This afternoon (7/29), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smacked down climate deniers in the most diplomatic and thoughtful way possible.
After careful re-review of decades of research and scientific findings by the world’s foremost academic and government scientists, the EPA told 10 groups who challenged its scientific finding that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming and endanger human health and welfare (in much gentler words):
You’re wrong, you have no evidence, your claims against this sound and valid body of science are baseless, and your controversies are manufactured and out of context; and by standing in the way of federal action on climate change, you’re endangering Americans’ health and welfare.
In exact words, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said:
Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation and an end to the oil addiction that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security.
At this point, the science is so powerful* that it’s not even what’s most noteworthy in today’s news. What might be most noteworthy is just how thorough and attentive the EPA was to each of the petitioners’ baseless and politically motivated claims. Case in point, excerpted from the EPA’s press release:
Claim: Petitioners say that new scientific studies refute evidence supporting the Endangerment Finding.
Response: Petitioners misinterpreted the results of these studies. Contrary to their claims, many of the papers they submit as evidence are consistent with EPA’s Finding. Other studies submitted by the petitioners were based on unsound methodologies. Detailed discussion of these issues may be found in volume one of the response to petition documents, on EPA’s website.
Earthjustice managing attorney David Baron had his own words:
The science is clear, and it speaks for itself. We don’t need more evidence—we need strong action, and we need it now … Those senators who continue to deny this science and who are attempting to block the EPA from reigning in the excessive carbon pollution of the nation’s biggest polluters are on the wrong side of history. They must get out of the way of progress. The EPA should continue to move forward in doing its job to limit the global warming pollution of major polluters. Further, this valid science tells us that now is the time for our Senate to move forward in addressing climate change, not backward. Read his full statement.
David is referring to a handful of senators, led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who seem determined to block the EPA from reigning in excessive carbon pollution by the nation’s biggest polluters. Murkowski’s legislative proposal to axe the EPA’s action on climate change was rejected by the Senate in early June, but that didn’t stop her. Yesterday she told The Hill that she’s got another attempt in her pocket — that would be trying to advance a similar proposal by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) which would hamstring the EPA on climate change for two years.
Of course, David Baron and Lisa Jackson are right: Why are these senators directing so much energy trying to move us backward or keep us rooted in the status quo when they should be finding ways to transition our nation — like China did last week — to a clean energy economy? The people in their states especially need clean energy jobs and action on climate change the most. There is no excuse for their actions.
*The National Academy of Sciences reinforced the EPA’s finding in May with a landmark study that made waves, and even today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its 2009 State of the Climate report, a comprehensive appraisal of Earth’s climate by more than 300 authors from 48 countries, which reaffirms that climate change is real and is a real threat. Aside from the two said reports, there have been countless studies and reports that provide further verification.