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A great discussion about global warming on Friday's Real Time With Bill Maher. It's really incredible that the survival of our species and the health of our planet have somehow become a partisan issue.

We can't fix a problem that we don't accept exists. It would be one thing if Republicans simply disagreed on the methods or the degree to which we should compromise on economic growth to ameliorate this phenomenon. But to be so reactionary as to deny this glaring scientific fact is just.. well, moronic.

But what John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Michael Steele, John Schimkus and of course, the Bush Administration for 8 years have been saying is that there's no environmental threat coming from our manmade CO2 emissions.

I've said it before -- at this stage it's like arguing whether evolution is real or whether gravity exists. These people just don't deserve to be taken seriously.

Relativity would never have been discovered if humans continued to debate gravity decades after it was scientifically understood -- and we can't find solutions to climate change if we can't all accept the basic premise that it's the real deal. I know some folks on the right will pounce on my use of the word "survival" and label me an alarmist. No, we're not going to die next month or next year; but ultimately survival is exactly what it comes down to for future generations -- we're not going to be around forever and it is obvious that we're accelerating our own demise.

How is this not one of the biggest moral issues of our time?

I long for the day conservatives like Andrew Sullivan, David Frum and (yes) David Brooks -- the sane, sensible ones, at least on global warming -- begin representing the mainstream of the party; rather than Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Back and Sean Hannity. Until then, one of two major political parties in America will continue behaving like unrestrained children on this issue.

Originally posted to utopiandrive on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:24 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do they stay at their desks during fire alarms? (9+ / 0-)

    After all, no one has proven to them that the building's on fire.

    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." Mark Twain, as quoted by Barack Obama 6/30/08 Independence, MO.

    by SunWolf78 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:30:36 PM PDT

  •  It's like trying to argu with someone (6+ / 0-)

    who insists that the earth revolves around the sun.  No amount of facts makes a difference.  Crazy.

    Unintentionally or ignorantly nihilistic.

    dissent not only welcome... but encouraged

    by newfie53523 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:34:12 PM PDT

    •  Yes and we have public officials in charge of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, luckylizard

      education here in Texas that deny Physics, Geology, Biology and several sciences by claiming that the earth is only 10,000 years old. One is a dentist, so he's not simply uneducated, he's just willfully ignorant and people vote for him.

      "I agree with you now make me do it!" FDR

      by JC Dufresne on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:57:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, to be fair... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, A Siegel

      Comparing AGW to the orbit of the earth is a false analogy. It is dubious to say we know all of the causes of climate change, much less the magnitude of their impacts. For instance, solar output has declined significantly as of late, and we don't really know what that means for us. Find out is what science is all about; unwavering adherence to established dogma, or shutting out anyone who disagrees, is religion, not science.

      However, since we need more energy anyways, I don't see what the fuss is over. We ought to be engaging in a crash program of nuclear power development, and in the mean time, leveraging our wind and geothermal resources where they're viable. That seems a proposal everyone should be able to get behind, irregardless of their politics.

      Far-left wing and damn proud of it. Check out my blog: The Daily Elitist

      by TylerFromNE on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:21:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hold on, doesn't the earth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      go around the sun?

      ...it is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

      by RunawayRose on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 07:43:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Last I heard it did. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        At least, that way makes the math simplest. Though from a relatavistic standpoint, you can pick anything as the center of the universe and insist that everything else goes around that. While Turtle was alive, I think her left ear was the Center of the Cativerse.

        Veni, vidi, farinuxi.

        by Ahianne on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 08:42:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  To answer your question in the title... (7+ / 0-)

    Our survival became a partisan issue the minute Exxon realized their profit margins could be at risk.

  •  How did it become a Partisan issue? Simple. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, luckylizard

    Money. You do know who owns the media.... and whose money "our" representatives depend on to get elected right?

    The rules are set: Two sides debate the issue - one for and one against. You debate very passionately, even angrily if you want, but you confine your debates within the box and don't bring on any real experts on the subject. Talk show hosts and politicians will do nicely. Keep debating for and against.

    As long as you are debating the issue, nothing can be considered settled - and if nothing is settled, nothing needs to be done!!

    While you are bust with the debate, the industries can continue to pollute like there's no tomorrow and keep laughing all the way to the bank.

    USA! USA!! USA!!!

    •  The Problem is the 1st Amendment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Unenergy

      An idea which was ingenious for a world of family farmers is today the single greatest threat to humanity.

      No need to flesh this out. There don't exist enough words to convince an American in time to make the system safe.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:54:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        That's the reason the "debate" about global warming needs to be stopped, a vote taken, and we can get started on what needs to be done. Debates don't convince the people - debates, beyond a certain point, are just a time-wasting tactic.

        The world has settled this debate and they are just waiting for us to join them and we cannot delay this any longer.

      •  that's not the problem, the problem is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Unenergy

        corporations larger then many countries are People...
        break up corporations, remove constitutional protections for them, restore the fairness doctrine, and maybe require truth in broadcasting...

        problem solved

        republicians, supporters of small gov't and smaller economies

        by askyron on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:18:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You left something off (0+ / 0-)

          Gut the First Amendment.

          For some entertaining reading on "truth in broadasting" you might want to check these posts out:

          Senator Al Franken - friend or foe of broadcast freedom

          Howard Fineman of Newsweek reported in 2007 that Franken told him that "You shouldn't be able to lie on the air. You can't utter obscenities in a broadcast, so why should you be able to lie? You should be fined for lying."

          And what, one wonders, might Al Franken consider to be "lying," or put another way, what sort of statements does the probably Senator from Minnesota think the government should punish people for uttering?

          We don't have to guess, it turns out. A little sleuthing turns up exactly what sort of statement Al Franken, or at the very least the people around him and who work with him on political matters, thinks is worth sending in the political speech police for...

          ...the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, almost certainly in coordination and consultation with the Franken campaign, added yet another chapter in how "false political statements" laws are abused.

          From the DFL's web site:

          The Minnesota DFL Party today filed formal complaints with the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings against the groups Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and Minnesotans for Employee Freedom. The Party alleges that the television and print advertisements that the groups have run - and, in the case of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, continue to run - on behalf of Senator Norm Coleman violate the Minnesota election law, which prohibits "false political and campaign material" and provides for criminal and civil penalties...

          ...The problem, of course, is that whether or not EFCA eliminates secret ballots in union organizing campaigns is a hotly contested point...

          And here's another "truth in political speech" law that was used to silence critics of a candidate:

          Turning Wisconsin into a First Amendment-free zone

          A judge in Wisconsin has ordered an ad criticizing a candidate off the air because it contains "false statements."

          ...Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Lister on Sunday upheld an order he made a day earlier that says a Coalition for America's Families must stop running ads that make false representations about Mark Radcliffe, a Democratic candidate for the 92nd Assembly District.

          ...The ad says Radcliffe supports a health care plan that would double Wisconsin's taxes to give benefits to out of state residents and illegal aliens. It also says the $15 billion plan would make Wisconsin the highest taxed state in the country...

          The ad was scheduled to resume Monday after a weekend break but was temporarily suspended to avoid a contempt of court charge, said Johnson, the coalition's spokesman. He said an appeal will be filed with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals by the time court opens Monday morning.

          So, there's some problems with "truth in broadcasting" or whatever euphemism you want to use for putting government in charge of setting an official "truth" and barring dissenters from saying anything other than the government-approved truth.

          Sean Parnell
          President
          Center for Competitive Politics
          http://www.campaignfreedom.org
          sparnell@campaignfreedom.org

  •  This is my theory on why the crazy still holds a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, luckylizard

    seat at the table.

    Its like the guy whose doctor tells him he is going to die from cancer if he doesn't give up smoking. The 'deniers' message is essentially, 'don't change a thing, don't worry, as we have proof that this doctor is a liar.
    This other guy we know smoked until he was 105, 40 cigars a day.'.
    Or something to that effect.
    The guy doesn't know whether to try to fix his life or turn on his doctor for telling him something he didn't want to hear. He didn't want to hear it as the deniers also overemphasize the fact that it may mean some short term discomfort to change his life.
    Some people will believe the doctor, but some will not and then the two will fight each other as we are seeing now.

    I see the argument surrounding climate change like that. We can either believe our 'doctor' that this is something we need to tackle and will mean some sacrifice, or we can believe the deniers, who in most cases make a buck directly from the people who make those cigars.

    "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

    by Unenergy on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:41:14 PM PDT

    •  Then there is the guy who would rather die... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Plan9

      ...a smoker than give it up.

      To accept global warming as a man-made catastrophe means you have to be willing to give up something -- a lot of something in most cases.

      Most people would just rather not.

      •  Yes that is how the fossil fuel industry frame (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        the argument and the media and many politicians play along.
        The reason this becomes such an emotive issue is most of the world is at risk of 'passive smoking' if you like and others are deciding whether or not a change should occur.
        The debate needs to be had, but in an honest context with all the facts laid out. Too often we are being misled about the truth as we were when Big Tobacco plied its trade.

        "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

        by Unenergy on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 11:05:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My favorite old saw by the denialists (6+ / 0-)

    Is when they derisively say, "You don't actually BELIEVE in global warming, do you?" with a snotty eye roll.

    (The rhetorical trap being, obviously, trying to this into a theological debate.)

    Here's the response.

    "No I don't BELIEVE in global warming. This has nothing to do with FAITH. The questions is whether you UNDERSTAND climate change.

    If you are unwilling to learn about the damage we are causing to our own life support system, maybe you don't understand other scientific facts, like for example, gravity.

    I don't BELIEVE in gravity either. But I understand it."

    "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

    by greendem on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:48:55 PM PDT

  •  Evolution deniers, climate change deniers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    ...stem cell research deniers, gay human rights deniers, and folks who believe there are single celled human beings, the Republican party has become the party of stupid.

  •  The problem is. . . (0+ / 0-)

    unchecked population growth. Every child you rear is yet another contributor to global warming and a whole host of other issues. Yes, there are the deniers of the republican party, who infuriate me. But even if they get on our side and get down to business, how much will ever be accomplished when world population continues to expand EXPONENTIALLY.

    Sometimes I think people don't fully grasp what the term EXPONENTIALLY means. It's real meaning is "we are doomed".

    The first step in reducing global warming is slapping a raincoat on the ole willie.

    •  Actually, no. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      Not that we don't need to get population growth under control - but we are doing damage via global warming even faster.

      See this, from Joe Romm's Climate Progress blog.

      ...it is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

      by RunawayRose on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 07:42:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  looky (0+ / 0-)

        We can go to great lengths to reduce our individual Co2 production. . . we may even get close to cutting it in half. . . but if we double our population yet again, as we will, we will have accomplished NOTHING.

        I don't know why that is so difficult to understand.

        •  Oh, I understand you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne

          You don't understand me.

          Of course we have to get our population growth under control.  However, our CO2 is growing a lot faster than our population, so that is the more urgent of the two.  (Not that we can't work on both at once.)

          ...it is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

          by RunawayRose on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 11:18:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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