Political Incorrectness At EPA Axes Clean Cookstove Initiative

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The disaster at the EPA under Jackass In Chief Scott Pruitt continues and is getting worse. The agency recently discontinued its support for the Clean Cookstoves initiative because it dares to uses the dreaded words “climate change” in its mission statement.

Make Way For Political Hacks

clean cookstoves initiativePruitt has now installed John Konkus — a political hack with no training or policy experience — to weed through the entire array of EPA programs and target any that mention climate change for deletion. According to the Washington Post, Konkus has been told to review every award the agency gives out, along with every grant solicitation before it is issued.

Konkus says he is on the lookout for “the double C-word” — climate change — and has issued instructions to eliminate any that do not pass the “double C-word” smell test. That’s the sin that caused the Clean Cooktops program to get the ax. “Two of the awards the EPA’s leadership rescinded… supported the deployment of clean cookstoves in the developing world,” the Washington Post reported on September 4.

Danger From Cooking In Impoverished Communities

The New York Times ran a story in 2010 about the health risks from rudimentary cookstoves. “Nearly three billion people in the developing world cook their meals on primitive indoor stoves fueled by crop waste, wood, coal and dung. Every year, according to the United Nations, smoke from these stoves kills 1.9 million people, mostly women and children, from lung and heart diseases and low birth weight.”

Since then, with the help of the UN, a public/private partnership has developed into what is called the Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves, which used to receive support from the EPA because such unhealthy indoor cooking releases large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It also encourages people to cut down trees to provide fuel for cooking.

Say Hello To Political Incorrectness

Cancelling support for the Clean Cookstoves program is the opposite of political correctness. It is political incorrectness and is similar to the Soviet era when every Russian factory, school, military unit, and government agency had a political commissar who rigorously enforced the official party line.

We mocked the Russians then for doing such a stupid thing and celebrated the fact that America was stronger because of the diversity of opinion that was considered a hallmark of our society. But that was then, this is now. In Trumperica, only input that has the blessing of the #FakePresident is permitted.

Whitman Weighs In

Christine Todd Whitman, who headed the EPA in the George W. Bush administration, excoriated Pruitt last week in an op-ed published by the New York Times.

“As a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush to run the [EPA], I can hardly be written off as part of the liberal resistance to the new administration. But the evidence is abundant of the dangerous political turn of an agency that is supposed to be guided by science.

“The E.P.A.’s recent attack on a reporter for The Associated Press and the installation of a political appointee to ferret out grants containing “the double C-word” are only the latest manifestations of my fears, which mounted with Mr. Pruitt’s swift and legally questionable repeals of E.P.A. regulations — actions that pose real and lasting threats to the nation’s land, air, water and public health.”

She says the cancelled program promoted two worthwhile goals. First, it helped lower carbon pollution which “affects all of us.” Second, “It was also good for human health in those countries, which we wanted to have stable for national security.”

Radha Muthiah, CEO of GACC says the clean cookstove initiative, “benefits Americans directly” and “helps drive increased investment from the private sector and other partners, leading to strong impacts across health, the environment and women’s and girls’ empowerment.”

Cancelling support for the Clean Cookstove program also flies in the face of Trump’s avowed goal of promoting American manufacturing. Many of the new cooking equipment that is replacing the old stoves is engineered and made in the US.

The Fathers Of Political Incorrectness

The new era of political incorrectness is fueled in large part by the ceaseless efforts of the Koch Brothers, who have been waging a clandestine war designed to remake America in their image through a bewildering array of so-called think tanks that are paid outrageous sums to attack any aspect of American society that does not promote the Kochs’ dark and twisted agenda to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

For more on that subject, see Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money: The Hidden History Of The Billionaires Behind The Rise Of The Radical Right. Read it if you dare.

Source: Think Progress

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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