Friday, December 4, 2009

OMG! Did you totally see Sarah's factless new Facebook tirade?

Did you hear? Sarah Palin's up with a new Facebook post attacking global warming science. (Because even backward science denierism is hip and cool when it's done on Facebook!)

Her attack, sandwiched between posts on the topic of the President's citizenship and on the numerous ethics complaints filed against her in Alaska, launches an ad-hominem assault on "dogmatic environmentalists" and an "environmental priesthood" in light of recent news that hackers broke into the personal e-mails of British climate scientists (by the by, she describes the stolen e-mails as having been "leaked"*). With her post, Palin joins the long line of science-denying pundits and special interest attack dogs who cherry-picked from among the thousands of personal messages between scientists single words and phrases which they say "prove" a vast, far-reaching conspiracy among the world's leading climate scientists to fool us all.

Among the more savory morsels in Palin's diatribe:
I’ve never denied the reality of climate change.
Except for the numerous times during the 2008 campaign when she said that man-made carbon emissions weren't impacting the climate.

Policy should be based on sound science, not snake oil. I took a stand against such snake oil science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population has increased.
Setting aside the fact that those populations aren't increasing, it was the Bush administration's science (from the USGS) that forecast that man-made global warming threatens polar bears immensely in the long term. If those guys believe it, Sarah must be pretty far from the mainstream here.

What it boils down to is this: coming on the heels of a book widely panned as dishonest and vindictive, Palin's at it again. Now, absent the ability to shoot global warming science from an airplane, she's doing the next best thing by warmly embracing a phony e-mail scandal so absurd and manufactured it could make the birthers and the swiftboaters blush.

The fact is that the scientific evidence behind global warming is unequivocal and it shows that much of the observed increase in global temperatures since the mid-20th century is due to carbon pollution caused by human activities. Additionally, the world’s leading scientists agree that this has been the hottest decade on record.

But for Sarah Palin, going rogue on the facts is just a little too tempting.

*PS: Is anyone else tired of hearing science-deniers describe the hacked e-mails has having been "leaked"? If I "leaked" my way into possession of Sarah Palin's personal credit information and, I don't know, bought $150,000 worth of clothes, I think she might be a little less forgiving than she's being with the hackers who attacked the University of East Anglia's climate scientists.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gingrich Abandons Global Warming Support, Calls for Witch Hunt of Climate Scientists and Reporters

Sometimes, political flip-flops are so blatant, they're painful to watch.

In response to revelations that hackers had illegally broken into the personal e-mails of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia in an effort to torpedo sound global warming science, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to have (ahem) amended his views on the urgency of the climate change threat.

Yesterday, Gingrich jumped on the thoroughly debunked claim that the personal correspondence of one British scientist somehow disproves years of peer-reviewed research by thousands of his colleagues.
Congress should open an investigation into the degree of bias in the climate change community (including the journalists that report on the topic) toward suppressing research that shows slower or negligible global warming trends, or points to different causes than greenhouse gasses.
Wow. Really, journalists? Not just the individuals who wrote the emails in question, but the entire climate change community, as well as anyone and everyone who has every reported on the subject? That's a mighty bold demand with some scary historical precedents.

And if channeling the biggest bully in American history weren't enough, it's quite clear that Newt's new stand against peer-reviewed climate science is a pretty big flip-flop. In a televised 2007 debate on global climate change, Gingrich told the audience:
My message is, I think the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading of the atmosphere...and do it urgently.

Someone should ask Newt if he now believes that the hackers' criminal stunt means we are no longer experiencing the hottest decade on record, or that much of the western U.S. has not actually been subjected to record wildfires. Perhaps it also means that the hundreds of veterans, retired brass and military experts who have called global warming a national security threat are all simply wrong.

By the way, didn't Gingrich effectively join the same climate change community he's now saying should be investigated when he called the evidence "sufficient" and said we should move "urgently" to combat global warming?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Operation FREE: Inhofe Must Apologize For 'Swiftboating' Clean Energy Veterans

As we reported yesterday, Sen. James Inhofe appears to be doubling down on clean energy opponents' strategy of attacking anyone and everyone who wants to reform our failed energy policies -- including our men and women in uniform.

In a New York Times Magazine interview, Inhofe suggested that retired admirals and generals who told Congress that global warming is a security threat are simply seeking the "limelight." Now, the Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans of Operation FREE are calling on Inhnofe to apologize for attacking America's heroes for speaking their mind. According to their petition:
Enough is enough. Swiftboating our military veterans, and questioning their patriotism, for crass political gain should not be tolerated.

America’s national security professionals in the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the National Intelligence Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency all agree that climate change is a security threat that must be dealt with seriously and honestly.

Senator Inhofe, you need to apologize.
We couldn't agree more, and we encourage you to sign their petition here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wow: Inhofe Attacks Military Brass For Supporting Clean Energy

In between bouts of denying the overwhelming science behind global warming, you'd think that opponents of clean energy reform would have taken a moment to reconsider their series of ill-advised attacks on the veterans and retired brass who are supporting a clean energy and climate bill.

You would, however, be wrong. Instead, judging from strident attacks made by Sen. James Inhofe over the weekend, it looks like the folks who brought us $4 gas, dirtier air and less security intend to double down on the strategy of attacking America's men and women in uniform. Check out this exchange between Inhofe and the New York Times Magazine:

NYT: Senator Boxer is chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee,on which you are the ranking Republican. She and her fellow Democrats have lately suggested that global warming could be a threat to national security by destabilizing developing countries.

INHOFE: That’s the most ludicrous thing. They looked around and they found, I think, five generals to testify before the committee. Well, that’s 5 generals out of 4,000 retired generals that say that. There are a lot of generals who don’t like to be out of the limelight. They’d like to get back in.
Setting aside his hysterical attacks on the panelists, who are some of the nation's most respected national security experts, one can't help but wonder: is Inhofe so far out of the loop that he missed the series of major reports produced by the National Defense University, the National Intelligence Council and the Center for Naval Analysis citing global warming as a national security risk? Or did he actually see them, in which case his reference to only "5 generals out of 4,000 retired generals" is willfully deceptive?

Maybe Inhofe would prefer that the generals, admirals and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who support clean energy take a page from his book on humility and attention-sharing. Oh, wait...