A Conservative Answer to Climate Change – By George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III -WSJ

A Conservative Answer to Climate ChangeEnacting a carbon tax would free up private firms to find the most efficient ways to cut emissions.1742 COMMENTS
By George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III
Updated Feb. 7, 2017 7:07 p.m. ET
“Thirty years ago, as the atmosphere’s protective ozone layer was dwindling at alarming rates, we were serving proudly under President Ronald Reagan. We remember his leading role in negotiating the Montreal Protocol, which continues to protect and restore the delicate ozone layer. Today the world faces a similar challenge: the threat of climate change.

Just as in the 1980s, there is mounting evidence of problems with the atmosphere that are growing too compelling to ignore. And, once again, there is uncertainty about what lies ahead. The extent to which climate change is due to man-made causes can be questioned. But the risks associated with future warming are so severe that they should be hedged.The responsible and conservative response should be to take out an insurance policy. Doing so need not rely on heavy-handed, growth-inhibiting government regulations. Instead, a climate solution should be based on a sound economic analysis that embodies the conservative principles of free markets and limited government.We suggest a solution that rests on four pillars. First, creating a gradually increasing carbon tax. Second, returning the tax proceeds to the American people in the form of dividends. Third, establishing border carbon adjustments that protect American competitiveness and encourage other countries to follow suit. And fourth, rolling back government regulations once such a system is in place.”

Source: A Conservative Answer to Climate Change – WSJ

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Lawmakers- Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections.

In the past two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or voted on in Congress or proposed by the Trump administration.

The actions included a bill to strip protections from the gray wolf in Wyoming and along the western Great Lakes; a plan to keep the sage grouse, a chicken-size bird that inhabits millions of oil-rich acres in the West, from being listed as endangered for the next decade; and a measure to remove from the endangered list the American burying beetle, an orange-flecked insect that has long been the bane of oil companies that would like to drill on the land where it lives.

“It’s probably the best chance that we have had in 25 years to actually make any substantial changes,” said Richard Pombo, a former congressman from California who more than a decade ago led an attempt to rethink the act and is now a lobbyist whose clients include mining and water management companies.”

 

David Lindsay:
Ouch. It all sounds so good, but it is rotten. Here is a comment I strongly endorse:
et.al.nyc
great neck new york5h ago
Times Pick
This “anti-science” Republican administration does not understand how species are inter-related. If one species is being polluted to extinction, it follows this will also affect humans, especially infants and children. We may choose to compensate landowners and industries, but there is no way to compensate a child sickened by changes to our ecosystem. These species are simply the “canaries in the coal mine”.

Reply446 Recommended

Energy & Environment Legal Institute – SourceWatch

Energy & Environment Legal Institute
“Energy & Environment Legal Institute
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) (formerly the American Tradition Institute (ATI)) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC; and formerly also headquartered in Colorado. According to its website, “In September 2013, E&E Legal’s Board of Directors voted to to refine its focus primarily to the area of strategic litigation, and to change its name in order to reflect more accurately its work in the legal arena.”[1] The name “American Tradition Institute” and that of its 501(c)(4) partner organization “American Tradition Partnership”/”Western Tradition Partnership” (ATP/WTP) are prominently associated with a controversy over campaign finance during the 2010 elections. According to the Huffington Post, “During the 2010 elections, the Montana Commission of Political Practices found that the organization broke state campaign laws by failing to register as a political committee or report its donors and spending. The state suggested WTP/ATP was involved in corruption and money laundering.”[2] Energy & Environment Legal Institute is an “associate” member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.[3]

“According to its mission statement, E&E Legal is “engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues” and “seeks to address and correct onerous federal and state governmental actions that negatively impact energy and the environment. E&E Legal advocates responsible resource development, sound science, respect for property rights, and a commitment to markets as it holds accountable those who seek excessive and destructive government regulation that’s based on agenda-driven policy making, junk science, and hysteria.”[1]

The group’s website at one time stated that it “is part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation.” The group has “connections with the Koch brothers, Art Pope and other conservative donors seeking to expand their political influence,” reported the Institute for Southern Studies in October 2011.[4]

In 2011, E&E Legal (then ATI) sued the University of Virginia to get access to the emails of climatologist Michael Mann.”

Source: Energy & Environment Legal Institute – SourceWatch

He Sues to Discredit Climate Scientists. Now He’s Being Sued by His Allies. – By John Schwartz – NYT

David Schnare’s conservative legal group seeks to expose science fraud. But it appears to be imploding amid allegations of financial mismanagement, attempted extortion and faked documents.By John Schwartz

“FAIRFAX, Va. — The Free Market Environmental Law Clinic has long sought to inject doubt into the public conversation about global warming. Now, the future of the group itself is in doubt.

Its founders are battling in court over control of the group, as well as some $900,000 in its bank account. One of them, David Schnare, has been accused by his former allies of botching the group’s tax-exempt status and of attempting to extort a quarter-million dollars from its coffers.

It all comes at a time when Free Market — which made a name for itself using the legal system to obtain climate scientists’ emails — should be ascendant. The Trump administration shares its views on environmental regulation and its dismissal of climate science. And Mr. Schnare, 70, was part of the Trump “beachhead team” at the Environmental Protection Agency during the transition between presidential administrations, though he did not last long there.”

David Lindsay:  Excellent piece and good comments, including:

Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJJuly 12
“Free Market Environmental Law Clinic” is a front for coal industry billionaires hellbent on raping the environment and vigorously opposed to green energy.

It repeatedly changes its organization name after its name gets publicized for the evil it commits against society.

Its organization has advertised its mission in the past as “part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation.”

One of its predecessor organizations, the American Tradition Institute issued a memo by one of its fellows that advises how to build a national movement of wind farm protesters. Among its main recommendations, the proposal calls for a national PR campaign aimed at causing “subversion in message of [wind] industry so that it effectively becomes so bad that no one wants to admit in public they are for it.” It suggests setting up “dummy businesses” to buy anti-wind billboards, and creating a “counter-intelligence branch” to track the wind energy industry. It also calls for spending $750,000 to create an organization with paid staff and tax-exempt status dedicated to building public opposition to state and federal government policies encouraging the wind energy industry.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Energy_%26_Environment_Legal_Insti…

The organization represents Grand Old Pollution, Grand Old Profits and Gas Oil Petroleum.

They happily do the devil’s work for cash.

47 Recommended

DL:   Check out the hyperlink sourcwatch, at the CMD the center for media and democray.

How Brett Kavanaugh Could Reshape Environmental Law From the Supreme Court – By Brad Plumer – NYT

By Brad Plumer
“His legal philosophy was clear: In the absence of explicit instructions from Congress, any far-reaching effort by the E.P.A. to tackle environmental problems should be met with deep skepticism by the courts. That philosophy often put him sharply at odds with the Obama administration, which sought to harness older environmental laws to deal with newer challenges like global warming.

“It’s a neutral principle, although the effect isn’t always neutral,” Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard, said. “Congress stopped making clean air laws after 1990, so the E.P.A. has to work with increasingly tenuous statutory language. In effect, his approach to environmental law would make it harder to address current problems so long as Congress remains out of the lawmaking business.” “

Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing – The New York Times

By Jim Robbins
July 9, 2018
“SEATTLE — For the last three years, not one calf has been born to the dwindling pods of black-and-white killer whales spouting geysers of mist off the coast in the Pacific Northwest.

Normally four or five calves would be born each year among this fairly unique urban population of whales — pods named J, K and L. But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline.

Listed as endangered since 2005, the orcas are essentially starving, as their primary prey, the Chinook, or king salmon, are dying off. Just last month, another one of the Southern Resident killer whales — one nicknamed “Crewser” that hadn’t been seen since last November — was presumed dead by the Center for Whale Research.”

Editorial | America Started Over Once. Can We Do It Again? – The New York Times

“The Reconstruction Amendments — the 13th, 14th and 15th — are rightly considered the nation’s second founding, the beginning of a centuries-long effort to cleanse America of its original sin and to continue the work of perfecting the union. Interpreting the 14th Amendment in light of its history and original meaning — a method the conservative justices swear by in most other cases — should lead the Supreme Court to wield it much more aggressively than it has. But as an increasingly hard-right majority settles in, it’s reasonable to fear that the court will move in the wrong direction for years to come.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
The 14th amend. states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” I agree with the last sentence. We need rights even for illegal immigrants, though we do not have to let them live or work here. When they do work here, there wages should be protected, to prevent their being taken advantage of by unscrupulous Americans. But I agree with Trump, and felt before he said it, that we have to amend the 14th amendment, to remove the instaneous right to citizenship for anyone who is born in this country. This was a fine law to protect slaves after the civil war, but now this sentence is an abomination. It encourages Chinese to fly their pregnant women to Los Angelses, deliver their babies as US citizens, and then fly back to China. It allows illegal immigrants to make American citizens by over populating our country with their children, while they evade the laws and live and work illegally in this country. It creates a magnate of great force, and incentivizes illegal immigration. Soon, there will be a 100 M refugees in the world from civil war and climate change.

U.S. Immigration Director Threatens to Jail Elected Officials in Sanctuary Cities – Texas Monthly

“Mayors from across the state were stunned today when the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, went on Fox News and threatened to jail and prosecute elected officials in so-called sanctuary cities who do not fully cooperate with federal authorities in rounding up and deporting undocumented immigrants.

“Did he mention me?” an incredulous Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked when reporters brought up the remarks.When I asked Austin mayor Steve Adler for a response, he characterized Homan’s remarks as un-American. “Threatening to jail political opponents, especially for laws they aren’t breaking, is not the America I grew up in,” he said. “Austin is the safest big city in Texas, and we follow the law. I will oppose anti-immigrant policies, regardless of the personal consequences, because spreading fear and making threats makes us all less safe.”

San Antonio Mayor Ron Mayor Nirenberg said that it’s up to the federal government to enforce immigration laws, not the local police force. “I trust our police department’s guidance on the proper way to ensure public safety to the best of our ability. Community policing requires the community’s trust in the police department,” Nirenberg said. “It is unfair to punish local law enforcement for the federal government’s failure to do its job.”

Source: U.S. Immigration Director Threatens to Jail Elected Officials in Sanctuary Cities – Texas Monthly

David Lindsay: When Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez won her NY primary for congress, we learned that she calls for the abolishing of ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department that was moved from the Justice Dept to the new Homeland Security Department after 9/11, in 2001. It is hard to find any proof that ICE is doing anything unlawful or heinous, but the article above shows that Trump’s new manager is a disaster. This troglodyte Homan should be replaced, but then, so should Trump. But the Democratic party has to be careful. A majority of voting Americans want illegal immigration to be stopped. A few of us want strict rights for illegal immigrants, protection to always get paid for work performed etc, but we don’t want unlimited or even any illegal immigration. God protect us.
Trumps denial of the threat of climate change is catastrophic. Roughly 22 million of the 68 million refugees in the world are from climate change loss of livelihood or civil war. People of faith or of compassion will want to address these problems in spite of their complexity.

Opinion | The Cosmic Joke of Donald Trump’s Power – by Frank Bruni – NYT

 

 

“A death in the family. A punch to the gut. The announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement felt to me and many people I know like both of those, but even more so like something else: a sick cosmic joke.

How much power will a president with such tenuous claim to it get to wield? How profound and durable an impact will such a shallow and fickle person make?

Donald Trump barely won the White House, under circumstances — a tainted opponent, three million fewer votes than she received, James Comey’s moral vanity and Russia’s amoral exertions — that raise serious questions about how many Americans yearned to see him there.

But he’s virtually assured of appointing as many judges to the Supreme Court as each of his three predecessors did and could reshape Americans’ lives even more significantly. It’s the craziest dissonance. The cruelest, too..”

 

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval NYT comments.
Hi Frank, This was so depressing, I had to speed read half of it. But I find it also empty. I heard a brilliant comment on NPR this morning, on another depressing discussion of the fall of the supreme court and the expected fall of Roe V Wade. The caller identified herself as about 65, mid western, and Catholic. She said, I don’t think the GOP wants to undo Roe v Wade, because they need it. If they overturn it, tens of thousands of Catholics, including almost all of my relatives, who only vote for the GOP because of this one issue, will no longer have to support them, and will return to the democratic party. In my gut, I suspect that she is right. This echos a right wing journalist from the midwest who wrote about 15 years ago, that Roe V Waded was disaster, because its opponents organized and took over one state house after another. The fall of Roe V Wade will be the best thing for Democrats since the New Deal. The issue will go back to the States, where 50 % of the population are women, and over half of the population supports choice, and other basic civil right, like environmental protection. It would be a sad day, but it is also the day after Alexandra Ocassio-Cortez took a primary in NYC. According to the Huffington Post, Ecowatch, and In These Times, she is a hard-liner on fighting to mitigate climate change, and wants a Green New Deal, that does for sustainable energy, what the Marshall Plan did for Europe after WW II. DL bogs at InconvenientNews.Wordpress.com

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defeats Joseph Crowley in Major Democratic House Upset – The New York Times

By Shane Goldmacher and Jonathan Martin June 26, 2018

“Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, once seen as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader of the House, suffered a shocking primary defeat on Tuesday, the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country.

Mr. Crowley was defeated by a 28-year-old political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former organizer for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, who had declared it was time for generational, racial and ideological change.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
This report flunks by many of my standards. It said so little so late, we went to google, to find out that this woman is brilliant and ferocious on climate change, and the future threat of climate change caused migrations. The Huff Post wrote, She will lead the house on Climate Change. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ocasio-cortez-climate-change_us_5b3307a5e4b0b5e692f25e18

In These Times also did a better job with useful information. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Why She Wants to Abolish ICE and … inthesetimes.com/…/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-ice-new-york-cynthia-nixon-democrats 2 days ago – On June 25, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received the endorsement of New York … saying that the only people that matter to you is one to three percent of our population. …. the ravages of super storms and climate change moving forward. …. economic growth in the United States without significant investment.”

No where in this NYT article did did it mention that Ocasio-Cortez considers herself a hard-liner on mitigating climate change. Those of us who are also hard-liners on climate change are thrilled, even if we learned so from other sources.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com