Global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent to 31.6 gigatons in 2012, setting a record and putting the planet on course for temperature increases well above international climate goals, the International Energy Agency said in a report scheduled to be issued Monday.
The agency said continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), which IEA chief economist Fatih Birol warned “would be a disaster for all countries.”
Remember, you can urge your elected officials to talk about this.
* Great question from Steve Benen: Why is China more likely to take steps to address the climate crisis than Congressional Republicans are?
* A terrific Mother Jones piece on the 17 states that are rejecting big gobs of federal funds Obamacare should be granting them to cover the health care of untold numbers of their own mentally ill constituents.
* New Post/Pew poll: 56 percent of Americans say the NSA phone gathering program is acceptable, though that number drops to only 45 percent when people are asked about online monitoring.
And: 62 percent say investigating terror is more important than guarding privacy, a reminder that civil liberties is not a great priority for the American electorate.
* Mark Blumenthal catches an important nugget in the new NSA poll showing that public interest in the story is relatively modest, and reactions may be more in response to the questions than anything else.
* Dana Milbank gets this right: Congressional officials raging about NSA leaks should blame themselves for keeping this vast, unaccountable program shrouded in needless secrecy for so long, rather than allowing it to be debated by the public.
* David Atkins has a simple fix: Dramatically increase Congressional oversight over the NSA. Even given Congress’ tendency to embrace NSA overreach, this could help shine more light on what’s really happening here.
* Interesting piece by Alex Roarty, who finds that for all their talk about minority outreach, the Republicans’ 2014 strategy again represents a heavy bet on white voters, and a move to the right.
* Mitch McConnell is already adamantly opposed to compromising with Obama on anything, but as John Harwood details, his reelection imperatives are likely to make him even more intransigent and obstructionist, if that is possible. Yup: Stalemate for the foreseeable future.
* The news that the Rove-founded Crossroads GPS is launching a $100,000 push for immigration reform is another reminder of just how much GOP political strategist types want reform to pass for the good of the party’s long term prospects.
* I share Ed Kilgore’s skepticism that John Boehner, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, is far more willing privately to let immigration reform move through the House than he’s publicly letting on, and that he’s cleverly placating the nativists.
It still seems clear that Boehner may have to allow the Senate bill to pass the House mostly with Dem support could prove the only way reform has a chance.
* A new Suffolk University poll shows Ed Markey’s lead over Gabriel Gomez has narrowed to seven points, 48-41. That is a real tightening, though that spread may be difficult for Gomez to overcome with 15 days left (two debates remain).
* And Jonathan Bernstein marvels at the news media’s ongoing inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to communicate to readers the most basic facts about ongoing, and unprecedented, GOP obstructionism.