Kathleen Hartnett White Proves She is Not a Scientist

Source: By NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

Source: By NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

At a recent event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the group’s director, Kathleen Hartnett White, declared that carbon dioxide, the pollutant most responsible for warming Earth’s climate, is the “gas of life” and that we don’t need limits on carbon emissions. Yes, some amount of carbon is needed for the climate, just like some amount of arsenic is needed by the human body. But at higher levels, arsenic is deadly poisonous. The fast-growing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is like too much arsenic in the body – deadly. White apparently has forgotten elementary aspects of high school science.

Here is what the real scientists say about the impact of carbon dioxide on our climate:

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  • A National Climate Assessment (NCA) report found that the U.S. average temperatures have increased by 1.3 to 1.9ºF since record-keeping began in 1895, and most of this warming has occurred since 1970;
  • The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) most recent report shows how events attributed to human-caused climate change – such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires – alter ecosystems, disrupt food production and water supply, damage infrastructure and settlements, cause sickness and mortality, and adversely affect mental health and human livelihood;
  • The same report also demonstrates that heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, and water scarcity pose risks in urban areas for people, assets, economies, and ecosystems; and
  • NASA confirms that since 1880 the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2000, and scientists just confirmed that 2014 was the warmest year ever, in large part due to increased carbon dioxide pollution.

White is clearly fronting for her group’s fossil fuel donors by opposing rules to reduce carbon pollution from coal plants. An independent study finds that Texas will gain much by switching from coal power plants, which emit the most carbon pollution, to homegrown wind power, solar energy, and natural gas, as well as improved energy efficiency. A Harvard analysis ranks Texas third in the nation in terms of health benefits under a carbon reduction scenario similar to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which would set the first ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. According to the Harvard analysis, Texas will avoid some 230 premature deaths, 79 hospitalizations, and 14 nonfatal heart attacks in 2020. Economically, top producing natural gas states, with Texas in the lead, are expected to see upwards of $16 billion in additional annual sales revenue between 2020 and 2030.

I think it’s time for Ms. White to hang up her white coat and quit using fake science to oppose regulations that will help Texas.

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