WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 4: Plaque outside the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in downtown Washington, DC on May 4, 2015. (Shutterstock/Mark Van Scyoc)
Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy likened President Donald Trump’s regulatory rollback to children getting sick after their mother feeds them too much birthday cake.
“Everybody goes to the president to ask for everything … And he said yes. Oops.” McCarthy told an audience Friday at a Harvard University climate conference. She was referring to Trump’s move earlier this year to nix her decision to raise fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks.
It’s like a “little kid eating birthday cake” and “they’re sick now” because “mom” gave in to their demands, McCarthy said, adding that the auto-industry would soon revolt and ask to have the regulations reinstated.
The auto industry championed Trump’s decision earlier this year to begin rolling back former President Barack Obama’s vehicle emission standards.
Stakeholders have argued the rules place undue burden on auto manufacturers struggling to meet emission standards amid low gas prices and lagging biofuel production. They believe the standards could potentially destroy thousands of jobs.
Chief executives at GM, Ford Motor, Fiat, along with executives at Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and others believe the rule could “threaten future production levels, putting hundreds of thousands and perhaps as many as a million jobs at risk,” the executives told Trump in March.
The president’s move only creates more uncertainty inside an industry that is constantly changing, McCarthy told the audience.
“Technology is changing,” and “the business sector needs certainty,” she explained. “Uncertainty … is not beneficial” for a business sector that must plan production lines decades in advance, she told the forum.
The Greens versus “Big Oil”
by Russell Cook
If you are an enviro-activist with access to lawyers and mega-money who believes that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is caused by evil fossil fuel industries who ignore this harm to humanity to protect their profits, you don’t simply whine about this problem, you file giant lawsuits against those industries.
This already happened in three major global warming nuisance cases: Connecticut v. American Electric Power, Comer v. Murphy Oil, and Kivalina v. Exxon. More recently, New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman joined with 19 or so other state attorneys general to hold ExxonMobil accountable for supposedly knowing about the harm of it for decades while failing to tell its shareholders about it.
However, Schneiderman has suffered setbacks ranging from faulty evidence to withdrawn subpoenas, and the three global warming nuisance cases have fallen apart. The Supreme Court dismissed Connecticut v. AEP on June 20, 2011; Comer v. Murphy Oil came to its final end on March 20, 2012; and the 9th District Court put the final nail in the coffin of Kivalina v. Exxon on September 21, 2012, prompting some legal pundits to wonder if this was the end of climate tort litigation.
But if at first you don’t succeed with winning your global warming nuisance lawsuits, try, try again.
So it was no surprise last week when nearly identical complaints were filed separately in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, People of the State of California v. British Petroleum P.L.C. et al., by San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland city attorney Barbara J. Parker.
These latest twin cases are predictably plagued with the same problems as the previous CAGW court cases. Courtrooms are not the right places to decide whether scientific conclusions are sound, and the far bigger problem is that in order to marginalize any input from skeptic scientists, they must be portrayed as paid shills of the fossil fuel industry. This is arguably political suicide, as it involves reliance on a literally unsupportable accusation promulgated by a small clique of people who’ve been involved in pushing the accusation over the last two decades.
Two of them, reappear – directly and indirectly – in these newest cases: attorney Matt Pawa, who cited this same set of memos in his Kivalina v. Exxon case, and Kert Davies, whose old Ozone Action organization claimed it had “obtained” them back in 1996.
- A New York Times article used as evidence in the complaints, about Harvard-Smithsonian scientist Dr. Willie Soon being paid $1.2 million, cites Kert Davies.
- The complaints cite a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) regarding the accusation that Dr. S. Fred Singer was paid Exxon money to “attack mainstream science.” However, consideration must be given to the facts that 1) UCS revealed their own enslavement to the “reposition global warming” memos in 2015; 2) the UCS report cited in the complaints thanks Kert Davies while citing Ross Gelbspan’s website twice; and 3) the complaints’ wording about “attacks on mainstream science” in regard to Dr. Singer sounds eerily similar to what Ross Gelbspan said in his March 2006 presentation at the Earthlands Retreat Center in Petersham, Massachusetts:
Western Fuels, which is a 400 million dollar coal operation, it was very candid in its annual report. It said it was out to attack mainstream scientists, it hired three scientists who were skeptical of this, phenomenon, Pat Michaels, Bob Balling, Fred Singer. It turned out they paid these three scientists more than a million dollars under the table[.] … [T]hey sent these scientist[s] all over the country to do a lot of media interviews and lectures and appearances, and so forth. We got a copy of the strategy papers for that campaign. And it says specifically that the campaign is designed to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact[.]”
That statement wildly inaccurate. Western Fuels is a non-profit co-op, it had no such declaration in its annual reports, Dr. Singer was never part of that campaign, Michaels and Balling were not sent all over the country, and the so-called strategy statement Gelbspan speaks of was never part of Western Fuels’ short-lived pilot project public relations campaign.
There aren’t just one or two questionable assertions within the “industry-corrupted skeptic climate scientists” accusation; it is besieged with fatal problems. Start with these California cases and work backwards from there; it soon becomes evident that it isn’t “Big Oil” that should be investigated over racketeering to keep their industry alive, but a small clique of enviro-activists facing disappearing income flow if the public lost all faith in the idea of catastrophic man-caused global warming because of what skeptic climate scientists have to say.
Russell Cook’s blog GelbspanFiles.com is a forensic examination of faults in the corruption accusation against skeptic climate scientists, an outgrowth of his original articles here at American Thinker. Facebook and Twitter.
Study: Greens Have a Fat Carbon Footprint
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Willie Soon – a group of Cambridge Conservation Scientists have discovered that greens enjoy the same carbon belching perks as the rest of us, and rarely purchase carbon offsets or make other personal sacrifices such as reducing meat consumption.
Conservationists take nine flights a year, despite knowing danger to environment, study shows
Sarah Knapton, science editor
10 OCTOBER 2017 • 5:52PM
Conservationists may preach about the importance of going green to save the planet, but most have a carbon footprint which is virtually no different to anyone else, a new study has shown.
Scientists as Cambridge University were keen to find out whether being fully informed about global warming, plastic in the ocean or the environmental impact of eating meat, triggers more ethical behaviour.
But when they examined the lifestyles of conservation scientists they discovered most still flew frequently – an average of nine flights a year – ate meat or fish approximately five times a week and rarely purchased carbon offsets for their own emissions.
They were also less green in travelling to work than medics, and kept more dogs and cats. A recent study suggested pets are a hefty ecological burden. It takes more than two acres of grazing pasture to keep a medium-sized dog fed with meat, while the eco-footprint of a cat is similar to a Volkswagen Golf.
Even the study’s four authors – all conservation scientists – admitted that between them they took 31 flights in 2016 and had each eaten two meat dinners in the week before submitting the research.
The abstract of the study;
The environmental footprints of conservationists, economists and medics compared
Author Andrew Balmford, Lizzy Cole, Chris Sandbrook, Brendan Fisher
Many conservationists undertake environmentally harmful activities in their private lives such as flying and eating meat, while calling for people as a whole to reduce such behaviors. To quantify the extent of our hypocrisy and put our actions into context, we conducted a questionnaire-based survey of 300 conservationists and compared their personal (rather than professional) behavior, across 10 domains, with that of 207 economists and 227 medics. We also explored two related issues: the role of environmental knowledge in promoting pro-environmental behavior, and the extent to which different elements of people’s footprint co-vary across behavioral domains. The conservationists we sampled have a slightly lower overall environmental footprint than economists or medics, but this varies across behaviors. Conservationists take fewer personal flights, do more to lower domestic energy use, recycle more, and eat less meat – but don’t differ in how they travel to work, and own more pets than do economists or medics. Interestingly, conservationists also score no better than economists on environmental knowledge and knowledge of pro-environmental actions. Overall footprint scores are higher for males, US nationals, economists, and people with higher degrees and larger incomes, but (as has been reported in other studies) are unrelated to environmental knowledge. Last, we found different elements of individuals’ footprints are generally not intercorrelated, and show divergent demographic patterns. These findings suggest three conclusions. First, lowering people’s footprints may be most effectively achieved via tailored interventions targeting higher-impact behaviors (such as meat consumption, flying and family size). Second, as in health matters, education about environmental issues or pro-environmental actions may have little impact on behavior. Last, while conservationists perform better on certain measures than other groups, we could (and we would argue, must) do far more to reduce our footprint.
Read more (paywalled): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000632071730071X
I strongly suspect many frequent flying greens have a transactional view of climate, they justify personal environmental excess by virtue of the work they are doing. In their minds, any personal excess is likely justified by their efforts to convince the rest of us to make lifestyle sacrifices.
A wind farm engineer I once knew justified buying a diesel guzzling pleasure boat on the grounds of all the good he did, filling the landscape with wind turbines.
Of course, if any greens really wish they had an alternative to flying; there is still time to sign my petition, to ensure that climate scientists have access to all the latest teleconferencing equipment, so they never again have to travel in person to attend a climate conference.