Obama Readies for Battle: EPA Vs. GOP Global Warming Deniers

December 24, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—The Obama administration armed with scientific facts on the dangers of man-made global warming, is readying for a battle of epic proportions with the anti-science, global warming-denying crew of Republicans poised to take over the majority of the House in January. On one side is scientific report, after scientific report, warning of the catastrophic dangers of unchecked global warming, including massive flooding, deadly storms, drought and food shortages, not to mention the poisonous smog and pollution. On the Republican side, is a blind refusal to accept the existence of man-made climate change, because their big-polluting corporate masters will fight against any government regulations that may eat into their profits, and the environment and the future of our planet be damned. Think of the looming environmental wars, as a battle between those who want to save our country from economic and environmental destruction and those who only care where their next big corporate campaign check is coming from. Amid this toxic political environment, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new set of regulatory curbs on green house gas emissions spewing from power plants and oil refineries.

Many right-wing lawmakers have gone so far, as to call for the elimination of the EPA altogether, leaving clean air and environmental laws to the individual states.

With the death of the Cap and Trade bill, due to successful corporate lobbying with the help of Republicans, there is zero chance of a bill curbing carbon emissions making it through the next Congress, so the only avenue remaining is through increased EPA regulation. And that’s what exactly President Obama has planned.

Last year the EPA found that carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases are pollutants that threaten the public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, paving the way for new laws.

“The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil refineries next year in an attempt to curb global warming.”

“The move, coming on the same day the Interior Department unveiled a plan to protect a broader swath of the nation’s wilderness, demonstrated that the Obama administration is prepared to push its environmental agenda through regulation where it has failed on Capitol Hill, potentially setting up a battle next year with congressional Republicans.” […]

“EPA officials said they would set new performance standards requiring stricter pollution technology for electric utilities and oil refineries, which together account for almost 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.”


But once the new GOP corporate shills take over power in the House, we can expect lots of anti-EPA screeching, attacking the new regulations as costly job killers. And lots of investigations. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), soon to become the Chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has vowed to hold hearings on the global warming “hoax.”

The next two-years sure will be interesting.


10 Responses to “Obama Readies for Battle: EPA Vs. GOP Global Warming Deniers”

  1. Earl_E on December 24th, 2010 9:35 pm

    I don’t think the next two years will be interesting at all. They will look exactly the same as the last 35 years has looked since Exxon first thought about algae biofuels. Someday algae will replace oil, 35 years later, someday.

    If you can’t come to market with your product after 35 years, are you really trying?

  2. caerbannog on December 24th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Folks who want a taste of what’s in store for the next two years should watch this video of one of the world’s leading paleoclimatologists (Penn State’s Dr. Richard Alley) patiently trying to explain Milankovitch cycles to a particularly stupid GOP congresscritter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2m9SNzxJJA&feature=player_embedded

    Dr. Alley may as well have been trying to teach calculus to a cow!

  3. BobB on December 25th, 2010 1:58 am

    De-fund the EPA, very simple task for the new GOP majority to rein in the radical leftest Jackson and her EPA. C02 is a greenhouse and 100% of scientists know this, but it is only one of many variables. Many of these variables and their interactions are not understood. Read about solar particles and the change in the Gulf Stream this year. We cannot go back to the dark ages for the communists propaganda. Yes we need to invest into T&D for new energy sources (and we have put $billions into this cause for decades) but at present day there is no alternative to fossil fuels. Solar, wind and conservation are not enough to maintain competitiveness in the world economy and at best can only supplement a small amount of the energy required for our modern age. If Obama, Holdren and Jackson want to return to the dark ages, they have that right but they do not have the right to return the rest of us.

  4. Ozonator on December 25th, 2010 5:46 am

    It is interesting to note that extremist media outlets have yet to respond to the EPA. Not that they care about Christmas. Being hired liars is only a 9 – 5 job during the regular work week by Americans unwilling to serve in the military, unable to practice science, unable to graduate, engaging in sham marriages, producing few if any children, expecting medical care for themselves and free body parts from others, and TV weather presenters appear to enable pot farmers and drug mules.

  5. CareerEco — Blog — EPA Adopts New Rules For Power Plants - myCentralOregon.com on December 25th, 2010 1:35 pm

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  6. joe on December 25th, 2010 8:08 pm

    when is scientific theory a settled issue? There are issues with the global warming theory, not debating them, and demonizing them is not science at all, its a religion.

    Professor Emiritus Hal Lewis Resigns from American Physical Society

    The following is a letter to the American Physical Society released to the public by Professor Emiritus of physics Hal Lewis of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
    Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis
    From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
    To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society
    6 October 2010
    Dear Curt:
    When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).
    Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
    How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
    It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
    So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:
    1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
    2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
    3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
    4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.
    5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.
    6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.
    APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
    I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
    I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
    Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

  7. Samoht on December 26th, 2010 1:56 pm

    Prof. Hal Lewis is a geriatric (almost 90 now) who has forgotten his own published scientific work and books.
    In the 1990s at a time when climate science was less certain than it is today Dr Lewis wrote a book called Technological Risk in which he states an opinion in line with the mainstream scientific view that fossil fuels are contributing to climate change. In 1992 Dr. Lewis wrote “All models agree that the net effect will be a general and global warming of the earth; they only disagree about how much. None suggest that it will be a minor effect, to be ignored while we go about our business.” He writes further demonstrating considerable understanding of the topic “the bottom line is that the Earth will be substantially warmed by the accumulation of man-made gases mainly carbon dioxide… The only option in the long run is to decrease the amount of waste gases in the atmosphere.”
    After Hal Lewis’s rant against the APS the organization has issued a strongly worded reply.

    The truth of climate change is all in the data:http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    This so called “debate” about global warming is nothing but a war fought by ultra right wing nut cases who simply can not cope with the reality that the freedom of the Wolves (Industry) means death to the Lambs (environment) unless we come to intelligent means of regulating our behavior in such ways as to establish a steady state sustainable economy that is not living on time borrowed from the destruction of the environment and of once-off resources.

  8. Vicki on December 26th, 2010 7:44 pm

    All the work that President Obama, Democrats and the EPA puts in will be for the present and future survival of this planet and people. The GOP are not as stupid as they seem. They are just so corrupt with corporate lobbyists and corporate goals for greed that they will do great harm to this country without batting an eye or giving a darn.

  9. Mark Anderson on December 26th, 2010 9:24 pm

    Republicans never let facts get in the way of their views. 52% of them believe in Creationism, 41% believe that Obama is a Muslim, and 34% believe that he isn’t even an American. They are just very ignorant and it’s their god given right to remain that way.

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