Prop 23s Anita Mangels wants you to know that greenhouse gases are ˜emissions, not ˜pollutants

No to Proposition 23!Anita Mangels, spokesperson for California’s Yes on 23 campaign, wants to get the message out that greenhouse gases emitted from oil refineries, coal plants, and motor vehicles are not “pollutants,” just “emissions.” Mangels is working to suspend California’s landmark global warming legislation, AB 32, on behalf of the Texas oil company-funded Proposition 23 campaign.

Brad Johnson interview Mangels in this WR cross-post.

In a gracious telephone interview with the Wonk Room, Mangels argued that the “semantics are important,” because Prop 23 supporters don’t want to be seen as promoters of pollution:

There’s a huge misconception about AB 32 and Prop 23 are about when it comes to “pollution.” The court made the attorney general rewrite the ballot, which originally talked about “polluters” and “pollution.” The judge said that’s not right because greenhouse gas reduction is not pollution. It is not in the same league as things that we have been dealing with for years like smog-forming pollutants.

Greenhouse gases “” while they may be associated with global warming “” have no direct impact on the environment or health in California. The nature of greenhouse gas emissions is not at all compatible with other emissions that have been subject to environmental laws.

I’m not using the word “pollutant.” We’re talking about “emissions. Language means a lot. You don’t see ballot labels being ordered to be changed by a judge very often. The semantics are important.

Although Mangels “” a project director for the Woodward & McDowell ballot initiative lobbying firm “” accurately described the judge’s decision on the ballot language, her conclusion is false. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized that greenhouse gases are pollutants by any reasonable definition in 2007. Greenhouse pollution not only raises sea levels, intensifies extreme weather, and causes heat waves and droughts, but also increases allergens and worsens the effects of other pollutants “” all described in the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding.

Moreover, new scientific research by Mark Z. Jacobson, finds that carbon dioxide pollution is a two-fold killer “” causing not just global warming but also forming “domes” that trap other pollutants in urban areas. Even if “CO2 in adjacent regions is not controlled,” Jacobson estimates, “reducing local CO2 may reduce 300-1000 premature air pollution mortalities per year in the U.S. and 50-100 per year in California.” Mangels claimed that greenhouse pollutants are “unlike localized emissions that have a tangible impact on the health and the environment “” if you spend money on that, you can see a tangible result in that.” In fact, greenhouse pollutants are just like other pollutants “” they make people sick, they kill ecosystems, and the less that’s emitted, the better.

In another demonstration of “semantics,” Mangels claimed that “our coalition members do not oppose AB 32.” The Yes on 23 campaign, bankrolled by Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro, just wants to indefinitely postpone the legislation because “it would increase costs by billions of dollars for energy and would probably destroy a million or so jobs” “” which would be bad when California has an “economic crisis.” Mangels did concede that some economic studies of AB 32 find that California’s net jobs would increase, but “there will be a handful of winners and everyone else will be their customers.”

When you cut through the greenwashed rhetoric of the “California Jobs Initiative” “” the Yes on 23’s other name “” all that’s left is yet another attempt by fossil fuel companies and their ideological allies to prevent the growth of a green economy.

— Brad Johnson

JR:  Hmm.  Given her Orwellian effort to destroy the English language, I think her last name is all too fitting. Read previous posts on Prop 23’s economic impact, national repercussions, and funding from Texas oil companies.

5 Responses to Prop 23s Anita Mangels wants you to know that greenhouse gases are ˜emissions, not ˜pollutants

  1. Bob Doublin says:

    “In a gracious telephone interview with the Wonk Room, Mangels argued that the “semantics are important,” ”

    There was a problem from the very start. When she spewed her bullshit, the interviewer should have laughed in her face and said something like “Are you shitting me?!?”
    We are giving this scum a thousand times more respect than they deserve. By out-Orwelling poor George they are trying to destroy language and the basic means of communication between humans and should be TREATED AS SUCH and never tolerated. It’s way past time to take off the kid gloves.

  2. catman306 says:

    Using ‘pestilence’ rather than ’emissions’ or ‘pollution’ may some strike pay dirt with those who are familiar with the Book of Revelation’.

    Pollution is Pestilence

  3. kenshin says:

    just call it smog. if we’re gonna argue semantics, call it something that people can visualize. it’s as bad as smog. i mean, if they can get away with calling their prop a Jobs Initiative, u can call ghg smog.

  4. Albert says:

    “The nature of greenhouse gas emissions is not at all compatible with other emissions that have been subject to environmental laws.”

    Greenhouse gas emissions have both local and global implications, and the scale of the difference between their impacts and the impacts of “other emissions” makes her statement as offensive as someone saying “Hitler was not at all like other murderers, so we should not call him a murderer.” In the concentrations they are reaching they are WORSE than other pollutants, not better.

  5. Chris Winter says:

    Anita Mangels is right: Semantics are important. Here are some.




    pollutant (n.): A substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil. Pollutants can be artificial substances, such as pesticides and PCBs, or naturally occurring substances, such as oil or carbon dioxide, that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment. Heat transmitted to natural waterways through warm-water discharge from power plants and uncontained radioactivity from nuclear wastes are also considered pollutants.

    The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


    pollutant (n): (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Environmental Science) a substance that pollutes, esp a chemical or similar substance that is produced as a waste product of an industrial process

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


    Pollutant: In general, substance or energy introduced into the environment that has undesired effects, or adversely affects the usefulness of a resource. A pollutant may cause long- or short-term damage by changing the growth rate of plant or animal species, or by interfering with human amenities, comfort, health, or property values.

    I think that pretty well wraps it up. Carbon dioxide can be a pollutant.