Get down to the facts
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller wants a two-year moratorium on enforcement of the Clean Air Act against stationary coal-fired power plants to “safeguard jobs, the coal industry and the entire economy as we move toward clean coal technology” and to give “Congress the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future.” The EPA plans to begin enforcement in next year.
With all due respect, enforcing the Clean Air Act against CO2 emissions should be a technically-driven decision, not ideologically motivated political claptrap or a scramble for votes campaign financing. There is really only one question: Are CO2 emissions causing global warming? If yes, we should not delay while Congress dithers further. If no, there is no reason to restrict these emissions at all.
This is not about saving the coal industry and its jobs, nor is it about dead polar bears or vanishing glaciers or hurricanes. It is about rigorous detailed mathematical determination of the effect of added CO2 on the amount of energy our planet radiates into space. If this math and its supporting data and program exists — and it should — it all needs to be out in the open where we the public can each of us evaluate it step by step on its merits. Note that a key word here is “evaluate.” It may take a dedicated scientist considerable time and effort to create the math and acquire the measured data to feed it, but anyone who has passed high school algebra should be able to evaluate the math quite handily.
The catch is, this issue has been publicly framed so far as a free-ranging adversarial contest between competing science gurus, wherein scientific fact is negotiable, simplistic plausibility scenarios pass as scientific argument, truth is determined by a popular vote, and the validity of a guru’s stated conclusion is conferred by their credentials rather than by rigorous reasoning leading to those conclusions. The math is missing.
The mainstream view says Senator Rockefeller is advocating killing the planet to save the coal industry. The skeptic view says he is God’s gift to our economic survival. Somebody is lying. So, Senator, shuck off your rhetoric and put your math where your mouth is, please.