I support Gina McCarthy to be the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator. When her Senate confirmation hearing was held on Thursday, the debate among senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee wasn’t really about her qualifications. It was about global warming. It was about whether or not we are going to listen to the leading scientists of this country who tell us we’re facing a planetary crisis.
It was clear at the hearing that Senator John Barrasso, from coal-producing Wyoming, does not want the EPA to address the global warming crisis. What he wants is for us to continue doing as little as possible as we see extreme weather disturbances: super storms, floods and heat waves all over the world.
It was clear at the hearing that Senator Jim Inhofe, from oil-producing Oklahoma, does not want the EPA to curb climate change. What Senator Inhofe has written and talked about is his belief that global warming is one of the major hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people. He blames Al Gore, the United Nations, and the Hollywood elite. He didn’t dispute that at the hearing. In fact, when I asked him about it, his conspiracy theory thickened. “I would add to that list MoveOn.org, George Soros, Michael Moore, and a few others,” he said.
So that is the issue. Do we agree with Senator Inhofe that global warming is a “hoax” and that we do not want the EPA, the Department of Energy or any other agency of the federal government to address that issue? Or do we agree with the overwhelming majority of scientists who tell us that that we must act boldly and aggressively to protect the future of this planet?
That’s the real issue at stake in this debate and that’s the reason I’m supporting Gina McCarthy. That is why I want the EPA to be vigorous in protecting our children and future generations from the horrendous crisis that we face from global warming. That is why I have introduced legislation to tax carbon and methane greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded for the continental United States. More than 24,000 new record highs were set in the U.S. alone. It was the hottest year in recorded history in New York; Washington, DC; Louisville, Kentucky; even my home city of Burlington, Vt., and other cities across the country.
Last year’s drought – affecting two-thirds of the United States – was the worst in half a century, contributing to extraordinary wildfires burning more than 9 million acres of land, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Heat waves and droughts are not limited to the U.S. Australia, for instance, experienced a four-month heat wave with severe wildfires, record temperatures, and torrential rains and floods causing $2.4 billion in damages, according to The New York Times.
Global warming is also resulting in extreme weather disturbances of all kinds. NOAA’s Climate Extremes Index tracks extreme temperatures, drought, precipitation and tropical storms. It reported that 2012 set yet another distressing record for the most extreme climate conditions recorded.
Ronald Prinn, director of MIT’s Center for Global Change Science, concluded that what we have heard recently from scientists is that their earlier projections regarding global warming were wrong. That in fact they underestimated the problem and that the conditions that they were worried about will likely be worse than what they had originally thought. “There is significantly more risk than we previously estimated … [which] increases the urgency for significant policy action.”
Global warming is real. It is not a hoax. It is a planetary crisis but one that we have the knowledge and technology to address.
Purloined in it’s entirety from here: The ‘Hoax’ where you can read more of Mr. Saunders writing.
Without holding a single hearing, Lieberman’s committee wants to pass the “Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act of 2012” which strips the independence of a raft of federal agencies: Everything from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and National Labor Relations Board.
Among its many provisions, the law would require each of the agencies that Congress quite deliberately established as independent to submit all proposed rules to The White House for “vetting” before they could be published. According to a report buried election day afternoon on a back page of Tuesday’s New York Times, the bill would “introduce delays to an already slow process, and would give banks and businesses yet another place to lobby for favorable treatment.”
The Times also notes correctly that bad reviews from The White House would enable industry groups to use an administration’s objections in mounting legal challenges to rules that are eventually put in place.
Lieberman’s bill to defang regulatory agencies has bi-partisan support in the committee – perhaps not entirely surprising given that its Republican members include Tom Coburn, outgoing Senator Scott Brown, John McCain and Rand Paul. But Carl Levin also is a member as is Hawaii’s Daniel Akaka, yet they are supporting the measure even though they should know better.
And finally, New Rule: Since President Obama seems to be having so much trouble defending his record on the economy, the next debate must be held in a mall. Any mall. It doesn’t matter. They’re all packed. There’s one not 100 yards from this studio, with dancing waters and a choo-choo train, and a shirtless gay kid out in front of Abercrombie & Fitch. The parking garage is always full, the Cheesecake Factory is working overtime, and Lady Gaga’s new perfume — with its delightful scent of blood and semen — is flying off the shelves at Nordstrom’s.
What I’m saying is, I know it’s campaign season, but can we all stop acting like the American economy is in complete shambles, where no one has a job or a place to live, and we’re all doing our laundry in the river? (wild audience applause)
Thank you. I mean, folks, I travel this country constantly, all four corners of it. And everywhere I go, I’m always standing in line for 20 minutes to buy hair gel, or batteries, or nipple moisturizer. Traffic is a bitch everywhere. Yes, there are people sleeping on the sidewalk, but that’s to buy an iPhone just like the one they already have! (audience applause)
It just doesn’t feel like Obama has ruined America. Republicans, you know, they used to talk a lot about this thing called the stock market, and how it helped not just the rich, but middle class folks, whose pensions and 401(k)’s depended on it. Well, now they never seem to mention the stock market. Perhaps, because under President Blackenstein, the Dow has doubled. Or as Republicans call it, “devastating economic news”. (audience applause)
Now, there certainly still is poverty in our country, but it’s obviously among the underclass that you don’t see — the very people that today’s Republicans couldn’t give a shit about! So I don’t understand why they’re all so upset about the economy. Except, of course, it’s their big issue. So they have to pretend that America is a rotting compost heap where people are eating cat food and wiping their ass with the pennysaver. (audience applause)
And weirdly, Obama kinda has to pretend that too. Because if he doesn’t, then he’s “out of touch”. So we all wind up living with this fictional picture of America that actually would be more appropriate for the year before Obama took office. Remember 2008? (audience applause) Yeah, I do.
That’s when Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the markets froze, and they were measuring GM for a pumpkin lot. And when you opened your bank statement, you saw the drowned Japanese girl from The Ring, and then you died.
And yes, I am saying we can keep blaming Bush for that. It’s the same as blaming rats for the Black Plague. Just because you’re sick of hearing historians say it, doesn’t mean it stopped being true. (wild audience applause)
George Bush left a flaming pile of dog shit on the White House steps, and now it’s gone, and Mitt Romney has a hell of a nerve running on the idea that “I’m going to fix the economy by restoring the policies of the party that destroyed it”.
12 million jobs. That’s what Mitt Romney promises. 12 million. A number that’s just… waaaaay up there. (reaches into ass to pull it out) Oh, there it is, wow! There it is, 12 million! (wild audience applause) Way up there! Hoo, boy, I feel better.
And about 45% of American voters hear that and say, “I like. Me want good now.”
People are disappointed in the economy? Sorry. I was disappointed in Prometheus. You don’t like the way the stewardess landed the plane after werewolves ate the flight crew? Stop electing werewolves.
abcnews.go.com – After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program. Ryan had denied doing so as recently as Wednesday, when he spoke to ABC’s Cinci…
The south and west sides of Kaua’i have been home to the world’s largest open-air test fields of genetically modified organisms for nearly two decades. Taking over the land once dominated by a thriving sugarcane industry, DuPont, Pioneer, Syngenta, Dow, BASF and Monsanto now crowd the tiny island’s once pristine landscape with fields of experimental genetically modified crops including corn, soy and sunflowers treated with a variety of experimental pesticide cocktails. Kaua’i's idyllic climate allows the biotech companies to get 3-4 planting seasons in every year.
For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.
A person who worked for Mitt Romney at the consulting firm Bain and Co. in 1977 remembers him with mixed feelings. “Mitt was … a really wonderful boss,” the former employee says. “He was nice, he was fair, he was logical, he said what he wanted … he was really encouraging.” But Bain and Co., the person recalls, pushed employees to find out secret revenue and sales data on its clients’ competitors. Romney, the person says, suggested “falsifying” who they were to get such information, by pretending to be a graduate student working on a project at Harvard. (The person, in fact, was a Harvard student, at Bain for the summer, but not working on any such projects.) “Mitt said to me something like ‘We won’t ask you to lie. I am not going to tell you to do this, but [it is] a really good way to get the information.’ … I would not have had anything in my analysis if I had not pretended.
“It was a strange atmosphere. It did leave a bad taste in your mouth,” the former employee recalls.