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The Cold Earthers In Congress, All Republican

The Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives met yesterday to consider legislation intended to handicap the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to control air pollution. The committee’s Democrats lacked the votes to stop the bill from advancing to consideration by the full House, but they did have the opportunity to offer amendments to the bill.

One of the amendments, offered by Henry Waxman, would have merely acknowledged the best scientific knowledge of our time. The amendment read, “Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that ‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.'”

Not one Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted in favor of this simple statement that Congress is willing to base its policies on the reality that’s been measured and confirmed and reconfirmed, over and over again, over the last generation. The following Republicans on the committee stood on the side of Cold Earther mythology, against science:

Fred Upton
Joe Barton
Cliff Stearns
Ed Whitfield
John Shimkus
Joe Pitts
Mary Bono Mack
Greg Walden
Lee Terry
Mike Rogers
Sue Myrick
John Sullivan
Christopher Murphy
Michael Burgess
Marsha Blackburn
Brian Bilbray
Charles Bass
John Gingrey
Steve Scalise
Robert Latta
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Gregg Harper
Leonard Lance
Bill Cassidy
Brett Guthrie
Pete Olson
David McKinley
Cory Gardner
Mike Pompeo
Adam Kinzinger
Morgan Griffith

13 comments to The Cold Earthers In Congress, All Republican

  • Mark B.

    The reason legislation is appropriate is because the what the EPA is controlling is not air pollution. They have exceeded their mandate, and must be reigned in.

    It’s an excellent public-relations strategy for warmists to associate pollution with emission of CO2. In fact, CO2 is plant food and the very stuff we breathe out of our lungs from the day we are born. It can be argued that emitting too much CO2 would result in an adverse rise in global temperature, but that phenomenon is not pollution. The narrative that it is is only the extension of the decades-old tendency of warmists to suck all the oxygen out of the room as concerns environmentalism. Indeed, the American Lung Assoc. ran ads against California’s Prop. 23- which, if memory serves, showed a coughing child. (I won’t swear to that bit.) That kid and that association should worry for *particulate pollution,* but have no place in the debate over the theory of catastrophic global warming. Muddling particulate pollution and CO2 emissions is just useful to the narrative.

    The warmist narrative on its own is damaging enough without sacrificing all of environmentalism to it. Indeed, Obama is expending political capital on this (Obama does not like to expend political capital on liberal causes) even though he’s sold out his administration to big business and has voluntarily thrown heating assistance under the bus. The warmist President has his priorities out of whack.

    Best,
    Mark

    • Mark, Obama is not expending much political capital on this. He gave up pushing for a climate bill, and the struggle is now in Congress, not with much investment from the White House.

      Saying that carbon dioxide is “plant food” is not a good argument for your claim that carbon dioxide is not pollution. When excessive fertilizer – plant food – enters the water as runoff from agricultural and other sources, it causes dead zones. Now, that fertilizer, when it enters the water, doesn’t kill fish that breathe it in. Instead, it encourages plant growth that then rots and literally (not figuratively, as you use the phrase) sucks the oxygen out of the water. The fertilizer in the water isn’t a direct poison, but it’s a pollutant anyway. That’s how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a form of air pollution.

      • Mark B.

        Green Man,

        I do not mean to discount indirect processes of pollution. However, CO2 in the quantity we’re speaking of as concerns global warming would have no such effect as the oxygen-stealing fertilizer you cite. I’ve not seen anyone assert, warmist or skeptic, that a doubling of CO2 would fail to grow plants, all ideas about negative feedback in nature and the central warming thesis aside. Thus, it is not any kind of pollution that is regulated when the EPA caps carbon emissions. The human environment and the natural environment survive and even prosper by such emissions.

        The posited overall catastrophic effect on world temperatures is far enough removed from the effects of what comes out the smokestacks, uncertain enough, and of such uncertain effects and amount as to merit a classification separate from that of pollution. Associating pollution as we know it- causing cancer and asthma and destroyed natural environments- with CO2 cheapens the term. perhaps the operative bit: The greenhouse effect alone is by the admission of the IPCC no cause for alarm, and the rest of the forecasted rise in temperature is not remotely well-evidenced to rely on.

        Best,
        Mark

        • Mark, marine and terrestrial ecosystems are undergoing massive shifts. Increased numbers and intensity of wildfires, floods, hurricanes, desertification and heat waves are all devastating, deadly results of global warming, which results from higher carbon dioxide levels. For animals, there are catastrophic events like increased coral bleaching. Then there are the consequences of high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels that are part of climate change but not global warming. Ocean acidification at levels that is beginning to make it difficult for many sea animals to form their skeletons is one example. The pollution of the air with carbon dioxide is, in turn, polluting the oceans, making them unlivable for a huge range of animals. This isn’t an uncertain prediction. It’s been measured in the present. I’m amazed at the way that you can discount these dangers.

          As for the IPCC, I’ve read their reports, and the committee certainly certainly does describe, in great detail, cause for alarm coming from greenhouse gas pollution.

          • Mark B.

            When I speak of uncertainty I mean the uncertain question of the amount and often even sign (positive or negative) of the posited feedbacks to the greenhouse effect. I do not question the greenhouse effect itself. When I speak of the IPCC’s opinion, I really should not so simplify; the great dangers of huge temperature increases and sea level rises are attributed to their projections of feedback rather than the much less alarming greenhouse effect.

            As for the “increased numbers and intensity” of all the natural disasters you cite, I cannot seek to address the idea that each is increasing and in response to anthropogenic causes. The most common assertion among these is the idea that hurricanes are on the up and up. A graphic from Warren Meyer’s site illustrates the lack of such a trend:
            http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/08/data-splices.htmlro

            The claim of increased coral bleaching may be examined in this graph, from Pelejero 2005: http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/phvCO2f.png from here: http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/phvCO2f.png There is no correlation between CO2 and ph shown.

            Best,
            Mark

  • Tom

    Look Mark, i don’t know where you got the idea that CO2 “has no effect” (your statement above) when scientists like oh, James Hanson, for example have PROVEN that it is DIRECTLY linked to the warming of the planet. This is an established fact by this time, so you have some catching up to do on your reading (and don’t read the delusional crap that the anti-science Republican party, the corporatists pay bullshitters to write and the morons all point to – when all of it has been thoroughly debunked).

    i linked to a couple good sites up above and there are many many more you can access from there.
    REAL science – the kind that’s tested over and over again – will point you in the right direction. We don’t have time to debate this any more – we have to act soon or it will be too late to mitigate any of the catastrophic effects we’re all seeing right now (all of which have been predicted using the critical parts per million of CO2 in the air as a starting point) – and which will become more pronounced in the years to come.

    Your phrases like “the warmist narative” only shows your bias (not based on scientific fact) and that you don’t understand what’s going on.

    • Mark B.

      Tom,

      Actually, we skeptics nigh-universally acknowledge some warming effect for CO2. (I can’t find where I said CO2 “has no effect”???) What we- although we all hold different views and are unified by common doubt, not positive claims- are skeptical of is most often, as is the case with me, the high positive feedbacks for the greenhouse effect necessitated by the temp-increase figures of alarmists.

      I did read the pages you linked to, but what’s presented is not new to me. I’m not a corporatist (I’m a Progressive.) and I don’t read oil-funded studies- the skeptical community is mostly made up of retired, amateur, and volunteer scientists and statisticians.

      Though great risks often demand swift action, taking the time to determine whether these risks are sound or so great as they are said to be is no less necessary because the asserted catastrophic effects are great.

      Best,
      Mark

  • Mark B.

    Not to take up yet more page space, but I see I erred when posting a couple of links.
    As concerns my claims on hurricanes: http://www.climate-skeptic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/global_running_ace2.jpg from http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/08/data-splices.html
    And the soruce for the graph on ph vs. CO2: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/10/ocean-acidification-chicken-of-the-sea-little-strikes-again/

  • Tom

    http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/16/nature-editorial-into-ignorance-slams-gop-for-vote-to-overturn-an-aspect-of-climate-science/

    Have your read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, Mark? Might wanna check it out before diving head-long into the so-called “skeptics” camp.

  • Mark B.

    Tom,

    I’ve not adopted my position out of ignorance; I am acquainted with alarmist and skeptical arguments. Oreskes’s book, if I remember correctly, (I have not read the book, only a couple praises and critiques) resorts to ad hominem attacks on scientists rather than addressing theory.

    All the best,
    Mark

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