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Nov-21-2010 12:22printcomments

Republicans Win, Mother Earth Loses

Republican environmentalism
Cartoon by Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press

(SAN FRANCISCO) - As we all know, the Republicans now control the U.S. House of Representatives and have improved their Senate numbers, which means that efforts to control global warming are now dead for at least the dying days of the 111th Congress.

John Boehner (R. Ohio), House speaker-designate, and Mitch McConnell (R. KY), the top Republican in the Senate, outlined their strategy for the remainder of President Obama's first term: "His party's main goal is denying Obama re-election." Thus, there is no way that the Republicans will allow Obama a legislative accomplishment on global warming or energy.

Last December, countries participating in the United Nation's climate summit in Mexico failed to agree on an international treaty that would have required them to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It is unlikely that there will be agreement on binding cuts in greenhouse gases.

President Obama has abandoned legislation that would cap emissions through a carbon market because Republicans consider it a tax on business.  Obama may attempt to bypass Congress by regulating greenhouse gases through federal agencies.  However, there is a proposed bill pending in the Senate that would suspend for two years the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, petroleum refineries, factories, and other "stationary sources." www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/100304_rockefeller.pdf>  Passage is unclear during the lame duck session, but once the Republicans control the House next year, they are expected to push to completely ban EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.


For years, the global warming deniers have engaged in an effective disinformation campaign that undermined efforts to pass a clean energy bill that might have curbed our addiction to oil resulting in cleaner air, more renewable energy, a stronger dollar, and more innovative industries. Even if 998 scientists out of 1,000 agreed that the main cause of the increase in global average temperatures in recent history is not because of any natural cycle -- although natural cycles do exist -- it is because of man, the deniers would probably seize on the two who do not agree. Senator James Inhofe (R. Okl) and Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R. Cal) probably represent the views of global warming debunkers. Senator Inhofe called "the threat of catastrophic global warming the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." And Representative Rohrabacher called the science behind global warming "emotional junk science." Even that eminent scientist Sarah Palin called global warming studies "snake oil science."

The disinformation campaign has had its effect on public opinion.  According to a November 2010 Rasmussen survey <www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/energy_update>, only 38 percent of voters think global warming is caused by human activity, while 45 percent say it’s caused by long-term planetary trends. Just seven percent think there is some other cause for global warming, while 10 percent are not sure. 

The danger to our planet is real. The combination of flooding, heat waves and droughts this past summer were taken by most researchers trained in climate analysis to show that weather extremes are getting worse. And the long-term warming trend over the last century has been well-established. Scientists who study the climate are projecting substantial disruptions in water supplies, agriculture, ecosystems, and coastal communities.

Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?  In the scientific field of climate studies, which includes many disciplines, a consensus can be demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change.  So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer.  “...the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.”  <http://tigger.uic.edu/%7Epdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf>  In other words, more than 95 percent of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly caused by human activities.  But you and I know that Republicans and some energy-state Democrats will focus on the 5 percent who do not accept this consistent, compelling evidence. 


We can expect a continued heads-in-the-sand, do-nothing Congress on global warming for the next two years and possibly beyond.   Congress will fiddle while the earth burns.

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For more info, see <www.globalwarming.com>  and <www.skepticalscience.com>;  Debunking the Oregon Project <www.skepticalscience.com/scrutinising-31000-scientists-in-the-OISM-Petition-Project.html>


Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address stonere@earthlink.net




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BaggerGeorge November 23, 2010 5:53 am (Pacific time)

Yep..I am raping Mother Earth, and I am not using condoms either...


anonymous November 22, 2010 6:31 pm (Pacific time)

why are u supporting the greatest scam in centuries? the rhetoric about wealth redistribution is as dishonest as the fake science: 16 Nov: UK Telegraph: Janet Daley: Greek PM says it at last: carbon taxes are just another way to raise revenue George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister has said that there may need to be new Europe-wide forms of taxation to help pay for the bail-outs that will be needed by the growing number of crashing economies in the euro-zone. His suggestions include “carbon dioxide taxes” which, he says, could provide “important revenues and resouces for funding such a [bail-out] mechanism.” http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/janetdaley/100063854/greek-pm-says-it-at-last-carbon-taxes-are-just-another-way-to-raise-revenue/ 30 Oct: UK Daily Mail: Alex Brummer: COMMENT ALEX BRUMMER: Rocky flight for green taxes Air passenger duty is a nice little earner for the government producing £2billion of tax a year. It also has been an easy hit for successive Chancellor's because it can be disguised as a 'green tax'. But it is not that at all. As Alistair Darling acknowledged in Newcastle this week, the airline industry and travellers are being penalised to help pay for the enormous cost of rescuing rotten banks. 'We need to raise money to pay for some of things we have done ... Northern Rock has cost a lot of money.' ... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1224195/COMMENT-ALEX-BRUMMER-Rocky-flight-green-taxes.html


Mark Greer November 22, 2010 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

Deniers are threatening my kid's futures and therefore as an act of self defense, I support civil war against them. Death by firing squad.


JeffM November 22, 2010 11:42 am (Pacific time)

Government tells us the scientists are right, that carbon fuels are a threat to humanity. It seems to bother no one that government has done nothing to solve the problem. Windmills and solar panels won’t solve the problem. Ethanol won’t solve the problem. Cap and Trade wouldn’t have solved the problem. The only thing that would solve the problem is to develop a new energy source that can actually replace the 24/7 reliability of carbon fuels. Government spent $100 billion for research to identify the problem, but has spent nothing to find a replacement for carbon fuels. Why is this so? Government throws $billions at lucky corporations to build windmills, knowing full well that wind power isn’t reliable enough or scalable enough to come close to replacing carbon fuel energy. The same goes for solar, only to a lesser extent than windmills. Cap and Trade can’t solve the problem because it would make so much money from continued use of carbon fuels that it wouldn’t be able to discontinue use of carbon fuels and survive. If carbon fuels are the threat to humanity that government claims it is, why won’t government save humanity by developing a new energy source that will replace carbon fuels?


Steve November 22, 2010 11:34 am (Pacific time)

DJ there is plenty of so-called "science" coming from both sides of this issue, but the empirical evidence does not support the manmade climate-warming side. It's nothing more than histronic melodrama. Yes I am very concerned about not just my immediate family members, but the welfare of all people, and by pursuing the policies of those who erroneously claim manmade global warming would definitly cause a "real manmade" catastrophe, in my informed opinion.


Anonymous November 22, 2010 9:32 am (Pacific time)

31,427 scientists including 10,000 with PHD's signed a petition saying no to global warming in July 2008. http://www.petitionproject.org The UN IPCC admitted they were wrong about the Himalayan Glaciers melting only after being caught. THen there is climategate. Also, pictures of where they put their thermometers were another embarassment for the IPCC. Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer John P. Holdren (obama's science czar), said we would have global cooling/ice age back in the 70's. I could do this all day. My point is, why do we not wait a few more years, see what more science brings before brining on a piece of legistalion that is not only draconian, but effects the economies of countries already struggling. We waited this long, a few more years is not going to be the end of the world. By the way..the military industrial complex causes more population than any entity on earth, funny nothing is ever mentioned about them huh? See the picture here?


Ralph E. Stone November 22, 2010 7:17 am (Pacific time)

Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse anyone with facts.


Ed Moran November 22, 2010 4:30 am (Pacific time)

Stone attacks Palin. "Eminent scientist". FFS he's a lawyer. Pot/kettle!


Steve November 21, 2010 1:36 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. Ralph Stone it is the voter that has set the policy for the House of Representatives starting next January, as well as the majority of state governors/legislatures where the republicans won over 650 new seats and have the majority of governors. There is considerable differences of opinion about global warming and it's causes. I lean towards those experts who look at the past geologic record which empirically demonstrates that heating and cooling is a natural cycle. These cycles began tens of millions of years ago, but if one wants to see more current records kept by manmade historical record, it's clear that it was considerably warmer 2,000 years ago, then mini-cycles of cooler and warmer climates up until the present. I expect that because so much money (profit) is on the line, the DEQ will attempt something, but will be hollered down. Regarding the percentage of scientists who "feel" climate change is manmade, there simply has not been any real proof, while just the opposite evidence shows that we are cooling. Regardless who is correct, unlikely it's manmade, especially considering the volume of the atmosphere, fifty plus miles high, and what we really put out as manmade compared to natural processes. Needless to say China, India and many other countries would ignore any call for a reduction of the so-called carbon problem, and our economy would suffer. Look at Spain for example, and see how many jobs they lost when they went green. Remember the actor Ten Danson who in 1990 said our oceans would be devoid of all live by 2000 if we did not reduce our energy use? Chicken Little is always around and always wrong.

In 1992, 1700 senior scientists from 71 countries , including 104 Nobel Prize winners (more than half of all laureates alive at the time) signed a document called "World Scientists Warning to Humanity".

Their opening words  were an urgent call to action: "Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future we wish for human society...and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent  if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about."

So, Steve, other than Republican Party talking points, where is your science? 

Here's the thing I don't understand. If you are wrong, do you actually care so little about the lives of your children and grandchildren that you're willing to take the chance on destroying the planet for your own selfish gain, and to hell with them and  every one else?  DJ 


Anonymous November 21, 2010 1:22 pm (Pacific time)

Dear lord Ralph..do you not read? the IPCC is involved in scandals up to their necks. Al gore who invented this thing from the exron scandal, and countries thruout the world recognize this global warming to be a fraud..It was global warming, then ..ah never mind, if you want to get on the fraud bandwagon, enjoy..the global warming scam has been found out, try and keep up with the times. And, obama needs no help from the republicans to keep him out of office, he is doing a fine job himself of making that happen. What I am concerned about is, another george bush. Which may I add, will happen because of your ignorance that there is actaully a two party system...good job, and sorry, but I have no clue why salem-news would post your articles.. In my humble opinion, you are ignorant to the facts that this country really faces. Sorry, I know I am not supposed to put the authors of articles down, but sometimes, maybe it is warranted..


Meme Mine November 21, 2010 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

Real enviros were happy and relieved about climate gate dispensing of any further panic and this, after 24 years of not experiencing any crisis and the growing mass doubt. Do you fading doomers rubber neck car accidents too? No, bad weather is not extreme and my fault now. -Denier science is credible -The IPCC definition of Climate change predicts unstoppable warming ......OR ........no effects at all. -IPCC That explains why all of the publicly funded science organizations endorse the theory. And you can’t see that? Question authority like a real liberal especially when the threat is death for all of our descendents. We need love, not Greenzi windmills. You believers don’t love the planet, you hate humanity it looks like. You doomers threatening my kids act like neocons . This is our Iraq War of lies and fear mongering and if you still think Climate Change is sustainable, YOU are the new denier. I highly resent you believers so flippantly believing in this CO2 mistake that has scared our children and denied them futures. Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate control instead of population control. Nice Job! History will view climate change doomers as fear mongering climate cowards. Get ahead of the curve. I am a Progressive Green Climate Change Denier.

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