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Environmentalists losing ground

Our Readers Who Comment are in a spirited debate about the future of the planet as they contemplate David A. Fahrenthold's report that says environmental groups fear they are losing the fight to business interests and job-killing economic fears.

Climate-change legislation is toast on Capitol Hill and efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from various sources are under serious attack. Readers either decry that situation or call the climate change worries a ridiculous creation of Al Gore as they argue loudly with each other.

As Fahrenthold writes, "A year ago, these [environmental] groups seemed to be at the peak of their influence, needing only the Senate's approval for a landmark climate-change bill. But they lost that fight, done in by the sluggish economy and opposition from business and fossil-fuel interests. Now the groups are wondering how they can keep this loss from becoming a rout..."

We'll start with seakeys, who asked, "Is the planet warming? Certainly. No doubt. So simple a caveman could see it. Are man made pollutants contributing to the problem? Of course. If the political entities hadn't taken their sides in the debate, would we, as citizens demand a solution? Also, of course. I don't need a Dem huckster telling me there's a problem any more than a repub huckster telling me there isn't....... There is a problem and we better do something about it, or the last thing our grandchildren will be worried about will be how they pay for ObamaCare."

skeptic11 wrote, "climate groups are 'losing' because their entire argument is based on lies and falsified data. obama has killed or destroyed 12 million jobs. cap and tax would double the figure."

B2O2 said, "...Now, if you're an anti-science conservative nitwit... here's the catch: you live on this earth too. You're stuck here too. You and your kids, if you have them, will suffer too. You won't be able to pretend you're living on another planet much longer. Think well what you're doing to your future."

To which vickie1 responded, "B2O2 hmm where is your degree?
ahhh a lemming following the the cliff. Better go in reverse."

And that caused B2O2 to file an extensive reply, including "... I'm knowledgeable enough about science to know that I can trust the consensus of tens of thousands of PhD-level professionals who are subject to peer-review and the brutal give-and-take of people continually trying to prove each other wrong... Don't trust me. Start really educating yourself. Not with unaccountable internet trash, but real science..."

dozas wrote, "Before climate change type legislation ever has a chance, something cataclysmic has to happen--it has to be bad enough that the whole world finally realizes that action is needed. Until that event happens, nothing will be accomplished. It might be too late, anyhow, so it doesn't really matter what one believes the case to be at this point...."

glenglish said, "Fighting big oil isn't going to work and putting on theater of this caliber is childish. Obama's lead is right, promote: developing the next sources of energy; education; and conservation. The oil corporations may be big and bad but it'll be their energy that moves us to the next level."

hogsmile wrote, "...FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] rules do not obligate corporations to release data that might undermine them legally, competitively, or politically. As a result, only information that seems to strengthen the energy industries' position is released to the general public...This is why the "Global Warming" controversy is best described as a "dialog of the deaf", as is quite evident reading so many ill-informed (when not rankly stupid) opinions posted here about what should be a vitally important topic."

bobbo2 said, "The fringe who wants to wreck our economy with their "Green" agenda are in trouble and they know it. And it is not the oil companies that are doing it. It is the people of the United States who have had enough of this doomsday crap about our climate."

permabear wrote, "Ignorance and stupidity reign. Not only in our Congress, but in our country and outside of our borders as well... China and India, major polluters, don't seem willing or able to do anything. Europe is backtracking. The rest of the developing world aren't able and don't seem to care... For older folks it won't mean a whole lot. For younger folks, the future is as bleak as can be..."

billSWS said, "The failure to attain a climate bill says less about the energy and depth of the green movement that the broken nature of our government and the corporations that buy it."

andrew23boyle wrote, "... The Greens' plan for "carbon control" is terribly expensive, dangerous inflexible and basically amounts to putting all our eggs in one basket. Rather than trying to control the climate and putting our faith in capricious humanity, we should put our money and resources (such as they are) into preparing for a global disaster of ANY nature, not into a bet at very long odds that human nature will change before we put too much carbon into the atmosphere!..."

yellowtavern2 said, "The Right has dominated the political discourse with spin, PR, and outright lies ever since Obama came into office. It is time that the left began to fight back to seize the initiative. This starts with the President, who is far too blase about how dangerous the radical extremist right agenda has gotten."

eezmamata, who wrote, "one day in the distant future, the last of humanity's works will be scraped off the crust and descend into the earth, tectonic plate movements will erase what we have been or could have been. Whichever species, the cockroaches or the rats, will evolve and eventually begin mining the 'sedimentary plastic layers' where we used to live. I wonder if they're going to travel to the moon? I wonder how many silly religions they'll believe in..."

We'll close with Ratherbehiking who said, "This article is a perfect example of why 'the greens' are losing... It shouldn't be about 'the greens' saying one thing and 'big business' saying something else. Both phrases are lazy shorthand that over-simplify the issues and polarise the debate...Stop making this a political thing by whaling on 'big business' which many people will read as code for 'well-off middle class' - which is what they aspire to. They're not going to vote against their dreams."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  August 30, 2010; 8:55 AM ET
 | Tags: Al Gore, Climate Change, Environment, Obama  
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Next: Kathleen Parker on the 'Glenn Beck Program'


Airborne82 wrote:
America uses 25% of the Worlds oil but has only 2% of it. No amount of Domestic Drilling (Onshore and Offshore) will adjust that number a Single Percentage Point.
This is an example of Leftist/environomentalist nonsense. The argument is since we don't match our consumption with domestic production - we should abandon any drilling and exploration to increase our reserves.

Nonsense similar to telling Haitians since they cannot grow enough food to feed their overbred numbers, they shouldn't bother growing crops at all.

Also it is environmentalist nonsense that our reserves will never grow so we might as well load the country up with renewable electric power (that doesn't substitute for oil use because we don't use oil to make electricity).
Many industry people believe we can get an additional 2-3% of our share of global reserves if we start allowing exploratory drilling in Alaska, off the East and West Coasts, and deepwater Gulf. And that if we start using our abundant gifts (400-600 year reserves) of coal and natural gas to make synthoil, we could be 70% self-reliant in oil sources and not be held hostage to events in unstable ME and African despotic nations.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | August 30, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Between ClimateGate and a cap-and-trade bill that, by Obama's own admission, would make home energy rates "skyrocket," the environmental movement has overreached to the point of breaking its own arm.

Like most Americans, I have great love and concern for the environment, but it's time for true environmentalists to wake up and purge those who have co-opted your movement for their own selfish gains.

For instance, the Copenhagen agreement would have accomplished nothing much besides requiring the U.S. to surrender billions of tax dollars to the Third World and a piece of our sovereignty to the U.N.

Meanwhile, even Phil Jones admits that the globe hasn't significantly warmed in 15 years, that his own climate records were disorganized, that the Medieval Warm Period may have been hotter than the late 20th century, and that there is no scientific consensus on climate change.

If the environmental movement wants to make a comeback, it'll have to banish the power brokers from its midst and stop taking silly positions such as urging Americans to quit using oil.

For that matter, stop trying to tell us how to live -- you're neither our pastor nor our mother.

Americans are suffering in this dismal economy. Time to drop the CO2 fanaticism and work for more realistic and sensible environmental goals.

Posted by: UponFurtherReview | August 30, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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