Once Again, Radical Environmentalists Get Egg Thrown In Their Faces

The White House finally appears ready to announce conclusions and policy recommendations from the Pollinator Task Force it appointed a year ago. Environmentalist groups eagerly await the decision. After clamoring and campaigning for years for government action, they hope to get tough restrictions on using innovative new insecticides called neonicotinoids.

Agricultural interests await the decision with trepidation. A ban or broad restrictions would cost billions of dollars annually, force them to employ pesticides that are more difficult to use and more toxic for beneficial insects, and compel them to confront more secretive government “science” and faulty justifications for policies that are not supported by the evidence.

The deadline imposed by President Obama’s task force memo passed months ago, and yet the White House has been strangely silent on the issue of pesticides and honeybee health. What initially looked like an easy lame-duck giveaway to green groups has turned out to be factually complicated.

Long before the White House weighed in, anti-insecticide activists promoted claims that honeybees were headed for extinction because of pesticides, specifically neonics – unless the government banned them. Time magazine picked up their refrain, devoting a long cover story to the scary prospect of “a world without bees.” Other news stories uncritically repeated the end-of-bees assertions. One-third of the food we eat could disappear without bees to pollinate crops, they proclaimed. But there was a problem.

The narrative turned out to be false, extensive evidence now demonstrates – and inconvenient truths had gotten in the way of another slam-dunk Executive Branch edict.

Neonicotinoids are actually much less toxic for bees, other insects, humans, and animals than alternative pesticides, in part because they are primarily used to coat seeds. The neonics become part of the plant’s tissue structure and defense system, affecting only pests that feed on the protected crops. Farmers can greatly reduce pesticide spraying, especially with older, more toxic chemicals.

Field studies have repeatedly shown that bees are unaffected by neonics at real-world exposure levels. In fact, bees thrive in canola (oilseed rape) fields and other crops grown with neonic-treated seeds; and the number of bees has been rising steadily worldwide the past few years, even as neonic usage peaked.

U.S. Department of Agriculture annual beekeeper surveys reveal that the number of honey-producing hives in the United States has held steady at about 2.5 million since 1995. Indeed, the numbers increased four of the last five years and are actually higher now than when neonics first came on the market in the mid 1990s. Most beehive problems now involve less experienced hobby beekeepers.

A similarly hyped issue, “colony collapse disorder,” turned out to be a cyclical problem going back centuries. Recent large-scale die-offs of domesticated bees appear to be caused primarily by Varroa mites (which feed on bees and can transmit bee viruses and diseases), parasitic phorid flies, Nosema intestinal fungi, and tobacco ringspot viruses. Beekeepers have accidentally killed entire hives trying to combat these problems.

Honeybee habitat loss from urban, suburban, and even agricultural development has also taken a toll. Just removing fences, to improve agricultural efficiencies and let cattle roam and feed, reduces bee forage and nutrition, increasing bees’ susceptibility to mites, disease, and stress, entomologist and professional beekeeper Randy Oliver told me.

But facts like these never stopped organizations like Beyond Pesticides and the Natural Resources Defense Council from claiming America and the world faced a “bee-pocalypse” – never because of a convergence of problems, always because of their newest bogeyman: neonicotinoids. The facts likewise never stopped the White House from telling the EPA to scrutinize neonics intently, in the name of protecting pollinators.

Eventually, though, the facts caught up with the fear-mongering. As journalists wrote articles exposing the environmentalist falsehoods, the “honeybee Armageddon” justification began falling apart.

The White House and Big Green pressure groups did not want egg on their face. What to do? The preferred tactic: postpone the task force report and stall for time to concoct a new fable. It had worked before on other issues. A compliant, allied media and gullible public should make it work again.

The anti-pesticide groups used the postponement to switch their rationale for restricting neonics. Instead of critical threats to managed honeybees, they now say it is native or wild bees that need help. The shift reflects a shrewd, cynical calculation.

Since there are far fewer studies on the status of wild bee populations, activists can make any claims they like. As the NRDC’s Jennifer Sass said in November 2014, environmentalist groups can only “presume” that wild bees are in decline. But they sure know how to get ample press coverage for their presumption.

They, the White House and the EPA, need to check their facts this time. U.S. Geological Survey wild bee specialist Sam Droege says scientists still don’t know which species are declining or flourishing, but he believes most are doing fine. (There are some 4,000 native species of wild bees in North America.) Similarly, a 2013 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed U.S. native bee populations over a 140-year period and echoed that assessment. Of 187 native species analyzed, only three showed steep declines–and they were likely due to pathogens.

This may be why anti-pesticide activists are simultaneously employing another new tactic. By combining summer and winter bee losses, they can make it look like the honeybee crisis is worsening, as a May 14 Wall Street Journal article put it. This stratagem also benefits from the fact that summertime loss data go back only five years, so there is no way to look for historical trends or patterns.

The White House would do well to leave science to experts, rather than activists with an ax to grind. If bee numbers are increasing, it is much harder to justify restricting a pesticide that is needed by farmers – and that would be much better for honeybees, wild bees, and other beneficial insects.

As Randy Oliver emphasizes, it is important to let science do its job, figure out and address what is really happening to bees, use all insecticides carefully and responsibly, and not stigmatize neonic seed treatments on ideological or junk science grounds.

Otherwise, bee problems are likely to get worse, while neonic bans cause crop losses and a return to spraying pesticides that really can cause significant environmental problems.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: The Silencing Of Skeptics, Conservatives, And Free Speech

Our scientific method and traditions of free speech and open debate are under assault as never before, by intolerant inquisitors in our media, universities, government agencies, and even Congress and the Vatican.

They threaten our most basic rights and freedoms, our political and scientific processes – and ultimately our continued innovation and invention, energy reliability and affordability, job creation and economic growth, and modern living standards, health, and welfare.

Congressman Grijalva and Senators Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse sent letters to universities, think tanks, and companies, demanding detailed information on skeptics’ funding and activities – in an attempt to destroy their funding, reputations, and careers, while advancing “crony climate alarm science.” Equally intolerable, Democrats and the White House are blocking efforts to ensure that environmental regulations are based on honest, unbiased, transparent, replicable science that accurately reflects real-world evidence.

The Secret Science Reform Act (S. 544) and its House counterpart would require that the Environmental Protection Agency develop its regulations and the science behind them in the open, and allow experts and other interested parties to examine data, evidence, and studies that supposedly support EPA standards and mandates that could cost billions of dollars and millions of jobs. This should not be controversial.

But Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wanted Chairman James Inhofe to drop the bill from a planned markup. He refused, the bill passed on a party-line vote, and a Senate vote will be set soon. President Obama says he will veto the legislation. Why this opposition?

Obama said his would be the most transparent administration in history. But transparency quickly took a back seat to his radical climate change, renewable energy, and other plans to “fundamentally transform” the United States. EPA practices epitomize what goes on throughout his Executive Branch, why our economy is growing at 0.2%, and what congressional Democrats are apparently determined to perpetuate.

The problem is not only the EPA’s private email accounts and deleted emails, á la Hillary Clinton. It’s illegal experiments on humans – with test results ignored when they don’t support the EPA’s agenda of removing the last vestige of soot from coal-fired power plants. It’s rules for 0.5% of the mercury in U.S. air, justified with claims that they would bring a 0.00209 point improvement in IQ scores; economy and job-killing climate regulations that would reduce warming by 0.03 degrees by 2100, assuming carbon dioxide actually does drive climate change; and equally bogus health and environmental benefits of every description that ignore adverse human health and welfare impacts of the EPA regulations themselves.

The President and Democrats claim the “secret science” bill would “unduly burden” regulators. Baloney. The rules would simply require that promulgators of government edicts live according to the same rules they impose on us: Be honest and transparent. Show us your data, calculations, and analyses. Demonstrate that you have examined all relevant studies – not just what supports your agenda, while you ignore everything else. Back up your analyses and decisions with actual evidence. Answer our questions. Recognize that collusion, deceit, and fraud have no place in public policy and will no longer be tolerated.

What can possibly be wrong with those guidelines – unless the regulators have a lot to hide?

And now the Vatican is adopting the same secretive, agenda-driven, inquisition tactics.

Its Pontifical Academy of Sciences recently held a workshop on climate change and sustainability. But only religious leaders, scientists, bureaucrats, and regulators who support alarmist perspectives on these issues were invited. Those with contrary views were neither invited, welcomed, nor tolerated.

However, a dozen climate, health, and theological experts skeptical of “dangerous manmade climate change” allegations hosted a press event the day before the workshop. Three of them managed to get into the Vatican event. But when Climate Depot director Marc Morano tried to ask the UN Secretary General to advise Pope Francis that many Catholics and other Christians believe the papal position on global warming is ill-advised, a security guard took Morano’s microphone away and told him, “control yourself, or you will be escorted out of here.” Apostates have no rights at climate confabs, Vatican or otherwise.

Apparently, in the Vatican’s view, there is nothing to discuss – only anti-fossil fuel laws and treaties to implement. Computer model predictions and other assertions of looming disaster are all the Pope and workshop attendees seem to need to support this agenda – even though they are consistently and completely contradicted by real-world observations. Instead of protecting Earth’s poorest people from energy deprivation, disease, poverty, and death imposed in the name of preventing global warming, Pope Francis seems more devoted to newly green Liberation Theology concepts of “fairness” and “justice.”

As IPCC leaders have explained, the climate change agenda is no longer about the environment. It is now about “intentionally transforming” the global economy and negotiating the redistribution of the world’s wealth and natural resources, in the name of “social justice” and equal distribution of misery.

These developments are far too typical. Left-Liberal thought police refuse to debate their failed ideas and policies because they have no answers to inconvenient questions and cannot stomach dissenting views.

On campuses, free expression is limited to boxing-ring-sized “free speech zones.” Conservative speakers are banned from university events, or shouted down if they do appear. The Universities of Michigan and Maryland tried to ban “American Sniper” because a couple hundred students out of 27,000 objected. Oberlin and Georgetown students railed that Christina Hoff Sommers’ mere presence required “trigger warnings,” caused them “distress” and “discomfort,” and “constituted violence” against women.

Brandeis disinvited Ayan Hirsi Ali because her views on women’s rights might offend some Muslim men. Scripps revoked its invitation to conservative political analyst George Will, who later observed:

Free speech has never been … more comprehensively, aggressively and dangerously threatened than it is now. Today’s attack is … an attack on the theory of freedom of speech … on the desirability of free speech and indeed … on the very possibility of free speech….

The Democratic Party’s leading and prohibitively favored frontrunner candidate for the presidential nomination … said she wants to change the First Amendment in order to further empower the political class to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political speech about the political class – and so far as I can tell there’s not a ripple of commentary about this on the stagnant waters of the American journalistic community.

Meanwhile, NYU happily hosted delegates from Iran, which hangs people for the crime of being gay. President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service harasses conservative donors and organizations, keeps groups out of the political process, stonewalls investigators, and lies with impunity. His Federal Communications Commission plans to micromanage internet access, content, and operations. At the behest of hyper-partisan Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, police swat teams burst into homes belonging to Governor Scott Walker’s supporters, ransacked them, took computers, and told families “Don’t call a lawyer – or else.”

The abuses and intolerance are becoming broader, deeper, and more frightening by the day: from Christendom to Islam and Climate Orthodoxy; from universities to the Congress, Vatican, EU, and United Nations.

Good people everywhere need to rise up, speak out, and fight back, if they still believe in individual rights, freedom of thought and expression, and honest, transparent, trustworthy, accountable government and religious institutions. Otherwise, these fundamental values will disappear – and with them will go modern society and living standards, and efforts to improve the lives of billions of people who still lack the lifesaving energy and technologies so many of us take for granted.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Worshiping Gaia On Her Holy Day

Every year at this time, schools at all levels and all across the nation violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. That’s the clause that proscribes state-sponsored institutions from advancing any religious organization or movement, and is usually cited (though incorrectly) as the “separation of church and state.” Not only does academia fully embrace religion the week of Earth Day observance, but it actively works, knowingly or not, to indoctrinate a whole new generation of adherents to a pantheist green religion.

The notion that we are stewards of our planet, and that we must nurture and protect it as we utilize the resources she provides us, is both logical and moral, and should be universally embraced. But Earth Day, and the environmental movement behind its evangelism, has advanced far beyond the logical and moral. It is now a full-fledged religion, a worship of Mother Earth, or Gaia.

As one Earth Day source proclaims, “Our Earth, as known in Greek mythology is Gaia. The Greeks were considering Earth acknowledgment years before we started our Earth Day Affair. The first Greek god was actually a goddess. She is Gaia, or Mother Earth, who created herself out of primordial chaos. From her fertile womb all life sprang, and unto Mother Earth all living things must return after their allotted span of life is over. Gaia, as Mother Nature, personifies the entire ecosystem of Planet Earth. Mother Nature is always working to achieve and maintain harmony, wholeness and balance within the environment. Mother Nature heals, nurtures and supports all life on this planet, and ultimately all life and health depend on Her. In time, Nature heals all ills.”

In 1979, a NASA employee, James Lovelock, formulated the Gaia hypothesis. It states that “all life, and all living things on this planet, are part of a single, all-encompassing global entity or consciousness,” which he named Gaia. “It is this global consciousness, Mother Gaia, that makes our planet the mother of life.”

Many in the movement have elucidated the mystical relationship of man to Mother Earth. The British writer, William Golding, said: “We are the children of that great blue white jewel [Mother Earth]. Through our mother we are part of the solar system and part through that of the whole universe.”

The eco-theologian Thomas Berry has been perhaps most explicit in defining the divine-feminine relationship of Gaia to man. “What does the Earth Desire? I will put it in just a few short sentences… To be admired in her loveliness, To be tasted in her delicious fruits, To be listened to in her teaching, To be endured in the severity of her discipline, To be cared for as a maternal source from whence we come, a destiny to which we return. It’s very simple…As humans we are born of the Earth, nourished by the Earth, healed by the Earth.”

Clearly, Mother Earth, or Gaia, is ascribed theological properties, with teleological implications, including creation, veneration (worship), and a maternal relationship with earth’s inhabitants, her children.

This relationship is even codified in the resolutions of the United Nations, a full listing of which can be found on the UN website under the title “Mother Earth Day.” These resolutions form the religious equivalent to a catechism on deference toward Mother Earth on a secular philosophical basis.

Another revelatory document from the UN even identifies the natural enemies or apostates to the green religion. In a document that was mandated by the UN-sponsored Convention on Biological Diversity, the Global Biodiversity Assessment, Christianity is explicitly identified as heterodox to Gaia. The document blames Christianity for subverting some indigenous people’s sense of “affinity with the natural world,” leading to destructive practices deemed crucial to saving the planet.

Christianity, to the UN, is therefore antithetical, and constitutes the ideological “root of ecological evil.” The document goes on to praise Buddhism and Hinduism as they “did not depart as drastically from the perspective of humans as members of a community of beings including other living and non-living elements.”

This should not be a surprise to any who are paying attention to the political correctness trends, which make Christianity and Christians acceptable targets as dregs of society and banes to civilization. That’s why it’s the only religion that is acceptable to be criticized, be the brunt of jokes, and even faddishly ridiculed by bigots and secularists.

The Mother Earth religion has its prophets, like Al Gore, James Hansen, Gaylord Nelson, Michael Mann, Kenneth Watt, and Paul Ehrlich. And the EPA appears to serve as the High Council to enforce and regulate all human activities to ensure fealty to Gaia, employing pseudo-science and half-truths as justification.

Unlike organized ecclesiastical organizations, however, Gaia’s followers, and supporting industries and academics, don’t just get a tax break from Uncle Sam. They actually do one better: they are on the receiving end of tax-free loans, seemingly endless tax-credits, and grants for “research” and industries that support the faith.

Some may scoff at the notion of this hallowed international holy day as representative of pantheistic dogma and a veritable religion. But as averred by the inductive-reasoning “Duck Theory,” if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is one. Educators and the government in general certainly should encourage responsible citizenship as it relates to the environment. But it’s gone far beyond that. The Mother Earth pantheism, the essence of a state-sponsored religion, really should be treated no differently than any other religion.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: The Whitehouse-White House Inquisition Against Global Warming ‘Deniers’

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse recently had a Huff-Po tantrum. The Rhode Island Democrat was miffed that people criticized him and equally liberal Senate colleagues Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ed Markey (MA) for attacking skeptics of dangerous manmade climate change like Spanish Inquisition tormentors.

He says the skeptic community’s “overheated” response mischaracterized their motives and muddled their important messages: Global warming is the most serious threat we face today.  Financial incentives can affect behavior, which is why the public and Congress need to know who funded the skeptics’ research. And companies that produce harmful products want to foment uncertainty about well-established health and safety risks: fossil fuel interests and climate chaos skeptics are just like the tobacco industry.

These senators are abusing their power of office to threaten and silence honest scientists, and destroy their funding, reputations, and careers. It’s pure Saul Alinsky, as practiced by Greenpeace, Harry Reid, and the other White House: “In a fight almost anything goes. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” And the vilified scientists and their friends are just supposed to take it, the senators seem to think.

In reality, the only thing overheated is Mr. Whitehouse’s temper – and the increasingly preposterous rhetoric about an overheating planet. Climate change is altering our music. A 0.1 degree Celsius change in ocean temperatures has caused whales to migrate a month earlier than 30 years ago. Warming oceans will mean the end of fish and chips! Lord knows what other “disasters” await – all because of fossil fuels.

The absurdity of this fraudulent fear mongering and its total irrelevance to our daily lives explains why Americans consistently put climate change at the bottom of every list of concerns. The very idea that governments can decree an idyllic climate is equally crazy; that has happened only once in human history.

No wonder Mr. Obama is repackaging the climate issue under the equally false and ridiculous mantras of “ocean acidification” and “carbon pollution” causing allergies and asthma. Our oceans are not becoming acidic. It’s not “carbon” – it’s carbon dioxide, the miracle molecule that makes all life on Earth possible. And neither CO2 nor planetary warming has anything to do with allergies or asthma.

Climate science was supposed to examine the effects that humans might be having on Earth’s climate. But anti-fossil fuel activists turned it into the notion that only humans affect the climate – and that the powerful natural forces that caused countless, sometimes devastating climate fluctuations in the past no longer play a role. Climatology was also supposed to be about the scientific method:

Pose a hypothesis to explain how nature works. Test the hypothesis and its predictions against real-world evidence and observations. If the premise is valid, the evidence will back it up. If the data and evidence are out of synch with the carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas thesis, come up with another hypothesis.

By now, it’s obvious that the “dangerous manmade global warming” thesis, and computer models based on it, do not explain what is happening in the real world. The planet stopped warming 18 years ago, despite rising fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. The models don’t work; their predictions are completely out of whack with reality. Instead of more hurricanes, no Category 3-5 has hit the USA since late 2005.

So the alarmists changed their mantra to “climate change” and “weather disruption.” But this is bogus: it tries to blame every change and event on fossil fuels. The thesis can never be proven or disproven, which means it’s a religious tract, not a scientific analysis. Alarmists don’t have a leg to stand on scientifically.

That’s why they refuse to debate the science and vilify climate crisis skeptics. It’s why Democrats became so frustrated with Dr. Judith Curry’s expert testimony at a recent House Science Committee hearing that they left the room. They couldn’t stand it when she said the “central issue” is the extent to which recent (and future) planetary warming or other climate changes are driven by manmade greenhouse gas emissions, “versus natural climate variability caused by variations from the sun, volcanic eruptions, and large-scale ocean circulations.” And they really couldn’t tolerate her noting that President Obama’s pledge to slash U.S. emissions by 28% will reduce warming by just 0.03 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Climate change and extreme weather risks are real, but carbon dioxide doesn’t cause them today any more than throughout history. Aside from Pleistocene-style ice ages, we can adapt or respond to events – including storms, droughts, heat waves, and extreme cold – if we have affordable, reliable energy, strong economies, and modern technologies. The real threats to jobs, health, welfare, and lives come from anti-fossil fuel policies imposed on the pretense that they will stabilize weather and climate. Forecasting future climate changes will be equally impossible if we remain fixated on carbon dioxide, and ignore the solar, ocean circulation, cosmic ray, and other powerful natural forces that actually affect Earth’s climate.

Senator Whitehouse’s suggestion that climate chaos skeptics should be tarred and feathered with tobacco industry apologists is despicable demagoguery. So are his comments about funding realist research.

The skeptics’ funding was never secret. It was always an open book, available to anyone who cared to look. But since he brought up the money issue, let’s look at a few aspects that he studiously ignores.

Alarmist research is all about carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, and fossil fuels – precisely because financial incentives can and do affect behavior. Alarmists get a thousand times more money than skeptics. Climate Crisis, Inc. received hundreds of billions of dollars in government, industry, foundation, and other money during the past couple decades. The US government alone spent over $186 billion in tax dollars on climate, “clean energy,” and renewable energy projects from 2009 through 2014. Applicants know they won’t get grants if their theses and conclusions do not support climate alarmism and regulatory agendas.

Billions more went to government agencies that coordinate these programs and develop anti-hydrocarbon regulations. These bureaucrats don’t merely search health and scientific files to cherry-pick papers that support their agenda. They deliberately hunt only for supportive documents (many of which they pay for) and actively ignore, suppress, and vilify research that focuses on (or even just discusses) natural forces.

Then the EPA and other agencies pay the American Lung Association, scientific advisory committees, and other activists millions of dollars a year to rubberstamp their regulatory decisions. Even more destructive of our scientific method and political process, countless millions are also being funneled to climate chaos researchers and Big Green pressure groups via secretive foundations, laundered through front groups from Russian oil interests and employed to further enrich billionaires like Warren Buffett.

The scandalous system has turned hardcore environmentalism into a $13.4-billion-per-year operation and represents an unbelievable abuse of our hard-earned tax dollars and the tax-exempt status of numerous foundations and activist groups. Cooperate and get rich; resist, and get the Whitehouse inquisition.

As a result, instead of science, we get opinion, propaganda, spin, pseudo-science, and outright fraud – all designed to advance a anti-fossil fuel, pro-renewable energy agenda that kills jobs and economic growth, endangers human health and welfare, and puts radical regulators and pressure groups in control of our lives, livelihoods, and living standards. It also further corrupts our political system.

These Big Green companies, foundations, pressure groups, and government unions give our politicians millions of dollars in campaign cash and in-kind help, to keep them in office and the gravy train on track.

The League of Conservation Voters collected $90 million in foundation grants from 2000-2013; the LCV Education Fund pocketed $71 million more. The LCV, Sierra Club, NRDC, SEIU, AFSCME, Kleiner Perkins, and allied groups are all big Whitehouse (and Obama White House) campaign donors.

Do Senators Whitehouse, Boxer, and Markey plan to investigate those financial incentives and abuses?

Concerned citizens should ponder all of this the next time they vote.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: The Obama Climate Monarchy

aradaphotography / Shutterstock.com aradaphotography / Shutterstock.com

ISIS terrorists continue to butcher people while hacking into a French television network. Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons remains on track. In a nation of 320 million people, American businesses hired only 126,000 workers in March, amid a pathetic 62% labor participation rate. Wages and incomes are stagnant.

And yet, President Obama remains fixated on one obsession: dangerous manmade climate change. He blames it for everything from global temperatures that have been stable for 18 years, to hurricanes that have not made US landfall for nearly 9.5 years, and even asthma and allergies. He is determined to use it to impose energy, environmental, and economic policies that will “fundamentally transform” our nation.

He launched his war on coal with a promise that companies trying to build new coal-fired power plants would go bankrupt; implemented policies that caused oil and gas production to plunge 6% on federal lands, even as it rose 60% on state and private lands; proclaimed that he will compel the United States to slash its carbon dioxide emissions 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and 80% by 2050; and wants electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” His Environmental Protection Agency has led the charge.

The EPA has targeted power plants that emit barely 3% of all mercury in US air and water, saying this will prevent IQ losses of an undetectable “0.00209 points.” On top of its recent “Clean Power Plan,” the EPA is taking over what used to be state roles, demanding that states meet CO2-reduction mandates by reorganizing the “production, distribution, and use of electricity.” The agency justifies this latest power grab through a tortured 1,200-page reinterpretation of a 290-word section of the Clean Air Act.

The injuries, abuses, and usurpations have become too numerous to count, and involve nearly every federal agency – as the President seeks to make the states and Executive and Judicial Branches irrelevant in his new monarchical “do as I tell you, because I say so, or else” system of government.

Now even the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is getting involved, by dramatically retooling the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA requires that federal agencies consider the impacts of their significant decision-making actions on “the quality of the human environment,” anytime they issue permits for projects, provide government funding, or conduct the projects themselves.

The law has avoided many needless impacts but has also enabled activists to delay or block projects they oppose on ideological grounds. The new White House/CEQ “guidelines” were issued on Christmas Eve 2014 to minimize public awareness and response. They require that federal agencies henceforth consider potential impacts on climate change, whenever they provide permits, approvals, or funding for any federal, state, or private sector projects, on the assumption that such projects will always affect Earth’s climate.

Problems with the new diktats are far too numerous for a single article, but several demand discussion.

First, CEQ uses US carbon dioxide emissions as proxy for climate change. This assumes CO2 is now the dominant factor in climate and weather events, and all the powerful natural forces that ruled in past centuries, millennia, and eons are irrelevant. It presumes any increases in US “greenhouse gases” correlate directly with national and global climate and weather events, and any changes will be harmful. It also considers emissions from China and other countries to be irrelevant to any agency calculations.

Second, CEQ employs the same “social cost of carbon” analyses that other agencies are using to justify appliance, vehicle, and other efficiency and emission standards. This SCC assessment will now examine alleged international harm up to 300 years in the future, from single project emissions in the United States, despite it being impossible to demonstrate any proximate relationship between asserted global climate changes and any US project emissions (which are generally minuscule globally).

Moreover, the entire SCC analysis is based on arbitrary, fabricated, exaggerated, and manipulated costs, with no benefits assigned or acknowledged for using hydrocarbons to improve, safeguard, and save countless lives – or for the role that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide plays in improving crop and other plant growth, thereby feeding more people, greening our planet, and bolstering wildlife habitats.

Third, the expensive, time-consuming, useless, impossible exercise is made even more absurd by CEQ’s proposed requirement that agencies somehow calculate the adverse global climatic impacts of any federally approved project that could emit up to 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or its equivalents per year. A single shopping mall, hospital, or stretch of busy highway could meet this threshold – triggering endless “paralysis by analysis,” environmentalist litigation, delays, and cost overruns.

Fourth, CEQ also wants agencies to somehow evaluate “upstream” and “downstream” emissions. In cases reviewing highway or hospital projects, this would entail examining emissions associated with mining, processing, shipping, and using cement, steel, other building materials, and heavy equipment before and during construction – and then assessing emissions associated with people and goods that might conceivably be transported to or from the facility or along the highway following construction.

CEQ likewise wants project proponents to offset these alleged impacts with equally spurious mitigation projects, which will themselves by subjected to still more analyses, contention, litigation, and delays.

Fifth, the proposed CEQ guidelines would supposedly evaluate any and all adverse impacts allegedly caused by climate changes supposedly resulting from fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. But they do not require federal agencies to assess harms resulting from projects delayed or blocked because of the new climate directives. Thus agencies would endlessly ponder rising seas and more frequent and/or severe hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts that they might attribute to particular projects.

However, they would not consider the many ways people would be made less safe by an analytical process that results in more serious injuries and deaths, when highway improvements, better levees and other flood protections, modern hospitals, and other important facilities are delayed or never built.

Nor has CEQ factored in the roles of ideologically motivated anti-development bureaucrats in the federal agencies – or the ways Big Green campaigns and lawsuits are sponsored by wealthy far-left foundations, Russian money laundered through a Bermuda law firm, and even grants from the government agencies.

Sixth, in many cases, the CEQ rules could actually be counterproductive even to the Administration’s purported energy and environmental goals. Its war on coal is intended to replace coal mines and power plants with “more climate-friendly” natural gas. However, CEQ’s new guidelines for methane and carbon dioxide could delay or prevent leasing, drilling, fracking, production, pipelining, and export of new gas. That would hardly seem a desirable outcome – unless the real purpose is to keep fossil fuels in the ground, increase energy prices, compel a faster transition to unreliable wind and solar power, cause more brownouts and blackouts, destroy jobs, reduce living standards, and keep more people dependent on government welfare and thus likely to vote Democrat.

NEPA is supposed to improve the overall “quality of the human environment,” and thus human health and welfare. That means all its components, not merely those the President and his Executive Branch agencies want to focus on, as they seek to use climate change to justify shutting down as much fossil fuel use as possible, in an economy that is still 82% dependent on hydrocarbons.

The CEQ and White House violate the letter, spirit, and intent of NEPA when they abuse it to protect us from exaggerated or imaginary climate risks decades from now – by hobbling job creation, families, human health and welfare, and environmental quality tomorrow. That their actions will impact poor, minorities, and working classes most of all makes the CEQ proposal even more pernicious.

When will our Congress, courts, and state legislatures step up to the plate, do their jobs, and rein in this long Train of Abuses and Usurpations?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom