By Sasha / Earth First! Newswire
Yesterday, two different scientific studies were released that were deliberately misleading. One called climate change into question, and the other rejected the notion that fracking pollutes watersheds.
First it was a University of Colorado scientist Roger Pielke, who told Congress that climate change was not causing more catastrophic natural disasters. His evidence? He claims that we can all tell storms haven’t worsened in intensity since 1900, since economic damage from storms (specifically, flooding) as a percentage of the GDP has decreased by 75% since 1945. Gee, perhaps that’s because the GDP has increased exponentially, as have architectural standards, while the US has almost totally privatized disaster response. Hurricane Sandy being the “perfect storm” and Katrina and Rita virtually annihilating much of New Orleans? Well, what does the GDP tell us? Dollars make sense, amiright?
Perhaps the worst part is that Pielke insists that droughts are not getting worse, the problem is that overpopulation is pushing people into areas that have always been.. well… droughty. With a quick look at the encroaching desertification of the planet in only the last two decades, along with the 500% increase in food prices in places like Ethiopia during the food crisis of 2007, we can certainly draw the exact opposite conclusions. But Pielke restricts his view of global warming (key word: global) to the US, which enables him to creatively apply his data to show that droughts are less frequent now than before. Perhaps his data set ends in 2011, because the drought of 2012 is generally considered the worst drought since 1956.
Pielke’s not just some guy, though, he wrote a book. It’s called The Climate Fix, so you know it’s all about how to fix climate change. It’s web page states the solution totally clearly: “investing to create a more carbon-efficient economy and cost-efficient carbon-capture technologies.” So we’re pretty much done here. Pielke is also a member of “The Breakthrough Institute,” which was created by Nordhaus and Shellenberger, who want to tell us all about “How to Advance Nuclear,” and includes Matthew Nisbet, whose latest hit piece against Bill McKibben contains the subheading (not even kidding here), “No Compromise: Defending a Romanticized Nature.”
You can find Breakthrough on the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors webpage. They have great friends, like the American Enterprise Institute, with whom they’ve partnered up in the past. According to the Guardian, the American Enterprise Institute “has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil, and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI’s board of trustees.” So it looks like a match made in heaven. The Republican National Convention has even used the Breakthrough Institute’s studies, so who are we to argue?
As though Pielke was not enough, the Breakthrough Institute is on record supporting fracking as a great climate solution—forget the methane emissions and water pollution. And now here comes Breakthrough Institute’s friends at the Department of Energy, who declared today that preliminary studies show no signs that fracking causes water pollution in Northern Pennsylvania. The energy companies are shaking hands and patting each other on the back, complimenting the DOE in its thoroughness, and announcing the “Great news” throughout the land.
How was the scientific testing carried out? The DOE asked an energy company to let it put a tracing chemical in the fracking solution. The company was able to control which hole the tracers went into, so the DOE basically carried out a classic energy industry Frackademic study. Why is the DOE doing this test rather than the EPA? Wow, great question. Maybe it’s because the system’s rigged.
The truth is, fracking does contaminate aquifers, which is why so many people can utilize their sink fixtures as blowtorches in the event of the zombie apocalypse. On a more serious note, it has also led to the dispossession and/or illness of thousands of people from the Marcellus Shale to Colorado to Texas.
And not only are climate related disasters getting worse, but fracking is causing earthquakes, so it’s kind of a double-wammy.