Rule Five “President Clinton 2.0?” Friday

2016_07_29_Rule Five Friday (1)It’s a done deal, True Believers.  The Democrat convention is wrapped up and Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I has been duly coronated as the Democrat nominee for the Imperial Mansion.  With that done, let’s have a look at the Democrat’s platform on science issues – I mean, we all know the Dems are the Party of Science-ey Things, right?  Well, not so much.  Key excerpts follow, with my comments interposed:

So how do Democrats think that man-made global warming should be addressed? Despite the fact that burning natural gas produces about half of the carbon dioxide emitted by coal, the Democratic Platform declares, “We will streamline federal permitting to accelerate the construction of new transmission lines to get low-cost renewable energy to market, and incentivize wind, solar, and other renewable energy over the development of new natural gas power plants.” In fact, the switch to natural gas produced by means of fracking shale has been the chief cause for the 12 percent reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions since 2005.

2016_07_29_Rule Five Friday (2)So, it seems our natural gas boom has been largely responsible for reducing carbon emissions – and that natural gas boom is largely due to fracking shale.  So what do the Dems think on fracking?

What about fracking? Sanders wanted to ban it entirely. The Platform wants the EPA to regulate it and it would allow NIMBY activism to prevent the exploitation of this fuel source. The Platform evidently accepts the activists claim that fracking releases excessive amounts of 2016_07_29_Rule Five Friday (3)methane into the atmosphere and pollutes local groundwater. In fact, there is very little evidence for either claim. In 2015, the EPA released a draft study that reported that the agency “did not find evidence that these [fracking] mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” Earlier this year, much was made of a study in Pavillon, Wyoming which found that in the 1990s unlined open pits that stored fluids associated with fracking, along with inadequately lined well-bores may have contaminated groundwater there. In June, the EPA noted that even as the fracking revolution was taking off U.S. emissions of methane fell by 9 percent between 1991 and 2014. In fact, the EPA reports, “During this time period, [methane] emissions increased from sources associated with agricultural activities, while emissions decreased from 2016_07_29_Rule Five Friday (4)sources associated with the exploration and production of natural gas and petroleum products.”

The call for more extensive regulation of fracking in the Platform seems to be responding to anti-fossil fuel activism rather than to the findings of researchers.

That last sentence is a literary device known as “belaboring the obvious.”

The Dem’s platform makes no mention of vaccinations, or GMO crops, and only a sop tossed at private sector science.  The main thrust of the science portions of the platform seem to be aimed at reducing oil/gas development and fighting “climate change.”

2016_07_29_Rule Five Friday (5)As to that last – who the hell do we think we are, to decide that the last 150 or so years of Earth’s climate is the “correct” temperature range?  Through most of the planet’s 4.55 billion year history, it’s been a lot warmer than it is now.  So even if the planet is warming – and for the last decade or so, it hasn’t been – who are we to try to correct what is after all just a return to the mean?

The arrogance of these people!

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