The 2015 Environmental Hall of Fame Winners are:
1. (37% of vote) Bill Nye the science guy, and Neil deGrasse Tyson for their efforts at educating the public. Hearing them together on Tyson’s Star Talk radio show makes me think that they should have a prime time TV show. They are a riot together and certainly help people understand the science of global warming. Prize : A prime time TV show together.
2. (25%) President Barack Obama, both for managing to thread the needle in Paris and for postponing the decision on Keystone XL until it was uneconomical and too late for anybody in Congress to want to do anything in a presidential election year. Pres. Obama managed to tie the US Paris agreement to a previous treaty to avoid a possible defeat in Congress if it needed their approval. Prize : An political chess set.
3. (19%) Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY) for introducing H. Res. 424, a Republican Climate Resolution to address mitigating global warming. He, along with 12 Republican cosponsors, support H. Res. 424 which states, “It is a conservative principle to protect, conserve, and be good stewards of our environment.” This is a very hopeful sign of progress along the road to bipartisan climate action. Prize: Enough political support to ward off Americans for Prosperity and other climate change deniers.
4. (19%) California Governor Jerry Brown for his tireless efforts to make policies and laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to protect the residents of CA and the surrounding states from the worst impacts of global warming. He has signed pacts to combat the planet’s warming with leaders from 13 countries including Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel and Peru. Reward: More support from the U.S. Congress.
Honorable Mention. The “little old guy” from the retirement center seen several times a week leaning on his cane to pick up stuff other people believe they couldn’t be bothered with. (And does it while walking a dog). Award: Our thanks for being such a good example to us all.
Hall of Shame Recipients are:
1. ( 45%) The dishonorable Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan and his sycophants for not only allowing the poisoning of Flint Michigan children but also insisting that the healthcare professionals who brought this to their attention be dismissed and demeaned by Michigan Environmental officials. To save money, the state switched Flint’s water supply to that of the corrosive water of Flint River, which leached lead out of the city’s water pipes, affecting the resident’s health and causing lead poisoning in thousands of Flint’s children.
Award: A lead pipe connection for their office water supply from the Flint River.
2. ( 35% ) The 114th Congress of the United States for their repeated acts, statements, and actions against climate science, scientist, and new clean energy technologies – and for being out of step with the American public who by a majority in both parties support efforts to reduce CO2. An example would be Lamar Smith (R -TX) for trying to influence the science findings at NOAA. Award: A huge dearth of votes in the next election for those who oppose climate science.
3. (10%) Exxon/Mobil for their continued climate denial and for sowing doubt about CO2’s role in global warming even though their own scientists knew in 1980 that CO2 from fossil fuels was the cause. Though their lying to the public is apparently not against the law, lying to their stockholders is , and several states are moving to sue them for damages. Award: Judgments against Exxon/Mobil like those against tobacco companies.
4. ( 10%) North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and the NC lawmakers who tacked on a 61-page “business-friendly” measure to a 1-page technical bill – then rammed through the law without public input. It:
- Gave polluters immunity from certain fines & penalties
- Allows polluters to avoid full cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination
- Permits polluters to self-report without enforcement or fines
- Rolls back clean water and air protections
- Rejects science on sea level rise
Award: Nickname North Carolina the “Polluters Paradise” in their honor.
Note: Senator James Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was nominated so many times that he was awarded a Lifetime Membership in the Environmental Hall of Shame to give others a chance. He claims “climate change is the biggest hoax in history” and wrote a book about it (reviewed here). He is famous for comparing the EPA to a Gestapo bureaucracy, appearing at climate conferences as if he spoke for the US, and bringing snowballs onto the senate floor as if they proved climate change is a hoax. The person who nominated him for a Lifetime Award thought he should be barraged with snowballs for as long as it snows in Washington D.C..
(C) 2016 J.C. Moore