It takes the Associated Press five trained-poodle bylines to breathlessly report this breaking news:
Thousands of oil and gas operations, government facilities and other sites won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise bypass rules intended to protect health and the environment because of the coronavirus outbreak, The Associated Press has found.
The result: approval for less environmental monitoring at some Texas refineries and at an army depot dismantling warheads armed with nerve gas in Kentucky, manure piling up and the mass disposal of livestock carcasses at farms in Iowa and Minnesota, and other risks to communities as governments eased enforcement over smokestacks, medical waste shipments, sewage plants, oilfields and chemical plants.
The media, led by Pravda (the New York Times), Izvestia (the Washington Post) and the news agency Tass (the AP), are heavily invested in the myth of the rampaging Black Death of Covid, seeing it as a club with which to beat the opposition into submission on its preferred policies, including the phantom menace of "global warming" and the destruction of the fossil-fuel industry. So naturally, they're alarmed.
AP’s two-month review found that waivers were granted in more than 3,000 cases, representing the overwhelming majority of requests citing the outbreak. Hundreds of requests were approved for oil and gas companies. Almost all those requesting waivers told regulators they did so to minimize risks for workers and the public during a pandemic — although a handful reported they were trying to cut costs.
Here we go back to the bad old days of polluted rivers that catch on fire, three-headed fish, and smog over Los Angeles, right? Not so fast:
The Environmental Protection Agency says the waivers do not authorize recipients to exceed pollution limits. Regulators will continue pursuing those who “did not act responsibly under the circumstances,” EPA spokesman James Hewitt said in an email.
Bah, humbug! barks the AP's five-headed dog:
But environmentalists and public health experts say it may be impossible to fully determine the impact of the country’s first extended, national environmental enforcement clemency because monitoring oversight was relaxed. “The harm from this policy is already done,” said Cynthia Giles, EPA’s former assistant administrator under the Obama administration.
EPA has said it will end the COVID enforcement clemency this month.
But that's not good enough -- even though the horses have left the barn and the damage is already done, there follows a couple dozen paragraphs exposing the environmental horrors of the temporary waivers. It's propaganda masquerading as reportage. In other words, "journalism" today.
Forget the Coronavirus: the Real Threat is 'Climate Change'
As I like to say on Twitter: they never stop, they never sleep, they never quit. I'm referring to the "progressive" Left, which firmly believes in never letting a good crisis go to waste, and never misses a chance to push its crackpot policy ideas, no matter how far the arc of history has suddenly just shifted. So, even in the midst of a world-wide panic over the coronavirus from Wuhan, China, the progs are somehow still able to find time and space to push their harum-scarum about "climate change." Herewith, a few recent examples:
Climate Point: Climate change has yet to be canceled due to coronavirus
We're in the midst of a pandemic, one that has exposed a continued hesitation to trust science and fault lines of fear that increase racist finger-pointing over the origins of the novel coronavirus. The problems are evident at the highest levels, where officials in the Trump administration have reportedly called the coronavirus the "Kung-Flu" and the "Chinese virus."
What this rhetoric completely misses, however, are the causes of deadly diseases spurred by exotic viruses. "Demand for wood, minerals and resources" clears habitat and disrupts ecological processes, presenting opportunities for pathogens ranging from ebola to coronavirus to pass from wildlife to humans, The Guardian reported this week.
Well, if Britain's notoriously left-wing The Guardian reported it, it must be true! Of course, the Wuhan virus couldn't possibly have anything to do with Chinese standards of hygiene or their culinary preferences, or the complicty of the Communist Party is making such delicacies available to the public. After all, how can eating live frog's innards, snakes, bat soup, pangolin pizza, and fricassee of civet cat possibly harm you? Not to mention boiled-alive dogs. (Where is PETA in all this, one wonders.)
But back to "global warming."
Just because our attention is on the coronavirus, that doesn't mean the elephant in the room — climate change — is going anywhere. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that this winter was the second-hottest on record, USA Today reports. Those logs extend all the way back to 1880. The most extreme cases of winter warming come from Russia, where temperatures were 12 degrees above average in some places.
Only somebody literally born yesterday could think that 1880 is "all the way back" to much of anything. Over the history of the planet -- some 4.5 billion years -- our available data accounts for an infinitesimal slice of planetary history. It would be like extrapolating the entire history of baseball statistics from a single spring-training pitch in (as it happens) 1870. And as for Russia, well... in case anybody hasn't noticed, Russia is a mighty big land mass.
One thing that provides solace to the otherwise disconsolate nutters, however, is the damage the virus is doing to the energy industry. Domestic fracking has made the U.S. energy independent, but now --
Goodbye, U.S. frackers? What the coronavirus has done, however, is to combine with an international oil price war and flawed domestic business practices to tank the U.S. fracking industry. Grist is out with a helpful explainer on how these factors are merging to expose small fossil fuel companies that are on shaky financial footing and likely to go under as prices remain in flux. The Wall Street Journal found that Texas has begun considering capping production in response.
Climate activism marches on. "Climate activists are retooling their strategy for an online existence during the coronavirus pandemic," Zack Colman with Politico reports. Instead of mass gatherings, groups led by youth activists are turning to social media and other digital tools to continue their fight.
And indeed it does. In the forefront is the United Nations, an organization originally created by the victors in World War II that has long since been hijacked by the losers, Third World thugocracies and failed states around the globe. And it's here to tell us that the planet is "way off track" in dealing with the imaginary challenge of "man-made climate change."
The planet is "way off track" in dealing with climate change, a new United Nations report says, and experts declared that climate change is a far greater threat than the coronavirus. "It is important that all the attention that needs to be given to fight this disease does not distract us from the need to defeat climate change," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse.
Although emissions have been reduced with travel curtailed because of the virus, Guterres noted that "we will not fight climate change with a virus. Whilst the disease is expected to be temporary, climate change has been a phenomenon for many years, and and will remain with us for decades and require constant action. We count the cost in human lives and livelihoods as droughts, wildfires, floods and extreme storms take their deadly toll,” Guterres said.
The report confirmed that 2019 was the second-warmest year on record and the past decade the hottest in human history.
That last line, of course, is a lie: "human history" did not begin in 1880. But the leeches, bed-watters, and rent-seekers who have glommed onto the "anthropogenic global warming" scam in the interest of frightening the horses and lining their pockets are desperate to keep the rubes coming into the circus tent in order to be fleeced as they're shepherded toward the legendary and elusive Egress.
The Eighth Wonder of the World!
Professor Brian Hoskins of Imperial College London told the Guardian that "the report is a catalogue of weather in 2019 made more extreme by climate change, and the human misery that went with it. It points to a threat that is greater to our species than any known virus – we must not be diverted from the urgency of tackling it by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to zero as soon as possible."
Well, that's what all used-car salesman say -- this offer expires the minute you head for the Egress! But still, the beat goes on. One last one:
Today, all attention is on the virus. But we cannot afford to ignore another deadly threat that is upon us: the climate crisis. Time is of the essence with the climate, just as with the pandemic. Every day that we delay in taking bold action increases the seriousness of the suffering that will result. Why have nations risen to the challenge of the coronavirus so quickly, while the far more dangerous threat of climate change has failed to inspire the bold response it demands?
Possibly because rational people understand that all the hugger-mugger is bunkum, while the threat from the virus is real.
Already we face spiraling dangers from catastrophic fires, droughts, floods, storms, excessive heat, sea level rise, and huge economic losses.
Here we might note that natural disasters have always been with us -- just ask the residents of Pompeii!
There will be unprecedented mass migrations and violent conflicts following global climate disruptions.
Assuming for the moment that there are "climate disruptions," a fact not in evidence nor even defined --
On our current trajectory, our world will be terribly changed: scarred and diminished and made far less habitable. And, unlike the effects of the virus, which should lessen before too many months pass, the effects of climate change will be with us for centuries, likely growing worse with time. Even now, millions die annually just from pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, utterly dwarfing even worst-case projections of deaths from the virus.
Why haven’t we taken bold action on the climate, changing course before it is too late? Our brains simply are not wired to engage with a danger that is not acutely present.
With that honest statement, this is as good a place to stop reading as any.