Tea Baggers Set Their Sights on Climate Change

From WPTV in Boca Raton, Florida:

Hundreds of people sat inside the Mizner Amphitheater, paying close attention to the presentation, but outside, it was a different story.
A large group of protesters gathered just steps away from where former Vice President Al Gore was speaking.

"If you follow the money, it tells you all you need to know about Al Gore he is making zillions off all this energy stuff he is selling," said Meg Shannon, with the South Florida Tea Party.

They made lots of noise and held up some very creative signs, showing their disapproval for Gore's views on global climate change.

"Give me a break, can we cause global warming? I don't think so," said Shannon.

Get ready. If you think healthcare was contentious, the battle over climate promises to be the mother of all battles.

It is pointless to argue with this crowd. Not sure the answer, however. Taking a cue from Nathan's amazing and heartfelt series of posts, I'll note from personal experience why I believe global climate change is a reality. I am a scuba diver. I've been the world over to dive. I've been to places where I have dove previously. When one sees with one's own eyes the degradation that has taken place, you know something is wrong. I'm not a biologist but one doesn't have to be one to know that planet is changing more quickly than it should be.

I am also from Colombia which has more species of birds than any other country on Earth. Despite being smaller than Alaska, Colombia's is the world's third most bio-diverse country on the planet. I grew up loving nature. I have had the pleasure of seeing condors on the wing, snakes the size of trees sunning themselves on river banks, insects that looking like walking carpets of vegetation, bright multi-coloured frogs and so much more. I also have a healthy respect for the wisdom of tribal peoples. In my native land, there is a tribe called the Kogi whose civilization survived the Conquest. They live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world's most impressive coastal massif. These mountains rise from sea level to just under 20,000 feet in a distance of less than fifty miles. On the coastal side, you'll find coral reefs and tropical jungle. On the back side, it's an arid desert. The peaks are snow-capped. In between you will find every climatic zone found on the planet. It's the only part of the world where this is true. It is part of what makes Colombia, geographically-speaking, so amazing.

The Kogi call themselves the Elder Brother and refer to us as the Younger Brother. In 1990, that's now 19 years ago, the Kogi came down from their mountain with a message for us.

The Kogi message tell us that as the heart of the world, when the Sierra Nevada dies that the rest of the world will die. The Kogi message tells us that we are responsible for the destruction of our planet and that when we rob things from the ground that we are actually taking vital parts out of the Earth's body and that this weakens the Earth considerably. We can see the negative effects of our actions in the environment. In effect, we are grievously wounding our sacred Mother Earth, who the Kogi call Aluna. The Kogi tell us their Younger Brothers that we must protect and respect our planet.

The Kogi say that balance is important to the existence of this world and we are causing great imbalance to the planet through our destructive actions that hurt the planet in devastating ways. To correct this imbalance, we must work together to help save our planet. The Kogi also say that the reason that they have come forward in 1990 is because the Sierra Nevada is showing signs of sickness including lack of snow and less water in their rivers.

The BBC program Nature thought their warning so important that they filmed it back in 1990. It's below the fold.

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Gore: Optimistic on Enacting Climate Legislation

Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore has given an interview to the UK Guardian in which he expresses his optimism that the US will enact meaningful climate legislation.

He notes that "I was in China two days ago, and the premier of China asked me, in essence, why I'm optimistic that the Senate will pass legislation when the conventional wisdom says otherwise. And the answer is that I have been a part of conversations between Democrats and Republicans that give me a very different view from what the consensus is in the journalistic community." Gore then cites the recent op-ed by Democratic Senator Kerry of Massachusetts and Republican Senator Graham of South Carolina in the New York Times as evidence of wide bi-partisan support for climate legislation. He then added that "There are other surprises like that in store."

Even so, the former Vice President expects a hardening tone  from climate change deniers. He attributes this to "the sunset phenomenon, where there's a spectacle just before the subsiding": as the remaining climate change doubters and vested interests begin to realise that the game is up, he suggests, they're bound to make one last stand. "This self-interest on the part of some of the carbon polluters - who are becoming a bit intense in their efforts - reflects their awareness that public opinion has been shifting very significantly," he says. "When I say 'they', I don't mean to indict all of them, because the business community is now very much split... but that realisation has produced a desire on the part of some of these carbon polluters to dig in their heels."

Asked about the recent mass protests and civil disobedience for the climate across the world, Gore responded, "Civil disobedience has an honourable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play. And I expect that it will increase, no question about it."

The article is strongly recommended.

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The Repower Wall

Part of Repower America’s efforts to fight climate change is gathering videos and statements from thousands of Americans explaining why they support clean energy legislation. These videos are part of a really cool web project called the Repower Wall. The wall, launched earlier this week, is a video montage showing all the different clips and statements. Videos range from the famous – Stephen Hawking, Majora Carter, Richard Cizik, Madeline Albright, Repower founder Al Gore – to average pastors, businesspersons, and students, as well as organizations and companies. You can view it all at once, or search for videos from specific professions or regions. It’s an absolutely amazing website and helps illustrate the point that most ordinary Americans care about global warming. Here’s a screen shot and a sample video, with several more videos below the fold (including one from Bill Nye the Science Guy!). Some are short and some are long. You can also submit your own at the Wall.

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The Modern Electoral Map

By: Inoljt, http://thepolitikalblog.wordpress.com/

Before continuing on my analysis, I'd like to congratulate President Barack Obama on winning the Nobel Peace Prize today.

Now onto the analysis: Some of you may recognize this map.


For those who don't, this is Ronald Reagan's landslide election over his hapless opponent Walter Mondale.

Unfortunately, for those who look for political trends, this map hides more than it reveals. For example, Reagan wins Massachusetts, but reasonable people would agree that Massachusetts is normally a Democratic state.

Here is a more revealing map.


You probably don't recognize this map. There's a good reason for that - there's never been a presidential election with the above results.

In fact, the previous electoral college is what would have happened if Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan won an equal share of votes. The blue states are those in which Reagan won with less than 18.2%, the exact amount by which he beat Mondale.

This map bears an eerie resemblance to today's electoral maps.

More below the flip.

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CA-10: Polls Still Show us on Top, Public Option Remains a Top Agenda Item

Last night Survey USA and KPIX CBS 5 released a new poll showing that our campaign for Congress remains largely unchanged. With 25 percent of the vote, I still lead the pack, with Senator Mark DeSaulnier at 16 percent, Assemblymember Joan Buchanan at 12 percent, Anthony Woods at 9 percent, and undecided voters at 5 percent. This largely mirrors every publicly released poll since I entered the election.

Among Democrats, my lead is even starker: 37 percent favor me, 23 percent favor DeSaulnier, 18 percent favor Buchanan, 13 percent favor Woods, and only 2 percent are undecided. Most importantly, our great team of volunteers is effectively converting the support identified in the Survey USA and other polls into actual votes cast. Among those who have already voted, our considerable lead holds: 27 percent voted for me, 18 percent for DeSaulnier, 13 percent for Buchanan, and 10 percent for Woods.

Our lead holds among all demographic groups, including Obama voters, men, women, all age groups, all races, all levels of educational achievement, and all income levels. Our support is broad based and diverse. As the only candidate who has represented all corners of the 10th Congressional District, the voters know where I stand. As CBS 5 explained, "DeSaulnier and Buchanan have failed to make inroads since CBS 5's last poll 16 days ago."

Clearly, with Election Day fast approaching this Tuesday, we like where we stand.

The poll explains the what, but it fails to explain the why. I'm proud of the campaign we've run. We're convinced the polls are a reflection of voter support for a positive issues-based campaign that has emphasized solid Democratic principles and experience that can deliver results.

Health care over the flip...

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