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Much hypocrisy exists in climate change efforts

Corporations, states — even entire countries — are told they’ve got to keep track of their greenhouse gas emissions these days. In some places, it’s the law; and there are ambitious goals to reach in what we are told is a necessary fight to slow climate change.

While it is, indeed, important for us to take better care of this planet and the people living on it, we’ve also got to be aware that some of the loudest among the climate-change squawkers are of the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” variety.

California stands out on that front. Its law limits pollution with ever-stricter regulations that are considered models by some. The state has a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. It’ll make it if it keeps cheating the system the way it has been.

You see, it’s easy to lower a number if one simply decides not to count some of what should be counted.

In a major oil- and gas-producing state such as California, one would expect some leaks in the approximately 35,000 old, inactive oil and gas wells that dot the landscape. For environmental officials, those methane leaks are an inconvenience left out of the inventory of state emissions.

Methane is not the only gas leaking out of these sites.

“Those other gases have significant health impacts,” said Ira Leifer, an independent scientist and CEO of Bubbleology Research International.

But for California officials, they get in the way of their pretense of climate action superiority and therefore don’t exist.

“It’s clear that they are willing to ignore this public health emergency. Our communities are done waiting. (California’s Geologic Management Division) needs to do their job,” Cesar Aguirre, a community organizer with the Central California Environmental Justice Network, said.

We’ve all got work to do. Few argue that these days. It’s a shame that work isn’t taken seriously by those who point their fingers at states such as Ohio while they fudge their own numbers for the sake of ego rather than the environment.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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