« Some inconvenient hockey sticks that are real | Main | Will Smith: "The Idea of Barack Obama Marks an Evolutionary Flash Point For Humanity," Or Something »
December 10, 2009

Palin v. Gore on Climate

Gore condescendingly dinged her. She dinged back.

The response to my op-ed by global warming alarmists has been interesting. Former Vice President Al Gore has called me a “denier” and informs us that climate change is “a principle in physics. It’s like gravity. It exists.”

Perhaps he’s right. Climate change is like gravity – a naturally occurring phenomenon that existed long before, and will exist long after, any governmental attempts to affect it.

However, he’s wrong in calling me a “denier.” As I noted in my op-ed above and in my original Facebook post on Climategate, I have never denied the existence of climate change. I just don’t think we can primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes.

Former Vice President Gore also claimed today that the scientific community has worked on this issue for 20 years, and therefore it is settled science. Well, the Climategate scandal involves the leading experts in this field, and if Climategate is proof of the larger method used over the past 20 years, then Vice President Gore seriously needs to consider that their findings are flawed, falsified, or inconclusive.

Vice President Gore, the Climategate scandal exists. You might even say that it’s sort of like gravity: you simply can’t deny it.

Incidentally, I don't know if Sarah Palin really believes in AGW to the extent she says. She seems to say she does believe man's activities may be affecting the environment, but then shoots down Copenhagen on cost/benefit principles.

Does she really believe in it as much as she says?

See, it doesn't matter. I kind of think she doesn't believe in it this much at all and is just saying she does. Which is the right thing to do. Belief in man-made global warming may be at an all-time low in the US, but it's still at 49% (IIRC). Forty-nine percent. Even with all this stuff being revealed, it's at 49%. And the opposition is only at something like 27%. "Not sure" makes up the rest.

We can comfort ourselves with the "not sure" but the "not sures" are in fact "not sure" and since they themselves don't know what the hell is going on or which way is up, they take comfort in politicians who present themselves as open-minded, or, actually, clueless, as they themselves are.

They don't know. They like their politicians not to know. Makes no sense, maybe -- wouldn't you rather have a politician who kind of had a well-informed opinion -- but obviously these "not sures" aren't ready to commit to the skeptic's side of things, or else they'd say so in polls.

So what I'm trying to say is: People beat up on conservative politicians for paying lip-service to this abject nonsense. Partisans get angry when politicians do not stake out ground closer to a true leadership position, out in front of the issue, making the points the partisans wish them to make.

But that's unrealistic and unwise. As I've said, politicians lead from the middle. If they're smart, they do. When they are on the losing side of an issue -- and yes, at this point, the skeptics are still on the losing side -- you can't really be out in front and swinging away as you can when you're on the winning, popular side.

So my point is: 1) Give Sarah Palin a break here. But I know that most people -- especially Palin fans -- are already doing that. So my real point is 2) Also give other conservative politicians a break here.

Don't focus endlessly on the "one one hand, on the other hand" nods in the direction of global-warming alarmism they might make. They are playing to the "not sures."

Separate rhetoric from concrete policy statements. And in the end, where philosophy meets the real world in the form of policy, they say something like, "This is such a cataclysmic risk to the Earth that we should immediately spend $3 billion to study it for five years and come up with recommendations about how to mitigate it," don't get mad that they just proposed wasting three billion dollars.

Take satisfaction in the fact that what they are really saying is that it is worth three billion dollars of wasted money to appease the "not sures" and convince them we're really doing something about this -- hey, we're "studying" it with an eye to "recommendations" -- in order to halt the true cataclysmic threat to earth, the takeover of the world economy by UN kleptocrats and the massive destruction of wealth necessary to, basically, cut industry in half. (And never you mind about agriculture...)

Just sayin': There are fights you can win and fights you can delay, until maybe you can win them. The military thinks in these terms when it contemplates multifront wars: Some are true "Fights," others will have to merely be "Holds."

I am obviously a true-blue skeptic and I'll match my hardcore purity on this particular issue against anyone's.

You think you're harder core than me? The only person I acknowledge is harder core is a commenter, who I respect, but who's pushing the idea that this is all a big conspiracy to impose world socialism, funded by the Club of Rome. I'm not even nearly ready to go there. As you know I flinch from conspiracy.

But, apart from that guy, who definitely is a slightly more hardcore than me, at least as regards intent and conspiracy, I'm not buying anyone who comes in and tells me I'm not firm enough on principle here.

I am firm on principle. I am slightly more firm on tangible, real, real-world results and outcomes.

What I definitely don't want is a candidate who is as Simon Pure as me who winds up losing due to the fact she's actually on the right side of the issue and thereby ushers in an apocalyptic destruction of world prosperity.

If it takes a bit of strategic horseshit and the wasting of a few billion (who counts in billions anymore, anyway?) to stop this calamity, hey: I am Simon Pure on the notion that we must not destroy the world economy just so that a bunch of worrywort eco-twits can vaguely feel like they're saving a tree or a polar bear.

BTW: This is why I always get angry in these philosphical purity type arguments.

I don't mind the contrary argument: That we can, in fact, get better real-world results if we say what we mean and mean what we say. I disagree with that -- like, I so totally disagree with that; I say, "Welcome to Planet Earth where lying gets you paid and honesty gets you fired" -- but I am more than willing to have a civil discussion about that, about tactics.

Where I get mad is when I start getting the imputation of bad faith, and the suggestion I'm a sell-out, and being told I want to lose on these issues because that will keep getting me invited to cocktail parties I have never in my entire life been invited to.

There it stops being about tactics -- an impersonal, interesting discussion -- and starts being a personal discussion about my integrity.

And I get mad, because really, I think while other people are discussing la-di-dah philosophy and crap that wins elections on, perhaps, Planet Venus, Where the Dinosaurs Are, I'm talking about how to win right here right now in reality, on earth.

It's not that I mind being told I'm wrong. But I do mind being told that I'm deliberately attempting to undermine the cause and lose because, hey, at heart I'm a blue-state liberal.

The hell with that. I want to win, and damnit, I am willing to lie to do so.

I could give a crap about lying to the "not sures." They're not sure. They're uninformed boobs. They have no firm opinions so if I have to trick them into supporting mine, what have they lost? Not a goddamned thing.

Anyway, sorry for that rant. If you think that saying what you mean and meaning what you say is always the way to win elections, that's fine, and I appreciate that you have a sort of... well, I would call it a sort of quixotic belief in the fundamental fairness of the world and the power of honesty and plain talk.

I don't. I think people are faddish and shallow and largely uninformed and apathetic and too soft to make hard decisions and like parroting a pile of nonsense they hear from Oprah and other swell celebrity types.

This is an argument about tactics, most of the time, and how to reach outcomes, not whether those outcomes are worthy ones.

The polls tell me the stupid "not sures" want a candidate who says she too is "not sure" about global warming, and would like reassurance that she is "taking it seriously, with an open mind," but would also like a candidate who ultimately says "but I don't want to destroy the economy over it."

And I say: Give them that candidate. As Obama said today, "I face the world as it is."

You guys may be right that firm persuasion on the honest case against this nonsense is the right tactic. You may be right. But don't question my motives if I don't disagree.

You can question my fidelity to honesty -- I just flat-out admitted I kind of want my dream candidate to lie her ass off -- and how jaded and cynical and corrupt I am.

I just admitted all that. I am all that.

But less of this "you want to sell us out" nonsense. No, I don't want to sell us out, I just think some of you are a bit overly fond of the conceit that good behavior and honesty are rewarded in politics.

Palin Leading From A Bit Closer to the Front Than the Middle: A commenter points out Palin says:

"I just don’t think we can primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes."

And that does, in fact, mean she is among the purest on this issue. She is closest to the truth out of most politicians. Only an Inhofe can really beat her.

So yeah, you're right, she is actually not just mouthing platitudes alone; she's actually kind of near the front on this, really leading. I guess maybe I'd prefer if she weren't so out in front on it; but kudos for her for being there.

But still my point is there: She is still "open-minded," she implies, that man may be affecting the environment (a smart enough answer, it being true; we can't disprove that either) and she says man can't be primarily blamed for the earth's natural cyclical changes.

That is a small nod to "not sures." She also denies being a "denier."

So, actually, maybe my point is overstated, at least as far as using Palin as an example of strategic twaddle; she uses less of it than I at first thought.

Still, I think some twaddle is useful -- look how much mileage the Democrats get out of weapons-grade twaddle -- and I would still advise people to not beat hell out of would-be candidates who sing pretty songs about the trees and polar bears. So long as, at the end of the day, their big policy initiative is to "appoint a blue-panel expert ad-hoc commission" to "study the problem" for "a decade or two."


digg this
posted by Ace at 05:31 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
grammie winger - Cubs are gonna suck again: "Nightmare stuff. ..."

Dave the Octopus: "Bob Berdella was a gay serial killer who killed th ..."

Tami[/i][/b][/s][/u]: " It's generally not a good idea to shove stuff up ..."

Boulder terlit hobo: "[i]"senescent" is also a new word courtesy of Mist ..."

pookysgirl says GO DODGERS GO!: "I'd forgotten how much of a drawl Timmy has. Still ..."

garrett: ">>Bob Berdella was a gay serial killer who killed ..."

publius, the Persistent Poperin Pear: " Hmmphh, you learn something every day. "Teled ..."

grammie winger - Cubs are gonna suck again: "Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at October 20, 2017 ..."

gNewt: "Bright, fresh, illuminating, WD at ONT. ..."

A Penguin: "There is actual acreage going to waste in Antarcti ..."

kallisto: ""senescent" is also a new word courtesy of Mister ..."

grammie winger - Cubs are gonna suck again: "Ha! Wish I could see it. Was it pretty! ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64