Lying About Science for Politics is Evil

The Democratic Party is officially setting itself apart as the party of climate justice with the current draft of the party's platform.

While the platform committee fell short of embracing a carbon tax and an outright ban on fracking, the Clinton and Sanders camps did come together to agree that it's time for the Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies for potential fraud.

Bill McKibben presented the motion to the platform committee on Friday.

This isn't just good politics to set the Democratic Party apart from the Republicans as the only major party that wants to take aggressive action to hold fossil fuel giants accountable for decades of deceit: this is good science, and smart economics.

Right now, seventeen attorneys general here in the United States are investigating allegations that ExxonMobil misled the public about how their business model threatens the planet and public health.

Those allegations are based on reports from InsideClimateNews, The Guardian, and the LA Times, which show that nearly 40 years ago, Exxon's own scientists had started warning about the dangers of relentlessly burning CO2 into the atmosphere.

And while the Democratic Party is setting itself apart as the party of climate justice, the Republican Party is working hard to stall action at every turn.

Thirteen Republican attorneys general wrote in a letter earlier this month that, "using law enforcement authority to resolve a public policy debate undermines the trust invested and threatens free speech."

The problem is, fraud and deceit isn't covered under First Amendment free speech protections, and the issue at hand isn't a "public policy debate", it's scientific consensus.

In fact, it's such a matter of scientific consensus that Dr. Michael Mann told the Democratic Party platform committee that we really don't even need to be collecting data or testing models to prove that the climate is changing, because we can just turn on the TV and see the evidence.

The historic 100-year floods in West Virginia that killed dozens of people have gotten plenty of media attention, especially the dramatic video of a burning house floating down a flooded valley.

But few commentators have bothered to mention that West Virginia and the surrounding region of the country have seen a 71% increase in precipitation since 1958, because a warmer atmosphere also holds more moisture.

On the other side of the country in California, wildfires have burned across nearly 100,000 acres of forest already this year, and we're still early in the wildfire season.

Wildfires aren't just getting bigger though, the season now lasts almost 10 weeks longer on average than it did in the 1970s, thanks to a number of factors including the fact that ice is melting from the Rocky Mountains earlier every year, and the fact that summers are getting hotter and drier on average.

A historic heat wave that stretches from California to Missouri has helped fuel those wildfires, and has killed at least five people in Arizona in the month of June.

We're seeing increased flooding along our coasts thanks to rising seas that are forcing people to leave their houses while destroying our natural estuaries and wetlands and wiping out the economies that depend on them.

Warmer oceans are feeding increasingly more frequent superstorms like Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, and year after year hurricane seasons are starting earlier and lasting longer.

And that's just a glimpse at the impacts of climate change around the United States.

Across the world, we're seeing stressed water resources and dryer soils that threaten agriculture and regional stability, like we've already seeing with the rise of ISIL and the Syrian civil war.

We're seeing tropical diseases like the Zika Virus and Malaria spreading across the planet and threatening public health as the world becomes wetter, warmer and more tropical.

We're seeing coral bleaching and ocean acidification that threatens life as we know it in our oceans, destroys the livelihoods of coastal communities across the planet, and could cost the global economy up to 24 trillion dollars in assets.

We're seeing more atmospheric blocks like the so-called "ridiculously resilient ridge" that contributes to major prolonged weather events like the extreme wildfires in Alberta and Alaska that forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate their homes earlier this year.

Like Dr. Michael Mann told the DNC, everywhere we look, we are now seeing the impacts of climate change.

And it's time that the United States become a world leader in the pursuit of climate justice for the millions of current victims of climate change across the world, and for the future generations that will be living with the consequences of our fossil fuel addiction.

As a country, we need to pass an outright ban on fracking, we need to pass a tax on carbon and methane emissions, and we need to invest in a Green New Deal to make our economy 100% fossil free.

But right now, the Democrats have taken a good first step by coming together as a party to call for the Justice Department to investigate what companies like ExxonMobil knew about climate change, when they knew it, and whether they misled their investors and the American public.

Comments

bpentony's picture
bpentony 4 years 12 weeks ago
#1

"While the platform committee fell short of embracing a carbon tax and an outright ban on fracking, the Clinton and Sanders camps did come together to agree that it's time for the Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies for potential fraud."

No carbon tax, no ban on fracking....but we'll agree to spend taxpayer dollars to investigate fossil fuel companies for fraud. Is that the carrot that Clinton is offering in order to continue fracking? How does that help us now Tom? Our planet cares about physics right now....how much we are pumping greenhouse gas onto our planet and the effects vs. what we can and must do immediately to lessen those effects if at all possible now. Nice for investigations and a lot of BS from the corporate Democrats....but Mother Earth and it life forms need concrete action now.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 4 years 12 weeks ago
#2

What a crock!! What a waste of money investigating ExxonMobil for Fraud. What hippocrites you lefties are. Everyone of you blame energy companies for your energy addiction. You have a choice, stop using fossil fuels in your auto's. Stop using electricity generated by fossil fuels. No energy company is forcing you to drive, use electricity, eat food delivered by fossil fuel burning trucks, or food grown using fossil fuel burning farm equipment.

A carbon tax please somebody explain to me how taxing carbon is going reduce CO2 output.

MontanaMuleGal's picture
MontanaMuleGal 4 years 12 weeks ago
#3

No discussion of severe climate change, including the resiliantly resistant ridge, should omit global geoengineering strategies.

What the heck are those criss-cross patterns in the sky? That's "solar radiation managment," man's attempt to reproduce the cooling effect of volcanic ash on the planet by spreading coal fly ash plus alumninum and other heavy metals in the sky.

Although SRM is talked about as a strategy of the future, it's happening now. I believe what I'm seeing.

Get more info here: geo engineering watch dot org

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 4 years 12 weeks ago
#4

Was the floating/burning house Don Blakenship's by any chance?

A green new deal sounds like a Bernie in the White House sort of thing....long overdue.

Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 4 years 12 weeks ago
#5

Calling bs on the business as usual Washington investigation crap. We don't need to spend millions to know there was a cover up and enrich more Washington attorneys, nor do we need the traditional "fine then let them continue" policy.

Just stop the bullshit. The Dems are no better than the GOP, they just play their brand of the same game, differently.

The M.O of the democratic party is to act outraged, pretend they are on the side of citizens, while throwing monetary bones to cronies and the courts and citizen rights groups under the guise of pretense:",investigating and getting to the bottom of things."

Not one investigation in the past 40 years has resulted in any substantive reform, but it sure cost the tax payers a lot of money. Everytime and a lot of people in Congress and industry get rich off of it.

I have neither any respect or trust in either party, they all are out for themselves, not the public..one just does it in your face while the other party hugs us and pretends to be our friend while actually doing nothing.

THE LIES. Begin with the media pretending to give us propaganda as news, continues with each party covertly protecting industries while pretending to be citizen advocates..then ends with those in Washington cutting side deals and lining Congress and industry pockets while shills for each side disingenuously point out the duplicity and lies of each other.

All with tax payer money..How cool is that?

Et tu, Thom?

howardb4 4 years 12 weeks ago
#6

"But right now, the Democrats have taken a good first step by coming together as a party to call for the Justice Department to investigate....."

I agree, "What A Crock!

The Clinton Democratic platform calling for an investigation into possible Oil industry fraud, is another time 'honored' political scheme, for not calling a spade, a spade. It is once again political deceit. The detrimental consequences to biological creatures and the planet itself of 'fracking' is considerable and scientifically valid. (http://www.alternet.org/environment/8-dangerous-side-effects-fracking-in...)

The fact that now the Clinton camp is voicing this insubstantial attempt, again is a political vote getting scheme, which is so apparent, yet the uninformed, (which are so numerous) will more than likely allow themselves to be manipulated by the deceptive political rhetoric as they ususally do. Had Bernie Sanders not run for office, her positions on the major issues of our time would be totally corporate designed. Clinton will see to it that the status quo will remain and the corporate leadership will run this country.

In my mind a Clinton vote is a status quo vote. (status quo which is a continuing slide into Fascism) A vote for Trump is essentially a vote for chaos at the least.

And here we have the so called best that †he corrupt political parties can provide with the lesser of evils being the choice for Americans.

We are where we are today in this country because of both self serving parties. The party first and the well being of Americans and America somewhere down a long list of self serving priorities.

To vote for Clinton , who lies, because she seemingly is not the crazy lying clown Trump is, is the only democratic bit of logic the democratic party can piut forth. Not enough justification for voting people of integrity, who have to sleep each night with the knowledge of who they cast their vote for.

MountainCatBob's picture
MountainCatBob 4 years 12 weeks ago
#7

A carbon tax will reduce emissions by making clean energy more profitable. If this is accompanied by cap and trade, and not gamed as in Europe, carbon emissions could be phased out more quickly. Review the successful cap and trade policies that led to the reduction of ozone depleting chemicals. It works!

But a more efficacious method is to force Congress to shift the subsidies from carbon intensive fuels to sustainable energy sources, like geothermal, wind and solar. Unfortunately, our electorate continues to be bribed specifically to keep these subsidies in place and to prevent subsidies for sustainable energies.

We don’t have to give up our electricity, as OU812 suggests. We have to give up the fascists!

MountainCatBob's picture
MountainCatBob 4 years 12 weeks ago
#8

A carbon tax will reduce emissions by making clean energy more profitable. If this is accompanied by cap and trade, and not gamed as in Europe, carbon emissions could be phased out more quickly. Review the successful cap and trade policies that led to the reduction of ozone depleting chemicals. It works!

But a more efficacious method is to force Congress to shift the subsidies from carbon intensive fuels to sustainable energy sources, like geothermal, wind and solar. Unfortunately, our electorate continues to be bribed specifically to keep these subsidies in place and to prevent subsidies for sustainable energies.

We don’t have to give up our electricity, as OU812 suggests. We have to give up the fascists!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 4 years 12 weeks ago
#9

Kindly read the blog entitled "Will the Arctic Be Ice-Free Within the Next Two Decades?" dated Jun 29

Some scary info from alanroth and robertcd

We are just like the frog enjoying warmth in water that is gradually being heated to boiling point... thus death!

KeyStonerMikkiForUSPrez45's picture
KeyStonerMikkiF... 4 years 12 weeks ago
#10

absolutely . The party that says it is with climate concerns cannot risk causing doubt of itself. Yet its the democrat party and they are nearly to be suspected of being a shell company of republicans . Certainly their embarassed political spouse in political privatization. The debate about climate should not be embellished at all. At this point facts are effectively fear causing sufficiently if the listener has a central nervous system of a competent person.

On the general political angle is how this gets legislated. The American people need to demand these topics be addressed in two branch discussions. When Congressman and the President are debating at the White House , in all cases but national security those meeting should not be secret at all. Instead we have two parties dwaddling around doing nothing and meeting as party business as though they are the party chairmen , with another party member of dnc the president and leaving the public sphere outside the door of the political system. Thats how the people get ignored. Theres only one reason for secrecy, concealing privilege and lobbyist cutouts. .. oh and favors.

c-gull's picture
c-gull 4 years 11 weeks ago
#11

Evil pretty much equates to the human capacity for hypocrisy that usually serves economic self interest. The republicans have built an entire religion around it and the democratics tread very carefully in their own pretense for virtue. I do not see either party changing a dam thing except their rhetoric.

St. Jerome said "Even brute beasts and wandering birds do not fall into the same traps or nets twice".

Jerome was speaking to the ignorance of the public of his time but I think the American voter would top out Jeromes ignorance meter.

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Now he's planning on using a different loophole, the 12th Amendment, to hang onto power.
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