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Hummer

Friday, August 4, 2023

Ostriching on the environment - doubling down on stupid - Project 2025


Interesting article at the NYT, A Republican 2024 climate strategy, More drilling, less clean energy

I assume most of you can't get through the paywall so I will copy some passages for you. But let me preface it by saying that during the Trump administration, government scientists, under the direction of NOAA, put out an exhaustive study that came to the clear conclusion that humans were responsible for climate change. Believe it or not, it makes no difference to me. I still believe that humans landed on the moon, so what do I know?

Here are highlights from the executive summary:

The climate of the United States is strongly connected to the changing global climate. The statements below highlight past, current, and projected climate changes for the United States and the globe.

Global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8°F (1.0°C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016). This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization. The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes, and the last three years have been the warmest years on record for the globe. These trends are expected to continue over climate timescales.

This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.

In addition to warming, many other aspects of global climate are changing, primarily in response to human activities. Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.

For example, global average sea level has risen by about 7–8 inches since 1900, with almost half (about 3 inches) of that rise occurring since 1993. Human-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to this rise since 1900, contributing to a rate of rise that is greater than during any preceding century in at least 2,800 years. Global sea level rise has already affected the United States; the incidence of daily tidal flooding is accelerating in more than 25 Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities.

Global average sea levels are expected to continue to rise—by at least several inches in the next 15 years and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out. Sea level rise will be higher than the global average on the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States.

Changes in the characteristics of extreme events are particularly important for human safety, infrastructure, agriculture, water quality and quantity, and natural ecosystems. Heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency across the United States and globally and is expected to continue to increase. The largest observed changes in the United States have occurred in the Northeast.

Heatwaves have become more frequent in the United States since the 1960s, while extreme cold temperatures and cold waves are less frequent. Recent record-setting hot years are projected to become common in the near future for the United States, as annual average temperatures continue to rise. Annual average temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.8°F (1.0°C) for the period 1901–2016; over the next few decades (2021–2050), annual average temperatures are expected to rise by about 2.5°F for the United States, relative to the recent past (average from 1976–2005), under all plausible future climate scenarios.

The incidence of large forest fires in the western United States and Alaska has increased since the early 1980s and is projected to further increase in those regions as the climate changes, with profound changes to regional ecosystems.

Annual trends toward earlier spring melt and reduced snowpack are already affecting water resources in the western United States and these trends are expected to continue. Under higher scenarios, and assuming no change to current water resources management, chronic, long-duration hydrological drought is increasingly possible before the end of this century.

The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) emitted globally. Without major reductions in emissions, the increase in annual average global temperature relative to preindustrial times could reach 9°F (5°C) or more by the end of this century. With significant reductions in emissions, the increase in annual average global temperature could be limited to 3.6°F (2°C) or less.

The global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has now passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today. Continued growth in CO2 emissions over this century and beyond would lead to an atmospheric concentration not experienced in tens to hundreds of millions of years. There is broad consensus that the further and the faster the Earth system is pushed towards warming, the greater the risk of unanticipated changes and impacts, some of which are potentially large and irreversible.

The observed increase in carbon emissions over the past 15–20 years has been consistent with higher emissions pathways. In 2014 and 2015, emission growth rates slowed as economic growth became less carbon-intensive. Even if this slowing trend continues, however, it is not yet at a rate that would limit global average temperature change to well below 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels.

Fast forward to today. A conservative group called Project 2025 is publishing their laundry list for the next Republican administration. Rather than deal with the problems recognized in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) report, prepared by NOAA, they want to denude efforts to combat global warming and move in the other direction. 


From the article at the Times:

During a summer of scorching heat that has broken records and forced Americans to confront the reality of climate change, conservatives are laying the groundwork for a 2024 Republican administration that would dismantle efforts to slow global warming.

The move is part of a sweeping strategy dubbed Project 2025 that Paul Dans of the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank organizing the effort, has called a “battle plan” for the first 180 days of a future Republican presidency.

The climate and energy provisions would be among the most severe swings away from current federal policies.

The plan calls for shredding regulations to curb greenhouse gas pollution from cars, oil and gas wells and power plants, dismantling almost every clean energy program in the federal government and boosting the production of fossil fuels — the burning of which is the chief cause of planetary warming.


The Heritage Foundation worked on the plan with dozens of conservative groups ranging from the Heartland Institute, which has denied climate science, to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which says “climate change does not endanger the survival of civilization or the habitability of the planet.”


There is a pronounced partisan split in the country when it comes to climate change, surveys have shown. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted last month found that while 56 percent of respondents called climate change a major threat — including a majority of independents and nearly 90 percent of Democrats — about 70 percent of Republicans said global warming was either a minor threat or no threat at all.


The plan calls for shuttering a Department of Energy office that has $400 billion in loan authority to help emerging green technologies. It would make it more difficult for solar, wind and other renewable power — the fastest growing energy source in the United States — to be added to the grid. Climate change would no longer be considered an issue worthy of discussion on the National Security Council, and allied nations would be encouraged to buy and use more fossil fuels rather than renewable energy.


The blueprint throws open the door to drilling inside the pristine Arctic wilderness, promises legal protections for energy companies that kill birds while extracting oil and gas and declares the federal government has an “obligation to develop vast oil and gas and coal resources” on America’s public lands.

Notably, it also would restart a quest for something climate denialists have long considered their holy grail: reversal of a 2009 scientific finding at the Environmental Protection Agency that says carbon dioxide emissions are a danger to public health.

Young Republicans may not be all in or the Project.
By a nearly two-to-one margin, polls have found, Republicans aged 18 to 39 years old are more likely to agree that “human activity contributes a great deal to climate change,” and that the federal government has a role to play in curbing it.

Bring it on and own it, GOP. Maybe people will remember...

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EPA approves Chevron boat fuel so toxic that is expected to give everybody exposed to it cancer in their lifetime.

The Environmental Protection Agency approved a component of boat fuel made from discarded plastic that the agency’s own risk formula determined was so hazardous, everyone exposed to the substance continually over a lifetime would be expected to develop cancer.

Current and former EPA scientists said that threat level is unheard of. It is a million times higher than what the agency usually considers acceptable for new chemicals and six times worse than the risk of lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking.

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The One-Mile Rule: Texas’ Unwritten and Arbitrary Policy Protects Big Polluters from Citizen Complaints.

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