Here's what John had to say and here's yet another response:
I don't want to drag this thing out but let me make a few quick comments.
My point with the Clean Air Act was that Congress probably wouldn't pass an environmental law that wasn't supported by a consensus in the scientific community. Possibly a bad assumption, I know.
Clearly the question of the environmental effect of air pollution is a complex one, and clearly you know more about it than I do. However, at
some point we need to take a position, right? I think what you're saying is that no one should make any claims about the energy policy until there is quantitative data about what effect it will have on emissions. Unfortunately, there won't be any quantitative data until the plan is implemented, at which point it will be too late. Given that we agree that increased emissions will cause health problems and given that the Bush policy will probably increase emissions (we just can't say for certain by how much) it seems perfectly reasonable to point out to the American people what effect the policy will likely have on them.
FYI, the (probably bleeding-heart liberal) scientists feeding Redford his lines are from the Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org).
“As always, it was a pleasure to read your response, and I thank you for taking the time to write. I always enjoy hearing well-stated opposing viewpoints.”