Sunday, September 25, 2011

Climate Progress for September 24th, 2011

 

Climate Progress for September 24th, 2011


Joe Nocera on "The Phony Solyndra Scandal": The "Real Winner is … the Chinese Solar Industry."

Posted: 24 Sep 2011 09:46 AM PDT

If Brian Harrison and W. G. Stover, the two Solyndra executives who took the Fifth Amendment at a Congressional hearing on Friday, ever spend a day in jail, I'll stand on my head in Times Square.

It's not going to happen, for one simple reason: neither they, nor anyone else connected with Solyndra, have done anything remotely criminal. The company's recent bankruptcy — which the Republicans are now rabidly "investigating" because Solyndra had the misfortune to receive a $535 million federally guaranteed loan from the Obama administration — was largely brought on by a stunning collapse in the price of solar panels over the past year or so.

The company's innovative solar panels, high-priced to begin with, became increasingly uncompetitive in the marketplace. Solyndra didn't have enough big commercial customers to create the necessary economies of scale. And although Harrison and Stover remained optimistic up to the bitter end — insisting six weeks before the late-August bankruptcy filing that the company was going to be fine — they ultimately failed to raise additional capital that would have allowed Solyndra to stay in business.

The Republicans are trying to make that optimism appear sinister, but if we've learned anything from the financial crisis, it is that wishful thinking in the face of a collapsing market is not a crime. Otherwise, Richard Fuld, the former chief executive of Lehman Brothers, would be wearing prison garb….

At the hearing on Friday, several of the Republican congressmen boasted that, in passing the continuing resolution to keep the government running the day before, they had succeeded in slashing the program that had made the loan to Solyndra….

But the real winner isn't the American taxpayer or even the House Republicans. It's the Chinese solar industry.

That's business columnist Joe Nocera in a great NY Times piece "The Phony Solyndra Scandal."  Nocera is not some progressive, renewable energy advocate columnist.   Before joining the NYT in 2005, "Mr. Nocera spent 10 years at Fortune Magazine, where he held a variety of positions, including contributing writer, editor-at-large and executive editor."

That's why his piece makes so much sense –  he is just looking at this with business sense.  Here's more:

Harrison and Stover are on the hot seat. Anything they say in their defense — even an off-hand remark — can and will be used against them. Their lawyers would be fools if they didn't insist that their clients take the Fifth Amendment.

Do the Republicans know this? Of course. Do they care? Of course not. For an hour and a half on Friday morning, they peppered the two men with questions about this "taxpayer ripoff," as Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, described it, knowing full well that Harrison and Stover would invoke their constitutional right to remain silent. Joe McCarthy would have been proud.

The purpose of the hearing — indeed, the point of manufacturing a Solyndra investigation in the first place — is to embarrass the president. That's how Washington works in the modern age: the party out of power gins up phony scandals aimed at hurting the party in power.

Undoubtedly, the Solyndra "scandal" will draw a little blood: there are some embarrassing e-mails showing the White House pushing to get the deal done quickly so it could tout Solyndra's green jobs as part of the stimulus package.

But if we could just stop playing gotcha for a second, we might realize that federal loan programs — especially loans for innovative energy technologies — virtually require the government to take risks the private sector won't take. Indeed, risk-taking is what these programs are all about. Sometimes, the risks pay off. Other times, they don't. It's not a taxpayer ripoff if you don't bat 1.000; on the contrary, a zero failure rate likely means that the program is too risk-averse. Thus, the real question the Solyndra case poses is this: Are the potential successes significant enough to negate the inevitable failures?

I have a hard time answering "no." Most electricity today is generated by coal-fired power plants, operated by monopoly, state-regulated utilities. Because they've been around so long, and because coal is cheap, these plants have built-in cost advantages that no new technology can overcome without help. The federal guarantees help lower the cost of capital for technologies like solar; they help spur innovation; and they help encourage private investment. These are all worthy goals.

To say "no" is also to cede the solar panel industry to China, which last year alone provided some $30 billon in subsidies for its solar industry. Over all, the American solar industry is a big success story; it now employs more people than either steel or coal, and it's a net exporter.

But solar panel manufacturing — a potential source of middle-class jobs, and an important reason the White House was so high on Solyndra, which made its panels in Fremont, Calif. — is another story. Not so long ago, China made 6 percent of the world's solar panels. Now it makes 54 percent, and leads the world in solar panel manufacturing. Needless to say, the U.S. share of the market has shrunk. The only way America can manufacture competitive solar panels is to come up with innovative technologies that the Chinese can't replicate. Like, for instance, Solyndra's.

Well said.

What Questions Would You Like Climate Progress to Ask?

Posted: 24 Sep 2011 06:36 AM PDT

I re-instigated the weekend question a month ago and response has been great.

You have given great answers to "What Topics Would You Like Climate Progress to Cover?" and "If You Could Ask a Climate Scientist One Question…." and "Is President Obama a Lost Cause Environmentally — and What Should Progressives Do?"  And Stephen Lacey and I are definitely incorporating your ideas into our planned future posts.

They say knowing what questions to ask is as important as knowing how to find the answers.  So I'd like you to suggest weekend questions you would like Climate Progress to ask you, the readers, in the coming months.

Some classics include  "What should Ian do with his life?" and, of course, "Where would be the best place to live in 2035? 2060?"

We're Poisoning the Oceans and It Threatens Our Food

Posted: 24 Sep 2011 05:14 AM PDT

by Sheril Kirshenbaum, in a Science Progress cross-post

Marine chemist Richard Feely, a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, has been collecting water samples in the North Pacific for over 30 years. He's observed a decrease in pH at the upper part of the water column, notably the region where carbon dioxide from automobile exhaust, coal-fired power plants, and other human activities has collected. This surface water is now acidic enough to dissolve the shells of some marine animals such as corals, plankton, and mollusks in laboratory experiments. Feely's findings are just one sign of a troubling global phenomenon called ocean acidification.

We spend a lot of time worrying about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as a form of pollution and also as a key greenhouse gas that traps solar heat. But we pay less attention to the effects emissions have in the ocean. There is no debate that rapidly increasing seawater acidity is the result of man-made carbon emissions.

"The chemistry of the uptake of carbon dioxide and its changing pH of seawater is very, very clear," explains Feely.

The oceans absorb an estimated 22 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every day. This buffers the greenhouse effect by drawing the planet-warming gas out of the atmosphere and storing it in water, but at a great cost to ocean life. This carbon mixes with the salt water to create carbonic acid, which immediately breaks down, forming bicarbonate and hydrogen. And this excess hydrogen increases the water's acidity.

Higher acidity, in turn, makes life difficult for marine animals by hampering their ability to form shells and skeletons. For microscopic plankton and many other species at the base of marine food chains, this means slower growth and potential population decline. These problems trickle up to affect the large fish that depend on smaller organisms for food.

Acidification also causes some coral species to grow more slowly or disappear. Since coral reefs support 25 percent of the ocean's species of fish, this spells widespread trouble. Marine ecosystems are so interconnected, in fact, that scientists cannot predict the full effects of acidification. They only know that changes in the availability of food and in community structure can scale up quickly.

Carbon emissions released since the start of the industrial revolution have sped the process of ocean acidification, leaving little time for plants and animals to adapt to altered conditions. Scientists now anticipate an average pH decline from 8.1 units to 7.8 in oceans by the end of this century. According to John Guinotte, a marine biogeographer at the Marine Biology Conservation Institute, in Washington, D.C., human activity is now increasing the amount of CO2 in the ocean at an accelerating rate. "Unless we alter human behavior," he warns, "we may experience irreversible shifts in the marine environment that can have dire consequences for life on Earth."

An international team of marine biologists recently traveled to Papua New Guinea where excess CO2 released from volcanic activity has already decreased local ocean pH to the levels that are expected globally by 2100. In this area, they found that more than 90 percent of the region's coral reef species were lost. The study provided a glimpse of how oceans might one day change around the world and serves as a warning that we must curb carbon emissions as quickly as possible.

For us on land, ocean acidification will do more than raise the cost of seafood. A decline in reefs worldwide, for example, would make coastal communities more vulnerable to storm surges and hurricanes. Meanwhile, the fishing and shellfish industries stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, and countless jobs, because of acidification's effects on shellfish, as well as associated changes in the populations of larger species. In the United States, oyster hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest have already experienced reduced shell growth due to higher acidity levels. No one can predict the full consequences of ocean acidification, but it's clear our own species will experience them in many ways.

"About one billion people throughout the world depend on protein from fish for survival, so we have to think about what this means for international food security," explains Feely.

Carbon emissions clearly cause problems beyond climate change. And because sea waters mix slowly, whether or not we reduce emissions now, acidification will continue for centuries. If Congress cannot act to restrict emissions, it must as least ensure that marine scientists have the funding needed to study the effects of changing pH on different marine species and, in the decades ahead, to search for ways to mitigate the effects of ocean acidification.

Sheril Kirshenbaum is an author and research associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. You can find this post and many other good scientific pieces at Science Progress.

Related Post:

Hottest Decade on Record Would Have Been Even Hotter But for Deep Oceans — Accelerated Warming May Be On Its Way

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 03:05 PM PDT

A composite of all the major global temperature records via Skeptical Science.

The last decade was easily the hottest on record.  We've known that sulfate aerosols (from volcanoes and/or Chinese coal) and the "the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century" masked the rate of warming somewhat.

Even so, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which probably has the best of the long temperature datasets, reported the 12-month running mean global temperature reached a new record in 2010.  As a NASA analysis found: "We conclude that global temperature continued to rise rapidly in the past decade" and "there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s."

But other datasets appeared to show a slight slowing in the rate of warming, though even that may have been due to flawed data, as in the case of the UK's Hadley Center.

Scientists have long known that the overwhelming majority of human-caused warming was expected to go into the oceans (see figure below).  And many have suspected that deep ocean warming has also been masking surface warming.

Now a new study led by led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) finds that may indeed be the case:

The planet's deep oceans at times may absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade even in the midst of longer-term warming….

The study, based on computer simulations of global climate, points to ocean layers deeper than 1,000 feet (300 meters) as the main location of the "missing heat" during periods such as the past decade when global air temperatures showed little trend. The findings also suggest that several more intervals like this can be expected over the next century, even as the trend toward overall warming continues….

"This study suggests the missing energy has indeed been buried in the ocean," [coauthor Kevin] Trenberth says. "The heat has not disappeared, and so it cannot be ignored. It must have consequences."

These potential consequences include accelerated warming in the coming decade and melting of  the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Let's take these two in order.

The heat may have been carried deep into the ocean by overturning circulations, which can plunge surface water from the subtropical regions into the ocean's depths. The burying of warmer water also corresponds with La Nina weather patterns, which are born from cooler-than-average surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific. And over the last decade, La Nina conditions have dominated, Trenberth said.

That the heat is buried in the ocean, and not lost into space, is troublesome, Trenberth said, since the heat energy isn't likely to stay in the ocean forever, perhaps releasing back into the atmosphere during a strong El Nino, when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are warmer than average.

"It can come back quite fast," he said. "The energy is not lost, and it can come back to haunt us, so to speak, in the future."

I asked Trenberth whether we might see a decade where warming is a tad faster than expected, and he emailed me, "Yes."  Once the decade of slower warming "is over, the subsequent warming can play catchup."

This idea that the ocean can mediate periods when human-caused global warming is faster and slower is not new.  Indeed, Dr. Mojib Latif, head of the Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics Division at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, came to the exact same conclusion in a widely misunderstood 2008 article (see "Nature article on 'cooling' confuses media, deniers: Next decade may see rapid warming").

Here was Latif's Nature "forecast" — the green dashed line (click to enlarge) — notice the accelerated "catch up" surface warming this decade:

For more explanation of this figure, see here.

A key point from recent observation is that whatever slight slowing in global warming some groups may have observed in the past decade, it was primarily in the surface temperature data set.  The oceans kept warming (see "Sorry Deniers, the Oceans are Still Warming as Predicted"):

Figure 1:   Revised estimate of global ocean heat content (10-1500 mtrs deep) for 2005-2010 derived from Argo measurements. The 6-yr trend accounts for 0.55±0.10Wm−2. Error bars and trend uncertainties exclude errors induced by remaining systematic errors in the global observing system. See Von Schuckmann & Le Traon (2011).  Via Skeptical Science.

A 2009 NOAA-led study, "An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950" (subs. req'd, release here) concluded:

[S]ince 1950, the planet released about 20 percent of the warming influence of heat-trapping greenhouse gases to outer space as infrared energy. Volcanic emissions lingering in the stratosphere offset about 20 percent of the heating by bouncing solar radiation back to space before it reached the surface. Cooling from the lower-atmosphere aerosols produced by humans balanced 50 percent of the heating. Only the remaining 10 percent of greenhouse-gas warming actually went into heating the Earth, and almost all of it went into the ocean.

Note that this Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres study was done "without using global climate models."

"Total Earth Heat Content [anomaly] from 1950 (Murphy et al. 2009). Ocean data taken from Domingues et al 2008."

There is a second consequence of ocean warming, of course.  As Climate Progress reported last December, "Deep ocean heat is rapidly melting Antarctic ice":

"Warm waters carried by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current are brushing the ice front in the western part of the continent, in the area of the Bellingshausen Sea."

Antarctica is disintegrating much faster than almost anybody imagined — see "Nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier." In 2001, the IPCC "consensus" said neither Greenland nor Antarctica would lose significant mass by 2100. They both already are.  As Penn State climatologist Richard Alley said in March 2006, the ice sheets appear to be shrinking "100 years ahead of schedule."

A presentation at the fall 2010 meeting of the American Geophysical Union sheds some light on the underlying cause of this rapid melt — the ice is being attacked from the bottom.  Discovery News had the story:

Global warming is sneaky. For more than a century it has been hiding large amounts of excess heat in the world's deep seas. Now that heat is coming to the surface again in one of the worst possible places: Antarctica.

New analyses of the heat content of the waters off Western Antarctic Peninsula are now showing a clear and exponential increase in warming waters undermining the sea ice, raising air temperatures, melting glaciers and wiping out entire penguin colonies.

"In the area I work there is the highest increase in temperatures of anywhere on Earth," said physical oceanographer Doug Martinson of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Martinson has been collecting ocean water heat content data for more than 18 years at Palmer Island, on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

And that was updated in a June post, Ocean Currents Speed Melting of Antarctic Ice, as "Seawater Appear[s] to Boil on the Surface Like a Kettle on the Stove." The news release by Columbia University's Earth Institute explained:

Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say—a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year – 50 percent faster than it was in the early 1990s – the paper estimates.

This new study, "Stronger ocean circulation and increased melting under Pine Island Glacier ice shelf" (subs. req'd), gives us a better understanding of just how PIG is being undermined from underneath: "We conclude that the basal melting has exceeded the increase in ice inflow, leading to the formation and enlargement of an inner cavity under the ice shelf within which sea water nearly 4◦C above freezing can now more readily access the grounding zone.

Here is a particularly remarkable observation the scientific team made one day:

One day, near the southern edge of Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, the researchers directly observed the strength of the melting process as they watched frigid,  seawater appear to boil on the surface like a kettle on the stove. To Jacobs, it suggested that deep water, buoyed by added fresh glacial melt, was rising to the surface in a process called upwelling. Jacobs had never witnessed upwelling first hand, but colleagues had described something similar in the fjords of Greenland, where summer runoff and melting glacier fronts can also drive buoyant plumes to the sea surface.

As Trenberth said, "The heat has not disappeared, and so it cannot be ignored. It must have consequences."

Finally, some of you may recall a certain controversy from a certain email:

The discovery of the heat, which the researchers say is likely locked deep in the ocean, sheds light on a controversial email that was written by one of the study's co-authors, Kevin Trenberth, in 2009. The email was one of hundreds that hackers stole from a server at the University of East Anglia nearly two years ago.

In the email, Trenberth wrote, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."

Climate change skeptics immediately seized on the email as proof that global warming wasn't real. But from the beginning, Trenberth argued that he was referring to holes in scientists' ability to measure how heat moves through the climate system.

I discussed Trenberth's response at the time here.  I emailed Trenberth to ask, "Does this close the chapter on your 'travesty' comment?  He replied:

It helps close the chapter, but more observational studies are needed.  We plan to do those but await better datasets.

Getting the Facts Straight on Green Jobs

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 01:42 PM PDT

by Kate Gordon

The past few weeks have seen a perfect storm of misinformation on green jobs:  what they are, how many there are, how much they contribute to the economy.  Many of those throwing numbers around have relied on one source, a recent report from the Brookings Institution, which worked with Battelle's Technology Partnership Practice to attempt to define, evaluate, and count green jobs as a part of the economy from 2003-2010.

It is clear to those of us who have been deeply engaged in making the case for green jobs for years that the Brookings report has been almost universally misunderstoodHence this post to try and clear up some of the details.  But first, a digression about green jobs.

The phrase "green jobs" does not stand for, and in fact has never stood for, one specific set of occupations that can be set aside and easily counted.  In this, green jobs are not unique.  Think about "high tech jobs," for instance.  There are jobs in inventing and developing software, to be sure.  But there are also jobs in using software to make existing companies more productive and efficient.  There are manufacturing jobs associated not only with the hardware in our computers, but with the servers we use to store data.  There are construction jobs that would not exist were it not for the need to build server farms.  All the jobs that have come about because of the invention of the computer, and the transformation of our economy from a low-tech to a high-tech one, are arguably "information technology jobs."

Similarly, "green jobs" go way beyond the obvious jobs, like the wind turbine operators.  They span huge numbers of industries and occupations, and touch nearly every sector of the economy because they can include all those who use cleaner or more efficient energy and fuel, as well as those who invent, manufacture, install, operate, and maintain those things.  Just like the phrase "high tech jobs" has come to stand for an entire economic transformation toward computerization of nearly everything we do, so does "green jobs" stand for a huge transformation in the kinds of energy we use to underpin our long-term economic growth.

So, back to the Brookings report.  In that report, Brookings researchers tried valiantly to pin down at least some of the industries and occupations that are most clearly associated with the green economy transformation.  They did an admirable job, and here's what they actually found:

  1. A lot of people already have green jobs. Brookings found that there are currently 2.7 million jobs in the clean economy, as broadly defined to include not just mature industries like manufacturing, transportation, and public services, but also emerging industries like solar, wind, and battery technology.  It also includes conservation and restoration jobs.  That's 2.7 million people who have jobs because their employers, cities, or states – or their country, through the Recovery Act — prioritized moving away from dirty fossil fuel use and toward mass transit, or clean energy, or energy efficiency services – or because they have realized they need to clean up the mess left by generations of fossil fuel use.
  2. Green jobs are part of a growing, not a shrinking, sector of the economy – and some green industries are growing incredibly fast.  Broadly defined, the clean economy – again including transportation, restoration, efficiency, clean energy, etc. – grew at 4.3 percent from 2003-2010, adding half a million new jobs.  Pause to think about that:  that's half a million people who now have jobs in these sectors, and might not have jobs at all if their companies, cities, and states hadn't decided to become a little cleaner and greener.  The part of the clean economy sector that is focused on clean energy in particular – the wind, solar, fuel cell, smart grid, biofuel, and battery companies – grew far more quickly, at an average rate of 8.3 percent, which is nearly twice the growth rate of the economy as a whole.
  3. The overall clean economy grew during the recession, but was not exempt from its impacts. Given the huge growth in clean energy and fuel sectors, you'd think we'd see a higher overall growth rate for the clean economy as a whole.  What kept that growth from being more explosive?  The same thing that brought down the economy as a whole and threw us into recession:  the housing crisis.  A lot of green jobs are in construction, because green building and energy efficiency retrofits are such a fantastic way to bring down energy costs and lower our carbon footprint.  Just like the rest of the construction sector, this part of the clean economy suffered when the bottom fell out of the housing market.  But even given that fact, we still saw 4.3 percent growth, because not all green jobs are construction jobs.
  4. That gets us to the next point:  green jobs are spread across industries and occupations.  You can find them in everything from research and development, to manufacturing, to construction and installation, to operations and maintenance, to retail and service.  Unlike jobs in the much-touted real estate and finance sector, they are not all concentrated into a relatively small set of occupations.  That means that when the bottom fell out of the real estate and finance markets, there was still growth across all green jobs sectors.  Similarly, when gas prices went up this past summer, as they invariably do, the parts of the green economy that are focused on alternative vehicles and fuels were suddenly a hot spot for growth.  This diversification across occupations and industries makes the green economy smarter, more secure, and more sustainable than the economy as a whole.
  5. Green jobs are spread across regions, too – also unlike a lot of jobs in the financial sector, which tend to be concentrated in big cities on the coasts.  Brookings found that of all regions in America, the South has the highest concentration of jobs in the broader clean economy.
  6. Green jobs are good jobs for all Americans, not just the small number with college degrees.  Finally, Brookings found – as we and others have found in the past – that a lot of green jobs are in what are sometimes called "middle-skill" occupations, meaning that they require education and skills beyond high school, but not necessarily up to the four-year college level.  Twenty-six percent of clean economy jobs are in manufacturing, which is a sector where workers with specific technical skills, but no Bachelor's Degree, can make a solidly middle-class living.  Why do we care?  Three big reasons:  first, nearly 70 percent of our workforce lacks a four-year college degree.  That's a lot of people shut out by high-skill industries.  Second, middle-skill jobs have always been the key to America's middle class.  Build an economy that only creates high- and low-skill jobs, and you build an economy with vast income inequality.  And third, when we build up the manufacturing sector here in America, we can export our products to other countries, making us competitive in the global economy.

Those are some of the facts about the new clean economy.  It goes beyond clean energy, though that is probably the most exciting and high-growth sector.  A green jobs growth strategy spans industries, occupations, skill levels, and geographic regions, making these businesses and workers less vulnerable to price spikes, extreme weather events, recessions, attacks – you name it.

And most important, the clean economy is real.  It employs real people in real jobs with real salaries – something at I bet the 14 million Americans who are currently unemployed sure wish they had.

– Kate Gordon is Vice President for Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress.

Related Post:

House Passes Sweeping Anti-Clean Air TRAIN Act

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 12:50 PM PDT

Leading Environmental Groups Call on Senate to Reject It,  Commend Veto Threat from White House

Today the House of Representatives passed a sweeping anti-environment bill that blocks two landmark public health safeguards against air pollution. The TRAIN Act,  H.R. 2401, blocks standards that would curb mercury emissions from power plants and reduce pollution that travels across state lines and endangers communities. Leading environmental and public health  groups (listed below) issued the following statement after the House vote:

"We are heartened by the President's strong stand against the TRAIN Act and against pollution with his promise to veto this dangerous legislation.  His leadership will keep Americans from being forced  to breathe smog and other dangerous air pollutants.  We call on the U.S. Senate to stand strong and  reject the TRAIN Act and its deadly impacts on public health.  Hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and heart attacks and tens of thousands of premature deaths can be prevented with common  sense clean air safeguards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The House today showed they have bought the false argument that we need to choose between  protecting lives and creating jobs. Now we need the Senate and the President to protect our right to  breathe."

Environment America
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club
League of Conservation Voters
US Climate Action Network
League of Women Voters
Environmental Defense Fund
Earthjustice

Wall Street Journal Readers Name US Chamber of Commerce in the "Top Corruption-Related Story of the Year"

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 11:57 AM PDT

Wall Street Journal readers were asked to name the "Top Corruption-Related Story of the Year."  So far, the easy winner is the US Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is one of the major forces behind the destruction of a livable climate and a sustainable US economy (see "The Chamber is so extreme they oppose R&D into renewable energy" and "U.S. Chamber Fights Regulations On Chemicals Linked to Penis Deformations, Birth Defects").  In spite of the staggering economic advantage they get from their pollutocrat members, they still use the most despicable tactics (see "Chamber lobbyists solicited hackers to sabotage unions and smear its political opponents").

Now Climate Progress has urged major publications not to use online polls.  But they don't listen, much to their regret.

So if you want to spend a few seconds of your weekend casting your vote against the Chamber, click here.  Do it for the children.

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