When President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords, embraced coal, and stacked his administration from people from fossil-fuel producing states, the environmental movement reacted with near-apocalyptic fear and fury. They would have been better off beginning to understand precisely why the country has become so indifferent to their cause, as evidenced by the victory not only of Trump but of unsympathetic Republicans at every level of government.
Yet there’s been little soul-searching among green activists and donors, or in the generally pliant media since November about how decades of exaggerated concerns—about peak oil, the “population bomb,” and even, a few decades back, global cooling—and demands for economic, social, and political sacrifices from the masses have damaged their movement. –Joel Kotkin, The Daily Beast, 22 July 2017
Another week, another scare from the German car industry. What began with Daimler’s massive recall of more than 3 million diesel cars to lower their emissions, ended on Friday with Audi also embarking on a voluntary recall of 850,000 vehicles. Adding to the spate of bad news was a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the biggest car manufacturers — Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen as well as VW’s Audi and Porsche brands — may have colluded for decades on technology. —Chicago Tribune, 24 July 2017
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is considering a former official in President Barack Obama’s Energy Department to lead the agency’s debate on mainstream climate science, according to a former leader of the Trump administration’s EPA transition effort. Steve Koonin, a physicist and director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University, is being eyed to lead EPA’s “red team, blue team” review of climate science, said Myron Ebell, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a Trump transition leader. When reached by phone, Koonin declined to comment on whether he was in talks with the administration about the climate job. But he added, “I think it would be a good idea if that kind of exercise took place.” –Hannah Northey, Science Magazine, 24 July 2017
Such calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate. They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science. –-Ben Santer et al., Washington Post, 21 June 2017
Nine days later…
You need multiple groups looking at the same bits and bites … I would not want to live in a world where one group was entrusted to do this work. –Ben Santer, Washington Post, 30 June 2017
Since the fall of communism, global warming has been, without question, the most potent weapon in the hands of those who wish to control the behaviour of their fellow human beings. –Marian L. Tupy, CapX, 19 July 2017
As Mitt Romney understood all too well, Vladimir Putin has long sought to interfere with domestic American politics. Years before Donald Trump came down that escalator and Hillary Clinton’s staff was tricked into giving up its e-mail passwords, Russia was pouring millions of dollars into anti-fracking campaigns across Europe and the U.S. Aware that fracking could devastate the Russian economy, the Kremlin has secretly financed environmentalist groups across the globe. –Austin Yack, National Review, 21 July 2017
India’s biggest domestic source of public funds to push renewable energy and protect the environment has become a victim of the Goods and Services Tax. “Basically, the fund is now dead wood,” a senior finance ministry official said. —Scroll.in, 24 July 2017
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