Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stop Carbon Pollution

Tell the EPA to strengthen the new carbon pollution rule
A message from CREDO Action: Our country has literally no limits on the carbon pollution that is causing catastrophic climate change and that is freely spewed by power plants.

Last week, The Environmental Protection Agency finally proposed a rule to change that. Unfortunately, not by very much.1
The EPA's first ever rule limiting carbon pollution — known as the Carbon Pollution Standard — applies only to unlikely-to-be-built, new coal-fired power plants. It is riddled with loopholes allowing new sources of pollution including some new coal plants. It does nothing to reduce carbon pollution from much more significant existing sources.
It's sad that our political climate has been made so toxic by climate change denying Republicans — who literally voted to deny the science of climate change2 — that the very acknowledgement of the need to regulate carbon pollution by EPA is a victory and a positive step forward.
But in today's actual climate — where much of our country just experienced record-shattering March heat waves after a disturbing lack of winter — it is not nearly enough. It is not only disappointing but profoundly dangerous that this rule does little if anything to effectively reduce unregulated climate pollution.
The EPA will now accept public comments on the rule — and as it weighs the public's reaction, we need to show that we expect much, much more from EPA to regulate carbon pollution.
Having proposed a rule for new power plants, the EPA is now legally required to develop a rule to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, a much more significant source.
But even in yesterday's announcement, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson — who has been one of the few people in the Obama administration willing to fight to address climate change and defend the Clean Air Act — appeared to have her hands tied when it came to moving forward on rules that would address existing power plants, literally saying in a press conference, "we have no plans to regulate existing sources."3
If EPA fails to take action on existing power plants, then the measured progress represented by yesterday's rule will go down in history as a symbolic though essentially empty gesture.
EPA Administrator Jackson is to be commended for her leadership on this rule, despite a begrudging White House whose hand was forced by a court mandate, and a Tea Party Republican majority in Congress so openly hostile and obstructionist to climate change policies that their continued tenure is a literal threat to our future survival.
That this rule was all the EPA could muster in the face of the clear and present danger of climate change and extreme weather shows the fierce urgency of changing our political climate in order to achieve the stable climate we need to survive.
That's why CREDO is fighting back on two fronts. We're already working through the CREDO SuperPAC to change the political climate by defeating anti-science, climate change denying Republicans in the House who have so effectively blocked Congress and EPA from taking the bold action necessary to fight climate change.4 And we're pushing back on today's announcement with public comments to the EPA asking for a stronger greenhouse gas rule that does what's necessary to dramatically reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants.
We encourage you to take a hard look at yesterday's announced rule, which while symbolically important, is clearly weak in a number of important respects.
The carbon pollution limit for new power plants — 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour of energy produced — is low enough to limit new coal fired power plants, but high enough not to affect natural gas plants.5
But because of the rising cost of coal, the low price of natural gas, and the tireless work of activists across the country raising concerns about the health and climate impacts of coal, we've already been able to block all new coal power plants. This rule does serve as an additional roadblock against building new coal plants if the economics of coal become favorable again, but otherwise, the rule essentially codifies the status quo — making into regulation the facts on the ground already established by the hard work of community and environmental activists.
Also, the rule exempts carbon pollution that is created by burning biomass — which can have higher greenhouse gas emissions than coal — and even allows new coal plants to continue polluting freely for ten years, if they install carbon capture and storage (CCS) system, which remains an unproven technology.6
Tell the EPA: We need stronger rules to protect us from existing and future sources of carbon pollution. Click below to submit a comment to the EPA:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5543043&id=37444-2593817-ExZaVIx&t=8
It's important to acknowledge progress. And to be upfront about the massive barriers that block even the most modest measures to address climate change. But it's also essential that we recognize that fighting climate change is one of the most urgent challenges facing us as a nation and a planet. Nothing less than bold action is required, and we must not be satisfied with symbolic but essentially empty gestures no matter how hard won.
At CREDO we will continue to fight climate change on every front. We'll take direct action to stop the northern and southern legs of Keystone XL. We'll work with community activists to shut down dirty coal plants. We'll have President Obama's back when his administration stands up to Republican obstructionists on climate. And we'll hold his administration accountable when they fall short. We'll defeat climate change denying Tea Party Republicans who are running for reelection. And we'll push hard for a Greenhouse Gas Rule that does what scientists say we must do if we are going to start to slow the planet's disastrous warming.
We hope you will continue to stand with us.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


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