Image via: Daily Life
Inhofe Joins Gore? It's like oil and water. Garlic and ice cream. Or lamb and tuna fish. But apparently yes, it's true, Inhofe has changed his tune and now the Guardian reports, is working with Gore on soot legislation. Just don't call it a pollutant.For starters, let's just say he hasn't been the most willing to the join the Inconvenient Truth bandwagon in the past, with a rap sheet of eco-offenses like calling "global warming a hoax, [comparing] the Environmental Protection Agency with the Gestapo, and over the years [dismissing] Al Gore as desperate and 'full of crap.'"
The Senate Republican from Oklahoma joined other Democratic senators this week in pushing forward legislation aimed at quantifying the effects of black carbon, "thought to be the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide." If it passes the Environmental Protection Agency will then have one year to quantify the effects and figure out how to curb emissions, which mostly come from old diesel vehicles and burning wood.
Strangest of all, Inhofe insists this has nothing to do with pollution or climate change or any other touchy-feely green issue. This is about particulates. This is about automobile safety. This is about human health in poor nations of Africa which use wood-burning stoves to cook with. According to Inhofe, "this has nothing to do with the CO2 issue."
The 2007 UN report on climate change did not mention soot at all, though activists say getting this issue out might make for an easier public "fight" on the issue of climate change because this "pollutant" is something tangible that you can see. You can see the effects of soot pollution on asthma rates in children, for example. Al Gore also stated recently that the sooty, particulate matter is causing a haze around the arctic that is absorbing the sunlight and thus warming the air (potentially hurrying the increase in arctic ice melt). Again, another tangible thing that you can see (the haze cloud, the melting Arctic).
Baby steps, people, baby steps. While Inhofe may be supporting research into the issue, he is not ready to curb emissions or link it to anything C.C. related. Hey, it's a start. :The Guardian
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