Texas Environment Commissioner Sells Out on Environment, Pimps for Industry

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I definitely have to stop sipping coffee when reading the Houston Chronicle in the morning.  Too many times my freshly brewed favorite morning beverage is spat out because I am appalled and/or disgusted by something I read.

This morning happened to be one of those days when my morning joe ended up on the front page of the Houston Chronicle.

The headline that captured my attention:


A case of mistaken identity?

Environmentalists surprised that A&M scientist named to board has sided with industry

By MATTHEW TRESAUGUE

Apparently a Texas A&M educated scientist who holds two advanced degrees and a doctorate in agricultural engineering to boot, is skeptical of the proven science supporting the rather inconvenient fact that human activity is largely responsible for pollution.    Jeeze oh Pete, Dr. Bryan Shaw, where on earth did you learn about science?  In a fundamentalist run madrassa?  Needless to say, Shaw is a huge disappointment to environmentalists here who thought they had an informed colleague and environmental-friendly commissioner.

Shaw is skeptical about the science behind that view. And he doubts emissions linked to climate change would be reduced by the federal approach, a trading system that imposes a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and lets businesses buy and sell emission permits.

At Perry's request last year, Shaw chaired a state advisory panel that looked into the potential of federal regulation in Texas, which is the nation's leading emitter of carbon dioxide.

The findings – that the “state of the science” justified caution about further regulation – prompted the governor's sharp attacks on the climate change bill being debated in Congress. Perry has said it amounted to “the largest tax increase in the history of our country.”

Shaw's language is less barbed, but he, like Perry, sees more innovation and less federal policing as the way forward. Their argument is that if businesses are given incentives for reporting and cleaning up their pollution, most will do the right thing.

Commissioner Larry Soward, who is often on the short end of the TCEQ votes, fears that Texas could be left out as Congress looks for ways to control greenhouse emissions.

Other critics say the state commission hasn't done enough on a range of issues.

Oh please. Someone please tell me when industry willingly monitored its polluting impact and voluntarily cleaned up its messes.  As I recall, these companies will predictably hire high priced lawyers to find legal ways in which to say pollution is not pollution at all. I urge Dr. Shaw and the Governor to read TX Sharon's diaries for a reality check in this area.  

And Texas could be left out?  Under the present wacko leadership in which our Governor irresponsibly and stupidly talks about secession, of course Texas will be left out. Given these circumstances who in Washington will take us seriously?  Thanks to Perry and his Republican colleagues our state is a constant source of embarrassment and late night comedy, cable TV news and the progressive netroots' derision and jokes.  Last week MSNBC's Chris Matthews listed Governor Perry among the Republican “crazies” who talk about nutty things like secession.   Perry's name was included in the discussions about the family values man and the most recent outed “morally superior” Republican sinner, Mark Sanford.

Science disbelieving scientist Shaw apparently just loves to suck up to the needs and desires of industry.  Let the rest of us choke on cancer promoting air and drink poisonous polluted water.  I suppose if both are good enough for pigs and cattle, they are good for humans, too.  I guess we'll all be oinking, braying and mooing on our way to the oncologists.

Speaking of which, the Republicans don't like government run affordable health care, either, and so many of us won't be able to afford the cancer treatments.  In a nutshell it seems that the GOP is telling us to

die, baby, die.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Shaw tends to side with industry.

As a commissioner, Shaw has sided with industry in some bitter permit disputes, advocated free-market approaches to solving pollution problems and supported the governor's sharp criticism of potential federal regulation of climate-altering gases.

There we go again with the free market voodoo nonsense that it will solve everything. We've had free market stupidity for the last ten years or so and where did it take us?  As far as I am concerned it's been a one way ticket straight to economic hell.

Tom Smith, director of the Texas chapter of Public Citizen pretty much nailed Shaw when he said:

“His eyes are so clouded by the pollution in Texas that he couldn't see a fact in front of him.”.

I guess Dr. Shaw failed to notice the article Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote about the pollution deniers.  Krugman revealed the GOP's ultimate motivation where issues surrounding greenhouse gases and global warming are concerned.

Science is a “hoax” to these idiots.  The Republican Party is full of those who betray America for political contributions.  A political party that makes war against science is bound for obsolescence.

You betcha they betray us for political contributions.  Texas Republican lawmakers are a prime example in this regard.

Let's start making the GOP obsolete in November.  These Republican wackos are a threat to our health and well-being. I don't know about you, but I don't want to die, baby, die any sooner than I have to. Besides, the GOP sold us an unnecessary war in Iraq;  they called us a nation of whiners and said a recession existed only in our minds;  they sold out our economy and financial markets to corrupted thieving sharks like Bernie Madoff and now they're trying to prevent the public health care option and  they want to do nothing about greenhouse gases.  

It's been 100+ degrees in Houston for over ten days with no relief in sight.  There has been no rain to speak of.  My boss who owns a ranch west of San Antonio said there is a dangerous and severe drought there.  A colleague who owns a farm near Brenham worries daily about their cattle and trees because of the lack of rain.   Now tell me global warming is a figment of my little ol' liberal imagination.  

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe – a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable – can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

Thus researchers at M.I.T., who were previously predicting a temperature rise of a little more than 4 degrees by the end of this century, are now predicting a rise of more than 9 degrees.

Why? Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than expected; some mitigating factors, like absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are turning out to be weaker than hoped; and there's growing evidence that climate change is self-reinforcing – that, for example, rising temperatures will cause some arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Are Dr. Shaw and Governor Perry suggesting that  Dr. Krugman's observations above are a bunch of make believe?

How much more abuse do Texans have to take from our deceitful, pimped out politicians before we say enough is enough?  

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