December 9, 2009

Andrea Mitchell interviewed Al Gore today to talk about climate-change deniers, since Copenhagen, with its many moving parts, has begun. And with the summit, the rash of climate-change and global-warming deniers has really stepped up. What makes these people deny proven science? Digby and Paul Krugman discuss the hatred of reality by conservative loons.

Anyway, Gore asks the question that a Sarah Palin could never answer logically: Why are the polar ice caps disappearing? The batshit crazy deniers like Palin don't know the caps exist maybe because she can't see them from her house...

MITCHELL: Congratulations on the book. You write in your new book, "Our Choice," "The global warming deniers' arguments are fraudulent and often nonsensical." Yet even today, one of the best-known voices in the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, has an op-ed in the Washington Post, and she is escalating a major attack against Copenhagen and against -- against the summit. Palin calls it "junk science." She says, "The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won't change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worst."

What's your response to that?

GORE: Well, you know, the -- the global warming deniers persist in this air of unreality. After all, the entire north polar icecap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this?

The mountain glaciers in every region of the world are melting, many of them at an accelerated rate, threatening drinking supplies -- drinking water supplies and agricultural water supplies. We have these record storms, drought, floods, fires, three deaths (ph) in the American West, climate refugees beginning now, expected to rise to the hundreds of millions unless we take action.

These effects are taking place all over the world exactly as predicted by the scientists, who have warned for years that, if we continue putting 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day, the accumulation -- that's going to trap lots more heat, raise temperatures, and cause all of these consequences that are already beginning.

MITCHELL: Well, one of the things that she has written recently on Facebook is that this is doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that makes the public feel like owning an SUV is a sin against the planet.

GORE: Well, the scientific community has worked very intensively for 20 years within this international process, and they now say the evidence is unequivocal. A hundred and fifty years ago this year was the discovery that CO-2 traps heat. That is a -- a principle in physics. It's not a question of debate. It's like gravity; it exists.

Like gravity it exists. You see, there's the proven. In the mind of conservatives, it doesn't matter what's provable -- only what can be denied. And as we've come to expect from Fred Hiatt and the Washington Post, they reprinted a Sarah Palin op-ed that is littered with so much false information on climate change that it boggles the mind. They have turned the news paper op-ed section into a celebrity rag that could care less about truth and accuracy. I'm shocked the op-ed didn't come with Sarah Palin celebrity photos.

Get Energy Smart Now writes: Fred Hiatt jumps the shark in dragging Washington Post into the sewers: Publishes Sarah Palin OPED contradicted by links within the OPED

Amid the Copenhagen climate summit, Fred Hiatt has chosen to descend the paper to a new low, seeming to prove that there is somehow a balance between outright falsehoods and ignorance, on the one side, and scientific knowledge and honest discourse on the other.

Sarah Palin, fresh off a shallowly ignorant Facebook post calling on President Obama not to go to Copenhagen, has an opinion piece appearing in Wednesday’s Washington Post (following up on Palin’s ghostwritten absurdity published by the Post in July). And, the factual dissections of her falsehoods are already piling on. In terms of those dissections, what is amazing is that one doesn’t have to go beyond the Post itself to find them. I very rarely so heavily quote another blogger, but the always worth reading Tim Lambert has a brutal damning post, The Washington Post can’t go out of business fast on

And here's a response to Dean Baker at the dubious Politico:

Dean Baker: It’s amazing that the Post feels the need to print a column that is chock full of distortions and misinformation just because it was written by a celebrity (Sarah Palin’s pro-global warming diatribe).

She notes that the measures to contain global warming are projected to lead to job loss, commenting on a $4.2 billion fund to retrain workers. Of course, almost every policy leads to some job loss. For example, Governor Palin’s proposal to destroy Alaska’s environment to get more gas and oil would lead job loss in the shipping and dock industries for those involved in importing oil, if her claims about the impact of this oil on imports were actually true.

Of course, Ms. Palin apparently does not care about workers enough to suggest any fund to help these people get new jobs. Of course the job loss from the huge increase in defense spending over this decade swamps any reasonable estimate of the job impact of measures to restrict global warming. But Ms. Palin doesn’t seem concerned about the workers who lose their job for this reason either.Ms. Palin is only concerned about the possible negative effects of policies to save the planet for our children and grandchildren, not about jobs and the economy more generally. I suppose it would be rude [to note] that the most obvious beneficiaries in her story are the oil and gas industries.

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