Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 8, 2010

THE GOP'S PLANS FOR CLIMATE HEARINGS.... Marc Ambinder noted last week that the incoming House Republican majority "plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged 'scientific fraud' behind global warming." The good news, as Greg Sargent reported today, is that if those plans were in place, they've since been scrapped.

Republican leaders are "apparently aware what a circus hearings into the allegedly fraudulent science underlying global warming would be -- and how it would play into Dem efforts to paint Republicans as hostage to extremists."

On the other hand, while CRU hearings probably aren't on the horizon, don't be too surprised if the majority nevertheless uses hearings to go after climate science -- or more accurately, any efforts to deal with the climate crisis.

One of the top climate skeptics in the House is asking GOP leadership to keep the Democrats' global warming committee alive to investigate the Obama administration's environmental policies.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is making good on his promise to pitch Republicans to revamp the committee to focus on the costs of Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

"The threat of the EPA's reach into the economy is so great that it deserves special attention this Congress, and no panel has developed more experience on these topics than the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming," Sensenbrenner said in a statement. "These regulations are moving quickly, but the oversight and subpoena power wielded by the Select Committee would put a tall hurdle in the path and would further expose the economic destruction these policies would bring."

The underlying point, of course, is the administration's alternative to pursuing a cap-and-trade policy: using the EPA to simply regulate carbon emissions. In addition to hoping to strip the EPA of authority on dealing with emissions, congressional Republicans are also eyeing a series of pointless hearings to harass and intimidate EPA chief Lisa Jackson.

I'm glad the alleged "scientific fraud" nonsense appears to be off the GOP to-do list. If only Republicans didn't have related plans, I'd feel less discouraged.

Steve Benen 4:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Looks like things are going to "heat-up" after all. ..

Posted by: Stevio on November 8, 2010 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, there is no reason to feel anything but "discouraged" about the Federal government's response to anthropogenic global warming.

The responses range from the Republicans' denial that any problem exists to the Democrats' misdirected, feeble and wholly inadequate proposals, which fall far, far short of what mainstream climate science tells us is needed if we are to have any hope of averting the most catastrophic consequences of global warming.

All of which is driven by the unbreakable death-grip of the fossil fuel and nuclear power corporations on US energy policy.

The only remotely encouraging news is California's overwhelming rejection of Proposition 23 which would have gutted California's landmark clean energy law, and California's election of Jerry Brown as governor, in that Brown has long been and is still today a very strong advocate of clean energy.

California may well wind up being THE world leader in the transition to the clean, renewable, efficient energy technologies that will be the foundation of the New Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century.

But California alone won't be able to drag the Federal government kicking and screaming to do what needs to be done.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 8, 2010 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

When oil is priced to the point where the economy grinds to a halt, and people are dieting due to the heat caused be global warming but there is no air conditioning because the US did not bother to work on fuel economy... Our grandkids will HATE us.

""mommy it's HOT"
"Thank your grand father. He stopped work on alt fuels and emission standards which might have made this weather bearable."

Posted by: KurtRex1443 on November 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats should have done whatever they could to ENSURE such hearings took place.

Why, oh WHY are the "good guys" such TERRIBLE politicians...?????

Posted by: steveconga on November 8, 2010 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Our government is deranged. Total sock puppet theater. Instead of focusing on a sick economy, they want to hold hearings on Science. Defund the EPA! I guess they must be shilling for breathing mask manufacturers.
Economic destruction is worse than planetary, it seems. Sorry America 2110, ( if there is one) we failed you.

Posted by: johnnymags on November 8, 2010 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

You know, if the Republicans are threatening to hold show trial hearings into the "crimes" of the Obama administration, I wonder how crazy and vindictive they would be if Obama had done his duty and investigated Bush, Cheney, et al for their -real- transgressions?

Posted by: David Langdon on November 8, 2010 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Steveconga. Kitzmiller vs. Bd. of Ed. in Pennsylvania exposed "intelligent design" for the fraud that it is, at least for those who were able to actually consider the question. (The others will never, ever, get it...their whole world would utterly collapse if they did.) I haven't heard much about that turkey in a while, so perhaps some real intelligence got through.

"Hearings" on global warming, with prominent climate scientists (well prepped, I would hope) in the hot seat could do msomething to invalidate the cynicism and credulity that drives the climate-change deniers, and it least give a chance to expound ---- for whatever reachable but undecided public is left --- what science is about, how it functions (hypothesis, observation, evidence, error correction and so on). Those screaming 'fraud" might be exposed as the fraudsters themselves. An inquiry into who funds the propaganda would be worth the price of admission. At least it would be worth a shot.

I would consider buying property for your heirs in North Central Ontario...in about 50 years it will be quite valuable.

Posted by: jrosen on November 8, 2010 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad the alleged "scientific fraud" nonsense appears to be off the GOP to-do list.

I'm not, at all. We should encourage it. Let's go over the science with a fine-toothed comb. Double down on that one, baby. Dare them to debate the basis of science. Let's have a Galileo re-run.

Posted by: Jon on November 8, 2010 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the Republicans already defunded the EPA. Didn't I read that all the superfund sites were tarped over and abandoned along with the mandatory contributions to the fund by the major industrial polluters once Bush II took office?

Posted by: Always Hopeful on November 8, 2010 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bill McKibben's "eaarth" (Henry Holt & Co) takes a good look at our current home planet, and the one we are about to move to. (Plus some things we can do to make the move not too drastic, and 30 plus pages of footnotes.)

Posted by: DAY on November 8, 2010 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

North-central Ontario will perhaps have a climate suitable for agriculture in 40 years, but it has no soil to speak of. The obdurate granite and metamorphic rocks of the Canadian Shield lie just below the surface over the entire region, because all the loose rock, gravel, sand, and soil were bulldozed into Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, southern Minnesota, and Iowa during the Pleistocene glaciations.

Good luck growing your eight bean rows on granite outcrops. It's pretty difficult stuff to cultivate ...

Posted by: joel hanes on November 8, 2010 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Culture of corruption and certifiably-insane Republicans will go down in history as the ones who caused a disaster of global proportions (by doing nothing and blocking all attempts by others to do something).

Of course, this presumes that there will be anyone left recording history, as global atmospheric temperatures keep rising, the ice keeps melting, maybe even methane being released, ocean currents shifting, and billions of people start dying, in wars triggered by massive migrations or through starvation and lack of water.

Heckuva job Republicans. Your children and grand-children, if any survive, will appreciate your efforts on their behalf...and not all the money (or tax cuts) on earth will help them.

Posted by: The Oracle on November 8, 2010 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

I'm actually a bit disappointed these hearings won't take place. I was looking forward to the circus -- a parade of clowns on the denial side, a parade of scientists on the reality side. It would have presented a good opportunity to show what an overwhelming consensus there really is in the scientific community.

Posted by: Geneva Mike on November 9, 2010 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

It's actually quite smart. This way Republicans can pursue policy goals as if their premise were correct without having to prove that premise.

Posted by: karen marie on November 9, 2010 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is making good on his promise to pitch Republicans to revamp the committee to focus on the costs of Environmental Protection Agency regulations."

Maybe he ought to investigate the costs of NOT implementing EPA regulations. It's frightening to me that in an era where every citizen is encouraged to go as far as possible in academics, so many refuse to learn even some basic science.

Posted by: Dori on November 9, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK



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