Gristmill on EcoTalk


As I mentioned, I was on EcoTalk radio the other day, talking about the Waxman hearings on political interference with climate science. I did two segments, which you can download as mp3s: part one (11 min.), part two (7 min.). I think it went fairly well.

Fred Thompson

Will he run?

A while back, certain … sources of mine in Tennessee (hi Amanda!) let me in on what was back then still a quiet rumor: a Republican savior is on the way. Soon to be riding to the rescue of downtrodden Republicans, burdened with a weak field of presidential candidates, is Fred Thompson, lawyer, actor, and former U.S. Senator from Tenn. He is the silver bullet Republicans have been waiting for — smart, folksy, hawkish, impeccably conservative, morally upright, and reassuring in a Reaganesque way. Just what the doctor ordered. Since then (damn my procrastination!) the rumor has been publicly aired …

Conservatives and global warming

Wherein we puzzle through the truthiness

I was recently made aware of the fact that the conservative National Review has a newish blog called Planet Gore. That’s right: the only conservative blog I know of on global warming is primarily focused on mocking Al Gore — who is, you’ll recall, a big Fatty Fatterstein. This pungent discovery got me pondering a post on how conservative opposition to global warming advocacy seems openly and bizarrely centered on hatred of liberals and environmentalists and Al Gore rather than, say, any substantive take on the issue itself. It is perhaps the clearest example of how modern conservatism has descended …

Political warfare /= scientific warfare

Time to quit pretending otherwise

Late last week Chris Mooney had a long and characteristically careful post on HuffPo clarifying the hurricane/climate change connection, exactly what Gore’s said about it, and exactly where Gore can and cannot be legitimately criticized for it. The crucial point in the post, though, is not about hurricanes. It’s this: Nevertheless, when it comes to the science of global warming and its impacts, there’s a very significant difference between Gore and his would-be detractors. Gore takes the conclusions of the mainstream scientific community on global warming seriously and for the most part describes them very accurately, albeit with perhaps a …

Turns Out He Does Know Jack

Former Interior deputy pleads guilty to lying in Abramoff investigation The second in command at the U.S. Interior Department in Bush’s first term has pleaded guilty to telling big, fat lies to the Senate during the Jack Abramoff lobbying investigation. That’s what the kids call obstruction of justice, and it could have netted J. Steven Griles up to five years in prison, but he’ll likely get five months in jail and five months of house arrest. When Gale Norton’s former deputy first testified in late 2005, he said — five times — that his and Jacko’s bond was nothing special. …

Greenpeace finds common ground with Inhofe

Why are environmental activists so clueless at marketing climate change solutions?

Virgin Blue, the Australian extension of Richard Branson's airline empire, recently launched a program to allow passengers to purchase carbon offsets when they book a flight. That's nice. But what struck me was this quote from Greenpeace's energy campaigner, Ben Pearson: Virgin should not be criticized out of hand for this scheme, but it promotes the idea that dealing with climate change is easy and cheap rather than being about the difficult task of changing consumer behavior, government policy and investment.

Griles: tip of a slimy iceburg

Carl Pope addresses the Griles conviction that Andrew obliquely mentioned below, and adds this interesting info: You might think that having the number two guy at Interior go to the slammer would serve as a cautionary warning to the Administration — but no. Instead, Bush is eagerly racing to make certain that it’s harder for these kinds of corrupt arrangements to be exposed. Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of the Inspector General is facing a ten-percent cut in its program, even though Congress just gave the IG more money. Senior auditors and criminal investigators are being forced …

Post-Gore: Still two Americas

On climate, U.S. attitudes are split along partisan lines

Since it came out about a year ago, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's climate change documentary, seems to have pushed the issue into mainstream consciousness. Millions saw the movie itself -- but they were largely true believers anyway. Perhaps more importantly, Gore's Academy Award has earned him a wider audience among the potentially undecided: 39.9 million TV viewers tuned in for the Academy Awards themselves, plus 49 million saw Gore on Oprah. Heck, combined, that's more than the total number of people who voted for George W. Bush in 2006! It's almost as good as being on American Idol. But, how much effect has this media blitz had on attitudes among Americans? Sadly, it's not as dramatic as you may think.

Gore videos

Including a funny one from Olberman

What’s that? You say you’d like another Gore post? I’m here to serve! Here’s Keith Olberman with a segment that is, per usual, both funnier and more educational than the vast bulk of what you find on cable news: Here’s a clip put together by Politics TV — a good clip from Gore’s testimony: And finally, a few thoughts from Gore himself on the testimony.