Presidental Debate Transcript, 29 September 2020 – Section On Climate Change

Below is the section of the debate last night that addressed climate change (48:50 to 59.24, about 10 minutes):

Donald Trump & Joe Biden 1st Presidential Debate Transcript 2020

Chris Wallace: (48:50)
I’d like to talk about climate change.

Vice President Joe Biden: (48:52)
So would I.

Chris Wallace: (48:53)
Okay. The forest fires in the West are raging now. They have burned millions of acres. They have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. When state officials there blamed the fires on climate change. Mr. President, you said, I don’t think the science knows. Over your four years, you have pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. You have rolled back a number of Obama Environmental records, what do you believe about the science of climate change and what will you do in the next four years to confront it?

President Donald J. Trump: (49:27)
I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful clean air. We have now the lowest carbon… If you look at our numbers right now, we are doing phenomenally. But I haven’t destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren’t put out of commission. If you look at the Paris Accord, it was a disaster from our standpoint. And people are actually very happy about what’s going on because our businesses are doing well. As far as the fires are concerned, you need forest management. In addition to everything else, the forest floors are loaded up with trees, dead trees that are years old and they’re like tinder and leaves and everything else. You drop a cigarette in there the whole forest burns down. You’ve got to have forest management.

Chris Wallace: (50:09)
What do you believe about the science of climate change, sir?

President Donald J. Trump: (50:13)
I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air immaculate water and do whatever else we can that’s good. We’re planting a billion trees, the Billion Tree Project and it’s very exciting for a lot of people.

Chris Wallace: (50:25)
You believe that human pollution, gas, greenhouse gas emissions contributes to the global warming of this planet.

President Donald J. Trump: (50:32)
I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes. I think to an extent, yes, but I also think we have to do better management of our forest. Every year I get the call. California’s burning, California’s burning. If that was cleaned, if that were, if you had forest management, good forest management, you wouldn’t be getting those calls. In Europe, they live they’re forest cities. They call forest cities. They maintain their forest. They manage their forest. I was with the head of a major country, it’s a forest city. He said, “Sir, we have trees that are far more, they ignite much easier than California. There shouldn’t be that problem.” I spoke with the Governor about it. I’m getting along very well with the governor. But I said, “At some point you can’t every year have hundreds of thousands of acres of land just burned to the ground.” That’s burning down because of a lack of management.

Chris Wallace: (51:25)
But sir if you believe in the science of climate change, why have you rolled back the Obama Clean Power Plan which limited carbon emissions and power plants? Why have you relaxed…?

President Donald J. Trump: (51:35)
Because it was driving energy prices through the sky.

Vice President Joe Biden: (51:38)
Why have you relaxed fuel economy standards that are going to create more pollution from cars and trucks?

President Donald J. Trump: (51:44)
Well, not really because what’s happening is the car is much less expensive and it’s a much safer car and you talk it about a tiny difference. And then what would happen because of the cost of the car you would have at least double and triple the number of cars purchased. We have the old slugs out there that are 10, 12 years old. If you did that, the car would be safer. It would be much cheaper by $3,500.

Chris Wallace: (52:06)
But in the case of California they have simply ignored that.

President Donald J. Trump: (52:08)
No, but you would take a lot of cars off the market because people would be able to afford a car. Now, by the way, we’re going to see how that turns out. But a lot of people agree with me, many people. The car has gotten so expensive because they have computers all over the place for an extra little bit of gasoline. And I’m okay with electric cars too. I think I’m all for electric cars. I’ve given big incentives for electric cars but what they’ve done in California is just crazy.

Chris Wallace: (52:34)
All right, Vice president Biden. I’d like you to respond to the president’s climate change record but I also want to ask you about a concern. You propose $2 trillion in green jobs. You talk about new limits, not abolishing, but new limits on fracking. Ending the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity by 2035 and zero none admission of greenhouse gases by 2050. The president says a lot of these things would tank the economy and cost millions of jobs.

Vice President Joe Biden: (53:03)
He’s absolutely wrong, number one. Number two, if in fact, during our administration in the recovery act, I was in charge able to bring down the cost of renewable energy to cheaper than are as cheap as coal and gas and oil. Nobody’s going to build another coal fired plant in America. No one’s going to build another oil fire plant in America. They’re going to move to renewable energy. Number one, number two, we’re going to make sure that we are able to take the federal fleet and turn it into a fleet that’s run on their electric vehicles. Making sure that we can do that, we’re going to put 500,000 charging stations in all of the highways that we’re going to be building in the future. We’re going to build a economy that in fact is going to provide for the ability of us to take 4 million buildings and make sure that they in fact are weatherized in a way that in fact will they’ll emit significantly less gas and oil because the heat will not be going out. There’s so many things that we can do…

Vice President Joe Biden: (54:03)
Gas and oil because the heat will not be going out. There’s so many things that we can do now to create thousands and thousands of jobs. We can get to net zero, in terms of energy production, by 2035. Not only not costing people jobs, creating jobs, creating millions of good-paying jobs. Not 15 bucks an hour, but prevailing wage, by having a new infrastructure that in fact, is green. And the first thing I will do, I will rejoin the Paris Accord. I will join the Paris Accord because with us out of it, look what’s happening. It’s all falling apart. And talk about someone who has no relationship with foreign policy. The rainforests of Brazil are being torn down, are being ripped down. More carbon is absorbed in that rainforest than every bit of carbon that’s emitted in the United States. Instead of doing something about that, I would be gathering up and making sure we had the countries of the world coming up with $20 billion, and say, “Here’s $20 billion. Stop tearing down the forest. And If you don’t, then you’re going to have significant economic consequences.”

Chris Wallace: (55:11)
What about the argument that President Trump basically says, that you have to balance environmental interests and economic interests? And he’s drawn his line.

Vice President Joe Biden: (55:21)
Well, he hasn’t drawn a line. He wants to make sure that methane’s not a problem. You can now emit more methane without it being a problem. Methane. This is a guy who says that you don’t have to have mileage standards for automobiles that exist now. This is the guy who says that, the fact that-

President Donald J. Trump: (55:39)
Not true. Not true-

Vice President Joe Biden: (55:40)
It’s all true. And here’s the deal-

President Donald J. Trump: (55:42)
He’s talking about the Green New Deal. And it’s not 2 billion [crosstalk 00:55:45] or 20 billion, as you said [crosstalk 00:55:46]. It’s $100 trillion.

Vice President Joe Biden: (55:49)
I’m talking about the Biden plan [crosstalk 00:55:51]-

Chris Wallace: (55:50)
Let him go for a minute, and then you can go.

President Donald J. Trump: (55:52)
And rebuild the building.

Vice President Joe Biden: (55:53)

President Donald J. Trump: (55:53)
It’s the dumbest-

Vice President Joe Biden: (55:54)
That is not-

President Donald J. Trump: (55:54)
… most ridiculous [crosstalk 00:55:56] where two car systems are out-

Vice President Joe Biden: (55:59)
Not true-

President Donald J. Trump: (56:00)
… where they want to take out the cows too.

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:01)
Not true.

President Donald J. Trump: (56:01)
That’s not true either, right?

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:03)
Not true.

President Donald J. Trump: (56:04)
This is a 100 trillion-

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:06)
Simply… Look-

President Donald J. Trump: (56:06)
That’s more money than our country could make in 100 years [crosstalk 00:02:10]-

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:09)
That is simply not the case-

Chris Wallace: (56:14)
All right. Let me [crosstalk 00:02:12]. Wait a minute, sir. I actually have studied your plan, and it includes upgrading 4 million buildings, weatherizing 2 million homes over four years, building one and a half million energy efficient homes. So the question becomes, the president is saying, I think some people who support the president would say, that sounds like it’s going to cost a lot of money and hurt the economy.

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:38)
What it’s going to do, it’s going to create thousands and millions of jobs. Good paying jobs [crosstalk 00:02:41].

Chris Wallace: (56:42)
Let him finish, sir.

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:43)
He doesn’t know how to do that-

President Donald J. Trump: (56:45)
100 million dollars.

Vice President Joe Biden: (56:46)
The fact is, it’s going to create millions of good paying jobs, and these tax incentives for people to weatherize, which he wants to get rid of. It’s going to make the economy much safer. Look how much we’re paying now to deal with the hurricanes, deal with… By the way, he has an answer for hurricanes. He said, maybe we should drop a nuclear weapon on them, and they may-

President Donald J. Trump: (57:05)
I never said that at all-

Vice President Joe Biden: (57:06)
Yeah, he did say that-

President Donald J. Trump: (57:06)
They made it up.

Vice President Joe Biden: (57:08)
And here’s the deal-

President Donald J. Trump: (57:09)
You make up a lot-

Vice President Joe Biden: (57:10)
… we’re going to be in a position where we can create hard, hard, good jobs by making sure the environment is clean, and we all are in better shape. We spend billions of dollars now, billions of dollars, on floods, hurricanes, rising seas. We’re in real trouble. Look what’s happened just in the Midwest with these storms that come through and wipe out entire sections and counties in Iowa. They didn’t happen before. They’re because of global warming. We make up 15% of the world’s problem. But the rest of the world, we’ve got to get them to come along. That’s why we have to get back into the Paris Accord.

Chris Wallace: (57:52)
All right, gentlemen-

President Donald J. Trump: (57:52)
Wait a minute, Chris. So why didn’t he do it for 47 years? You were vice president-

Vice President Joe Biden: (57:56)
For 47-

President Donald J. Trump: (57:56)
So why didn’t you get the world… China sends up real dirt into the air. Russia does. India does. They all do. We’re supposed to be good. And by the way, he made a couple of statements. The Green New Deal is a hundred trillion dollars.

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:08)
That is not my plan [crosstalk 00:58:10]. The Green New Deal [crosstalk 00:58:14] is not my plan. [crosstalk 00:58:15]-

Chris Wallace: (58:15)

President Donald J. Trump: (58:16)
He made a statement about the military. He said I said something about the military. He and his friends made it up, and then they went with it. I never said it.

Chris Wallace: (58:23)
Okay. [crosstalk 00:58:24] Mr. Vice President-

President Donald J. Trump: (58:28)
He called the military stupid bastards.

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:28)
I did not say that-

President Donald J. Trump: (58:31)
He said it on tape. [crosstalk 00:58:32]-

Chris Wallace: (58:31)
Please, sir. [crosstalk 00:58:33] Stop.

President Donald J. Trump: (58:34)
I would never say that [crosstalk 00:58:35]-

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:35)
Play it. Play it-

Chris Wallace: (58:36)
Stop. Go ahead-

President Donald J. Trump: (58:37)
You’re on tape-

Chris Wallace: (58:38)
Mr. Vice President answered his final question.

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:41)
The final question is, I can’t remember which of all his rantings [crosstalk 00:04:44].

Chris Wallace: (58:44)
I’m having a little trouble myself, but…

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:47)

Chris Wallace: (58:48)
And about the economy and about this question of what it’s going to cost.

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:52)
The economy-

Chris Wallace: (58:53)
The Green New Deal and the idea of what your environmental changes will do-

Vice President Joe Biden: (58:57)
The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward. We’re not going to build plants that, in fact, are great polluting plants-

Chris Wallace: (59:05)
So, do you support the Green New Deal?

Vice President Joe Biden: (59:07)
Pardon me?

Chris Wallace: (59:08)
Do you support the-

Vice President Joe Biden: (59:08)
No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.

President Donald J. Trump: (59:10)
Oh, you don’t? Oh, well, that’s a big statement.

Vice President Joe Biden: (59:12)
I support [crosstalk 00:05:13]-

President Donald J. Trump: (59:13)
You just lost the radical left.

Vice President Joe Biden: (59:15)
I support [crosstalk 00:59:17] the Biden plan that I put forward.

Chris Wallace: (59:19)

Vice President Joe Biden: (59:19)
The Biden plan, which is different than what he calls the radical Green New Deal.

President Trump’s plan for climate change is:

  • Exit the Paris Accord <– This does not tackle climate change
  • Forest Management <– Majority of forest in the West is already managed by Trump via U.S. Forest Service or Federal Bureau of Land Management
  • Rolled back the Obama Clean Power Plan which limited carbon emissions and power plants <– This does not tackle climate change
  • Relax fuel economy standards (this creates more pollution from cars and trucks but “because of the cost of the car [“much less expensive”] you would have at least double and triple the number of cars purchased) <– This does not tackle climate change
  • “I’ve given big incentives for electric cars”

Vice President Biden’s plan for climate change is:

  • Rejoin the Paris Accord
  • Limits on fracking
  • End use of fossil fuels to generate electricity by 2035
  • Zero emission of greenhouse gases by 2050
  • Bring down cost of renewable energy to “as cheap as coal and gas and oil”
  • Build 1.5 million energy efficient homes
  • No building of coal- or oil-fired plants
  • Convert federal fleet to electric vehicles
  • Put 500,000 charging stations in all of the highways that we’re going to be building
  • Weatherize 4 million buildings “in a way that they’ll emit significantly less gas and oil”
  • Tax incentives for fuel efficiency
  • Create millions of jobs in green energy “not 15 bucks an hour, but prevailing wage”
  • Raise $20 billion globally to stop tearing down rainforests in Brazil

There’s only one thing that President Trump mentioned that will tackle climate change – to create his “immaculate air immaculate water” –  and that was his incentive for electric cars. But:

It’s unclear what EV incentive he is referring to since the only federal incentive is an IRS tax credit for plug-in and all-electric vehicles.

But that program wasn’t implemented by the Trump administration.

It dates back to the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) under the Obama administration under which Joe Biden was vice-president. It greatly expanded on another plug-in car initiative signed into law by President Bush.

In fact, the Trump administration attempted to eliminate the tax credit for electric vehicles in the original version of their 2020 budget – though the provision never passed.

So, President Trump has no plan to address climate change, even though he replied “Yes” to Wallace’s statement, “You believe that human pollution, gas, greenhouse gas emissions contributes to the global warming of this planet.”

Without California, What Would The American Diet Be Like?

The C-Free Diet. If We Didn’t Have California, What Would We Eat?, Slate, 13 July 2013


California, where cool coastal fog is perfect for growing standard broccoli, currently produces more than 90 percent of the broccoli grown in the United States. If California were to disappear, what would the American diet be like?

Expensive and grainy. California produces a sizable majority of many American fruits, vegetables, and nuts: 99 percent of artichokes, 99 percent of walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, 95 percent of garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, and 69 percent of carrots (and the list goes on and on). Some of this is due to climate and soil. No other state, or even a combination of states, can match California’s output per acre. Lemon yields in California, for example, are more than 50 percent higher than in Arizona. California spinach yield per acre is 60 percent higher than the national average. Without California, supply of all these products in the United States and abroad would dip, and in the first few years, a few might be nearly impossible to find. Orchard-based products in particular, such as nuts and some fruits, would take many years to spring back.

Price surges would eventually become the larger issue. Rising prices would force Americans to consume more grains, which are locked in a complicated price-dependent relationship with fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. When the price of produce increases, people eat more grain. When the price of grain drops, people eat more fruits and vegetables. (In fact, in some parts of the world, wheat and rice are the only proven “Giffen goods”—a product in which decreasing prices lead to decreasing demand.) Young people and the poor in America, more than others, eat less fresh food when prices rise.

The loss of California’s output would create a dire situation for at least a decade. History suggests, however, that we’d eventually find a way to cope. A state’s agricultural makeup can evolve surprisingly quickly—California’s certainly did.

This is an interesting thought exercise. I can imagine some of this will come to pass – price increases and shortages – given California’s record high temeratures and wildfires this year, both of which are predicted to get worse in coming years.

New York Times: “Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In”

Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial. New York Times, 22 September 2020


The Times spoke with two dozen climate experts, including scientists, economists, sociologists and policymakers…
Their most sobering message was that the world still hasn’t seen the worst of it. Gone is the climate of yesteryear, and there’s no going back.

The effects of climate change evident today are the results of choices that countries made decades ago to keep pumping heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at ever-increasing rates despite warnings from scientists about the price to be paid. … That price — more vicious heat waves, longer wildfire seasons, rising sea levels — is now irretrievably baked in. Nations, including the United States, have dithered so long in cutting emissions that progressively more global warming is assured for decades to come, even if efforts to shift away from fossil fuels were accelerated tomorrow.

“What we’re seeing today, this year, is just a small harbinger of what we are likely to get,” said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan. Things are on track to get “twice as bad” as they are now, he said, “if not worse.

“Don’t think of it as the warmest month of August in California in the last century,” [Cristian Proistosescu, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois] wrote. “Think of it as one of the coolest months of August in California in the next century.”

Managing climate change, experts said, will require rethinking virtually every aspect of daily life: how and where homes are built, how power grids are designed, how people plan for the future with the collective good in mind. It will require an epochal shift in politics in a country that has, on the whole, ignored climate change.

For a long time, “there was so much focus on how climate change would affect the most vulnerable, like low-lying island nations or coral reefs — things that don’t dramatically affect the economic powerhouses of the world,” said Katharine Mach, an associate professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “There’s often been this arrogant assumption that wealth provides protection.” … Recent events, she said, are a vivid reminder that “we’re all in this together.”

First, experts broadly agreed, if we want to stop the planet from relentlessly heating up forever, humanity will quickly need to eliminate its emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases. That means cleaning up every coal plant in China, every steel mill in Europe, every car and truck in the United States.

But experts also made a point they say is often underappreciated: Even if we start radically slashing emissions today, it could be decades before those changes start to appreciably slow the rate at which Earth is warming. In the meantime, we’ll have to deal with effects that continue to worsen.

Again and again, climate scientists have shown that our choices now range from merely awful to incomprehensibly horrible.

It is not going to go away. It is going to get worse – quickly. The best we can do is slow it.

Next Tuesday, two days from now, is the first Presidential debate. And climate change is not even a topic!

International Day Of Peace

The Ship Of Tolerance

From Bing today:

To mark International Day of Peace, we invite you to look closely at the colorful sail in today’s homepage photo. It’s a composite of 120 small panels painted by children from different ethnic and social backgrounds — each panel offers a message of hope for a better world.

In years past, the United Nations has used International Day of Peace as an opportunity to create a world free of violence through ceasefires and truces. This year, amid the global pandemic, we’re asked to observe this day by encouraging compassion, kindness, and hope.

Homemade Clove Gel As Good As Benzocaine (Orajel) For Dental Pain

I have a toothache. My dentist can’t see me for a few weeks because of COVID. I made some clove oil. It helped. I didn’t think it would, but:

The Effect Of Clove And Benzocaine Versus Placebo As Topical Anesthetics, Journal of Dentistry, November 2006

The purpose of this study was to examine whether the natural herb clove can replace benzocaine as a topical anesthetic.

Topical agents were applied to the maxillary canine buccal mucosa of 73 adult volunteers. Four substances were tested in the study: (1) homemade clove gel, (2) benzocaine 20% gel, (3) placebo that resembles clove and (4) a placebo that resembled benzocaine. After 5 min of material application in a randomized, subject-blinded manner, each participant received two needle sticks. Pain response was registered using a 100 mm visual analogue pain scale.

Results: Both clove and benzocaine gels had significantly lower mean pain scores than placebos (p = 0.005). No significant difference was observed between clove and benzocaine regarding pain scores.

Their recipe:

The clove gel was prepared by grinding commercially available clove to fine powder and then mixing it with liquid glycerin in a ratio of 2:3 (clove: glycerin) by volume.

My recipe was about 15 whole cloves submerged in about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, in an old jelly jar.

How to Make Clove Oil, with photos.

How it works:

Clove oil contains the active ingredient eugenol, which is a natural anesthetic. It helps numb and reduce pain to ease a toothache. Eugenol also has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It may reduce swelling and irritation in the affected area. Dry Socket Paste, an over-the-counter treatment dentists recommend for teeth extraction pain, has eugenol.

A British study found that eugenol is more effective at reducing pain, inflammation, and infection than another type of analgesic. Study participants who used the eugenol-based paste also had better wound healing than study participants who used the other treatment or no treatment at all.

Thanks to Virginia.

The Original No-Knead Bread From Mark Bittman, 2006

Times Classic, No-Knead Bread, Mark Bittman, 6 December 2006


3 1/3 cups/430 grams all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed

Step 1
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons/390 milliliters water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Step 2
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Step 3
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Step 4
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Some tweaks:
No Kneading, but Some Fine-Tuning, Mark Bittman, 6 December 2006

Smoke From US West Coast Fires Traveling Across The Country

This is a screen shot of NOAA’s “Vertically Integrated Smoke” from about an hour ago. Click to enlarge.

From NASA:

“Vertically integrated smoke” depicts all of the smoke in a vertical column, including smoke high in Earth’s atmosphere. That is the smoke you see at sunrise and sunset.

I live outside Philadelphia and we experienced brownish hazy skies this morning. Amazing how far this travels. It must be a nightmare for people living inside it.

For more detailed and up-to-date data, go here:
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth System Research Laboratory, High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Smoke Model Fields