Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Savage Cuts

The Republicans in the US are wielding the financial axe with gusto and determination. 

They plan to deny all funding to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and are also proposing to heavily cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s budget.  They are targeting the EPA's recent move to regulate greenhouse gases by denying $8.4 million to its greenhouse gas registry, and by preventing it, through spending vetoes, from regulating emissions from power stations and cement factories.  The ability of the EPA to enforce regulations covering mountaintop removal coal mining will also be curtailed by targeted funding cuts. 

Montana State Representative Joe Read (Republican), demonstrates blatant, if short-sighted, economic self interest in a bill he introduced to the Montana State Legislature (HB 549).

Part of the bill reads....
The legislature finds:
a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare to the and business climate of Montana;
b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable effects on the environment; and
c) global warming is a natural occurence and human activity has not accelerated it.   

Denial, denial, denial.   

Greenhouse gases do not respect national borders.  The gutting of the EPA and the IPCC will likely severely affect their ability to research, regulate and inform. 

As the US struggles to economically outcompete China, its emissions will increase adding more to the atmospheric burden.  With less regulation and less internationally disseminated research,  the rate of this addition is likely to increase. 

This will impact on us all.

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