The new polluter-funded GOP House majority continues to dance with those that brung them – international oil companies, gas companies and coal companies, and the many front group organizations they spawn that further their interests.
As a result, the latest “slashing” of the US budget completely eliminates funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a cut that will have virtually zero effect on the federal budget. According to Climate Science Watch, the vote passed by a party-line vote of 244-179.
The IPCC synthesizes the most up to date available science on climate change to help the public and policymakers know the current state of the evolving science, in order to plan, mitigate and prevent the very worst effects of climate change with good smart policy that incentivizes a move to clean non-polluting energy to safeguard our future. Hardly controversial in a sane nation. And cost-effective.
The level of US funding has fluctuated, depending on the year, between about $5.6 million under Democratic congresses, down to about $200,000 during the last GOP congress, in the first six years of the Bush administration. The current level is $2.3 million from last year’s “split” congress (Pelosi House, but Minority Rule Senate – the 60 vote hurdle created a de facto “McConnell” Senate).
The IPCC will probably do fine with no funding from us.
The organization is able to achieve as much as it does because the thousands of scientists from around the world who work on the reports receive no direct compensation for their considerable time and effort drafting, reviewing and editing the summary documents. The IPCC summaries are updated every 7 years.
After noting the previous vote to de-fund the EPA’s ability to collect greenhouse gas data on polluters, Waxman said: “Now we’re being asked to de-fund the work of international scientists to learn about the threat.
The assumption seems to be that there is no threat, and therefore let’s not study it. I think that is not a wise assumption. This is a very shortsighted proposal to cut these funds.
It’s like putting our heads in the sand, denying the science, and then stopping the scientists from working – because they might come to a different conclusion from the Republican Party’s ideology, in believing that there’s no problem and therefore we don’t need to know anything about it”.
Indeed. The paltry cuts are not about cutting the budget.
De-funding the IPCC is no big saving. But that is not the point. Even $200,000 is too much to give an organization that collects and publishes findings decidedly at odds with the interests of the international polluter cartel that controls the US GOP.
Susan Kraemer writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate and GreenProphet and has been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design she brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention: solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times. Follow Susan @dotcommodity on twitter.