Legum, George, Hot Air and Climate Change ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Legum, George, Hot Air and Climate Change

Delegate Ron George (D-30) has already come under the scope of challenger Judd Legum because "George co-sponsored a resolution in Maryland's General Assembly stating that climate change is a 'conspiracy' and urging the Environmental Protection Agency to 'immediately halt' all efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."  ....continue...

Legum went on to say
Besides ignoring the overwhelming consensus among the world's climate scientists, George is advancing a position with disastrous consequences locally for the Chesapeake Bay:
-- Increased carbon dioxide concentrations can increase algae blooms, which are the source of large "dead zones" in the Chesapeake Bay. [Source]

-- Many of the most effective agricultural practices to sequester carbon -- such as forest buffers, no-till farming and cover crops -- are also essential to improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. [Source]
In a time of economic challenge, Maryland can't afford to allow the Chesapeake Bay to continue to degrade. The Bay is Maryland's most valuable economic resource: driving commerce, buttressing property values and attracting tourists.
But Ron George is more focused on far-right ideology than our shared goals in Maryland. We need to work together to clean our water and grow our economy. That's why I'm running for Delegate.
Please stand up for the health of the Bay by signing this petition protesting George's anti-environment resolution:
I wrote to George to get his take and here is what he said:
It is amazing that Judd Legum would misrepresent my position on the environment on a day when two of my environmental bills are being heard. HB852, which according to the Department of Legislative Services, would increase incentives for Municipalities to install renewable generation. The League of Conservation Voters is in support of the bill as is Chesapeake Climate Action Network.   HB902 does the same for non-profits. 

The term "climate change conspiracy" did not come from us and does not refer to climate change itself but to falsehoods that have been uncovered.  The term is the name of a controversy that has been well documented. We want to know what the EPA considers the true facts and want them to address it for us AND LET US KNOW. The resolution is addressing the situation that kills many productive efforts to address the environment when we use some "facts" that are later found to be false. It makes us look bad.  The resolution asks the EPA to separate facts from fiction so we can deal with the science.  That is all it does. 
Climate Change is a true concern and I for one want us to address it in a productive way.  I have an excellent record on the environment and will stand behind it.  If you desire I will supply a list of the environmental bills I supported and fought for.  But for now, I must get to the hearings of my environmental bills being heard today.
I took a good look at the resolution and I believe that its wording and intent is nothing short of ridiculous:
Urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency to immediately halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and to withdraw its endangerment finding and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of the climate change conspiracy and science can be undertaken. 
This resolution, if passed, would bolster the efforts of other head-in-the-sand anti-global warming zealots. It could hamper the state's ability to make progress in reducing emissions. The bill's sponsors are all Republicans and overwhelmingly from rural districts. I also don't believe that the intent of the resolution is to clarify any science, but to simply put off making hard decisions.  However, I think that George has a good record on the environment, perhaps the strongest of any House Republican and better than some Democrats. I think Legum employed a typical and not too savory campaign tactic and I don't like it for the reasons George stated in his response.  I'd rather see Legum explain his platform and plans rather than attack an incumbent. But I must be naive and asking too much.

FOLLOWUP: I guess I am naive and was asking too much. Within an hour or so of this posting, Legum responded with what could only have been an arsenal of opposition research on George:

Why is opposing someone's co-sponsorship of a bill that I substantively disagree with an "unsavory tactic"? As you noted, I did not misrepresent the contents of the bill in any way. In fact, I even linked to the entire bill so people could check it out for themselves.

Am I supposed to ignore George's policy positions on important issues?

If so, I guess I'll just have to remain unsavory. I plan on vigorously addressing the issues important to the state.

Also, I'd humbly suggest that you take a look at George's overall record on the environment. It is not "good." And it is not the best of any house Republican, not even close. His lifetime score from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters is 44%. That's a failing grade.

Last year he was on the other side of the following important environmental issues:

HB 315 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (Delegate Barve, Senator Pinsky) This bill will reduce global warming pollution by 25% by 2020. The correct vote is yes. The bill passed 107–31 and was later signed by the Governor.

HB 176 Septics (Delegate Lafferty, Senator Lenett) This bill required nitrogen removing technology on new septic systems in the Critical Areas. The correct vote is yes. The bill passed 85–48 and was later signed by the Governor.

HB 1569 Standing (Delegate McIntosh, Senator Frosh) This bill allows citizens and association the right to challenge in court permit decisions that affect our environment, natural resources, and Critical Areas. The correct vote is yes. The bill passed 110–23 and was later signed by the Governor.

Okay. The points and facts are irrefutable, but they do not present a clear or fair picture. I guess we'll have to plan on you remaining unsavory as you said. I'll be here as always to present all the views and may be able to present a clear and fair picture. Pass the ketchup.

LISTEN TO CP Publisher Paul Foer on 1430WNAV at 8:15 every weekday morning or click on the WNAV icon to the right. READ CP Publisher Paul Foer's "The Ninth Ward" every Wednesday in The Capital.www.capitalonline.com
Join us for Sip N' Blogs each THURSDAY, 8-9 am at ZU Coffee, 934 Bay Ridge Road in the Giant Shopping Ctr.

March 4 Len Lazarick,Editor, MarylandReporter.com
March 11 Mayor Josh Cohen (AT BB Bistro-West Annapolis)
March 18 County Executive Candidate Joanna Conti
March 25 County Councilman Chuck Ferrar


Big Daddy Mike said...

I must tell you, 'climate change' is not something I can get my head around. Sure, I understand the science and was never lost during 'Inconvenient Truth' but my problem is the same as with 'The War Against Terror.' I ride my bike to work a lot and have for almost 20 years. I took classes with the county to learn to build rain gardens and use GIS, all in the effort to produce benefits locally. In a super-complex world, we need to think locally, act locally. Let's all forget about global warming and focus on making our neighborhoods better places to live. Let's go nuts and just concentrate on the Bay for a while and forget about 'saving the world.' I think it's just too big for us to coordinate, ya know? The Bay is so messes up and we have SO much work to do to protect the 2007 Stormwater Regs, improve transit and decrease farm runoff, we can forget about saving the world for a few years.

This is clearly just my opinion. And I won't be running for office for a few years...

Paul Foer said...

The following came in from Wayne Adamson of Eastport:
Delegate Ron George is right on target with regard to the “climate change conspiracy”. The so called experts that led the charge to put together data showing that global temperatures are going up as a result of carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere are now being exposed as having “cooked the books” so to speak. The East Anglia University expert, who was a major contributor to the data that was used in the IPCC study by the United Nations, has now admitted that there have been no changes in global temperatures for 15 years. His data was fraudulent. These experts have managed to do a good job of hiding data from qualified meteorological scientists to review their basis for claims of global warming. There is no basis for that conclusion and some of the world’s experts in meteorology have already weighed in on that point. Try the Heartland Institute website (heartland.com) for further technical details by qualified scientists who don’t hide the data but present it and discuss it.
More importantly, I find it ridiculous that the State of Maryland is passing legislation to somehow seemingly impact the climate with local projects. Does anyone remember the big push for changing the hole in the ozone layer by changing the refrigerants used by cooling equipment such as home air conditioners and the like? This was a worldwide effort that has resulted in the expenditure of billions of dollars to transfer cooling equipment over to the new gold standard for preventing the depletion of ozone. I suggest that readers go on the appropriate websites for ozone and see what has happened to the ozone layer in recent years as a result of that worldwide effort. Answer: nothing has improved. What do you think that the impact will be on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by any changes that the tiny state of Maryland makes through legislation? Answer: nothing will change. If we are concerned about the pollution problem, let’s concentrate on efforts that can improve the Chesapeake Bay in small ways, such as reducing storm water runoff wherever possible. It is ridiculous to think that a few parts per million of carbon dioxide are somehow going to make any measurable difference in the bay water quality. Please, somebody show me the actual scientific data and analysis that proves that the bay water quality has been adversely affected by carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere in the last 50 years. I have had enough of the junk science that has been thrown around.

Paul Foer said...

Dear Wayne Thanks for your comment. I think the resolution introduced by Delegate George and a dozen or so other Republican and overwhelmingly rural Delegates is hogwash. There is no conspiracy and if you want to look at junk science, the Heartland Institute is as good a place to start as any--and it has a complete ideological bent. On your other points, I agree that we must be careful to employ quality controls and proper research and make reasonable policy.

Wayne said...

One correction on my earlier comments: the Heartland website is heartland.org not heartland.com. This is a website that includes technical articles published by experts in the field of climatology. Some of the papers are over my head technically, as a mechancial engineer with a master's degree.

blogger templates | Make Money Online