Friday, April 22, 2005

Earth Day Ahoy! 

Piggybacking on Riggsveda's post, below, I note that Sens. Kerry and McCain requested a GAO report on the effects of global warming, and according to the NYT they’re not getting their money’s worth…

The investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, conclude in a report to be released today that none of the 21 studies of climate change that the administration plans to publish by September 2007 explicitly address the potential effects in eight areas specified by a 1990 law, the Global Change Research Act. The areas include agriculture, energy, water resources and biological diversity.

Without such an assessment, the accountability office said, "it may be difficult for the Congress and others to use this information effectively as the basis for making decisions on climate policy."

Not that Congress is especially worried about making sound decisions. Anyway, the NYT article concludes…

Mr. Bush began reorganizing climate research in 2001, focusing on the uncertainties about the relationship between rising global temperatures and rising concentrations of heat-trapping emissions. His critics, including some scientists and former senior officials in the climate program, say the shift in focus was meant to distract attention from the broad scientific consensus that humans have caused most of the new global warming.

Rick S. Piltz, who resigned last month after 10 years in the Global Change Research Program, which coordinates climate work, said that Dr. Mahoney [the guy who produced the report from the Commerce Dept.] had good intentions, but that the program had been changed so that worrisome findings did not emerge that could increase pressure to curb emissions.

The first national assessment of potential impacts of climate change under the global change law projected a host of potential problems in the United States if emissions and climate trends persisted.

Worrisome findings, indeed. Can't have people worried about silly things like breathing and drinking clean water. Why, it might cause a drop in profits, er, I mean, it might cause a panic.

But on a positive note—and, holy shit, it’s hard to keep our feet on the sunny side of the street these days, isn’t it?—a friend sent me a link to a cool site that helps folks find locally grown organic goods. I'm not listed on it, yet, but some people I know are. But then, I don't try to sell my stuff much outside of the county. Anyway, I pass it on to our thoughtful readers:


Check it out. Now I’m off to our semi-annual local Earth Day cleanup and How To Save the Earth brainstorming and eating and drinking and playing in the woods gathering. It usually ends up with pickup trucks full of trash at the end of the weekend and blistering hangovers. Sometimes a few fresh fish.

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