Skip to main content

Is a Half-Truth Really Better than None?

Hi Everybody - Well, once again I must apologize for my tardiness. This time, Google/blogspot isn't allowing me to copy and paste my articles into their posting app, so I had to re-type. Sorry for the delay.

July 4, 2011 - It just keeps getting better: during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) sorrowfully pointed out that, if the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA) of 2003 had only been fully implemented, the forest fires out West wouldn't be burning. It's all the fault of the Forest Service, she lamented. Come to find out, the HFRA was never - you guessed it - fully funded (as was the case with so many of GWB's "great ideas"). Furthermore, says Roger Sedjo of Resources for the Future, Murkowski, along with other members of the committee, fails to account for the type of forests found in the Southwest - pine. Pine trees have evolved to go to seed as the result of being exposed to the heat of forest fires. I would be remiss in not mentioning Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), who highlighted the real cause of the fires out West. "It would be all well and good for members to understand that this is related to climate change, and how important it is for us to address and take national action to reduce our carbon emissions." While Senator Franken cannot be lauded for his eloquence, he can for his veracity. Speaking truth to power always matters.

In other news ...

The board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released an open letter, following an incident earlier this month during which Australian university researchers were rushed to a secure location after receiving death threats. In the letter, the directors express their concern about the targeting of climate scientists, saying "Scientists should not be subjected to fraud investigations or harassment simply for providing scientific results that are controversial. AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions." AAAS publishes the journal Science.

Problems do not exist only in Australia. Here in the US, climate researchers have been the object of specious requests for detailed records, made by the American Tradition Institute (ATI). Make up your own mind about ATI by visiting their website. To understand why requests of this type would be considered harassment, you must first understand that the request ATI has made of the University of Virginia is for thousands of emails and documents. Every item must be located and copied. Think about the last time you needed to track down an old email - just one. How long did it take? What did the search keep you from doing that was at least as important? Where thousands of documents are concerned, what kind of recordkeeping would be required, so that all parties concerned know that the request has been fully met? How much would a copier be paid to copy the items? How long would it take? Whose job is it to refile the originals, once they've been copied? Should double copies be generated, based on the assumptionh that the university's legal department will probably need them at some point in the future? Annoying UVa isn't enough, of course; they've gone after James Hansen (of NASA), as well.

They want to know if he's complied with federal ethics and disclosure rules.

Next, I think they should demand to know if Al Gore is keeping his Oscar polished ...


Popular posts from this blog

New World Environmental Leader?

March 5, 2017 - China's coal consumption dropped for the third year in a row in 2016.  This, coupled with the country's shift away from heavy industry, could well portend cleaner air and water. As you know, cleaner air in China means cleaner air everywhere. With a population of 1.35 billion people, China currently produces twice as much carbon dioxide in the form of emissions as the United States.

Given that the US has a population less than 1/4 the size of China's, their emissions would quadruple our own, if their standard of living matched ours. Thank goodness it doesn't. Be aware, however, that the government of China is transitioning to an economy based on consumer spending. That could spell trouble.

In the meantime, China's National Bureau of Statistics indicates that China's coal consumption fell by 4.7 percent in 2016. Coal's share of total energy consumed fell to 62% in 2016, from 64% in 2015. In the United States, by contrast, the government pledge…