Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Conservation Alert: Climate Legislation – Rest in Peace (and why)

Posting for: Donnie R. Dann

Volume 15 
Number 1                                                                                                                             
January 2011                                                                                                                     

In the current Congress, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), passed the House of Representatives but never even came up for a vote in the Senate. This inaction took place against a background of: the worst environmental disaster in American history; the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and resulting oil spill in the Gulf. Here are just a few other events from this past summer:

Notwithstanding these tragedies and more, climate legislation appears to be dead for the foreseeable future. Why? 98% of all professional climate scientists recognize global warming is happening and is caused by human activities. Pew Research Center tells us that 4 years ago close to 50% of Americans believed global warming is real and caused by human activity. In October 2010 it is down to 34 %. What accounts for this drop in the face of these world-wide events? Could the following partially explain it?

  • The Center for Responsive Politics reports that during the first six months of 2010 the fossil fuel industry spent $75 million lobbying Congress and outspent environmental organizations by 7 to 1
  • Koch Industries, a giant oil company and the second largest privately-held company in America, contributed $50 million to groups that work to oppose policies and regulations intended to fight global warming, and promote doubt. See Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine
  • Overplaying the East Anglia computer hacking fiasco, where stolen emails from a single research center and concerning only a fraction of available data (hardly enough to overturn the entire body of climate science), portray this as “evidence” that the science of climate change is wrong
  • Alleging ‘Climategate’ to sow further doubt and suggest that the evidence demonstrating global warming is all part of some great hoax
  • Ironically, as a recent study from University of California, Berkeley suggests, the more severe the prediction, the greater the likelihood of disbelief!
This Newsletter may be excerpted, reproduced or circulated without limitations. 

No comments: