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Waxman rails against Koch’s influence on climate change efforts

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. Speaking at the Center for American Progress Action Fund today, House Energy Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) railed against the toxic influence of Koch Industries on efforts to fight global warming. Waxman, who fought polluters to pass the Clean Air Act of 1990, is dismayed by the level of outright science denial among the Republican Party today, exemplified by their votes to slash and burn environmental protection, and the Upton-Inhofe bill to reverse the scientific finding that carbon pollution threatens public health: It apparently no longer matters in Congress what health experts and scientists …

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The Climate Post: Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, including Fox News, goes carbon neutral

"Maybe climate change is a hoax, but my company is going to reduce its footprint anyway."Photo: World Economic ForumAn email has linked Fox News to deliberately casting doubt on climate change, but their parent company -- Rupert Murdoch's News Corp -- seems to take climate change very seriously. News Corp announced it is now carbon neutral, claiming it is no longer contributing to global warming. It's no small feat for the huge company, which also owns the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones. On the site for the company's Global Energy Initiative, Murdoch never utters the words "climate change" or "global warming," but he says: …

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Is climate denialism postmodern?

Jack Handey has nothing on his deep thoughts.Photo: Satyakam KhadikarA few months ago, in a post about the larger significance of the right's climate denialism, I said this: "Here we are hip-deep in postmodernism and it came from the right, not the left academics they hate." In a New York Times Magazine piece last weekend, Judith Warner argued something similar: that the right's denialism is a dangerous extension of the left's academic postmodernism of the '80s and '90s. Science journalist Chris Mooney disagrees. He argues that "climate change deniers do not look, behave, or sound postmodern in any meaningful sense …

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What we have and haven’t learned from ‘Climategate’

I wrote about the "Climategate" controversy (over emails stolen from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit) once, which is about what it warranted. My silent protest had no effect whatsoever, of course, and the story followed a depressingly familiar trajectory: hyped relentlessly by right-wing media, bullied into the mainstream press as he-said she-said, and later, long after the damage is done, revealed as utterly bereft of substance. It's a familiar script for climate faux controversies, though this one played out on a slightly grander scale. Investigations galore Consider that there have now been five, count 'em five, inquiries …

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Mike Pompeo (R-Koch) gets to work slashing EPA funding

Rep. Mike Pompeo.Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. Last night, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) proposed an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that would "sharply cut funding for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that collects data on industrial greenhouse gas emissions." The $8.4 million cut would leave funding for the registry at $3.2 million, unless the EPA shifts funds from another program to the registry. Toeing a fine line between conspiracy theorist and Koch Industries profit protector, Pompeo took the house floor where "he called the registry part of an EPA plot to destroy U.S. jobs": EPA would, I am sure, …

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New Contest for Exposing Polluter Lobbyists’ Influence

Are you a lobbyist for the coal industry, looking for the best way to meet members of Congress who will put your dirty energy money ahead of modern environmental standards and their constituents' health? Maybe the chairman of a powerful congressional committee, seeking yet another industry lobbyist to join your staff and help roll back the Clean Air Act, choosing polluters over children's health? Or a giant oil company who wants everyone to forget about that devastating oil spill and need some insiders to pull the strings in the halls of power? If so, then you need to check out Polluterharmony.com …

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What ‘The Simpsons’ could teach us about global warming

Are climate scientists the Milhouses of America?Cross-posted from Sightline's Daily Score blog. I encourage you to check out a downright awesome analysis of the treatment of global warming on The Simpsons, over at The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media.* Meanwhile, here's my take. The Simpsons phenomenon is a reminder of the power of pop culture to reflect -- and shape -- political attitudes. But, as Sara Peach concludes, the longest running (hardest working?) show on TV hasn't exactly moved the public forward on the issue of climate change -- in terms of basic knowledge about the actual …

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Republican congressmen vote away scientific facts

Rep. Upton wrote the bill with his trunk.Photo: Eric MolinaCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Barry Goldwater famously said, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Maybe so, but extremism in the defense of fantasy is a tougher sell. Still, that doesn't stop some members of Congress from trying. Exhibit A this week is the attempt to legislate an alternate reality, offered up by Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) with accompanying cheers from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). Their draft bill would eliminate Clean Air Act provisions that would allow the EPA to set common-sense …

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Climate deniers look out, see catastrophic storms, attack Al Gore

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. After a year of climate devastation in 2010, this year has begun with more extreme weather across the globe. In the southern hemisphere and along the equator, it is a summer of floods and storms -- in Australia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Tonga, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, as well as Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. The northern hemisphere's winter is similarly extreme, with normal patterns of air flow destabilized by a warmed Arctic Ocean. Extreme heat shattered records in California and Canada, while Arctic air and warm oceans combined to …