By Ben Geman - 02/05/10 11:09 AM EST
“This bill is about good health, tourism and jobs. Half a million Tennesseans suffer from asthma, and 400,000 of them are at risk because of poor air quality, so we must act now on getting these harmful pollutants out of the air," Alexander said in a statement yesterday.
What the bill isn’t about, however, is the far more controversial Fourth P – carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming.
And advocates of greenhouse gas cuts worldwide are on the defensive, following revelation of problems with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark 2007 report on the threat of global warming.
IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri is at the center of the storm over the report’s inclusion of unsubstantiated claims that Himalayan glaciers will vanish by 2035.
The head of Greenpeace UK told the London Times that Pachauri should quit because he has not moved quickly enough to address the problem.
“The IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri [as chairman]? I don’t think so. We need someone held in high regard who has extremely good judgment and is seen by the global public as someone on their side,” said Greenpeace UK Director John Sauven, according to the Times account Thursday.
“If we get a new person in with an open mind, prepared to fundamentally review how the IPCC works, we would regain confidence in the organization,” he added.
But several other green groups stand behind the embattled IPCC head, notes Treehugger.
Conservative Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) is siding with Greenpeace, albeit for different reasons. Barrasso, a global warming skeptic, issued his own call for Pachauri’s resignation Thursday.
“Administration policies relating to climate change will cost millions of Americans their jobs. We need to get this right. To continue to rely on these corrupted U.N. Reports is an endorsement of fraudulent behavior. It is a signal to the American people that ideology is more important than their jobs,” Barrasso said.
Barrasso and other opponents of emissions curbs have pounced on the IPCC woes, even though many scientists say recent controversies – notably the infamous emails hacked from a U.K. research institute – have not undercut the widely held expert view that Earth is warming.
But the fallout from the controversy continues to spread.
In Utah Thursday, the Natural Resources Committee of the state’s GOP-dominated House voted 10-1 for a resolution calling on the U.S. EPA to drop planned climate rules “until a full and independent investigation of the climate data conspiracy and global warming science can be substantiated,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Back in Washington, D.C., renewable energy companies are continuing their push for a nationwide renewable electricity standard.
They unveiled a new study Thursday that predicts creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs under a policy that would require utilities to supply escalating amounts of renewable power, the Wall Street Journal reports.