TWO-FACED WAR LIES TheNew York
DEMOCRATS are on the attack over the decision to invade
Iraq in 2003. They're now claiming that
Saddam Hussein was not a serious threat to
America — and that President Bush
intentionally misled the nation in making his case for war.
Yet, before the invasion, many of these critics warned of the dangers
Saddam posed. Many backed the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, which set
Iraq as official
U.S. policy. And they called for
forceful action to stem the threat, even voting to authorize Bush to
topple Saddam by force.
Below are comparisons of what the critics said before the
invasion, and after.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Ranking Member, Intelligence Committee
Before: "There was unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working
aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear
weapons within the next five years. We also should remember that we have
always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of
weapons of mass destruction . . .
"Saddam's existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a
very real threat to America now . . . He is working to develop delivery
systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring
these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the
Middle East." (Oct. 10, 2002)
After: Investigators should compare all intelligence agency statements
with what President Bush said about
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to
see "whether intelligence analysis was manipulated, shaped or
exaggerated . . . We owe the American people a full and honest
accountability of the intelligence that was used to make the case."
(Nov. 4, 2005)
"You know, it was not the Congress that sent
135,000 or 150,000 troops to
Iraq." (Nov. 13, 2005)
Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.)
Before: "Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator who presents a serious
threat to international peace and security. Under Saddam's rule,
Iraq has engaged in far-reaching
human-rights abuses, been a state sponsor of
terrorism and had has long sought to obtain and develop weapons
of mass destruction." (Oct. 2, 2002)
After: "The administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in
order to sell the war in
Iraq, and attempted to destroy those
who dared to challenge its actions." (Nov. 1, 2005)
Bill Clinton Former President
Before: "Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike
military and security targets in Iraq . . . Their mission is to attack
Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its
military capacity to threaten its neighbors . . . If we fail to respond
today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be
emboldened tomorrow." (Dec. 17, 1998)
After: The Iraq
war "was a big mistake. The American government made several errors . .
. one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard
it would be to unite the country." (Nov. 15, 2005)
Chairman, Democratic: National Committee
Before: "There's no question Saddam Hussein is a threat to the
and to our allies." (Sept. 29, 2002)
was not a threat to us. As frightful and dreadful as Saddam Hussein is,
or was, it was not OK for the United States to attack a country that was
not a threat to us . . . We've taken our eye off the ball because of the
president's obsession with Iraq." (May 22, 2003)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.)
House Minority Leader
Before: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons
of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the
region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process . .
. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware
that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of
grave importance to all nations." (Dec. 16, 1998)
"Yes, he has chemical weapons. Yes, he has biological weapons. He is
trying to get nuclear weapons." (Oct. 10, 2002)
After: "This war has been a grotesque mistake that has diminished our
reputation in the world and has not made
America safer." (Sept. 25, 2004)
"Speaking specifically to
Iraq, we have a situation where —
without adequate evidence — we put our young people in harm's way." (May
Sen. Joe Biden (Del.)
Ranking Member, Foreign Relations Committee
Before: "It is clear that he has a residual of chemical weapons and
biological weapons . . . We know he continues to attempt to gain access
to additional capability, including nuclear capability . . . I think he
has anthrax . . . He does have the capacity, as all terrorist-related
operations do, of smuggling stuff into the United States and doing
something terrible. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world,
and this is a guy who is in every way possible seeking weapons of mass
destruction." (Aug. 4, 2002)
After: "The vice president, I believe, flat lied. The president didn't
lie, he misled . . . Eighty percent of the intelligence community said
no, 20 percent said yes . . . [The president]
led you to believe and everyone else to believe that the entire
[intelligence] community agreed on that. He led you to believe . . . and
the American people to believe there was a consensus. There was no
consensus." (Nov. 16, 2005)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (Mass.)
Before: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and
developing weapons of mass destruction . . . There is no doubt that
Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant and
that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be
tolerated. He must be disarmed." (Sept. 27, 2002)
After: "War in Iraq
was a war of choice, not a war of necessity. It was a product they
[members of the Bush administration] were methodically rolling out.
There was no imminent threat, no immediate national security imperative
and no compelling reason for war." (Jan. 14, 2004)
Sen. John Kerry (Mass.)
"I will be voting to give the president of the
United States the authority to use
force if necessary to disarm Saddam, because I believe that a deadly
arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave
threat to our security." (Oct. 9, 2002)
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal,
murderous dictator leading an impressive regime. He presents a
particularly grievous threat, because he is so consistently prone to
miscalculation. And now he's miscalculating
America's response to his continued
deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction." (Jan.
"If you don't believe . . . Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear
weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me." (Jan. 31, 2003)
After: "It's the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time."
(Sept. 6, 2004)
"The country and the Congress were misled into war. It is deeply
troubling that the Republicans in
are so afraid to share the truth with the American people. Clearly it
will require an independent, outside investigation to get to the bottom
of this." (Nov. 1, 2005)
Former Vice President
Before: "If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear
weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how
many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He has already
demonstrated a willingness to use such weapons . . .
does pose a serious threat to the stability of the
Persian Gulf, and we should organize an international
coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction." (Dec.
"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical
weapons throughout his country . . . Iraq's search for weapons of mass
destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it
will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." (Sept. 23, 2002)
After: "Too many of our soldiers are paying the highest price for the
strategic miscalculations, serious misjudgments and historic mistakes
that have put them and our nation in harm's way . . . On the nuclear
issue, of course, it turned out that those documents were actually
forged by somebody. As for the cheering Iraqi crowds we anticipated,
unfortunately, that didn't pan out either, so now our troops are in an
ugly and dangerous situation . . . In other words, when you put it all
together, it was just one mistaken impression after another.
Lots of them." (Aug. 7, 2003)
Sen. Robert Byrd (W. Va.)
Before: "We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of
chemical and biological weapons and that he has since embarked on a
crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare
capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear
weapons." (Oct. 3, 2002)
After: "Before they [U.S.
troops] could realize their dreams, they were called into battle by
their commander in chief, a battle that we now know was predicated on
faulty intelligence and wildly exaggerated claims of looming danger."
(April 7, 2004 )
IN CHARGE OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY ONLY CARE ABOUT POLITICAL MANEUVERING
AND PARTISAN POLITICS!!!
Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs
This letter was written by Charles
Grennel and his comrades who are veterans of
the Global War on Terror.
Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent
two years in Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq
elections, January of 2005.
It was written to Jill Edwards, a student at the
University of Washington
who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg
Boyington. Ms. Edwards and other students
(and faculty) do not think those who serve in the
U.S. armed services are good role
To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW) Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs
Miss Edwards, I read of your student activity regarding the proposed
memorial to Col. Greg Boyington, USMC and a
Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry
e-mails from conservative folks like me.
You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations
of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow
students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your
It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. Theres
no dishonor in being a sheep as long as you know
and accept what you are.
William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy
November 24, 1997 said: Most of the people in our society are sheep.
They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one
another by accident. We may well be in the most violent times in
history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most
citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each
other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without
mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the
flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this
world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or
pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock
and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are
a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for
violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined
an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for
violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens?
What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior,
someone who is walking the unchartered path.Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness,
into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep.
They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world.
They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want
fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits
throughout their kids schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea
of putting an armed police officer in their kids
Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or
seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep only
response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone
coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose
the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the
wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference,
though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm
the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally
harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world
cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or
a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that
there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them
where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our
airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much
rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white,
and go, Baa. Until the wolf shows up; then the entire flock tries
desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
The students, the victims, at
ColumbineHigh School were big,
tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would
not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad
kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under
attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways,
the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of
This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is
at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the
wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how
America, more than ever before, felt
differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a
sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a
sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the
perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the
night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs
yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and
wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along
with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep
pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is,
most citizens in
said, Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes. The sheepdogs, the
warriors, said, Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those
planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.
You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally
superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real
advantage. Only one. And that is that he is
able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of
There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted
of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory
crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement
officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims
by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness.
They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa,
when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can
choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and
more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was
honored in his hometown of
Cranbury, New Jersey.
Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over
who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines
about the hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger
planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers
confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation
occurred among the passengers, athletes, business people and parents
from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately
saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil
of evil men. Edmund Burke.
Only the dead have seen the end of war. Plato
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of
police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep,
real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are
wolves. They didn't have a choice.
But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you
want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a
sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand
the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are
going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you.
If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to
hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love.
But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warriors path, then you
must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip
and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the
wolf comes knocking at the door.
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy.
It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of
degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep
and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist
completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in
Since 9-11 almost everyone in
took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few
steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors and the warriors
started taking their job more seriously. It's ok to be a sheep, but do
not kick the sheep dog.
Indeed, the sheep dog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a
little better and be fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle
and spirit with the sheep moving from baa to thanks.
We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a
small pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional
tank which is drained protecting the sheep. And when our number is
called by The Almighty, and day retreats into night, a small prayer
before the heavens just may be in order to say thanks for letting you
continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the thousands, millions of
American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.
critics and haters, consider this:
Wall Street Journal considers the long-run U.S defense budget as a
percentage of GDP. In the 1960’s, it
averaged 8.4%; in the 1970’s, 5.6%; and in the 1980’s 5.7%. Under
President Bush, however it has averaged 3.6%.
In addition, according to and article written by
Brian S. Wesbury published in the Wall
Street Journal: Last year, U.S exports, industrial production, real
hourly compensation, corporate profits, federal tax revenues, retail
sales, GDP, productivity,
the number of people with jobs, the number of students in college,
airline passenger traffic, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average all hit
record levels. For the third consecutive year, global growth was strong,
continuing to lift (and hold) millions of people out of poverty.
Liberals that want to increase tax redistribution? What Idiocy!!
of you who are seemingly unaware of who pays taxes in this country, an
article from the Wall Street Journal written by Ari
Fleischer provides some insight. Did you know that the top 40% income
earners pay 99.1% of this country’s federal income taxes? This means
that 60% of the people pay no taxes and still have 60% of the vote
controlling the country. Why should 40% of the people pay the bills, and
yet have the same influence on the countries policies as 60% of the
people who don’t pay? (FOR ADDITIONAL INFO, PLEASE VISIT BLOGTAXES.COM)
Solution: In addition to our traditional electoral system (one equal
vote per citizen), another vote should be given (the same amount of
votes should be distributed), but this vote should be weighed and based
upon the amount of taxes one pays.
strongly recommend reading “DoAs I Say (Not As I Do),” by Peter
Schweizer. This book points out the liberal
hypocrisy by the following individuals:Noam
Chomsky, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Ralph
Nader, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, Barbra
Streisand, Gloria Steinem, and Cornel West.
Since the late 1980s,
this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists,
free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of
doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds,
lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being
called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements
indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any
warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend
that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned
what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim
Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an under secretary of
State in the Clinton
administration. "Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science
uncertain and in dispute. That's had a huge impact on both the public
Just last year, polls
found that 64 percent of Americans thought there was "a lot" of
scientific disagreement on climate change; only one third thought
planetary warming was "mainly caused by things people do." In contrast,
majorities in Europe and
Japan recognize a broad consensus among
climate experts that greenhouse gases—mostly from the burning of coal,
oil and natural gas to power the world's economies—are altering climate.
A new NEWSWEEK Poll finds that the influence of the denial machine
remains strong. Although the figure is less than in earlier polls, 39
percent of those asked say there is "a lot of disagreement among climate
scientists" on the basic question of whether the planet is warming; 42
percent say there is a lot of disagreement that human activities are a
major cause of global warming. Only 46 percent say the greenhouse effect
is being felt today.
As a result of the
undermining of the science, all the recent talk about addressing climate
change has produced little in the way of actual action. Yes, last
September Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a landmark law committing
to reduce statewide emissions of carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2020
and 80 percent more by 2050. And this year both
and New Jersey
passed laws requiring their states to reduce greenhouse emissions 80
percent below recent levels by 2050. In January, nine leading
corporations—including Alcoa, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, Du Pont and
General Electric—called on Congress to "enact strong national
legislation" to reduce greenhouse gases. But although at least eight
bills to require reductions in greenhouse gases have been introduced in
Congress, their fate is decidedly murky. The Democratic leadership in
the House of Representatives decided last week not even to bring to a
vote a requirement that automakers improve vehicle mileage, an obvious
step toward reducing greenhouse emissions. Nor has there been much
public pressure to do so. Instead, every time the scientific case got
stronger, "the American public yawned and bought bigger cars," Rep. Rush
Holt, a New Jersey
congressman and physicist, recently wrote in the journal Science;
politicians "shrugged, said there is too much doubt among scientists,
and did nothing."
It was 98 degrees in
on Thursday, June 23, 1988, and climate change was bursting into public
consciousness. The Amazon was burning, wildfires raged in the
United States, crops in the
were scorched and it was shaping up to be the hottest year on record
worldwide. A Senate committee, including Gore, had invited NASA
climatologist James Hansen to testify about the greenhouse effect, and
the members were not above a little stagecraft. The night before,
staffers had opened windows in the hearing room. When Hansen began his
testimony, the air conditioning was struggling, and sweat dotted his
brow. It was the perfect image for the revelation to come. He was 99
percent sure, Hansen told the panel, that "the greenhouse effect has
been detected, and it is changing our climate now."
The reaction from
industries most responsible for greenhouse emissions was immediate. "As
soon as the scientific community began to come together on the science
of climate change, the pushback began," says historian Naomi
Oreskes of the
San Diego. Individual companies and industry
associations—representing petroleum, steel, autos and utilities, for
instance—formed lobbying groups with names like the Global Climate
Coalition and the Information Council on the Environment.
ICE's game plan called for enlisting
greenhouse doubters to "reposition global warming as theory rather than
fact," and to sow doubt about climate research just as cigarette makers
had about smoking research. ICE ads asked, "If the earth is getting
warmer, why is Minneapolis
or some other site] getting colder?" This sounded what would become a
recurring theme for naysayers: that global
temperature data are flat-out wrong. For one thing, they argued, the
data reflect urbanization (many temperature stations are in or near
cities), not true global warming.
opinion was only one goal of the industry groups, for soon after
Hansen's sweat-drenched testimony they faced a more tangible threat:
international proposals to address global warming. The United Nations
had scheduled an "Earth Summit" for 1992 in
Rio de Janeiro, and climate change was high on an
agenda that included saving endangered species and rain forests. ICE and
the Global Climate Coalition lobbied hard against a global treaty to
curb greenhouse gases, and were joined by a central cog in the denial
machine: the George C. Marshall Institute, a conservative think tank.
Barely two months before Rio,
it released a study concluding that models of
the greenhouse effect had "substantially exaggerated its importance."
The small amount of global warming that might be occurring, it argued,
actually reflected a simple fact: the Sun is putting out more energy.
The idea of a "variable Sun" has remained a constant in the
naysayers' arsenal to this day, even though
the tiny increase in solar output over recent decades falls far short of
explaining the extent or details of the observed warming.
In what would become
a key tactic of the denial machine—think tanks linking up with
like-minded, contrarian researchers—the report was endorsed in a letter
to President George H.W. Bush by MIT meteorologist Richard
Lindzen.Lindzen, whose parents had fled Hitler's
Germany, is described by old friends as
the kind of man who, if you're in the minority, opts to be with you. "I
thought it was important to make it clear that the science was at an
early and primitive stage and that there was little basis for consensus
and much reason for skepticism," he told Scientific American magazine.
"I did feel a moral obligation."
Bush was torn. The
head of his Environmental Protection Agency, William Reilly, supported
binding cuts in greenhouse emissions. Political advisers insisted on
nothing more than voluntary cuts. Bush's chief of staff, John Sununu,
had a Ph.D. in engineering from MIT and "knew computers," recalls
Reilly. Sununu frequently logged on to a computer model of climate,
Reilly says, and "vigorously critiqued" its assumptions and projections.
Sununu's side won.
treaty called for countries to voluntarily stabilize their greenhouse
emissions by returning them to 1990 levels by 2000.
(As it turned out, U.S. emissions in 2000 were 14 percent higher than in
1990.) Avoiding mandatory cuts was a huge victory for industry.
was also a setback for climate contrarians, says
UCSD'sOreskes: "It was one thing
when Al Gore said there's global warming, but quite another when George
Bush signed a convention saying so." And the doubters faced a newly
powerful nemesis. Just months after he signed the
Rio pact, Bush lost to Bill Clinton—whose vice president,
Gore, had made climate change his signature issue.
Groups that opposed
greenhouse curbs ramped up. They "settled on the 'science isn't there'
argument because they didn't believe they'd be able to convince the
public to do nothing if climate change were real," says David
Goldston, who served as Republican chief of
staff for the House of Representatives science committee until 2006.
Industry found a friend in Patrick Michaels, a climatologist at the
Virginia who keeps a small farm where he
raises prize-winning pumpkins and whose favorite weather, he once told a
reporter, is "anything severe." Michaels had written several popular
articles on climate change, including an op-ed in The Washington Post in
1989 warning of "apocalyptic environmentalism," which he called "the
most popular new religion to come along since Marxism." The coal
industry's Western Fuels Association paid Michaels to produce a
newsletter called World Climate Report, which has regularly trashed
mainstream climate science. (At a 1995 hearing in Minnesota on
coal-fired power plants, Michaels admitted that he received more than
$165,000 from industry; he now declines to comment on his industry
funding, asking, "What is this, a hatchet job?")
The road from Rio led
to an international meeting in Kyoto,
Japan, where more than 100 nations would negotiate
a treaty on making Rio's voluntary—and
largely ignored—greenhouse curbs mandatory. The coal and oil industries,
worried that Kyoto
could lead to binding greenhouse cuts that would imperil their profits,
ramped up their message that there was too much scientific uncertainty
to justify any such cuts. There was just one little problem. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC—the international
body that periodically assesses climate research—had just issued its
second report, and the conclusion of its 2,500 scientists looked
devastating for greenhouse doubters. Although both natural swings and
changes in the Sun's output might be contributing to climate change, it
concluded, "the balance of evidence suggests
a discernible human influence on climate."
Faced with this
emerging consensus, the denial machine hardly blinked. There is too much
"scientific uncertainty" to justify curbs on greenhouse emissions,
William O'Keefe, then a vice president of the American Petroleum
Institute and leader of the Global Climate Coalition, suggested in 1996.
Virginia's Michaels echoed that idea in a 1997
op-ed in The Washington Post, describing "a growing contingent of
scientists who are increasingly unhappy with the glib forecasts of gloom
and doom." To reinforce the appearance of uncertainty and disagreement,
the denial machine churned out white papers and "studies" (not empirical
research, but critiques of others' work). The Marshall Institute, for
instance, issued reports by a
astrophysicist it supported pointing to satellite data showing "no
significant warming" of the atmosphere, contrary to the surface warming.
The predicted warming, she wrote, "simply isn't happening according to
the satellite[s]." At the time, there was a legitimate case that
satellites were more accurate than ground stations, which might be
skewed by the unusual warmth of cities where many are sited.
"There was an
extraordinary campaign by the denial machine to find and hire scientists
to sow dissent and make it appear that the research community was deeply
divided," says Dan Becker of the Sierra Club. Those recruits blitzed the
media. Driven by notions of fairness and objectivity, the press
"qualified every mention of human influence on climate change with 'some
scientists believe,' where the reality is that the vast preponderance of
scientific opinion accepts that human-caused [greenhouse] emissions are
contributing to warming," says Reilly, the former EPA chief.
"The pursuit of balance has not done justice" to the
science. Talk radio goes further, with Rush Limbaugh telling
listeners this year that "more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not
likely to significantly contribute to the greenhouse effect. It's just
all part of the hoax." In the new NEWSWEEK Poll, 42 percent said the
press "exaggerates the threat of climate change."
naysayers tried a new tactic: lists and
petitions meant to portray science as hopelessly divided. Just before
Kyoto, S. Fred
Singer released the "Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change."
Singer, who fled Nazi-occupied Austria
as a boy, had run the
weather-satellite program in the early 1960s. In the
Leipzig petition, just over 100 scientists and
others, including TV weathermen, said they "cannot subscribe to the
politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes."
Unfortunately, few of the
signers actually did climate research; they just kibitzed about other
people's. Scientific truth is not decided by
majority vote, of course (ask Galileo), but the number of researchers
whose empirical studies find that the world is warming and that human
activity is partly responsible numbered in the thousands even then. The
IPCC report issued this year, for instance, was written by more than 800
climate researchers and vetted by 2,500 scientists from 130 nations.
Clinton did not even try to get the Senate to ratify the
treaty (he knew a hopeless cause when he saw one), industry was taking
no chances. In April 1998 a dozen people from the denial
machine—including the Marshall Institute, Fred Singer's group and
Exxon—met at the American Petroleum Institute's
headquarters. They proposed a $5 million campaign, according to a leaked
eight-page memo, to convince the public that the science of global
warming is riddled with controversy and uncertainty. The plan was to
train up to 20 "respected climate scientists" on media—and
public—outreach with the aim of "raising questions about and
undercutting the 'prevailing scientific wisdom' " and, in particular,
treaty's scientific underpinnings" so that elected officials "will seek
to prevent progress toward implementation." The plan, once exposed in
the press, "was never implemented as policy," says
Marshall's William O'Keefe, who was then at API.
The GOP control of
Congress for six of Clinton's
eight years in office meant the denial machine had a receptive audience.
Although Republicans such as Sens. John
McCain, Jim Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee spurned the denial camp, and
Democrats such as Congressman John Dingell adamantly oppose greenhouse
curbs that might hurt the auto and other industries, for the most part
climate change has been a bitterly partisan issue. Republicans have also
received significantly more campaign cash from the energy and other
industries that dispute climate science. Every proposed climate bill
"ran into a buzz saw of denialism," says
Manik Roy of the
PewCenter on Climate Change,
a research and advocacy group, who was a Senate staffer at the time.
"There was no rational debate in Congress on climate change."
The reason for the
inaction was clear. "The questioning of the science made it to the Hill
through senators who parroted reports funded by the American Petroleum
Institute and other advocacy groups whose entire purpose was to confuse
people on the science of global warming," says Sen. John Kerry. "There
would be ads challenging the science right around the time we were
trying to pass legislation. It was pure, raw pressure combined with
false facts." Nor were states stepping where
Washington feared to tread. "I did a lot of
testifying before state legislatures—in
Alaska—that thought about taking action," says
Singer. "I said that the observed warming was and would be much, much
less than climate models calculated, and therefore nothing to worry
But the science was
shifting under the denial machine. In January 2000, the National Academy
of Sciences skewered its strongest argument. Contrary to the claim that
satellites finding no warming are right and ground stations showing
warming are wrong, it turns out that the satellites are off. (Basically,
engineers failed to properly correct for changes in their orbit.) The
planet is indeed warming, and at a rate since 1980 much greater than in
Just months after the
Academy report, Singer told a Senate panel that "the Earth's atmosphere
is not warming and fears about human-induced storms, sea-level rise and
other disasters are misplaced." And as studies fingering humans as a
cause of climate change piled up, he had a new argument: a cabal was
silencing good scientists who disagreed with the "alarmist" reports.
"Global warming has become an article of faith for many, with its own
theology and orthodoxy," Singer wrote in The Washington Times. "Its
believers are quite fearful of any scientific dissent."
With the Inauguration
of George W. Bush in 2001, the denial machine expected to have friends
in the White House. But despite Bush's oil-patch roots,
naysayers weren't sure they could count on
him: as a candidate, he had pledged to cap carbon dioxide emissions.
Just weeks into his term, the Competitive Enterprise Institute heard
rumors that the draft of a speech Bush was preparing included a passage
reiterating that pledge. CEI's Myron
Ebell called conservative pundit Robert
Novak, who had booked Bush's EPA chief, Christie Todd Whitman, on CNN's
"Crossfire." He asked her about the line, and within hours the
possibility of a carbon cap was the talk of the Beltway. "We alerted
anyone we thought could have influence and get the line, if it was in
the speech, out," says CEI president Fred Smith, who counts this as
another notch in CEI's belt. The White House
declines to comment.
Bush not only
disavowed his campaign pledge. In March, he withdrew from the
treaty. After the about-face, MIT's Lindzen
told NEWSWEEK in 2001, he was summoned to the White House. He told Bush
he'd done the right thing. Even if you accept the doomsday forecasts,
would hardly touch the rise in temperatures. The treaty, he said, would
"do nothing, at great expense."
Bush's reversal came
just weeks after the IPCC released its third assessment of the
burgeoning studies of climate change. Its conclusion: the 1990s were
very likely the warmest decade on record, and recent climate change is
partly "attributable to human activities." The weather itself seemed to
be conspiring against the skeptics. The early years of the new
millennium were setting heat records. The summer of 2003 was especially
brutal, with a heat wave in Europe
killing tens of thousands of people. Consultant Frank
Luntz, who had been instrumental in the GOP
takeover of Congress in 1994, suggested a solution to the PR mess. In a
memo to his GOP clients, he advised them that to deal with global
warming, "you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty
a primary issue." They should "challenge the science," he wrote, by
"recruiting experts who are sympathetic to your view." Although few of
the experts did empirical research of their own (MIT's
Lindzen was an exception), the public didn't
notice. To most civilians, a scientist is a scientist.
science wasn't a hard sell on Capitol Hill. "In the House, the
leadership generally viewed it as impermissible to go along with
anything that would even imply that climate change was genuine," says
Goldston, the former Republican staffer.
"There was a belief on the part of many members that the science was
fraudulent, even a Democratic fantasy. A lot of the information they got
was from conservative think tanks and industry." When in 2003 the Senate
called for a national strategy to cut greenhouse gases, for instance,
climate naysayers were "giving briefings and
talking to staff," says Goldston. "There was
a constant flow of information—largely misinformation." Since the House
version of that bill included no climate provisions, the two had to be
reconciled. "The House leadership staff basically said, 'You know we're
not going to accept this,' and [Senate staffers] said, 'Yeah, we know,'
and the whole thing disappeared relatively jovially without much
notice," says Goldston. "It was such a
Especially when the
denial machine had a new friend in a powerful place.
In 2003 James Inhofe of
Oklahoma took over as chairman of the
environment committee. That summer he took to the Senate floor and, in a
two-hour speech, disputed the claim of scientific consensus on climate
change. Despite the discovery that satellite data showing no warming
were wrong, he argued that "satellites, widely considered the most
accurate measure of global temperatures, have confirmed" the absence of
atmospheric warming. Might global warming, he asked, be "the greatest
hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?" Inhofe made his mark
holding hearing after hearing to suggest that the answer is yes. For
one, on a study finding a dramatic increase in global temperatures
unprecedented in the last 1,000 years, he invited a scientist who
challenged that conclusion (in a study partly underwritten with $53,000
from the American Petroleum Institute), one other doubter and the
scientist who concluded that recent global temperatures were spiking.
Just as Luntz had suggested, the witness
table presented a tableau of scientific disagreement.
Every effort to pass
climate legislation during the George W. Bush years was stopped in its
tracks. When Senators McCain and Joe Lieberman were fishing for votes
for their bipartisan effort in 2003, a staff member for Sen. Ted Stevens
of Alaska explained to her counterpart in Lieberman's office that
Stevens "is aware there is warming in Alaska, but he's not sure how much
it's caused by human activity or natural cycles," recalls Tim
Profeta, now director of an
environmental-policy institute at Duke University. "I was hearing the
basic argument of the skeptics—a brilliant strategy to go after the
science. And it was working." Stevens voted against the bill, which
failed 43-55. When the bill came up again the next year, "we were
contacted by a lot of lobbyists from API and Exxon-Mobil," says Mark
Helmke, the climate aide to GOP Sen. Richard
Lugar. "They'd bring up how the science wasn't certain, how there were a
lot of skeptics out there." It went down to defeat again.
Killing bills in
Congress was only one prong of the denial machine's campaign. It also
had to keep public opinion from demanding action on greenhouse
emissions, and that meant careful management of what federal scientists
and officials wrote and said. "If they presented the science honestly,
it would have brought public pressure for action," says Rick
Piltz, who joined the federal Climate
Science Program in 1995. By appointing former coal and oil lobbyists to
key jobs overseeing climate policy, he found, the administration made
sure that didn't happen. Following the playbook laid out at the 1998
meeting at the American Petroleum Institute, officials made sure that
every report and speech cast climate science as dodgy, uncertain,
controversial—and therefore no basis for making policy. Ex-oil lobbyist
Philip Cooney, working for the White House Council on Environmental
Quality, edited a 2002 report on climate science by sprinkling it with
phrases such as "lack of understanding" and "considerable uncertainty."
A short section on climate in another report was cut entirely. The White
House "directed us to remove all mentions of it," says
Piltz, who resigned in protest. An oil
lobbyist faxed Cooney, "You are doing a great job."
The response to the
international climate panel's latest report, in February, showed that
greenhouse doubters have a lot of fight left in them. In addition to
offering $10,000 to scientists willing to attack the report, which so
angered Boxer, they are emphasizing a new theme. Even if the world is
warming now, and even if that warming is due in part to the greenhouse
gases emitted by burning fossil fuels, there's nothing to worry about.
As Lindzen wrote in a guest editorial in
NEWSWEEK International in April, "There is no compelling evidence that
the warming trend we've seen will amount to anything close to
Going, Going, Gone: Satellite images show the Larsen B ice shelf
in Antarctica disintegrating into the Weddell Sea in January,
2002 (left) and March of the same year (right). The
1,255-square-mile mass of ice, 700 feet thick and weighing 720
billion tons, collapsed over three months, setting thousands of
To some extent, greenhouse denial is now running on automatic pilot.
"Some members of Congress have completely internalized this," says Pew's
Roy, and therefore need no coaching from the
think tanks and contrarian scientists who for 20 years kept them stoked
with arguments. At a hearing last month on the
Kyoto treaty, GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
asked whether "changes in the Earth's temperature in the past—all of
these glaciers moving back and forth—and the changes that we see now"
might be "a natural occurrence." (Hundreds of studies have ruled that
out.) "I think it's a bit grandiose for us to believe ... that [human
activities are] going to change some major climate cycle that's going
on." Inhofe has told allies he will filibuster any climate bill that
mandates greenhouse cuts.
Still, like a great
beast that has been wounded, the denial machine is not what it once was.
In the NEWSWEEK Poll, 38 percent of those surveyed identified climate
change as the nation's gravest environmental threat, three times the
number in 2000. After ExxonMobil was chastised by senators for giving
$19 million over the years to the Competitive Enterprise Institute and
others who are "producing very questionable data" on climate change, as
Sen. Jay Rockefeller said, the company has cut back its support for such
groups. In June, a spokesman said ExxonMobil did not doubt the risks
posed by climate change, telling reporters, "We're very much not a
denier." In yet another shock, Bush announced at the weekend that he
would convene a global-warming summit next month, with a 2008 goal of
cutting greenhouse emissions. That astonished the remaining
naysayers. "I just can't imagine the
administration would look to mandatory [emissions caps] after what we
had with Kyoto,"
said a GOP Senate staffer, who did not want to be named criticizing the
president. "I mean, what a disaster!"
With its change of
heart, ExxonMobil is more likely to win a place at the negotiating table
as Congress debates climate legislation. That will be crucially
important to industry especially in 2009, when
naysayers may no longer be able to count on a friend in the White
House nixing man-datory greenhouse curbs.
All the Democratic presidential contenders have called global warming a
real threat, and promise to push for cuts similar to those being passed
and other states. In the GOP field, only McCain—long a leader on the
issue—supports that policy. Fred Thompson belittles findings that human
activities are changing the climate, and Rudy Giuliani backs the
all-volunteer greenhouse curbs of (both) Presidents Bush.
Look for the next
round of debate to center on what Americans are willing to pay and do to
stave off the worst of global warming. So far the answer seems to be,
not much. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds less than half in favor of requiring
high-mileage cars or energy-efficient appliances and buildings. No
amount of white papers, reports and studies is likely to change that. If
anything can, it will be the climate itself. This summer,
was hit by exactly the kind of downpours and flooding expected in a
greenhouse world, and Las Vegas
and other cities broiled in record triple-digit temperatures. Just last
week the most accurate study to date concluded that the length of heat
waves in Europe has doubled, and their
frequency nearly tripled, in the past century. The frequency of Atlantic
hurricanes has already doubled in the last century.
Snowpack whose water is crucial to both cities and farms is
diminishing. It's enough to make you wish that climate change were a
hoax, rather than the reality it is.
Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”
home uses more than 20 times the national average
night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth,
collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the
for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for
mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of
Nashville, consumes more electricity every month
than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to
the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve
energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
average household in
America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours
(kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore
devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice
the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an
entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average
monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
the release of An Inconvenient
Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an
average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in
extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas
bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last
the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to
be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to
home energy use,” said
for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.
total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas
bills for his Nashville
estate in 2006.