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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 06:04 PM
Original message
Climate Change Deniers
Climate change denial has been a major force in national and global politics over the past several decades. Fueled and funded by interests whose wealth and power stand to be curtailed by world-wide efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, climate change denial has become so pervasive that it has affected the beliefs of many otherwise progressive people. This is evidenced even on DU, as when a DUer buttressed his/her arguments against the scientific consensus on global warming by quoting the right wing rag, Human Events, which features the psychopathic liar Ann Coulter as its most visible representative.

Ive discussed the significance of global warming in several previous posts. In one I talked about melting glaciers, the 17 cm rise in sea level during the 20th century, the expectation of much greater rises in sea level during the 21st century, the first disappearance beneath the sea in modern times of an uninhabited island (Kiribati) in 1998, the first disappearance beneath the sea in modern times of an inhabited island (Lohachara) in 2006, and the submerging of several more islands since that time. In another post I talked about the likelihood of widespread drought and war if the global warming trend isnt substantially curtailed. And in a more recent post I talked about the failure of the recent Copenhagen summit to make more than a small dent in the problem.

A 2007 article appearing in Newsweek, titled The Truth about Denial discussed how climate change denial has greatly hampered efforts to address the problem:

Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless

But I am not a climate scientist (I am an epidemiologist, which is a scientist who deals with the causes of human health and disease), so dont trust too much what I have to say about this. Instead, consider the credentials of the deniers vs. the scientists who have studied the issue in great depth. And especially consider the financial incentives of the deniers.


CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS

George Monbiot, in an article titled The Denial Industry, gets to the heart of the problem in the first paragraph:

For years, a network of fake citizens' groups and bogus scientific bodies has been claiming that the science of global warming is inconclusive. They set back action on climate change by a decade. But who funded them?

Who funded them, indeed! Everyone should ask that question prior to being taken in by climate change deniers. Monbiot continued:

By funding a large number of organizations, Exxon helps to create the impression that doubt about climate change is widespread. For those who do not understand that scientific findings cannot be trusted if they have not appeared in peer-reviewed journals, the names of these institutes help to suggest that serious researchers are challenging the consensus.

And of course our corporate media picks this stuff up just like they picked up the Bush administrations rationalizations for war in Iraq. Thus Mark Hertsgaard noted that Mainstream media have given fresh prominence to deniers' claims of fraud and rampant error on the part of climate scientists.


ExxonMobil

An article about a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, titled Scientists Report Documents ExxonMobils Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science, summarized the role that ExxonMobil has played in damping government action to address the problem:

ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science. "ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' Director of Strategy & Policy. "A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years."

Jack Huberman deals with this issue in more detail in his book, 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America. In one of his chapters Huberman identifies Lee Raymond, ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute as ranking number 12 on the list of people who are screwing America. He identifies the scope of the problem:

The think tanks (Chris) Mooney identified received more than $8 million between 2000 and 2003 Exxon has filled the tanks of the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which twice sued to block a federal report showing the impact of climate change; and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, where a senior fellow made it his mission to portray Kyoto-style emissions regulations as an attack on people of color Exxons efforts on global warming have even included funding for religious and civil-rights groups

Indeed, as the scientific consensus on global warming solidified, other oil companies backed off. abandoned the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), an industry group that formed in the late 1980s to deny global warming. After a report in 2001 by the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) concluded that greenhouse gases could raise global temperatures by more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, which would have catastrophic effects, the GCC closed up shop. Consensus as strong as the one that has developed around this topic is rare in science, the editor-in-chief of Science magazine wrote at the time. Nonetheless, a whole cottage industry has sprung up to criticize the IPPC analysis, much of it linked to Exxon funded think tanks. Exxon and the main oil industry trade group, the American Petroleum Institute (API) carry on the fight.

Huberman discussed the strategy of the climate change deniers:

In 1998, the New York Times exposed an API memo outlining a strategy to invest millions to maximize the impact of scientific views consistent with ours with Congress, the media and other key audiences. Victory will be achieved when recognition of uncertainty becomes part of the conventional wisdom

Huberman notes that the API successfully lobbied the Bush administration to dismiss the IPCC chairman, Robert Watson, and that more than thirty former energy industry executives, lobbyists and lawyers received high level jobs in the Bush administration.


Christopher Monckton

There are plenty like him, but Ill discuss Christopher Monckton here because he is perhaps the best known expert among the current crop of climate change deniers. He is widely touted as an expert on the subject by the denial network, and he has specifically targeted Al Gore in his efforts to denigrate the credibility of those who warn us of the dangers of global warming. An article by Johann Hari in The Nation notes that He has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, National Review and Rush Limbaugh for exposing the truth about global warming, and is used by the New York Times as a balancing voice against the claims of climate scientists. But what exactly are Moncktons credentials? Hari explains:

In fact, Monckton is an English aristocrat with no scientific training. He worked as a policy adviser for Margaret Thatcher He falsely claimed he is a member of the House of Lords and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. When challenged, Monckton has admitted to a weakness for telling "stories that aren't actually true." Yet this man is treated as a great debunker of climate science in the United States.

So, if Monckton has no scientific expertise and is a habitual liar, then what credentials does he have exactly for being a prominent spokesperson for the climate change denial movement? Well, he certainly has the right political credentials. For one thing, he is a birther. And he is also a self-appointed expert on AIDS, a subject on which he voiced in the American Spectator his far right-wing and scientifically invalid views, which include screening the whole population for HIV infection, followed by compulsory quarantine, for life, of all carriers (which would have included about 1.5 to 3 million Americans at the time).

And it is no coincidence that Monckton, like almost all expert climate change deniers, is a big champion of what the deniers call economic liberty. Economic liberty in that context is a euphemism for the right of corporations to destroy the environment without having to put up with government regulation or suffer penalties. Johann Hari quotes Monckton from a speech he gave in Minnesota:

"There is no problem with the climate," except that Greenpeace is "about to impose a communist world government on the world" and "you have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view." Warming is an excuse invented so that Obama can "sign your freedom, your democracy and your prosperity away forever," and give it all to "third world countries."


Scientists who allegedly disagree with the consensus on climate change

Much has been made of a research paper by Klaus-Martin Schulte, which evaluated 528 papers on climate change between 2004 and 2007. According to Schulte, 6% of the articles rejected the climate change consensus and 48% were neutral on the subject. With regard to the so-called neutral articles, they can be easily explained on the basis that the consensus is so well established that it isnt necessary to explicitly endorse it:

Nowadays, earth science papers are rarely found explicitly endorsing plate tectonics, as the theory is established and taken for granted. The fact that so many studies on climate change don't bother to endorse the consensus position is significant because scientists have largely moved from what's causing global warming onto discussing details of the problem (eg - how fast, how soon, impacts, etc).

With regard to the alleged 6% of articles that rejecteded the consensus, independent evaluation of the papers that were available at the time told a different story: some were found not to be scientific papers; some were found not to reject the consensus view; and some scientific papers that did reject the consensus views were found to have based the rejection on invalid reasoning. (It is unclear if any of the articles that Schulte cited were scientific articles that used valid arguments to reject the consensus view on climate change.)

It is also noteworthy that Schulte refused to answer questions about his relationship to the oil industry.

And here is an entertaining article that provides information on the top 10 climate change deniers.


SUPPORTERS OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS

Survey of climate scientists
A survey was conducted in 2009 of 79 climate scientists whose publications in peer reviewed journals in the past 5 years included more than 50% on the subject of climate change. The survey questions were:

1) When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures
have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?


2) Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

96% of the survey participants answered risen to question # 1, and 97% answered yes to question # 2.

Scientific academies and organizations
The Academies of Science from 19 different countries endorse the scientific consensus on climate change. Eleven (11) of these (Including Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil); Royal Society of Canada; Chinese Academy of Sciences; Academie des Sciences (France); Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany); Indian National Science Academy; Accademia dei Lincei (Italy); Science Council of Japan; Russian Academy of Sciences; Royal Society (United Kingdom); and, the National Academy of Sciences) signed a joint statement to the effect that, among other things:

There is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring

Human activities are now causing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases
including carbon dioxide, methane, tropospheric ozone, and nitrous oxide to rise well above pre-industrial levels.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that the average global surface temperatures will continue to increase to between 1.4 centigrade degrees and 5.8 centigrade degrees above 1990 levels, by 2100.

The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.

The following scientific organizations endorse the consensus position that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities": American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Astronomical Society; American Chemical Society; American Geophysical Union; American Institute of Physics; American Meteorological Society; American Physical Society; Australian Coral Reef Society; Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society; Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO; British Antarctic Survey; Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences; Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society; Environmental Protection Agency; European Federation of Geologists; European Geosciences Union; European Physical Society; Federation of American Scientists; Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies; Geological Society of America; Geological Society of Australia; International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA); International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics; National Center for Atmospheric Research; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Royal Meteorological Society; Royal Society of the UK


SCIENTISTS VS. THE POWER OF ENTRENCHED WEALTH

Thus the cause of the problem we face today in trying to convince our fellow citizens and our government of the nature and magnitude of the problem, and trying to urge our government to do the right thing with regard to climate change is similar to so many other issues that plague our country: the capacity of money to drown out science, and rational thinking in general.

Brian Fagan discusses in his book, The Great Warming Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilization, how a much milder warming of the earth than we are now experiencing during the Medieval period of approximately 1000 to 1200 AD brought drought, with consequent mass deaths, war and the fall of civilizations. He warns that, notwithstanding the misery in which much of our worlds inhabitants currently live, the outlook for the future is far bleaker if nothing is done to substantially reduce the entry of greenhouse gas emissions into the earths atmosphere:

Computer models of future aridity resulting from the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions are truly frightening. At present, extreme drought affects 3% of the earths surface. The figure could rise as high as 30% if warming continues, with 40% suffering from severe droughts, up from the current figure of 8%... The results implied that future changes in drought without anthropogenic warming would be very small indeed

The United Nations Environment Program reports that 450 million people in 29 countries currently suffer from water shortages. By 2025, an estimated 2.8 billion of us will live in areas with increasingly scarce water resources Contaminated water supplies are a worse killer than AIDS in tropical Africa The number of food emergencies in Africa each year has already almost tripled since the 1980s Future drought-related catastrophes will make these preliminaries seem trivial

When one realizes that droughts in the sparsely inhabited Saharan Sahel claimed over 600,000 lives in the droughts of 1972-75 and again in 1984-85, one can only imagine what the magnitudes of these disasters would have been had farming populations been at todays levels Today, the number of people in the world who are highly vulnerable to drought is enormous and growing rapidly, not only in the developing world but also in densely populated areas such as Arizona, California and southwestern Asia The droughts of the future will become more prolonged and harsher Today, we are experiencing sustained warming of a kind unknown since the Ice Age. And this warming is certain to bring sustained drought and water shortages on a scale that will challenge even small cities, to say nothing of thirsty metropolises like Los Angeles Now we confront a future in which most of us live in large and rapidly growing cities, many of them adjacent to rising oceans and waters where Category 5 hurricanes or massive El Ninos can cause billions of dollars of damage within a few hours. Were now at a point where there are too many of us to evacuate

But maintaining the status quo suits the interests of wealthy and powerful people who are willing to say or do anything to increase their wealth and power. They may be dead by the time that the most catastrophic effects of global climate change come to pass. And even if theyre not, they may believe that they will be able to buy their way out of the disaster that is likely to befall so many of the rest of the worlds inhabitants.

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Human Events? I saw a DUer quote WND, Sen. Inhofe and even Stormfront to deny global warming
Not surprisingly, that last link got that post deleted, but they continued to quote World Net Daily and Inhofe.

Thankfully, that DUer, who had been here nearly a year, was tombstoned not long after (I don't know if that had a bearing on the tombstoning or not). But they were not someone who seemed particularly right wing, on anything apart from climate change.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. The climate is always changing, always has - can't deny that. Question is the cause of it (nt)
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Birthmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. There is no question as to the cause.
Edited on Tue Apr-20-10 07:23 PM by Birthmark
- The cooling of the stratosphere tells us it's greenhouse gas(es). Nothing else will warm the surface AND cool the stratosphere.

- CO2 is a greenhouse gas

- Atmospheric CO2 has greatly increased since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, from 280ppm to 391pm.

- The isotopic ratio of C13/C12 tells us that it is our fossil fuel burning responsible for that increase

So there is no question as to the cause of the current warming. None.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Link Between Solar Activity and the UK's Cold Winters
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Yes, we may contribute to it (and we do) but to what extent vs. other factors?
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Birthmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. The UK is not the Earth.
To answer your question, about 2/3rds of the warming so observed can be attributed to human activity. That proportion will increase as we continue to spew more CO2 into the atmosphere.

If you would like to know about the Earth's energy budget:
http://chriscolose.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/kiehl4.j...

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time_has_come Donating Member (872 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. wtf? how does that Science Daily article support your thinking?
You say you think it's unknown how much humans are contributing to global warming vs. other factors....that we "may" contribute to it (followed by "and we do"...why the contradictory language?) and in an effort to support that you post an article that says the UK may be experiencing cold winters because of low solar activity....in spite of the global warming trend and it being among the warmest winters globally?

There...is...no...logical...connection...in...what...you've...done.

agh, global warming is frightening and hard for people to accept, i realize that. It's just frustrating seeing such nonsense all the time.

Ask us about the medieval warm period next.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. The question is - how much do humans contribute vs other factors?
Have we been warmer than we are now? Why?
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time_has_come Donating Member (872 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. If you don't know
you haven't been paying attention. Scientists have been telling you why.

You're not educated on the issue, and you post an article about reduced solar activity causing cooler UK winters to support your stated ignorance that you are just plumb unsure if human activity "may" be a factor.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Has the earth been warmer than it is now? (nt)
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time_has_come Donating Member (872 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I don't waste my time anymore
with the weak and willfully ignorant.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Yes, the important question is the cause


Current temperatures already exceed even the highest estimates of temperatures that occurred over the past millennium.

There has been a great acceleration in temperature rise since the late 19th century. This has been concurrent with a great acceleration in the entry of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, concurrent with our rapid industrialization beginning in the mid-19th century.

And to add to that, scientists understand why greenhouse gases lead to temperature increases.

For all these reasons, the vast majority of climate scientists believe that human activities are the primary cause of global warming over the past century and a half -- and will continue to be so in the 21st century, unless aggressive actions are taken to curtail it.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. K&R. So sad how strong corporate propaganda is in the USA.
That corporations like Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries can pour millions into PR campaigns to sow doubt about climate change and be so successful at it, to the detriment of our whole country and future. It bothers me that people can be so unpatriotic that they allow our country to get so far behind the community of nations addressing these global problems, letting us be bullied and beguiled by expensive, multi-dimensional PR campaigns, which probably include funding to weaken our science education by encouraging privatization, home schooling, and creationism.

How sad that the fancy PR has gotten people to feel perfectly fine about jumping up to say --HEY-- the climate changes due to sun spots and volcanic action too-- as though that means industrial pollution has not caused serious atmospheric deterioration that has warmed our atmosphere and oceans to dangerous levels. Kind of like saying Hey, asbestos causes cancer too, so golly, cigarettes may not be so bad.

I really admired the way that Al Gore debunked the "there have always been heating & cooling cycles in nature" argument by showing a timeline of heating and cooling, from thousands of years ago up to the industrial age when he had to bring up a ladder to trace the heating and cooling cycles at much hotter high and low points since then. But after his movie came out there was some guerrilla PR to make fun of "Al Gore's hockey stick" to belittle his definitive charting.

Our stupid conservative owned TV news media have really helped the right wing climate change denying with their fake balance. Where they should be assembling a panel of a few scientists all working on climate change to talk about different approaches to solving the problems, instead they seek out one of the deranged professional deniers (often supported by fossil fuel money) to be on their panel with the earnest scientists, which means that the discussion needs to be dragged back down to the level we were at 30 years ago. Before Reagan told us it was "morning in America" and we didn't have to bother with that annoying recycling and conservation stuff.

Morning in America led to hell overseas, with wars to protect Our Oil.



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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I'm with you on all of that.
There are a lot of people who have trouble understanding the concept that events can have more than one cause -- so that the presence of one cause doesn't rule out others.

The performance of our press on this and so many other issues is so sad. Something has to be done about breaking up the corporate monopoly on our news.
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unabelladonna Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. you rail against corporations.....then you quote algore.....
mr. corporation/hedgefund/entrepreneur. he is a prime example of WHY people are turned off by shrill opportunists like gore. like many other environmentalists he lives in a 10,0000 sq ft house, travels by private plane and SUV laden convoys and tells poor shnooks in low paying jobs that they should decrease their carbon footprint. he's a shill for wall street...this cap/trade bill is a vehicle to enrich banksters. when gates and gore and their ilk begin to lead more simple lives they'll have more credibility(maybe).
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Where do you get that?
"Tells poor shnooks in low paying jobs that they should decrease their carbon footprint".

Have you read any of his books? If you had you wouldn't say something like that.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-22-10 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. It is not about personalities for me. Although Gore would have been 100 times better than W
as our president.

I don't hate Republicans just because Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove and Dick Cheney are contemptible. I hate them for what they have done to our country, especially over the past 30 years. And how they didn't heed the warnings of their President Eisenhower about curbing the power of the military industrial complex. About how they have pretended to be the party of fiscal discipline while running up the largest deficits in our history. About how they pretend to be for a strong military but continually engage in aggressive military actions that endanger our national security.

I admired the way Gore finally definitively showed that one of the cliche arguments of the deniers, that "there have always been warming and cooling cycles in nature so we needn't worry," was very foolish. Someone else could have shown me that chart, with heating & cooling for thousands of years at one level, then needing a ladder to climb up to the new level of heating and cooling cycles, at much hotter starting points since the industrial revolution, and I'd still be impressed with that clear illustration. It was the clarity of the message that impressed me.

Al Gore certainly has a far more luxurious life than I do. And just like me, he isn't perfect. But like me, he has been watching and studying climate change for decades now. He understands that our burning of fossil fuels so relentlessly has caused atmospheric deterioration that has interfered with our global climate. He knows that if we ease up on the speed with which we burn up the remaining oil, and add in some more renewable resources, we can improve the quality of life for our own citizens and others around the world in many ways.

I'd love to see billions transferred from new contracts for Halliburton and Xe/Blackwater into green jobs for millions of our fellow citizens, and into strengthening our science education in the USA.

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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-20-10 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. they can fund all they want- they haven't got shit w/out the talk radio monopoly
to do the heavy lifting.

that 'email gate' was largely a limbaugh and sons sales job.

universities who's sports programs do business with limbaugh/hannity denier radio stations need to be asked WTF? by their student and faculty and concerned citizens.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. E-mail-gate reminds me of the whack job that James O'Keefe did on ACORN
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. yep. thing is limbaugh and hannity and sons have been trashing acorn heavily since
katrina, but ignored by the left
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
15. What galls me most about the deniers is that we could be having so much more fun
Seriously.

When you deny climate change is carbon pollution driven, you just want to keep chugging and burning that oil and you want to spend billions and kill millions to protect your access to it.

When instead, we could be thrilled by ingenious new technology. If solar, wind and conservation technologies were funded like our military (or even got the subsidies our fossil fuel companies do), we would be seeing all kinds of brilliant new forms of solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, renewed mass transit, etc. All kinds of great evolving ideas to save and treasure the fossil fuel we do need to keep using somewhat.

So cruel of the energy hogs to just keep burning it and finding ways to defend their wastefulness, in the face of mountains of indisputable evidence of the damage excess carbon usage has wrought. Keep burning the stuff at a racing clip and expect us to keep those wars going so the oil can keep flowing at the same pace they want it to.

We all know we're going to need to use some oil for a long long time, and we would therefore want it to last a whole long time, and we would love to see American and international ingenuity at work, designing many ways to use the black gold more judiciously. We've got lots of great engineers ready to keep waves of great ideas flowing on ways to save energy and generate independent, decentralized power. Could be a great American Renaissance--

That's what a lot of my gorgeous dream of President Obama coming in as a 21st Century Green FDR was about. The Bush Crash and Bush Bailout set the stage for my dear president to come in and declare a Time Out on Republican Corporate Values. My dream was that we would say, we have tried it the Republican Way for eight years, and our economy crashed, and our core values outlined in the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Trials, were breached. The people of America voted for change. They need a bailout, so at long last, we are going to open up Medicare for All. We are going to prioritize National Health Security. We can't have people being foreclosed then struck with daunting medical bills. We tried it that way for many years and the people are exhausted. They voted for change. They voted for the party of FDR, and we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the value of those ideals, brought forward into the 21st Century, where America is part of a global community and marketplace.

Even our miserably bankrupt circumstances could have been utilized to draw us together. To return to cherishing the basic joys of life-- cooking at home, taking walks, making music and dancing with friends. And putting us back to work on all the amazing ingenious projects suspended 30 years ago, when Reagan came in and told us we didn't need to explore our genius and resourcefulness, we could Drill & Kill and go crazy buying junk bonds.

We could be having so much more fun-- with 15 types of alternative energy up and running by now. States comparing their conservation systems and alternatives in use. Rolling out forward-thinking new projects in every state, employing all those citizens of ours who were sucked dry in the Bush Crash. Watching that Trickle UP Economics heal the nation.

The seditious prudes craving their fiery judgment day are so very boring. Guys, we could be having a lot more fun trying a thousand new things. Instead of driving 100 miles per hour shouting at all the other cars while scarfing down another pack of fries on our way to our third jobs.

Desperation Row could have been presented much more creatively. I love seeing new gadgets and hearing about new solutions to shared problems. I'd so much rather hear 6 democrats talking over their varied ideas than have to have the TV discussions incorporate brainwashed rage-aholics. Or The Golly Things Weren't That Bad-- Bush Incompetence Deniers, if you will.

The nation really needed a conscious time out on Republican Values. A precious rebirth. We all suffered the Bush Crash together. And I'm not getting a bonus. So far.

But we could be sharing plenty of bonuses if our people who voted for change were acknowledged more. That could be the pitch for the second term. If you will give us our 21st Century FDR stuff, we could be enticed back. The Hysterical Brainwashing Party owns the voting machines, though. So I'd suggest starting early. Hang tough with another Supreme choice, who will vote for the majority of us who are not conservative. 100-35 = 65%.

But the deal is-- we could be having so much more fun as a people. But it's all about decentralization. Local farming. Local light rail. Local power sources.

And alas, I don't want to accept what I know, that those who have amassed great power are loathe to let it go. They would rather we continue pouring billions into war, instead of moving those billions into alternative, decentralized energy and healthcare for all.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. You've captured here very well what so many of us feel
but rarely talk about.

You might want to consider posting a version of this as an OP.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Thank you.
I am sort of shy about posting OPs.

And with the right wing hoping so hard that we will be as divided as they are, I'm reluctant to post about my disappointment with not getting my Green 21st Century FDR.

But perhaps I can think of a way to rephrase it so that I'm holding out hope for the second term.

It's just that it has been such a roller coaster-- some great things and some totally baffling moves-- like accepting more nukes when those bundles of cash could do wonders if applied to alternative decentralized power sources that don't need armed guards monitoring them for the next thousand years.

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unabelladonna Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. i LOVE what you had to say.....
you should be hired by environmentalists for PR. you are looking at fighting climate change as a positive rather than a negative. they (environmentalists) are all about sacrificing, doom, gloom, conserving, hoarding, death (sort of like the seven plagues)when it COULD be about ways to make energy efficiency fun. make it something joyous rather than bleak and somber.
seriously, you make some wonderful points.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-22-10 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Thank you. We could be having so much more fun. //nt
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Naturyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
17. Climate change denial is motivated the same way creationism is.
Creationists want to discredit evolution because they are afraid it undermines religious belief in Jesus. Climate change deniers want to discredit climate science because they are afraid it undermines religious belief in capitalism.

Same thing. Once this simple fact is understood, much that was formerly confusing suddenly makes sense.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. That's true for many of them
But for the leaders of the denial movement I think it has just as much or more to do with pure greed.
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unabelladonna Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. no.
i'm not religious, and i believe in all the wonderful things science and scientific theory has brought us. i'm also the furthest thing from a free market, unfettered capitalist or a far right idiot who believes the government has a rtight to tell me what to do with my body, or denies 2 adults who love each other to marry.
in fact, i might actually believe the earth is "warming". where you and i disagree is my belief that this is a cycle and we foolish to think we can change the heavens and earth in a timely enough manner to prevent the climate from changing(we don't even know how to contain hurricanes and earthquakes (or even predict them soon enough to save lives). the only thing we can do is adapt.
we can't afford higher taxes or higher costs for anything energy related.
i can afford to maintain my lifestyle even with higher costs, but many people can't especially with the economy in the toilet. we have other priorities in 2010. billionaires with their feelgood schemes for the environment aren't endearing themselves to the middle class.
so.....i guess we can disagree.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. I'm more concerned about the billionaire war profiteers myself.
Shift some of the killing and privatized military bonanza business down the priority list and we would be better able to finance some exciting alternative energy and expand Medicare and improve lots of other things that make up the common good.

Alternative energy development is not about deprivation, it is about cleaning up the pollution we have generated in the industrial age that has greatly interfered with the natural climatic systems.

It is also about breaking up the centralized monopolized energy markets, decentralizing the power sources and making us less dependent upon making war in order to secure our "cheap" oil.
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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
22. They are either very young or complete idiots.
Any one with some form of awareness of the weather and what goes on around them and who have been alive fro a few decades should have already observed major changes in their own weather patterns.

When I was very young I was a birder. I always wanted to see and hear a mockingbird but they were primarily a southern bird (state birds of Texas and Florida). Now mockingbirds are distributed all over the country. If you look at the Wiki entry on them, you'd never know that they were once a southern bird. And that is a whole other problem Is anyone keeping track of things like this?

Another major change in my area (NY) was that the bay stopped freezing over during the formerly predictable January/February freeze. That stopped happening over twenty years ago. All of the locals know this, and I suspect the same is true in most communities. There needs to be some sort of clearing house of related info, a one stop source for what has changed.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-22-10 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
30. earth day kick
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