Two days ago, I wrote about a flawed global warming analysis in the Wall Street Journal.
The paper published an opinion piece, No Need to Panic About Global Warming, written by a small group of scientists and engineers who are global warming skeptics.
Today, the other side was heard from.
The Wall Street Journal published a sharp rebuttal from 38 experts – all of them respected climatologists — who call the authors of the first piece:
[T]he climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology.
Today's piece points out that most of the authors of the first analysis have no expertise in climate science, although they are accomplished in their own respective fields.
But, as the large group of climate scientists writes today:
The National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. (set up by President Abraham Lincoln to advise on scientific issues), as well as major national academies of science around the world and every other authoritative body of scientists active in climate research have stated that the science is clear: The world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible … Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused. It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses.
I couldn’t agree more.
A new voice has joined the chorus demanding action on climate change — one that will be familiar to any winter sports fans reading this.
Hockey legend Mike Richter says he worries that future generations of children won't be able to skate on frozen ponds the way he did when he was young.
The Hall of Fame goalie, who led the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory in 1994 and helped the U.S. Olympic team win a silver medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, just wrote an op ed about climate change that ran in the Buffalo News, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Juneau Empire, among other papers.
In it, he says:
I wish we could turn back the clock. I want my boy's generation to enjoy the same rich opportunities as I had. I worry for the future of the game that I love. I worry for the future of our economy, our national security and our planet.
Richter, who has spoken out about other environmental issues in the past, has also talked about climate change in radio interviews he did during this year's Winter Olympics. You can hear some of his comments on Philadelphia's WPEN radio.
Richter was also a guest speaker at a recent Business Advocacy Day, when 200 small business leaders from around the country came to Washington to lobby for a strong clean energy and climate bill. Check out this picture of Richter talking to the audience of business pioneers (and EDF staffers who worked on the event).
The latest cover of Rolling Stone magazine didn't feature an indie star or up-and-coming talent. Instead, a simple black background pushed forward the words "YOU IDIOTS: meet the planet's worst enemies" and drew readers' attention to climate change.
The 13-page article went through the latest chapter in climate legislation, without pulling any punches. It called out every major obstacle to climate legislation from the Heritage Foundation's disinformation to the "17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming." (Two EDF experts were quoted in the piece as well: our president, Fred Krupp, and chief economist, Dan Dudek.)
While Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson captures a lot of the frustration felt in the climate campaign, he misses the mark when it comes to his closing. "The battle over global warming may already be over," he writes. "Where are the crowds marching the streets?" he asks.
We are here.
Well, we may not always be in the streets — but we are in the halls of Congress, pushing for action. And the front lines are packed with some unusual allies — steel-town mayor John Fettterman, companies and labor unions, EDF climate activists (add your voice!), and many more. This week, President Obama, too, reminded Congress that they are not done.
This fight is far from over.
Let's start with the good news first: Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp wrote an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal outlining the need for the Copenhagen talks to make progress toward an effective verification and compliance system in a final agreement.
The road to a serious global agreement goes through the U.S. Congress… The task, then, for U.S. negotiators and their counterparts, is to focus on establishing the fundamental building blocks for an effective treaty that can be finalized in 2010.
He then lists those building blocks as:
- Verifiability and compliance
Read the whole piece for insight into each point.
Now the bad news: Sarah Palin wrote an op-ed in today's Washington Post that purports to be about Copenhagen, but really just rehashes "climate-gate." The piece tries to paint global warming as purely political issue and dismisses the underlying science. Read at your own risk. Media Matters has posted a thorough fact-check of the piece.
Also posted in International
If you're following the Copenhagen climate talks and you're looking for some interesting reading, we recommend Paul Krugman's latest op-ed in the New York Times, "An Affordable Truth". In Krugman's words:
If things go well in Copenhagen, the usual suspects will go wild. We’ll hear cries … that climate-change policies will destroy jobs and growth. The truth, however, is that cutting greenhouse gas emissions is affordable as well as essential.
The White House just announced an updated schedule for President Obama's trip to the international climate change talks in Copenhagen.
The President will now go to Copenhagen on December 18th. That means he'll be there for the final day of negotiations – and will have a chance to ensure the talks make progress toward an effective treaty that can be negotiated and adopted after Senate action on a bill to cap U.S. carbon pollution.
AP says the President is:
.. hoping to capitalize on steps by India and China and build a more meaningful political accord.
The Chicago Tribune's The Swamp, meanwhile, says the White House decision:
… immediately raises expectations anew for some type of climate agreement to result from the talks.
Here's the official White House statement in full.
Also posted in International
The energy and enviro communities are all buzzing about today's Washington Post op-ed by James Murdoch, the head of News Corporation's Europe and Asia divisions, and son of its founder, Rupert Murdoch.
The op-ed, "Clean energy conservatives can embrace", calls for a capping carbon pollution and supports market-based incentives for clean energy. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth reading.
Many of you have already seen the video, "The Story of Cap and Trade." David Roberts of Grist writes,
The greenosphere is all abuzz about a new video from Annie Leonard, creator of semi-famous anti-consumerism video/book The Story of Stuff.
While the video is very engagingly done and gets many things right, it unfortunately gets some important things wrong.
David addresses some of those things in his response to it:
…I think it’s the wrong argument. Activists like Leonard are just mis-identifying the barriers to effective climate action. I’ll have lots more to say on that subject soon, but for now, let’s focus on the video.
Click through to watch the video and read David's post.
Today's New York Times includes a fine column by Thomas Friedman, in which he explores the exploding solar panel industry. He finds to his dismay that it's all overseas. He concludes, "So, if you like importing oil from Saudi Arabia, you’re going to love importing solar panels from China."
We've been saying this for years, and it's still true: The best way to create clean energy jobs right here in the U.S. is to cap global warming pollution. Here's more on how a cap will create jobs.
Everyone's talking about the latest poll from the Washington Post, which shows Americans support reforming U.S. energy policy and capping greenhouse gas pollution.
- NRDC points out that support for energy policy is slightly higher than it was in June… after a summer's worth of industry attacks.
- NWF reminds us that it wasn't just this summer — Americans have been "hit from all sides" by industry-funded campaigns for a year and a half.
- And Climate Progress has this key takeaway: "A lot of people understand energy prices are going up if we do nothing."
The new poll has a lot of juicy data for clean energy supporters. Here are some of our favorite tidbits:
- 57 percent support the proposed changes to U.S. energy policy being developed by Congress and the administration, and even better –
- When asked if they would support a cap and trade program that lowered greenhouse gases but raised electric bills by $10 month, Americans supported the move by 58 percent to 40 percent. ($10 is the total cost to households estimated by the Congressional Budget Office)
- The Post says "GOP criticism of the House energy and climate bill appears to have primarily influenced Republicans themselves." Support for cap-and-trade dropped among Republicans, but rose among independents.
- 36 percent think changes to U.S. energy policy would add more jobs in their state. Only 15 percent think it would cause job losses.
- An amazing 9 out of 10 people support further development of solar and wind power, while 8 out of 10 support development of electric cars.
All this support is wonderful, but our work is far from done. The Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital reminds us that opponents are in the minority, but they are adamant.
Your Senators need to know that these aren't just poll numbers — they are real voters who care about clean energy. Please call today!