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Tilting at Windmills

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June 26, 2006
By: Christina Larson

SUPREME COURT TO TAKE ON GLOBAL WARMING CASE... From the AP:

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether the Bush administration must regulate carbon dioxide to combat global warming, setting up what could be one of the court's most important decisions on the environment.

The decision means the court will address whether the administration's decision to rely on voluntary measures to combat climate change are legal under federal clean air laws.

"This is the whole ball of wax. This will determine whether the Environmental Protection Agency is to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and whether EPA can regulate carbon dioxide from power plants," said David Bookbinder, an attorney for the Sierra Club.

Bookbinder said if the court upholds the administration's argument it also could jeopardize plans by California and 10 other states, including most of the Northeast, to require reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles.

UPDATE: Also today, business as usual in Washington was thrown a wrench by severe weather patterns -- torrential rains that flooded major roads; caused a mudslide near the Capitol Beltway; shut down several Metro stations; closed the downtown HQs of the Departments of Justice, Commerce, and the IRS; and forced many Federal workers to take the day off. Christina Larson 12:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

Why do I get this sinking feeling ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 26, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that this whole Global Warming thing has been concocted by the Islamonazis and their fellow travellers, the secular humanists, to destroy American capitalism and force us to live without air conditioning and SUVs! And once they have our A/C and SUVs, then the terrorists really will have won!

Posted by: Republican Psycho on June 26, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Just because Bush said in the 2000 campaign that he would do this means nothing. As long as there is a social scientist in Britain that says "Don't worry, be happy!", there is nothing to be done!

Long live our friends the Saudis!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 26, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

The sierra club lawyer overstates the importance of the case. This is merely a question of what the law does, without any constitutional implications. Regardless of how the supreme court interprets it, it can be changed by an ordinary act of congress. With republicans controlling both houses, we can count on responsible legislation that won't utterly destroy commerce.

PS: Where's the Sierra club thanking Bush for setting aside the biggest wildlife reserve ever, as Kevin wrote about? Nowhere. Typical.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 26, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

SUPREME COURT TO TAKE ON GLOBAL WARMING CASE

Good decision by the Roberts court. As Richard Lindzen points out, there is no consensus on global warming. While liberal "scientists" try to push the propaganda global warming is happening, conservatives have equally as much evidence proving the liberals are wrong. Hopefully, the Roberts court will agree with me that global warming is nothing more than a liberal fantasy.

Link

"More recently, a study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words global climate change produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it."

Posted by: Al on June 26, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

The fix is in. Stand by for stormy hot weather.

Posted by: Hostile on June 26, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Al's WSJ link debunked here.

Posted by: Super G on June 26, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Scalia, Thomas and Roberts will rule emissions should be allowed to increase. Need to hasten Armageddon any way possible.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 26, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk:

Asking Congress to statutorily choose to regulate CO2 is like asking Congress to statutorily regulate farting.

You don't use plebiscites to address scientific question -- which is precisely why the Dover school board got their asses kicked on Intelligent Design. "72% of American voters believe the Earth is round -- therefore it is!"

The EPA's mandate already exists. It's up to experts in the field -- not Joe Citizen -- to decide which problems to prioritize.

This case cuts precisely into the nature of the EPA's public mandate -- and the use of carefully studied scientific consensus -- not interest group manipulated public pressure -- to drive regulation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 26, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Never let a bunch of old folks decide an issue so important to the future. Let's see how Roberts, the youngest and a father of small children, decides this one.

Pray they don't decide that the Feds CAN'T regulate CO2, only that they NEED NOT if they don't want to.

Meanwhile, on the validity of Al Gore's arguments to Goerge Stephanopolous, see here, "Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip Sliding Away."

Posted by: Mimikatz on June 26, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it."

Al, don't count your chickens just yet. Benny Peiser may have let his Global Warming denialist zeal get the better of his methodology on this one:


    "Now, however, Tim Lambert has gotten Peiser to cough up the goods the 34 (now, for some mysterious reason, 33) scientific abstracts that cast doubt on anthropogenic global warming. Tim is inviting readers to go through the abstracts, and record their own conclusions. My take after reading them: the claim that Peisers 33 abstracts reject or doubt the view is completely unsustainable. Theres one undoubted rejection of the anthropogenic case (no. 27) but it comes from that well-known arbiter of peer-reviewed scientific neutrality, the Ad Hoc Committee on Global Climate Issues of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists."

Posted by: cyntax on June 26, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hi Al,

You are ridiculously wrong as usual. Why do you even bother posting?

Its pretty clear that the main industries contributing to global warming have been working very hard to muddy the waters on it for years, much like the tobacco industry on lung cancer. In fact its a fine American tradition to pick the most incurious people to run American companies into the ground by fighting technological insight into the nature of their business.

Al you are tiresome.

To the Montly editors. Isn't it time you guys did some investigation into your IP logs to identify your trolls. Especially with groups like netvocates becoming more mainstream. If you want a forum with honest discourse you are going to need to adopt a comment ratings system, otherwise guys like Al will continue to stick their tongue out with "BLLLLPPHPPHPH, No it's not!" on every progressive topic you present. These comments erode the value of your chat community.

Given that trolling is now an officially advertised business, rather than a volunteer system, don't you guys at the Monthly think its time to take back the dollars you are giving away to professional trolls. If you establish a karma based community you will have a more valuable chat market as well as having a clearly defined aftermarket for your digital ideas.

BTW there's quite a story to be told about the cultivation of agitprop activists on the republican side of the house if you guys want to do some investigation.

Posted by: patience on June 26, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

It wouldn't be raining like this out here if Al Gore was president.

Posted by: dnc on June 26, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

You are ridiculously wrong as usual. Why do you even bother posting?

To get you to respond. Ignore the Al-bot.

When does the Supreme Court address the One True Issue of our times - namely, does money have more rights than people, or doesn't it? I know what the GOP believes...

Posted by: craigie on June 26, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

patience:

I couldn't possibly disagree with you more. I have severe doubts about the so-called paid troll phenomenon. None of the trollish regulars here seem professional enough to fill that bill -- and human perversity alone completely satisfies Occam's Razor on this issue IMHO.

A ratings system would turn WM into a Kos klone and degrade the discourse the opposite (and more insidious) way: By fostering groupthink among posters who want bragging rights for their comments.

Yuck.

Personally, I like having trolls around. They're fun to rebut and they keep our wits sharpened.

If this place becomes another liberal K-lubhouse, I'm outta here ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 26, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

This is not about global warming, not directly. There is a school of conservative thought that government agencies have no constitutional authority to regulate business. That the SEC, the EPA and similar regularatory agencies aren't legal. Janice Rogers Brown, Pricilla Owen and other justices (like Scalia and Thomas) are likely to interpret based on these arguments.

This is what the Alito nomination was all about -- that he would be pro-business to the point of voting to nullify the EPA. And I'm not sanguine about the chances here. With Alito, Robert, Thomas and Scalia, we may get a ruling that government has little or not say in how businesses affect the environment.

Posted by: zmulls on June 26, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1
Personally, I like having trolls around. They're fun to rebut and they keep our wits sharpened.

Thanks, rmck1. I now have this vision of the locals running around like a scene from Lord of the Flies, all painted up and with pointy sticks rubbed on rocks for sharpening.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 26, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

...business as usual in Washington was thrown a wrench...

A silver lining in climate change after all!

Posted by: tom on June 26, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

So what does the Clean Air Act say? I doubt when it was written that CO2 was seriously considered to be one of the pollutants to be controlled, or that consideration was given to the Clean Air Act not only keeping new stuff out of the air, but maintaining the balance of the atmosphere's current consituents. Just guessing.

So it is probably being parsed and wordsmithed beyond it's original intent to shoehorn one way or the other. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for Congress to do something useful and address the issue.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 26, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike:

Well, I don't consider you much of a troll, truthfully. Same with Wooten (rdw) -- insufferable as he is. You've both let enough biographical information slip through to tell (at least) me that you're real guys who just have contrarian instincts.

Wooten thinks he's doing the Lord's work for the GOP. You -- being more liberal than your Southern family on several key social issues -- probably just enjoy a good argument :)

The ones who seem particularly trollish -- Birkel, Al, Cheney, Norman Rogers, Freq Kenneth and all his sock puppets -- seem trollish because they're all-talking-points-all-the time.

Some would consider that merely the mark of a dogged and conscientious employee.

Me, I see it more as the result of a stunted personality :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 26, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike:

Science isn't decided by consensus.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 26, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

why the hell is the Supreme Court wasting time on this issue, don't they know that gays are getting married out there, every single day? Sure, we can protect the planet for our Children, but what sort of place will it be when the Homosexual Agenda succeeds and we are all slaves to the decadent gay lifestyle? I certainly don't want to live in that kind of world, do you?

Posted by: northzax on June 26, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Lets face reality. When the law was passed, CO2 was not a pollution gas, and the honest political approach is to actually pass legislation through the house and senate to regulate it. This is why the left gets a bad rap for wanting to go through the courts rather than the legislative process.

On a side note, if the Supremes give the executive branch the right or the imperative to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, the house and senate will act to negate it in short order.

Posted by: ScientificRealist on June 26, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The climate has never changed in the entire 6000-year history of the earth. God would not allow such a deviation in his master plan. There are also only two kinds of beetles (the little gray ones and the little black ones I see in my backyard).

Posted by: Fundie on June 26, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

ScientificRealist wrote: This is why the left gets a bad rap for wanting to go through the courts rather than the legislative process.

According to the AP report, the case was brought by:

... Massachusetts, ... California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. They were joined by a number of cities including Baltimore, New York City and Washington D.C., the Pacific island of America Samoa, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth.

So you consider the governments of Massachusetts (Republican governor), California (Republican governor), Connecticut (Republican governor), Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (Republican governor), Oregon, Rhode Island (Republican governor), Vermont (Republican governor), Washington, Baltimore, New York City, Washington DC and America Samoa to be "the left"?

That is neither "scientific" nor "realistic".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 26, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Those states and localities are clearly liberal in their politics, regardless of the identity of the governor or mayors. The list you made supports my assertion rather than negates it.

I realize that you desire action on this issue, but it is wrong to approach it in this manner. This issue needs to be addressed by the people's branch of the government, not court decree.

Posted by: ScientificRealist on June 26, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist
So you consider the governments of Massachusetts (Republican governor), California (Republican governor), Connecticut (Republican governor), Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (Republican governor), Oregon, Rhode Island (Republican governor), Vermont (Republican governor), Washington, Baltimore, New York City, Washington DC and America Samoa to be "the left"?

Heh. Have you looked at a map of the Pacific? American Samoa is so far left it's almost right.

It should still be tackled by the legislature, rather than attempting to take a law that was written back when CO2 was not a pollutant and twisting it to treat it as one. That's "legislating through the courts". Both the left and right are guilty of it.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 26, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I don't consider you much of a troll, truthfully. Same with Wooten (rdw) -- insufferable as he is. You've both let enough biographical information slip through to tell (at least) me that you're real guys who just have contrarian instincts.

Well, Wooten, of course, is clearly quite disturbed. His writings, especially his frequent loss of contact with reality, exhibit clear marks of a personality disorder, probably some combination of paranoid personality disorder mixed in with mild schizophrenia and antisocial and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Posted by: Stefan on June 26, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Craigie

A Republican President has made it clear for you:
"Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar"

That, of course, was a good 150 years back, when one Abe Lincoln was their standard bearer. Pity it doesn't apply much today.

Posted by: Ramki on June 26, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

anyone else find it ironic that the SC's delay on hearing the global warming/climate change issue is due to...wait for it...global warming climate change? (in this case, the higher sea surfact temps provide additional fuel resulting in stronger stomrs & more precip)

of course, given the way the court is, I'll still place a quick $100 on the SC siding with Bush/big biz/the flat earthers.

Posted by: scott on June 26, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

hah hah to DC (as long as nobody was hurt, of course). surely this weather can't have anything to do w/ globabl warming.

Posted by: mencken on June 26, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I have to preface this by saying that you've always been one of my favorite posters here. Your wit is awesome, and your military expertise tremendously appropos.

And while I don't mind ad homs in the least for the sake of being snide -- an Uber-serious net.diagnosis like the one you just laid on Wooten is inappropriate.

Nobody knows each other well enough on a forum like this to start pathologizing individuals without a shred of humor about it.

Besides, I see Wooten differently. He's just a retired guy who spends too much time on PowerLine and InstaPudenda and then comes back here parroting off what he just read.

More like the archetypical insufferable father-in-law than some kind of deranged mental case ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 26, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

And while I don't mind ad homs in the least for the sake of being snide -- an Uber-serious net.diagnosis like the one you just laid on Wooten is inappropriate.

Normally I wouldn't, but he's a special case. Wooten's one of the only posters here I believe actually suffers from a set of personality disorders. I'm not trying to use this in an ad hominem manner -- I'm being quite serious in my assessment of his behavior. In person, he might be something else entirely, but based on reading his writings for about a year that's the conclusion I've come to.

Posted by: Stefan on June 26, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

"PS: Where's the Sierra club thanking Bush for setting aside the biggest wildlife reserve ever, as Kevin wrote about? Nowhere. Typical."

Oh, well then, just give up. I mean, the enviros are simply never going to appreciate all the things you hero has done for planet. Perhaps because, as he put it, "We'll all be dead".

Posted by: Kenji on June 26, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Heavy rains in DC and environs, flooding, FEMA to the rescue?

Posted by: Ray Waldren on June 26, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think the hot air emanating from Denny Hastert's butt cheeks are melting the Greenland ice caps!!

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on June 26, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it was a pretty gruesome 3-hour commute this a.m., from only 30 miles south of DC. And on a Monday no less. Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.

Posted by: CatStaff on June 26, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Crediblity matters. Al's point was mirroring the WSJ Gore attack article which Think Progress has debunked.

Coincidence that Al was right on message as the second post? Think he is just well motivated?

First off Dissing Kos is just stupid. Somehow you have equate Kos to the Freepers, who certainly have many ditto threads. Kos does no such thing. Contrary views are important. But when one guy is consistently hi-jacking EVERY conversation with the days talking points at a progressive news site you have to ask why? If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck.

As per ratings. Ratings and credibility help a community establish coherence. Is it possible to have a contrarian opinion and a high rating- sure. Rating systems work. And the eliminate trolls and spammers. People like conversation. Most blogs have the potential of having conversation, but without care and feeding the converation will just turn into noise, and worse it can be used against your site , and even worse it can be profitable to the people abusing your conversation threads, to use their platform against you. Hence businesses like netvocates who are attempting to eat the lunch left by blogging sites who don't manage their own communities.

I'm not against dissent. I am against letting propagandists take over the conversation.

Posted by: patience on June 26, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

patience:

Well, once again good sir (or ma'am), with all due respect -- and not to argue for the sake of it -- I have to unequivocally dissent on every point you make.

I have over a decade's experience posting in many different venues, from BBS and telnet chatboard message bases, through USENET, newspaper websites and blogs. And in my experience I have found one true maxim: The forum that moderates least moderates best.

I didn't always feel this way. And certainly there is *some* degree of moderation that's not merely appropriate, but absolutely essential. I wholeheartedly support Kevin's purist free-speech approach (it's a main reason I frequent this blog), but even though he doesn't even delete Chinese character spam, PA *does* have an autothrottle to squelch DoS bot attacks.

It's not a question of "thriving on chaos," or defending personal slander, disinformation or flamewars that get out of hand. It's a question of how best to control them. And in my experience, paradoxically enough the venues with the heaviest-handed moderation had the worst problems in this regard. Sure, we have our trolls here -- but nothing like the moderated Howard Dean blog, which flashed a rules screen every time you logged on. And while snark and the occasional flame are as ubiquitous here as they are anywhere -- they are nowhere near as vicious, prolonged, personalized and borderline libel as I've seen on the NYT fora, which are professionally moderated. With a mod, you get a ooh-let's-misbehave-to-annoy-the-teacher dynamic. Here, the anger is just allowed to flare up and boil off as quickly.

As for Kos -- I really have no issue with it either way. It just doesn't attract me at all. I'm not interested in reading a community that incentivizes posts that flatter itself. As I noted in another post, I've seen enough of the "I'll recommend your Kos diary if you recommend mine" on the Dean blog to gag over the mutual sycophancy.

Just, you know, not my thing ...

As for the trolls -- for the most part I enjoy responding to them. It doesn't really matter to me *why* they post, or whether they'd ever genuinely consider my argument. I am writing for the peanut gallery, and the occasional highfive from another poster is reward enough for me.

I don't think it's good form to speculate on whether this or that antagonist is some kind of paid operative. Look, we'll never know for sure (unless they tell us). I suspect most trolls are hobbyists just like us, who just like to argue -- and of course I could be wrong. But to make unequivocal accusations is a form of online bigotry that rubs me the wrong way. It's akin to calling somebody here a wifebeater or a child molester without any solid evidence.

So I try to keep my responses to what the person has actually written -- because my reason for posting is to sharpen up my debate skills. I am not responsible for how they choose to respond.

And the few morsels of positive feedback I get from my posts are nourishment enough to make it worthwhile.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 27, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK
When the law was passed, CO2 was not a pollution gas, and the honest political approach is to actually pass legislation through the house and senate to regulate it.

What you seem to mean is that, when the Clean Air Act was passed, CO2 wasn't recognized as a pollutant. That's true.

However, the law did not merely specify a list of chemicals that were air pollutants, instead, it set criteria for determining whether they were pollutants and requiring the regulation of chemicals that meet those criteria; further, the law also specifies what chemicals (only one—elemental lead) are exempt from that procedure, so its clear that Carbon Dioxide is within the scope of the laws coverage.

Why do conservatives so often demand that we go back to the legislature for new law rather than going to the courts to enforce the existing law which already covers the issue at hand? If the administration isn't following the existing law, what good will passing a new law for them to ignore do?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 27, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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