EPA will review restrictive communication policy for science advisers

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

In response to a letter from science and journalism organizations criticizing the agency's restrictive policy on public communications by Science Advisory Board members, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has asked the EPA Science Adviser to review the policy. Hopefully this will create an opportunity to raise a number of issues about a complex issue -- the relationship between EPA scientists, the media, and the public. Continue reading

Posted in Scientific Integrity | Leave a comment

EPA's restrictive communications policy for science advisers

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

The Environmental Protection Agency continues its history of restrictive policy on public communication by agency scientists and science advisers. Seven science, journalism, and public interest organizations wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on August 12 calling on her to "clarify that members of the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) and the twenty other EPA science advisory committees have the right and are encouraged to speak to the public and the press about any scientific issues, including those before these committees, in a personal capacity without prior authorization from the agency." An earlier memorandum from the EPA Chief of Staff aims to restrict this right. Where is the EPA Scientific Integrity Official in this? Continue reading

Posted in Obama Administration, Scientific Integrity | Leave a comment

Press groups file amici curiae brief in 'Mann v. Steyn' defamation lawsuit

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 26 other organizations filed an amici curiae brief on August 11 with the DC Court of Appeals in Michael Mann's defamation lawsuit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review (sometimes popularly referred to as 'Mann v. Steyn'). Prof. Mann is scheduled to file an appellate response brief on September 3. Continue reading

Posted in Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Litigation | 6 Comments

Climate and energy infrastructure: On cumulative impacts of multiple tar sands pipelines

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

U.S. permits for multiple proposed Canadian tar sands pipelines should be considered in light of an overall climate change strategy, rather than the current practice of considering each energy infrastructure proposal on a project-by-project basis. "The administration’s commitment to aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policies simply cannot be squared with a piecemeal approach to tar sands infrastructure permitting," say the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org, and other groups in an August 11 letter to Secretary of State Kerry. "The Department can only understand the true climate impacts of these pipelines by analyzing their cumulative growth-inducing effect on tar sands development." But what is the Obama administration's commitment, really, with respect to fossil fuel development and export?

Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change Mitigation, Energy, Obama Climate Plan | Leave a comment

New study suggests Keystone XL emissions could be 4 times higher than State Dept estimate

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

New research reported in Nature Climate Change finds that increased Canadian tar sands production would decrease global oil prices and thereby increase oil consumption. As a result, if the proposed Keystone XL pipeline led to increased tar sands production, the net annual emissions impact of KXL could be up to four times higher than found by the US State Department in its environmental impact assessment. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | 1 Comment

Global aviation emissions need regulation 'with teeth'

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

With the projected continuing significant growth in air traffic and the inadequacy of proposed aviation carbon emissions reductions, new research suggests that civil aviation will become an increasingly significant contributor to global warming unless demand is reduced -- and good luck with proposing that. Reliance on the toothless UN International Civil Aviation Organization as a negotiating venue by the U.S. and other governments indicates an avoidance of this problem at the highest levels of 'leadership'. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Science Watch | Leave a comment

Pushing EPA to regulate aviation greenhouse gas emissions

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Photo: International Civil Aviation Organization

Photo: International Civil Aviation Organization

On August 5, two environmental groups sent notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failure to comply with a court order that would lead toward regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. aviation. EPA has long delayed taking any steps to apply its Endangerment Finding to aircraft emissions. The groups first petitioned EPA to take action in 2007, the same year our report on the federal NextGen aviation planning program charged that the Bush administration was making a deliberate effort to disconnect aviation planning from the global warming problem. It seems that, as far as taking meaningful action is concerned, the Obama administration has continued to kick this can down the road. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Litigation | Leave a comment

On wildfires, climate change, and politicians saying burn, baby, burn

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

A day after California Governor Jerry Brown declared a wildfire state of emergency, the President's Science Adviser John Holdren appeared in a video linking increased wildfires in the U.S. West to human-caused climate change. In response to urgent calls for additional funds to fight expanding wildfire disasters, congressional Republicans stonewalled, then left town for five weeks, while the West continues to burn. Thus they combined global warming denialism on behalf of the energy interests they front for, blanket opposition to even the most reasonable White House proposals, and continued undermining of the basic public safety net functions of government. John Holdren on wildfires and climate change:

Continue reading

Posted in Climate Science Watch, Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts | 1 Comment

A note on global warming, ocean acidification, and the future of medicine

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Photo: NOAA Ocean Service

Photo: NOAA Ocean Service

The likely loss of natural chemicals that might have life-saving value in advancing the development of new medicines should be added to the list of consequences of global warming, ocean acidification, and loss of biodiversity. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Science Watch, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts | Leave a comment

New research on ocean acidification threat and recalling some political history

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

New NOAA-led research on ocean acidification and the threat it poses to marine life is more evidence of the dangerous implications of human-caused climate disruption. Scientists have been calling attention to the acidification threat for quite a few years now, but from the Bush administration to the current Congress there has been a problem of science denialism. And ocean acidification is one of numerous aspects of dangerous human interference with the climate system that is not included in the Social Cost of Carbon metric used by the U.S. government in regulatory policymaking. Continue reading

Posted in Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine | Leave a comment