Al Gore's Film Scares Big Business
(cross-posted on firedoglake, with updates below)
I had a completely different post planned earlier today, but on the news of Pennsylvania’s
worst flooding in 200 years, and flood warnings for upstate New York, as well
as my own environmental
tragedy last night, I decided to share with you something Al
Gore said to a bunch of progressive bloggers on a recent conference call.
It’s going to make you mad, because when one Republican helped out Al
Gore he was threatened. Yes, regular readers of this blog and others likely caught the story recently, when it was picked up across the web. But the opportunity to reach an even broader audience on FDL inspired me to reshape a recent post, as well as broaden and add to it tonight here for my own readers.
Something I didn't put in my original post was that just yesterday, we had the inimitable Sen.
James Inhofe (R-OK), the same guy who just loves Yucca Mountain, floating the hilarious notion that people don't cause global warming, it's magic! Okay,
so he didn't say it happened by magic, but you get the message. Oklahoma's Inhofe doesn't let science stand in his way. He's been touting the anti-science – Flat Earth Republican stance for years.
Tonight on “Scarborough Country,” John Stossel said environmentalists were “anti-capitalism.” It really gets down to big business not wanting to face the music. If you've got HBO, watch “Real Sports” this week, which talks about asthma among young athletes because of pollution and what the Bush administration has wrought. If you have kids, don't miss it.
Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient
Truth” lays out the science of it, even if the wingnuts are walking
away from the facts as fast as they can. The threats and attacks against Gore
and people like Robert Redford’s Apollo
Alliance are all about politics, because Republicans put party before the
people every time. I happened to meet
Redford in D.C. recently (both of us having very bad hair days due to rain),
because he asked for a special blogger forum to talk about climate crisis. He,
too, is involved with Gore’s film. Along with Gore
and Redford, we also have John
Kerry speaking out on energy independence, which he has done many times
before. Front and center in this fight is ExxonMobil,
whose policies Gore described in our call as the “worst” of the anti
climate crisis crusaders.
PERHAPS THE MOST SURPRISING aspect of ExxonMobil’s support of the think
tanks waging the disinformation campaign is that, given its close ties to
the Bush administration (which cited “incomplete” science as justification
to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol), it’s hard to see why the company
would even need such pseudo-scientific cover. In 1998, Dick Cheney, then CEO
of Halliburton, signed a letter to the Clinton administration challenging
its approach to Kyoto. Less than three weeks after Cheney assumed the vice
presidency, he met with ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond for a half-hour. Officials
of the corporation also met with Cheney’s notorious energy task force.
ExxonMobil’s connections to the current administration go much deeper,
filtering down into lower but crucially important tiers of policymaking. For
example, the memo forwarded by Randy Randol recommended that Harlan Watson,
a Republican staffer with the House Committee on Science, help the United
States’ diplomatic efforts regarding climate change. Watson is now the
State Department’s “senior climate negotiator.” Similarly,
the Bush administration appointed former American Petroleum Institute attorney
Philip Cooneyâ€”who headed the institute’s “climate team”
and opposed the Kyoto Protocolâ€”as chief of staff of the White House
Council on Environmental Quality. In June 2003 the New York Times reported
that the CEQ had watered down an Environmental Protection Agency report’s
discussion of climate change, leading EPA scientists to charge that the document
“no longer accurately represents scientific consensus.”
the World Burns, by Chris Mooney
“The difference between being #1 and #2 pushes buttons for me.”
– Al Gore (during conference call)
Not surprisingly, Gore’s being hit very hard, with Republican operatives
from all corners challenging the science
in his film. Too bad Gore’s
facts are correct. But wait until you hear what happened when Gore first
offered to screen the movie for Congress.
During the call, I asked if “An Inconvenient Truth” had been screened
for Congress, because Gore clearly wanted to reach across to Republicans so
they would come to see the film and understand the urgency of our situation.
Gore said Senator Harry Reid offered to shut down Senate business so everyone
could see it. None of the Republicans showed up. I was thinking maybe we could
put pressure on the anti-science – Flat Earth Republicans, if Gore offered a
screening on the Hill. Maybe progressive constituents of Republicans could flood
their offices demanding their Congressperson see the film. That’s when
Gore told his tale.
A couple of years ago Gore presented a slide show revolving around climate
crisis for the Science Committee and the Committee on Energy & Commerce.
The Democrats showed up. But something amazing happened. Not only did Republicans
not show up, but one of the Republican House members was threatened for helping
Gore out. It wasn’t just any House member either.
Republican Representative Sherry Boehlert, as Gore called him, is Chairman
of the Science Committee and he is retiring from Congress. He is a strong
believer in global warming. It’s real and he knows it and said so
again on CNN
recently. Well, back when Gore put together his briefing for Congress, Boehlert
let Gore use the Science Committee room for his presentation. For his efforts
Boehlert was threatened with losing his chairmanship. The Hammer came down.
Nothing has changed but who’s holding the hammer.
I’d like to get another screening invitation of Gore’s movie sent
out to Congress. But would the Republicans show up?
I think some voters might care if their Republican representative or senator
wanted their city to go by way of New Orleans. After all, you might not be threatened
with hurricanes, but clean air, clean water and a melting planet effects everyone
and the Republicans don’t seem to care as long as ExxonMobil and others
put money into their campaign coffers.
If you’re reading this, Mr. Gore, send out another invitation to Congress.
I’ll back you up and I bet a lot of other progressives will too.
UPDATE: Check this out. DB has seen “Who Killed the Electric Car.”