What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 24, 2017

ANOTHER RESPONSE from Senator Pat Toomey

In a break some recent responses, this one is by letter. An actual letter mailed through the US Postal service.

So what's this letter about? As usual, Senator Toomey let's us know up front what he's discussing:
Thank you for contacting me about the Paris Agreement. I appreciate hearing from you.
Good. So when did I mention the Paris Agreement?

Just once, in my sixteenth letter. (I did previously ask the Senator asking if he agrees with the 97% of climate scientists who've concluded that the earth is warming up and that human beings have significantly contributed to that warming but so far he hasn't chosen to answer that question.)

But back to the sixteenth. I wrote:
In light of Donald Trump's decision to remove the United States from the Paris Accord this past week, I'd like to ask you about your position on Climate Science.
And then I presented Senator Toomey with a statement, signed and agreed to by a a dozen and a half leading scientific organizations that said that
Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.
I then asked Senator Toomey if he agreed with that. I asked for a "simple yes or no" answer.

And he simply refused answer that question  - or at best he simply chose not to. His long-ish letter describes, instead, why he supports Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement.

And even then, he gets a few things wrong. For instance he says that:
Further the Paris Agreement would have a negligible impact on preventing climate change and reducing world temperatures.
Whereas some actual scientists at MIT have gone on record responding to Trump's assertion that the Paris Agreement:
...also accomplishes LITTLE for the climate.
With this:
[T]he 0.2 degree-figure used in the talking point reflects the incremental impact of the Paris Agreement compared with the earlier Copenhagen agreement. If you instead compare the impact of the Paris Agreement to no climate policy, then the temperature reduction is much larger, on the order of 1 degree Celsius — 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit — by 2100. This would be a significant reduction in the global temperature rise, though much more is needed if the world is to achieve its goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less.
And so on. Regardless of any amount of truth in Toomey's letter, it simply doesn't change the fact that he chose not to answer my question about whether he agrees with the science, instead he filled up a page with other stuff hoping I didn't notice.

Well Senator, I noticed..

And this is how the Senator answered (a scan to follow - my scanner's broken)
Thank you for contacting me about the Paris Agreement. I appreciate hearing from you,

Like many Pennsylvanians, I believe it is essential to protect our state's natural beauty and the quality of our environment. I am supportive of reasonable pollution controls that are designed to protect public health and hour natural resources, and I believe individual state agencies have the best knowledge and experience to safeguard these important assets. It is for these reasons that I have supported commonsense efforts in Congress to protect the environment and conserve lands for the enjoyment of future generations.

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an international promise to reduce global carbon emissions over the net few decades. Signed by then-President Obama in September 2016, this agreement establishes voluntary carbon reduction plans and financial contributions for climate change mitigation programs in developing countries. The Obama Administration supported this program by unilaterally pledging billions of American taxpayer dollars to the United Nation's climate fund, which I believe has little accountability and insignificant U.S. oversight.

I support the withdraw from the Paris Agreement as it would have neither protected the environment nor Pennsylvania's industrial and energy sectors. The benchmarks established for the United States under the agreement would have threatened millions of industrial jobs across the country, and Pennsylvania's 36,000 coal and coal-dependent jobs. Further the Paris Agreement would have a negligible impact on preventing climate change and reducing world temperatures.

While the United States would have been expected to make significant carbon reductions under the Paris Agreement, China and Russia would have been given a free pass to increase emissions for the next decade. The Paris Agreement also does not include a viable enforcement mechanism to unsure that countries actually meet their commitment. This inconsistently-applied standard favors countries like China and Russia wile American tax payers are left to foot the bill.

Thank you again for your correspondence. When considering any environmental regulations, it is important that American policymakers and negotiators strike an appropriate balance between conservation, energy production, job creation, and job growth. Do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.