Tuesday, February 16, 2010

GOP: Pollution Controls are a Socialist Conspiracy

So, the lower house of the Utah legislature- overwhelmingly composed of the most radical conservative Republicans in America outside the Confederacy- voted a resolution claiming that athmospheric carbon dioxide is harmless.

And that's after the bill was edited to make it less radical:

The original version of the bill dismissed climate science as a "well organised and ongoing effort to manipulate and incorporate "tricks" related to global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome". It accused those seeking action on climate change of riding a "gravy train" and their efforts would "ultimately lock billions of human beings into long-term poverty".

In the heat of the debate, the representative Mike Noel said environmentalists were part of a vast conspiracy to destroy the American way of life and control world population through forced sterilisation and abortion.

The bill claims not only that global warming is not caused by humans, but that there is no such thing as global warming- and therefore that proposed anti-carbon regulations being considered by the Environmental Protection Agency should be put on hold "until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated".

Just in case the EPA isn't paying attention, Texas governor Rick Perry is suing in federal court to block any such regulations.

Texas said it had filed a petition for review challenging the EPA's "endangerment finding" with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Texas has also asked the EPA to reconsider its ruling.

"The EPA's misguided plan paints a big target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers and the hundreds of thousands of Texans they employ," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.

The National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association also said on Tuesday they filed a petition challenging the EPA in federal appeals court.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. iron and steel makers have also signaled they would file lawsuits.

This isn't just ignorance, mind you- at least it's not in most cases. There's a lot of big money that doesn't want to pay the cost of controlling the release of carbon dioxide into the athmosphere. Big Oil, Big Steel (well, such as is left in the US) and Big Coal, to name three industries, want to keep pollution nice and regulation-free.

And in order to do this, they're pumping billions, with a B, of dollars into public relations, think tanks, and junk science to discredit climate change at every level- just like tobacco companies used to do to combat medical studies that showed the direct link between smoking and lung cancer. They're not just playing on the general ignorance of the voting public- they're ADDING to it by promoting false information, conspiracy theories, and false blanket statements on the nature and reliability of climate science.

And Utah, I'm pretty sure, is just broadcasting the new message for the Republican base: environmentalists are the enemy. Environmentalists are evil. Anyone who wants to reduce pollution, or who worries about climate change, is a Commie bastard who wants to kill your unborn children and take away your freedom.

This is an extension of the old Southern belief that anyone better educated than you are is by definition evil and not to be trusted. It's beyond suspicion- it's actual hatred of expertise and training. It's a call to believe in the superiority of the righteously ignorant.

And it's being done not for the benefit of the country, but merely for the benefit of the extremely rich.

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