Koch Brothers Launch Attack to Kill Electric Cars

“This newly released video seems to further confirm investigative journalist Peter Stone’s reporting from last spring that the Kochs were “plotting a multimillion dollar assault on electric vehicles.” ”

Source: Koch Brothers Launch Attack to Kill Electric Cars

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What Republicans Think About Climate Change — in Maps – The New York Times

“Over the past two decades, Republicans have grown increasingly doubtful about climate change, even as Democrats have grown increasingly convinced that it’s happening and is caused by humans. But recent research published in the journal Climatic Change reveals greater nuance in partisan climate opinions across the country.

“Pockets of Republicans, or even a plurality or majority, support some pro-climate issues,” said Matto Mildenberger, a professor of political science at the University of California Santa Barbara and lead author on the study. Researchers found variation in Democratic beliefs too, he said, but those findings were less politically relevant because a majority of Democrats tend to accept climate science and support related policies no matter where they live.The study’s maps show how Republican support swings between minority and majority, depending on geography and how questions are posed.”

Conspiracies- Corruption and Climate – Paul Krugman – NYT

“There is, after all, an overwhelming scientific consensus that human activities are warming the planet. When conservative politiciaThakns and pundits challenge that consensus, they do so not on the basis of careful consideration of the evidence — come on, who are we kidding? — but by impugning the motives of thousands of scientists around the world. All of these scientists, they insist, motivated by peer pressure and financial rewards, are falsifying data and suppressing contrary views.”

Thank you Paul Krugman. Here are some top comments I approve.

Socrates is a trusted commenter Verona NJ 6 hours ago

To understand how destructive Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Pollution Agency are to ordinary Americans, look at Scott Pruitt’s ‘service’ to Oklahoma, where he was the Attorney General from 2011 to 2017.

In a normal year— before 2009 when fracking went wild —Oklahoma had one or two quakes per year. It now has one to two quakes per day thanks to unregulated energy company fracking.

In 2015, it had 857 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher, more than the rest of the lower 48 states combined.

These earthquakes happen when million of gallons of wastewater are pumped underground as a by-product of fracking by natural gas companies.

Scott Pruitt is a contractor for natural gas and energy companies; they bankrolled his Attorney General campaigns; they tell him what to do and he does it and citizens suffer badly.

Instead of suing the energy companies for making Oklahoma the earthquake capital of the world that was damaging Oklahoma homes by the thousands, what did Scott Pruitt do as Oklahoma Attorney General ?

Pruitt’s office sued the EPA to block its Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule; Pruitt sued the EPA 13 times.

And in another sign of pure evil in 2012, Pruitt kept Oklahoma out of a mortgage settlement reached by 49 other states with five national lenders, because he works exclusively for large corporations.

Make no mistake, America, Scott Pruitt – and Trump who appointed him – represent pure destructive corporate greed and evil.

Reply 803 Recommend

Blue Moon Where Nenes Fly 7 hours ago

As a trained scientist, I realize that professional and scholarly peer review are the most robust and credible processes that I have seen in my life.

We ignore scientific consensus on global warming and climate change at our peril. In fact, our peril is now right at our doorstep – and it need not knock. We have left the door open. For all to see.

Reply 581 Recommended

NYT Pick
rf Arlington, TX 6 hours ago

As sure as the sun rises in the east, there will be a response by R.L. to anything and everything that Paul Krugman writes. Let me suggest a couple of things relevant to this column. First, climate scientists have studied the phenomenon of global warming for over 50 years with thorough research, and their findings have been published in peer-reviewed articles. About 97% of those scientists agree that global warming is real and that the inhabitants of this earth are major contributors to the problem. Science has always been about making observations and drawing conclusions from those observations. Among most scientists, politics is not a consideration when presenting those conclusions. I know because I am a scientist, and I worked with many other scientists for over 40 years.

Second, the EPA has been perhaps the most important safeguard for the health and safety of the citizens of the United States. Have they been heavy handed in some cases? I don’t know the answer to that, but I suspect to those who oppose any regulations, the regulations themselves are considered as heavy handed. When I think of the EPA, I think of the rivers and streams that organization saved from destruction. I think of the toxic waste dumps, many related to increased diseases such as cancer, which have been cleaned up by the EPA. I think of the regulations designed to protect the purity of our air and water. If some industries were adversely affected by these regulations, so be it!

In Reply to Richard Luettgen Reply 428 Recommended

Christine Todd Whitman: How Not to Run the E.P.A. – The New York Times

I do

“All of that is bad enough. But Mr. Pruitt recently unveiled a plan that amounts to a slow-rolling catastrophe in the making: the creation of an antagonistic “red team” of dissenting scientists to challenge the conclusions reached by thousands of scientists over decades of research on climate change. It will serve only to confuse the public and sets a deeply troubling precedent for policy-making at the E.P.A.

The red-team approach makes sense in the military and in consumer and technology companies, where assumptions about enemy strategy or a competitor’s plans are rooted in unknowable human choices. But the basic physics of the climate are well understood. Burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide. And carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. There is no debate about that. The link is as certain as the link between smoking and cancer.

A broad consensus of scientists also warn of the influence of the warming climate on extreme weather events. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the enormous wildfires in the Western United States and widespread flooding from monsoons in Southeast Asia are potent reminders of the cost of ignoring climate science.

As a Republican like Mr. Pruitt, I too embrace the promise of the free market and worry about the perils of overregulation. But decisions must be based on reliable science. The red team begins with his politically preferred conclusion that climate change isn’t a problem, and it will seek evidence to justify that position. That’s the opposite of how science works. True science follows the evidence. The critical tests of peer review and replication ensure that the consensus is sound. Government bases policy on those results. This applies to liberals and conservatives alike.”

I do not have time to write about every article of Op-ed I feel is important to the critical narrative of our lives and future. That is why I often rely on one of two of the most popular comments in the comments section, to give some reflection to the original post. Here are the two top comments, which I endodrse:

usa999

is a trusted commenter Portland, OR September 8, 2017

As a Republican with more than 40 years of involvement in climate research and climate policy I respect Ms.Whitman’s position but wish she would speak more directly; Scott Pruitt’s appointment to head the EPA flows from the Mike Pence relationship with the Koch brothers and Steve Bannon’s connections to the Mercer family. Neither duo have any interest in the use of science for setting pol.icy because they wish policy to support the concentration and expansion of wealth, not the long-term interests of the American people. Pruitt is simply an enabler for those favoring unchecked exploitation of resources no matter what the damage to the environment nor long-term costs to health. He is the analogue to Jeffrey Sessions support of racism and Kris Kobach’s anti-immigration posturing. None of these have American interests at heart and in a different political setting would be the target of investigation for actions undermining national security.Pruitt’s dereliction of duty in the aftermath of toxic spills after hurricane Harvey may do great damage to the health of many Texans.

NYT Pick

jd

Virginia September 8, 2017

Pruitt and those he serves are unlikely to pay any attention to Ms. Whitman’s challenge. Therefore, the best approach is to open their “analysis” to daylight through freedom-of-information requests. Put their arguments out there and invite real scientists to take them apart. Then get good journalists to translate the scientists’ work for public consumption. Instead of trying to bottle up Pruitt’s bad idea, let him proceed and use it as a springboard for crushing deniers.

How Houston’s Growth Created the Perfect Flood Conditions – The New York Times

“As floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey recede in Houston, one thing that’s been revealed is that some of the damage — financial, physical, emotional — could have been avoided.

Flood hazard maps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, showing the 100-year floodplain, an area with a 1 percent risk for flooding in any given year, mark where homeowners are required to have federally sponsored flood insurance. This is one of the few early warning signals the United States has for flooding. For Houston, those maps were thoroughly inadequate. Early assessments show many homes were flooded even though they were located far from the designated floodplains. Many homes in what’s known as the 500-year floodplain — with a 0.2 percent chance of flooding in a year — are also flooded.Areas surrounding the Katy Prairies, sprawling grasslands in western Harris County, provide one such example. The region has been heavily developed over the past 30 years, sometimes overlapping or abutting floodplains. Local officials did not do enough to preserve native grasses, set aside open spaces or improve drainage.”

We Don’t Deny Harvey- So Why Deny Climate Change? – by NIcholas Kristof – NYT

“Imagine that after the 9/11 attacks, the conversation had been limited to the tragedy in Lower Manhattan, the heroism of rescuers and the high heels of the visiting first lady — without addressing the risks of future terrorism.

That’s how we have viewed Hurricane Harvey in Houston, as a gripping human drama but without adequate discussion of how climate change increases risks of such cataclysms. We can’t have an intelligent conversation about Harvey without also discussing climate change.

That’s awkward for a president who has tweeted climate change skepticism more than 100 times, even suggesting that climate change is a Chinese hoax, and who has announced he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency, says it’s “misplaced” to talk about Harvey and climate change.

Really? To me, avoiding the topic is like a group of frogs sitting in a beaker, fretting about the growing warmth of the water but neglecting to jump out. Climate scientists are in agreement that there are at least two ways climate change is making hurricanes worse.

Here are the two most recommended comment, which I support:

Mark Jeffery Koch

Mount Laurel, New Jersey 2 days ago

I pray for the people of Texas and hope that no more lives will be lost.

I also hope that the people of Texas stop voting for Senators and Congressmen who deny that global warming and climate change exists. All of Texas’s Republican congressional representatives voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill after Sandy decimated the Northeast.

Trump has called global warming a Chinese “hoax” and has erroneously claimed that cutting emissions to avert catastrophic climate change will ruin the US economy.

Trump has rolled back Obama-era policies that aimed to curb climate change and limit environmental pollution, while other executive orders threaten to limit federal funding for science and the environment. His proposed budget will cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 35%, more than any other agency.

He has gutted the Clean Power Plan, which was intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s electric plants and signed an executive order to remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.

Who would you rather have as President during an environmental disaster or preventing one from happening? Obama or the fraud currently occupying the White House?

The people of Texas will get thru this disaster. It will take time but they will rebuild their homes, businesses, houses of worship, and their lives.

The question is, can America survive Trump?

NYT Pick

gemli

is a trusted commenter Boston 1 day ago

Ignoring reality is what we do. It’s so much more convenient to pretend everything is just fine.

And then the bleeding obvious surprises us when it can no longer be rationalized. It doesn’t help that our most highly placed government leaders have a vested interest in ignoring reality. Getting the coal vote was apparently more important than reducing fossil fuel emissions.

This is especially true when the president is so reality-challenged and obstinately perverse that he’d look at the sun during the eclipse, even after the experts said not to. Experts! Bah! What do they know?

Maybe the experts should tell him not to stick his finger in an electric socket. Or play with dynamite.

We may have reached a tipping point with the climate, when ice caps melt and more sunlight heats more of the ocean, in a vicious spiral that soon overwhelms our ability to respond. It’s small comfort that the people who voted for a climate-change-denying ignoramus will suffer along with us. But I have to shamefully admit that it is a comfort, however fleeting and small.

When the day finally comes when we can’t do anything about the torrential rain and the rising water, there will be no fashionable heels high enough to protect us, and no news fake enough to deny the grim reality.

Hurricanes- Climate and the Capitalist Offset – by Brett Stevens – NYT

“Harvey will also inflict billions in economic damage, most crushingly on uninsured homeowners. The numbers are likely to be staggering in absolute terms, but what’s more remarkable is how easily the American economy can absorb the blow. The storm will be a “speed bump” to Houston’s $503 billion economy, according to Moody’s Analytics’ Adam Kamins, who told The Wall Street Journal that he expects the storm to derail growth for about two months.

On a global level, the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Jr. notes that disaster losses as a percentage of the world’s G.D.P., at just 0.3 percent, have remained constant since 1990. That’s despite the dollar cost of disasters having nearly doubled over the same time — at just about the same rate as the growth in the global economy. (Pielke is yet another victim of the climate lobby’s hyperactive smear machine, but that doesn’t make his data any less valid.)”

Ouch. Here is the the top comment, and my endorsement:

Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 4 hours ago

What a pile of doo doo. Texas caused this flood by paving over the wetlands to the point that they turned their city into a big bathtub. They built in floodplains without regard to the consequences.

As far as brick houses are concerned, those are the ones that collapse during earthquakes. Masonry construction falls apart when the ground shakes, while stick built homes can resist the stress much better. The loss of life is catastrophic. Check out the loss of life in southern central Asia where homes are built out of rocks.

Houston will recover financially in two months? Are you kidding? 30% of the area is under water. That’s like 500 square miles and that’s just Houston.
People don’t have homes to live in. Thousands of businesses have been shuttered and destroyed. If the Houston economy is so powerful, then why do they need any federal aid?

Regulations and building codes save lives. Infrastructure saves lives. Technology saves lives. Public safety programs save lives. If these factors were not in place, then the loss of life form natural disasters would be much higher.

Texas just had three 500 year floods in three years. What does your expert meteorologist have to say about that? What does he have to say about the severe droughts and fires that occurred between those floods? Only a weak and poorly skilled journalist would ignore the obvious and cherry pick statistics to prove a point. This is the New York Times, not the New York Post.

Reply 221 Recommended

Thank you for your submission. We’ll notify you at da***@sbcglobal.net when your comment has been approved.
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

I second all said here by Bruce Rosenblit.
I wish to add, that there is something pathetic in cheery picking data, and mixing it with fake news. Contrast the rubbish here with the extraordinary reporting today of Nicholas Kristof. I commented on Kristof’s piece:
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Thank you Nicholas Kristof (and the New York Times).
You wrote: ”

Jan Egeland, a former senior U.N. official who now leads the Norwegian Refugee Council, urges an immediate cease-fire, a lifting of the embargo on Yemen, and peace talks led by the U.N., the U.S. and the U.K., forcing both sides to compromise.

A glimpse of moral leadership has come from the U.S. Senate. A remarkable 47 senators in June voted to block a major arms sale to Saudi Arabia, largely because of qualms about Saudi conduct in Yemen. Those senators are right, and we should halt all arms transfers to Saudi Arabia until it ends the blockade and bombings.”

It is time for the American Press, television, radio, and print, to bring this horrible story to the American people, and the fact that there are intelligent solutions being offered. I have shared this on social media, and my blog, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com, but we need this story at NPR, Public TV, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and every outlet I’ve left out.”

Houston- Warned – by David Leonhardt – NYT

” “Houston’s perfect storm is coming — and it’s not a matter of if but when,” journalists wrote, a year and a half ago. “Why isn’t Texas ready?”The story was a joint project of The Texas Tribune, an excellent local publication, and ProPublica, the deservedly well-regarded national group. Headlined “Hell and High Water,” it exposed the lack of preparedness, and downright denial, in Houston about flood damage. The project mixes maps and text, and you can dip into it briefly or dig into the details.

“We’re sitting ducks. We’ve done nothing,” Phil Bedient, a Rice University professor and storm-surge expert, says in the story. “We’ve done nothing to shore up the coastline, to add resiliency … to do anything.”

The article isn’t perfectly clairvoyant — no story is. It falls into the common trap of exaggerating the economic effects of a news development that’s bad for other reasons. But the story offered an important — and, sadly, unheeded — message: Even though it’s possible to mitigate the effects of extreme weather, we’re instead making choices that aggravate them.”

Trump and Pruitt- Making America Polluted Again – by Paul Krugman – NYT

So Trump’s true legacy may well be defined not by the laws he does or more likely doesn’t pass, but by his decision to put Scott Pruitt in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency.As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt effectively acted as a servant, not of the public, but of polluting industries. That’s not an accusation; it’s confirmed by his own email trail.Now, at a time when much of the Trump administration seems paralyzed by lack of leadership and key personnel, Pruitt is firing on all cylinders — but not because he’s making the E.P.A. more effective. On the contrary, he’s engaged in sabotage from the top, moving quickly to undermine his own agency’s mission — not just its efforts against climate change, but its role in protecting the environment across the board.