Jeb Bush pins hopes on ‘someone in a garage’ to tackle climate change

Jan 29, 2016

Photo credit: ddp USA

By Oliver Milman

Florida’s leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, have both criticized federal action to combat climate change, with Rubio warning it would “destroy” the US economy and Bush predicting “someone in a garage somewhere” will solve the problem instead.

Responding to a rare question about climate change in Thursday’s Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Rubio denied that he ever supported a “cap and trade” system to lower emissions, despite his having called it “inevitable” in 2008.

“I have never supported cap-and-trade and I never thought it was a good idea,” the Florida senator said. “And I do not believe it’s a good idea now. I do not believe that we have to destroy our economy in order to protect our environment.

“And especially what these programs are asking us to pass … will do nothing to help the environment, but will be devastating for our economy. When I am president of the United States of America, there will never be any ‘cap and trade’ in the United States.”

On the campaign trail in Iowa this week, Rubio said policies being implemented by Barack Obama will harm the economy and cost “hundreds of thousands of jobs”.

Obama’s initial cap and trade plan was blocked by Congress. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency will impose greenhouse gas limits on power plants, allowing a form of emissions trading between the states.

Obama’s administration has pledged to cut US greenhouse emissions from all sectors by up to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Research released this week by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) and the University of Colorado Boulder found that the US could slash emissions much further, cutting them by up to 78% below 1990 levels within 15 years, while meeting increased demand.

These cuts, the Nature Climate Change study states, could be achieved “without an increase in the levelized cost of electricity”. It would be undertaken via a shift to a national energy system using existing renewable sources such as solar and wind and deploying the latest electricity storage technology.

Bush, once governor of Florida, has said he supports federal government support for “basic research” into low-carbon energy but, like Rubio, places his faith in the free market to deal with rising temperatures and the extreme weather events, drought and sea level rise they bring.

“What we shouldn’t try to do is pick winners and losers through the federal government,” he said at a gathering in New Hampshire on Saturday, in a newly emerged video.

“The market will work faster. There’s someone in a garage somewhere, parochially I hope it’s in Miami, that’s going to have a clue, to have an answer to this.

“There are people well-intended on climate change but they need to be careful to not paint the apocalypse. Because we are not there. But we should be adapting.”


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34 comments on “Jeb Bush pins hopes on ‘someone in a garage’ to tackle climate change

  • “The market will work faster. There’s someone in a garage somewhere, parochially I hope it’s in Miami, that’s going to have a clue, to have an answer to this.

    I got it covered. Now, if I turn my carport into a garage, turn my age back by 40 years and work weekends I should have this widget finished by 2075!



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  • 2
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Ah yes, the magic of the marketplace. If a couple geeks in a Cupertino California garage can found the largest company on Earth we obviously do not need any government regulations choking off the productivity of unfettered capitalism…blah, blah, blah.



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  • The market will work faster.

    This is only true, if there is a profit to be had. Global warming is here with us now, because profit through cheap fossil fuel energy has been put before responsibility. Can you imagine Exxon executives deciding in the 1970’s, when they knew that what they were doing was liking to warm the planet saying, “Hey. Let’s not do this guys. Let’s just leave the oil in the ground and make less profit.”

    The stupidity of this thought bubble, that markets can solve everything is beyond me. Some problems, like global warming, are far too important for any response, other than a governmental imposed response, world wide.



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  • Ignorant GOP!

    Australia is the only country to have devised a market solution, only to abandon it when Catholic fundamentalists won office. Obama has championed a market solution of cap and trade, but the fossilized majority prefer picking winners, namely fossil fuels.

    Australia’s ETS was devised by Prof Garnaut, who said abandoning a market-based solution doesn’t make any sense, because of less efficiency than pricing carbon. Weird that conservatives here and there reject it.



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  • I think all major existential threats should be left to the market.

    In a garage somewhere was the perfect response to the attack on Pearl Harbour.

    (It was probably Japanese lessons for all.)



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  • The market will work only when EVERYTHING is in the market, else it is incomplete and all cannot be comparatively valued.

    By placing a value on common goods (like a clean atmosphere and a stable environment for the future preserving investments in future markets) elected governments, on our behalf, complete the market.

    When “the market” complains that the market is not free, they are complaining at the price we democratically set for our common goods.

    Tough. This is how the market of everything works.



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  • @OP – “The market will work faster. There’s someone in a garage somewhere, parochially I hope it’s in Miami, that’s going to have a clue, to have an answer to this.

    Perhaps the climate will set Bush and his voters a few market targets for their Miami “garage inventors”! –
    Garage-boathouse conversion kits perhaps? Amphibious submarines?

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/02/climate-change-economics/florida-coast-map
    Climate Change Economics South Florida –
    The coast would be radically changed by five feet of sea-level rise in 2100, as shown here. This projection is on the high end of the plausible scenarios—though not the highest—under consideration by multiple agencies planning for Florida’s future.

    Then chuck in a few better warm climate powered up hurricanes and sea surges for good measure!



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  • @OP – There’s someone in a garage somewhere, parochially I hope it’s in Miami, that’s going to have a clue, to have an answer to this.

    Meanwhile – those science teams whose brains extend to inventions on a bit of a larger scale than hobbyist gadgets constructed in a garage:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35446894

    Europe has begun to roll out a data superhighway in orbit above the Earth.

    The first node in the network is a telecommunications satellite that was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

    It will use a laser to gather pictures of the planet taken by other spacecraft and then relay them to the ground.

    One benefit will be to put information on natural disasters, such as flooding and earthquakes, into the hands of emergency responders far faster than has previously been possible.

    Currently, it can take hours to get the pictures taken by Earth observation satellites down on the ground.

    Part of the reason is that spacecraft can only transmit their images when they pass over a receiving dish, and they will have visibility of this antenna for just 10 minutes in most cases during every 90-minute tour around the globe.

    The European Space Agency’s (Esa) answer is to fire the pictures upwards instead, via laser, to another satellite much higher in the sky that has a constant view of the ground station.

    The agency recently put up two Earth observers that are equipped with optical transmission equipment. These will now be able to offload their data through the new relay satellite, which is to be positioned 36,000km above the equator at 9 degrees East.

    Testing by Esa’s industrial partner, Airbus Defence and Space, shows it should be possible for the system to put pictures on the desks of the people who need them within 20 minutes of those images being acquired.

    For some applications – such as the monitoring of pollution incidents, or illegal fishing or ocean piracy – the time saved could be critical to achieving an effective response.

    “Some important shipping routes go through the North Pole region, where thick ice flows can cause damage to vessels and even threaten human life,” explained Magali Vaissiere, Esa’s director of telecoms.

    “It’s also an environment in constant motion which means that data that is two days old is not only unhelpful – it could even be unsafe.



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  • So his policy is “wait for a miracle to happen so we don’t have to do anything ourselves”?

    I suppose it’s miraculous that he even acknowledges Climate Change is really happening, perhaps it was an oversight.



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  • N_Ellis
    Jan 30, 2016 at 8:13 am

    So his policy is “wait for a miracle to happen so we don’t have to do anything ourselves”?

    A tiny mind in a god-did-it bubble, who has already been established in denial of any real solutions, only has fatalism and miracles to offer!

    Still! I should not think the oil lobby will care much about his level of intellect, as long as he is a “good” stooge! Brother George wasted borrowed $trillions on silly wars, but kept the oil money flowing to the sponsors who matter to the GOP!!



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  • These politicians are clueless.

    Climate change is an enormous problem that snuck up on us because it is so big, with so much inertia and effects the entire atmosphere. Some little gadget is too tiny to have any effect on the entire air supply.

    Even if some little gadget could help, you still have to get it replicated and implemented millions of times all over the world.

    [Slightly edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use.]



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  • I think the first prerequisite of answering a question is understanding it; and the level of scientific ignorance which has been reached over the last thirty years is terrifying.

    But all is not lost, at least there are the loony leaps and bonkers bounds of the “Trumpalin” show to look forward to!



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  • Stafford Gordon
    Jan 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    But all is not lost, at least there are the loony leaps and bonkers bounds of the “Trumpalin” show to look forward to!

    Ah well! Trump will build a few new golf courses in Florida, so with 18 holes a time for the water to drain down, who needs to worry about rising sea levels? 🙂

    Strange how all those educated people cannot understand “Republican science”!



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  • IMHO everyone who objects to a windfarm as an eyesore, spoiling the view, should either move next door to a nuclear power station or disconect themselves completely from the power grid, showing that they don’t need no carbon-burning power.



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  • NearlyNakedApe
    Jan 30, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Some conservative political observers call Jeb the “smart Bush”. Well that theory sure flew out the window…

    That kind of depends what base-line standards in the bush family we are looking at!

    http://www.forwardprogressives.com/jeb-bush-just-criticized-president-obama-intelligent/
    Well, in something that almost sounds like satire (even though it isn’t), GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush criticized President Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for being too intelligent.

    “You don’t have to be the world’s policemen, but you have to be the world’s leader and there’s a huge difference,” Bush said. “This guy, this president and Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry, when someone disagrees with their nuanced approach where it’s all kind of so sophisticated it makes no sense. You know what I’m saying?”
    “Big syllable words, lots of fancy conferences and meetings,” he continued.

    Yes, ladies and gentleman, that’s a Republican candidate for president saying that Obama, Clinton and Kerry are just too “sophisticated” sometimes when it comes to international diplomacy and our foreign policy.
    You really can’t make this stuff up; it’s just astounding when you think about it. To Republicans, being educated and having a large vocabulary is apparently seen as something negative and “attack-worthy.”



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  • “The market will work faster. There’s someone in a garage somewhere,
    parochially I hope it’s in Miami, that’s going to have a clue, to have
    an answer to this.

    Perhaps the climate will set Bush and his voters a few market targets
    for their Miami “garage inventors”!

    Climate Change Economics South Florida – The coast would be radically
    changed by five feet of sea-level rise in 2100 multiple agencies
    planning for Florida’s future.

    If the capitaliists of Florida have any sense, they’ll give up on the blokes in garages, start setting up real estate companies, and buy up all available land more than three metres above sea level. In time that will be a bull market.



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  • “This guy, this president and Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry, when someone disagrees with their nuanced approach where it’s all kind of so sophisticated it makes no sense. You know what I’m saying?”

    It must be terrible for Bush and his supporters – trying to understand all those big words uttered by people with reading ages in double figures!



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  • That was my initial thought then, having slept on it, I realised that the man is a genius. Here are the rest of his ideas for saving humanity:

    Obesity: a woman in a hairdressers reading a copy of Jamie Oliver’s book will solve it.

    Terrorism: a member of the NRA on a shooting range will come up with the long term solution to all the problems of the Middle East.

    Gender inequality: a man sat on the toilet reading The Female Eunuch will have a revelation that will bring harmony to the sexes.

    The economy: a seven year old child with a calculator and no pocket money will come up with a magic solution which will bring sustainable prosperity to all.

    The slow erosion in number of cream eggs in a box (currently standing at 5): a hen in a factory farm will have a revelation that will revolutionise the industry.

    The Proloiferation of antibiotic resistant pathogens: A bacterium in the gut of a child in Eritrea will come up with a world-wide plan to ensure responsible and proportionate use of antibiotics, and a binding peace treaty between humanity and bacteria.

    And many more in the same style.

    However the real problem with his approach and the reason he and his type are at the very bottom end of the moron/genius spectrum is that all these solutions would instantly be shouted down by Mr Bush himself. He doesn’t need a man in a garage to resolve climate change, he needs to immediately act on what people in far more elaborate and well equipped garages have been saying for ages. Except that he is never going to be in a position to act on anything.
    Perhaps he needs a man in a garage to find him a way to get elected. Or better still not.



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  • The scary thing to me is not the stupid politicians in the USA like Bush. It’s that people like him, Palin, Trump, Carson have so much support. Politicians are simply mirrors of the opinions of the populace without whom they can’t exist. That so many Americans think these deranged loonies are viable presidential candidates is what’s so terrifying. In any other 1st world country they’d be laughed out of office. As Bill Maher says so often on Real Time, “Americans are just really dumb”. There’s a mindset in so many parts of that country I simply can’t get my head round. This paranoia about socialism, big government (whatever that is), universal health care. An obsession that “the market” will sort out every problem and that any sort of government intervention is evil.

    In the 21st century half of the country still seems to be trying to live some sort of pioneer dream world where every man is an island and a pot of gold is somewhere over the imaginary rainbow if only the state and government will stay out of their lives.

    But they seem to have no problem with the biggest government funded military on the planet, a police force armed to the teeth with military grade weapons, tanks and armoured patrol vehicles. The Fire Service seems to be a good thing and not socialism despite it being paid for out of taxes but doing the same with healthcare is unthinkable?? There’s a cognitive dissonance at work here that makes no sense.

    If the people weren’t so bloody stupid then the politicians wouldn’t be able to be either. What needs to change is the mentality of the entire country. Somewhere at the root of it is religiosity though. You can always be pretty damn sure that when something makes no sense to normal rational people then religion has its dirty little fingers somewhere in the pie.



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  • so many Americans think these deranged loonies are viable presidential candidates

    Case in point, maybe part of the appeal is to the rogue-bad boy, e.g. Elvis, the Beatles. Odd to me, screaming.

    Jeb, don’t go to ‘Joe’s Garage’, lol.



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  • Ok, I dig your point; have any example in mind?

    Inwardly, I react this way to atrocious crimes against mother Earth, and child abuse. Wouldn’t dare do it outwardly though, lest I end up in jail / prison (for family’s sake).



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  • Sorry, Bonnie. This was a jest. Her scream looks also as if she is genuinely (and appropriately) horrified. Like she has just woken up to the true nightmare of the demagogue she was supporting.



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  • If Dawkins had that photo up on top with an article about Trump or one of those guys all the rabid feminists (and I don’t mean all feminists) would be up in arms: “Oh look how he’s depicting women on his site? What a sexist! Women are smart, funny, conscientious; they aren’t all hysterical and fawning over some male authority figure, etc., etc. Let’s make sure he doesn’t get to speak at that event, etc.”
    And that’s the truth.



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  • 30
    bonnie says:

    After further review (as they say in American football) yesterday, I strongly suspected Poe had entered the building – not used to you funnin’, but I like it – like it, yes I do.

    According to one article, the woman purportedly said “at first I was embarrassed, but now I embrace it (in the spotlight Trump supporter). If true, smh.



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  • Tim Smith
    Jan 30, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Oh! How ironic. Did you know Trump has ended up with a wind farm right next to his new golf course in Scotland.

    Ah! – but he explained that an off-shore wind farm supplying electricity to Scottish industry, would “ruin the economy”, by discouraging posh golfers from visiting his golf course!

    The Scottish and UK courts, and the Scottish government were unimpressed by Trumponomics or attempts to bully them!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-33022406

    “The decision by the Scottish courts brings closer a technologically-advanced offshore wind sector supporting a sustainable and secure energy supply at lower cost.”

    WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “This result is good news for Scotland and for all those interested in cutting carbon emissions and creating jobs.

    “It’s now time for Mr Trump to stop wasting any more time and money on this case.”

    Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: “This spurious legal action has gone on too long already, and we cannot allow Trump’s inflated ego to delay our renewables industry a moment longer.”



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  • headswapboy
    Jan 31, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Perhaps he needs a man in a garage to find him a way to get elected.

    I thought he did that for brother George W. in 2000!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_election_recount

    The Florida election recount of 2000 was a period of vote re-counting that occurred following the unclear results of the 2000 United States presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, specifically the Florida results. The Florida vote was ultimately settled in favor of George W. Bush, by a margin of only 537 votes out of almost 6 million cast, when the U.S. Supreme Court, with its final ruling on Bush v. Gore, stopped a recount that had been proposed by the Florida Supreme Court. The outcome resulted in Bush gaining a majority of votes in the Electoral College, winning the overall presidential election.



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  • I see in the UK, – Cameron – having dumped his Liberal coalition partners who pushed him to pay lip service to green technologies, is now going full astern in back-tracking with penny-pinching arguments as a tool of prevarication!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-35501144
    Delays to a £1bn tidal energy project in Swansea are “shameful”, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said.

    In his first speech as leader to the party’s Welsh conference, Mr Farron questioned the UK government’s commitment to green energy schemes.

    David Cameron has said the prospect of large subsidies being needed for the lagoon had reduced his enthusiasm.

    He said the Lib Dems “fought sceptical Tories” to push a pro-green agenda during the 2010-15 coalition.

    “We have been a world leader in this field and maintaining that status is now in jeopardy,” he told the conference in Cardiff on Saturday.

    “The tidal lagoon is a litmus test for the government. Do you care about this agenda? Or was it all for show?

    “For five years we fought sceptical Tories to ensure the coalition was the greenest government ever.

    “In the last six months this progress has been unravelled at an alarming pace.”

    The proposals in Swansea are for 16 turbines, placed roughly a mile out to sea, to generate 320 megawatt of power – which would then be converted into electricity.

    In January, BBC Wales heard there were reservations relating to the proposed lagoon’s modelling and turbine engineering.

    But Tidal Lagoon Power said questions on the engineering and environmental impact had been addressed in depth.



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