Showing posts with label GOP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOP. Show all posts

Bright Lights, Big Toilets, And Ostrich-Caliber Climate Control: The GOP Annihilates Environmental Programs

The GOP, in an unsurprising move, is now overtly making decisions that benefit themselves and detract from environmental legislation. Their recent decisions, passed Thursday night in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, tear up environmental initiatives and replace them with fossil-fuel-dependent alternatives.

The Huffington Post reported this laundry list of Republican bad ideas. Included in the vote were measures that up funding for coal and fossil fuels (while cutting Energy Department funds for renewable energy by more than $100 million.) The new legislation also bars the enforcement of energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, cuts funding incentives for installment of low-flow toilets, and forbids spending on climate change model development.

This ensures we'll still pay lots of money for coal to keep the wasteful lightbulbs glowing and for more water than the average toilet user needs, and forget about analysis of the state of the climate.

Most shockingly, an amendment made by David McKinley (R-West Virginia) bans spending to "design, implement, administer or carry out specified assessments regarding climate change," because apparently burying our heads in the sand is a viable means of regulating one of humanity's biggest environmental challenges.

With decision makers like these, who needs enemies?

If only.

NASA Budget Bill Passes House GOP With Surprising Reinstated Funds

The White House, having made several deleterious cuts to major NASA initiatives, may have inadvertently led their foes in the GOP to maintain their adversity towards Obama by (gasp) aiding the greater quest for science.

According to the 2015 NASA budgetary report, passed this week by the House, $100 million has been set aside for the preliminary efforts at exploring the Martian moon of Europa, which is a target of interest due to its watery composition beneath an icy surface.

The report also maintains that the SOFIA infrared telescope continues to produce "good science" and will not be defunded, claiming, "Instead, the recommendation provides $70,000,000 for SOFIA, which should be sufficient to support the aircraft’s fixed costs (flight crews, required maintenance, etc.) as well as a base level of scientific observations."

While still requiring compromises and a vote of approval from the Senate and the White House, the bill maintains a startling level of scientific care, atypical to the GOP's usual platforms. An additional $15 million (previously slashed by the White House) has been proposed for education and public outreach, a crucial component of inspiring the engineers, astronauts, and adventurers who will carry out these projects in the coming decades.

Read more about the 2015 NASA Budget here.

Oxymoronic GOP Science Committee Claims Global Warming "Debunked"

Despite many reputable, repeatable reports on the topic presented to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, the GOP Science Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith informed the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process that their facts were wrong.

Claiming that the figures (accepted by 97% of scientists) that global warming is primarily man-made have been "debunked", Rep. Smith went on to blame Obama for the misrepresentation.

Human contributions to global warming are vast, including the excavation and burning of fossil fuels, as well as the acceleration of deforestation, both of which are tied to financial interests of the Republican party.

Despite placing blame elsewhere and burying their heads in the non-scientific sand, the GOP Science Committee's claims are refuted by many studies, including one by NASA, that base their findings from technological readings, well-observed weather issues, and changing environments worldwide.