Friday, June 11, 2010

Climate Crisis News

There was talk of the climate bill including the suspension of enforcement efforts by the EPA to regulate heat-trapping gases under the Clean Air Act. The Obama administration came out against the change, and the Senate turned away a GOPer attempt to gut the EPA's current enforcement powers.

Contra interpretations of recent polls, a Stanford study funded by the National Science Foundation found that three-quarters of Americans surveyed believe that global warming is real and the result of industrial heat-trapping gases. The slight dip since 2007 (from more than 80%) came from a particular segment of the population that tends to change its mind on the topic based on the weather. A cold winter with snowstorms made them temporary skeptics. Since it's been a hot spring, they're apt to change back.

Meanwhile a Yale study says that support for action to address the Climate Crisis is growing in the U.S. This support has grown since January, reflecting perhaps not only the hot spring but the catastrophe in the Gulf.

On the connection between the Gulf and global heating, Bill McKibben contributed a rare Kos diary saying that the media are missing it: "One has something to do with peak oil. BP has gone to all this trouble for a well that taps into what they now think may be 100 million barrels of oil. And that's... five days supply for the U.S? Does that give you any sense of the precariousness of the arrangements under-girding our economy right at the moment?"

"The questions that the Gulf spill raises, in other words, go well beyond: How big an idiot is Tony Hayward? What will happen to the tourist economy of the Gulf? How cool is James Cameron's minisub? The questions are more like: How out of balance with the natural world are we? And what would it require to get back in balance?"

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