Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why isn’t George feeling the heat?

In the last few days, global warming news has been stealing headlines. Yet, the Bush Administration continues to fiddle while the rest of the world awaits U.S. leadership and burns.

Friday, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report finding with 90% confidence that the world’s warming temperatures are due to human causes http://www.ipcc.ch/ and that we’re going to continue heating up for centuries. Nothing new here - the report is a synopsis of findings from previously published reports that have been discussed for years.

It’s been clear that the White House has not wanted a debate. On Tuesday, Representative Henry Waxman’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on “political interference in the work of government climate change scientists.” The White House has been stonewalling the committee for over 6 months in its attempts to review the documents. (Funny, not much headway on that last fall under Republican leadership………seems Mark Foley’s reach extended beyond interns………..)

The hearing highlighted a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Government Accountability Project that shows 435 instances in which the Bush administration interfered into the global warming work of government scientists over the past five years.
Most of us have noticed the trend, we’ve gotten the message. But, Jorge sees a different trend, one in which he and his friends will profit. This while he keeps global warming voices mollified with empty rhetoric.

In addition to successfully stonewalling Congress, he sleeps well at night knowing the US Interior Department recently considered listing the polar bear as a threatened species (the U.N. openly speaks of the polar bear as endangered http://www.unep.org/) and that he targeted a 20% reduction of US gasoline consumption in last week’s State of the Union Address. (But, the plans call for a 20% cut in projected, and not current, gasoline use, only ¼ of which would come from improved CAFÉ standards.) With one deft blow, Bush put smiles on the environmentally minded as well as Dick Cheney, who is now spared nightmares of having to fit into an economy sized vehicle - being wedged into a subcompact or as a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”

And you’ll notice, as usual, Jorge called it global climate change, not warming. (Apparently, he doesn’t allow anyone in the Administration to utter global and warming I the same sentence – get a load of Jim Cooper’s testimony to Waxman et. al. about those guidelines for John Negroponte (http://thinkprogress.org/?tag=Global+Warming).

Meanwhile, his buddies in the oil industry are licking their chops, ringing up record profits – Exxon reporting Wednesday it beat its own industry record this year - as they ready to explore the rapidly melting Arctic for oil reserves, according to Articnet http://www.arcticnet-ulaval.ca/ and Greenwire http://www.eenews.net/gw/.

On Thursday Al Gore was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for promoting the global warming cause. Anyone want to guess at what the sequel to Inconvenient Truth will look like?
And PS – where is the Evangelical Environmental Network now that this has become such a politically salient issue?!!!!!!!!!!

11 Comments:

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Paddy said...

Welcome Mike!!!
The thing that kills me about all this is how they keep insidiously inserting doubt in the sheep publics' mind.
This am on Cspan they had an ex head of some big world wide commision on global warming, and 99% of the callers were Limbaugh listening idiots throwing up the STOOPIDIST rationalizations. Ugh.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger ohdave said...

Mike, now I have even more reasons to stop by.

I've been following Frank Luntz lately (wrote a review of his book on my site) and it seems pretty obvious that, even if he's not behind it, there has been a pretty concious effort on the part of the GOP to change how they talk about global warming.

Luntz's advice to GOP is to sound like you give a damn but don't really do anything. Emphasize "sound science" and "balancing" the environment and the economy.

But the White House has taken a little different approach lately. Luntz himself has acknowledged "climate change" now, and the WH has begun to speak about it, although in the cautious language that you have identified. They clearly beleive that "climate change" sounds normal and natural, while "global warming" sound alarming and more likely to prod people into concrete action.

What I think Luntz and his ilk don't realize is that there comes a point where the actions of politicians speak much louder than the words they use. I think that's why the focus-grouped language that the GOP uses, their fear-mongering on terrorism and their touchy feely "personal accounts" approach on Social Security and so on, didn't work in 06: the massive corruption and incompetence of the established GOP powerstructure (pointed out so beautifully by people like Cliff!) simply spoke much louder than the pretty language the GOP tries to use. I think we are reaching a similar tipping point on global warming: the evidence is getting just too overwhelming for the GOP to continue to deny it. They are recognizing that their position is starting to hurt them at the polls. (Luntz claimed in 04 that the perception of the GOP on the environment was one of their greatest vulnerabilities, although many Dems continue to refrain from using this built in advantage.)

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Cliff in DC said...

Welcome Mikey! It's good to have you around here.

Now in concert: Make the world go away!

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger Mike O'Leary said...

Hey Paddy and Dave,

thanks for the warm welcomes and thoughtful anecdotes.

I agree on the Repubs strategy. I'd forgotten about Luntz - he had warned they were on the wrong side of the issue a while ago, and yet, they didn't act. I can't believe there are still idiots trying to sew doubt, and on C-Span, no less! I also agree that the tide is turning and it will be interesting to see which groups and individual Congresswo/man step up to the plate, especially those on the other side.... These are interesting times!!!

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'!!!

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Mike O'Leary said...

for Cliffie and PSB Survivors everywhere.............

"Make the world go away. Take the world off of my shoulders. Say the things you used to say, and make the world go away."

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger GottaLaff said...

Loved your post, Mike! It was clear and full of facts/info. That's a huge help...linking, having to swing back and forth between the posts here and elsewhere, can get a little time-consuming. So thanks for summing things up for us, as well as linking.

"Climate change" implies that it's out of our hands. It's the climate, y'see, that's the culprit. Global warming is more threatening, because something is warming up the earth, and it's not necessarily Mother Nature. So much for framing.

Big Oil makes record profits, but because the price of gasoline has dropped a little (which, as always, will be temporary--does everyone have amnesia??), a lot of folks are giving Exxon and company a pass. As long as they have to pay less at the pump, then who cares about anything else?

Don't these self-serving, oil-oozing money grubbers get that they can make a ton of cash, but if the earth goes to hell, nobody will be around to spend it?

And yes, Mike, why in the world isn't more being made of the cuts and omissions imposed on scientists' reporting?

I'm venting. See what you've started, Mike?

Okay, yeah, I'm glad you're here. : )

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Hi Mike! Welcome!

I loved your post, it was great. I was particularly struck with your last paragraph, On Thursday Al Gore was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for promoting the global warming cause. Anyone want to guess at what the sequel to Inconvenient Truth will look like?
And PS – where is the Evangelical Environmental Network now that this has become such a politically salient issue?!!!!!!!!!!


So, this is what the GOP wing nut group does to counteract this nomination....Mark R.Levin of the Landmark Legal Foundation has nominated RUSH LIMBAUGH to the Nobel Peace Prize. In the nomination, he wrote this about Rush...

"Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in
the world today," explained Levin. "Everyday he gives voice to the values
of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal
application of the rule of law -- and it is fitting that the Nobel
Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful
world for future generations."


I wonder if Rush wins if he'll be paid in Viagra and OxyContin?

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Mike O'Leary said...

My God Mary Ellen, I'm going to be sick. Are you kidding me! Rush nominated for a Nobel. Are you sure you didn't fall asleep watching a SNL skit and dream this!?

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Fernando said...

Welcome Mike!

Great post with a lot of facts.

There wasn't a single reference to single cell thinking from the Repukes in your post Mike. Not one comparison to sex addicts or nose pickers or flaccid Viagra pimps or drooling electro shock patients. No forced abortions. No slaves of any kind. None. Not even a hint of it.

so.... I thought I would mention those things here.

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I'm not kidding, Mike! The only way that I would dream that Rush Limbaugh was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize would be if I were on drugs...like him.

Anyway, I'm not sure how it works, but the papers have been filed, AFAIK. There hasn't been much written about it, maybe it's just too damned sick to believe.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Mike O'Leary said...

Hey Fernando, I should definitely have peppered some of your references in my post! I wonder where Inhofe is these days?.........

 

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