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Thank God for Small Favors!

U.S. Representative John Shimkus, possible future chairman of the Congressional committee that deals with energy and its attendant environmental concerns, believes that climate change should not concern us since God has already promised not to destroy the Earth. Shimkus, an evangelical Christian and a Republican member of the House from Illinois, signalled his desire to become chairman of the House Commitee on Energy and Commerce.

Big Emitters to EPA: "Don't Ask, Won't Tell"

AP reports today: “Some of the country’s largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, including businesses that publicly support efforts to curb global warming, don’t want the public knowing exactly how much they pollute. Oil producers and refiners, along with manufacturers of steel, aluminum and even home appliances, are fighting a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency that would make the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that companies release - and the underlying data businesses use to calculate the amounts - available online.”

A spokesperson for Honeywell argued, “There is no need for the public to have information beyond what is entering the atmosphere.”  Read the story here.

Guess Who Pays for All That Tea!

BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama’s energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.  An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.

What kind of Tea are they Drinking Anyway?

Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement, here in Indiana and across the country. For some, it is a matter of religious conviction; for others, it is driven by distrust of those they call the elites. And for others still, efforts to address climate change are seen as a conspiracy to impose world government and a sweeping redistribution of wealth. But all are wary of the Obama administration’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous gas, which will require the expansion of government authority into nearly every corner of the economy.

World Bank Plows $3.4 Billion into Toxic Asset

Record sums were invested last year in coal power - the most carbon intensive form of energy on the planet - by the World Bank, despite international commitments to slash the carbon emissions blamed for climate change. The World Bank said this week that a total of US$3.4bn  - or a quarter of all funding for energy projects - was spent in the year to June 2010 helping to build new coal-fired power stations. Over the same period the bank also spent $1bn  on looking and drilling for oil and gas.

Denial is Not a River in Egypt -- It's a Political Party in America

All but one of the 48 Republican hopefuls for the Senate mid-term elections in November deny the existence of climate change or oppose action on global warming, according to a report released today.

The strong Republican front against established science includes entrenched Senate leaders as well as the new wave of radical conservatives endorsed by the Tea Party activists, says a report by the Center for American Progress.

As election season gets under way, Tea Party favourites such as Joe Miller, who caused the biggest upset of the primaries when he defeated the Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in Alaska last month, have been upfront about their doubts on climate science.

“We haven’t heard there’s manmade global warming,” Miller told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

But the challenge to science goes beyond Tea Party favourites to corporate titans such as Carly Fiorina, who was the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and is running for the Senate in California. Fiorina has said on repeated occasions that she is “not sure” climate change is real.

Climate Groups Seek Direction After Demoralizing String of Defeats

A year ago, these groups seemed to be at the peak of their influence, needing only the Senate’s approval for a landmark climate-change bill. But they lost that fight, done in by the sluggish economy and opposition from business and fossil-fuel interests.

Now the groups are wondering how they can keep this loss from becoming a rout as their opponents press their advantage and try to undo the Obama administration’s climate efforts. At two events last week in Wisconsin, environmental groups seemed to be trying two strategies: defiance and pleading for sympathy.Neither one drew enough people to fill a high school gym.

Carbon Lobby Campaign Targets Color-Blind Readers

A group with ties to the fossil fuel industry launched a new ad campaign today pushing the idea that carbon dioxide isn’t an environmental pollutant. The organization “C02 is Green” funded a half-page advertisement in The Washington Post urging people to call their senators and seek a vote against “the president’s cap-and-trade bill that will increase your cost of living and not change the climate. “The bill is based on the false premise that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change,” the ad says. “Real, empirical evidence indicates it is not.”

US Defense Establishment: No Marching Orders for Skeptics

While political leaders on Capitol Hill seek definitive answers about how quickly the world’s climate will change, military and national security experts say they’re used to making decisions with limited information. But as they turn their attention to the geopolitical implications of climate change, the military and security experts are pressing scientists to help them understand the risk and uncertainty inherent in forecasts of future environmental shifts.  

Americans' Energy Hopes Mix No Better than the Oil and Water in the Gulf

Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years. Yet a majority are unwilling to pay higher gasoline prices to help develop new fuel sources.

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