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The QueQue

The QueQue: Streetcar desires, Perry Poppin’, Climatologists want to correct data twisters

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“Contrary to popular denial, yes, global warming is happening,” said Gunnar Schade of Texas A&M by way of Germany. Consider Schade one of those scientists who doesn’t like seeing data misused and misrepresented. “You have to address the people who are in denial,” Schade said. “They’re very vocal, and they have big voices, and they are in high positions — and I don’t need to say much more in this state — and they need to be opposed. … We scientists have exactly done this thing wrong in my opinion. We have not gone out and opposed those who twist and turn the science that we produce.”

Fellow Aggie researcher Gerald North said: “Here we are in the state of Texas and I cannot name a single scientist who is a climate-change denier. There is not one. I’ve been in two big forum debates in the last year and they had to go way, way out of state to find somebody who would debate on the other side. There simply isn’t anyone in Texas.” Well, Perry, perhaps, but he’s just ig’nant.

The pair briefed the 20-odd in attendance on climate basics and the path ahead. Prognosis holds for more warm spells and heat waves, a doubling of dramatic heat events by 2050, longer summers, more wildfires... and even when our current drought breaks (in a couple years, perhaps), it will be with a flood, Schade said.

State Dept paves way for Keystone XL pipeline to East Texas

Has TransCanada been greasing the wheels at the State Department for easy approval of its proposed $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline to ship tar-sands-derived crude from Alberta, Canada, down to Texas refineries (with a big purchase order from Valero)? Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks had already left environmental activists and pipeline opponents with the sneaking suspicion that behind-the-scenes schmoozing had turned TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline into a done deal. But recently released emails between the oil company and State officials have pipeline opponents warning of a far-too-cozy, and possibly unethical, relationship. The emails, released in a FOIA lawsuit filed by the environmental group Friends of the Earth, shows dozens of exchanges between staff with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliott, who in 2008 helped run Clinton’s presidential campaign. Friends of the Earth claims the exchanges show State officials coaching TransCanada through the process, particularly prior to the drafting of State’s environmental impact statement, which, when released last month, declared the proposed pipeline would cause minimal environmental harm, despite a litany of cases and concerns continually cited by both activists and the EPA.

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