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Do We Only Sort-Of Believe in Global Warming?

(Posted by guest blogger Valerie Strauss)

I'm glad the weather in the Washington area is only hot instead of scorching because I am sick of hearing people whine about the weather.

Sure, sure, whining has its virtues: A sense of camaraderie develops among complainers ("Stay cool, my friend!"), and the topic is good for saving an awkward conversation ("So... how about that weather? Unbearable, huh?!")

But some people complain so much that I wonder why they live in a former swamp with a two-centuries-old reputation for truly miserable summers. And on another level, I wonder if we all realize how imminent is the prospect of longterm temperature change because of global warming.

That's something whining won't help.

Perhaps part of the problem is that too few of us know what we can individually do to help--(too few experts are much help in that regard), and for some inexplicable reason don't feel the need to pressure their elected leaders to broadly face the scientific facts.

I saw Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," his documentary showing us the road global warming is taking us down unless we take steps to turn--but it wasn't until the very end of the movie when some suggestions were put up on the screen. By that time, I had to peer at the screen between people filing out.

I'm interested in what causes this great paralysis of action. While increasing numbers of Americans say they believe global warming is real, do we believe its effects will somehow skip their block? Do we believe with most of our brain that the phenomenon is real but still harbor doubts, and figure someone else will take care of it anyway?

Someone, please explain.

By Valerie Strauss |  August 9, 2006; 9:30 AM ET
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Comments

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Marc certainly isn't particular as to who he allows as guests.

Posted by: Yawn | August 9, 2006 9:54 AM

Americans seem to have no interest in addressing long-term problems. The national debt? Entitlement reform? Global warming? These things don't concern us. We're worried about gas prices! West Nile virus! Who Jessica Simpson is dating now!

Posted by: Miles | August 9, 2006 10:21 AM

I'll believe global warming exists when someone can provide at least 100 years worth of monthly average temperatures for various parts of the world. That would allow everyone to do their own analysis to really see if global warming exists. I expect one would find that the Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling that probably have been going one for thousands of years, regardless of what man does to the environment.

Posted by: ABH | August 9, 2006 10:36 AM

Marc's quite familiar with the usual suspects on this one - all of us. We're all selfish, we're all NIMBYs, we're all sucking on the government teat.

Posted by: John | August 9, 2006 10:38 AM

ABH needs to read the book or at least see the movie as this is one of the common misperceptions about global warming. We are talking about periods of thousands and millions of years, so 100 years does not a cycle make. Trust me, scientists have a lot better data than measuring the air temperature. Do a little reading and educate yourself before dismissing what thousands of scientists have spent their lives working on.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2006 10:51 AM

Anonymous needs to come up for air. For thousands of years, millions of people believed the world was flat. That didn't make it so. Thousands of scientists can study anything they want. That doesn't make it real.

Posted by: Steve | August 9, 2006 10:52 AM

The website http://www.climatecrisis.net/ mentioned in the Gore film provides some very solid suggestions about what people can do individually. Things that seem most concrete are ways to become "carbon neutral" that is contribute to energy efforts that don't use carbon energy sources.

As to why so few are motivated. Maybe because it is hard to see concretely and change happens invisibily. For example, the ozone hole is now beginning to close due to CFC reductions world wide. You and I can't really see the repair so it is hard to fathom.

It is sad that so many people don't "believe" in climate change. If we don't trust the preponderance of climate scientists and the data at hand, I have to wonder what it is that we do trust? And do we imagine that we are each qualified as appropriate assessors of all scientific data? It is my understanding that we have people trained as specialists in difficult technical fields to provide this sort of guidance.

From all I have read and learned, the climate changes now are much more extreme, more more rapid, and much more severe than at any other time in the history of the Earth. How can that possibly be seen as part of the "normal cycle"?

Posted by: Becky | August 9, 2006 10:54 AM

Why would you jump to the conclusion that everyone has a paralysis of action on this issue? As a result of seeing "An Inconvenient Truth" I looked into steps I can personally take to reduce my carbon impact and have since switched my home energy source to 100% renewable energy (pepco.com/home) and have purchased carbon offsets for my automobile (terrapass.com). It wasn't hard to take these admittedly small first steps to personally address the global warming issue, and I am sure that I am not alone in my efforts.

Posted by: mdb | August 9, 2006 11:11 AM

I thnk people don't care because it's called GLOBAL warming. This country is only interested in global issues that surround money. So we should call it State warming, and then the local news providers could use terms like " Maryland Warming" or "Virginia Warming" and then people would focus more on the issue.

Posted by: Hogboss | August 9, 2006 11:16 AM

The answer to your question is clear: until we have methods of preventing global warming that are effortless and economical (read: free), we won't do anything about it. Too many people have the mindset that it doesn't matter because they'll be dead or other people will find a solution. We need real solutions to global warming that don't cost us anything and that we can do that don't make our lives harder - and preferably ones that make our lives easier! The people who should come up with these methods are too busy making movies or arguing over politics to actually get to the root issue. Actually, most of the problems in the country or even the world are due to overpoliticization. Just get it done.

Posted by: driver guy | August 9, 2006 11:36 AM

I walk to work and even in this ninety degree heat when I pass by a car, I can feel the added heat of exhaust against my legs and body as I pass a vehicle. Now take that added heat and multiply it by a billion cars.

While it may not be scientific, it is a realistic approach to acknowledge that the world is getting warmer due to our industrialization.

Posted by: C. George | August 9, 2006 12:00 PM

If Marc needs a couple of days off, we can live without a blog in this space if the Post's vast resources can't find a competent substitute.

Posted by: D. King | August 9, 2006 12:21 PM

It's that we individually don't want to inconvenience or incure the extra expense ourselves now when the payoff is sometime in the future and we're not sure that everyone else is incurring the inconvenience and expense themselves.
I know the climate is warming but it's been warming since the ending of the last Ice Age; like when the polar ice caps extended to like Nebraska.

I also remember when the next climatological crisis was the coming ice age. So I'm a little skeptical.

Posted by: Stick | August 9, 2006 12:28 PM

Valerie,

Exactly what is it you think we should be doing that we're not already doing, and how do you think that will stop global warming? And, assuming it does stop global warming, why do you think the world will be a better place?

I think the heart of the problem is credibility, and Al Gore and his fellow travellers haven't established it.

Posted by: Kalorama Kat | August 9, 2006 12:50 PM

Hey Steve - With that attitude, why do anything based on recommendations? God forbid, but say your doctor tells you that you have heart disease, it could be a natrual occurrence or it could be due to a bad diet. Now, to prevent a heart attack he advises you to eat right and exercise. This should do the trick. You ask him, "Eat right and exercise? But you're not even 100% sure that bad diet caused my heart disease, I want to know exactly when I will have a heart attack and what will cause it." He says, "You're nuts, go get another opinion." So you go to 99 other doctors and 97 tell you the same dang thing, with the other 2 only giving you an answer laden with cryptic doubt. What would be the wise choice?

One question: what is the point of ignoring potentially destructive, habitat altering circumstances, when addressing them isn't beyond our means?

Posted by: mike w | August 9, 2006 12:52 PM

The sky is falling!

Posted by: Henny Penny | August 9, 2006 12:53 PM

Yes, the world has been warming, though not linearly. After initially warming, there was a period, called the younger Dryas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas

when temperatures plummetted globally, due to warming causing a shut down in the gulf stream.

But, the real concern is the rate of warming, that is unprecedented in 100's of thousands of years. This is clearly shown by examination of ice cores.
Personally, the thought of what awaits us terrifies me. If I could continue to live in blissful ignorance, I probably would.

Posted by: G | August 9, 2006 12:59 PM

ah yes, i remember about 30 years ago when thousands of scientists thought global cooling was upon us. spare us the 'get educated by watching a gore movie and reading a book' line.

Posted by: hmmmm | August 9, 2006 1:07 PM

I understand the link between global warming and energy efficiency, but I don't see them as mutually exclusive. Shouldn't we want to be energy efficient to be kind the earth, even if (and I'm not agreeing with the skeptics) global warming wasn't the issue? And the argument about cost? I was in what was considered a pretty nice solid house in a South African township, the floors were hard concrete and it was sparsely furnished, and it had energy efficient light bulbs. Why is the rest of the world able to be more energy conscious but the US not?

Posted by: Mary | August 9, 2006 1:10 PM

I think the world is warming due to all the hot air posturing by the pseduo scientists who are writing in today.
This is about burning oil, coal, natural gas, etc., right? Global warming is (potentially) only one of many consequences created by all that combustion.
For example: physical activity has been almost completely engineered out of most peoples daily lives. The walk to school is now the drive to school. The same can be said for the trip to the library, the post office, church, going out for lunch... the list is endless. All that inactivity is what threatens our survival--forget about melting glaciers, ocean currents, and homeless polar bears; obesity and its consequences are already killing people.

People will change, but most of them will only do so with great reluctance. My father is a perfect example. For the past 30 years, he has lived only a mile from work. He drove every day. Now he is 65, and is 75 lbs overweight because he got almost no exercise during those 30 years.
Today, he rides a bicycle to work and on short errands because he wants to live longer. His decision has nothing to do with global warming, air quality, or gas prices.

Posted by: Marc | August 9, 2006 1:29 PM

The biggest problem with the issue of global warming is that global warming is a myth. It's a theory. It's not a scientific fact.

In the 1970s these same scientists were convinced the Earth was heading into a cooling period similar to the ice age. Now 25 years later the Earth has completely flipped to the other end of the spectrum?

Hundreds of scientists pointing to completely unconnected data does not make for global warming. When it's hot outside during the summer it means it's summer. That's what happens in the summer.

Guess what folks, in 6 momths the earth will cool down. That's called winter. It may also snow during this "global cooling" period known as winter so run out and buy up all the bread, eggs, milk, and TP you can find.

Posted by: Give me a break | August 9, 2006 1:32 PM

You reek what you sow....

Posted by: Frank | August 9, 2006 2:00 PM

Give me a break! To compare knowledge and beliefs a couple of hundred years ago to the knowledge gained by technology and scientific advancements is absurd. If you knew ANYTHING, you would the great majority of technological advances has occurred in the last 60 years.

Posted by: Steve is a moron | August 9, 2006 2:09 PM

Brilliant argument. A lot of preschoolers will be impressed.

Posted by: Give me a break is a moron too! | August 9, 2006 2:13 PM

First, Global Warming is not a myth. It is a theory. A theory with more evidence than your six day creationist belief, Mr. "Give me a break".

Now, two curiousities I've noted:
1) Last month (July) was the second hottest July on record. What are the hottest and third hottest? 1936 and 1934, respectively.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR2006080700855.html

2) Last 2005 hurricane season had the most named storms on record (28). The previous record: 1933 (21). (I always preface the older lists by pointing out that this is 21 known storms. Several hurricanes every year never make landfall and in 1933 we did not have the satellites to know about every one.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Atlantic_hurricane_season

Isn't it interesting that in 1933 after a whopping number of hurricanes they had a record hot July (at that time) the very next year in 1934. Now, in 2005, we have a greater amount of hurricane activity and the "very next year" in 2006, we have a record hot July. COULD THIS BE A PATTERN? A 70+year weather cycle? Will July 2008 break the 1936 July record? Or just a neat coicidence? We'll have to wait until July 2008 I guess.

Posted by: terry | August 9, 2006 2:22 PM

I think most Americans realize that, realistically, there is nothing we can do about global warming. Look at Kyoto- even the signers admit that if the cuts are realized, it's not going to stop or reverse it (they say "it's a good start"). And European signers can't even meet the modest reduction in Kyoto. Meanwhile it excludes China and India, both of which will soon ecclipse the US on carbon output. Do you think communist China is going to cut it's production and output at the same time it is trying to rival the US in world might? 2 things- 1) Global Warming is coming and nothing will stop it, so enjoy it while it lasts. 2) Global warming will not wipe out life as we know it, at least not humankind. We are THE most adaptative species on the planet. It may reduce our numbers by 1/2-3/4, but the earth needs that anyway. As for other species that are wiped out, others will take their place. It's evolution baby!

Posted by: doodoobrown | August 9, 2006 2:36 PM

What does Che have to say about all this?

Posted by: Stick | August 9, 2006 2:47 PM

"But some people complain so much that I wonder why they live in a former swamp with a two-centuries-old reputation for truly miserable summers. "

because it has the #1 economy in the nation?

Posted by: dumb-ass blog contributor | August 9, 2006 2:47 PM

1. There is no such thing as global warming, it was invented by liberal scientists. 2. If global warming does exist, it is just a natural cycle not caused by human behavoir. 3. If global warming exists and is caused by human behavior, it is too late to do anything about it. 4. If global warming exists, was caused by humans, and we still have time to try and change things, it would cost too much to do anything.

Posted by: neocon | August 9, 2006 2:56 PM

The reason nothing gets done is because of the attitude of people like in the posts by Yawn, Steve, D. King, henny penny, hmmmmm, and Give me a break.

Wake up people! One of the news shows a couple of days ago (Dateline I think) had one of Reagan's science advisors on there saying the science is practically inarguable that there is a major warming event going on, and that even if we could drastically cut our CO2 output right now, there is enough we've already put in the atmosphere to continue heating the planet for a couple of hundred years before the climate would stabilize.

That is scary, and you can believe what you want, but even if there were a faint possibility that human activity is responsible for this or is contributing to it, people should want to do anything they can to help.

Look around you - glaciers are disappearing all over the world at the same time. Polar ice is disappearing at an an unprecendented rate. It's not the fact that there are record temperatures in a particular place in July - that's been happening forever - its that there are record temperatures in thousands of places at the same time in July. How can people look at this, and knowingly say "yeah but there's no proof"? There's also no proof that were NOT causing this to happen so given that this is the only habitable planet that is within our technology's conceivable reach, why would you not want to do your part just in case?

If it turns out they're wrong, then oh well, we can laugh at how silly it was later, but if they're right, it will be a catastrophe like you've never seen and quite possibly the end of civilization as you know it. You're willing to gamble that so you can drive your hummer and live in your McMansion and waste all the resources you want just because you can? That is just pure selfishness and stupidity.

Posted by: Denial is not just a river | August 9, 2006 2:57 PM

Take note of the number of companies and industry groups around the country that are making concerted efforts to become more carbon-neutral and energy efficient. These companies understand the bottom-line -- it makes economic sense and provides competitive advantage. The little investor goodwill generated by these initiatives is not enough to compensate for the investment. The return on investment comes from reduced fuel and energy costs -- in a world still mostly dependent on a finite amount of fossil fuel, it only makes sense to need as little of it as possible. The fact that it is good for the environment is a 2 for 1 bonus next to the short-term and long-term savings, which translates into profits.

Posted by: TwoForOne | August 9, 2006 3:21 PM

Hey Denial,
"If it turns out they're wrong, then oh well, we can laugh at how silly it was later,"

Yes, it would be uproriously funny if we cripled the global economy for no good reason. luz!

"but if they're right, it will be a catastrophe like you've never seen and quite possibly the end of civilization as you know it."

And how do you know that Nostradumbass? Most of what we 'know' about Global Climate Change is based on a few scientists who love to write long algorithms and feed them into a model that will 'predict' what will happen if the earth is a few degrees warmer.

Guess what? Those scientists are predisposed to create doomsday scenarios because it will keep silly NGOs and governments doling out cash so that they can keep buying the latest Mac hardrives. They imput all of the parameters, and even the intellectually honest few (a dying species in the politicized academy) cannot possibly accurately reduce the complex biogeochemical cycle into computer code.

Do you get it yet? Scientists CANNOT predict the future any better than Edgar Cayce or any other such quack. They plug doomsday parameters into computer models and then have an orgy of self-congradulations when they get the results that they designed the models to produce.

Indeed, the earth may (likely will in fact) warm a few degrees F over the next centuries, but we have little concrete ideas about what this will mean for human civilization, especially one that is advancing technologically at breakneck speed.

People who want rational, careful, and empirically-based decision making are not backward. People who put their faith in a bunch of self-important blowhards are.

Posted by: Derp! | August 9, 2006 3:36 PM

First off I never said anything about creationism in my post. Go back and read it again if you must.

Second, anyone who would use NBC News or Dateline for that matter as a credible source of information needs to get their head checked. This is the same "news" organization that has admitted to rigging explosives onto the gas tanks of trucks to prove an alleged design flaw by Ford Motor Company. NBC has zero credibility. You might as well quote The Daily Show and The Colbert Report if you're going to quote NBC.

Posted by: Give me a break | August 9, 2006 3:55 PM

Do a thought experiment. Assume that scientists had discovered that a comet would strike Earth in 50 years and kill between 1-2 billion people. Would we do a thing to stop it?

I don't think so. It's 50 years off, the scientists could be wrong, it's too expensive to do anything, and we might find a cheaper way to deal with it in the future.

So, even those that agree that global warming is real and will be a disaster won't do anything. Why? "I'm not spilling my beer."

Posted by: Hewitt Rose | August 9, 2006 3:58 PM

The area is not a former swamp. That is simply an urban myth.

Posted by: Eric | August 9, 2006 4:04 PM

People want to lose weight while sitting on the couch. Why would anyone be surprised that people are unwilling to do something that makes their lives even a tiny bit less convenient? Has our blogger has never met an American before?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2006 5:37 PM

See Daniel Gilbert's book "Stumbling on Happiness," in which he posits, among other things, that in humans, the process of evolution has tended to favor the ability to identify and address relatively short-term problems (what's for dinner, and how do I avoid that falling rock?) over the ability to even perceive, let alone solve, long-term problems.

Posted by: Cubicle-land | August 9, 2006 5:39 PM

Explain?

Sure. We are used to one question debates. War or peace, North or South? We are used to political debates where the best thing to do is prove the other side is lead by an idiot. Global warming ask for us to understand context and related factors. If we were all engineers, there might not be a debate on warming. But we have to argue about warmer or cooler. How about asking "Is warmer better or worse?" I present the scenario where a person comes home and is told the thermostat has been set up to warm the house. They might say "This is bad. I don't want it warmer in July." Or they might just as well say "Nice. It is November and our first frost may be tonight."

So how does this apply to us? There is a significant body of evidence to the effect that out of every hundred thousand years, 90 thousand are cold and ten thousand are warmer. We (accordint to this record) are at the end of the ten thousand year warm period and due an ice age. The warming from green house gasses could be the best thing we have ever done. Or not.

But who publishes about the ice age cycle?

Wh ask any other questions?

Or who just says "It will be warmer and that is bad." forever and forever.

I would ask "What other factors, of the atmosphere, the sun and space could cause our temperature to change and how do they relate to our observations? Will clouds of dust in space cool the Earth? Will the sun have a cycle of less radiance? Can our orbit change? Do we want it warmer or cooler? If we want cooler, could we put mirrors in space? What is the most effective way to cool (or warm) our planet?

Posted by: Gary Masters | August 9, 2006 5:50 PM

Why do people do nothing? Because know-nothings continue to debate whether global warming is real (as on this blog) instead of answering the question: what should/can we do about it? Although I disagree with both his sentiment and argument, Neocon makes two good points at the end - (1) is there anything we can do about it and (2) is there anything we can afford to do about it? At least those are the right questions. Sadly, it may be the case that our efforts will not be enough.

But much of the debate on this blog is very backward. It's as if Marc posed the question "why people don't people eat healthfully and exercise?" and some people responded "eating healthfully and exercising are not good for you, and anyone who says so is just buying into what scientists say."

Posted by: Ryan | August 9, 2006 5:53 PM

" "why people don't people eat healthfully and exercise?" "

One may say I am 24 years old and I do exercise and eat well so I can be healthy for quite a while.

Another person may say "I have terminal cancer and I want a steak."

After all we do have choice.

Posted by: Gary Masters | August 9, 2006 5:56 PM

"The reason nothing gets done is because of the attitude of people like in the posts by Yawn, Steve, D. King, henny penny, hmmmmm, and Give me a break."...

..."You're willing to gamble that so you can drive your hummer and live in your McMansion and waste all the resources you want just because you can? That is just pure selfishness and stupidity."...

..."Everything you use, from your television, to your computer, to all of the machines that get your fat as* to and from work were developed from research and science so to portray scientists as you do is just preposterous and disrespectful."

Denial,

1)I do not drive a Hummer and I do not live in a McMansion. Where did you get your information from so that you could ASSume that about me? For your info, I drive a small car and I own a small (two-story) townhouse. Strike one against you!

2) You make the statement that, through science, tv, computers, and machines that get me to work was invented. Yes, that is partially true. But, "that get my fat as* to work"? Is mine fat. Do you know me? Strike two!

3) Tv, computers, transportation, etc. are material things. It is far more realistic to predict what will happen to machines under different circumstances than it is to predict the future. You are comparing apples to oranges. Strike three!

By the way, what type of PhD do you possess?

Posted by: Yawn | August 9, 2006 7:23 PM

Read Peter Schweizer's editorial in Wednesday's USA Today exposing the hypocracy of Al Gore's Global Warming mantra.

Posted by: Give me a break | August 10, 2006 8:40 AM

global warming is real, and we're causing it

HOWEVER

People who say "Look how hot it is this summer! there must be global warming!" are idiots who undermine their own points.

It's called a heat wave. It's been happening since the beginning of time. Stop using that stupid argument.

Posted by: Global Warming Fan | August 10, 2006 11:35 AM


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Lieberman's defeat and the state of American politics

By Barry Grey

The response of Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman and the Democratic Party leadership to Lieberman's defeat in Tuesday's Democratic primary election says a great deal about the politics of the Democratic Party and the state of American politics as a whole.

Lieberman, a three-term senator and the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000, lost by a 52 to 48 percent margin to Ned Lamont, an heir to the Lamont family fortune and multi-millionaire businessman, who ran as an opponent of the war in Iraq.

Lamont, a political unknown when he announced his decision to oppose Lieberman's bid for a fourth term last February, made the war the central issue in his campaign and tapped into the overwhelming anti-war sentiment of Democratic voters, as well as their anger over Lieberman's vocal defense of the war and the policies of the Bush administration more generally.

The World Socialist Web Site will, in ensuing articles, examine in some detail the politics of Ned Lamont, which are firmly rooted in the defense of American capitalism and its imperialist interests around the world, notwithstanding his criticisms of the Bush administration's disastrous adventure in Iraq. These criticisms, it should be pointed out, reflect the views of a significant section of the American foreign policy establishment, which has come to see the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a foreign policy blunder of immense proportions.

There is no doubt, however, that Lamont's challenge to Lieberman was a crack in the bipartisan pro-war front of the US political establishment through which popular opposition to the war could be registered in the electoral arena. Tuesday's Connecticut primary was an unambiguous repudiation by Connecticut Democrats of the war and the war's most prominent and strident Democratic supporter.

Lieberman's response was to announce, in his concession speech Tuesday night, his intention to oppose Lamont in the November election by running as an independent. With this declaration, Lieberman expressed his contempt for the democratic will of the voters within his own party. Even if someone in Lieberman's position had managed to win the primary, one would have expected him to at least give the appearance of being chastened and to make some acknowledgment of the deep and sincere opposition to his policies.

Instead, he ignored entirely the issue which was pivotal in his defeat--the war in Iraq--and cast Lamont's victory as a triumph of "the old politics of partisan polarization." Implicitly dismissing as illegitimate any opposition to the war, he denounced his opponent for employing "insults instead of ideas."

"For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," he declared. No "the people have spoken" here! One is reminded of the ironic aphorism of Bertolt Brecht: When the people make the wrong choice, it is necessary to elect a new people.

The thrust of Lieberman's remarks was an appeal to Republican voters. In the course of a brief speech he denounced "partisan politics" and political "polarization" at least five times. Presenting an upside-down view of Washington politics--where Democratic prostration before Bush and the Republicans is omnipresent--he spoke of the "partisan politics that has assailed Washington today." Having conceded defeat to an opponent who attacked him for rubber-stamping the policies of the Bush administration, he made the absurd claim that "People are fed up with the petty partisanship and angry vitriol in Washington."

He called for a "new politics of unity and purpose," and just in case his message was not sufficiently clear, he added, "I will never hesitate to work with members of the other party if it helps me achieve solutions" and said his campaign would aim to "unite the people of Connecticut--Team Connecticut--Democrats, Republicans and Independents so we can go forward together..."

This is the man who was supported by the entire Democratic Party leadership. Former president Bill Clinton campaigned for him against Lamont, and the leadership of the Democratic Party in Congress backed him, including supposed war critics like Senator Barbara Boxer of California.

To take the measure of Lieberman and the Democratic Party as a whole, one need only compare the senator's defiance of Connecticut's Democratic voters with his cowardice and indifference to the theft of the 2000 election. Then, as the vice presidential candidate, he could barely manage a whimper in the face of an open, illegal and ruthless campaign by the Bush campaign and the Republican Party to block the counting of votes in Florida.

Lieberman had, by that point, already demonstrated his inveterate spinelessness before the Republican right with a fawning performance in his vice presidential debate with Dick Cheney. And when the Republicans sought to witch-hunt the Gore-Lieberman ticket and incite the military brass against it in the midst of the legal wrangling in Florida by demanding that illegal absentee military ballots be counted, Lieberman appeared on national television to support the Republican demand.

Lieberman today refuses to accept the verdict of the voters in his own party, but six years ago he accepted without protest the verdict of a Republican majority on the Supreme Court to halt the counting of votes and hand the election to George W. Bush.

No less significant was the response of the Democratic leadership in Congress to Lieberman's defeat. On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Charles Schumer, the chairman of the Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a joint statement formally supporting Lamont in the November election. They called the Connecticut primary election a referendum on George Bush, but failed even to mention the issue on which the election turned--the war in Iraq.

Similarly, Representative Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the election was a "referendum about being a rubber stamp" for the Bush administration. It showed that voters "want change, they want a new direction," he declared. But again, he avoided any mention of the war.

Emanuel even suggested that Connecticut voters had unfairly judged Lieberman to be in the pocket of the Bush White House, and made the improbable claim that Lieberman's decision to run as an independent would help the Democrats by bringing more voters to the polls.

None of these party leaders denounced Lieberman for defying the will of Democratic voters and running against the party's senatorial candidate in Connecticut. When asked if he would call on Lieberman to drop out of the race, Emanuel said the decision was Lieberman's.

These statements of official backing for Lamont only underscore the central fact that the Democratic Party leadership supports the war in Iraq and wants to exclude this single most critical issue facing the American people from the November elections.

See Also:

Posted by: che | August 10, 2006 11:44 AM

Well Valerie, what kind of person would make a movie like An Inconvenient Truth and then not do a damn thing to change his personal way of life?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-08-09-gore-green_x.htm

The only green Al Gore cares about is the kind suckers put into his pocket.

Posted by: athea | August 10, 2006 12:49 PM

"The only green Al Gore cares about is the kind suckers put into his pocket."

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Halliburton still owns half of Paramount right?

Posted by: athea | August 10, 2006 12:55 PM

The writer of the column calling Gore a hypocrite is a fellow of the ultra-conservative-libertarian Hoover Institute.

I've learned not to trust any "facts" cited by these organizations.

Next time you want to impugn Gore, try coming up with a critic who doesn't have an obvious axe to grind, and who uses fact, not "facts".

Posted by: Mister Methane | August 10, 2006 3:04 PM

Wow, you people are really dense. Why do you insist on burying your collective heads in the sand and putting fingers to your ears, going "LALALALALA" when someone attempts to present a contrary point of view?

Moreover, the majority of you all already have a strong belief in this topic and not even scientific evidence will change your minds. You'd rather listen to those that agree with you (Fox News) than those who have been collecting statistics for decades.

Society is lazy and does not want to clean up after its own mess. Regardless of whether or not there is such a thing as global warming, spewing toxic chemicals into the air as well as carbon monoxide (non toxic, but still not helping) and Dihydrogen-monoxide does NOT help the situation.

We should always be looking for cleaner, more efficient means of fuel. And if the auto makers and petrochemical companies spent half the dollars on investing in new technology rather than campaigning against global warming, we'd all be in better shape now.

Simply saying "we have no evidence so let's sit here and do nothing until the earth boils over" is not an answer.

Posted by: KJ | August 10, 2006 4:10 PM

I, the undersigned, do hereby declare that I will no longer eat beans, cabbage, or anything from Taco Bell in a dutiful effort to minimize global warming!

Posted by: PutPutNoMore | August 11, 2006 9:12 AM

Hey Yawn:

You totally misconstrued what I said to your own benefit (or you just didn't think about it and gave your kneejerk response). Some clarification:

1) I apologize if you took the "McMansion" comment to apply to you personally; I was trying to convey an attitude at the end of my comments that seems to me a trend of many Americans right now that bigger is better -bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger baby strollers, bigger sandwiches, bigger everything than ever before in the history of our country. Why were small houses like the one I live in built in the 40s just fine for a 4-person household, but now a 2-or-3 person household requires knocking it down and doubling or tripling the size? I'm not saying that's you personally - that's what I see in my neighborhood - and yes it's your right to do so if you want in our country - I'm not disputing that. I'm just questioning the wisdom of doing so at a time where we've had good data indicating we've been overconsuming resources for years.

I think my dad made a good observation recently when he said the reason small wealthy families need big houses now (given they are the only ones that can afford it) is that they don't want to have to interact with each other and that way they can all go to their rooms and do what they want. Unheard of in his day. I'm not saying it's right or wrong but it's peculiar - why don't people ever say "I like this house but it's a bit too big, I wish there were more smaller ones". Or better yet, "instead of destroying the character of this neighborhood and imposing myself, I'll find a bigger house somewhere more appropriate". As a footnote, I am not a bitter homeowner being overtaken by these places, and people outside of the DC area, esp. Arlington might not know what I'm talking about, but I see it happening all over here and I think it's a waste.

2) and 3) Did you not read my original post, Derps reply, and my following reply to that? These points were directed at Derps reply - specifically to address it was pointedly disrespectful - nothing to do with you personally. For 2), Derp portrayed scientists to be brainless idiots which is absurd, and the point I was trying to make was that if that was the case then almost all of the modern products you use today wouldn't exist. 3) I tried to say twice that scientists AREN'T fortune tellers in my posts - all you can do is take data and try to look at trends and draw conclusions. You do that every day when you cross the street. "Are there any cars coming, yes there is one but do they have a light, can I safely cross now or should I wait?". There's no guarantee when you step in the crosswalk a bankrobber fleeing from the cops isn't going to cream you but you made a decision based on the best data you had available at the time. It's the same thing with global warming - you don't know, but you can make a pretty good prediction on what is probable based on the data you have now. The early weather data we have in this world was made with intruments that were not nearly as accurate as we have now, but it isn't useless either - you can weight inaccuracy of instruments in analyses. The stuff we're collecting now in the satellite age, especially in the last 15 years or so is as accurate as ever. Is it perfect or will people not build more and more accurate instruments in the future - surely they will. But that doesn't make our data now useless either - it's the best we've ever had.

The beauty of the scientific method is that it is by definition open to scrutiny and repetition. If you don't like what the data is saying right now about global warming then by all means, this stuff doesn't get out there without rigorous review by scientists that would like to prove it wrong. It's all published in journals and if you don't like what you see you can challenge it - but before you just dismiss what you don't like as hogwash, bring some of your own data to the table that can be scrutinized in the same way. That is how science works.

Posted by: Denial | August 18, 2006 2:17 AM

And before I get jumped on about my second paragraph (let alone the rest of my post), I meant to say "interesting observation" in the first sentence - I'm not suggesting that viewpoint is "good". Just trying to make the point that there was a time not very long ago when the houses we grew up in were more than adequate for families that tended to be bigger than what they are now.

Posted by: Denial | August 18, 2006 2:55 AM

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