Friday, November 13, 2009

Concerned Scientists on Environment Legislation

Jean Sideris at Concerned Scientists

BA anthro, MA journalism
Outreach coordinator for the Climate Change program

A source for graphics and information is

Why New Englanders may not want to see our climate change to that of South Carolina over the next 50-100 years:
Present climate kills off many pests
Fruits etc need a certain number of cold days to bear proper fruit
Winter recreation

MA global warming solutions act
Regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI) -- cap and trade (Jan 2009)

House of Rep

American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES)
Emission reduced by 17% by 2020

Science review -- EPA does a review every 4 years, NAS does review of tech every 4 years, then the two do a review and make policy recommendations

20% renewable electivity by 2020

Energy efficiency for new appliances and building codes
Grants for local communities
Transition for industry
Protection from increase in energy costs for lower income


Clearn energy jobs and American Power Act (Kerry-Boxer EPW)
Similar to ACES
Emissions reduced 20% by 2020
Same science review
More energy material
Lower energy efficiency standard
Not as many appliances as for House
Other committees are coming out with different parts of it

No full senate vote in 2009
3-4 months in 2010 to move this forward.

EPA endangerment finding
CO2 a pollutant so EPA can regulate it.
They are moving forward on this, in part to put pressure on Congress.


Earth Policy Institute
Lester Brown

Detailed policy analysis is available at

 360B trees needed to undo CO2 in atmosphere

Joe Ferguson
Roosevelt -- March of Dimes
Need real leadership
We expected Obama to be a real leader
Need to have leadership to encourage kids to each plant a tree each year, or something like that.  Simple things can help.

Even though progress may be slow on the Federal level, the states (and regions) are not waiting.
Western climate initiative
6 states in Midwest also is very early in their process.

A question from the audience:
How can US lead if we have no formal policy?

Another question.
How does Copenhagen work?
Tod Stern is national climate envoy.
Part of Obama admin.
Kerry and Hillary will be there. Obama may go himself. If he feels things are moving toward a treaty, he will go there.
Annex 1 is a separate group.
Kyoto in about 1992(?) that the US did not ratify.

Potential issue:  What happens in 2012 if the process runs out?
UN leads the Copenhagen effort.
UN created it.

Chamber of Commerce
Farm Bureau
American Petroleum Institute
and others

Issue used to be whether global warming was real.

Now the issue is COSTs.

European cap and trade was not well designed
RGGI worked better because auction off pollution permits.
Issue is how get the permits. EU gave permits to the companies. Companies took them and raised their energy prices for customers.

RGGI auctioned nearly 100% of them. Gave more incentive for electric companies to make changes faster.

Money from auctioning them allowed investment in clean energy.

EU is not reaching their goals as quickly as they thought they would.

Nine republican congressmen voted for the climate bill.  The reaction from the Right has been quite negative, which again raises the question of why the Right sees this as an issue.  Is it merely that Republicans and the Right Wing are reflexively taking a position opposing anything that Democratic leadership proposes or supports?  Well, it would seem there is a lot of that.  But maybe it just seems that way because there is no strong leadership that is delineating the position in relation to fundamental principles or thinking.  For example, the Right often espouses the avoidance of International governance.  The UN, Kyoto, and Copenhagen are clearcut examples of International governance, or at least international agreement.  Thus these would be things to be fought.  Here is the list of Republicans who voted for Cap and Trade, as reported by a Right-leaning web site.  The commentary is that of the author of the website, not my own.

June 27, 2009

Nine Republicans voted FOR Cap and Trade

…which just passed, 219-212. I see only 8 listed. Kick the bums out in 2010.

Republicans voting AYE:

John McHugh, New York 23rd District. From his website…”ninth consecutive term in office.

During this time, Rep. McHugh has been a champion of fiscal responsibility; lower taxes; protecting Social Security and Medicare; providing stronger, better schools; and protecting America’s farmers. He has also been a leader in the country’s policy on national defense.”

Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey 2nd District. Ugh. ly. New Jersey, the armpit of America.

Chris Smith, New Jersey 4th District. “Smith has represented the citizens of New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District since 1981, when he was sworn into office at the age of 27. Throughout his 28 years of service, he has established himself as one of the hardest-working, most compassionate and dedicated members of the House.” He’s been there too long. Time for a boot.

Dave Reichart, Washington (St) 8th District. “Dave is committed to working in a bipartisan fashion with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to find viable solutions based on sound scientific practices that reach a balance between protecting our precious natural resources and providing economic growth in our nation.” Way to go, Dave, you freakin’ idiot. Hope you wind up booted in 2010.

Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois 10th District. “Mark Kirk represents the 10th Congressional District of Illinois located in the suburbs north of Chicago.

Now in his fifth term, Congressman Kirk is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and is co-chairman of the moderate GOP Tuesday Group and the bipartisan House US-China Working Group.

In Congress, Congressman Kirk works to advance a suburban agenda that is pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment, and pro-science.” Must be too close to the Chicago Machine to dare cross Obama. Horse’s head, maybe?

Mike Castle, Delaware “Mike Castle is currently serving a record ninth term as Delaware’s lone Member in the House of Representatives. Since coming to Congress in 1993, he has worked to bring the common-sense approach of Delaware’s bipartisan legislating to Washington, D.C. He has been building bridges and forming coalitions to find pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the country and believes strongly in returning the Congressional agenda to issues that really matter to the American people.” Well, you certainly have a bipartisan record, Mike. Hope you are thrown out in 2010.

Leonard Lance New Jersey, 7th District. Wait, we already had a NJ Rep, Chris Smith. Are these guys twins? “Congressman Leonard Lance was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2008 to represent New JerseyĆ¢€™s 7th Congressional District. The 7th Congressional District includes parts of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Union Counties.

Prior to coming to Congress, Lance served as a member of the New Jersey State Senate beginning in 2002, where he represented the 23rd Legislative District. He held the position of Minority Leader of the Senate from 2004 to 2008.

Lance was sworn in as a Member of Congress on January 6, 2009 and was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee, where he will work on a wide range of issues relating to the financial services sector and the American economy. ” A newcomer, who hopefully won’t return.

Mary Bono Mack, California 45th District. Wait…Bono…yep, this turdlet was married to Sonny Bono. Mary didn’t start using the Bono name until after Sonny Bono died. “In 1998, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack was first elected to serve the people of California's 45th District through a special election held to fill the seat left vacant by her late husband, The Honorable Sonny Bono. Since then, Bono Mack has established herself as a leader on such issues as clean, alternative energy, protecting the environment, improving health care, and protecting consumers.” Protecting which consumers? Maybe the ones who pay taxes should’ve been on your agenda, Mary!

And, California. Who knew?

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