Saturday, April 18, 2009

No! Not the Bar-b-q!

Michele Norris couldn't even get through the intro to the article without diving into the industry talking points:
"A major shift in environmental policy today from the federal government. The EPA declared that greenhouse gases linked to climate change endanger public health and welfare. Scientists and environmentalists have been waiting years to hear that acknowledgment. And the declaration is a big first step toward regulating carbon dioxide. It's also a new restriction on almost every part of the economy."
Well, that seems a little alarmist, considering that it was actually not the point of the federal report released Friday, which didn't really mention regulations. However, it is certainly true that greenhouse gas pollution comes from sources throughout the economy, so let's see where NPR's going with this. The story is narrated by Jeff Brady who reports that:
"The EPA under the Bush administration had been reluctant to make that statement [that greenhouse gases are air pollution] for fear of the economic consequences of the agency regulating everything from new cars to power plants."
I'm pretty sure this is the absolute, most generous way you could ever possibly find to describe the Bush administration's refusal to admit to scientific realities or comply with environmental laws. Brady includes a quote from the environmental organizations who had to sue to force the government to release the suppressed federal report, but the story then quickly turns to the corporate talking points:
"Bill Kovacs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares that concern. He worries the EPA could become a huge regulator involved in every part of American life. 'They would also be regulating office buildings, warehouses, churches...parts of the farm industry. Twenty-five cows produce enough methane to be a regulated entity.'"
No! Not 25 cows! In the interest of full disclosure, readers of this blog should know that I often work on regulations related to climate change. And I have never, ever, heard anybody in government, environmental organizations, or industry, ever suggest regulating churches! What does that even mean?

Of course, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a lobbying and PR group for corporations, and these are obviously the talking points they decided might work best to scare Americans about today's report from the government. It is an obvious ploy, and lame. So does the article include a quote from scientist or the authors of the report in response to these scare tactics? Of course not. Instead, NPR uses the exact same talking points from an industry PR flack for the next day in their hourly "news" summary:
"This can clearly impact office buildings, hospitals, schools, your backyard bar-b-q, your weedwacker, everything that impacts our daily lives."
NO!!! First it was 25 cows and now the backyard bar-b-q! I'd better get out there and grill (beef) and weedwack before it's too late. Damn those government reports!

7 comments:

bunny!!!! said...

Tsk-tsk-a-tsk. If I hadn't already disowned NoPR (bar headlines) from my life, I'd sure be givin' it some serious thought about now...

Anonymous said...

"It's also a new restriction on almost every part of the economy."

and that is bad how?

We've just witnessed the result of "lack of regulation" with the bank fiasco.

Who really wants to repeat that with the earth's climate?(raise your mouse finger)

It's true to a certain degree when watching/reading/listening to pretty much any "news" report (from any "news" organization), but, unfortunately, when listening to NPR, one must question EVERY premise behind every offhand claim that they make in passing.

It's sad that one must assume that there is some built-in bias in almost every story they air, but unfortunately, it is true.

Anonymous said...

Presumably, that would also mean EPA regulation of bedroom activity.
As everyone knows, as the breathing rate goes up, so do emissions.

Maybe Michelle will do an "on location aftermath report" on that for us, kind like she did on New Orleans after Katrina hit.

Michelle Norris: "Meeeshell Norris here in the bedroom of Bob and his wife {barely audible} what's that? you're not his wife? his wife's best friend? ... Bob and his friend "Betty". The EPA has installed hundreds of special CO2 detectors around the room and men in white hazmat suits are now taking readings after an especially active period (wink wink) if you catch my drift. Preliminary indications are that there WAS indeed a violation and fines WILL be imposed...Back to you Steve"

Steve Inskeep: "Thanks Michelle for that informative piece" [of garbage]

gopol said...

I heard that and was disquieted, but couldn't quite put my finger on why. Thanks for pointing it out so clearly.

I tried to find out what the parts of the economy are and failed. They appear to be too numerous to enumerate. I'm hoping they get around to regulating white board markers. I much preferred chalk and would welcome a return to that more environmentally benign technology.

As for regulating churches, no doubt there's some hot air in there somewhere!

gopol said...

You can see the effects of honest ranchers being forced out of business already: http://kansascity.craigslist.org/grd/1110048477.html

Hubertg said...

Are the gases bad for you ?? This is some brliiant stuff. I am so glad that "they" are on top of this for us. Pollution is contamination by something that ain't 'spose to be in something...this article is a redundant bird-brained discussion on the idiocy of how government works.

Anonymous said...

What do you suppose the chances are that NPR will report this? (from a CIA memo):

The CIA used the waterboard "at least 83 times during August 2002" in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/04/18/khalid-sheikh-mohammed-was-waterboarded-183-times-in-one-month/

Yes, indeedy, torture is VERY effective.

It only took the CIA 183 times in a single month(!) (nearly 6 times a day, or once every four hours[!!], for a month straight[!!!] for the mathematically challenged) to get the story they wanted/liked.

This is what Obama says he wants to "move forward" from and "llok forward rather than backward".

Let's all let bygones be bygones, shall we?

Obama is a joke.