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Started Mar 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Deecy Senior Member • Posts: 1,589
Re: Al Gore: A convenient scapegoat to avoid reality

Chato wrote:

Why the right goes nuclear over global warming

Most of the heat is generated by a small number of hard-core
ideologues.
March 25, 2007

LAST YEAR, the National Journal asked a group of Republican
senators and House members: "Do you think it's been proven beyond a
reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made
problems?" Of the respondents, 23% said yes, 77% said no. In the
year since that poll, of course, global warming has seized a
massive amount of public attention. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change released a study, with input from 2,000
scientists worldwide, finding that the certainty on man-made global
warming had risen to 90%.

So, the magazine asked the question again last month. The results?
Only 13% of Republicans agreed that global warming has been proved.
As the evidence for global warming gets stronger, Republicans are
actually getting more skeptical. Al Gore's recent congressional
testimony on the subject, and the chilly reception he received from
GOP members, suggest the discouraging conclusion that skepticism on
global warming is hardening into party dogma. Like the notion that
tax cuts are always good or that President Bush is a brave war
leader, it's something you almost have to believe if you're an
elected Republican.

How did it get this way? The easy answer is that Republicans are
just tools of the energy industry. It's certainly true that many of
them are. Leading global warming skeptic Rep. Joe L. Barton
(R-Texas), for instance, was the subject of a fascinating story in
the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago. The bottom line is
that his relationship to the energy industry is as puppet relates
to hand.

But the financial relationship doesn't quite explain the entirety
of GOP skepticism on global warming. For one thing, the energy
industry has dramatically softened its opposition to global warming
over the last year, even as Republicans have stiffened theirs.

The truth is more complicated — and more depressing: A small number
of hard-core ideologues (some, but not all, industry shills) have
led the thinking for the whole conservative movement.

Your typical conservative has little interest in the issue. Of
course, neither does the average nonconservative. But we
nonconservatives tend to defer to mainstream scientific wisdom.
Conservatives defer to a tiny handful of renegade scientists who
reject the overwhelming professional consensus.

National Review magazine, with its popular website, is a perfect
example. It has a blog dedicated to casting doubt on global
warming, or solutions to global warming, or anybody who advocates a
solution. Its title is "Planet Gore." The psychology at work here
is pretty clear: Your average conservative may not know anything
about climate science, but conservatives do know they hate Al Gore.
So, hold up Gore as a hate figure and conservatives will let that
dictate their thinking on the issue.

Meanwhile, Republicans who do believe in global warming get shunted
aside. Nicole Gaudiano of Gannett News Service recently reported
that Rep. Wayne Gilchrest asked to be on the Select Committee on
Energy Independence and Global Warming. House Republican leader
John Boehner of Ohio refused to allow it unless Gilchrest would say
that humans have not contributed to global warming. The Maryland
Republican refused and was denied a seat.

Reps. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), both
research scientists, also were denied seats on the committee.
Normally, relevant expertise would be considered an advantage. In
this case, it was a disqualification; if the GOP allowed Republican
researchers who accept the scientific consensus to sit on a global
warming panel, it would kill the party's strategy of making global
warming seem to be the pet obsession of Democrats and Hollywood
lefties.

The phenomenon here is that a tiny number of influential
conservative figures set the party line; dissenters are
marginalized, and the rank and file go along with it. No doubt
something like this happens on the Democratic side pretty often
too. It's just rare to find the phenomenon occurring in such a
blatant way.

You can tell that some conservatives who want to fight global
warming understand how the psychology works and are trying to turn
it in their favor. Their response is to emphasize nuclear power as
an integral element of the solution. Sen. John McCain, who supports
action on global warming, did this in a recent National Review
interview. The technique seems to be surprisingly effective. When
framed as a case for more nuclear plants, conservatives seem to let
down their guard.

-- hide signature --

Straight from Move on.org! Complete and utter nonsense!

Tom Deecy//

http://www.flickr.com/photos/provocative/

http://tomdeecy.blogspot.com/

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