If anyone thinks that the recent revelations about the perfidy of certain prominent climate researchers or the implosion of the IPCC report will change the minds of the True Believers, think again. For some–for instance, those at the “Eco-Justice Programs” unit at the National Council of Churches–things go on as if nothing has happened since the debut of Al Gore’s movie:
For years now, the international scientific community has overwhelmingly agreed that climate change is in fact happening and is human induced. Despite the assertions of those who ignore science, the recent east coast snow storms are further proof that climate change is already happening.
Nations around the world have taken action to address climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists believe will prevent the worst impacts of climate change in the future.
See what I mean? The author of this post, “mcgurker,” could have written exactly the same thing after Hurricane Katrina, European flooding in 2002, the 2003 European heat wave that killed thousands, or any other significant weather event of the last twenty years. For True Believers such as “mcgurker,” everything constitutes proof of “climate change” and the need for draconian, statist measures to counteract what the “international scientific community has overwhelmingly agreed” upon, even if such “consensus” has been exposed as a blatant misrepresentation of the state of scientific opinion.
One might normally ask why we should care about the eyes-wide-shut opinions of the True Believers at the NCC. Turns out that they have a very specific legislative agenda in mind:
Senator [Lisa] Murkowski of Alaska would like for the U.S. to take a step backward, and is threatening to undermine any attempts to seek climate justice. She is spearheading an effort to undermine the science of climate change and deny the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (a right the Supreme Court has upheld) based on its recent finding that greenhouse gas emissions are dangerous to human health. Now she has secured 39 co-sponsors on this resolution (which will only need 51 votes to pass the Senate.) [Emphasis in original.]
Government agencies don’t have “rights”–the case in question said that Congress had granted the EPA the authority to act as it did–but leave that aside. This is typical of the dishonest hysteria that so frequently emanates from the NCC. Murkowski’s resolution does not “undermine any attempts to seek climate justice.” Nor does it “undermine the science of climate change” (the folks at the University of East Anglia and the IPCC are handling that). In fact, this is what the resolution says:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (published at 74 Fed. Reg. 66496 (December 15, 2009)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.
A look at the rule and finding in question shows 1) that it is a lengthy defense of the conclusion that greenhouse gases are a public health hazard; and 2) that the rule has to do with automotive greenhouse gas emissions, particularly as they are determined by gas mileage. The heart of this document is this:
The combined EPA and NHTSA standards that make up this proposed National Program would apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012 through 2016. They proposed to require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon (MPG) if the automobile industry were to meet this carbon dioxide level solely through fuel economy improvements. Together, these proposed standards would cut carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 950 million metric tons and 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program (model years 2012–2016).
Is the purpose of the Murkowski resolution to ensure that industry has free reign to pollute the atmosphere to its heart’s content? No. Actually, while the sponsors are concerned about the impact of regulations on business and the economy, it is mostly about separation of powers issues, as Murkowski’s statement in introducing it makes clear:
Our bipartisan resolution deals with an incredibly important question: whether or not members of this body are comfortable with the actions EPA will take under its current interpretation of the Clean Air Act. I’m not comfortable with those actions, and neither are the senators who have already agreed to add their names to this effort. The Clean Air Act was written by Congress to regulate criteria pollutants, not greenhouse gases, and its implementation remains subject to oversight and guidance from elected representatives. We should continue our work to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation, but in the meantime, we cannot turn a blind eye to the EPA’s efforts to impose back-door climate regulations with no input from Congress.
In other words, who should have the final say over how the Clean Air Act is carried out–the lawmakers who enacted the legislation, or the administrators who enforce it? Murkowski and company are taking this action because they believe the EPA has overstepped its authority (and that the Supreme Court has misunderstood that grant of authority), which is well within their prerogatives, and in any event a prudential political judgment that neither warrants nor justifies the apocalyptic language that “mcgurker” uses.
Senators are considering sponsoring this resolution which would undermine any attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the US. This resolution is likely to be considered in late February or early March.
We are urging people of faith to call their Senators and ask them to vote no on Senator Murkowski’s Congressional Review Act resolution. Senators are hearing from the coal industry and other corporations who would like them to support this resolution but they need to hear from their constituents. [Emphasis in original.]
As previously indicated, said resolution would not “undermine any attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.” It would simply put the decision on whether to do so back in the hands of our elected representatives, a place that the NCC must definitely doesn’t want it, since congresscritters on occasion actually listen to the great unwashed that elected them, whereas the bureaucrats of the EPA mostly definitely do not.
I’ve gone through all this to make this point: as usual, the True Believers at the NCC are seeking to establish the faith-based Religion of Green™ regardless of the science, or anything that is happening in the debate that is unfolding in the public square. Just business as usual at Riverside Drive.