Green Weenie of the Year: Andrew Cuomo

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There is fierce competition for Power Line’s coveted Green Weenie of the Year Award. Up until just a few days ago I’d have said that the Westboro Environmentalists (better known by their trade name “Greenpeace”) had our annual supreme Weenie award locked up for their appalling stunt in Peru earlier this month, where the Westboro Environmental narcissists defaced a millennia-old Inca archeological site.

There’s been some late entries in the sweepstakes, including squirrels, who are now said to be contributing to global warming, which makes perfect sense for a movement that says, “Look, squirrel!” at every opportunity. Seriously:

First it was beavers. Now climate scientists are criticizing squirrels for their contribution to global warming. Researchers presented findings to the American Geophysical Union at a fall meeting in San Francisco, Calif., that squirrels are causing vast greenhouse gas reserves in permafrost to be released, which is contributing to global warming. . .

Vast amounts of carbon dioxide accumulates in the Arctic permafrost and remains frozen in the soil year-round. That is, until squirrels dig it up and release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, driving temperature rises, according to scientists.

Also, beavers:

What the world has been doing to prevent beavers’ extinction may actually be accelerating their demise, according to a study from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

Apparently, beaver ponds cause more methane to be released into the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming and leaving scientists with an interesting question: how do we stop beaver methane?

Beaver methane? Great: another thing to worry about. Forget the butterfly beating its wings: A beaver builds a dam in Siberia, and next think you know Hurricane Sandy prompts a thousand stupid op-eds halfway around the world. Worse if that beaver somehow drowns the butterfly before it can beat its wings.

I’m starting to think this article, “Scientists Are Not That Smart,” may be on to something.

Green Weenie Mug copyBut despite these gallant efforts to make the final round for Green Weenie of the Year, we have to give it to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, for his decision to issue a total ban on hydraulic fracturing in New York state. About 40 percent of upstate New York sits on the Marcellus shale, which is producing prodigious amounts of natural gas (and prodigious amounts of income growth) in Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. It is also a region that has been suffering economic decline for decades. Cuomo has just said to this region: we Manhattanites don’t care about you.

Cuomo is making this decision for the most craven of reasons: it is a non-negotiable demand of the far left, which is well organized in New York, and not just to advocate shooting cops, either. They also want to shoot dead any chance of renewed prosperity for rural New York.

The amazing thing is that Cuomo is so ham-fisted that he managed to annoy environmentalists in his announcement by not sticking exactly to the climatista script. Hence this hilarious complaint from Grist.com:

The only troubling part of Wednesday’s meeting came at the end when Cuomo took questions from the press. One reporter noted that Cuomo had focused entirely on the local health and environmental impacts of fracking, not on the global warming implications of natural gas production. (Natural gas produces half as much CO2 as coal when burned, but with methane leakage it may be just as bad for climate change as any other fossil fuel.) Cuomo reiterated his recent bizarre assertion that discussion of the causes of climate change is “political.” In response to a climate question, Cuomo said, “What I want to keep the focus on is extreme weather because that’s inarguable; it’s non-political.” He went on to echo his earlier comments about not being a scientist. “As a lawyer, my personal opinion is that [climate change] is partially caused by humans,” said Cuomo. But he hastened to add that he doesn’t know what proportion of climate change is anthropogenic or whether it’s “disproportionate.”

Everything about Cuomo’s take on climate science is inexplicably weaselly and nonsensical. . .

Even politically, it makes no sense. Cuomo is mimicking cowardly Republicans who dodge questions about climate science by noting they aren’t scientists so as to avoid either angering their base by accepting it or sounding like an idiot by rejecting it. Cuomo is a Democrat, and unless he plans on switching parties, he has nothing to fear from accepting the scientific consensus.

How’s that for gratitude? But at least he has a handsome Green Weenie Award to go on his mantle.

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