Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inhofe Brings Nude Al Gore Prop to Senate Floor

Nothing inspires insightful Senate debate like an illustration of a political adversary naked.

When Senator Jim Inhofe - one of Congress' most infamous climate change deniers - saw last week's Weekly Standard sporting a cartoon of a nude Al Gore on the cover, he knew he "wanted to give a speech."

The content of Inhofe's speech was nothing new. Using exaggerated rhetoric designed to alarm and confuse the issues, the Senator claimed that climate change was "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

In one particularly backwards moment, Inhofe accused Gore of wanting "the world to put its head in the sand and pretend nothing's happening." In fact, this is what Inhofe and his climate-change denying allies in Congress have been trying to do for years. But as Gore pointed out in his aptly-titled New York Times Op-Ed: "We can't wish away climate change."

Oh, and guess which industry has topped Inhofe's donor list for the past five years? Yep, that would be Oil & Gas.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another Day, Another (Ad) Dollar... Climate Bill Smears Look A Lot Like Big Tobacco Smears

Our friends at Treehugger quoted Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday making a great point that's worth repeating: the phony paid media campaign from Big Oil and its lobbyists is coming straight from the playbook that helped delay anti-smoking legislation for decades. For example, check out this side-by-side of an American Petroleum Institute ad attacking clean energy and climate legislation, and a great throwback ad about the supposed love for Camel cigarettes among medical doctors.

Any bets on how absurd the API ad will look in about a decade, when we've passed a clean energy and climate bill and the clean energy economy is booming?

Here's what Secretary Chu had to say:
Americans were believing because of sound bites, and now they're disbelieving because of sound bites. One can honestly say that if we don't do this, we will not be economically competitive. Ten and 20 years from now, the price of oil will likely be higher -- this is not a stretch of the imagination. The debate for whether smoking causes lung cancer and emphysema was actually in the first decade among scientists, but they muddied the waters for 2½ more decades. Climate change, on a global scale, is a much bigger deal, and people are trying to muddy the waters, particularly people who think they might lose. Unfortunately, it's easier to propagate fear than seeing a vision of prosperity.
We couldn't agree more. Thanks again to Treehugger for this great material.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Palin: Look! My Exxon-Funded Study Shows Drilling Is Great

Sarah Palin's ripping on the Obama administration again, posting a lengthy article on (where else) her Facebook page attacking the President for not allowing more offshore drilling. Let's take a look:
According to a study by the American Energy Alliance, opening the OCS to drilling could create as many as 1.2 million new jobs and add hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the US economy. Those are real American jobs – and great American opportunities – that can’t be outsourced. Offshore drilling would provide billions in revenue for our states, allowing them to reduce their budget deficits without raising taxes.
Great! Looks like Sarah's discovered the American Energy Alliance in her wanderings since quitting as Governor of Alaska. The AEA's a handy tool for drilling advocates who need bogus studies to cite in order to sound like reasonable people as they propose spending billions on obsolete, polluting energy technologies.

For those just tuning in, AEA calls itself the "grassroots arm" of the Exxon-funded Institute for Energy Research, so when an AEA report concludes that we can create great new jobs in offshore drilling without damaging the environment or wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on wasteful subsidies, just think "Philip Morris study shows smoking is great for kids" and you're basically there. (Check out some of our past work on the similar tactics of Big Tobacco and Big Oil in fighting reform).

Today's post: yet another new low for a politician who once accepted the science of global warming, but now denies it.

Carly Fiorina Has Lost Her Mind

Carly Fiorina has lost her mind.

There's no other way to explain the eight minutes of pure insanity that is "Hot Air: The Movie," an extremely bizarre video put out by the California Senate campaign of the failed former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

The video is apparently an attempt to portray Sen. Barbara Boxer as a "bitter partisan" who doesn't live in the "real world," implying - among other things - that Boxer's understanding of climate change as a national security threat makes her an out of touch liberal. The video shows a clip of Boxer outlining the climate change-national security link, and then asks incredulously, "WHAT?"

Of course, the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at could easily answer that question for Carly, as they do quite well in an ad explaining that for every dollar increase in the price of gasoline, Iran gets another $1.5 billion to use against us. But seeing that connection would require Carly to also accept the science behind climate change, something which she's accepted in the past but now seems to have forgotten.

Meanwhile, the video's attacks on clean energy and climate legislation as a "job killer" directly contradict Fiorina's 2008 statement that a cap-and-trade system "will both create jobs and lower the cost of energy."

The rest of the video focuses on offering viewers the choice between someone who "pushes people apart" (Boxer) and someone "renowned for pulling people together" (Fiorina). The video itself is a fine demonstration of Fiorina's warm, winning style that she hopes will come in handy as she works across the aisle in Washington, containing:

• The “Hindenboxer,” an image of Barbara Boxer’s head with about a half-dozen flat screen TVs attached, looming over the San Francisco suburbs

• A giant hand reaching onto the screen and stabbing Barbara Boxer in the head

• Barbara Boxer’s deflated head crashing into the ocean behind a “Carly for California” logo

The entire video is essentially an awkward mashup of a smiling Fiorina talking up her days at Hewlett-Packard in rosy (read: untrue) terms while some guy who sounds like an angry Morgan Freeman rips on Boxer to the tune of Halloween music. Are the bizarre theatrics designed to distract from the video's woefully transparent attempts to rewrite history? Decide for yourself, taking for example the discussion of Fiorina's time at Hewlett-Packard:

VIDEO:While the rest of the tech world suffered through the dot-com bust, Carly got things done. She leaned the company to profitability, and HP doubled in revenues to $88 billion. Then, she added jobs. Carly became one of the most recognizable business leaders in the world. She moved, she shaked, she accomplished. First the obvious, then the complex. And she did it with a smile.

Fiorina was fired by HP's board after she "failed to execute" the reforms she promised at the company, which continued to struggle mightily: Fiorina laid off 28,000 HP employees after massive profit shortfalls, offering only a "flashy management style" while she "nearly destroyed" the company. To wit: CNBC named Fiorina one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time."

"Hot Air" comes on the heels of a video known 'round the YouTube world as "Demon Sheep," a psychadelic three minutes of evil, red-eyed sheep leaping out from behind trees. That video was (somehow) aimed at damaging Fiorina's Republican primary opponent Tom Campbell, though of course most of the damage done was to Fiorina's credibility.


Tired of Carly Fiorina's absurd campaign tactics? Support a true environmental champion by donating to Barbara Boxer via LCV Action Fund's GiveGreen.

Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.