There Is No Hope, But We Might Be Wrong.
October 31, 2011
We should put each month’s climate and energy news into time capsules so that future visitors to the planet can make sense of who did and didn’t try to save the place. Here’s a summary for October.
- Chevron Corp. announced that its third-quarter earnings more than doubled. Chevron reported a profit of $7.83 billion up from last year’s profit of $3.77 billion. (Melodie Warner, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28). Chevron’s earnings increase mirrored rises reported by other major oil companies. Occidental Petroleum Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC each reported gains despite political turmoil in oil-rich nations.
- In a related story, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney appears to have completed his transformation from a proponent of mandatory action to address climate change to a skeptic who isn’t sure man-made global warming exists. In remarks to a Pittsburgh audience last week, the former Massachusetts governor reversed his past position that human-caused emissions appeared to be at least in part responsible for rising temperatures. “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” he said. Romney added that President Obama’s support for carbon dioxide regulations appeared to have more to do with the fact that he (and U.S. EPA) “really doesn’t like oil, gas, coal and nuclear” than with limiting emissions.Earlier this year, the former governor sounded like a moderate on climate change in a primary field otherwise full of confirmed climate skeptics, with the sole exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (Greenwire, June 9, 2011). “I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer,” Romney said at a town hall gathering in New Hampshire in June. “I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that.”To those remarks, talk show host Rush Limbaugh replied: “Bye-bye, nomination.”
- Also related…. A year after the nation’s largest-ever oil spill, Republican presidential candidates are still pushing aggressively for domestic oil and gas drilling. Their calls are reminiscent of the message of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee who popularized the phrase “drill, baby, drill”.
- Again, related….As of mid-October, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had voted 168 times this year to undercut clean air and water laws while blocking efforts to limit global warming, protect public lands and guard against future oil spills. Henry Waxman, the senior Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, calls this “the most anti-environmental Congress in history.”
- The Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline opponents continue to press their case and build momentum. The issue has become a clear choice for Obama and his pronouncements to tackle climate change as we head towards the UNFCCC conference in Durban. It’s one climate position he can’t blame on Congress. On November 6th advocates intend to ratchet up the pressure with a planned action to encircle the White House with thousands of opponents. For more information see the related action alert below.
- A study, done by a noted climate change skeptic AND funded by the Koch brothers, who are Tea Party oil tycoons, that intended to disprove global warming recently reaffirmed the science behind it. A comedian provided more coverage of the study than all other cable news sources combined. Good grief…
Peter Bahouth, Executive Director