The Gaslighting of Life

October 13, 2017

New Trump Enviro official calls CO2 “the gas of life”.

Inside Climate News:

President Donald Trump has picked Kathleen Hartnett White, a former Texas regulator and unapologetic advocate of expanding U.S. fossil fuel production regardless of carbon dioxide emissions, for the top White House environment post.

Putting her in charge of the Council on Environmental Quality, which has been rudderless since Trump took office, would place an extreme denier of mainstream climate science, a hero of those who oppose urgent action on global warming, at the fulcrum of federal interagency policy discussions on energy and environmental matters.

White has argued against the federal government’s “endangerment finding” that carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas feeding worldwide climate change, is a danger to human health and the environment. If confirmed to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, she would be coordinating environmental efforts across the federal agencies.

As a fellow of the conservative Austin-based think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, White leaves a long paper trail that will surely be fodder for her confirmation hearing. The group has been funded by fossil fuel interests, including Exxon and the Koch brothers.

She has decried regulation of carbon dioxide, which she calls “the gas of life,” and co-authored last year’s paean to the fracking boom, “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy.” Her co-author, economist Stephen Moore, founded the Club for Growth, the political action group that weaponized the primary process to successfully move the Republican party to the right over the past two decades.

“An invisible, harmless trace gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, CO2 is a plant food,” White said last year in a Q&A with the Orlando Sentinel.

In her 2014 monograph, “Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case,” she wrote: “Humanity’s use of fossil fuels has released whole populations from abject poverty. … Until energy sources fully comparable or superior to fossil fuels are securely available, policies to reduce emissions of CO2 should proceed with caution lest they prematurely exhaust the well-springs of mankind’s greatest advance.”

She has also promoted tactics for undermining the Endangered Species Act, claiming its protections for endangered wildlife imperil prosperity.

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10 Responses to “The Gaslighting of Life”

  1. Ron Voisin Says:

    And just who could dispute these assertions?

  2. grindupbaker Says:

    Absolutely. And more so. Methane is the other gas of life. At least, it is for me.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      In addition to CH4 and CO2, H2S and CH4S are getting to be more important “gasses of life” for me as I get older.

      They are VERY VERY important to the likes of Ron Voisin for different reasons.

  3. Roger Short Says:

    The one trigger word which pervades the concerns of many deniers including Kathleen Hartnett White is “communism” which has nothing to do with the subject.

    The facts and good science which have preceded this article over decades now are the real determinant.
    This is further backed up by sound empirical observations which are part of the record and a fundamental of good science.
    For those who are still the least bit skeptical today, what further proof would they like to see in order to draw their conclusions?
    What doesn’t count is idealogical one-liners which don’t stand a chance in peer-reviewed experienced company, especially when the consequences of getting things wrong are so important.
    People who go into public office should be sure that they are equipped at a high level with the ability to understand what is going on, and if not personally at that level, to access help and advice from those who do know. Anything less is a dereliction of their duty for which they should be held accountable.


  4. Wearing a suit (over a CSLDF t-shirt) I attended the Fueling Freedom book signing at the TPPF’s magnificent auditorium one block from the Texas state capital. The police politely questioned me because the t-shirt was “making people nervous”. I assured them that I would remain silent during the presentation – which was more difficult than predicted.

    During their presentation Moore sympathetically assured the audience that oil and gas prices would be higher in a year. Both authors said that they don’t “follow the science”. Stephen Moore signed my copy of his book “Energy = Freedom”. Kathleen White refused to sign it.

  5. ubrew12 Says:

    White: “senior officials of the United Nations climate program… talk about communism as… the only system of gov’t which effectively would reduce carbon dioxide.”
    Question for White: name the country that is the number one ANNUAL depositor of fossil carbon dioxide into this planet’s atmosphere?
    Follow up question: what is their system of government?

    This kind of stupid hasn’t questioned its own assumptions for decades now.
    I’m guessing because she’s ‘White’…

  6. dumboldguy Says:

    An excellent if long article about the Mercers and their unholy influence. goes beyond Dark Money and carries us up to the present. Nauseating.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency

    I mention it particularly because about half-way through the piece, reference is made to Arthur Robinson, head kook at the Oregon Institute and the “brains” behind the infamous Oregon Petition. Rumors abound that Robinson us being considered for the vacant post of Science Advisor to President Drumpf. Another name mentioned is that of William Happer.

    Sleep easy, America, with the appointment of White and the consideration of these other morons for posts, The Deranged Orange Menace will be MAGA, except that the G is for GASSIER (Or is it for GULLIBLE id he thinks that we don’t know what he’s up to?)


  7. CO2 is the gas of life – if you’re a vegetable. Us animals think oxygen is quite important.


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