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Ex-heads of EPA blast Bush on global warming

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rick_reno, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    Are they ganging up on my hero - the greatest President in our time? I bet when he flushes Cheney later this year the new Vice President will take of these guys. I really like this "Three former administrators did not attend Wednesday’s ceremony: Mike Leavitt, now secretary of health and human services; Doug Costle, who was in the Carter administration, and Anne Burford, a Reagan appointee who died last year."

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10913795/

    WASHINGTON - Six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency — five Republicans and one Democrat — accused the Bush administration Wednesday of neglecting global warming and other environmental problems.

    “I don’t think there’s a commitment in this administration,” said Bill Ruckelshaus, who was EPA’s first administrator when the agency opened its doors in 1970 under President Nixon and headed it again under President Reagan in the 1980s.

    Russell Train, who succeeded Ruckelshaus in the Nixon and Ford administrations, said slowing the growth of “greenhouse” gases isn’t enough.

    “We need leadership, and I don’t think we’re getting it,” he said at an EPA-sponsored symposium centered around the agency’s 35th anniversary. “To sit back and just push it away and say we’ll deal with it sometime down the road is dishonest to the people and self-destructive.”

    All of the former administrators raised their hands when EPA’s current chief, Stephen Johnson, asked whether they believe global warming is a real problem, and again when he asked if humans bear significant blame.

    Agency heads during five Republican administrations, including the current one, criticized the Bush White House for what they described as a failure of leadership.

    $20 billion spent on climate
    Defending his boss, Johnson said the current administration has spent $20 billion on research and technology to combat climate change after President Bush rejected mandatory controls on carbon dioxide, the chief gas blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere like a greenhouse.

    Bush also kept the United States out of the Kyoto international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases globally, saying it would harm the U.S. economy, after many of the accord’s terms were negotiated by the Clinton administration.

    “I know from the president on down, he is committed,” Johnson said. “And certainly his charge to me was, and certainly our team has heard it: ‘I want you to accelerate the pace of environmental protection. I want you to maintain our economic competitiveness.’ And I think that’s really what it’s all about.”

    His predecessors disagreed. Lee Thomas, Ruckelshaus’s successor in the Reagan administration, said that “if the United States doesn’t deal with those kinds of issues in a leadership role, they’re not going to get dealt with. So I’m very concerned about this country and this agency.”

    Bill Reilly, the EPA administrator under the first President Bush, echoed that assessment.

    Urging action
    “The time will come when we will address seriously the problem of climate change, and this is the agency that’s best equipped to anticipate it,” he said.

    Christie Whitman, the first of three EPA administrators in the current Bush administration, said people obviously are having “an enormous impact” on the earth’s warming.

    “You’d need to be in a hole somewhere to think that the amount of change that we have imposed on land, and the way we’ve handled deforestation, farming practices, development, and what we’re putting into the air, isn’t exacerbating what is probably a natural trend,” she said. “But this is worse, and it’s getting worse.”

    Carol Browner, who was President Clinton’s EPA administrator, said the White House and the Congress should push legislation to establish a carbon trading program based on a 1990 pollution trading program that helped reduce acid rain.

    “If we wait for every single scientist who has a thought on the issue of climate change to agree, we will never do anything,” she said. “If this agency had waited to completely understand the impacts of DDT, the impacts of lead in our gasoline, there would probably still be DDT sprayed and lead in our gasoline.”

    Three former administrators did not attend Wednesday’s ceremony: Mike Leavitt, now secretary of health and human services; Doug Costle, who was in the Carter administration, and Anne Burford, a Reagan appointee who died last year.
     
  2. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Member

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    Truthfully the evidence that the USA is not causing 'global warming' is somewhat compelling, enough to put the issue in doubt.

    The evidence that climate change is occuring is also compelling, enough to give the issue importance.

    How can you rectify both? Do something and place blame later. Do what? Identify immediate threats and proffer solutions or band-aids, then identify future ones. For instance, if the coast-line is about to become the worst possible place to situate habitation and businesses, then inform people and literally draw a picture showing where it is going to be bad to live, and where it will be less bad.

    THEN worry about the exact constitution of the atmosphere and theorize what makes it that way. Perhaps a more important long-term goal would be to simply plant millions of trees. Or examine the ocean algae to see if they are not doing their work.

    Everyone talks, no-one acts!!! Infuriating~! And it costs so much!

    "Let's reduce our CO2 output by 3.7% over the next 7.8 years and spent 300 miillion dollars drawing graphs."

    "Let's give everone a bag of seeds and there will be 300millionx50 seeds= 15 billion new trees in 7.8 years."
     
  3. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

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    Sounds like the ex-EPA folks are indeed ganging-up on poor ol' "Dubya"....

    The truth is, not much is actually yet known regarding the precise balance of anthropogenic vs. natural cyclical "global warming".

    I wonder of any of those ex-EPA folks are seeking funding for their favorite "global warming" research charities?:scrutiny:

    Excellent suggestions from Joejojoba111, but I'd hold off on planting those trees for a while Joe....

    And no, Max Planck Institute isn't known for it's "Bushies".....

    Even "The Guardian" can't decide what to do about it all.:eek:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1684378,00.html?gusrc=rss



    Global warming: blame the forests

    · Research identifies plants as source of methane
    · Climate scientists shocked by new findings

    Alok Jha, science correspondent
    Thursday January 12, 2006
    The Guardian


    The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Monday January 16 2006

    The headline above overstated the more circumspect case outlined in the article below, which said that plants emit up to 30% of the methane, a greenhouse gas, entering the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists have just discovered this, but to conclude that it is a new cause of rising temperatures is mistaken.

    They have long been thought of as the antidote to harmful greenhouse gases, sufferers of, rather than contributors to, the effects of global warming. But in a startling discovery, scientists have realised that plants are part of the problem.

    According to a study published today, living plants may emit almost a third of the methane entering the Earth's atmosphere.
    The result has come as a shock to climate scientists. "This is a genuinely remarkable result," said Richard Betts of the climate change monitoring organisation the Hadley Centre. "It adds an important new piece of understanding of how plants interact with the climate."

    Methane is second only to carbon dioxide in contributing to the greenhouse effect. "For a given mass of methane, it is a stronger greenhouse gas, but the reason it is of less concern is that there's less of it in the atmosphere," said Dr Betts.

    But the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has almost tripled in the last 150 years, mainly through human-influenced so-called biogenic sources such as the rise in rice cultivation or numbers of flatulent ruminating animals. According to previous estimates, these sources make up two-thirds of the 600m tonnes worldwide annual methane production.

    Frank Keppler, of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, who led the team behind the new research, estimated that living plants release between 60m and 240m tonnes of methane per year, based on experiments he carried out, with the largest part coming from tropical areas.

    David Lowe, of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, said the new work, published in Nature, is important for two reasons. "First, because the methane emissions they document occur under normal physiological conditions, in the presence of oxygen, rather than through bacterial action in anoxic environments," he wrote in an accompanying article. "Second, because the estimated emissions are large, constituting 10-30% of the annual total of methane entering Earth's atmosphere."

    Yadvinder Malhi, a specialist in the relationship between vegetation and climate at Oxford University, said the plant source of methane had probably been missed in the past because scientists have a poor understanding of the way methane circulates in the atmosphere. "There are a variety of sources and sinks of methane and there are huge error bars on those terms," he said. "What's been uncertain is where the methane is coming from and where it's going. Unlike carbon dioxide, methane is much more dynamic; it lasts about 10 years in the atmosphere."

    Biogenic methane has traditionally been assumed to come from organic materials as they decompose in oxygen-free environments. But Dr Keppler found plants emit the gas even in normal, oxygen-rich surroundings: between 10 and 1,000 times more methane than dead plant material. When the plants were exposed to the sun, the rate of methane production increased. "Until now all the textbooks have said that biogenic methane can only be produced in the absence of oxygen," Dr Keppler said. "For that simple reason, nobody looked closely at this."

    The discovery sheds further light on the complex relationship between greenhouse gases and the environment. "If you're after predictions of global average temperature, it won't make a huge amount of difference," said Dr Betts. "But it shows how complicated it is to exactly quantify reforesting or deforesting in comparison with current fossil fuel emissions."

    It will also intensify debates on whether targets in climate change treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol should be based entirely on carbon emissions, which are easily measured, or also take sinks into account, which remove carbon from the atmosphere but are more difficult to measure.

    For climate scientists, the new work clears up a few unexplained features in the environment.

    "The rate of methane increase in the atmosphere has slowed down in the last 10 years and there was no really convincing explanation of why that's been going on," said Dr Mahli. "This paper argues that tropical deforestation may be a factor there."

    In addition, the new research could help to explain the source of plumes of methane observed by satellites over tropical forests. "The sheer biomass of the forest may be a factor there," said Dr Mahli.

    The fact that plants produce methane does not mean that planting forests is a bad idea, however. "Putting a tree where there was no tree before locks up a lot of carbon and this [new research] perhaps reduces the overall benefit of that by a fraction," said Dr Mahli.

    Some mysteries remain: how and why plants produce methane is unclear. Dr Keppler's team said the search for an answer is likely open up a new area of research into plant biochemistry.

    Other surprise results

    Tree planting

    Researchers in North Carolina found that planting trees to soak up carbon dioxide can suck water and nutrients from the ground, dry up streams and change the soil's mineral balance

    Aerosols

    A recent study in Nature found cutting air pollution could trigger a surge in global warming. Aerosols cool the Earth by reflecting radiation back into space. Scrapping them would have adverse consequences

    Global dimming

    In 2003 scientists noticed levels of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface had dropped by 20% in recent years because of air pollution and bigger, longer-lasting clouds
     
  4. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Fight global warming: prohibit the use of motor vehicles in the five biggest states. See how that goes over!:D
     
  5. HankB

    HankB Member

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    So Dubya did something right . . . for a change. ;)

    The real purpose of Kyoto is to hamstring the US economy.

    The Europeans pushing it are, by and large, living under "coalition" governments which require tacit co-operation with socialists, greens, and other members of the looney left in order to govern. Their economies are largely on the rocks, with slower growth and higher unemployment than we have in the US . . . not that ours is perfect by any means, but for the most part, Europe is in worse shape than we are.

    Their leaders understand that most of this is because of the political situation over there, which simply will NOT allow for the sort of reforms necessary to become truly competitive - the aforementioned coalitions will collapse.

    Faced with the prospect of falling farther behind, and with no prospect of correcting the problems of their own systems, the only way to keep from being outstripped by the USA in the long term is to drag the USA down.

    Kyoto is their way of doing this - and it infuriates them that we're not co-operatively putting our own head in their noose.
     
  6. Silver Bullet

    Silver Bullet Member

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    State of Fear is now available in paperback.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/00...002-6576781-0340826?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

     
  7. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Getting tired of the tactic.

    I hear so much Bush bashing, that I tend to write it off, even when it is somewhat legitimate. And I'm not even a big fan. Global warming? Crap happens. The warming trend has been going on since before the Industrial Revolution, just like the mild glaciated period happened in the 1300's. Mother nature can be harsh sometimes, we just like to whine and blame people.
     
  8. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Let's see... We're taking 100 years of possibly faulty data, and extrapolating both into the past and into the future? In a system which, in terms of geological time, constantly fluctuates?

    Give me a break.
     
  9. jazurell

    jazurell Member

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    Global warming is the result of politicians' jabbering. It creates hot air and methane.
     
  10. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    Breath-taking analysis there, ROF. That is the sort of clear, concise intellectual discourse that makes those of you with Bush Derangement Syndrom so compelling.
     
  11. olyeller

    olyeller Member

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    ugh.

    Now michael crichton is a global change biologist?

    :banghead:

    To use a NOVEL as a defense against man made climate change is freaking dumb.

    Put your bs detector on high and youll see that its coming from both sides.
     
  12. Silver Bullet

    Silver Bullet Member

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    Not as a defense, merely as a vehicle to show other sides and other ideas of the issue. The reader can still decide for himself what is correct, and may be inspired to do actual research.

    Of course, some folks don’t want opposing ideas to be expressed.

    “You can’t stop the signal.”
     
  13. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Tinfoil hat time!
     
  14. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    I believe this "gang of six" is looking for some press time - and the American news industry (remember - it's for profit) is only too happy to oblige them. Global warming is all about cow farts - give the cows some Beano and all will be well with the planet.
     
  15. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Basing any opinion on that novel is like basing your ideas of proper tactical procedure and world military incursion allowability on a Clive Cussler or Dale Brown novel, or your idea of how spies operate on an Ian Fleming "Bond" novel.

    It's FICTION. He is a writer of pull-ideas-out-of-posterior FICTION! Like, oh, you know, cloning dinosaurs in a couple of years from a mosquito in amber, SAME AUTHOR?
     
  16. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    Actually, no, it's not. Kyoto was as much a mechanism for transfer of wealth from the "rich" nations as welfare is. India and China both got off without having to make cuts despite becoming some of the major users of energy and producers of pollution, while industrialized nations making efforts towards cutting pollution had their economies further hamstrung.

    Even the Europeans are starting to realize what a nightmare Kyoto is, and started moving to bail once they saw what kind of damage compliance would do to their already problematic economies.
     
  17. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    What can be realistically done about Global Warming?

    Why is this suddently Bush's fault when even the most liberal environmentalist says that problem has been decades in development?

    Six former EPA heads all blaming Bush seems like sour apples! What did each of the six do to fight Global Warming while they were in office?

    Back to my first point... If you believe "Global Warming" on its face, based on environmental situation, to address it a total makeover of our use of the earth is required. Simply switching to a hybrid vehicle or recyling beer cans WILL NOT solve problem... Indeed, such measures will only slightly delay inevitable. Abandonment of internal combustion vehicles (total ban) according to scientists would also delay the inevitable but not prevent it. So too is a total makeover of our coal dependance; even if we stopped tomorrow on fossil fuel use the emission accumulation would take decades to dissipate and decades more to correct... so again, what can Bush realistically do?

    What I am driving at, specifically, is to address the point these former EPA managers were making... what can Bush realistically do to address global warming based on our current social situation? I hate to hear folks criticizing the current administration yet not surfacing a workable alternate plan.
     
  18. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Looks like a new Ice age is approaching to me:




    BTW that graph is North Carolina Mean daily temperature 1895 to 2005

    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/state.html

    If you go to this NCDC page you can see the graph for mean temperature for every state for the last 100 years, and they show a trend line, but you have to run the graph to see it, the trend line.
    The problem with the data is where are the monitoring stations? Mostly in Urban areas, and its a scientific fact that Urban, built up paved areas retain the heat better than say forrest, so the more built up an area becomes the warmer it gets. That has nothing to do with Co2 or greenhouse gas.
     

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  19. HankB

    HankB Member

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    Thank you for your profound and enlightening comeback. :rolleyes:
    Mostly the extrapolations are only into the future, since when the computer models are run backwards and extrapolated into the past, they don't match historical records very well . . . unless some "fudge factors" are put in to make them fit.
     
  20. R.O.F

    R.O.F member

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    Yeah, it feels good to talk about it. I just can't stand the guy, I call em as I see em, much like you did with me. If you can tell me one good thing he has done, and by this I mean directly made your life better, I'll seriously listen and contemplate. Then again, I'm not the thread hi-jacking type, I may have overstepped my bounds on the previous post. Lets start a new one.
     
  21. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Yes I can, he lowered my taxes, and I am not rich, just middle class, in fact he lowered them enough that I can afford to take my family to the Beach for a weeks vacation with the savings.

    He also passed the no child left behind act, which imposes standards on my public school, and added billions to the funding of public schools, despite what the talking heads blather about unfunded mandates.
    He got off Israel's back, and didnt shove Yassir Arafat down their throats like Clinton did so they could work out a deal with the palestinians.

    He put global terrorists on notice that killing Americans carries a steep price.

    But hey fair is fair, so now you come up with something Bill Clinton did that made your life better in a concrete fashion.
     
  22. R.O.F

    R.O.F member

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    imminant hi-jacking...I am redirecting this topic to "Bush leaguer" someplace else.

    Sorry to impose on your thread...thread starter.
     
  23. Sergeant Bob

    Sergeant Bob Member

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    George Bush is causing global warming!

    SPACE.com -- Mars Emerging from Ice Age, Data Suggest
    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_ice-age_031208.html

    Global Warming on Mars
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast09feb_1.htm

    Mars is undergoing global warming
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1660

    Space Research That's Cool - Global Warming on Mars?
    http://www.mos.org/cst/article/80/9.html

    Scientists Track Climate Changes on Mars
    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/newsroom/20050920a.html
     
  24. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
  25. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    hot lead ---> global warming

    there's a bumpersticker in there somewhere; i just can't quite see it
     
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