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Republicans Win, Mother Earth LosesRalph E. Stone Salem-News.com
(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-
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/
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/%
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.
For more info, see <www.globalwarming.com> and <www.skepticalscience.com>; Debunking the Oregon Project <www.skepticalscience.com/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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