Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Junk Politics

Currently the United States House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee is considering legislation that would strip the EPA of its power to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases.  Earlier this week, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to that proposal.  Regardless of how Congress decided to deal with the EPA’s regulation under the Clean Air Act, Waxman wanted to put Congress on record in accepting the scientific finding that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”  The Committee voted down the amendment by a vote of 20-31.  No Republicans on the Committee voted for the amendment.

While it seems there are many reasons to worry about the EPA regulating greenhouse gases, particularly through the Clean Air Act, the Committee’s rejection of climate science is disturbing.  While certainly, there is a lot of disagreement among Americans about the science behind climate change, there is little dispute among scientists.  With its vote, the Committee not only parted ways with the EPA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but also with the National Academies of Science, the InterAcademy Council, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, just to name a few among many.

Certainly, the Committee’s vote did not go unchallenged (see the video posted below as an example).  Still, while there is a lot of banter in politics about junk science, it seems the larger problem is junk politics.

 -- Brigham Daniels

Climate Change, Legislation, US | Permalink

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