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Another EPA report gets
June 19, 2003 10:53 AM   Subscribe

More environmental data goes down the memory hole... Another EPA report gets "edited" by the White House to minimize warnings about climate change and the contributing factors of industrial and automotive emissions. Data from a 2001 report on climate by the National Research Council commissioned by by White House is omitted in favor of research data funded by the American Petroleum Institute. Behold the best government money can buy...
posted by crookdimwit (20 comments total)

 
Why, you crookdimwit! I knew I should've gathered these links faster. But since you posted first, let me just mention...

a) This must be one of the 'Accomplishments' Christie Whitman is so 'Proud of'as she prepares to leave next week ...

b) What's being left out of this report? Oh, only something that 'threatens Earth with mass extinction'

c) It's worth noting, as I'm sure the report doesn't, that 20% of global warming is caused by cattle being raised for food.
posted by soyjoy at 11:00 AM on June 19, 2003


c) It's worth noting, as I'm sure the report doesn't, that 20% of global warming is caused by cattle being raised for food.

Well, let's see. The CNN article says "The collective breathing of cows accounts for nearly 20 percent of the methane gas released into the atmosphere." So you're saying that the sole cause of global warming is methane gas released into the atmosphere? Interesting.

Also, the "mass extinction" link says, "Researchers at Bristol University have discovered that a mere 6 degrees of global warming was enough to wipe out up to 95 per cent of the species which were alive on earth at the end of the Permian period, 250 million years ago."

We don't have an accurate count of how many species there are right now; how do we know how many there were back then? Just curious. And what sort of species were they? How adaptable? How similar was that ecosystem to ours today? Did the volcano erruption at the time cause other issues aside from warming?
posted by Ayn Marx at 12:02 PM on June 19, 2003


What exactly are you getting at Ayn?

And what does the Permian species count, (or the current one for that matter), have to do with anything?

The simple fact is this: Global warming is a really bad thing for us and for life on this planet.

All scientific data suggests that human activities are causing global warming to increase more rapidly than it would without those activities.

Therefore, it is in our best interest to do something about it.

I work with right-wingers who make statements such as:
"Global warming and cooling has always gone on, and there no indication that emissions have anything to do with it, so we can just dismiss it."

Yeah right. And you completely bypass the actual point raised by the FPP which has the EPA's report being "edited" to remove sections which might result in an "anti-business" conclusion, (that clean air and restictions on emissions might be a good thing), being in it.
posted by Windopaene at 12:35 PM on June 19, 2003


Ayn - you're right. I should've said "20% of greenhouse gases." I stand corrected.
posted by soyjoy at 12:42 PM on June 19, 2003


The simple fact is this: Global warming is a really bad thing for us and for life on this planet.

So are man-eating dinosaurs.
posted by Witty at 1:28 PM on June 19, 2003


Well,gosh, it's a good thing we killed them all then. What's your point, Witty?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:36 PM on June 19, 2003


I dunno about Witty - but for me the point, once you factor out the cows, is as one of the environmentalists said: "Political staff are becoming increasingly bold in forcing agency officials to endorse junk science." This is part of a pattern of outrageous and unprecedented suppression of truth on the part of the Bush administration. And again, because they do it so much, this story just gets lost in the wash of other crap.
posted by soyjoy at 2:19 PM on June 19, 2003


And what does the Permian species count, (or the current one for that matter), have to do with anything?

WTF? The point of that article was that, supposedly, 95% of the Permian species were wiped out. I want to know 95% percent of *what* number, and how the ecosystem of that time compares to ours today. Otherwise we're looking at a big fudge factor and a massive "so what?".

The simple fact is this: Global warming is a really bad thing for us and for life on this planet.

Can I get a "Duh!"? The issue is what to do about it, over what period of time, at what cost, on whose dime, with what results.

Yeah right. And you completely bypass the actual point raised by the FPP which has the EPA's report being "edited" to remove sections which might result in an "anti-business" conclusion, (that clean air and restictions on emissions might be a good thing), being in it.

And you're sure that the economic side-effects of anti-business conclusion won't have a more immediate and unfortunate impact on the quality of life for the average person than other approaches to climate changes?
posted by Ayn Marx at 2:26 PM on June 19, 2003


Thank you -- yet again -- Mr. Nader.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:27 PM on June 19, 2003


I used to contract for the EPA. While I have little regard for the Bush administration, I have even less for the EPA. I didn't meet a single EPA employee who struck me as bright enough to tie one shoe at the same time, unassisted.

The EPA is not a scientific body. They are a political agency. They've decided that global warming officially exists, and that their mission is to hype it up, promoting data which supports it and ignoring and marginalizing data which doesn't. This is what they do, with great vigor and a total disregard for scientific standards. After all, if there weren't terrible and imminent threats to the environment, what would the EPA's mission be? If the US government created an Administration of Giant Deadly Marauding Birds, you can bet your ass that they will promote the terrible threat posed by giant deadly maurauding birds, and request much more funding to pinpoint and fight this menace.

As far as I can see, this is one gang of liars overwriting the untruths of another gang.
posted by rusty at 2:40 PM on June 19, 2003


If the US government created an Administration of Giant Deadly Marauding Birds, you can bet your ass that they will promote the terrible threat posed by giant deadly maurauding birds, and request much more funding to pinpoint and fight this menace.

What can we do about these birds? I'm scared.
posted by COBRA! at 2:57 PM on June 19, 2003


rusty, you're coming off as precisely as scientific and logical as you accuse the EPA being. Nowhere do you actually make a case for them being wrong, you simply take their being wrong as your starting assumption and go on a bit of a tear. What's more, you seem to be implying that environmental hazards do not and even cannot exist: classifying them along with "giant deadly marauding birds". Can you back that up with some evidence, preferably some that conforms to these "scientific standards" you give lip service to?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:12 PM on June 19, 2003


Nowhere do you actually make a case for them being wrong, you simply take their being wrong as your starting assumption and go on a bit of a tear.


Yeah, and?

:)
posted by Ayn Marx at 4:44 PM on June 19, 2003


I should've said "20% of greenhouse gases."

You should have said: "%20 of methane gas, which is one of the many greenhouse gases".

I'm just suprised the 6 billion humans breathing have not been fingered. Or the sheep. What about the wild turkeys? And giant maurauding bird farts are a menace.
posted by stbalbach at 5:17 PM on June 19, 2003


I remember during the Clinton Administration, Al Gore took it upon himself to create an utter perversion of science to justify his personal opinions about global warming. I remember it so well because they gave out free CDs to show how bad things really were, except they kind of avoided having any boring science stuff on the CDs, but they did have a couple of a few seconds video clips of either the north or south pole. Oh, and we're all gonna die.

In other words, that we are endangered by Jurassic Park dinosaurs wasn't enough. Al tried to tell us that the dinosaurs were hundreds of miles tall and ate whole cities and stuff!

And now this... Pity the poor climatologist who just wants to do the boring science stuff without becoming a political pawn.
posted by kablam at 5:21 PM on June 19, 2003


And you're sure that the economic side-effects of anti-business conclusion won't have a more immediate and unfortunate impact on the quality of life for the average person than other approaches to climate changes?

Lots of assumptions in the above. Assumption 1: that pro-environment is "anti-business". Rubbish. In the end, business relies on the environment as much as you and I -- because they damn well are you and I. Second, people will pay to protect the environment in the same way that they pay to have their windows washed. Therefore environmental protection is a product, and if businesses cant figure that out, they don't deserve to be in business.

Assumption 2: That "a more immediate and unfortunate impact on the quality of life for the average person" is the worse thing that could happen. First, define "quality of life". You'll find lots of opposing viewpoints on this. Breathing shit air and getting cancer from the water is some people's idea of poor quality of life. Not being able to buy molded thermoplastic items made in China at Wal-Mart is other people's idea of poor quality of life. (Guess which side I'm on.) Second, an immediate reduction in some superficial measure of quality of life in the short term to prevent a major collapse in the long term may be a pretty good tradeoff.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:34 PM on June 19, 2003


"Unfortunately, we haven't yet figured out a way to put boxes on cows' assholes."

-Ralph Nader
posted by homunculus at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2003


George: I wasn't making an argument about the rightness or wrongness of their conclusions. I was pointing out that the way they reached them was a political process, not a scientific one. The existence or non-existence of global warming, or whether we caused it and what it means, is not something that I'm qualified to assess. My point was that neither is the EPA.
posted by rusty at 7:58 PM on June 19, 2003


"Farmers will be taxed on the flatulence of their livestock in a bid to reduce New Zealand's contribution to global warming."
posted by homunculus at 9:28 PM on June 19, 2003


Pascal's wager seems germane, if ported to discussions of this issue. But then again, what do I know?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:12 PM on June 19, 2003


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