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Published on October 1st, 2018 | by Steve Hanley

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Ho Hum. NHTSA Shrugs Off Projected 7 Degree Global Temperature Rise.

October 1st, 2018 by  


The total insanity that pervades the Trump maladministration was on display for all to see recently. The Trumpies, who are dead set against any and all government regulation that might cost their corporate patrons a penny, have put their full cockamamie agenda on public display to justify their opposition to higher average fuel economy regulations imposed by the hated Obamans.

NHTSA According to the Washington Post, NHTSA, one of the federal agencies involved in the fuel economy debate, has justified its position by — wait, I want to make sure you are sitting down before reading any further. Last month, as part of a 500 page submission, NHTSA said flat out that it expects average global temperatures to rise by as much as 4º C by the end of this century. Now here’s the interesting part.

Just A Drop In The Bucket

NHTSA argues that such a rise in temperature is already locked in. Since fuel economy rules would have little to no impact on something that is going to happen anyway, why bother, especially when it might cost car makers a penny or two in quarterly profits? NHTSA justifies its position by saying any increase in greenhouse gas emissions if the fuel economy standards are rolled back “would add just a very small drop to a very big, hot bucket,” according to the Post.

“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” Michael MacCracken tells the Post. He served as a senior scientist at the US Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002.

Regulations Not Economically Feasible

The NHTSA submission acknowledges deep cuts in carbon emissions will be needed if a catastrophic increase in average global temperatures is to be avoided. That “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”

Not “economically feasible?” The lives of millions of people are not worth the cost of doing anything about climate change? That is the official position of the stunards currently in charge of running the country? Really?

David Pettit is a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He notes the NHTSA document admits atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide would rise from 410 parts per million today to 789 ppm by 2100. “I was shocked when I saw it,” Pettit said in a phone interview. “These are their numbers. They aren’t our numbers.”

8 Billion Tons Of Carbon Dioxide

The NHTSA analysis admits that rolling back vehicle emission standards will add 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by the end of this century. That’s more than a year’s worth of total US emissions, yet that impact is seen as trivial by the agency. “With this administration, it’s almost as if this science is happening in another galaxy,” says Rachel Cleetus, policy director and lead economist for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ climate and energy program. “That feedback isn’t informing the policy.”

John Sterman, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, says the “do nothing” strategy advocated by the Trump maladministration “is a textbook example of how to lie with statistics. First, the administration proposes vehicle efficiency policies that would do almost nothing [to fight climate change]. Then it makes their impact seem even smaller by comparing their proposals to what would happen if the entire world does nothing.”

Frivolous

Naturally, the Heritage Foundation, an organization staffed from top to bottom with people bought and paid for by Koch Brothers money, sees things differently. I refer to these people as “Koch whores,” a phrase that offends some, but if there is a better way t0 describe them, I have yet to hear it.

Nick Loris, a research fellow at that august institution, tells the Post that Obama’s climate policies were costly to industry and yet “mostly symbolic.” At best, they would have made barely a dent in global carbon dioxide emissions. “Frivolous is a good way to describe it,” he says. In other words, it’s just more “government overreach” according to current conservative ideology.

No Action Planned

Are you getting this? The official position of the Trump administration is that average temperatures will be about 4º C hotter within a few generations, but they don’t plan to do anything about it because, hey, it’s gonna happen anyway. I have been criticized for being too strident in my attacks on Republicans, but in truth I haven’t been strident enough.

Hey, Republicans. These are your people running the EPA, and NHTSA, and the Energy Department, and the State Department, the CIA, and all the other alphabet soup government agencies. They are engaged in what can only be described as crimes against humanity and you are OK with that? Are you insane? You would sacrifice your grandchildren and great grandchildren for the sake of naked political power?

You are so concerned about oil and coal company profits that you would kill us all? Baking wedding cakes for gay couples makes you so angry you would gladly pull the plug on the whole human race just to prevent such insults to your tender sensibilities? This is how you think rational people should behave?

What Do You Say To A Person Holding An Uzi?

Dialing down my commentary to spare the feelings of conservatives is like praising a person with an Uzi pointed  at my head for having a nice haircut. The time for niceties and worrying about others’ feelings is over. These people are actively trying to kill me, my family, and all my unborn heirs. I should be nice to them? I don’t think so. Is overheating the environment to the point where millions of people die all that different than an arsonist dousing my home with gasoline and striking a match while I am inside? Aren’t they both criminal acts?

What Republicans are doing amounts to little more than genocide — a deliberate and calculated plan to make the Earth a barren wasteland where nothing can survive. It’s time to vigorously oppose the climate of cowardice that is the hallmark of US conservatives. It is time to tell Donald Trump his call for more tribalism will doom us all.

Join The Battle

Bill Maher has pissed off a lot of people over the years, but he does make some valid points. He is fond of saying, “Republicans, they’re all claws and sharp teeth and fangs when they fight. The Democrats? Their weapon of choice is adaptive coloration.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee had harsh words for many of his fellow governors recently, telling them their anti-climate change policies were “morally reprehensible.” Following the horrific forest fires that ripped through his state and other West Coast states this summer, he said the ash from those wildfires and the acrid smoke that filled the lungs of Washington residents have made voters in both parties realize climate change is real and will have some nasty consequences if left unchecked. “There is anger in my state about the administration’s failure to protect us,” he said. “When you taste it on your tongue, it’s a reality.”

Enough. It’s time to stand up and say “No” to the outrageous demands of Republicans. Deliberately choosing profits over people is not just putting a different spin on things, it is not “alternative facts,” and it is not OK. It’s a crime. Whatever you are doing and wherever you are on November 7, please vote. It’s the only way to take back America from the lunatics and extremists who won’t be happy until we are all dead. It’s time to act up and act out. We won’t get a second chance.

Hat tip: Dan Allard


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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may take him. His motto is "Democracy is socialism." You got a problem with that? You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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