Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Fierce Campaign To Stop Clean Energy Development

DemRapidResponse June 21, 2010
"How Republicans Would Govern"

AmericansUnited June 22, 2010
" The Republicans' Choice for America?"

Republican have waged a fierce campaign for more than 30 years to confuse the public on the issues of climate change. An effort that poll results indicate have had a negative impact on public understanding of climate change and recognition of the urgent need to address it.

Reams of data and papers have been published in the best scientific journals documenting and supporting the consensus view that humans have altered the climate in potentially catastrophic ways.

In contrast, evidence to support the views of contrarian skeptics remains mostly unrecognized and unpublished in scientific journals. That is not an indication that the peer-review process is somehow corrupt, as talk radio and TV personalities contend, but rather a clear sign that those who claim there is no evidence of climate change have failed to present any credible scientific evidence to support their contrary opinions.

A study by Stanford University researchers, that was published in the highly-regarded journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examining the credibility of climate skeptics found a clear lack of credibility among skeptics who doubt man-made climate change. The small number of scientists who claim to be unconvinced that human beings have contributed significantly to climate change have far less expertise and prominence in climate research compared with scientists who are convinced, according to a study led by Stanford researchers. [Science Daily]

Scientific American: Climate change and the breakthrough of clean energy technologies are linked, since climate change is a major factor spurring clean energy development and [adoption] growth. Energy titans who do not want to lose their business or their income try to keep clean energy [competitors] from growing is through continual attempts to undermine the scientific findings of some of the world’s greatest [climatology] scientists. Well, it is no surprise to find out that one of the climate skeptics’ leading scientists makes quite a bit of money working for energy companies.

PBS: Many of the researchers expressing doubts about the science of global warming have financial ties to the oil, auto, electricity and coal industries.
These experts appear regularly at Congressional hearings, on television, radio and in print, and at events in order to spread their message. That message varies somewhat from skeptic to skeptic but generally sows doubt about climate change, challenging the consensus of mainstream scientists. They ask whether global warming is really occurring, whether human activity is truly to blame and whether rising temperatures are such a bad thing.
In contrast to those expressing doubts about climate change Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, announced at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 that the last decade ranks as the hottest since temperature records began in the 1850s. Jarraud reported that 2009 ranked in the top 10 warmest years since 1850 and that since 1980 every decade has been warmer than the previous one. He also stressed that greenhouse concentrations were highest now than at any time over the last 800,000 years.

While President Obama has pledged to craft policy based on the best science available and to consult with the most credible experts, conservative biased cable TV and talked outlets continue to sow doubt about the scientific consensus on climate change. That dangerous distraction is delaying action on climate change and fostering continued dependence on dirty energy sources.

While conservative Republican lawmakers continue to roadblock congressional action on climate change by fostering private sector clean energy technology development, military planners in the Pentagon have concluded that “global warming is now officially considered a threat to U.S. national security.” In its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon planners report that climate change could result in food and water scarcity, pandemics, population displacement, and other destabilizing events that could create conflict.
“The American people expect the military to plan for the worst,” says retired Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, a 35-year Navy veteran now serving as president of the American Security Project. “It’s that sort of mindset, I think, that has convinced, in my view, the vast majority of military leaders that climate change is a real threat and that the military plays an important role in confronting it.”
If you have any doubt that fossil-based energy companies want to kill clean energy technologies, California is headed for a high-stakes battle over clean energy after an oil industry-backed measure to suspend the state's aggressive clean energy law qualified for the November ballot. Texas oil giants Valero Energy Inc. and Tesoro Corp. got enough signatures on a petition to force an anti clean energy proposition on ballot:
LA Times: Under California's law, known as AB 32, the state sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, oil refineries and other industries, and will probably increase the state's electricity generation from renewable sources to 33% by 2020, up from about 15% today. Supporters of the law say it has spurred a large market for solar, wind and other clean energy sources, and more fuel-efficient cars.

Big oil backers of the ballot effort called their petition drive, "the California Jobs Initiative" to paint California's clean energy legislation as "an energy tax." Their initiative would halt enforcement of the law.

The fight will pit the state's powerful environmental organizations and a rapidly growing number of clean-tech businesses against the oil and manufacturing industries. It also arrays many conservative political leaders, including the GOP nominee for governor, Meg Whitman, against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a fellow Republican who regards the clean energy law as a key part of his legacy.

Schwarzenegger lashed back Tuesday, saying, "This initiative sponsored by greedy Texas oil companies would cripple California's fastest-growing economic sector, reverse our renewable energy policy and decimate our environmental progress for the benefit of these oil companies' profit margins." He added, "I will not allow this to happen on my watch."

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