Archive for greenhouse gases

Mitt Romney worked to combat climate change as governor. "It was almost as if a switch was flipped."


First things first: If you missed Willard's visit to an Iowa cafe, and the owner's, erm, disenchanted reaction to it, please read this now.

Now on to more Etchscapades. Did you know that Romney's gubernatorial record on the environment "has little in common with his positions in the presidential race"? Surprise! Imagine that. People who knew him in Massachusetts say he pulled yet another switcheroo that nearly gave them whiplash.

So what else is new?

Douglas Foy, Romney's former "supersecretary" who oversaw environmental, energy, transportation and housing policy, was appointed by Mitt to the delight of environmentalists, because he was the chief executive of the Conservation Law Foundation and was known for his intolerance of polluters.

But true to form, Mitt flip flopped faster than Half Gov Barbie McLipschmutz quits jobs.

Via the L.A. Times:

Foy's team crafted the 2004 Climate Action Plan, and with Romney's blessing led the effort to draft the country's first interstate compact to reduce greenhouse gases, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI.

But by late 2005, when the compact awaited his signature, Romney decided Massachusetts would not participate. Romney determined that RGGI's cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be onerously expensive for state businesses, Cass said.

Massachusetts did later join RGGI when Deval Patrick succeeded Romney as governor, and it went on to create 16,000 regional jobs and pump $1.6 billion into the economy, according to a November 2011 report by the Analysis Group, a Boston consultancy.

So much for GOP arguments that regulating polluters would cause unemployment and/or hurt the economy.

A week after his RGGI decision, Romney's administration adopted a provision that let power plants pay a low fee for emitting harmful toxins like mercury, rather than cleaning them up. Both decisions occurred just as Romney announced he would not seek a second term and began preparations for the 2008 presidential race.

"It was almost as if a switch was flipped in December 2005," said Rob Sargent, Boston-based energy program director for Environment America. "We always suspected he might have higher aspirations, and that's when his constituents started saying he must be trying to appeal to people other than Massachusetts voters."

David Jenkins, vice president of ConservAmerica, a Republican environmental group, said, "We have heard a lot of campaign trail stuff. We have heard whatever a particular group wants to hear from him, and when you do that, you get yourself into what I call the panderers' box."

The panderers' box. Love it. But why does it sound so familiar?

The moral of the story:


Federal report: Steep rise in greenhouse gases


The very shortsighted, very backward, very obstructionist GOP wants to eliminate the EPA, Rick Perry is struggling to remember the words "the Department of Energy", and it's all we could do to convince the State Department and President Obama that the tar sands pipeline would be "game over" for our planet, and now a new report comes out that should make them, and us, all queasy.

Via the L.A. Times:

Greenhouse gases are building at a steep rate in the atmosphere, the nation's top climate agency reported, renewing concern that global warming may be accelerating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which indexes the key gases known to trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere, rose 1.5% from 2009 to 2010, the agency reported.

The reported rise comes on top of an analysis by the Energy Department last week saying that global emissions of carbon dioxide, a key, long-lived greenhouse gas, had jumped by the biggest increment on record in 2010. The figures showed a 6% increase from the year before, a steeper rise than worst-case scenarios that had been laid out by climate experts four years before. [...] Carbon dioxide is the biggest contributor, the longest-lived and most abundant of the gases.

So remember, when you're out and about, don't breathe.


Koch brothers now at heart of GOP power


I'll start by stating the obvious: Corporate America is run by greedy, power-hungry fools whose own self interest trumps the health and welfare of their own country every time. Profit over people.  Lawmakers are bought and paid for, and it's getting worse, not better. Their lack of foresight is appalling, considering most of them must have children of their own, or know and care deeply for a few, and have eyes that can't avoid glimpses of filthy water, particulate-laden air, melting glaciers, and dying wildlife.

That noise you hear is me wheezing and hacking as I try to breathe here in Los Angeles.

Today, along with the incessant fawning and drooling all over St. Ronnie that saturates the Tee Vee Machine, this story should make you just sick enough to cut down on some of that Super Bowl junk food:

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch no longer sit outside Washington's political establishment, isolated by their uncompromising conservatism. Instead, they are now at the center of Republican power, a change most evident in the new makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Wichita-based Koch Industries and its employees formed the largest single oil and gas donor to members of the panel, ahead of giants like Exxon Mobil, contributing $279,500 to 22 of the committee's 31 Republicans, and $32,000 to five Democrats.

Nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded advocacy group — Americans for Prosperity — to oppose the Obama administration's proposal to regulate greenhouse gases. Of the six GOP freshman lawmakers on the panel, five benefited from the group's separate advertising and grass-roots activity during the 2010 campaign.... A top early goal: restricting the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the Kochs' core energy businesses.

Now go drown yourself in beer. After reading this, you earned it.


Poll-itics: Just 34% of likely US voters oppose regulating greenhouse gases


Most Americans are smart, caring, and logical about this. Climate change deniers are, in a word, idiots:

Remarkably, just 34 percent said they oppose the plan, while 60 percent were in favor, according to Bloomberg. [...]

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 68 percent, said the government must "do more to hold corporations accountable for their pollution." [...]

This video was published to YouTube by the NRDC on August 19, 2010.