Saturday, September 25, 2004

Senate mounts sneak attack on sound science: "In a behind-the-scenes move with far reaching implications, the Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a bill including language that would shield one of the federal government?s most important scientific agencies from legal requirements mandating integrity in government science. A clause in the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Commerce and other agencies (S. 2809) would exempt research produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from complying with the Federal Data Quality Act, which requires that data circulated by federal agencies conform to standards of scientific integrity."


"Once again, state regulators are out to get cars and trucks. In the old days, the attacks were tied to claims of reducing smog or soot levels. But as air pollution continues to decline - despite people driving larger cars over longer distances - regulators have had to find a new excuse to stay in business: climate change.

Specifically, the California Air Resources Board is targeting carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide; the latter is also known as laughing gas. But the proposed regulation is no laughing matter. On Thursday, the air board is set to mandate that new vehicles sold in California cut their greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016.

First, let's get the climate change excuse out of the way. California cars aren't causing climate change - taking all of the state's cars off the road completely wouldn't make a dent in emissions. According to government data, California motorists produce less than one-quarter of 1 percent of the world's emissions of the gases theoretically linked to global warming - a share that's declining every day as countries like China and India continue to grow. On top of that, the proposed regulation only addresses four of the six major greenhouse gases, and only passenger vehicles, not commercial vehicles. So whether you believe that we face a risk of catastrophic climate change due to man-made gas emissions or not, it is obvious that this new plan will provide little or no climate protection to current or future generations.

What about the effect on consumer choice and health? While the air board propounds a hodgepodge of technologies it claims will reduce emissions (like low-leak air-conditioning systems), the only truly effective way to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from cars is to reduce the amount of fuel they collectively burn or to change to a fuel that puts out less greenhouse gas per unit of energy. And the only way to do that is through mandating technology that would lighten and shrink cars, or by forcing "alternative fuel" vehicles onto a market that has shown little desire for them. Despite the hype, sales of hybrids across the country are expected to total around 88,000 cars this year. In comparison, there were 16.6 million new light vehicles sold in 2003.....

The danger of these mandates doesn't lie simply in their predictable failure. These laws expose people to higher risks in traffic accidents by forcing them into smaller, less protective vehicles, reduce consumer choice, suck resources out of the productive economy, and sink resources into bureaucratic paper-shuffling.

The new standards would also jeopardize the progress being made against smog and soot. When people trade older cars for newer cars (yes, even SUVs), they generally put out less smog and less soot than before. Raising the cost of newer cars slows down such purchases and the associated air pollution benefits....

Taking money out of people's pockets for higher fuel and automobile costs means less for the investments that can protect them from climate variability such as securing water resources, building resilient infrastructure and energy supplies, building a more diverse, robust and resilient economy, or investing in education or health care. And that's no laughing matter.
More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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