of territory and said ‘Ok you can have this part. We’re not going to take it all’. That’s pretty unusual in the course of history. Usually when there is an invasion people get wiped out or forced to assimilate fully. On the other hand, how could the Nations not be furious over an invasion of their land and then a continuous series of games played on them to grab even more of their reduced resources over the ensuing decades. How do people that have been so hurt and trampled get to a mental and spiritual place where they can even want to work constructively with the “dominant culture” after all that?
I’m not saying I have the answers to this situation. The path is probably similar to two countries that have been at war learning to coexist peacefully and maybe even contribute to one another in some helpful ways. I can tell you this is one of the area of being Governor that I would take on with a happy heart. Our campaign has already been reaching out to the Nations, both on the local and national levels. I would like to do whatever I can to strengthen relations between Arizona and the Tribal Nations. Like many people I have a deep admiration for cultural ways that develop from a close relationship with the land and the sky.
Again, though, I have so much to learn about the Tribes and their need and how we can work together on mutual issues and problems. It’s really international diplomacy – and it’s hard because, and I would feel this way too, when one of the last things you have left is your culture and language you’re going to want to protect that from any further invasion. It’s not easy to get to know our Tribal neighbors even when one’s heart is in the right place. I wouldn’t welcome outsiders either if my culture had been under attack for so long in so many ways. That’s my job as a representative of my people to do the reaching out.
“MANY ARIZONANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT IMMIGRATION ISSUES” (05/17/2018)
“They should be! In 2017 over sixty-five million people in the world were migrant refugees. That’s one in every 113 people – the largest number ever recorded and more than the population of the United Kingdom. Around the world, someone is displaced every three seconds. Like the Arab Spring, which unfortunately ended in so much displacement, much of this disruption can be clearly traced back to the effects of climate change. People generally don’t migrate unless they need to. Do you think people want to risk their lives and walk hundreds of miles to start all over again? No way. What happens is, for example, fires like we saw recently in California cause crop shortages which cause price hikes which cause famine which cause armed conflict which cause population displacement.
Now, it’s just good fortune that we haven’t seen as much displacement yet in this country, but it’s on the way as dust storms, drought, flooding and wildfires start forcing us to migrate too. In a government-sponsored study last year estimated that a 6-foot rise in regional sea levels would put 13 million people in more than 300 U.S. coastal counties at risk. Nine states could see major population declines as rising waters force people to flee. Florida would be worst off with millions of people leaving the state and Texas could end up absorbing as many as 2.5 million internal migrants. Cities close to, but not on, coastal areas like Atlanta, Phoenix and Las Vegas will receive hundreds of thousands of climate migrants. Some of these anticipated landlocked destinations already struggle with water scarcity or other growth management challenges. This is going to get much, much worse until we buckle down and actively remove carbon that is already in our atmosphere.
So we can’t talk about immigration or migration without talking about climate change, overpopulation and ultimately the low levels of medical care in parts of the world where the death rate for infants and children is very high causing families to “overstock” with more children as a protection against the infirmities of old age. You see this is a complex problem and not one that is going to yield to emotional calls to “send them back”. Fortunately, like most Americans Arizonans are a good-hearted people. In a March 2017 Gallup poll 45-57% of Americans said they believe new immigrants make our country better and stronger.
Interestingly, most people who are citizens of the United States were born into that status. It is not something we achieved, worked towards or “deserve” other than it being simply an accident of birth. In that sense if find it curious when so many people get all huffy and puffy about people who migrate into the US. Did you take a test to be here? Did you swear an oath? Nope, we just got lucky. In many cases folks here illegally have worked much, much harder to get here than we did – oftentimes risking their lives. It always amazes me how self-righteous some individuals get about an accident of birth. Do we “deserve” to be here just because we were born here. The law says yes…I wonder what God thinks about it. Remember those bracelets that said “What Would Jesus Do?”
Now, granted we all need to play by the rules and the rules say you need to fill out the proper forms if you want to live here and I tend to be a guy who believes you should play by the rules. So, my opinion is that - both for those who have made entry into the United States without documentation and for those seeking to enter the United States - we should allow entry only for those who are able to make a clear case for being refugees or asylum-seekers or those who have special talents which our country requires. I believe immigration procedures for these individuals should be no more than a six-month process with minimal cost to the individual. Those who are already here should be grandfathered in as long as they are gainfully employed with no criminal record. Again, if someone is a refugee or seeking asylum and can prove it I think it is our duty as Americans “under God” to extend a charitable hand.
The bigger issue that most people are missing is that massive migration is going to occur in all species including humans as climate change advances. Tens of millions of people will be migrating in the next decades because of rising sea levels. If you live in Miami and or New York City and the water is up to the floor of your taxi you’re going to migrate. You better just hope the people who live in the place that you migrate to won’t get all self-righteous and call you an illegal immigrant and lock you up without the option for bond or a phone call. You see, we’re all going to have to be a little tolerant and kind to each other, maybe practice the “golden rule” a little bit, as climate change advances. Of course, the better alternative is to stop climate change – something we know how to do and can do starting right here in Arizona. This is why the priority of the Komor For Governor campaign is reducing carbon in the atmosphere.
“I’VE SEEN THE PHOTOGRAPHY IN YOUR BOOK “EARTHSPIRIT” ARE THOSE PHOTOS FROM ARIZONA?” (05/15/2018)
Most of them are yes. I’ve been coming out here from Michigan since I was a kid and all that time I felt Arizona was home for me. Finally, after my son was in college, I got the chance to move out here in 2006 and just totally fell in love! Actually, that’s part of how I got so involved with trying to correct climate disruption. Photography for me is a way of seeing God’s gifts and getting to bring an image of them home with you. I like to say, “God makes the picture, I just take it”. Well, it concerns me that we have been spitting in Gods face for the better part of the time we have been here in terms of how we have treated this sacred land. I’ve been here full time over a decade and you can literally see the effects of what we’ve done, of climate change in photographs – they’re harsher, there’s less color, and it’s just one reminder of the way the dominant culture is forcing itself on the tribal nations and destroying the incredible beauty and heart Arizona has.
S.O.S. (SAVE OUR STUDENTS) ARIZONA SCHOOLS! (06/01/18)
American students are back on the streets this week protesting for the right to not get shot in school. In my campaign for Governor this is the issue which (with the possible exception of Climate Repair) is most near and dear to my heart. How could it not be? How could anyone argue against this basic right? And yet, the last time I spoke out on this issue the folks in favor of a bump-stock for every household were up in arms for weeks ready to tar and feather me, or worse.
Now, I am enough of a gun owner myself to know that backlash I received was not coming from responsible gun owners – game hunters and peaceable men and women seeking only to defend their homes should encounter the lawless element in our society.
There are around 33,000 gun deaths annually in the US which is pretty horrifying. Since 1968, when these figures were first collected, there have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths on US territory. By contrast, since the founding of the United States, there have been 1,396,733 war deaths. Clearly this is unacceptable.
The Second Amendment gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms. It does not specify the type of firearms they can own, nor does it provide for a right to conceal those firearms when in public - a crucial issue.
Automatic weapons as we know them today did not exist at the time Second Amendment was written. Therefore, we must assume that the right to bear arms – unless extended by further Constitutional Amendment - applies only to rifles and handguns capable of firing one round per trigger pull. Our campaign believes automatic weapons (almost always the weapon of choice in mass public shooting incidents) should only be available to police and military personnel trained and sworn to service in defense of the American public.
In addition, as Governor I would not want our law enforcement officers to have to confront automatic weapons among the public when doing their duty. Granted we cannot always control this, but we should try. Our men and women in uniform should not be placed in harms way any more than is necessary so they can return to their families each night of their career. I am therefore in favor of enhanced penalties for possession or use of automatic weapons in Arizona.
Carrying a concealed weapon is a special situation. It implies an intent to carry and potentially use a firearm in a public setting. This is very different from having a gun for home defense where other civilians are generally not put at risk. As with use of a motor vehicle, this raises the need to legislate for the protection of society through specialized screening and training. Just as you take a vision and other competency examinations in order to drive a potentially lethal motor vehicle, so should we legislate for the examination and training of concealed weapons holders.
With this in mind, our administration would put in place responsible criteria for carrying a concealed weapon.
This would include a background check, medical and mental health examination, 12 hours of classroom and 20 hours of range training as a requirement for obtaining a concealed weapons license. This training would include, among other elements, "shoot - don't shoot" scenario's, weapon retention practice, the use of concealment and cover and, of course, accuracy. We would be in favor of nation-wide reciprocity once a concealed weapons license is granted in Arizona.
Guns have generally been available in American society, but their use as weapons of domestic terrorism is mainly a contemporary problem corresponding to the deterioration in values and social connection our country has experienced. These elements of human conduct begin in our families and in our schools.
Thus, with the above gun safety measures as our backdrop, if elected Arizona Governor I will establish a Save Our Students (S.O.S.) Arizona Schools! Initiative consisting of three main elements.
First we will work with educators to skillfully weave character building into the curriculum in our schools. We will work toward producing not only good students but good citizens as well as.
Second, we will greatly expand (as appropriate by age) student governance and community building. Becoming good citizens starts with learning to participate together in tackling the social challenges faced in schools today. Stronger school communities mean less likelihood of school violence. We must dramatically increase connectedness and peer support among students. Without placing students in hazardous situations, we will build a formalized framework of awareness and support – perhaps a Student Safety Council.
Third, we will ensure that our students are safe and feel safe in their school environments. We do not need to engage in a Second Amendment debate to accomplish this. We need only provide the technology needed to make schools a gun-free or "sterile" zone. We will deploy "School Marshall's" who are specially trained (in part using the data collected on school shooter behavior) for the unique environment of a school campus, it's movement patterns, environment and dynamics. We will ensure that they have the tactics and equipment needed to address crisis events in this very sensitive environment.
ARE TROOPS A CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM IN ARIZONA? (06/04/2018)
The Posse Comitatus Act is an act that prohibits the federal government from using the armed forces as a posse comitatus for law enforcement, except in cases and circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress. The act was enacted in the year 1878, and it is cited in 18 USCS § 1385.
In United States v. Yunis, 681 F. Supp. 891 (D.D.C. 1988), the court observed that , “The Posse Comitatus Act, provides that: Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” The court further observed that “The Posse Comitatus Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1385 (1979), is designed to limit "the direct active use of federal troops by civil law enforcement officers" to enforce the laws of the nation. Limiting military involvement in civilian affairs is basic to our system of government and the protection of individual constitutional rights.
This very exactly describes the situation now occurring under the administration of current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. I have spent significant time directly on the US / Mexico border and have worked alongside the US Border Patrol. I have great respect for their capabilities. Our Border Patrol is already doing an excellent job of defending our international borders and already enjoys a wide scope of powers extending 200 miles into US territory. Giving BP additional funding to increase their numbers and technology is certainly always an option, if and when BP chain of command requests this. What we are seeing now, however, is the inappropriate introduction of the military into civilian affairs in the form of National Guard Troops. What is happening now is in clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act which was specifically intended to limit involvement of military in civilian affairs.
It's time for leadership in Arizona to respect the rule of law, protect the rights of citizens, and stop playing lap-dog to the federal government. As Governor I will ensure that the brave men and women of Arizona law enforcement have the resources and training to do their jobs effectively and will support the US Border Patrol working within Arizona. We need to get this right now because as Climate Change increases there will be a corresponding increase in the need for National Guard involvement. Their role, and that of other disaster relief elements, is going to grow significantly. If we allow this violation of the Posse Comitatus Act now we are setting a dangerous precedent for the future.
“STABILITY AND SOLUTIONS” SPEECH AT PRESCOTT TOWN SQUARE (06/10/2018)
Since I am running for Governor this year I have been doing a lot of thinking about why people vote the way they do. I think many of us have two needs when we vote: Stability - which often means keeping things the same, or at least middle of the road, and Change - which is natural because as humanity moves along we encounter new problems that need to be solved. This would seem to be true of the current election cycle. With all that is going on who could blame us for wanting some stability and the comfort of things staying the same. On the other hand problems like school shootings and climate change demand answers and the sooner the better!
So a candidate has a big job. They must provide for stability, order and reliability while also being adventurous and creative enough to solve problems. It doesn't take a psychologist to figure out these contrasting qualities are hard to find in one person - but that is the challenge for voters!
We must stop mass shootings especially of our precious children in schools, we must begin the massive job of removing carbon directly from the atmosphere (something alternative energy and "going green" cannot do), we must find ways of integrating the powerful migrations which are only going to increase as global warming takes it's toll on crops, disease vectors, and the places we live. And we must also improve the stability, safety, dependability and support for working class families in our social infrastructure.
As Abraham Lincoln often remarked, I don't care if you vote for me, but I do care that you vote for the best person to provide Arizona with both stability and solutions. We need both more than ever before in the history of our country. The stakes are very high and the problems we face are, well, in our face! Let's face them together and let's fix this!
"I"F EARTH HAS WARMED AND COOLED THROUGHOUT HISTORY, WHAT MAKES SCIENTISTS THINK THAT HUMANS ARE CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING NOW?" (06/14/2018)
(1) Speed of warming changes. The biggest temperature swings our planet has experienced in the past million years are the ice ages. Based on a combination of paleoclimate data and models, scientists estimate that when ice ages have ended in the past, it has taken about 5,000 years for the planet to warm between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius. The warming of the past century—0.7 degrees Celsius—is roughly eight times faster than the ice-age-recovery warming on average.
(2) Inability of natural factors that influence climate (changes in the Sun’s brightness, major volcanic eruptions, and cycles such as El Niño and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) have failed to failed to account for the recent, rapid warming of Earth’s temperature.
(3) Scientists know that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that it is released into the air when coal and other fossil fuels burn. Paleoclimate data show that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than they have been in the past 800,000 years. There is no plausible explanation for why such high levels of carbon dioxide would not cause the planet to warm.
SOURCE: NASA Reconstructions of global temperature that include greenhouse gas increases and other human influences (red line, based on many models) closely match measured temperatures (dashed line). Those that only include natural influences (blue line, based on many models) show a slight cooling, which has not occurred. The ability of models to generate reasonable histories of global temperature is verified by their response to four 20th-century volcanic eruptions: each eruption caused brief cooling that appeared in observed as well as modeled records. (Graph adapted from Hegerl and Zwiers et al., 2007.)
"WHY THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IS GOOD FOR ARIZONA" (06/17/2018)
I was being interviewed by a television station the other day and they kept saying “Yes we’ve heard your climate message but what relevance does not have for us here in our community in central Arizona?” Well, first of all I don’t know what the exact numbers are but Arizona is paying more than its share of the $350 billion it’s costing our country each year to cope with climate change and of course I’m giving a static number but it’s increasing each year. So that’s a huge amount of money which were spending if we address this issue receiving the state billions of dollars. There’s no way of knowing what that translates to at the commute Community level but it’s going to be a lot obviously. Not only that when you bring a entirely new industry into an area it’s also obvious that it brings in jobs and investment.
Climate Change, with its potential to cause mass extinction on Earth, is the most pressing, dangerous and least talked-about issue now facing mankind. Forty years ago we gave up our opportunity to avert disaster with an shift to alternative energy and sustainable practices. Many are putting their heads in the sand and hoping somehow solar panels will remove carbon already in the atmosphere (they don't and won't) and leaving it to their children and grandchildren to find out. This is almost as dangerous a position to take as our federal government which is running whole-hog toward a fossil-fueled Armageddon.
Our campaign is the only campaign in the nation pointing out the unpopular truth that, on our current warming trajectory, we have only 10-15 years to develop methods for Climate Engineering – drawing carbon down from the atmosphere and, or reflecting solar radiation back into space. If we are unsuccessful climate disruption will hit “tipping levels”, or “new normals” from the gentle ones in which life arose and has sustained on our planet.
As I write this Hawaii is in a state of emergency as the Kilauea Volcano releases massive stores of toxic gases, large portions of Alberta, Canada are under flood evacuation, and the wildfire season in the Western US is already burning it's way into the record books. By August of 2017 the US had already spent 350 billion dollars coping with climate change - a record we are on track to surpass.
And this is nothing. After the mid-2030’s climate disruption will shift from its currently relatively slow, linear progression into exponentially accelerating disasters. “Force 20 Superstorms”, regional floods, wildfires covering millions of acres, enduring drought and crop failures, mass migrations and territorial wars will overwhelm the ability of governments to respond.
Our team has a plan for beginning this work which can also save the jobs of 800 Navajo workers a the Navajo Generating Station in Page on which the Hopi Tribe depends for over 80% of it's GDP. Our plan, Ocean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection appears to have the best chance of success. AACC+R augments the natural process of carbon "drawdown" and storage performed by EHUX algae in the equatorial oceans by feeding them by-products from Carbon Capture technology placed on existing carbon emitting power plants.
You don't have to vote for me, but you must vote for someone with a plan to address the need for climate repair - and sadly I am you only choice so far. If we do not, it will not matter what our teachers are paid, or if we manage to keep guns out of our schools, or deal fairly with migration issues (which are all issues on our platform to be sure). We need to have a functioning atmosphere for those things to matter! By the mid-2030's it will be too late to make repairs. It is not too late to change our future and avert a life of climate suffering - it is to late to say you have not been warned! Please join us.
DISASTER MOVIES AND CLIMATE CHANGE (06/15/2018)
(Spoiler alert: This post may give away the ending to the movie "Avengers: Infinity War")
Some years ago I was writing a syndicated movie review called "Movies With the Heart in Mind". I reviewed movies in terms of their influence on and emergence from the collective psychological issues of the day. The most significant cinematic theme by far in the past five years has been the end of the world, or a global threat likely to end civilization as we know it. The past several weekends Marvel's "Infinity Wars" has dominated ticket sales becoming the fifth largest grossing movie of all time.
Movie goers appear to be trying to come to terms with what they sense is an impending cataclysm - perhaps even "the end of the world". It's a strange process because most of us are going on with our lives business as usual and yet a dystopian theme is emerging in our awareness and expressing itself in what we choose to watch on big and small screens. The world, we sense, is under threat.
This is indeed very accurate! After the mid-2030’s the disruption of our climate will shift from its currently relatively slow, linear progression into exponentially accelerating disasters. “Force 20 Superstorms”, regional floods, wildfires covering millions of acres, enduring drought and crop failures, mass migrations and territorial wars will overwhelm the ability of governments to respond. If this sounds like science fiction feel free to read research articles cited in my book "Climate Deadline 2035" (2018)
Here is the problem. We have become an "entertainment culture" trained to be passive viewers. We watch, but do not to take action. To make matters worse, action seems often out of reach - impossible for the everyday person. In terms of climate change this "deer in headlights" reaction will prove fatal if we don't shift into gear. We have a mere 10-15 years to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to get below 350ppm. Like the "infinity wars" it seems like the odds are almost impossible to surmount.
As a climate scientist I walked out of "Infinity Wars" angry. really angry. At a time when we urgently need to be encouraged into action the movie left us passively waiting for a future sequel to magically make everything all right. Worse, for those not anticipating a sequel, they have just swallowed the end of all things as an acceptable ending.
Folks we don't have time to be passive observers. We don't have time to wait for a sequel. We certainly don't need rich movie moguls tossing out scenarios where doom is entertainment. It's not entertainment anymore and it's not funny. There is a REAL infinity war going on RIGHT NOW and if we don't win this one we will doom our children and their children to a final century or so of miserable existence in a climate ravaged world and then...........in the words of Daffy Duck "Thats all folks".
We must return our atmosphere to a pre-industrial 280 ppm of CO2 (or at least stay below 350 ppm – the estimated cutoff for safety). Currently we are above 400 ppm and climbing fast. We must immediate get out of our climate shock and implement safe and effective atmospheric carbon removal and solar reflection.
We MUST wake up and fight!
Now if I am elected Arizona Governor in 2018 our team has a plan for beginning this work which can also save the jobs of 800 Navajo workers a the Navajo Generating Station in Page on which the Hopi Tribe depends for over 80% of it's GDP. Our plan, Ocean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection appears to have the best chance of success. AACC+R augments the natural process of carbon "drawdown" and storage performed by EHUX algae in the equatorial oceans by feeding them by-products from Carbon Capture technology placed on existing carbon emitting power plants. This can be done, we have the technology, but will we use it in time. Climate Deadline 2035 tells the story of the intense race we are all in to beat the “point of no return” in the 2030’s. Our own best hope for survival lies not in the hands of scientists or government, or corporations but in the will of the citizens of our planet to mobilize and demand action.
Climate Disruption will not go away and anyone can see it is getting worse. You don't have to vote for me, but you must vote for someone with a plan to address the need for climate repair - and sadly I am you only choice so far. If we do not, it will not matter what our teachers are paid, or if we manage to keep guns out of our schools, or deal fairly with migration issues (which are all issues on our platform to be sure). We need to have a functioning atmosphere for those things to matter! By the mid-2030's it will be too late to make repairs. It is not too late to change our children's future and avert a life of climate suffering - it is to late to say you have not been warned! So get out of the movies and get busy supporting the solution. Sustainability is the future - but before we can get to that we need to remove carbon from the atmosphere. We have a plan to do that. Please join us.
EXCEPTS FROM TODAY'S SPEECH AT THE WASHINGTON STATE CAPITOL
Thank you for joining us today at this very important gathering. As you know my name is Christian Komor and I am running for Governor in the beautiful state of Arizona, and no I am not lost and, yes, I do know we are standing here together at the head of Heritage Trail near the Washington State Capitol complex. In a few minutes we will be taking a walk together down this beautiful trail and I wish your Governor Jay Inslee could be here with us. Jay's a good man and you are lucky to have him here as a leader. He doesn’t say as much about it as I would like, but I know he cares about the clear and present danger that global warming represents to both of our states. Personally I regard the situation as a true State of Emergency one that goes beyond state and national boundaries and affects us all in very real and increasingly damaging ways.
Now Governor Inslee is a lawyer by training while was trained as a scientist, but I know Jay is a veracious reader and must be aware that we have been putting the cart before the horse. Sustainability projects like counting your carbon calories, or putting up solar panels on your roof, or using less water are important projects…for the future. Right now they are actually distracting us from the real problem which is the levels of carbon already in the atmosphere - now over 400ppm surpassing 450ppm in the 2030’s. Nothing we are currently doing in the direction of sustainability is capable of making a dent in that problem. And it’s a big, big problem – not just a game changer - a game ender.And you know the planet has said goodbye to entire civilizations before us so it’s not an outlandish idea at all.
So what you here in Washington State and we down in Arizona have in common is the need to get behind some kind of solution for actively removing carbon already in the atmosphere. Now thank God researchers have developed a very safe way of doing this called Ocean-Assisted Carbon Capture and Reflection and we can start it right in the state of Arizona and the work can be continued by coastal states like Washington, Oregon and California. You can find a complete description of the process on our web site at komor4governor.com.
THE NAVAJO GENERATING STATION: A REVIVAL AND A TURNING POINT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
“I think it is fair to say that during World War II there was a high sense of purpose. The country had a very clear vision of its own standing, of its own morality. It was not an ambiguous time. Today, we live in a world that is highly ambiguous, very fractured, with many of the historical, traditional values in a state of collapse, really.”
—Friedrich St. Florian, architect of the World War II Memorial
Make no mistake; humanity is currently engaged in the most deadly, far-reaching conflict it has ever faced. That conflict is Climate Change attributed to human-caused global warming.
Life, for most of us, appears to go on day after day as it always has. We get the kids to school, we rush off to our jobs. Few of our conversations include the topic of climate change, which has been carefully politicized in a way that can make us fear censure or reprisal at its very mention. Many of us pretend that nothing is changing. However, change is happening, and much faster than even the most unsparing and progressive minds in the scientific community could have expected. Humankind has changed life on Earth - geologists refer to this as the “Anthropocene Epoch” in Earth’s evolution. Man has “assumed dominion over the Earth”….and promptly broke it. We have changed this planet so much that we are now faced with a planet-wide global warming crisis – a crisis that requires a massive response not seen since the mobilization to the Second World War. The problem is nobody is mobilizing. The scientists do science. The politicians squabble and protect their kingdoms. Ordinary folks recycle and cheer on solar power - not realizing that none of these "sustainability" measures address the immediate problem - an increasing overload of carbon in our atmosphere - and the immediate problem is going to reach "tipping levels" and overwhelm us in a short 10-15 years. Beyond this point there hangs a blackened sign, "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here". Someone has to do something and soon!
Enter the iconic Navajo Generation Station (NGS) where our Komor4Governor plans to make it's first success with carbon capture technology, the initial step in Ocean Assisted Carbon Capture & Reflection - the only currently viable proposal for getting us safely past those tipping levels. OACC&R is ready to roll as our best hope for reducing atmospheric carbon levels - currently expected to end life as we know it in less than 100 years. As Arizona Governor it will not only be my responsivity to manage the more immediate concerns of our citizens but also the more long-term realities that affect our lives - including climate change, something my two rival candidates Doug Ducey and David Garcia are ignoring completely.
Establishing NGS as a demonstration of our ability to make carbon capture efficient and affordable we will also build community amongst the Navajo, and Hopi tribes and the several owners of the Generating Station including the Bureau of Reclamation, a part of the Department of the Interior (DOI), Salt River Project which owns the largest share of 43%, and Arizona Public Service, NV Energy and Tucson Electric Power. Peabody Energy, owns the mine supplying the plants coal.
Although slated for closure in 2017, a Chicago-based company Middle River Power is in negotiations to take over the Navajo Generating Station and run it at less than half its existing capacity. Fewer employees, and a new lease and coal supply agreement also are in the mix.
All of this is a big, big deal for the two Tribes in the area. Navajo President Russell Begaye has said a lease agreement with Middle River Power and its parent company, New York-based Avenue Capital, could come before tribal lawmakers at their October session. Still, a sale is considered a longshot. Clark Tenakhongva, vice chairman of the Hopi Tribe, said Tuesday that the tribe needs another five to 10 years to better chart its future. Coal revenue provides about 85 percent of the Hopi Tribe’s budget, and thousands of people rely on coal to heat their homes on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. “If the plant does shut down, that’s another part of the headache I’ll have to address, how am I going to provide heating to all my people up north?” he said. Coal and lease payments supply about 22 percent of the Navajo Nation budget.
A Little Background
The Earth has been alternating between long ice ages and shorter interglacial periods for millions of years. For the last million years or so these have been happening roughly every 100,000 years - around 90,000 years of ice age followed by a roughly 10,000 year interglacial warm period. Scientists have recorded five significant ice ages throughout the Earth’s history: the Huronian (2.4-2.1 billion years ago), Cryogenian (850-635 million years ago), Andean-Saharan (460-430 mya), Karoo (360-260 mya) and Quaternary (2.6 mya-present). Approximately a dozen major glaciations have occurred over the past 1 million years, the largest of which peaked 650,000 years ago and lasted for 50,000 years. The most recent glaciation period, often known simply as the “Ice Age,” reached peak conditions some 18,000 years ago before giving way to the interglacial Holocene epoch 11,700 years ago.
We know about past climates because of evidence left in tree rings, layers of ice in glaciers, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. For example, bubbles of air in glacial ice trap tiny samples of Earth’s atmosphere, giving scientists a history of greenhouse gases that stretches back more than 800,000 years. The chemical make-up of the ice provides clues to the average global temperature. Glacial ice and air bubbles trapped in it (top) preserve an 800,000-year record of temperature & carbon dioxide. Earth has cycled between ice ages (low points, large negative anomalies) and warm interglacials (peaks). Using this ancient evidence, scientists have built a record of Earth’s past climates, or “paleoclimates.” The paleoclimate record combined with global models shows past ice ages as well as periods even warmer than today. But the paleoclimate record also reveals that the current climatic warming is occurring much more rapidly than past warming events. When global warming has happened at various times in the past two million years, it has taken the planet about 5,000 years to warm 5 degrees. The predicted rate of warming for the next century is at least 20 times faster. This rate of change is extremely unusual.
More importantly, perhaps, global warming is already putting pressure on ecosystems, the plants and animals that co-exist in a particular climate zone, both on land and in the ocean. Warmer temperatures have already shifted the growing season in many parts of the globe. The growing season in parts of the Northern Hemisphere became two weeks longer in the second half of the 20th century. Spring is coming earlier in both hemispheres.
This change in the growing season affects the broader ecosystem. Migrating animals have to start seeking food sources earlier and to change the elevation of their habitats. The shift in seasons may already be causing the lifecycles of pollinators, like bees, to be out of synch with flowering plants and trees. This mismatch can limit the ability of both pollinators and plants to survive and reproduce, which would reduce food availability throughout the food chain. Ponder this – pollinating bees are moving higher in elevation, but the plants they pollinate cannot move in a similar time frame.
Warmer temperatures also extend the growing season. This means that plants need more water to keep growing throughout the season or they will dry out, increasing the risk of failed crops and wildfires. Once the growing season ends, shorter, milder winters fail to kill dormant insects, increasing the risk of large, damaging infestations in subsequent seasons.
In some ecosystems, maximum daily temperatures might climb beyond the tolerance of indigenous plant or animal. To survive the extreme temperatures, both marine and land-based plants and animals have started to migrate towards the poles. Those species, and in some cases, entire ecosystems, that cannot quickly migrate or adapt, face extinction. The IPCC estimates that 20-30 percent of plant and animal species will be at risk of extinction if temperatures climb more than 1.5° to 2.5°C.
On the current trajectory, 50 percent of the world’s population in coastal areas are expected to experience major flooding by the year 2070. In addition to the lives lost, the economic impact would be devastating. For example, New York City, with real estate valued at $120 billion, currently lies in the flood zone. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused billions of dollars in damage, including flooding the 9/11 Memorial with seven feet of water. Tomas Regalado, mayor of the City of Miami, stated in 2016, “Anyone who thinks that the topic of climate change is a partisan issue is not focused on the reality which we as public officials and citizens are dealing with. This is a crisis that grows day by day.”
For instance, climate change affects the health of people and animals around the world through air pollution. Worldwide, air pollution kills 6.5 million people yearly. In some areas of China, life expectancy has been reduced more than five years due to heat stress, infectious disease, and waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis-A, typhoid fever, e. coli, campylobacter, and cryptosporidium. Natural ecosystems are being disrupted in ways that make it easier for infectious disease to develop and spread. Even slight increases in temperature can lead to dramatic increases in microbes. Increasing temperatures and precipitation factors enable disease carrying insects such as mosquitoes to expand their range, reproduce more often, and increase their metabolism so they feed more frequently. Extreme heat events cause more deaths annually in the United States than all other extreme weather events combined.
Most at risk are the elderly and disabled, as well as infants and children. By 2040, some allergens will have increased by 200 percent, with grams of pollen increasing from 8,455 grains per cubic meter to 21,735 grains per cubic meter. In 2015, The Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change stated, “Climate change is a medical emergency.”
During the 21st century, we are projected to lose half of all land-based species. Animals who can relocate to cooler temperatures are moving an average of 15 feet per day toward the poles. Most critically by 2050, more than 90 percent of the Earth’s ecologically critical coral, where many fish species are born and raised, will be completely lifeless. Other life in the ocean will be increasingly threatened. As Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said, “[If] we can’t save the whales and the sharks, the turtles, the fish, the Great Whites and Tiger sharks, we are not going to save the oceans. And if the oceans die, we die.”
Each day, millions of tons of CO₂ are dissolved in seawater, reacting to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). This reaction lowers the pH of the ocean, which is indicative of its rising acidity. It is projected that excess CO₂ will reduce surface ocean pH by 0.3-0.5 units over the next century, which would be the largest change in pH to occur in the last 20-200 million years. The subsequent rise in acidity will trigger massive extinction of marine life, leading to inland extinction. To date, the world's oceans have become 30 percent more acidic than before we first started burning fossil fuels.
The Role of Greenhouse Gasses
Scientists have been observing temperature increases on Earth for over 150 years. For over a century, many scientists have suspected that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere was the culprit of global warming. Tens of thousands of hand calculations led Nobel Laureate Svante Arrhenius to the conclusion that the Earth’s temperature might increase by 5 to 6 degrees Celsius (41-42.8 °F) with a doubling of atmospheric CO₂. A 1912 issue of Popular Mechanics stated that, “[A] theory has been elaborated, primarily by the great Swedish scientist Arrhenius, that the Earth has had a warm climate when the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was abundant, and a cold climate when it was scarce. It is believed that if the atmosphere contained two to three times its present amount, the climate would be considerably warmer.”
Our fossil fuel habit, of course, has not been so easy to break leading to campaigns of disinformation. Global warming has become a politically charged and often divisive topic. And many potential fixes to the problem—such as alternative energies and reduced consumption—could cause major disruptions to economic and geopolitical norms in a way that replacing CFCs did not.
In 1975, James Hansen, the former head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, warned the U.S. Congress that the planet was warming dangerously—primarily because of unchecked fossil fuel combustion. In 1981, Hansen and his coauthors observed the following:
“World governments and their citizens have started taking steps to reduce carbon and GHG emissions, including recycling materials, carbon-neutral construction practices, retrofitting old buildings, replacing energy consuming air conditioning systems, and the increased use of hybrid or electric cars. There has been a global rise in renewable energy, which now accounts for over half of all new electricity installations. Between 2006 and 2015, installed wind power capacity increased by 600 percent and solar energy capacity increased by 3500 percent. By 2030, solar is projected to become the cheapest energy generating source in most countries. Had we listened to Hansen and his colleagues a few decades ago, and had more countries followed the leads of France and South Korea in the 1970s and 1980s by shifting to renewable energy sources, we would not be in the climate emergency we are in now. Particularly in the United States, conspicuous consumption won the day and still does. Fossil fuels still account for the lion’s share of energy production in most regions of our planet.
At this point in the unfolding climate change (perhaps better called “climate disruption”) most of us have progressed to what health care professionals are calling “climate shock.” We feel increasingly anxious, worried, irritable, and stressed... without quite knowing why. Like animals sensing danger from a distant forest fire, our minds and bodies are telling us something is coming – something cataclysmic in nature. We see and feel the signs, but the enormity of the situation is too big to comprehend. Like the first seconds of a car crash our brains are refusing to accept the reality of the threat. It seems just too overwhelming to acknowledge.
But we must! Ready or not, the effects of global warming are bearing down on us. We can try and deny it, but none of us can argue against the bare facts - time is luck, and luck runs out. We can no longer act as if we are still deciding to get into the boat – we are already in the rapids and there is a loud roaring sound coming closer!
Running out of Time
The question is not even if we need to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The evidence is clear that if we fail to do this, even a immediate and total shift to sustainable energy sources will not stop global warming from reaching “tipping levels” in the mid-2030s... at which point an exponential acceleration in climate-change related disasters will surpass our abilities to cope and survive as a species on this planet. (Yup, this time we not just talking about the extinction of another species of rat – human beings are stepping up to the chopping block.) The only valid question now is how to safely remove those global warming gases from the atmosphere without causing more damage and threat to our elegantly balanced ecosystem.
And if we do not act quickly we will run out of time to act. This sounds like hyperbole, but more scientists and climatologists admit to its likelihood. Our failure to decisively and aggressively act now will mean, in all probability, the actual extinction of most, if not all of the human species. Worse yet, the end will not come in an explosion, a blinding flash, or instant vaporization (although the Director of NOAA today stated, “It’s hard to respond when change is occurring within a year versus centuries”.
Now before you get too upset, we are not talking about the End of the World – only the end of one of the civilizations that have flourished on Planet Earth. There have been many civilizations on our planet that lasted thousands of years and then – due to climate change, or some other intervening force – faded out of the picture. The Indus Valley Civilization in what is now Pakistan, The Khmer Empire in Cambodia, The Anasazi in what is now New Mexico, The Olmec Civilization in Mexico, The Cahokia in Illinois, The Mycenaean Civilization in Greece, The Moche Civilization in Peru, The Clovis Culture right here in Arizona where I am writing this. Civilizations do end – it’s not only possible, it has happened many times on this planet. Civilizations do flourish and then come to an end. They have throughout history. Ours can too. The only question is do we want to fight to keep that from happening?
Like it or not extinction for our particular civilization is not looking like a pleasant affair. On our present trajectory, our grandchildren will face a future of freakish superstorms, increasingly deadly and prevalent parasites and illnesses, vastly increased wildfires, catastrophic sea rise, flooding of coastal areas where 90 percent of the world’s population is clustered, collapsing economies, relentless heat waves, megadroughts, mud slides triggered by “rain bombs," and crop failures. As a result we will also face mass starvation and unsustainable mass migrations, such as we are currently seeing in the Mediterranean region and the resulting violence. Syria’s civil war occurred after the 2006–2010 drought, which turned 60percent of Syria’s fertile land into desert, prompting the Syrian Minister of Agriculture to announce the situation was “beyond our capacity as a country to deal with.”
Preventing temperatures from rising 2°C (35.6°F) above pre-industrial levels, long considered the danger zone that should be avoided at all cost, now looks nearly impossible. It would mean cutting greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70 percent by 2050, and it may well require developing technologies that could suck megatons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, a growing body of research suggests that we probably will not have the time or technology to pull this off.
“Everyone is looking at two degrees of warming, but to me it’s a pipe dream,” says Daniel Schrag, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, one of President Obama’s top advisors on climate change. “I fear we’ll be lucky to escape four, and I want to make sure nobody ever sees six.”
The difference between two and four degrees is another quarter-billion people without reliable access to water, more than a hundred million more exposed to flooding, and massive declines in worldwide crop yields, according to a study by the Committee on Climate Change, a London-based scientific group established to advise the U.K. government.
How Do We Know A Deadline To Repair Our Climate Is Approaching? How do we know that a 2 ºC increase in global temperatures will trigger irreversible feedback loops (called “tipping levels”) if temperature increases continue into the 2030s? Scientists have gone back through geologic records and uncovered the climate change patterns which led to previous dramatic shifts in the way Earth conducts business. For example, 120,000 years ago the Earth drifted slightly closer to the Sun and put us in the geological “Eemian Period”. During this time the Earth warmed by 1.9 ºC (35.4 °F). (Notice that is almost identical to the Paris agreement’s target of 2 ºC and the IPCC target of 1.8 ºC.) According to world-renowned paleoclimatic research teams, during the Eemian Period the polar ice caps at first underwent “linear” gradual melting, which produced a gradual sea rise, but then suddenly several major discontinuities arose that no longer followed linear gradual melting behavior. Instead, three major ice sheets in Western Antarctica, minor sections of East Antarctica, and Greenland abruptly and spectacularly collapsed in several stages, causing very rapid sea level rises ranging from 16 to 30 feet. The resulting high seas lasted for more than 1,000 years, ending only with the appearance of the next ice age.
Description generated with very high confidenceNow here’s the thing – right now those same three ice sheets are behaving the same way they did during the Eemian Period – this time thanks to greenhouse gas (GHG) global warming. Not only is our current rate of ice melt historically unheard of, but we are starting to see multiple patterns beginning which are similar to those detected in geologic records. A geologic cycle which occurs over hundreds of thousands of years has begun occurring in decades, and recently it seems, in years. Already in May 2014, NASA presented “observational evidence that the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat,” and Greenland is losing a cubic meter of ice every day. If we let global average temperatures rise 2º C, models predict we will have the same melting and the same eventual spectacular ice collapses with the resulting abrupt 16 to 30 foot permanent sea rise that happened with 1.9 ºC of Eemian warming 120,000 years ago.
This should be terrifying to all of us (except, of course, those who have been looking forward to the Biblical Apocalypse and the rising of the dead). Even the most optimistic scenarios show that around 2035, Earth will begin establishing “new normals” - a cascade reaction of geometrically escalating climate-related events. Already melting ice is releasing vast stored methane deposits, shorter winters are increasing microbial activity in the soil in turn releasing escalating amounts of carbon, melting ice is beginning to disrupt ocean currents vital for distributing heat around the Earth. (Go ahead and check the science on this until you too are convinced.)
Hansen et al. (2008, 2009) warn that crossing the 450 ppm tipping level (A1* in 2029) could lead to irreversible seeding of catastrophic climate impacts. Modeling studies by Cao and Caldeira (2008) imply that a marine die-off would also accelerate when atmospheric CO2 exceeds 450 ppm. Approaching 500 ppm (2038–2042) would further magnify and accelerate catastrophic climate and ocean impacts (Cao and Caldeira 2008; Fry et al. 2016; Hansen et al. 2008; Hansen 2009; and Lovelock 2006). Note: Tipping level crossed in approx. 2030-2035. This is why direct atmospheric carbon removal which was optional 40 years ago is now is essential. This is why we need to act now and act decisively!
Numerous scientists, including Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, have warned that we stand at the brink of the sixth mass extinction. MIT's Daniel Rothman puts a number to it - 310 GtC of excess dissolved CO₂ in the ocean as the threshold, reached in approximately 2100 via IPCC's most favorable scenario. The IPCC RCP2.6 scenario projects 420 ppm atmospheric CO₂ by 2100 (driving 300 GtC excess ocean-dissolved CO₂ by the same year). Other IPCC scenarios (collectively cited as being equally probable) run as high as 900 ppm (atmospheric CO₂) which would drive oceanic carbonation even higher yet.
Description generated with very high confidenceThe main cause of concern is that after 2035, we won’t be able to stop this progression. We are already seeing massive climate disruption effects. Many researchers like Eric Rignotat at NASA think it’s already too late to stop the first 10 feet of late-century sea rise from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) collapse. We cannot wait until century’s end, because the predicted tipping point of the “big splash," or the final collapse of these three polar ice sheets, will be in the 2030s.
The big question is—will we voluntarily awaken to the reality of our situation, the massive and perilous alterations we are making to our planet, and take action……… or wait until it is too late? It is of primary importance, however, that we acknowledge the unequivocal statements by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Science Foundation (and thousands of scientists including those here at home in Arizona’s institutions of higher learning) who have collectively raised the alarm that these efforts at sustainability will not be enough without the actual removal of carbon already in our atmosphere. If we do not take bold and heroic action now, by the end of this century the conditions which have sustained human life may no longer exist.
An Important Role for Arizona
The bill for releasing over 100 million tons of heat-trapping pollution (commonly called greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere every day, 365 days a year, has finally come due. Our atmosphere has been disrupted by anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming pollution. In scientific terms, this includes molecules with over two atoms that are radiatively active, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs - often used in refrigerants) and aerosol propellants. This release of poisonous gases into the atmosphere has and will cause ever more dire consequences for all life on this planet. Without some kind of drastic action, climate change could be killing an estimated half-million people annually by the middle of this century. Unless we do something fast, the build-up of atmospheric pollution will continue, and the window for fixing the problem will close.
We need to develop and deploy a method of “carbon capture and sequestration (geek-speak for storage)”, either isolating or neutralizing the carbon, so our planet can cool off again—and we need to do it before 2035 when the situation will becomes irreversible. In this sense many of us have put the cart before the horse – all the solar and wind energy, electric cars and recycling will not save us unless we first remove excess carbon already in the atmosphere. This brings us back to the Navajo Generating Station, sticking out like a sore thumb on the azure and sandstone Lake Powell. Komor4Governor regards NGS is a unique resource when viewed in the context of atmospheric carbon removal. By far the safest and most effective method of Climate Engineering involves Ocean Assisted Carbon Capture (OACC). By retrofitting the NGS (and other carbon-emitting plants around the State) with available “Carbon Capture” technology, carbon pollution can be converted into the by-products needed to grow carbon-devouring EHUX algae in oligotrophic waters Earth’s equatorial regions. EHUX algae are nature’s own carbon scrubbing system and, if properly encouraged with byproducts from Carbon Capture, can both remove carbon from the atmosphere in the massive levels needed and create increase oceanic solar reflectance. Down the road, partnerships with our seafaring neighbors in California, Oregon and Washington might be fostered. These State Governments are uniquely situated to lead the transportation and farming needed in the OACC process.
Funding for the OACC Project (research, carbon capture and off-shore proof of concept bioreactor beta testing) will be dispersed in small adjustments over diverse vehicles and sectors to avoid placing undue strain on any one element of the economy. In broad brush we will be considering: implementation of a transaction duty for the financial sector; a special “20/20” excise on automobiles with fuel efficiency below 20mpg or purchase price above $20,000; a percentage of State lottery revenue; a duty on income and investments by large business with high levels of outsourcing and, or low reinvestment within Arizona; reductions in fossil fuel subsidies and royalties on fossil fuel extraction; reduction in tax havens; installing a progressive carbon tax on CO2 and fines for businesses which have historically contributed more than the median for their sector to atmospheric carbon accumulations. Additionally, revenue will be generated by the sale of downstream OACC-related products including energy, agriculture and jobs will also factor significantly. We anticipate an eventual net gain from OACC on many levels (jobs, tourism, investment, reduced energy costs, etc.).
A Unique Opportunity for Arizona
Arizona is host to millions of visitors from around the world every year. Arizona is also home to two dozen fossil-fueled energy facilities which present the opportunity for application of Carbon Capture technology. Carbon capture produces a type of liquid nitrogen which is the ideal fertilizer for EHUX algae in ocean conditions (where it will not disrupt surrounding ecological elements). Climate Engineering in Arizona will provide highly visible world leadership and position Arizona as an alternative energy leader and one of the top producers of sustainable energy in the continental United States.
We are all aware there is no shortage of problems for state government to address. We must strengthen our communities, reduce violence, create healthcare equality, manage scarce natural resources (water in particular), protect our public lands from corporate predation, manage migration and human rights issues and make government more responsive to the needs of the people. But all of our energies and expenditures addressing these issues will fail to have lasting effect if we do not first and foremost remove carbon from our atmosphere and reduce global temperatures back below a safe limit. In a sense we will be selfishly thinking only of our present needs and concerns and not of future generations – our children and grandchildren for whom life on Earth will very shortly become inhospitable, then unbearable, and finally unsurvivable. We must look beyond our own needs of the day to the future we are morally responsible for safeguarding for coming generations.
As your future Arizona Governor I am uniquely prepared and willing to lead us through this Climate Emergency. I have trained and participated with groups of the foremost researchers and theorists in the climate field. Like Winston Churchill in 1940, the climate war is not one I relish taking on, but it must be done. With your help we will succeed and success starts with electing to office someone who is aware of the Climate Crisis and has a plan for getting us through it. As always I urge you to share what you have learned here with at least 3 others and ask them to do likewise. Together our ripples will becomes waves of hope for a restored future for everyone.
- This may be the most important election you will ever vote in, although the other candidates aren't even mentioning why. As your future Arizona Governor it will be my duty to steer us through today's issues like border safety and equality, school safety and educational excellence and ensuring wealthy corporations pay their fair share. Yet even more importantly, it will my my job to ensure that Arizonans have a future. To secure this we must enact a plan to directly remove of carbon from our atmosphere. Even the most optimistic scenarios show that around 2035, Earth will begin establishing “new normals” - a cascade reaction of geometrically escalating climate-related events. Already, melting ice is releasing vast methane deposits, shorter winters are increasing microbial activity in the soil in turn releasing escalating amounts of carbon, melting ice is beginning to disrupt ocean currents vital for distributing heat around the Earth. I am uniquely prepared and willing to lead us through this Climate Emergency. I have trained and participated with groups of the foremost researchers and theorists in the climate field. There is a viable, safe, field-tested plan called Ocean Assisted Carbon Capture which begins with retrofitting our 24 fossil fuel driven power plants with carbon removal technology. We can do this!
Arizona can be in the forefront of restoring our climate but that means electing a Governor who will fight not just for today, but for our future! Christian R. Komor, THE Write-In Candidate for Arizona Governor
APPEASEMENT AND MITIGATION
This sounds like an excellent and informative opportunity. Tom is well-versed in ground-level climate issues. It bears remembering, though, that the best projective modeling has consistently shown that in about 10-15 years (around the time we reach 450ppm of atmospheric carbon) the linear increase in global-warming effects we are seeing now will become synergistically-exponential.
There are many emerging examples of this. For example, as the soil warms we are seeing the emergence of completely novel microbes which release carbon from the soil resulting in further carbon accumulation in the atmosphere, resulting in increased microbial activity. As the oceans warm currents slow and heat is transferred less effectively around the planet resulting in further ocean warming and (you guessed it) further slowing of oceanic currents.
So appeasement-adaptationists are making a crucial error in their calculations. The reality is after we reach these "tipping levels" in the 2030's we will very quickly lose our ability to adapt (In 2017 alone the US spent over $350 billion coping with climate change - what will happen when the bill is $350 trillion?).
As was true in the run-up to WWII, appeasement is causing dangerous delays in taking real action.
The only way out of the trap we have created for ourselves is direct removal of carbon already in the atmosphere. (Obviously shifting to alternative energy, while critical for the future, does nothing to remove existing atmospheric carbon.) There is a safe, workable, tested plan for atmospheric carbon removal called Ocean Assisted Carbon Capture & Reflection (OACC&R). OACC&R was developed over a ten-year period by senior scientists working out of a think tank in South Dakota. We must focus on the future as well as the present and OACC&R is part of our platform for progress in Arizona. Visit Komor4Governor and read about OACC&R and then share what you have learned with as many people as you can and ask them to do the same. We can repair climate change, but appeasement and mitigation are stop-gap measures drawing focus from the hard work that needs to be done. If you elect me as Arizona Governor we can work toward resolving climate change once and for all. If you do not elect me do so knowing there is no other safe and workable carbon removal plan currently in existence (If you find one please let me know!) and certainly no other person or group who is working to see that such a plan beA new White House strategy to combat biological threats issues a stark warning about infectious disease. But it fails to mention the many ways they can be influenced by climate change.
BIO-DEFENSE AND ARIZONA
This month (September 2018) the US government unveiled a “National Biodefense Strategy” providing guidance for states in preventing, mitigating and recovering from disease outbreaks and other biological incidents. These events might occur naturally, through the result of laboratory accidents, as a biological terrorist attack and, most significantly, as a result of the changes in our planetary ecosystem from global warming. Numerous scientists and infectious disease experts have warned in recent years that climate change could increase the risk of disease outbreaks in states like Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has updated its identification of “vector-borne” & “zoonotic diseases” now present in our state. This is going to gross you out so you might want to sit down to read this. Included on the list are: Anaplasmosis, Anthrax, Avian (Bird) Flu, Babesiosis, Bed Bugs, Brucellosis, Colorado Tick Fever, Chagas Disease. Chikungunya Cysticercosis, Delusory Parasitosis, Dengue Fever, Erlichiosis, Hantavirus, Leishmaniasis, Leptospirosis, Lice, Lyme Disease, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Malaria, Plague, Psittacosis (omithosis), Q-Fever, Rabies, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Scabies, St. Louis Encephalitis, Taeniasis, Tick-borne Relapsing Fever, Tularemia, West Nile Virus, and everyone’s favorite Yellow Fever.
Research suggests that global warming is allowing insects that carry many of these diseases to expand their range away from the equator into new areas while also increase the length of their breeding cycles. Last year, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the two primary disease-carrying species of mosquito can now survive in more than three-quarters of all U.S. counties, based on climate variables like temperature and precipitation. And in May 2018, another CDC report found that diseases carried by mosquitoes, fleas and ticks had tripled in the U.S. over the past 15 years. Tropical parasites, typically found in the global South, may start to become more prevalent in North America as the climate continues to warm.
As we are all observing first-hand, intensified disease vectors are only one manifestation of climate change. Any responsible candidate for state or federal office must now be making climate change repair part of their strategy. Unfortunately, politicians being what they are, getting votes and courting donors usually takes precedence and that’s sure what we are seeing in Arizona. At Komor4Governor our mission is safeguarding Arizona’s future while creating the best possible today.
Fortunately, in terms of climate change, it is possible to do both! By bringing carbon removal technology (sustainability does nothing to remove the critical levels of carbon already in the atmosphere) into our state we can boost our economy, draw people together with a common mission, and begin the process of repairing our atmosphere. But we must begin now! Computer modeling shows that by the mid-2030’s climate change will cross “tipping levels” beyond which the current slow linear increase in climate-related problems like disease outbreaks will accelerate exponentially beyond our ability to manage. Humanities last 75-100 years will be nothing we should wish on our children and grandchildren and yet that is where things are headed now. It’s time to elect leaders who have our future interests in mind – not just pleasing profit-hungry corporations. I am ready to stand and fight climate change, but I need you help to spread our message to your friends and family. As a Write-In non-traditional candidate this is the only way I can win – and you and your grandchildren need me to win! – Christian R. Komor, Komor4Governor.com
CLIMATE CHANGE WILL COST U.S. MORE IN ECONOMIC DAMAGE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY BUT ONE THE FIRST COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY ESTIMATES OF THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON SHOW WHO WILL PAY MORE THAN THEIR SHARE, AND WHICH BIG EMITTERS FACE THE LEAST ECONOMIC IMPACT.
BY STACY MORFORD
SEP 24, 2018
The United States stands to lose a lot more from climate change than it realizes.
In a study published Monday, scientists estimate for the first time how much each country around the world will suffer in future economic damage from each new ton of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. What they found may come as a surprise: the future economic costs within the U.S. borders are the second-highest in the world, behind only India.
The results suggest that the U.S. has been underestimating how much it benefits from reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and that the country has far more to gain from international climate agreements than the Trump administration is willing to admit.
"Our analysis demonstrates that the argument that the primary beneficiaries of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would be other countries is a total myth," said lead author Kate Ricke, an assistant professor at the University of San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Some smaller countries are expected to lose significantly larger portions of their economies to climate change. But the authors found, after modeling hundreds of scenarios, that the U.S. consistently faces among the costliest damages, as measured by what economists call the social cost of carbon. "It makes a lot of sense because the larger your economy is, the more you have to lose. Still, it's surprising just how consistently the U.S. is one of the biggest losers, even when compared to other large economies," Ricke said.
The social cost of carbon is a complicated calculation that puts a price on the future damages caused by today's emissions, expressed in today's dollars. It is used by economists to suggest how much people should be willing to pay now to avoid climate damage to future generations. Its value is inherently uncertain and depends on many scientific and economic factors.
This study, published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, estimates the future costs to each country based on all the ways climate change currently affects economies, such as higher health and energy costs and damage to property and agriculture. But the authors stress that it's still a conservative estimate because it doesn't capture longer-term effects that are still coming, including sea level rise that will put coastal cities at risk and ocean acidification that can damage fisheries.
The results underline the inequality of climate damage and show why nations should consider—and be held accountable for—the global harm their emissions cause, and not just the impact in their own backyards.
Where the Economic Damage Falls
By looking at the economic damage on the national level, the study shows how each country's share of the global damage compares to its share of global CO2 emissions.
The U.S.'s share of the global damage, about 12 percent according to the study, is slightly less than its share of the global emissions. But India's share of the damage is four times higher than its contribution. "India is getting hit four times harder than it deserves to be based on its own emissions," said study co-author Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science.
In contrast, China's share of the emissions is four times larger than its share of the estimated damages, the study says.
Countries' share of global social cost of carbon vs. share of global emissions
The case of Russia shows how some of the major emitters could even gain from rising temperatures, as a warming Siberia would benefit Russia economically in the short term, according to the findings, (though the estimates don't account for longer-term impacts the country will face, such as damage to Arctic ecosystems and the rising ocean). Northern Europe and Canada also could have low costs or even short-term net benefits from CO2 emissions, according to the estimates.
If these countries only considered the current economic impact within their borders, they would appear to have little incentive to cut their emissions. But the longer-term effects are coming, and the study's authors point out that economic damages will spill over as other nations struggle with global warming: trade disruptions will make it harder to import goods they depend on or to export their own, the risks of global economic of turmoil and mass migration will rise, as will the potential for liability for damage caused by their years of high emissions.
If all countries acted only on their own country-level social cost of carbon, the authors calculate that only about 5 percent of the global climate externality would be internalized.
U.S. Government Estimates Are Much Lower
The U.S. government uses a social cost of carbon in its cost-benefit analyses when it designs new environmental regulations or rewrites old ones, but its numbers are much lower than those in the study.
The Obama administration set its median social cost of carbon at about $42 per metric ton for 2020. It based that on calculations of the global harm being created by each ton of U.S. emissions. When the Trump administration came in, it argued that the social cost of carbon should only address the impact on the U.S., and it wanted a higher discount rate. When the Trump administration issued its cost-benefit analysis for rolling back the Clean Power Plan, it cited numbers closer to $3 per ton.
Looking just at the impact within U.S. borders, the new study estimates the U.S. social cost of carbon emissions is nearly $48 per ton.
That wouldn't support the Trump administration's plans for weakening the Clean Power Plan and energy efficiency standards, because the estimate of just U.S. damages is close to what the Obama administration used for global impact, Ricke said.
"American policy is looking backward to a world that no longer exists," Caldeira said. "It should instead be preparing for a future that is very different from the past."
Several other countries face damages above $20 per ton. The study estimates India's localized social cost of carbon at around $86 per ton, Saudi Arabia at $47, and China, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates at $24. The global cost when the economic impact on all nations is added up is around $417 per ton.
And even those are likely to be underestimates, the authors said. The researchers used an empirical macroeconomic approach that captures all market impacts of climate change that could already be seen affecting the economy by 2014, but that doesn't capture potential catastrophic events, short-term costs of adaptation, biodiversity loss, or the longer-term impacts of sea level rise and ocean acidification.
Pinpointing Where Adaptation Needs Are Highest
One challenge with using the social cost of carbon to drive policies is that it's an uncertain number, said Noah Kaufman, a researcher at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy who served in the Obama administration as deputy associate director of energy and climate change for the Council on Environmental Quality.
He noted that most Obama-era regulations that used the social cost of carbon could have been justified solely with non-climate rationales.