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Let the Sun Shine on Politics of Global Warming

This week I threw a switch that activated California’s largest corporate solar power installation, a system that will provide 80 percent of the energy supply for the FedEx hub at Oakland International Airport.  FedEx’s system, designed by the PowerLight Corporation, will reduce the load on our power grid and is an important step in the struggle for energy independence and greenhouse gas reduction.

In Washington, of course, there is little urgency about either energy efficiency or global warming. Today’s automobile fuel efficiency has not improved in decades, nor has America lessened its dependency on foreign oil. Do the politicians in charge even care that California drivers are now paying 71 cents more per gallon than they were a year ago?

Despite the obvious dangers of foreign oil dependency, the possibility of irreversible climate disruption is even more ominous. Oil dependency can cripple our economy and plunge us into resource wars. Global warming can radically alter weather patterns with catastrophic consequences.

So what does Washington do? Launch a witch hunt, targeting scientists whose work demonstrates the factual basis of global warming.

House Energy Committee Chief Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, is leaving no stone unturned in his attempt to discredit three scientists who concluded in a 1998 paper that the Earth is warming dramatically. Barton has fired off official letters demanding the raw research data and financial information from the three distinguished scientists. He made similar requests to the National Science Foundation and a United Nations climate panel.

  His inquiry was inspired by two Canadians with no background in climatology who questioned the integrity of the scientists’ research. That’s all it took for Barton – a true nonbeliever in Global Warming – to spring into action.  Yet, his inquisition has now drawn the ire of even fellow Republican Rep. Sherman Boehlert, who wrote that Barton’s “purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than learn from them.” Boehlert serves as chair of the House Science Committee.

Barton’s critics call him “Smoky Joe” due to his attempts to relax regulations on major polluters who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns. It’s no surprise that he should end up at the forefront of this latest attack on science.

A recent investigation by Mother Jones magazine revealed that ExxonMobil has spent $8 million to fund a mercenary “think tank” army of anti-Global Warming ideologues whose purpose is to attack climate science. Their talking points dictate that “Victory will be achieved when…recognition of uncertainty becomes part of the “conventional wisdom.’” That’s a line from an American Petroleum Institute (API) document that was leaked to the New York Times in 1998.

“We’ve always wanted to get the science on trial,” says Myron Ebell, spokesman for an anti-Global Warming think tank known as the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

Rep. Barton’s scheme is part of a larger plan. He wants to undermine the credibility of serious climatologists while ignoring unsavory truths--like the fact that CEI has received over $1.3 million from ExxonMobil.  Sow doubt, reap profits–-and to hell with science.

We need more corporations to follow FedEx’s lead and do their part to reduce pollution and stave off dramatic climate change.

August 11, 2005 | Permalink


Corporations in Silicon Valley, as well as local governments and NGOs, are doing their part to reduce CO2 emissions and energy usage. Check out Sustainable Silicon Valley at


And keep up the good work!

Posted by: Diana Foss | Aug 11, 2005 2:32:08 PM

Congrats to all concerned on the FedEx solar power plant!

Looks like Big Oil, and ExxonMobil is the biggest and oiliest, has taken a page from the Intelligent Design playbook. The ID folks know that ID has been recognized as "creationism in a lab coat", so they've moved on to a new strategy they call "Teach the Controversy". Of course, since no science supports ID, there's no controversy to teach. It's just a marketing ploy to muddy the waters.

"Get the science on trial". That's rich. But it'll make us all poor, and asthmatic.

Brown for President!

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) | Aug 11, 2005 4:32:08 PM

Kudos to everyone involved with the FedEx solar power plant.

As for the details concerning the House Energy Chief, how very depressing while enlightening. Thanks for the cohesive info.

Posted by: Shaunna | Aug 14, 2005 8:34:29 PM

Slouching Toward Armageddon?
Get Ready for a Wider War

With every poll showing majorities of Americans both fed up with Bush's war against Iraq and convinced that Bush's invasion of Iraq has made Americans less safe, the White House moron proposes to start another war by attacking Iran. VP Cheney has already ordered the US Strategic Command to come up with plans to strike Iran with tactical nuclear weapons.

Bush refuses to meet with Cindy Sheehan, instead using his vacation time at the Crawford ranch to talk war with Israeli television. In a recent interview with Israeli TV, Bush said: "All options are on the table" with regard to Iran.

Posted by: DualCitizen | Aug 15, 2005 4:25:24 PM

I'm all for reducing emmissions and being more energy efficient, but to say that the cause of global warming today is 100% caused by fossil fuels is erroneous. FACTUAL science shows that warming and cooling trends have been occuring naturally on approximately 140,000 year time cycles as far back as good research will allow. We are now at the heat climax of one of those cycles so, of course, it's getting warmer.

Posted by: Wallace-Midland Texas | Aug 17, 2005 1:43:44 PM

What's wrong with wanting to see the raw data that is used to support the papers? Science works best when it's conducted in a fully transparent and peer reviewed process. If I recall correctly, there has already been an admission that the "hockey stick" papers have a statistical error in them that when corrected causes the curve to be much more conservative, although in all fairness the corrected curve still supports the overarching thesis that the earth is getting warmer.

It's somewhat ironic that you argue for less politics in science by injecting more of it.

Posted by: jeff | Aug 17, 2005 4:04:45 PM

I bet you learn all your science from the Discovery Channel.
I've heard old cowboys repeat this kind of nonsense.

Posted by: Debunker | Aug 19, 2005 8:55:28 PM

Thanks for blogging Jerry. Please take a look at this website for me and let us know here on your blog what you think about the federal income tax in regards to this Bob Schulz character saying it is a complete legal fraud.


Thank you very much.


Posted by: Doug Kenline | Aug 23, 2005 1:53:49 AM

Mayor Brown,
In the September issue of Scientific America in an article entitled "The Climax of Humanity" George Musser poses the question that "three great transitions set in motion by the Industrial revolution are reaching their culmination...--demographic, economic and environmental." He further states "we are about to pass through the bottleneck,' a period of maximum stress on natural resources and human ingenuity." He ends the article stating "when the environment is properly accounted for, what is good for nature is often what is good for the economy...the future of humanity will be seucred by thousands of mundane decions: how many babies people have, where they graze their cattle, and how they insulate their houses."

The threat to the environment goes beyond climate warming and global energy--it goes to the sustainability of the food chain starting in the ability to preserve our nations rivers and oceans from which life intially emerged, and from which it could conceivably end.

Posted by: Globalthinker | Aug 23, 2005 6:35:26 PM

Yes, it's true that we "need more corporations to...do their part to reduce pollution and stave off dramatic climate change" but we also need individuals to behave as if they live in a shared environment.

21 mpg vehicles are an abomination, and there is simply no excuse for them. It's not just the SUV behemoths that are to blame, either; Subaru's car-sized vehicles blare their pathetic mpg on their radio displays (and pretend to be environmentally conscious in their ads), and still people buy them. Why? Because they just don't give a damn about behaving responsibly.

My new-in-1998 Honda Civic HX still gets 36-41 mpg, and that's with the AC running, and it was a LOT cheaper to purchase than a gas hog, and that is still the case.

Sure, the corporations need to do more, but individuals also need to comprehend their personal responsibility to act ethically, and to realize that yes, their individual actions do collectively have consequences, and their actions also directly reflect the choices they have made. Should someone feel profoundly guilty about the environmental consequences of driving THEIR chosen 24 mpg, or 11 mpg vehicle? Hell YES!!!

Posted by: kathleen | Aug 24, 2005 9:15:06 PM

President Bush gave $750 billion dollars in taxcuts to the rich that hitherto they never received before and they are getting them again. Yet the number of new jobs created last month was not on target. This is during a time both of war and a decayed national infrastructure.

If President Bush had taken just say $350 billion of the $750 billion in tax cuts to rich, this money could have been invested in building new subway systems, more light rail trains, in a subsidy to the steel industry and a massive public works program that could have helped build this infrastructure.

While worlds oil reserves diminish and gas prices per barrel mount weekly and at the station, Americans still cannot get away from the vision of cars for transport to work or play.

Meanwhile, London is criss-crossed with 3 different subway subway systems and France has trains galore as well as Italy. Japan has superfast bullet light rail trains.

The U.S. is obviously lagging, in terms of both vision and its car culture mentality.

Once upon a time our government was demanding auto manufacturers to come up with more fuel efficient cars. Then we went backwards to SUV's.
Furthermore, we decided to reward buyers of SUV's this year to prop up General Motors to avoid laying off thousands of workers.

Without a sane-headed administration we will not solve any problems in this country. We won't get mandated fuel efficiency, we won't build the mass transit and light rail trains to reduce our oil dependency, and we will continue to use war as a means to fulfill national reliance on personal cars. Americans need to demand a sane, rational energy policy regarding car mileage, government subsidies to transit not auto and oil corporations, and stopping the subidies to Exxon, Chevron, etc. whose policies are guiding our country internationally on the war front in keeping us an oil dependent country in order that the huge profits they are reaping can keep coming in.

Posted by: globalthinker | Aug 24, 2005 10:41:36 PM

Does anyone know of a fomer Governor who wanted to build a coal fired power plant in Pittsburg?
Does anybody know where the power comes from when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow?
Does anybody remember Jerry's little anti-nuke "Kill them with constipation" law?

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis, P.E. | Aug 25, 2005 9:17:19 PM


Thought you'd get a kick out of this find on Craig's List today.

Posted by: Craigs list fan | Aug 29, 2005 11:35:57 PM

"Even worse, articles in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and public statements by emergency management chiefs in New Orleans make it clear that the Bush administration slashed the funding for the Corp of Engineers' projects to strengthen and raise the New Orleans levees and diverted the money to the Iraq war."

Posted by: grassrootsdem | Aug 31, 2005 8:32:03 PM


No One Can Say They Didn't See It Coming
by Sydney Blumenthal,
Former Senior Adviser
to Bill Clinton

Posted by: grassrootsdem | Sep 1, 2005 1:45:41 PM

Dramatis Personae: Hurwitz, Headwaters Redwood Preserve logging, CA North Coast Water Quality Control Board, CA State WQCB, Dan Hamburg, FDIC, Lynn Hughes. This week in September 2005 Maxxam won $72 million in fines from FDIC from Judge Hughes in a TX court which appeared to ascribe "extortion" tactics to what was always characterized as fair and square hardball negotiations including a CA member of the US House of Representatives. The issue of Hurwitz's gaming the forest service logging plan submission deadline in order to hide the logging plan from the Senator et al, has yet to reach final adjudication these many years later, though trees are falling; TIMBERRRRRR.
"headwaterspreserve.org" Humboldt Watershed Council "eopochdesign.com/hwc/press.html"
NB: NCWQCB takes more permissive posture than SWQCB toward Hurwitz logging. NCWQCB public hearing next September 2005 in Fortuna: speaker registration information at "http://www.headwaterspreserve.org/html/updates_update_43.html"

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 460 biologists answer survey 30% say research is redacted by politicians. Union of Concerned Scientists poll; "ucsusa.org" full survey results: "http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/page.cfm?pageID=1804"

U.S. Forest Service sued in court by 3 Western states to halt roadbuilding in 58 million new acres released for constructing inroads into heretofore wilderness areas August 2005. report in LA Times August 2005: "http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-roadless31aug31,1,4566913.story" Environmental organization watchdog Los Padres Forest Watch "http://www.lpfw.org/news/0503roadlessrule.htm" Mineral and oil exploration recently deregulated in previous wilderness lands including habitat now used for restoring condor population 2005 "http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/county_news/article/0,1375,VCS_226_3980180,00.html"
US Forest Service says logging Grand Canyon old growth trees will improve the forest "http://www.swfa.org/pr_2004/pr_02-18-04.html" SouthWest Forest Alliance

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 163 scientists complain regs are changed so as to bar consideration of genetic information in EIRs on endangered species "http://www.sw-center.org/swcbd/PRESS/science6-20-05.html"
US Fish and Wildlife Service rewrites regs to halve protected habitat for CA tiger salamander near suburb development zones: August 2005 "http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050824/ap_on_sc/wst_tiger_salamander"

Congressman Barton's target: "realclimate.org" a legitimate peer group forum of climatologists of all ilk.

US National Marine Fisheries Service removes environmental protections from 86,000 miles of formerly protected salmon riparian zones in CA Center for Biological Diversity website reports on legal actions to reverse this rule change 2005 "sw-center.org/swcbd"

Sport fishing entrepreneurs mischaracterize impacts of sport on fish population dynamics in Gulf of MX; FL State University Coleman + Koenig Research Lab develops new statistical model which explains why sports catch vastly larger impact than reported "www.bio.fsu.edu/us_landings/" Felecia Coleman, Professor 2004

US President's Council on Environmental Quality political official edits climate change science reports 2003:

Energy lobbyist VP Cheney keeps mum in duck blind with US Supreme Court Justice Scalia at a time when Scalia is close to having to decide whether to recuse himself from hearing argument in a case connected to Cheney 2004:

Posted by: John Lopresti | Sep 4, 2005 2:57:01 PM

Yo, Mr. Mayor. What is Oakland going to do for Gulf Coast hurricane victims? (thump thump--is this thing working?) I guess everyone is on vacation in Oakland too. LA, San Diego, SF, all are stepping up. Oakland? Ah, silencio.

Yo, yo, yo, yo, Mr. Mayor. What kind of emergency plan does the City of Oakland have in the event of a major terrorist attack on the Port? Anything? Have you ever even read the plan (and that assumes a plan exists, 20 bucks says no plan).

Heaven help the residents of Oakland in the event of a major disaster. Note to myself: Great idea for a play. A story about how the city council would react to a major disaster. Take the well-known personality characteristics of each councilman and the mayor and have someone act out each person. I'm laughing already.

Posted by: Kris Rocks | Sep 5, 2005 1:59:03 PM

In my neigbhorhood should
Highway 24 collapse, we will be shut off from every single hospital and most fire stations.

Again, it's another maor disaster waiting to happen. Too scary for me to laugh about.

But I concede I bet they have the body bags all lined up just like Scientific American predicted in their article published in the October, 200l edition of Scientific American entitled "Drowning Orleans". It was republished Aug. 3l, 2005.

Posted by: grassrootsdem | Sep 5, 2005 3:34:54 PM

Dear Mr. Bush:
> Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane
> Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be
> airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military
> choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a
> Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.
> Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could
> really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do
> like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to
> begin with?
> Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of
> Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then
> but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there
> were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this
> storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody
> tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I
> know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to
> go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure
> showed her!
> I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying
> to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business
> peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the
> hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in
> the dike?
> And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how
> you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New
> Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them
> that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there
> weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you
> had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING
> On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I
> was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the
> clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look
> of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn
> and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been
> there done that.
> There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try
> to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out.
> Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this
> would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting
> hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them
> and all their global warming Chicken Littlest. There is nothing
> unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having
> one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.
> No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30
> percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had
> no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean,
> it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving
> white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race
> has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!
> You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army
> helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans
> and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.
> Yours,
> Michael Moore

Posted by: Bill | Sep 6, 2005 1:25:09 PM

The choppers are all busy ferrying cameramen and politicians around. Every time the president lets whinocrats goad him into another photo op, rescue work gts set back just a bit more, and helicopters wear out a bit more.
The worst looters of this disaster are the ghouls who could not wait to bash Bush. Today they dragged three NG Generals away from rescue and recovery work just so some reporters could ask snarky questions in front of the cameras.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis | Sep 8, 2005 8:36:49 PM

"The tear-filled eyes of Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard as he was interviewed by Tim Russert on today's Meet the Press.

He called for a full scale investigation into the failure of the repeatedly fired Mr. Brown to act efffective in his capacity as FEMA head. To step forward promptly with the necesary help after the levees had flooded. He called for Brown's immediate removal as FEMA head. Not only did FEMA prevent the delivery of water and fuel to New Orleans hurricane victims, Mr. Brown didn't even know there were 25,000 victims in the Superdome waiting to be rescued where they were held without food or water under guard for several days.

This stain on America will long be remembered.

This is the anti-science presidency and Republican administration that acknowledges neither global warming, investigates scientists,
and doesn't even realize how vital the gulf region is for the export of farm products from the Midwest.

The Republicans excel at one thing though: repeating lies and pegging investment in infrastructure as "liberal propaganda".
The chickens will come home to roost though as all the greedy anti-tax
Repugnocrats themselves fall prey to the policies of their making while chanting until the bitter end PERMANENT WAR, PERMANENT WAR.

One thing the warmongerers and propagandists have never learned nor understood is that history goes forward. Lies and false policies like Homeland Security, no matter how gargantuan, in the end could not hold New Orleans levees in place.
And neither will they shore up the rest of the crumbling structures from the New Deal era. For a while perhaps, but when they begin to implode the effect will be domino-like in nature.

Posted by: PeeWeePundit | Sep 8, 2005 10:50:06 PM


I'm a blacklisted author. I've been blacklisted for my political work against the totalitarian state of Israel.

Do you know any literary agents that are politically aware, sympathetic to Palestine's cause, and not gutless turkeys?

Here's what i'm trying to get published by a small press. http://www.geocities.com/paris/concorde/4446/spear.html it has strong beat poetry aspects and reflects a punk rock aesthetic with a strong classical literature background.

I'd like to see it published in tandem with this badboy. http://docmartian.blogspot.com/2004/05/iguana-chronicles.html

my ugmo face spread across both covers... an unprinted brown khaft cover over it. real classy-like. ;)

hope you can help. i've written over 700 literary agents and over 500 publishers. I can't help but think it has something to do with the over 7,000 newsgroup posts i've made about israel and their stooges. Yup, the real deal, i've done over 20,000 hours of human rights work... although some of that is just tantamount to bitchslapping of pinheads.


Posted by: Doc Martian | Sep 9, 2005 4:40:18 AM

No accountability in the Bush adminitration. When the truly "Big One" came, they were all out to lunch.

The former cocaine addict turned bicycle addict--gotta stay healthy, gotta stay healthy.

The shoe-shopping, Broadway-show running Condi, gotta look good, gotta look good.

The war numbers adding and substracting hopscotch Rummie, more troops less troops, more troops less troops.

And FEMA head Michael Brown, well he just had his head up-a horses ass!

Posted by: Citizen | Sep 9, 2005 10:17:09 AM

FEMA Head Michael Brown Removed from
Direct Role

Posted by: Citizen | Sep 9, 2005 5:58:50 PM

Walter Wallis once again proves that the right is too ignorant to have an opinion and incapable of telling the truth. The first responders after the hurricane WAS the media. They were rescuing people when FEMA was still trying to figure out where New Orleans was on the map. The Monday of the hurricane, your president was flying OVER the disaster so as not to be late for a political fund raiser in California.

We're sorry the pesky media got in there so fast and reported how incompetent this adminstration is. Would have been better if the media had kept their noses out of it and then all those people in the Super Dome would be dead and no one would even have to know about it. Jeez, they were only mostly poor black folks. Who cares about them? Or as a white guy said on CSPAN this morning, they're people who don't play by the rules and are poor because of it. Who can sympathize with those people?

There must be a cozy corner in hades for the Bush clan and their diehard supporters. Barbara Bush was quoted as saying, including her chuckle, that the refugees are better off now anyway since most of them didn't have anything to begin with. The quote was read on CSPAN this morning.

Posted by: Kris Rocks | Sep 9, 2005 6:47:46 PM

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