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Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs


Two-faced War Lies


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Welcome to BlogPPA.com.  You will find a series of contradictory statements and liberal hypocrisy by the following politicians. ENJOY!!!

By Irving Figadello (nom de guerre)

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TWO-FACED WAR LIES
The New York Post

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 regime-change in 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.)
Minority Leader
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)

Howard Dean
Chairman, Democratic: National Committee
Before: "There's no question Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States and to our allies." (Sept. 29, 2002)

After: "Iraq 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 20, 2004)

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. 23, 2003)

"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 Washington 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)

Al Gore
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 . . . Iraq 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. 16, 1998)

"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 )

THESE LIBERALS IN CHARGE OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY ONLY CARE ABOUT POLITICAL MANEUVERING AND PARTISAN POLITICS!!!

 


 Subject: 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 models.

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 naiveté.

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 school.

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 Columbine High 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 them.

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 America 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 the population.

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 itself.

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 Pennsylvania 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 between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America 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.

 

For Bush critics and haters, consider this:

 The 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.

And the Liberals that want to increase tax redistribution? What Idiocy!!

For those 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.

 

* I strongly recommend reading “Do As 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 and Congress."

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 California to reduce statewide emissions of carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent more by 2050. And this year both Minnesota 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 Washington 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 Midwest 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 University of California, 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 Kentucky, 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.

Shaping public 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. The Rio 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. But Rio was also a setback for climate contrarians, says UCSD's Oreskes: "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 University of 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 Harvard University 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."

Now 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 U.S. 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 Leipzig 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.

Although Clinton did not even try to get the Senate to ratify the Kyoto 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 Washington 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, "the Kyoto 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 Pew Center 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 Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, 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 about."

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 the past.

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 Kyoto 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, Lindzen said, Kyoto 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.

Challenging the 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 foregone conclusion."

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 catastrophe."

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 icebergs adrift

Images: NASA

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 icebergs adrift


 


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 by California 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, Texas 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.


 

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”

Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average 

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s 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).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The 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.

Last 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.

Since 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 2006.

Gore’s 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 year.

“As 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 Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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