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One long-winded debate...

By Tom Toles


Follow the muddy

Interesting comments on yesterday's post! I have a vision. Tomorrow I may have a different vision, but here's today's: People are worked up and want to rant. I want to rant from time to time myself. I think there's a place for ranting. This might be the place, but with a condition. Be reasonably honest in what you say, and come to the brawl with the intention of helping to work through to a better understanding. Ha ha! PEACE THROUGH MUD WRESTLING!

When I suggested that considering the profit motive might be a good way to disentangle many policy conundrums, that seemed to me like something BOTH liberals and conservatives might agree on! Commenters nominated Al Gore for the treatment. And ME! Whoa, I didn't see that one coming! But fair enough. Al Gore may have made some $$ from his work on climate change. And I get PAID to draw cartoons. (Writing these blog posts is a more ambiguous situation.) So ask away. Does Al Gore take the positions he takes because of the bucks? Do I? On climate change alone, the thankless slog through the early years suggests otherwise. On the now numberless cartoons I have drawn on that subject, I have been rewarded with mostly derision and yawns, from readers and editors alike.

NOW climate is rant-worthy. And you've come to the right place!
--Tom Toles


By Tom Toles  | May 6, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Environment  
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Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:


Doonesbury is one of my favorite cartoons, however, I can no longer read it due to the heavy color background. If it can't be read you might as well not include it in the paper.

Virgil Harris, Oakton, Va

Posted by: Diviharris | May 7, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles,

Your work on climate is superb; in fact, I have argued on my little blog that you are the most persistent, funny, and helpful voice on the issue in the media today.

I'm sure, if I were to pour all this praise at your feet in person, that you would politely wave it off and say something to the effect that you are just a guy with a pen, etc.

Well, okay. But I hope some day you publish a book of your climate drawings, including the sketches. I will be first to pick it up, and if you ever come to SoCal, I will get in line and ask for your autograph.

Climate is not an easy subject, I know from personal experience, but you make it look easy.

Okay, I'm going to stop embarrassing you now.

yours...Kit Stolz

Posted by: upperojai | May 6, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

the way I see it...the term "global warming" used to describe mankind's adverse effect on our planet is and was a mistake.
For instance, you describe this rant as a climate rant, yet all I'm reading about is fossil fuels and their pros and cons....If you are going to talk about "energy sources" at least call it what it is....last I checked climate had to do with the weather, which indeed has been getting more aggressive over the past several years.

So, do you want to talk weather, or how we are slowly but surely killing our planet and ultimately ourselves?

Posted by: bertzel | May 6, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Dear Thinker. Your comments are excellent. Glad you took the time to write them

Posted by: JoelPB8 | May 6, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Pinwheels spinning round and round are not going to fix our energy problems. Solar and wind power give a very poor return on the investment. Sorry folks but coal, petroluem, natural gas, and the atom are going to be the future for a long time to come. Mr. Gore will still use jet fuel in his private jet, gasoline in the big vehicles that his entourage drive around in, and thousands of killowatts of electricity in his various mansions. Fortunately most Americans don't have the carbon footprint of Mr. Gore. Maybe Mr. Gore should look into harnessing hypocrisy as an energy source. He has that in spades. Excuse me while I go out and enjoy this fine 70 degree spring day.

Posted by: bobbo2 | May 6, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I liked it better when the editorial cartoonist's cartoons spoke for themselves.

Posted by: hugmekatie | May 6, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The oil is already out there. Only question is where it should go now. Who are the most deserving recipients? Seems the only ones currently being hurt are the wildlife, the environment, and those who depend on it for their livelihood. Why do those who cause such pain to others generally receive just a fine. Sure, they are only in it for the money so the thinking might be hitting them in their pocketbook might provide some form of justice. How does that help the billions of creatures lives taken by this disaster? Is a stiff fine justice?
Would all the oil washing up on the Texas beaches be justice? What a disaster, albeit am not surprised at all.

An appropriate comic:

Posted by: eruffing | May 6, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Climate is good for comment. But do not stay with the crowd. Get out in front. If most are saying "It is getting warmer." or "I deny it is getting warmer." ask questions to both sides.

Ask "If it is getting warmer - is that good or bad or a mix?"

Ask "What could possibly make us want to warm things now?"

(Answer: An ice age.)

Ask: "What next?"

Ask: "If we want to stop buring oil, how do we power our industry?"

Then people will recognize your points of view and you will not run out of things to draw.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 6, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

And here's another article detailing how BP and our oil fix (or England's, in this case) is destroying small business in the area:

"World's Whitest Beaches" wait to be destroyed:

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 6, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

THIS JUST IN... Associated Press...
"Petrochemical giant BP didn't file a plan to specifically handle a major oil spill from an uncontrolled blowout at its Deepwater Horizon project because the federal agency that regulates offshore rigs changed its rules two years ago to exempt certain projects in the central Gulf region"

One word: Bush.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 6, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

you could even start with 11 counts of manslaughter, by the way. I mean, a mere fraction of those who have died bringing BP continued profits, but a start. In light of the Supreme Court's decision that BP is just another guy on your block. Who happened to kill untold numbers of organisms, including endangered sea turtles, destroyed Louisiana's oyster and shrimp business, tied up US National resources such as the Coast Guard for an untold length of time, killed 11 of their own workers, and lied about the extent of the still gushing poison they caused to blacken the Gulf of Mexico.

That would be a pretty rich guy up the block causing a lot of damage. I mean, that's a LOT of stuff to screw up for one dude. Impressive.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 6, 2010 4:24 AM | Report abuse


I gotta hand it to you. You HAVE been on the climate thing for a while. I hate to admit it, but when you have your daily cartoon, I always check it out, and am frequently deflated when I see it is about climate change.
Now, I don't mean to suggest that climate change isnt important. I think, ultimately, it may be the MOST important issue we face. However, political mudslinging is SO much more fun and sexy. You have personalities to disparage and pick apart. You've got the faux pas and innuendos to parse. You've got a chance to tick off a large portion of the population, simply by saying something as obvious as "Sarah Palin is a parrot. With lipstick."

But, I feel as one of the angrier, more hostile participants, I should, in the interest of ACTUAL discourse, leave the partisan talking points out. And I will try to do better in the future.

So, yeah, I totally agree with your point about "following the money." In this case, it's safe to say it leads to BP. BP could also be in the news regarding our current relationship with Iran. Did you know (and I'm sure YOU do) that the United States of America (the same one that is now trying to "spread Democracy in the Middle East") staged a coup and overthrew and imprisoned the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh, installed a brutal dictator named Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, in order to secure continued exploitation of Iranian oil on behalf of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now known as BP?

How's that for having your hands in a wide range of current event disasters while profiting like nobody's business, so to speak?

Gotta hand it to BP and their ilk. They sure got a good lead on screwing up the planet. Nice too, that they can buy election campaigns, but cannot be jailed, unlike persons.

This "Corporations are People" nonsense (and, yes, it's nonsense where unions are concerned as well) is great for corporations. I mean, on the one hand, their just another citizen, with no vote, and unlimited capital to buy airtime. On the other hand, when things go wrong, when they behave criminally, nobody blinks, unless it affects their profits.

This Supreme Court is Supremely Insane, if they think this is normal. Talk about "activist judges." Corporations are people? Really? Because I'd like to see BP pay for their share of destroying the earth, not to mention society. 50 to life with no profit.

I bet THAT would help them see the light.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 6, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

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