Sunday, November 25, 2012

ALEC/Heartland - Climate Change Deniers Til the End

It is interesting how the search engines change from day to day.  Today not much out there about ALEC educational policies – cause people actually believe that ALEC has changed their stance – oh what fools those mortals be.
Anyway – today’s trending topic is climate.
From Bernie Sanders webpage this morning:

Renewable Energy Mandates The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country, the Washington Post repoted [sic].

So let’s back up and look at these two bastions of climate denial.

First from the leaked documents from the Heartland – last year:
The Heartland
B. Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) Heartland sponsors the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of scientists who write and speak out on climate change. Heartland pays a team of scientists approximately $300,000 a year to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered, the most comprehensive and authoritative rebuttal of the United Nations’ IPCC reports. Another $88,000 is earmarked for Heartland staff, incremental expenses, and overhead for editing, expense reimbursement for the authors, and marketing.
Then on to ALEC’s ongoing climate change battle for their fossil fuel, free-market, corporate profit sector members.

ALEC has been writing about climate change since the first fossil fuel corporate profit sector member wrote them a $50,000 check.  ALEC’s goal is to service those fossil fuel ALEC corporate profit sector members.  ALEC is prolific when it comes to this subject – so prolific that a person would need to write a tome to even touch on just a few of the key points that ALEC spouts as “climate truth”.  I would suggest reading a CMD article that was published last year by Jill Richardson with lots of links. 

It’s also very important for the reader to understand that ALEC sends out this propaganda on a monthly basis to ALEC legislators – who believe it – without questioning it.  I guess our job to makes ALEC legislators start questioning this – if they want to keep their “public service” jobs.  (But then ALEC wants to privatize all public services/goods – so maybe ALEC legislators don’t really care about “public service”.)
In 1995 ALEC published this statement in their
WHEREAS, The free market, not government mandates, works best in producing environmentally responsible, affordable conventional and alternative fuels;
AND unfortunately – ALEC legislators truly believe that.

ALEC writes a lot of resolutions – most of them in opposition of something – ‘cause ALEC doesn’t like much of anything in the United States – except their corporate profit sector members.

First – some ALEC “opposition resolution” from 2007 that speaks volumes (my emphasis), please read it:

American Legislative Exchange Council
Resolution in Opposition to EPA’s Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources

Whereas, in Massachusetts v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court found in a 5-4 decision that Massachusetts had been harmed by global warming, that EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under § 202 of the Clean Air Act, and that EPA has failed to justify its decision to not already regulate greenhouse gases;

Whereas, the alleged harms found by the Supreme Court cannot reasonably be  “anticipated to endanger public health or welfare”1 as required by § 202 of the Clean Air Act (§ 202 regulates emissions from new vehicles):

The rise in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases is not linked to a decline in welfare or public health—indeed, quite the opposite is true. While carbon dioxide levels have risen from 0.03 percent of the earth’s atmosphere in pre-industrial times to 0.04 percent of the earth’s atmosphere today,2 temperatures have risen just 1°F since the end of the Little Ice Age a little over 100 years ago. During the warming of the past 100 years, global GDP has increased 18-fold, average life span doubled, and per capita food supplies increased even though population almost quadrupled.

The Supreme Court cited a “precipitate rise in sea levels”3 as a harm caused by an increase in greenhouse gas levels. However, global sea level is rising at a pace of less than 6 inches per century, which is consistent with the rate of sea level rise that has been occurring since the end of the last ice age epoch 15,000 years ago. Moreover, the rate of sea level rise has been decreasing during the past 50 years.4 Furthermore, in Massachusetts and other places in the United States it is difficult to discern a threat to public health or welfare from sea level rise. The value of waterfront real estate has dramatically increased, even as sea level has risen.

The Supreme Court stated that “rising ocean temperatures may contribute to the ferocity of hurricanes.” However, scientists at the National Hurricane Center  (NHC) have documented that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. “[W]e don’t see any new trend. There’s no link to global warming that you can see at all,” NHC hurricane expert Chris Landsea reports.5 Also, the latest computer models show global warming will cause more wind shear, which restricts the formation of hurricanes.6 Furthermore, November 2006, the World Meteorological Association released a statement reflecting their consensus opinion on the possible link between hurricanes and global warming. They stated that “no firm conclusions could be made on this point” and that “no individual tropical cyclone [hurricane] can be directly attributed to climate change.” 7

The Supreme Court cited “the global retreat of mountain glaciers, reduction in snow-cover extent, the earlier spring melting of rivers and lakes”as harms. It is difficult to see how those events “endanger public health or welfare” as required by §202 of the Clean Air Act. Consider the opposite—advancing glaciers, increase in snow-cover extent, later spring melting of rivers and lakes. Those all sound like greater dangers to public welfare.

The warming temperatures and increased precipitation of the 20th century have resulted in moister soil and less frequent and less severe drought than in centuries past.9 Scientists have likened the warmer, moister conditions of the 20th century to “literally becoming more like a garderner’s [sic] greenhouse.”

Therefore, be it resolved that because of the aforementioned lack of evidence that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases will “endanger public health or welfare” as required by §202 of the Clean Air Act, the American Legislative Exchange Council urges EPA to not make an endangerment finding under § 202 of the Clean Air Act and regulate greenhouse gases from mobile sources.

Be it further resolved that that until and unless Congress enacts new statutory language clarifying and specifying EPA’s legal and regulatory obligations with respect to carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act, EPA should refrain from further deliberations on a possible endangerment finding regarding carbon dioxide regulation under § 202 of the Clean Air Act.
I really couldn't comment on each and every paragraph - cause this resolution is just so self-explanatory of the ALEC "the world is flat" mentality on climate.

And ALEC legislators believe and spew this stuff every chance they can
Tennessee State Representative Susan Lynn, "State Legislators see how our constituents are suffering with fear of losing their job, unemployment, and the unstable economy, now the federal government wants to enact Low Carbon Fuel Standards which would further hurt consumers and do nothing to lower actual carbon emissions."
Let's see "losing jobs, unemployment, unstable economy"
breathing, death, flooding, hurricanes, drought, sunami's
I guess in my little corner of the world - if I can't breathe or eat, I die - focusing on unemployment and losing a job seem pretty myopic when it comes to climate change.
And just a couple years ago – the ALEC Energy Task Force decided to re-write their mission and – hey folks – they are still sticking to the ALEC historical  “the world is flat” scenarios when it comes to climate.
ALEC Energy Principles

Mission: To define a comprehensive strategy for energy security, production, and distribution in the states consistent with the Jeffersonian principles of free markets and federalism.
Notice how individual freedom is no longer a part of "the ALEC" focus.  Just the free-market and making sure the states control climate policies.  

Global Climate Change is Inevitable. Climate change is a historical phenomenon and the debate will continue on the significance of natural and anthropogenic contributions. ALEC will continue to monitor the issue and support the use of sound science to guide policy, but .ALEC will also incorporate economic and political realism. Unilateral efforts by the United States or regions within the United States will not significantly decrease carbon emissions globally, and international efforts to decrease emissions have proven politically infeasible and unenforceable. Policy makers in most cases are not willing to inflict economic harm on their citizens with no real benefit.  
So if the US can’t do it – by themselves – then ignore it.
Nothing else matters – there is no world or countries – outside “the world is flat” beliefs of ALEC members.

ALEC discourages impractical visionary goals that ignore economic reality
Yeh – the economic realities of ALEC’s bank account – funded by fossil fuel ALEC corporate profit sector members.

ALEC Supports Free Markets. ALEC supports free markets because markets are more effective than onerous regulation at lead to achieving optimal economic and environmental outcomes better policy outcomes than onerous regulation. lead to better policy outcomes than onerous regulation. America’s economy is becoming more energy efficient and less carbon intensive, not because of regulation, but because it saves money to be energy efficient. Free markets in energy produce more options, more energy, lower prices, and less economic disruptions. Free markets will not necessarily produce the vision of a green economy desired by supporters of government intervention are not perfect, are not perfect. but they will produce the best outcome among realistic alternatives.
Can’t believe they believe this crap enough to put it in writing.
Give me a break – yeh, like Exxon, Koch, Shell, Mobil give a damn about anything other than corporate profits.
And as a reminder - the "free-market" can not exist while AL:EC is manipulating legislation to benefit the "free market". The American Legislative Exchange council is kinda dumb that way.

Federalism: The federal government must allow states to develop their own approaches to energy policy based on their resources and demand. Misguided federal restrictions that ignore regional and local realities impose costs that are beyond the control of those whom they most affect. States know how best to utilize their land and natural resources, and their role in doing so must be preserved.
Yeh – like I want Mississippi or Alabama deciding what contributes to climate change or what does not.

So here’s the million dollar question.
Can climate change be stopped?
AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL The State Factor: Global Warming and the Kyoto Protocol has been published by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture
Task Force,
VI. Can It Be Stopped?
No known mechanism can stop global warming.
It is clearly politically untenable to impose grave economic damage in return for no detectable environmental change—even if one assumed that global warming was a terrible threat.
THAT is the climate change philosophy that ALEC have been indoctrinating ALEC legislators with for over ten years.

And the next million dollar question.
Why would the American Legislative Exchange Council take this extremist climate change position – for their corporate profit sector members, of course.
Sons of Kyoto: Greenhouse Gas Regulations in the States has been published by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
This is one of the first examples of legislated environmental coercion under the climate change agenda that seeks to remove monies from tax-paying, private sector profit centers, to finance a new industry that will not serve as a revenue source for the state general fund.

They forgot one word in that phrase - probably on purpose
“remove monies from ALEC private sector profit sectors”

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