Linda McMahon, Trump's SBA Pick, Rejects Climate Science

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:05:00 GMT

World Wrestling Entertainment executive and performer Linda McMahon, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Small Business Administration, is a global warming denier.

When McMahon unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2010, she explained her rejection of the scientific understanding of climate change to the Connecticut Mirror:
McMahon, the Republican nominee and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, says the “science is mixed” on what has caused global warming, although she does not dispute that the climate is indeed changing.

“I just don’t think we have the answers as to why it changes,” she said. “I’m not a scientist, so I couldn’t pretend to understand all the reasons. But the bottom line is we really don’t know.”

McMahon went on to describe her opposition to climate legislation and support for unrestricted oil and gas drilling. She lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal, who accurately stated that “the science is irrefutable, and we would be irresponsible to ignore it.”

In reality, the carbon-dioxide greenhouse effect is a physical fact known since the 1800s. The only scientifically plausible systematic explanation – what the word “theory” means in scientific jargon, despite Rep. Perry’s confusion – for the rapid warming of the planetary climate since 1950 is industrial greenhouse pollution. Because of the hundreds of billions of tons of industrial carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere, the global climate is continuing to warm, with every decade since the 1970s warmer than the last, and the impacts of global warming are accelerating faster than scientists projected.

John Kasich Tells Pope: Climate Change Is 'Some Theory That's Not Proven'

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:26:00 GMT

On Meet the Press this Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) rejected the science of fossil-fueled global warming. Kasich told host Chuck Todd that manmade climate change is “some theory that’s not proven”, in response to a question about Pope Francis, who recently authored the influential climate encyclical, Laudato Si’.

CHUCK TODD: You brought up the environment. [Pope Francis] is somebody who believes that climate change is manmade and that man needs to do something about it. Do you agree with him?

GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH: Well, I think that man absolutely affects the environment. But as to whether, you know, what the impact is, the overall impact, I think that’s a legitimate debate. But what I do think is, you know, in my state of Ohio, you know, we preciously take care of Lake Erie. We’ve reduced emissions by 30% over the last ten years. We believe in alternative energy. So of course we have to be sensitive to it. But we don’t want to destroy people’s jobs based on some theory that’s not proven.

Todd did not correct Kasich, moving on to a question about conservative activist Erick Erickson.

The National Journal’s Clare Foran published an attempt by the Kasich campaign to deny Kasich’s climate denial: “The governor has long believed climate change is real and we need to so something about it. The debate over exact percentages of why it is happening is less important than what can be done about it. We know it is real, we know man has an impact, and we know we need to do something.”

In reality, the carbon-dioxide greenhouse effect is a physical fact known since the 1800s. The only scientifically plausible systematic explanation for the rapid and continuing warming of the planetary climate since 1950 is industrial greenhouse pollution. The world’s national scientific societies and the world’s practicing climate scientists are in overwhelming agreement about this fact.

At Koch Retreat, Pollution Billionaires Cheer Ted Cruz's Climate Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:56:00 GMT

Ted CruzTo resounding applause, Texas Senator Ted Cruz told the attendees of an exclusive Koch brothers retreat that man-made global warming is a scientific conspiracy. Under questioning by Politico’s Mike Allen, Cruz claimed that “power-greedy politicians” have colluded with climate scientists for decades in attempts to impose “massive government control of the economy.”

From the National Review:

Allen asked Cruz if he is concerned by a Boston Globe story published on Saturday that suggests Republicans will pay a price in 2016 for their skepticism about climate change. Cruz’s response? “Not remotely.” He went on to recall the 1970s panic over global cooling and a coming ice age. “The solution they proposed was massive government control of the economy, the energy sector, and our lives. Then the data disproved it,” he said. ”Then it became global warming. Interestingly enough, the solution was identical: massive government control over the economy, the energy sector, and our lives. Then the data didn’t support it, so they entered theory number three, climate change. Now, to any power-greedy politician, this is the perfect theory, it can never, ever, ever, be disproven, if it gets hotter, if it gets colder, if it gets wetter, if it gets drier.” The climate issue is in the news once again with the administration set to unveil sweeping new regulations on carbon emissions from power plants. President Obama earlier in the day released a video that warns of “hotter summers, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events.” Asked whether the president is exaggerating, Cruz said, ”You know, there’s a different word than exaggerating.”

Time’s Philip Elliott reports:

“If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years, there’s been zero recorded warming,” Cruz said in California’s Orange County. “The satellite says it ain’t happening.”

Instead, Cruz said, government researchers are reverse engineering data sets to falsify changes in the climate. “They’re cooking the books. They’re actually adjusting the numbers,” Cruz said. “Enron used to do their books the same way.”

Cruz said scientists four decades ago were studying “global cooling, a global ice age was coming,” and they were as wrong as those who now say the earth is warming.

“Senator, you’re not saying global warming isn’t real?” interrupted his interviewer, Politico’s Mike Allen.

“I’m saying that data and facts don’t support it,” Cruz said to applause from 450 donors to the political network organized by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.

Charles and David Koch are the world’s wealthiest carbon-industry titans, with a combined petrochemical fortune of greater than $100 billion. The identity of other attendees at the retreat were kept secret, with the agreement of the reporters in attendance.

Charles Koch Affirms He's A Climate Denier

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:00:00 GMT

KochIn an interview with USA Today, petrochemical baron Charles Koch reiterated his rejection of the scientific consensus on industrial global warming.

“You can plausibly say that CO2 has contributed” to the planet’s warming, he told USA Today reporter Fredreka Schouten, but he sees “no evidence” to support “this theory that it’s going to be catastrophic.”

Koch may have been forced to admit that carbon-dioxide pollution is warming the planet by research he funded—the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study, which replicated previous global temperature reconstructions.

In fact, the only scientifically plausible systematic explanation for the rapid and continuing warming of the planetary climate since 1950 is industrial greenhouse pollution. The world’s national scientific societies and the world’s practicing climate scientists are in overwhelming agreement that dangerous impacts of global warming are already being observed, and globally catastrophic impacts are inevitable if further carbon dioxide pollution is not curtailed.

The $100 billion fortune of the Koch brothers is built upon decades of greenhouse pollution. To protect their business, the Kochs have spent billions supporting a vast infrastructure of politicians and advocacy organizations to reject the science of climate change and prevent regulation of climate pollutants.

UPDATE: Greenpeace’s Connor Gibson has more.

American Meteorological Society Objects to Congressional Investigation of Its Anti-Science Members

Posted by Brad Johnson Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:43:00 GMT

Keith Seitter
AMS Executive Director Keith Seitter
The American Meteorological Society's executive director, Keith Seitter, has condemned a Congressional investigation of the potential corruption of scientific testimony on climate change by AMS members.

The investigation was launched by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) following the revelations that the research of Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory was secretly financed by the fossil-fuel industry, including Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, and Southern Company. Soon testified before Congress in 2003 questioning the scientific consensus on fossil-fueled global warming.

Grijalva sent letters to the universities of seven other academics who have been Republican witnesses challenging the climate-science consensus, asking for testimony-related financial disclosure. Seitter responded by condemning the investigation.

"Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers," Seitter wrote in the AMS response. "Further, requesting copies of the researcher’s communications related to external funding opportunities or the preparation of testimony impinges on the free pursuit of ideas that is central to the concept of academic freedom."

Not mentioned by Seitter is that six of the seven targets of the Grijalva investigation are AMS members.

Judith Curry was elected a Fellow of AMS in 1995 and a councillor of AMS in 1997. John Christy received a Special Award from AMS in 1996, and was elected a Fellow in 2002. David Legates has been the faculty advisor to the Student Chapter of AMS and is an AMS certified consulting meteorologist. Richard Lindzen has received AMS's Meisinger and Charney Awards and was a member of the AMS Council. Robert Balling is a member and frequent presenter at AMS conferences. Roger Pielke Jr is an AMS member.

Pepperdine and American Enterprise Institute historian Steven Hayward is the only investigative target not in the American Meteorological Society.

These AMS members are notable for their public denunciation of the scientific community and specific scientists, including other members of AMS.

Below are some examples.

"The problem is that Obama is listening to scientists that are either playing politics with their expertise, or responding to a political mandate from the administration (probably a combination of both). Not just administrators in govt labs (e.g. [Gavin] Schmidt, [Tom] Karl), but think of the scientist networks of John Holdren and John Podesta: to me the scariest one one is [Michael] Mann to [Joseph] Romm to Podesta." - Judith Curry, 1/21/15
"When you're an alarmist, being wrong, lying, cheating, misleading the public and killing jobs simply do not count against you — even when the allegedly human-caused global warming stopped in 1996." - David Legates, 10/16/13
"[The hacked University of East Anglia email correspondence] is clear proof of what we have suspected: That these thugs have strong-armed and subverted the peer review process by demanding they be reviewers of papers critical of their work, removing editors who are not predisposed to their views, and even threatening to boycott journals that publish papers with which they disagree.” - David Legates, 1/18/10
"Because this issue has policy implications that may potentially raise the price of energy significantly (and thus essentially the price of everything else), the U.S. Congress should not rely exclusively on the U.N. assessments because the process by which they were written includes biased, false, and/or misleading information about one of the most murky of sciences – climate." - John Christy, 3/31/11
"[The Draft National Assessment on Climate Change] is much closer to pseudoscience than it is to science. . . . History tells us that when scientists willingly endorse sweeping governmental agendas fueled by dodgy science, bad things soon happen." - Robert Balling, 4/15/13
"It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going." - Richard Lindzen, 9/28/13
"Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating." - Richard Lindzen, Congressional testimony, 11/17/10

Hill Heat has previously compiled a list of dozens of attacks made by Roger Pielke Jr, a political scientist, against climate scientists.

Roger Pielke Sr, Pielke Jr's father and another climate scientist who has testified before Congress rejecting the climate science consensus, was elected a Fellow of AMS in 1982. Pielke Sr was a member of the AMS Committee for Statements on Weather Modification. AMS's official statement on climate change was issued in August 2012, after significant delay. Pielke Sr was a likely source of such delay, as he strongly advocated for changes to weaken the statement. Pielke Sr has accused fellow AMS members including Tom Karl, Ben Santer, Tom Peterson, Tom Wigley, and Peter Thorne of "inappropriate" behavior, "collusion," and "conflicts of interest" to suppress dissenting views [his].

This is not the first time the executive director of the AMS has criticized efforts to hold climate deniers publicly accountable.

Seitter previously criticized the science-activist organization Forecast the Facts for "apply[ing] public pressure" on "broadcast meteorologists who are identified as 'deniers' based on views they have expressed with respect to climate change."

Dozens of television weather reporters who have attacked climate science and scientists are AMS members. At least twenty television weathermen who publicly reject basic climate science are AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologists, the society's seal of approval granting them scientific legitimacy in their role as weather and climate communicators.

"The AMS maintains that peer-review is the appropriate mechanism to assess the validity and quality of scientific research," Seitter wrote, "regardless of the funding sources supporting that research as long as those funding sources and any potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed."

The pursuit of that disclosure is, of course, the stated purpose of Grijalva's investigation, as the scientific community failed to ensure such disclosure in the case of Willie Soon.

According to the AMS bylaws:

  • Members should conduct themselves in an ethical manner and reflect dignity and honor on their profession.
  • Members should base their practice on sound scientific principles applied in a scientific manner.
  • Members should not direct their professional activities into practices generally recognized as being detrimental to, or incompatible with, the general public welfare.
  • Members should refrain from making exaggerated or unwarranted claims and statements.
  • Either the claims made by AMS and the rest of the global scientific community are exaggerated, unwarranted, and detrimental to the general public welfare, or the claims of the academics under investigation are. Either the burning of hundreds of billions of tons of fossil fuels is disrupting the climate and threatening the public welfare, or the global scientific community has been corrupted into deceiving the general public into policies that would unnecessarily transform global energy production through massive government intervention. Either the climate conspiracy theorists are ethical AMS members, or all of the other members are.

    For decades now the AMS has looked the other way and pretended this fundamental conflict within its ranks does not need to be resolved.

    The American Meteorological Society seems uninterested in maintaining the ethical standards of its members and defending scientific integrity. Its executive director is compounding the error by criticizing Rep. Grijalva for taking action to do just that.

    UPDATE: The AMS letter has been endorsed by industry-funded science denier Steven "Junkman" Milloy. In a tweet linking to Seitter's letter, Milloy wrote, "The new climate CONSENSUS is that skeptic persecutor @RepRaulGrijalva is an idiot."

    Fox Business Marks Sandy Anniversary with Climate Denial

    Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 29 Oct 2013 06:13:00 GMT

    On the one year anniversary of the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Business Network is promoting the conspiracy theory that climate science is a liberal fiction. Fox Business host Stuart Varney railed against the “global warming agenda” of the “mainstream media.”
    It is one year since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast. The mainstream media continues to use the storm to push a global warming agenda.

    Watch it:

    Varney’s guest, the conservative Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor, complained that of the 32 segments in network news his group found that mentioned Sandy and global warming, only two questioned the overwhelming science that the increasing greenhouse effect from the combustion of fossil fuels is accelerating sea level rise and making weather more extreme and chaotic. Despite numerous scientific attribution studies on wildfires, heat waves, droughts, and storms that have found global warming fingerprints, Gainor falsely claimed that “we cannot link climate change or global warming to a specific event.” He furthermore dismissed the decades of work by thousands of scientists in all earth-science disciplines that provide our understanding of climate change as “stuff” and “guesswork.”

    Gainor did not emphasize that his organization found only 32 mentions of climate change and Sandy in an entire year of network news coverage. (In contrast, for example, there were 52 segments on Iran’s nuclear program in five months of network news coverage from November 2011 to March 2012.)

    Climate denial is rampant in the financial press, not just the media organs owned by Murdoch like Fox and the Wall Street Journal. Forbes regularly publishes climate-denial columns, and Reuters editors are openly hostile to climate science. And Comcast’s CNBC features hosts such as Joe Kernen, who argues that the findings of climate science are a plot concocted by a “bonafide cult” of “enviro-socialists” and the “eco-taliban.”

    Varney and Gainor also bemoaned the public stand the Los Angeles Times has taken against global warming denial in its opinion pages. Over 25,000 people have signed a petition from climate accountability organization Forecast the Facts calling on the nation’s other major papers, including the New York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post, to follow suit.

    Turning the TideOn Sunday, Forecast the Facts hosted a forum held in downtown New York City looking at the role of Wall Street in financing the climate change that threatens New York’s future prosperity. The panelists of the Turning the Tide forum, including Center for American Progress senior fellow Bracken Hendricks, Tom Steyer advisor Kate Gordon, and New Economy Lab’s James Slezak, discussed how the financial industry needs to reject the anti-scientific arguments pushed by Murdoch’s media properties and David H. Koch’s network of think tanks and advocacy groups.

    Gordon cited the Risky Business initative, led by Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. The initiative, Gordon explained, is meant not only to provide an economic assessment of the risk exposure different companies and industries have to manmade global warming, but also to change the culture of the financial sector. With that goal in mind, influential Republicans and conservatives who accept the basic science of climate change have been courted.

    Wall Street is at a crossroads, all the panelists agreed. On the path of fossil-fuel companies and climate deniers like New York City’s richest man, carbon financier David H. Koch, lies accelerating sea level rise and intensifying storms that will swamp the islands of New York City. But the investors and analysts can choose another path, recognize the science, and invest in a sustainable future that will save their city.

    Fox Business Network Transcript:

    VARNEY: It is one year since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast. The mainstream media continues to use the storm to push a global warming agenda. Dan Gainor from the Media Research Center is here. He’s done the study. Dan, I think first of all you have some numbers on the stories run by the broadcast networks on Sandy. Go.

    GAINOR: A year after we have seen all of this devastation, what we find is that every single time in the stories where they talk about Sandy and global warming or climate change, they are linking the two. Yet we have seen experts for years telling us that we cannot link climate change or global warming to a specific event. It is okay when they do it.

    VARNEY: Hold on. Wait a second. Was there any counter opinion offered on the story? You looked at 32 stories. 100 percent of them linked climate change to Hurricane Sandy. Did anyone come on and say, hold on a second, hold on a second, it is not that clear-cut, there’s another point of view? Did anybody?

    GAINOR: No. They did not have anyone on. and in only two of the stories, 6 percent of the time, that they even had the most casual mention. That is the extent. They never had anyone on who would disagree, and there are a lot of people who disagree, obviously.

    VARNEY: I want you to listen to what the Los Angeles Times said, an editorial, I think it’s from the editor of Los Angeles Times: “Simply put I do my best to keep errors of fact of the letters page.” Saying, “There is no sign humans have caused climate change is not stating in opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.” The L.A. Times will no longer accept letters from global warming skeptics. What do you say to that, Dan?

    GAINOR: It is more media censorship. At least they are honest about it, they’re honest that they will not let anybody have a counter opinion. All of this stuff is based on predictions. The predictions thus far have been consistently wrong. And yet they’re saying, “We’ve been wrong, we are wrong, we are wrong. But next time down the road, then you can expect we will be right.” They’re expecting anywhere from one to 3% of world GDP to be spent on climate change. They’re doing it based on guesswork.

    Text of Sen. Harry Reid's Remarks at the Fifth Annual National Clean Energy Summit

    Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 07 Aug 2012 18:20:00 GMT

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke today at the National Clean Energy Summit 5.0: The Power of Choice, in Las Vegas, Nev.

    Harry ReidGood morning, and welcome to the National Clean Energy Summit: The Power of Choice. I am pleased to once again host this important event with the support of the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, the MGM Resorts International and the UNLV.

    Over the last four years, this summit has brought together investors, innovators, academics and policy makers dedicated to moving the clean energy industry forward.

    There should be no one in this room who doubts the importance of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels – not only because it’s good for the environment, but because it’s good for the economy and good for national security.

    We’ve already seen how incentives, funding and public-private partnerships have spurred job creation and innovation in this critical sector. This has been a ray of sunshine during the Great Recession.

    It is easy to see the logic, the urgency and the opportunity of a clean energy revolution. That is why President Obama has fought hard to advance the policies that will reduce our reliance on oil and other fossil fuels, increase our production of clean energy and create good-paying jobs that can never be outsourced.

    But his administration has waged an up-hill battle against moneyed special interests and their allies in Congress, who are invested in maintaining their sweetheart relationship with coal and oil companies.

    As hard as it is to comprehend, there are still members of Congress resisting clean energy’s American success story. And sadly they’re doing their best to send clean energy industries and jobs overseas, and hindering the revolution in the process.

    Twenty-five years ago, President George H.W. Bush promised to use the “White House effect” to combat the “greenhouse effect.” Yet a quarter century later, too many elected officials in Washington are still calling climate change a liberal hoax. They falsely claim scientists are still debating whether carbon pollution is warming the planet.

    Of course, if those skeptics had taken a stroll along the Potomac River on a 70-degree day this February, they would have seen cherry trees blossoming earlier than at any time since they were planted 100 years ago. Washington experienced its warmest spring since record keeping began in 1895.

    And back in the skeptics’ home states, the harbingers of a changing climate are just as clear as those delicate February blossoms – and infinitely more perilous.

    This year alone, the United States has seen unparalleled extreme weather events – events scientists say are exactly what is expected as the earth’s climate changes.

    The Midwest is experiencing its most crushing drought in more than half a century – or maybe ever. Presently, disasters have been declared in the majority of U.S. counties. More than half the country is experiencing drought, and seventy-five percent of the nation is abnormally dry this year.

    Corn crops are withering and livestock are dying – or going to slaughter early – as heat waves parch America’s breadbasket, breaking records set during the Woody Guthrie Dust Bowl years.

    Now ravaging wildfires have replaced the dust storms of the 1930’s. Devastating fires have swept New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and other parts of the Mountain West, destroying hundreds of homes and burning millions of trees. These fires are fed in part by vast areas of dead forest ravaged by beetles and other pests that now survive through warmer winters.

    On the East Coast, extreme thunderstorms and high winds called “derechos” – literally meaning straight-line storms – have eliminated power for 4.3 million customers in 10 states in the mid-Atlantic region. One 38-year veteran of the utility industry told the New York Times this: “We’ve got the ‘storm of the century’ every year now.” At the height of this storm – while the power was out and the air conditioning wasn’t working – the East Coast experienced record high temperatures.

    Down south, the Mississippi River is nearly dry in various places, with shipping barges operating in only 5 feet of water. Just Friday, barges were grounded because the water level was so low. And New Orleans’ water supply is now being threatened by salt water moving up the Mississippi due to extremely low water.

    But while record drought has struck many parts of the United States, torrential rains have poured down in others. In June, the fourth tropical storm of the hurricane season – a season which typically begins in the fall – dropped 20 inches of rain on Florida.

    And our nation’s infrastructure is literally falling apart because it wasn’t designed to withstand these conditions. Runways are melting, trapping planes. Train tracks are bending, derailing subways. Highways are cracking, buckling and breaking open. The water used to cool power plants – including nuclear power plants – has either run dry or reached dangerously high temperatures.

    And that’s just in the United States – just through the month of July.

    Arctic sea ice is also at its lowest point in recorded history.

    This month, the massive ice sheet atop Greenland experienced sudden and almost uniform melting – a phenomenon not seen in the modern age.

    This spring, rain fell unexpectedly in Mecca despite 109-degree temperatures. It was the hottest downpour in the planet’s recorded history.

    The Amazon River Basin has experienced super-flooding – reaching record high levels due to long summer rains and greater than normal glacial melting.

    Massive forest fires have swept Siberia.

    Monsoons in Bangladesh left hundreds dead and nearly 7 million people homeless.

    And last week more than 600 million people in India were without power. Late monsoons and record temperatures increased demand for electricity to irrigate crops and air condition homes, overloading the fragile power grid and causing the blackout.

    Scientists say this is genesis – the beginning. The more extreme climate change gets, the more extreme the weather will get. In the words of one respected climate scientist: “This is what global warming looks like.”

    Dozens of new reports from scientists around the globe link extreme weather to climate change. Not every flood or drought can be attributed to human-induced transformation of our planet’s weather patterns. But scientists report that these extreme events are dozens of times more likely because of those changes.

    The seriousness of this problem is not lost on your average American. A large majority of people finally believe climate change is real, and that it is the cause of extreme weather. Yet despite having overwhelming evidence and public opinion on our side, deniers still exist, fueled and funded by dirty energy profits.

    These people aren’t just on the other side of this debate. They’re on the other side of reality.

    It’s time for us all – whether we’re leaders in Washington, members of the media, scientists, academics, environmentalists or utility industry executives – to stop acting like those who ignore the crisis or deny it exists entirely have a valid point of view. They don’t.

    Virtually every respected, independent scientist in the world agrees the problem is real, and the time to act is now. Not tomorrow. Not a week from now. Not next month or next year. We must act today.

    As Americans, we have the power to choose the kind of world in which we live. Every decision we make – large and small – matters. Some choices are as simple as turning off the light when you leave the room. Others are more ambitious – such as committing the Department of Defense, the largest energy consumer in the world, to transition to clean, renewable energy.

    But every choice has benefits – or consequences.

    About 50 miles north of Las Vegas, the Reid-Gardner coal-fired power plant is nestled in the pastoral Moapa Valley. Since it began operating during the Johnson Administration, Reid Gardner has burned tens of millions of tons of coal.

    Each year for the last 47 years, more than 2.8 million tons of climate-changing carbon dioxide – not to mention thousands of pounds of toxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead - go up the plant’s four giant smokestacks.

    About two football fields away from those smoke stacks lives a band of 300 Moapa Paiute Indians. Every day Reid-Gardner rains down on the dwindling Native American tribe fine particulates and coal ash filled with chemicals that cause cancer, emphysema and heart problems.

    The soot – and the dangerous chemicals inside it – is literally killing the Pauites.

    It’s no secret coal plants kill. Each year, more than 24,000 deaths are attributed to emissions from coal-fired power plants in the United States alone.

    That’s why it is time to close the dirty relic, Reid-Gardner.

    Just imagine living two football fields from thousands of tons of poisons, ever present, always spewing their toxins on your home.

    Every year we spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying coal from other states to burn in Nevada. It’s time to make a different choice – a choice that brings new clean energy industries and jobs to Nevada. A choice to invest in our own natural resources.

    The more dirty coal we use, the higher the price of coal gets. The more solar power we use, the cheaper it gets. Shutting down this one coal-fired power plant won’t save the planet all at once – but it would save an Indian homeland.

    A famous maxim says “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For consumers, that step might be deciding to buy energy-efficient light bulbs, drive a next-generation vehicle or turn off the lights when you leave the room. For NV Energy, the first step should be deciding to turn out the lights on Reid-Gardner – and turn them out forever.

    Our guests and speakers today will outline some of the other decisions that lie ahead.

    Today my friend, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, will tell you what the federal government has already done to accelerate development of renewable energy offshore and on public lands.

    The job-creation power of clean technology is on display in Nevada, where more than a dozen renewable energy facilities have been constructed on public lands.

    This week Pattern Energy will dedicate the 150 megawatt Spring Valley Wind project. It is the first commercial wind project in Nevada, also located on federal land in White Pine County.

    And dozens of geothermal wells on public lands power the cities of Reno and Sparks, in Northern Nevada.

    Today you’ll also hear from utility and renewable energy industry executives, scientists, educators and lawmakers about the combination of policies and incentives the government and the private sector can use to create jobs and expand clean technologies.

    You’ll hear from inventors of next-generation electric vehicles.

    You’ll hear from innovators with solutions to reduce our energy needs and meet our electricity demand without climate-changing fuels. They are helping to bring new technologies and products to market that give consumers more and better choices, and help them save money on their energy bills.

    And you’ll hear from President Bill Clinton – on the challenge – and the choice – facing every American – and facing our nation: how to grow our economy – and save the planet – at the same time.

    Today’s speakers and panels will lay out a path forward that may seem daunting, but is entirely achievable if we invest our collective effort. It’s entirely achievable if we stop allowing deniers to frame the debate, and demonize clean energy for their own short-term, political gain.

    After all, the technology to change course is not futuristic. It’s available and affordable today. All we have to do is decide to use it.

    The power of choice is in our hands. I urge you to choose the clean, safe and reliable path with me. Our future depends on it.

    And now it’s my honor to introduce a man who has always been a leader on clean energy issues. As a farmer and an environmental lawyer, Ken Salazar understands as well as anyone the challenges of climate change, and what it will take to address them. As a Senator, Ken had a vision to build an economy that relied on clean, renewable energy. And as Secretary of the Interior, Ken has led the effort to increase development of renewable resources on federal land. It is my pleasure to introduce my friend, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

    'SuperFreakonomics' Calls Global Warming a 'Religion'

    Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 12 Oct 2009 23:31:00 GMT

    Hill Heat has acquired the global warming chapter from the new book SuperFreakonomics, the sequel to the best-selling Freakonomics, by economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. The authors write that “Any religion, meanwhile, has its heretics, and global warming is no exception,” and that “it’s illogical to believe in a carbon-induced warming apocalypse.” At Climate Progress, Joseph Romm has a harsh critique of basic errors in science. Romm also quotes climate scientist Ken Caldeira, who tells Romm:
    Every carbon dioxide emission adds to climate damage and increasing risk of catastrophic consequences.

    In SuperFreakonomics, however, Levitt and Dubner claim that Caldeira believes “carbon dioxide is not the right villain in this fight.”