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I saw this suggestion in a news item. It comes from Al Gore, who Republicans still revile with a passion. Perhaps the Republicans were right to fear him. Because Al Gore has a suggestion for how the Democratic Party can tip the 2014 midterm elections in our favor.
Make Climate Science the centerpiece of the Democratic Party's 2014 campaign.

Rich donors press Democrats on climate change

By Juliet Eilperin

Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, six other senators, and a 2014 Senate candidate took in views of the Golden Gate Bridge with former vice president Al Gore and some of the nation's richest environmentalist donors.

The $400,000 fund-raiser, held for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, included remarks from Gore, who said the party needs to make global warming a central issue during the midterms, participants said. And Gore called Steyer, who has vowed to raise at least $100 million, Mr. Tipping Point.

˜How do you inject this into the debate in a meaningful way? Steyer said in an interview during a visit to Washington, where he lobbied a gathering of Democratic governors. That changes what can happen in Washington, D.C.

With the end of President Obama's tenure now in sight, wealthy environmentalists are pushing Democrats to take bolder positions on climate change vowing to emphasize the issue in swing-state contests and threatening to withhold money from candidates who support the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Think about it. The vast majority of Republicans have stuck their necks out by going along with the climate charlatans who rely on distortion and confusion. We have an opportunity to paint the whole Republican Party as a bunch of obstinate curmudgeons who reject science. Best of all the Republicans will have to dig their own graves with more preposterous claims to prove they're not pro-science heretics to the far right of their party. Then the press will be compelled to vette the veracity of those unsupportable claims.  

We Can't Wish Away Climate Change

By Al Gore

This period of market triumphalism coincided with confirmation by scientists that earlier fears about global warming had been grossly understated. But by then, the political context in which this debate took form was tilted heavily toward the views of market fundamentalists, who fought to weaken existing constraints and scoffed at the possibility that global constraints would be needed to halt the dangerous dumping of global-warming pollution into the atmosphere.

Over the years, as the science has become clearer and clearer, some industries and companies whose business plans are dependent on unrestrained pollution of the atmospheric commons have become ever more entrenched. They are ferociously fighting against the mildest regulation” just as tobacco companies blocked constraints on the marketing of cigarettes for four decades after science confirmed the link of cigarettes to diseases of the lung and the heart.

Simultaneously, changes in America's political system including the replacement of newspapers and magazines by television as the dominant medium of communication” conferred powerful advantages on wealthy advocates of unrestrained markets and weakened advocates of legal and regulatory reforms. Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. And as in times past, that has proved to be a potent drug in the veins of the body politic. Their most consistent theme is to label as a "socialist" any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace.

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption. After all has been said and so little done, the truth about the climate crisis”-inconvenient as ever-must still be faced.

                   

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  that would be a major gamble... (14+ / 0-)

    ...the environment has never been THE deciding factor in any national election before...and seems highly unlikely to serve that function this year.

    With so many people unemployed...and so few good jobs available for those who are employed and increasing difficulty for people maintaining even a lower middle class standard of living...it seems unlikely to me that this earth's future will be front and center on their minds. (It should be...and accolades to Gore and others for trying to do so)...but it seems highly unlikely that with immediate survival needs being such an important priority for so many people in this country these days that a large enough number of people will be moved by global warming to have a significant impact on elections this year...unfortunately.

    •  I think climate change as an issue could also (16+ / 0-)

      be a job creating issue - ie, revamp the economy to manage the inevitable effects of climate change. Jobs/works programs - weatherizing property, protecting coastal communities with sea wall constriction and other infrastructure (ie, similar to London and the Thames and Holland), adding solar to all government properties and offering incentives for private sector properties.

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:51:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's always been the sexy bits and what is GOP (0+ / 0-)

      approved for handling God's creation.

      Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

      by 88kathy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:44:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we wait until our immediate survival is in (6+ / 0-)

      jeopardy form the detrimental effects of Climate Change it will be a global calamity far graver than anything our species has ever encountered.  

      "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:42:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why would that be a major gamble? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chris Bowers

      Climate change won the election for FDR.

      •  Can you elaborate on that? (0+ / 0-)

        Pretty sure that wasn't an issue in 1932, but the Great Depression was.

        •  I think jasan's comment was snark. eom (0+ / 0-)

          You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

          by MikePhoenix on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:03:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dust bowl (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stills

          Certain farm practices, some global climate factors, and massive erosion processes took a hundred million acres of Great Plains land out of production, starved out "homestead" types of farmers, and displaced over 2,000,000 people, and left about 500,000 homeless.

          Try Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath for a get-go.

          The economics and politics and the world-wide depression that followed are extensively covered in American history texts.

          We're all just working for Pharoah.

          by whl on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:01:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly whl, exactly (0+ / 0-)

            When we are seeing California (just the opposite of Steinbecks Grapes of Wrath Oklahoma) in a situation of this kind, we need to rethink our goals.  FDR did and was elected on the change he proposed.  Democrats could do that same thing again if they had a mind to do so.

    •  It is only second to "OboCare" (0+ / 0-)

      (as the Wingers call it on my local yokel webboard). It's a big issue - and like ObamaCare a Winning Issue for Dems and Libs brave enough to run on it.  The "problem" is most elected Dems believe the tea (bagger) leaves and shy away.  Most Americans are NOT conservative.  If Dems and Libs ran on Climate Change and the XL Valdex Pipeline most Americans would crawl out from under their rock and support them!  They only hide under those rocks becuz Dems and Libs are too timid to stand up and be counted on these issues.  Instead, they distance themselves or flat out run from them.  How can Americans lukewarm on these issues crawl out from under their rocks, fearing the wrath of their Winger neighbors, when lukewarm Dems run from those same issues?  Those under the rocks need cover that they're not getting from Dems fleeing from those same issues.  And we wonder why there's not more mainstream support for these isssues.  Well, there is!  It's just under rocks waiting for real Dems to provide them some cover.

  •  Not a bad idea - most people are going to believe (6+ / 0-)

    there eyes, now that extreme weather is becoming the norm.

    What better messenger to make it a campaign issue than Gore himself, and for that matter, 2016.

    Could Gore make another run for President?

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:47:52 AM PST

    •  I still wish he had run in 2008 (12+ / 0-)

      I thought in 2007 that he would be better than anyone who was running at the time.  I'm more convinced of that now.

      Obama's Stimulus Plan was too small, and >40% of it was tax cuts.  We'll never know what President Gore might've proposed, but my guess is that it would've included billions for infrastructure spending that would've improved energy efficiency.  We do know that, given his experiences during the 2000 recount, President Gore would never have viewed making nice w/ the GOP as a priority.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:35:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can guess (5+ / 0-)
        We'll never know what President Gore might've proposed.
        With a campaign that distanced itself from President Clinton out of political expedience, the choice of Joe Lieberman as a running mate and the championing of media consolidation through the Telecommunications act, we can guess what he may have done while in office.

        "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

        by FiredUpInCA on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:09:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. The Nader factor sure didn't help him, but (0+ / 0-)

          too many of Gore's most fervent followers forget how poorly he handled the challenge that the Greens presented as well as how badly his campaign was run in general. Despite his constant sucking up to the right and non-stop disparagement of his critics on the left, poor old Al couldn't even win his home state.

          His political skill are marginal at best. Dems should think twice about taking his advice on electoral strategy.

          You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

          by MikePhoenix on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:10:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I was hoping he would run again in 2004 as I think (0+ / 0-)

        it was still fresh in the mind of voters how Bush got into office and the butterfly ballot mess in Florida and so on. I think voters for Gore would be sure to make their vote count.  I think Gore would have been better than Kerry in 2004 because of what happened in 2000.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:38:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The party that brings real reform (15+ / 0-)

    will also bring climate change activism.

    I'd love to see the Democrats run on "Drain The Swamp" with a frank recognition that many from  both parties in our government are controlled by special interests.
    Immigration reform, voter rights protection and campaign finance reform is the only way forward.

    The first party to come to grips with the pervasive corruption and obstruction in our political process will earn legitimacy that could endure for generations.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:54:05 AM PST

  •  Apple's Tim Cook is on board ... (9+ / 0-)
    Cook's response was blistering. First of all, he insisted, environmental efforts also make economic sense. Even so, "we do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive," the CEO said. "We want to leave the world better than we found it."

    Anyone who had a problem with that? They should sell their Apple shares. "Get out of the stock," Cook suggested. Danhof's proposal was voted down by shareholders.

    http://mashable.com/...

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:12:49 AM PST

    •  Considering how much work Apple does in (0+ / 0-)

      Major polluter and sweatshop China, I find it difficult to see how he isn't talking out of both of his mouth, like most corporate execs. When his stock options start getting hit, we all know which way he will go based on prior results.

      •  The U.S. had it's industrial revolution, too, and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Subterranean

        we are all beneficiaries of that pollution.

        Lots of ambiguity and shades of gray in the world.

        "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

        by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:08:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, I agree, so when the locusts keep (0+ / 0-)

          Engaging in locust activity from country to country, I find it hard to stomach their BS regarding more to life than profits, and the leaving the world a better place crap. It is like the uber conservative whole foods dbag, using a key issue to talk the talk to liberals, in order to get them to buy their bs.

          •  The concept of Whole Foods, is a good one - ie, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lefty Coaster

            eat healthy, and you see other chains (Sprouts) that are lower priced also promoting healthy eating, and other mainstream chains adding organics and healthy alternatives to their shelves - all of this probably has some to do with Whole Foods carving out their niche.

            I'm not versed enough in Whole Foods to know all the downside, but I can imagine.

            "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

            by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:37:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Whole Foods downside (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joe Bacon, We Shall Overcome, Stills

              the owner is an anti-labor libertarian nutjob. He's very proud of how well he treats his employees, but it is entirely at the discretion of the company. The workers have no rights whatsoever.

              Also have you seen the prices?

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:33:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Cook's made some effort (0+ / 0-)

            He's moved Mac Pro production back into the US.  If that's all that's moved back, it will be largely symbolic, but perhaps Cook will do more.  

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:01:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Gore vs. Hillary (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks for making the "Gore for President" suggestion, I was about to make it myself. Two points:

    1. Let's not assume Gore can't win. As much as I admire Hillary and would of course support her vs. any Republican, I believe climate change is the central issue of this era and the next two years are likely to see more and more extreme weather events. Such events would support Gore's position and undermine Hillary's apparent lack of interest. If their relative positions stay the same, the climate itself may create a huge opportunity for the former VP.

    2. Even if Gore runs and loses, he will unquestionably cause a major media focus on climate change and spur a national debate. In that scenario, Hillary would be hard put not to shift her position leftward.

    A Gore run, to me, seems like a win-win situation. What can we do to nudge it into reality?

    •  Gore may be a fine leader on climate change issues (4+ / 0-)

      He lost me as a politician and potential world leader when he quit on Bush-v-Gore.  Simple as that.  

      There are few moments in time that truly change the course of human history.  When Team Gore allowed SCOTUS to install George W. Bush Dick Cheney as president without so much as a modicum push-back, that was one of those moments.

      I'll never forgive Al for his single handed enabling of the following 8 years.

      •  whut? (4+ / 0-)

        Gore's "single handed enabling"? What form of "push-back" was available to him after the Supreme Court ruling? Supposing he had led his supporters into the streets, how would that have played out?

        "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

        by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:02:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would be so happy if someone could find (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zadatz, MikePhoenix

          the Back Caucus protesting this decision without one Senator's backing. You mean to tell me Al Gore couldn't have come up with ONE SENATOR to back the Black Caucus.

          It's a youtube from 2000.

          Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

          by 88kathy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:51:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  and then what? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell

            In 2005, there was a congressional debate on the electoral votes from Ohio. How many people remember that? How many people really would think better of Al Gore if he had persuaded a senator to do that in 2001? I bet not many.

            "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

            by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:24:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was not fair to the voters, he was elected and (0+ / 0-)

              held from office by the Supreme Court. He took my vote and trashed it.

              What form of "push-back" was available to him after the Supreme Court ruling?

              Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

              by 88kathy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:00:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  well...... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy, Zadatz
          Lehane left Washington for California in the summer of 2001, eight months after the Supreme Court declared George W. Bush the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes. On the morning the ruling came down, he was standing on the steps of the Capitol when a text message popped up from Al Gore. “Don’t trash the Supreme Court,” it read. It was not an unreasonable request.

          Lehane, then Gore’s press secretary, spent the month after Election Day urging the campaign to stage protests outside board of elections offices; to send Gore to Palm Beach County to pose for photographs with Holocaust victims who thought they had voted for him; and to demonize Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state, whom Lehane dubbed Commissar Harris. His suggestions were rejected, and Lehane, who had imagined himself standing behind the lectern at White House daily press briefings — a senior counselor to the president at 33 — had to accept defeat in a battle that he thought they could win.

          Basically, Lehane was saying that Gore should have used the same tactics Republicans were using, but Gore didn't allow it. Gore made many mistakes, but surrendering the presidency without the actual votes being counted is surrendering democracy itself.

          If votes don't count, democracy means nothing. Let's just ask the Supreme Court if Hillary or Jeb should be president in 2016. Why not?  Who needs all those commercials and junk mail and crap like that?

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:46:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I supported Gore in 1988, 1992, and 2000. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, MikePhoenix, YucatanMan

      I am ready to move on.

      He has great ideas, but he is a lousy candidate. And he made it very clear he is not going to run again.

    •  I didn't intend this to be a Gore for POTUS Diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, YucatanMan

      as much as branding Democrats as the party of science and branding the GOP as anti-science and anti-progress  alternative.  

      "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:53:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a terrible idea. The map and economy (7+ / 0-)

    Means making this election about complex science, regardless of how right we are, downright idiotic. But remember, Gore is the guy who thought running against (or at least away from) a still popular Clinton was the way to go. Gore is great at bringing this issue to a public forum, but electorally, it is absurd imho.

    •  Perhaps it won't be complex... (0+ / 0-)

      There'll likely be a time when extreme weather events become significantly more common, scary and expensive.

      For all we know this could affect many people's thinking w.r.t. climate/AGW within a year or two.

      •  I agree, but 8 months is not that time imho (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        Especially with this right leaning map. And risking 2014 will only make this issue worse, since I can see Obama triangulating away this stuff in order to improve his legacy if he ends up against full Republican congressional opposition. And to most of us, it isn't even complex. 2016 is the year I would say taking this would be a winner, possibly.

    •  Science is observtion - at some point it's going (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dog Chains, wishingwell

      to click with enough people that the weather is changing and it is more than just a natural occurrence. And, you don't need a politician to explain the weather to people.

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:59:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I worry about the complexity of the issue, (5+ / 0-)

    and especially how easy it is for Republicans to twist and lie about it to low information voters. Climate change - LOL! didn't you see those winter storms? People fall for that mixing up of climate with weather all the time.

    One can certainly base good stuff off of climate change, though, like jobs bills, so perhaps it might work. Also, for thinking Republicans in districts where teabaggers are running, it might just do the trick and get them to vote for a Democrat with brains instead of a Repubican who would be an insult to the office.

    •  It depends on where you live. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer, Lefty Coaster, wishingwell

      There weren't any winter storms in the West this year. They have already started having fires. This summer will be a nightmare- fires, drought, dust, and dead crops.

      It's snowing again here in WV and we are all sick of it. But when our food bills sky rocket next fall maybe we will pay attention.

    •  Not just GOPers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer, VClib, wishingwell

      Many Dems may also have an issue with this strategy, depending on the details.

      What exactly does Steyer (who claims to be an environmentalist as he serves his guests grass-fed beef during his fundraiser) want done?  Does he advocate a Regressive Carbon Tax or Cap and Trade?

      How will an energy tax sell to the millions of working and middle-class families who are receiving the highest heating bills ever.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:33:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think more people believe climate change is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, pixxer

      happening than let on - the right does a lot to smear climate change believers as "crazy", so in certain regions, even if you do believe it's happening, the political establishment has condition people against speaking out on it. If you do, you're a tree-huggin librul - ie, an extremist.

      If that's true, then many people could believe climate change is real and it's more than nature driving it but are afraid to publicly state/support that.

      At some point, you have to think it's going to click with enough people with the growing number of extreme weather events that they are going to believe what they are seeing in front of their eyes, and a politician is going to be there with that message when it does.

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:05:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The press will be compelled... ??? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dog Chains, Scioto

    "Then the press will be compelled to vette the veracity of those unsupportable claims..."

    Why do you think this will happen now, all of a sudden?

    Did they get new ownership when we weren't looking?

    I'm sorry that I must disagree with you...


    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

    by No one gets out alive on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:20:12 AM PST

  •  we are at the crisis point now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    if the politicians don't start taking action now, it will be too late. It's already too late to stop it; mitigation is the best that can be done.

    Talking is not doing. But talking precedes doing.

    Politicians must see that it is possible to run and win on climate change. Then more politicians will do so. This will lay the ground for when the political climate shifts and makes more serious action possible.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:34:33 AM PST

  •  Truly silly..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, rsmpdx, VClib, wishingwell

    ....workaday Democrats who are trying to get or keep a job and pay the bills do not regard "climate change" as a major issue.

    In fact, Democrats have lost the branding wars on that and aren't even settled on what to call it. We called it global warming but that didn't work because, apparently, global warming causes extreme COLD temperatures, too and the Republicans just said "Doesn't seem like the Earth is warming to me!".

    Then we called it climate change which sounds like a nice, normal change in the climate, leaving out the manmade aspect.

    You can make this an issue but first you better get the branding right. But it cannot be THE issue.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:59:01 AM PST

    •  Wrong in many aspects (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bensdad, asym, Lefty Coaster

      First of all, "climate change" does not imply it's normal unless you're a fundaloon.  The whole concept is that it is important because it is man made.  

      It's truly frightening that you believe that whoever wins the 'branding war' should determine whether we address something as dire as climate change or make it a central issue when choosing who will lead us at the 11th hour.

      Second, while "workaday democrats", whoever they are, might not see it as an issue, no one under 30 has any serious doubts about climate change.  

      Third, it IS an issue and any REAL leader, you know, LEADS.  The only reason anyone doesn't see this as an issue is because our current 'leaders' don't make it an issue.  They're timid and tepid and aren't willing to take the bold steps necessary to make any sort of difference.  

      Some scientists think we're at or over the tipping point, and we're supposed to applaud Obama because he's raised the gas mileage requirements.  Operative word:  gas.

      We've lost track of what real leaders look like.  They create things like the national park system, and social security, and they sign proclamations freeing the slaves, and they pass the voting rights act and the civil rights act.  Flawed as they are they took bold steps that led us where we weren't all ready to go.

      And now, when faced with something that is frankly DEADLY and already having grave consequences, our leaders speak about it while actually considering the fucking evil travesty of KXL.  

      W. Virginia's waterways are a toxic waste dump, yet no one says ENOUGH!  Oil companies are subsidized with money the government says they don't have for things like head start or food stamps, while everything is done to destroy the prospect of free energy from our very own star.

      Fuck the branding.  It is THE issue.  No other fucking issue matters if we destroy the planet while we argue about branding.

      •  A great rant.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, wishingwell, rsmpdx

        ..and well organized, too! Worth reading. Look -- I agree with you personally that the issue is very serious. I disagree with "fuck the branding". The phrase "climate change" implies no particular CAUSE for the climate change--in fact, it makes it seem like a nice natural transition from one type of climate to the other.

        The only way to get Americans engaged on this issue is by communicating with them, in shorthand, that the issue is serious and can be remedied if we choose to do so. I would call it "catastrophic manmade climate change" or "pollution caused weather change" or ANYTHING other than what we are calling it.

        And solutions are hard to come by given that China is going to do a damn thing about this. George Bush was right about one thing - Kyoto was nearly useless without China. Can't even breathe over there.

        As for leading on the issue, to lead you HAVE TO GET ELECTED.  You simply cannot get elected making this a central tenet of your platform.

        Ask Al Gore.

        If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

        by Bensdad on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:38:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Al Gore (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bensdad

          never ran with this as a central tenet of his platform.  

          He never mentioned it during the campaign.  He followed all of the stick-to-the-center democratic staples guidelines, and lost.  Without mentioning the environment.

          So I can ask him all I want and he can't answer the question except to speculate.

          My guess is he would say it's time to make it the central tenet of the democratic platform.

          I disagree that adding words enhances the branding.  The more words you add, the less people listen.  It's not a 'bite' anymore, it's a mouthful that becomes too much for people to pay attention to.

          If you're into branding, then you might like the Climate Reality Project's term:  The Climate Crisis.

          climaterealityproject.org

    •  Water doesn't need a brand, fire doesn't need a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delphine

      brand, wind doesn't need a brand - it just is.

      As more extreme weather events happen, aren't people at some point going to put it together without the help of "branding"?

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:07:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can think of another way for Gore... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delphine

    to serve this nation.

    Goreacle: 2016
    •  Man I really wish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dclawyer06, Lefty Coaster

      he would run.

      Look, there are millions of us out here, right?  

      Why in the hell would we let the bastards drag our candidate (whoever it is) down?

      I mean, why give in to the "flawed candidate" bullshit before we even start?  

      Richard fucking Nixon got elected!  George Bush - twice!!

      Why?  Because we let our candidates flail at the bullshit instead of standing in front of them while they concentrated on their campaigns.  Even the democratic "leaders" simply watched as Gore and Kerry were sunk in a river of undeserved shit.  

      Those leaders told Al Gore not to talk about the environment, the one thing most likely to prompt him to show real passion, and then when he was knocked for being 'wooden' they stood around and looked the other way.

      The CBC stood up for him because they knew what was right.  And in spite of whatever he said, any senator could have stood up as well, but they didn't.  Not out of respect for him, but out of timidity and self-preservation.

      The GOP unabashedly stood by a smug loser and his gang of bullies.  And some here attack Al Gore for not leading a coup from the floor of the Senate.

      Anyone fucking know what it's like to preside over the Senate as they cast an unfair vote saying you lost?

      I want him to run.  As much as I support Obama, I'm tired of picking candidates out of a field of middle ground democrats because people think the lefty one can't win.  Why can't the lefty win?

      And why is climate change even considered a lefty issue?

      •  Apparently not wanting to drown polls left? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster

        And I don't understand why we settle for a candidate 3 years ahead of time. At a minimum, shouldn't we maintain distance, and let the candidate court our votes?

        I mean, why give in to the "flawed candidate" bullshit before we even start?
        I guess that's old-fashioned...
  •  A steep hill, Mr. Gore (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    Climate change is an important issue, perhaps even the defining issue of our time.

    Now, if advocates could just get the voting public to understand that, we'd be on our way!

    But. They don't understand it. Gallup's open-ended poll question, "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" is currently polling with economic problems at 53% (including unemployment/jobs, 23% and "economy in general" 20%)" Among "non-economic problems", "Dissatisfaction with government" is on top at 18%, followed by healthcare at 15%.

    "Environment/Pollution" polls at 1%, in 17th place among non-economic problems. Respondents did not mention "climate change" or "global warming" or anything obviously related.

    When someone successfully makes a cogent, impossible-to-ignore or obfuscate case that climate change is integral to economic issues, they will have a winner.

    I haven't seen that argument emerge in a forceful way.  When someone starts making traction in the polls with it, I'll begin to believe it's an electoral winner.

    I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

    by rsmpdx on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:25:25 AM PST

    •  Somebody's got to. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rsmpdx, wishingwell, delphine

      Every other issue worsens incalculably as the climate goes to chaos.  Or, alternately, disappears: because what do political issues mean if there is no way for any number of humans to physically survive in 50 or 100 years?

    •  Jobs vs Climate is a False Choice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We Shall Overcome, rsmpdx

      And the sooner we can explode that myth the better.

      "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:02:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You missed my point, which is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster

        that the public hasn't grasped the connection yet.

        You, Gore, or any candidates got the answer to get them to see that point and act on it, well, get busy exploding the myth.

        Not happening yet.

        I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

        by rsmpdx on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:19:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What you're saying is (0+ / 0-)

      that since they don't get it we shouldn't talk about it.

      You're saying "don't make it an issue because people don't know it's an issue".  Don't lead with it because the polls say people don't care about it.

      Like there's no connection between what people with some visibility say and do and emphasize, and what the average person perceives as important.

      Like we should sit around and wait for someone else to make the case, to convince everyone with some spectacular message that can't be refuted, and until someone does that, we shouldn't bother to make the case.  Don't make the case until someone makes the case!!!

      What if "making the case" meant putting it front and center in a presidential campaign, where the focus is high on the candidate?  What if that's the ONLY way to make the case, or the best way?

      http://climaterealityproject.org/...

      This guy makes a pretty passionate case.  

  •  I don't think with major races being in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, wishingwell

    Montana, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky, that this is a winning strategy in those close races.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:26:05 AM PST

  •  It's an interesting approach (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    and would probably work in some races.  But it could also backfire.  It seems Gore's strategy would be perilously close to putting the findings of climate science up to a vote.  If the voters decide in favor of short-term interests like cheap gas, it would be widely misconstrued as a vote against climate science.  Those who are science literate won't see it that way, but that's a tiny minority of Americans.

     

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:54:25 AM PST

  •  We have a very basic PR problem. People do not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, rsmpdx

    understand that the "environment" or the global "ecology" are merely a way of describing the air they breathe and the water they drink. MOST people think those are terms for something outside of themselves. They dismiss "environmentalists" as "tree huggers," who put something else ahead of their immediate needs.

    Until we change that PR problem we will LOSE this argument with ordinary Americans.  What does usually work, to a limited degree, is talking about health effects and weather events.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:07:53 PM PST

    •  Agreed - the "polar bears" are losing their ice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, rsmpdx

      is turned into "Dems care more about animals than people" ... and miss the point that the polar bear (and all these other threatened species) is a canary in a coal mine.

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:10:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the other problem is that the fossil fueligarchs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, wishingwell

    spend many billions to corrupt the public debate.

    You won't convince the opposition of the reality of climate change because many of them are shills, paid to spread disinformation and hinder progress on climate change. It's not about coming up with a rational argument to convince the holdouts. Anybody who is rational is already convinced.

    It's about power and money. Fighting climate change threatens the power and profits of a few extremely wealthy oligarchs. They're going to do unbelievably dirty and underhanded things in order to delay action on climate change. They are not arguing in good faith; they have an agenda, and because they're so powerful they can influence politicians immensely.

    I don't know what will break their grip. It would take some kind cataclysm to shake people up and make it possible to seriously oppose their agenda.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:26:25 PM PST

  •  We Need a Focused Strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    If we all agreed a single, proactive strategy for halting climate change and focused on that, it would help get it through the information barrier. We need to implant a single vision in the public mind about how we are planning to address this problem.

    I think we should focus on investment in renewables. This leaves aside the issue of directly fighting the powerful fossil interests in D.C. and the state capitals. Everyone likes investment. The debate should be on the best way to sponsor investment in renewables.

    Should that be by direct government investment of dollars in basic technology? Or, should it be through tax incentives for companies implementing renewables? Can we shift tax incentives from fossil fuels to renewables? What kind of infrastructure can we build that makes renewables more marketable?

    This gives us a clear way to evaluate candidates. Have they embraced investment in renewables? Among them, what's their plan?

    If I find a candidate in a swing state or district that has a campaign focus on investment in renewables I will personally invest in them.

    Can we get something set up on Act Blue to select these candidates? If there were a single point of action it would help because we could concentrate our funds on these people.

  •  I think it has to be way more than just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsmpdx

    climate change, but climate change has to be in there. Look, fact is, Americans want JOBS. They want money. They want to send their kids to decent schools. There are too many real issues at stake right now, that we don't have to go into the wedge issues. Make climate part of the entire platform, make women's rights part of it, make immigration part of it, bring all the people into the big tent, but the one thing on EVERYONE's mind and being discussed... is jobs. And our economy. I think the conversation can be tilted very well in favor of progressives now, as a big portion of 'Murika is finally waking up and saying, now what?

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:41:02 PM PST

  •  'What's good for GM is good for America' (0+ / 0-)

    That's a famous 20th century misquote attributed to 1953 General Motors CEO Charlie Wilson.

    In the 21st century, it can be said, what's good for Tesla is good for America.

    Attention to climate change could be sold as an opportunity to invest in energy independence, a chance for the U.S. to bring back its manufacturing mojo and create a sustainable manufacturing and export boom in the country that's as sexy as the Wall Street and environmental icon, Tesla Motors.

    Tesla Motors (TSLA:US) Inc.’s plan to boost battery production by building what Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk calls a “gigafactory” may do more to transform the power industry than it does to advance the electric car.

    Utility customers throughout the U.S. have already begun turning to battery storage and solar panels as a way of reducing electricity bills and their dependency on local power companies. The trend threatens the more than 100-year-old monopoly utility business model that books about $360 billion in annual power sales.

    By lowering the cost of energy-storage with its lithium-ion batteries, Tesla could accelerate the disruption of the electric utility business as it doubles its share of the global car market to about 1 percent, Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst, wrote in a note yesterday. Morgan Stanley’s note helped push Tesla’s market value above $30 billion for the first time yesterday, as the company’s Model S sedan also became the first U.S. car to receive Consumer Reports’ “best overall pick” in the magazine’s annual ranking.

    “If it can be a leader in commercializing battery packs, investors may never look at Tesla the same way again,” said Jonas, who rates (TSLA:US) the shares the equivalent of a buy. “If Tesla can become the world’s low-cost producer in energy storage, we see significant optionality for Tesla to disrupt adjacent industries.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/...

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:55:52 PM PST

  •  Gore cd personally make CC central issue of Dem (0+ / 0-)

    2016 Presidential Primaries by declaring his candidacy.

    If he declared now, his issues would impact the debate in the home stretch of the 2014 elections.

    Besides Climate Change, Gore also has relatively Progressive positions on many other issues, as suggested in this diary.

  •  Gore in 2000 was mostly silent on CC (0+ / 0-)

    Bob Shrum convinced Gore to lay low on Enviro issues- particularly Climate Change. He was worried about the suburban vote. But hiding his sincere thoughts on the environment made him look phony and disingenuous. He should have been loud and proud on Enviro issues. He might of won.

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:50:12 PM PDT

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