By Dave Johnson and James Boyce of Smoking Politics
All too often, Democrats are swiftboated,ozoned, attacked and smeared and after the attacks happen, sometimes they respond – sometimes they don’t.
We have had enough.
Here’s what we know and here’s what we’re going to do about it.
The next section of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, focusing on global warming impacts, is due to be released at a meeting in Belgium next month. A draft version of the report says that, within a few decades, hundreds of millions of people will face water shortages, while tens of millions will be flooded out of their homes. Tropical diseases like malaria will spread, pests like fire ants will thrive and by 2050, polar bears will mostly be found in zoos. By 2080, hundreds of millions of people could face starvation, according to the IPCC draft report.
But here’s the thing – the worst of these consequences are not immediate. Yes, hundreds of millions of people will face water shortages and starvation by 2080 — but only if those hundreds of millions of people are alive in the first place.
What am I getting at? One solution to the crisis is for people to stop having so many babies. We’re already using up the fisheries. The cattle being raised to feed so many meat-eaters is as big a problem as the cars we’re all driving.
There is plenty of time between now and 2080 to dramatically cut the population of the world by simply limiting how many babies we’re all having. If there are fewer people around then fewer people face starvation, disease, dislocation and the rest of the consequences.
By Dave Johnson and James Boyce
There’s a tragic but true old expression that a lie can make it half way around the world before the truth can even get its pants on. Sadly, this has been proven true again this week with the $mear attack on Vice President Al Gore and his energy consumption.
Today, we noticed that the lie has made it to Germany. How did this happen and, more to the point, why does it continue to happen?
Co-written with (mostly written by) James Boyce
(Note – visit this follow-up post for a link to Tennessee Center for Policy Research tax forms.)
Did you honestly think that the Right Wing $mear machine was going to let Al Gore stand up with the terrific team who created and direct the movie and receive an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth?”
Did you really believe they would stand by and watch a Democratic leader validated for his life’s work?
No chance in hell. As we have said here before, They destroy our leaders. Note to Senator Obama: spare us the hope and bi-partisanship talk and help us fight back.
Here’s what we know, what we think, what we’re trying to find out and how you can help.
Co-written with James Boyce
It’s a day of celebration and sadness for those of us who follow the global warming issue. On one hand, Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” received a well-deserved Oscar nomination. Congratulations to all involved but especially Laurie David and Lawrence Bender for their wonderful work in bring the Vice-President’s presentation to the big screeen.
However, tragically, today the summary and highlights of the definitive report on global warming was leaked. This 1,600 page report will showcase once and for all, that global warming is real, we are causing it and “the future is dire.”
So how is it, one might ask, that we didn’t take global warming seriously earlier? Especially when we have an an advocate like Al Gore on the national stage.
It’s because the right wing ozoned Al Gore. They mocked him for his concern. The called him “Ozone Man.” Like pathetic schoolyard bullies, they picked fun at him, made him uncool.
Who led the charge?
In 1992, the first President Bush:
“This guy is so far out in the environmental extreme we’ll be up to our necks in owls and outta work for every American.”
In 2000, the second President Bush said of Al Gore
He “likes electric cars. He just doesn’t like making electricity.”
So when President Bush stands up and talks about global warming, think of Al Gore. He stood up fifteen, twenty years ago, and got mocked for his courage and vision.
Co-written with James Boyce, first published at Huffington Post.
Senator Barack Obama is a man to be admired, respected and liked. He is more than worthy of consideration for the Democratic Nomination in 2008 and if we were advising Senator Obama, and his equally impressive wife Michelle, our advice would be to run, and run now. A Vice Presidency certainly looks attractive on one’s resume, and a national campaign brings valuable experience.
Senator Obama is admired and he is loved. Look at the recent favorability polls and there he is, the Number One Democrat in America. But why? Why is a junior Senator, nationally a virtual unknown just two years ago, now at the top of the national favorability ratings? Is it because of his new book? His great 2004 Convention Speech? His appearance on Oprah? All of these, of course, but in fairness, does Barack Obama truly deserve to be the Democratic leader with the highest national favorability in a recent poll? Hardly.
With complete respect to Senator Obama, where are the long-time Democratic leaders who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country? Where are the other possible Presidential contenders? What about Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry? Where are Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid? Are they not leaders that deserve at the very least to have decent favorability ratings?
Why is Barack Obama “favorable” and not any of the better-known Democratic leaders? And why – of all people is Rudy Guiliani at the top of the list as the Number One leader in our country? The answer is simple, and dramatic.
The color glossy 64 page booklet — previously was only available in hardcopy to the media and policy makers — includes speeches, graphs, press releases and scientific articles refuting catastrophe climate fears presented by the media, the United Nations, Hollywood and former Vice President turned-foreign-lobbyist Al Gore.
My wife asked if I’m reading from a joke site.
The press release reads like a parallel universe of a weird cult. My wife says it’s like Dr. Who, and you travel in the Tardis and arrive in America in 2006 in December, but everything is strange. Some alien force is in control of things.
“The American people are fed up with the media for promoting the idea that former Vice President Al Gore represents the scientific “consensus” that SUV’s and the modern American way of life have somehow created a ‘climate emergency’ that only United Nations bureaucrats and wealthy Hollywood liberals can solve,” Senator Inhofe said in October.
We need the Doctor. Maybe Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the Doctor!
[Co-written with James Boyce, originally at Huffington Post]
Jimmy Carter is not remembered as a great President. Most folks might even consider him a failure, the peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia. But why exactly do we hold one of the two Democratic Presidents of the last 38 years in such low esteem?
Isn’t this the man that held the country together in the years after Watergate? Didn’t he bring decency and honesty back to The White House?
Isn’t it a great American success story for a man to come from such humble beginnings, serve in defense of his country and then ascend to the highest office?
Isn’t it remarkable that back in 1979 he declared “The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our Nation. These are facts and we simply must face them.” Isn’t that leadership and vision?
Yes. But it was legacy destroying as well. Our memories of Jimmy Carter are memories laced with the poison of a right wing smear campaign because when Jimmy Carter encouraged us to face the facts of the energy crisis, he faced off against the Oil Companies and as the decades passed, it has become sadly clear that the nuclear physicist Naval Officer peanut farmer came out the worse for it. He was portrayed as naive and as a simpleton. He was routinely mocked. A good man’s legacy was taken down.
Last night I attended a 90-minute presentation by Al Gore on the subject of global warming. I don’t have time to write about it this morning (pesky day job) but the article linked here covers it pretty well. It was an extraordinary event, attended by many of Silicon Valley’s business leaders, like Steve Jobs, the Google guys. It was a terrific presentation but terrifying. It is truly the most important issue facing us. For example, the glaciers are melting, and the Himalayan glaciers provide water to 40% of the Asian population.
After seeing Gore’s presentation I worry that we just might be entering a “runaway” scenario, where the melting of the tundra in Siberia is releasing so much CO2 that we won’t be able to stop this. But we should be trying. Instead our government is making it worse, and laughing about it.
One of the most import points Gore made was that there is not a single scientist or study that disputes that human activity is dramatically increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and that this creates a greenhouse effect that warms the planet. BUT 53% of all newspaper stories surveys said there is dispute or controversy. This shows the power of the Right’s machine to influence the information that people receive. And an informed public is the necessary foundation for a functioning democracy.