Daily Archives: August 30, 2014

Mainstream Green Is Still Too White – COLORLINES

by Brentin Mock

Tuesday, April 2 2013, 6:30 AM EST Tags: Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Global WarmingLast year was the hottest on record for the continental United States, and it wasn’t an outlier. The last 12 years have been the warmest years since 1880, the year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began tracking this information. And climate scientists predict that the devastating blizzards, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires we’ve been experiencing lately will worsen due to climate change.

In many ways these punishing weather events feel like Mother Nature seeking revenge for our failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the primary cause of global warming. Despite abundant evidence, the U.S. government has yet to pass a law that would force a reduction in these emissions.

During his first term, President Obama did make climate change a priority, both in his campaign and in office. The American Clean Energy and Security Act that Congress produced passed through the House in June 2009 by a narrow margin. Yet the bill never reached a vote in the Senate, and it died quietly.

Environmentalists have been flummoxed ever since. One prominent cause-of-death theory says that large mainstream (and predominantly white) environmental groups failed to mobilize grassroots support and ignored those who bear a disproportionate burden of climate change, namely poor people of color.

With Obama in for a second term and reaffirmed in his environmental commitments, climate legislation has another chance at life. Now, observers are wondering if mainstream environmentalists learned the right lessons from the first climate bill failure and how they’ll work with people of color this time around.

Anatomy of a Conflict

To hear some environmental leaders tell it, their defeat wasn’t due to a lack of investment in black and brown people living in poor and working class communities, but to an over-investment in Obama. For example, Dan Lashof, climate and clean air director for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), has blamed the president for having the audacity to push health-care reform and he’s pointed the finger at green groups for being too patient with Obama.

…(read more)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Doctors warn of looming Gaza health crisis

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Separate doors for poor and rich spark US debate

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Premiers endorse climate change plan – The Globe and Mail

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, left, listens to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Thursday, August 21, 2014 at the premier’s office in Quebec City. (Clement Allard/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ontario and Quebec have seized the leadership of a long-promised Canadian energy strategy, shifting the focus to climate change and clean energy from the pipeline agenda.

At the closing session of their annual conference on Prince Edward Island, premiers released the outline of the Canadian Energy Strategy, which every one of them, including Quebec, has endorsed.

For Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Quebec’s Philippe Couillard this is a victory – the plan puts as much emphasis on addressing climate change as it does on the transport and transmission of energy.

Mr. Couillard had indicated he would support the strategy only if climate change and clean energy were included. At the closing news conference, he thanked his colleagues for their collaboration, noting they “made the essential link between environment and energy strategy.”

He also announced he will play host to a climate-change summit next spring in Quebec and all of the premiers are invited.

For several years, the premiers were at odds over the strategy, which was being led by then-Alberta premier Alison Redford, who emphasized the oil sands and transporting oil and gas along pipelines.

At the premiers’ meeting in Halifax two years ago, British Columbia’s Christy Clark refused to participate in a national strategy because of a dispute with Ms. Redford over the Northern Gateway pipeline project. That was eventually resolved – but Pauline Marois, then Quebec’s separatist premier, had refused to sign on.

Change in leadership – Ms. Marois and Ms. Redford are both gone now – has dramatically altered the dynamic around the premiers’ table.

For Ms. Wynne, the agreement reached Friday is “probably the most significant thing that came out of this meeting.”

“I think the fact of having a federalist premier [from Quebec] at the table to take part in something as significant as an energy strategy is a huge step forward,” she said.

…(read more).

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Blog: The High Cost of Climate-Change Politics

August 30, 2014 By Anthony J. Sadar
“Environmental science is a contentious and intensely politicized field,” as the late Michael Crichton correctly noted in his 2004 best-selling novel State of Fear. And, without a doubt, one particular subset of environmental science – climate science – has been intensely politicized.

Today, the politics of change is investing heavily in a climate of fear. Based on faulty climate model predictions, the Administration is employing social engineering to grind ahead with a program to crush coal use. Coal and other fossil fuels relied upon for power generation are proffered as scary because they supposedly cause “dirty weather” and other global warming hobgoblins to materialize around the world.

But, although the administration defers to the “settled,” “consensus” view that increased carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will cause global temperatures to rise dramatically, that rise has dramatically not happened for more than 15 years. Nor is it likely to happen any time in the next few decades, because water vapor, ocean circulations, and solar activity play a dominant role in climate regulation.

Regardless, essential power-generation jobs in the U.S. will be lost over the Administration’s obsessive actions based on the dubious climate claim. And, so will relief for those in desperate need of low-cost abundant fossil-fuel energy worldwide.

Right now, there’s a billion-dollar bonanza in government funding for climate-change research, education and reeducation, engineering and reengineering, and state and local government programs. Heaps of public dollars are ready for the taking for anyone willing to help the feds continue generating and fine-tuning the gloomy “gospel” that preaches “The end is near for low-cost, home-grown, abundant energy use.” Furthermore, financing is readily available for subsequently fixing a climate problem that doesn’t exist with solutions that don’t work.

In a world so full of contemporary tangible tragedies – abject poverty, barbarous invaders, cold-hearted tyrants, ethnic and religious persecution, swelling terrorism – it’s a sad curiosity that so much effort and other-peoples-money is spent on international negotiations to fix the global climate. Consider that the President’s climate and energy team, which participates in such negotiations, includes the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of State with the State Department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and military advisors, among others. That’s a lot of fire power for an ethereal enemy.

If only the nation’s tremendous capital and good-will could continue to be directed toward helping deliver the embattled citizens of the world from real enemies like ISIS, then maybe real progress can be made in solving real crises.

But, it seems that all that can be offered to the truly needy here and abroad is pious platitudes, because the ideology of the comfortable takes precedence. And, taxpayers should know that beaucoup bucks are being shoveled into the climate-change cause, not because it is a serious frightening possibility, but because it is politically expedient.

Anthony J. Sadar, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, is author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic’s Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books).

“Environmental science is a contentious and intensely politicized field,” as the late Michael Crichton correctly noted in his 2004 best-selling novel State of Fear. And, without a doubt, one particular subset of environmental science – climate science – has been intensely politicized.

Today, the politics of change is investing heavily in a climate of fear. Based on faulty climate model predictions, the Administration is employing social engineering to grind ahead with a program to crush coal use. Coal and other fossil fuels relied upon for power generation are proffered as scary because they supposedly cause “dirty weather” and other global warming hobgoblins to materialize around the world.

…(read more).

Professor Stiglitz on inequitable tax system

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Stiglitz.Reforming Taxation White Paper

StiglitzEXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This white paper outlines concrete policy measures that can restore equitable and sustainable economic growth in the United States, in the context of the country’s recurring budgetary crises. Effective policies are within our grasp, because these budgetary crises are the result of political and not economic failings. Tax reform in particular offers a path toward both resolving budgetary impasses and making the kinds of public investments that will strengthen the fundamentals of the economy. The most obvious reform is an increase in the top marginal income tax rates – this would both raise needed revenues and soften America’s extreme and harmful inequality. But there are also a variety of other effective possible reforms related to corporate taxation, the estate and inheritance tax, environmental taxes, and ensuring that the government gets full value when it sells public assets. This white paper describes the gravity of the economic situation in the United States, but also shows that there is a way out.

Stiglitz_Reforming_Taxation_White_Paper_Roosevelt_Institute.pdf

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