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Americans Tune Out Live Earth (Update: Not Just Americans, Either)

A new survey by Rasmussen shows that Americans didn't pay much attention to the celebrity-driven Live Earth concerts, mostly because of skepticism about their motivation. Less than a quarter of those surveyed bothered to follow the news stories about Al Gore's project, which may have political implications of its own. At Heading Right, I take a look at the numbers and see a reality check for those who believe climate change to be a winning issue in the next election. Although a 22 share would be pretty good ratings for a televised event, it shows a distinct lack of resonance for political benefit. The Draft Gore movement may have to rethink its chances for success. (via Memeorandum) UPDATE: Americans weren't alone in their lack of enthusiasm. The British also tuned out in droves, according to the Daily Mail: Live Earth has been branded a foul-mouthed flop. Organisers of the global...

Heading Right Radio: AirCongress, Joe Gandelman

NOTE: Newer posts may appear below this, which will stay on top until the show begins at 2 pm CT. Today on Heading Right Radio (2 pm CT), Danny Glover of AirCongress joins us to discuss the new partnership between BlogTalkRadio and AC. We'll also look at the latest news and issues in Congress, including Senator James Inhofe's efforts to oppose the conventional wisdom on global warming, and the retirement of Tom Tancredo from the House. In the first half of the show, Joe Gandelman from The Moderate Voice joins me again to discuss the latest in the Southern California fires, the latest in the lineup at TMV, and much more! Call 646-652-4889 to join the conversation! And don't forget to join our chat room! Did you know that you can listen to Heading Right Radio through your TiVo service? Click here for the instructions. Also, you can subscribe to...

Hollywood Only Likes One Kind Of Green, Baby

When UCLA started researching Southern California polluters by industry, one would have expected the usual suspects to rise to the top of the list. Certainly, the oil refineries rank as the worst aggregate polluter in the greater Los Angeles area, as most would guess; I grew up near them, and it's no great shock. However, can anyone guess which SoCal industry managed to beat aerospace manufacturing, hotels, and semiconductor manufacturers for second place? The Guardian has a surprise for Californios and movie lovers: The city of Los Angeles is principally famous for two things: glittering movies and suffocating smog. Now researchers have found that the two are not unconnected. A study by the University of California Los Angeles shows the film and television industry to be the second largest polluter in the Los Angeles area. Only the region's oil refineries pump more pollutants into the air, it says. While Hollywood...

The Nobel For Alarmism And Hyperbole Goes To ...

Former Vice President Al Gore how has a Nobel Peace Prize to go along with his Oscar for his efforts to advance the cause of global warming by misstating data and frankly lying about its effects. At least that's the conclusion of a British court that had to rule on whether schools in the UK could use Gore's documentary as a teaching tool: The judge said that, for instance, Gore's script implies that Greenland or West Antarctica might melt in the near future, creating a sea level rise of up to 20 feet that would cause devastation from San Francisco to the Netherlands to Bangladesh. The judge called this "distinctly alarmist" and said the consensus view is that, if indeed Greenland melted, it would release this amount of water, "but only after, and over, millennia." Burton also said Gore contends that inhabitants of low-lying Pacific atolls have had to evacuate...

The 'Endorsement'

As if John McCain didn't have enough problems appealing to the Republican base. Last night, as the presidential primary debate in Florida started, the New York Times issued a vicious broadside against the McCain campaign, one that will only estrange him further from the voters he needs the most as he head into a series of closed primaries: Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field. We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has...

Heading Right Radio: Jacki Schechner; Bill Kovacs

Note: This post will remain on top until show time; newer posts may be found below. Today on Heading Right Radio (2 pm CT), Jacki Schechner joins us to talk about politics and media. Jacki spent years as an on-air correspondent for CNN, specifically working to engage the blogosphere. We'll catch up with Jacki and talk about how media, politics, and the Internet intersect -- and how that will play out in the election. In the second half, Bill Kovacs joins us from the US Chamber of Commerce to talk about the latest global-warming legislation floating on Capitol Hill. Call 646-652-4889 to join the conversation! And don't forget to join our chat room! BONUS: I'll be on Midstream Radio with Jazz Shaw sometime in the first half of the show, which starts at 12 noon CT. Did you know that you can listen to Heading Right Radio through your TiVo...

Governor Moonbeam Becomes AG Sunbeam?

When Californians returned former Governor Jerry Brown to statewide office, this time as Attorney General, pundits around the nation waited in anticipation for any hint of a return to his old ways, which earned him the nickname Governor Moonbeam. It apparently didn't take long, as everyone at the California Department of Justice discovered yesterday when they opened their e-mail. Brown wants the staff to clearly understand his priorities as chief law-enforcement officer in the Golden State. CQ's inside source sent over the full text of the e-mail (emphases mine): To everyone within the Department of Justice: I am very much looking forward to joining you on January 8, 2007, as your new Attorney General. These are busy weeks, as I wind up my work as Mayor of Oakland and get ready to assume office. Bill Lockyer and key members of his executive staff have been extraordinarily helpful in smoothing the...

China Wins The Coaled Medal

China has overtaken the US in carbon emissions, thanks to a growth rate that has far exceeded predictions and a suprising reduction in US emissions. Of course, the Guardian fails to mention that aspect in its report, but it does note that the US warned that any emissions protocols that excluded China would fail: China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, figures released today show. The surprising announcement will increase anxiety about China's growing role in driving man-made global warming and will pile pressure onto world politicians to agree a new global agreement on climate change that includes the booming Chinese economy. China's emissions had not been expected to overtake those from the US, formerly the world's biggest polluter, for several years, although some reports predicted it could happen as early as next year. But according to the Netherlands...

A Carbon Tax?

Anne Applebaum offers her solution to global warming, one that she claims any nation serious about the issue can apply without waiting for international accords to come into force. She favors a carbon tax, applied at every level, in order to create incentives for innovation and conservation: The much-vaunted treaty [Kyoto] creates a complicated and unenforceable system of international targets for carbon emissions reduction, based on measurements taken in 1990. Critics of the American president have condemned him for failing to sign it, conveniently forgetting that the Senate rejected it 95 to 0 in 1997, a margin that reflects broad bipartisan opposition. At the same time, few of the Asian and European signatories are actually on track to meet their goals; those that will meet the targets, such as Britain, can do so because their economies rely less on industry than they once did. Canada and Japan aren't even close...

Did George Bush Become A Climate-Change Convert?

The London Telegraph headlines the agreement of George Bush to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions as part of a global effort. They hail his "dramatic" shift on the issue of global warming. Did Bush change American policy -- or did he change the ground conditions for the climate-change debate? At Heading Right, I explain that the only dramatic change came from the rest of the G-8 nations. They decided to stop short of economic suicide, and Bush pulled the gun away from their temples. UPDATE: Kimberly Strassel at The Wall Street Journal agrees (h/t: CQ commenter onlineanalyst): Under the vaunted Kyoto, from 2000 to 2004, Europe managed to increase its emissions by 2.3 percentage points over 1995 to 2000. Only two countries are on track to meet targets. There's rampant cheating, and endless stories of how select players are self-enriching off the government "market" in C02 credits. Meanwhile, in the U.S.,...

Leave Him Alone

I understand the impulse to treat politics as a bloodsport, but even those who prefer that mode should really limit their attacks to the combatants. Today's story about the arrest of Al Gore III provides a case in point: The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff's official said. Al Gore III -- whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming -- was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at about 2:15 a.m. The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. The search turned up a small amount of marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax,...

Florida Debate: Romney Scores, Rudy Close Behind

Florida voters got their final head-to-head look at the Republican presidential candidates tonight, and the winner of the debate was Mitt Romney. He looked presidential, poised, and factually prepared. In a debate that spent the first two-thirds with everyone doing well, Romney not only broke out on his own in the last stanza, he successfully parried some strange attacks from Tim Russert as well. Rudy Giuliani needed a big win in this debate and didn't get it. However, he did do a fine job, showing a little more personal engagement in this event. He looked very cool and confident and probably gave the most robust answers to the questions asked. He only had one weak moment, when asked to justify his Florida strategy, but recovered quickly. Unfortunately, he had no game-changing moments, and he sorely needs one. John McCain did a good job as well. He showed flashes of humor...

Because They Listened To Al Gore

China has had its hardest winter in decades, with even the southern provinces blanketed in snow, sleet, ice, and fog for the last several weeks. The lengthy winter storms and unusually cold temperatures have brought China to a standstill, as the central government got caught unprepared for it: Chinese weather experts have admitted that they were not properly prepared for the snow storms that have left hundreds of thousands stranded. The cold weather seen in recent weeks has been the worst to hit central and southern provinces in decades. Officials have blamed freak conditions, but on Monday the head of the China's meteorological office said "we did not make enough preparation". The Chinese have facilities for weather-related storm abatement in the north, where they traditionally have hard winters and have built infrastructure to handle it. It's similar to how the US prepares for winter. In Minnesota, three inches of snow...

The Other Side Of The LA Times' Story

Earlier today, I wrote about the issues Mitt Romney would have to face in his presidential campaign regarding the evolution of his positions over his political career. This prompted some spirited discussion about the nature and value of consistency around the blogosphere and in the comments section here at CQ. This afternoon, I got a response from the Romney campaign regarding the points raised by the Times article, and I thought it intriguing enough to share. The response comes in three parts. First, while Romney did make overtures to NARAL on abortion, NARAL wound up endorsing Romney's opponent, calling Romney dangerous: “'He was very clear. He said over and over again that he supports the status quo in Massachusetts. He's not going to be a leader on this issue,' said Melissa Kogut, head of Mass NARAL's political action committee, referring to recent statements by the candidate. She called that stance...

Hoekstra On Fire Over FISA

If you missed today's edition of CQ Radio, then you missed an opportunity to hear Rep. Pete Hoekstra give an impassioned explanation of the need for the recently passed FISA legislation -- and the need to make it permanent. Here are a few of the points you missed: On Nancy Pelosi's vow to have Democrats revisit FISA after the August recess: "They've so demagogued this bill ... It's consistent with the other things Democrats are doing on a national intelligence basis and a national security basis. You know, they may decide to extend the civil liberties protections that Americans have to foreign terrorists." (08:10) Wasting intel resources: "They've asked the intelligence community to do a national intelligence estimate, which requires a lot of resources out of the intelligence community, on global warming." (08:20) On the supposed attack on civil liberties from the FISA legislation: "Ed, excuse me, if the Speaker...

Read Between The Lines (Updated And Bumped)

Reuters reports that the closing storm season in the Atlantic missed expectations of increasingly violent weather -- by a wide margin. Read the story carefully to find out what Reuters failed to include in its story: Before this year's Atlantic hurricane season started, Gray and his protege, Philip Klotzbach, predicted that it would be well above average. Instead, it has been slightly below average as the Nov. 30 end of the season draws near -- and a mere whimper compared with the destruction caused by monster hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005. ... The Colorado State team was not alone in predicting that 2006 would be more active than an average year, in which the Atlantic can be expected to spawn 10 tropical storms, of which six will strengthen into hurricanes. No one foresaw what happened in 2005, when 28 storms swarmed out of the Atlantic, and...

RFK Jr Releases Hot Gas Into The Political Atmosphere

Following on the heels of the Germans, Robert Kennedy Jr uses his science-challenged approach to also exploit Hurricane Katrina and the deaths of Americans in order to score a few political potshots at George Bush. Demonstrating the same hysterical scientific illiteracy that has characterized his scare campaign against vaccinations, Kennedy blames Mississippi governor Haley Barbour for killing his fellow citizens before their bodies have even been found, and suggests that God punished Mississippi specifically: As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippis Gulf Coast, its worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bushs iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2. ... Now we are all learning what its like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and--now--Katrina is giving our nation...

UN Admits AIDS Hysterics

The United Nations grossly overestimated both the scope and direction of AIDS infections, its scientists will admit later this week. The actual numbers in almost every theater have proven to be much less than UN reports indication, in some places less than half of that asserted. Outside researchers say that their demands for government funding motivated them to essentially lie about the gravity of the situation: The United Nations' top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents prepared for the announcement. AIDS remains a devastating public health crisis in the most heavily affected areas of sub-Saharan Africa. But the far-reaching revisions amount to at least a partial acknowledgment of criticisms long leveled by outside researchers who disputed the U.N. portrayal of...

Bush To Focus On Domestic Agenda (Update & Bump)

In his next-to-last State of the Union speech, George Bush will focus more on his domestic agenda, attempting to find some common ground with the Democrat-controlled Congress. The New York Times reports that global warming and expanded health care will get featured status in a venue where national security has dominated the past five years: Carrying some of the worst public approval ratings of any president in a generation, President Bush is heading into his State of the Union address on Tuesday night seeking to revitalize his domestic agenda but facing stiff resistance over the initiatives the White House has previewed so far. Administration officials said Monday that among Mr. Bush’s proposals would be a plan to help states provide health care coverage to people who lack insurance by diverting federal aid from hospitals, especially public institutions. The provision is likely to draw loud criticism from municipalities across the nation...

Caption Contest #12 Winners!

The judges have returned with the winners of the special Global Warming edition of the weekly Captain's Caption Contest! Edward Yee did the honors this week, and did he have his work cut out for him. We received a near-record 107 entries this week from the blogosphere's most creative readership. In fact, Al Gore was so stunned by the response that he had the breath knocked out of him: Here are the winners: Captain's Award (Most Original) -- Donald S. Crankshaw: Fighting to contain a violent yawn at his own words, Al Gore is mistaken for a raving lunatic. You Have The Conn #1 (Great Minds Think Alike) -- Wacky Hermit: "wh- wh- heeeeee-- wh- wh- heeeeee..." "We can see the head! Now push! That's it, push with the contractions!" You Have The Conn #2 (Where One Man Had Gone Before) -- Scotty: In a certain epiphany for the ex-vice...

The Challenge For McCain And Conservatives At CPAC Today

John McCain meets some of his fiercest critics today at CPAC, with a 3 pm ET speech that will provide a critical moment for both the candidate and the activists. Most have focused on what McCain has to do to reach out to the conservatives, but fewer understand that the movement has a decision to make as well regarding its future and its relevance. First, let's focus on McCain. The Senator will not win an election by suddenly gainsaying everything he has done over the past eight years since his last presidential campaign. He will have to focus on the future, including the future of the badly-needed immigration reform that everyone wants but no one can define to consensus. McCain will need to commit to nominating judges to the bench that will not legislate from there. He has to end the false dichotomy of "patriotism, not profit" and the little...

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Emitted

The latest in global-warming silliness comes from Great Britain, where Lent lends an opportunity for bishops to sound hip and relevant. Tomorrow being Ash Wednesday, the bishops of London and Yorkshire have a suggestion for Lenten sacrifice. Instead of alcohol or chocolate, give up carbon: Two senior bishops led calls on Tuesday for people to cut back on carbon, rather than the more traditional chocolate and alcohol, for Lent this year. Bishop of London Richard Chartres and Bishop of Liverpool James Jones have teamed up with aid agency Tearfund to invite the public to take part in a carbon fast for the next forty days. Those taking part in the drive to reduce their carbon footprint will be able to choose daily energy saving actions from a booklet. "For example, on the first day, people can take out one of their light bulbs and whenever they go to turn that...

Lullaby For A Kyoto Supporter

Much has been made by George Bush's political opponents about his rejection of the Kyoto accord, limiting the US in greenhouse-gas production, even though the Senate rejected the treaty unanimously during Clinton's term. John Kerry claims it to be one of the primary reasons his favorite country, France, refused to support the US when it came to toppling Saddam Hussein. It's instructive, then, to see how France's Jacques Chirac demonstrates his personal support for global-warming activism in his daily routine. Is France really committed to implementing controls on the unecessary emissions of greenhouse gases? Perhaps the French people are, but Chirac's support only extends to the limits of his beauty sleep: The most direct route from Paris to Moscow by aircraft is to fly due east. Unless you are President Chirac, that is. The French premier likes his sleep so much that, en route to a Black Sea summit with...

NASA Panic Over Disaster Movie Gives Hollywood Too Much Credit

Tomorrow's New York Times features a story on a too-typical example of bureaucratic mountain-making from molehills, as NASA at first gagged its scientists from commenting on an upcoming movie that shows global warming causing a new Ice Age -- in five days: In "The Day After Tomorrow," a $125 million disaster film that is to open on May 28, global warming from accumulating smokestack and tailpipe gases sets off an instant ice age. Few climate experts think such a prospect is likely, especially in the near future. But the prospect that moviegoers will be alarmed enough to blame the Bush administration for inattention to climate change has stirred alarm at the space agency, scientists there say. "No one from NASA is to do interviews or otherwise comment on anything having to do with" the film, said the April 1 message, which was sent by Goddard's top press officer. "Any news...

The Nobel Glory Of Doris Lessing

The Nobel committee has certainly fallen on desperate times, and especially so this year. First they award a peace prize to Al Gore for his global-warming hysterics, apparently because the science committee understood the extent of his exaggerations in An Inconvenient Truth. They awarded the literature prize to British author Doris Lessing, who disqualified herself for the peace prize by claiming that Americans were just too sensitive about having 3,000 murdered by terrorists on 9/11 (via Memeorandum): Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States were "not that terrible" when compared to attacks by the IRA in Britain. "September 11 was terrible, but if one goes back over the history of the IRA, what happened to the Americans wasn't that terrible," the Nobel Literature Prize winner told the leading Spanish daily El Pais. "Some Americans will think I'm crazy. Many people died, two prominent buildings...

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