E2 Round-up: Climate scientists fight back, Utah starts land war with feds, and opposition to EPA grows in Congress

The National Academy of Sciences, the leading scientific institution in the United States according to the Times, is about to reengage on the topic by publishing a paper on what is and isn’t know about climate science.

Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the NAS, told the paper that there was a "danger that the distrust of climate science could mushroom into doubts about scientific inquiry more broadly," according to the report.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board says the controversy may well be much ado about nothing much.

“Except for the glaring glacier mistake, most of the alleged errors are minor, and some may not be errors at all. A controversial claim that up to 40% of the Amazon rain forest could react drastically to even slight reductions in precipitation apparently came from a World Wildlife Fund report rather than a peer-reviewed study, but a leading Amazon researcher has since affirmed that the number is correct.”

Still, the L.A. Times welcomes news that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. panel that wrote the definitive report on climate science, is investigating how some errors found their way into the study, including an unsubstantiated claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

The paper also has a piece about a land dispute between the state of Utah and the federal government.

“The Utah House of Representatives last week passed a bill allowing the state to use eminent domain to take land the federal government owns and has long protected from development,” the L.A Times reports.

State lawmakers are itching for a fight with the feds in the Supreme Court that they hope will reshuffle the balance of power.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has her own fight on her hands. Opposition is growing to her agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases, in Bloomberg. Jackson will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee today on those plans.  

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, announced a $6 billion program to encourage homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

The president is looking to the new Homestar program to "reemploy workers in the hard-hit construction industry, offer environmental benefits, and rack up energy savings for US consumers," reports the Christian Science Monitor.

But the program could take awhile to get up and running. For one thing, Homestar requires congressional approval. It will also take some time to train workers to handle some aspects of the effort, the Monitor points out.

On the congressional front, Ben has a piece about Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) introducing legislation to create the $6 billion program.

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