We’re kind of f*cked

Charles Pierce:

Also this:

Judge to Pruitt: Prove it

Thanks for judges who do their jobs:

EPA must produce the opposing body of science Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied upon to claim that humans are not the primary drivers of global warming, a federal judge has ruled.

The EPA boss has so far resisted attempts to show the science backing up his claims. His critics say such evidence doesn’t exist, even as Pruitt has called for greater science transparency at the agency.

Now, a court case may compel him to produce research that attempts to contradict the mountain of peer-reviewed studies collected by the world’s top science agencies over decades that show humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented pace through the burning of fossil fuels.

[…] “Particularly troubling is the apparent premise of this agency challenge to the FOIA request, namely: that the evidentiary basis for a policy or factual statement by an agency head, including about the scientific factors contributing to climate change, is inherently unknowable.”

Stupid — or craven?

Mo Brooks  (R-ALABAMA of course)

You decide!

Yesterday, the House Science Committee held a hearing on “Using Technology to Address Climate Change.” The debate quickly ran aground on the question of whether climate change is being caused by increases in greenhouse gas emissions, as climate scientists believe, or whether the entire theory has been falsified by an international scientific cabal in service of a secret agenda to extend government control of the economy, as most Republicans believe.

A normal person would hesitate to engage in a scientific debate on this question with a professionally trained scientist. But since many Republicans believe the entire theory of anthropogenic global warming has been falsified, they assume they can refute it with simple personal observations, such as, “If average global temperatures are rising, why is there snow in February?”

Representative Mo Brooks brought his distinct analytical contribution to the debate by trying to prove to Philip Duffy, Ph.D., President of the Woods Hole Research Center and a former senior adviser in the White House National Science and Technology Council, that the sea-level rise might have causes other than the warming of the ocean and melting land ice caused by warmer temperatures. Brooks began his inquisition by asserting, “Ever since human beings have been on the planet, sea levels have risen.” Duffy explained that sea levels have in fact fluctuated since humans appeared on the planet, and that warmer air was the driver of this change.

Brooks wasn’t buying it. “Let’s assume for a moment that what you’re talking about has some kind of factual, rational basis for it, that ice has melted. Are there other factors?,” he asked. Brooks proceeded to explain that rivers carry dirt into the sea, causing the sea level to rise, leading to this surreal exchange.

Brooks: “Every time you have that soil or rock deposited into the seas, that causes the sea level to rise, because now you’ve got less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up.”

Duffy: “I’m pretty sure that —”

Brooks: “What about the white cliffs of Dover, California, where time and time again you’re having the waves crash against the shorelines, and time and time again, you’re having the cliffs crash into the sea. All that displaces water, which forces it to rise, does it not?”

Duffy: “I’m pretty sure that on human time scale those are minuscule effects.”

CDC: Tick, skeeter infections spreading rapidly

How Ticks Dig In With a Mouth Full of Hooks | Deep Look

Sure, even though climate change scientists have predicted this for decades, it doesn’t have a thing to do with it!

The number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years, federal health officials reported on Tuesday. Since 2004, at least nine such diseases have been newly discovered or introduced into the United States.

Warmer weather is an important cause of the surge in cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the lead author of a study in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. But the author, Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, the agency’s director of vector-borne diseases, repeatedly declined to connect the increase to the politically fraught issue of climate change, and the report does not mention either climate change or global warming.

Many other factors are at work, he emphasized, while noting that “the numbers on some of these diseases have gone to astronomical levels.”

C.D.C. officials called for more support for state and local health departments. Local agencies “are our first line of defense,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, the C.D.C.’s new director. “We must enhance our investment in their ability to fight these diseases.”

A stunned Puerto Rico begins to dig out after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Hits Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria reduced homes to heaps of wood and cement in the oceanfront settlement of La Perla, where hundreds of people picked their way down the rocky hillsides strewn with debris Thursday to salvage what they could from the wreckage. At the foot of an ancient fort, just outside the walls… Continue reading “A stunned Puerto Rico begins to dig out after Hurricane Maria”

GOP uglies gunning for EPA

Climate change? Just a rumor spread by Democrats and their bleeding-heart scientist friends. Predictably, the Republican presidential hopefuls are pretending environmental protection is an obstacle to job creation:

The Environmental Protection Agency is likely to play an unusually prominent role in the 2012 presidential election, reflecting ongoing partisan debate in Congress over the ties between environmental regulations and jobs.

“What we’re going to see in this cycle is a lot of bitterness. … It’s going to be more partisan than it’s ever been,” said GOP environmental strategist Chelsea Maxwell. “So the energy and environment issues will definitely creep into that.”