Friday, May 30, 2014

US Chamber of Commerce Concern Trolls on Climate and Jobs

WV Potomac Highlands Windmills 2The US Chamber of Commerce is putting the full force of its polluter-funded war chest behind fighting limits on industrial carbon pollution set to be announced by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday. Paul Krugman dives into their numbers and finds even by the Chamber's biased analysis, the cost of climate action would be just 0.2% of economic growth:
You might ask why the Chamber of Commerce is so fiercely opposed to action against global warming, if the cost of action is so small. The answer, of course, is that the chamber is serving special interests, notably the coal industry — what’s good for America isn’t good for the Koch brothers, and vice versa — and also catering to the ever more powerful anti-science sentiments of the Republican Party.

Finally, let me take on the anti-environmentalists’ last line of defense — the claim that whatever we do won’t matter, because other countries, China in particular, will just keep on burning ever more coal. This gets things exactly wrong. Yes, we need an international agreement to reduce emissions, including sanctions on countries that don’t sign on. But U.S. unwillingness to act has been the biggest obstacle to such an agreement. If we start taking serious steps against global warming, the stage will be set for Europe and Japan to follow suit, and for concerted pressure on the rest of the world as well.

Now, we haven’t yet seen the details of the new climate action proposal, and a full analysis — both economic and environmental — will have to wait. We can be reasonably sure, however, that the economic costs of the proposal will be small, because that’s what the research — even research paid for by anti-environmentalists, who clearly wanted to find the opposite — tells us. Saving the planet would be remarkably cheap.
Remember, this is the same U.S. Chamber of Commerce that has fought every single Obama administration effort to create jobs. Either the US Chamber's sudden concern for jobs is a fraud, or they only care about saving jobs in the polluting industries that fund the Chamber. But you will never hear a reporter point this out, because connecting the dots has a well-known liberal bias.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Men of Big Coal Send Women to Lobby Congress

The coal lobby is sending women to lobby Congress this week. The Women's Mining Coalition includes "companies like Arch Coal Inc. and Cloud Peak Energy Inc.," reports Manuel Quinones of E&E News.

"This group of females really represents such tremendous leadership across the entire mining sector," says the group's president. Does it? Let's take a look at the numbers:
It's the latest reminder that polluting industries are run almost exclusively by rich old white guys.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Marco Rubio's Climate Science Denialism in One Sentence

G.O.P. Rivals Question Rubio’s Ignorance CredentialsThe need for government intervention to solve a huge failure of the free market is incompatible with my political ideology, therefore I refuse to accept that man-made carbon pollution is destroying our climate.

That's what Marco Rubio is trying to get at through his repeated scientific flubbery.

UPDATE 5/15: No, Rubio inventing his own theory about how the climate has always been changing and whatever's going on isn't his polluting funders' fault is not acknowledging climate change.

It's not just that 97% of climate scientists agree that the climate is changing. 97% of climate scientists agree that the climate is changing AND it's being fueled by man-made pollution of carbon and other greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse effect denial is still climate science denial.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

John Oliver: Climate Science Facts Aren't Up For Debate

When John Oliver filled in for Jon Stewart last summer, it revealed an inconvenient truth for fans of The Daily Show: The vacation replacement was funnier than the permanent host.

Now Oliver has his own show on HBO called Last Week Tonight. On Sunday, Oliver sounded like he was about to go after climate science deniers, but his true target was the television bookers who put them in debates that make us all dumber:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ahhh, Spring

When climate science deniers shed their thick winter "it's cold where I am now so warming isn't happening" coats for their lovely summer "all these record heat waves, droughts and wildfires are just a coincidence" plumage.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ABC Wind "Victims" Rebuked as Wind's Winning Streak Rolls On

A true prairie sceneWind's winning streak continues in Massachusetts this week with three big victories - including a particularly embarrassing loss for a self-proclaimed victim of "wind turbine syndrome" whose cause had been promoted by Fox and ABC.

First, a federal judge not only ruled in favor of Cape Wind against Bill Koch's front group, he told it to knock off the frivolous lawsuits:
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging what could become the first offshore wind farm in the United States, ruling that the constitution prohibits the opponents from suing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The plaintiffs — the Town of Barnstable, three local businesses and an ad-hoc opposition group — sued the state in January, saying it illegally pushed electric utility NStar to buy power from the planned Cape Wind farm, the Boston Globe reported. NStar has agreed to buy 27.5 percent of the project’s power.

Judge Richard Stearns of the District Court for Massachusetts dismissed the case Friday and sharply criticized Cape Wind’s opponents for repeatedly bringing lawsuits against it after they lose in court.
Just down the road in Fairhaven this week, a judge ruled the town's wind turbines are perfectly legal, dealing a blow to the local "WindWise" group that promotes wind turbine hypochondria:
A Bristol County Superior Court judge has found in favor of the town of Fairhaven and Fairhaven Wind in the latest lawsuit brought by wind turbine opponents.
And now the real eye-roller. Last October, an ABC News report gave an extremely long, very credulous account of the story of Sue and Edward Hobart. The Falmouth homeowners claimed a wind turbine more than 5 football fields away caused a wide range of mysterious health problems, even though Sue Hobart later admitted that she had suffered from ringing in her ears for "quite a while," but claimed it had gotten worse "since the turbines." The Hobarts filed a six-figure lawsuit against the turbine manufacturer, claiming the turbine hurt the value of their home.

Fox and other conservative outlets immediately seized on the Hobarts' claims to attack wind energy. It went viral with wind hypochondriacs - the original article has over 1,000 comments, including tales of wind turbines causing instantaneous fainting.

But this week, Falmouth ruled against the Hobarts' claims and in the process revealed something not mentioned in any previous reporting:
The Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals declined to call a privately owned wind turbine a nuisance Thursday night, saying that claims of detrimental health effects because of its operation were insufficient.

The turbine at 82 Technology Park Drive in East Falmouth is owned by Notus Clean Energy LLC. Ed and Sue Hobart, formerly of 476 Blacksmith Shop Road, complained last year about the turbine's noise and the subsequent effects on their health. Building Commissioner Eladio Gore found the turbine did not constitute a nuisance, and the Hobarts appealed his ruling to the zoning board.

Zoning Administrator Sari Budrow said the four members of the board who participated in the discussion Thursday night, which was the conclusion of a hearing that began in March, unanimously found the health complaints were not persuasive.

The Hobarts have sold their house and argued the loss they took on the sale was a direct result of the turbine; however, other factors, including mold and radon on the property, also were found to be at work, Budrow said the board determined.
Mold and radon are both very real health threats, unlike easily disproven health claims related to wind turbines. Why didn't the original ABC article investigate whether the Hobarts' health claims were caused by mold or radon? The article never even mentioned them - the words "mold" and "radon" never appear.

Did the Hobarts withhold information about the mold and radon on their property? Or did ABC choose to withhold it for some other reason? In either case, ABC didn't tell viewers the whole story.

ABC should consider retracting its original report. At the very least, it should run an update and explain why viewers didn't hear about mold and radon in the first report.