There are many differing views about the effects of climate change, there are strong arguments about why Kyoto Protocols won’t work (mostly because if economic development is pitted against environmental goals, guess which loses). But there is NO serious scientific dissent about the fact of climate change and that we had probably better do something about it.
The Climate Fix is a great book by a rigorous scientist, Roger Pielke, who has logged lots of hours on behalf of crafting public policy. It’s a great place for beginners to uncover the harm done to science on behalf of the varying political views. While Pielke makes a compelling argument against cap and trade policies (as useless and ultimately beside the point), he also makes a sober, compelling case for decarbonizing the global economy as soon as possible, for all sorts of good reasons, including erring on the side of caution. He proves that this goal is not at odds with economic development.
As to Gingrich, Santorum’s and Paul’s statements about abolishing the EPA, that’s a painfully stupid idea. It’s the EPA that found the link between shale drilling and toxins in people’s well water in Wyoming. It took them years, during which the industry worked as it wished and simply denied the charges, but it was the EPA that was able to fund and get access to the resources necessary to do a rigorous study.
Ron Paul has been saying we should abolish the EPA and that those who may be harmed by the fossil fuel industries can just sue them. But that’s laughably ignorant. These are retirees, farmers, middle-class working people with no ability to go toe to toe financially with any of these industries. What would have happened in Louisiana without an EPA? What if families were left to negotiate with BP on their own behalf? There is a place for government, and it is on the side of protecting people. It’s on the side of preserving the “precautionary principle”, no matter how ‘anti-business’ that might be. Going slow is not necessarily ‘anti-business’ anyway.
Gingrich is quoted in this article:
“Environmentalists,” Gingrich added, “have been infiltrated over the last 40 years by people on the left who are against business and against local control and they use the environment as an excuse.”
But I just got this today from State Legislator Mike O’Brien:
After years of delay and excuses, House and Senate Republicans pushed through a bill (H.B. 1950) dealing with the burgeoning Marcellus Shale industry. The governor is expected to quickly sign it.
To no one’s surprise, they crafted the bill in 24 hours and put it up for a vote, leaving little time for the public to review its contents or comment about it.
Also not surprising, the legislation is a sweetheart deal for gas drillers. The GOP bill imposes a fee, not a tax. The fee is about the lowest in the nation. It also sets the stage to allow drillers to go around local zoning ordinances designed to protect communities and water supplies. And what little the state will get for a new “Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund” will be divided among programs that include more giveaways to drillers.
For Pennsylvanians, it fails to effectively address the real issues around drilling — protecting our air and water, protecting local zoning rights, and having the drillers pay a fair tax on the valuable resource they are extracting from our ground. These drillers already pay such a tax in every other state with natural gas drilling, and a reasonable tax on drillers has strong support in poll after poll.
Sadly, this GOP “compromise” will not do enough to help state taxpayers and prevent a recurrence of the scarred land and polluted waters that Pennsylvania still suffers as a result of inadequate regulation of the coal industry long ago. I voted NO.
Note where he says it “sets the stage to allow drillers to go around local zoning ordinances designed to protect communities and water supplies”, exactly the charge against environmentalists leveled by Gingrich.
And here’s Santorum on the cause of the Recession:
“We went into a recession in 2008. People forget why. They thought it was a housing bubble. The housing bubble was caused because of a dramatic spike in energy prices that caused the housing bubble to burst,” Santorum told the audience. “People had to pay so much money to air condition and heat their homes or pay for gasoline that they couldn’t pay their mortgage.”
Ohhhh, I guess everybody else in the entire country got it wrong.
About the clusterfuck that is the Keystone Pipeline, don’t let me commence…