Scott Pruitt’s Cut and Paste Climate Con

May 25, 2017

Above, newly confirmed EPA Director Scott Pruitt makes the claim that the Paris Climate agreement makes no demands on China and India before 2030.  He can’t be this stupid, so we just have to call that a lie.

In planning for electrical production, 10 years from now is today. Utility planners know this. So it is that China, for instance, is already moving on promises to level out emissions by 2030 – and in fact, may already have done so.

Forbes:

One of China’s top climate scientists says that China is on track to see carbon dioxide emissions peak between 2020 and 2022, almost a decade earlier than the Chinese leadership has promised, and to make its economy far more energy-efficient than expected. Beijing’s Energy Research Institute’s Senior Researcher Jiang Kejun also confirmed that China’s coal use peaked in 2014, a full decade before most observers thought that it would be possible; the seeming decline since that peak has been regarded by some analysts as a temporary blip due to factors such as a weak economy and increased hydropower in a rainy year, but Jiang says that coal use is on a permanent decline.

Jiang’s comments, although not official policy, are the most authoritative senior-level statement on an expected early peak in China’s greenhouse gas emissions (which are mostly CO2). China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, accounting for around 30% of the annual global total.

The analysis that Jiang presented at a Department of Energy (EIA) conference in Washington, D.C. in mid-July was significant as his projections are far more ambitious than China’s promises at the Paris climate talks last December. In Paris, and in an earlier agreement with the U.S. China has only promised to see emissions peak “around 2030.”

Scientific American:

Emissions declined in both the United States and China, and stayed level in Europe. That’s because of increased natural gas usage and a reduction in coal usage in the United States and China. Dangerous smog levels in major cities have also forced the Chinese government to crack down on air pollution.

In the United States, emissions dropped 3 percent, to the lowest level since 1992, as the economy grew 1.6 percent. In China, emissions declined 1 percent, while the economy grew 6.7 percent. The country also expanded the reliance of its electrical grid on hydro and wind sources as well as nuclear.

In the United States, current utility planning is already building in compliance with the Paris Accords, as markets dictate increasing use of cheap gas and renewable energy.

Pruitt has elsewhere shown himself to be rather unimaginatively hewing to the climate denial talking point playbook.

Here, Pruitt’s answers to written questions from Senator Ben Cardin, (D-Maryland)

76.Do you believe climate change is a real and serious threat to the planet?

The climate is changing and human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.

77.Do you accept the scientific consensus that should average global temperatures reach or exceed +2 degrees Celsius that many regions of the world will very likely experience catastrophic changes in the environment that may very likely impact the safety and prosperity of many people?

• Do you believe that uncertainty in climate science warrants greater study before the U.S. takes significant action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution?

• If so, are you aware that the portion of the scientific community that claims there is uncertainty in the science is limited to limited to about 5% of climate science communities?

• If you believe that the very small portion of the world’s climate science community who hold outlier opinions on the severity of climate change justifies inaction, why wouldn’t you give similar credence to other outlying opinions in the

climate science community that hold that global average temperatures may exceed 10 degrees Celsius and that catastrophic events may occur as soon as five or ten years?

The climate is changing and human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue. If confirmed, I will work to ensure that any regulatory actions are based on the most up to date and objective scientific data.

78.Our ability to predict the weather has improved dramatically over the last 20 years with the advent of supercomputers, new satellite monitoring options, and vastly superior atmospheric models. But still floods, droughts, hurricanes and similar phenomena occur and cause damage with sometimes only limited warning. What precision of prediction do you require before you are willing to accept the scientific community’s overwhelming consensus that unchecked increases in greenhouse gas emissions will very likely have catastrophic effects, many of which the National Climate Assessment has described in detail every 4 years since 1990?

The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of human activity on our changing climate, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue. If confirmed, I will work to ensure that any regulatory actions are based on the most up to date and objective scientific data.

81.Would you support making those changes in sufficient time to ward off any negative effects of increasing those emissions?

The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of human activity on our changing climate, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue. If confirmed, I will make sure the agency’s regulatory actions are based on the most up to date and objective scientific data.

Pretty much

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16 Responses to “Scott Pruitt’s Cut and Paste Climate Con”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    It seems to have become the new normal that the US government and their cronies are lying every single day. You folks are in deep shite, very deep shite.

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    1% of the US Americans owe 42% of the country’s wealth. 80% of you folks owe just 7% of all the wealth. That may explain why the country has sunken into this kind of state. The “American dream” is nothing but a pipe dream. And the poor still believe that crap. Now the super rich are getting even more tax cuts at the expense of health and environmental protection…

    Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.

  3. Ron Voisin Says:

    Trump will get this right just as he has been doing!

  4. J4Zonian Says:

    Why is there an unanswered lie from the WSJ reporter?

    The US is not going to even come close to meeting its Paris pledges, which are woefully inadequate to meet the 2°C goal, which itself is much too high to be safe.

    How come there’s nothing saying this, refuting the statement by one of the most denial-saturated media outlets in the world? Come to think of it, why is there a WSJ reporter on this site at all? Put some more Hansen on, Ben Santer, Lewandowsky, Naomi Oreskes, James Hoggan, Tim Flannery, Margaret Klein (www.theclimatemobilization.org). In fact, put anyone on who has some idea what they’re talking about. If we want denying delayalism we’ve got Faux News and more than our share of disinformed commenters here.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      US’ emission reduction goals have never been very ambitious => http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/usa.html

      • J4Zonian Says:

        Exactly my point–we aimed low and missed even lower. And trying to be concise, I didn’t even mention the other fudge factor, aiming at 2005 levels rather than preindustrial temp. so it sounds more impressive when they lie about trying to get below it. Come to think of it, I don’t know why they don’t just aim at a certain amount below 2050 levels, use the worst-case scenario between now and then as a given and then declare victory without doing anything at all.

        But thanks for the link. That’s good information from an excellent site.

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    Scott Pruitt just handed Dow a license to pollute our communities and harm our children. Last year, the EPA moved to revoke all uses of chlorpyrifos — a pesticide that pollutes our environment and harms children’s developing brains. But now Pruitt’s EPA is reversing course.

    The agency is asking for public input — the deadline is a week away. We need you to speak up NOW!

    Help to reach 35,000 comments telling the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos — before time runs out!

    Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxic insecticide. It was banned for home use in 2001 due to its clear impact on children’s developing brains.

    But it continues to be used in agriculture, contaminating fruits and vegetables and putting rural kids, families and farmworkers across the country at risk.

    So why is Pruitt’s EPA letting Dow continue to harm our health? Maybe because the company has cultivated a cozy relationship with the Trump administration. It delivered $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. And Trump picked Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris to head the American Manufacturing Council.


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