Dumb, dumber, and damn dangerous-

Republican’s Climate Solution: Clear-Cut the Rain Forest. By John Collins Rudolf. New York Times.

If he is so stupid he doesn’t know trees suck up carbon dioxide, not emit it, what about his views on the economy, medicine, national defense?

Has there ever been a time in America when science was held back so much by politicians who are avaricious fools?

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

45 Responses to Republican’s Climate Solution: Clear-Cut the Rain Forest

  1. avatar Mike says:

    That’s about as dumb as it gets.

  2. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    WTF?

  3. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    Modern Republican’s never seem to carry a complete, adequate modern tool box. Just like this guy, if they can’t come up with a simple way to cut, dig, drill or shoot their way out of a problem, they reach for their favorite all-purpose tool — denial. They don’t show up fully equipped for work . . . . and therefore aren’t fit to lead.

  4. avatar timz says:

    Just attach it as a rider to a budget bill, Dems and Reps will pass it, and Obummer will sign off on it.

  5. avatar steve c says:

    This will now be thrown up as fact whenever any tea partier is arguing against carbon dioxide reductions…

  6. avatar Red says:

    Makes me think of this article I read a few weeks back, wish I could find it again. It was a pro-composting article, but the way it was written implied that decomposing plant matter only produces methane gas if it’s in a landfill, not if it’s being composted.

    And what does he think will happen to the older trees if we cut them all down? Wouldn’t they, y’know, decay?

  7. avatar JimT says:

    Reminds of the “the rain will follow the plow” myth of the 1800s that destroyed the prairie grasslands and led to the Great Dustbowl..and Ronnie Reagan’s statement that trees pollute….

    BTW, I was talking with my wife last night..and we were trying to think of a conservative comic or satirist. Could not think of one..at least one that is intentionally a comic. Is that because they tend not to have a sense of humor? ~S~

  8. avatar JimT says:

    I am frankly amazed the climate change person didn’t just laugh in his face at the question….

  9. avatar JimT says:

    Get rid of cows…point sources, one and all…:*)j

  10. avatar Rebecca Edwards says:

    nope, further more I have never seen such uneducated people in my life, such as in the senate.

    • avatar william huard says:

      2012 will bring back a return to some sense of sanity. The ideologues in the Republithug party will return to the minority where they belong, incapable of governing all the people. Even Sara Palin, the awesome reality TV star with her constitutional conservative credentials and time tested truths cannot save the Republicans. Let the tea party primary as many candidates as they can so they can be pulled farther to the right and deeper into the minority

  11. avatar JimT says:

    Never liked him when he was a so called liberal on SNL…:*)

  12. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    I am going to stick my neck out here. I really like Obama. I like the man because he is intelligent which is such a refreshing change. No, I don’t agree with everything he says and does but it has been such a long time since intelligence was part of politics that I trust him more than I have any president for a long time.

    • avatar timz says:

      So he’s intelligent? Most of them probable are. But he’s still would sell his soul to the highest bidder to stay in power and has no moral compass which makes him a typical low-life scum-bag politician.

      • avatar timz says:

        Obummers hope and change:
        Environmental decisions will be based on science. So far –Bullshit.
        Will close Gitmo – Still open.
        Will get ouy of Iraq and Afganastan — Still there
        Unemployment will not top 8% – No officially at around 10%, realistically closer to 18%.
        Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners -foreclosures still at an all time high and climbing.
        Restore the Great Lakes – actually decreased funding for this project.
        However there were some firsts.
        First US President to bow to a Saudi Leader.
        Fiest Black president to go from the grandson of a Kenyan cook to an Irishman.

        He’s been just great.

      • avatar william huard says:

        I was a big Obama supporter. His actions on environmental issues has been a big disappointment. As much as I would probably stay home in 2012 I am too afraid to let Repubs get the white house. I would like to get Soc Sec and Medicare

      • avatar timz says:

        No worries William, the pickings are so bad the replipukes can’ t even find somebody to beat this Jimmy Carter II (Obama)

      • avatar Salle says:

        timz,

        Perhaps this video can give you some insight as to why Obama has not been able to fulfill campaign promises…

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8171.htm

        After reading/watching some of what Mr. Perkins has to say and considering his history, and then reading The Shock Doctrine I’m surprised he hasn’t suffered the same fate as JFK, quite frankly. I’m sure he was informed of what, when, where and how he can officiate after the election.

        May I suggest some investigation on this topic with regard to things the mainstream (corporate) media do and don’t tell us.

        And then there’s this ugly rat’s nest to contend with as well:

        http://prince.org/msg/105/355418

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      I apologize beforehand for my intervention. Just my few cents from Europe: I also held high hopes for Obama. I´m also kind of disappointed. Maybe we all have expected too much, asked too much, hoped for too much. But, what is most important with Obama is, that he and his lovely wife have given America something back, that it lost over the preceding dark years: Credibility, dignity, style, even a little bit of glamour! You should not underestimate this. What the Obamas did to positively change the outside world´s view of America is invaluable. Sorry again for being that bold, but America desperately needed it!

      • Peter,

        I appreciate your observations from Europe.

      • avatar JimT says:

        I second Ralph’s comment. After 8 years of neo con foreign policy, a completely unnecessary and disasterous way in Iraq, the effects of leaving Afghanistan that we are now experiencing big time….it is nice to have some sanity coming your way even if it is not always a Eurocentric decision. Most of us here probably hold environmental concerns as our number one or two priority in issues and policies of the Obama Administration. We who live in the West have very different issues from the more settled, less wild East and Midwest, and on those issues, Obama has been a big disappointment, no question.

      • avatar Linda Hunter says:

        Peter thank you for your view from there. I have read the articles posted by JB and couldn’t help but wonder what the world would have been like if Hilary Clinton had been elected. I am afraid that chauvinism is very alive and well in the Untied States (speaking as a woman boat captain), although not on the surface, and I hope our first woman president will be made of titanium and have the brain of one of our largest computer processors. I am afraid that if someone who seems to be made of hot cake dough, like Sarah Palin, is ever elected there won’t be much left of her . . I would give her two months (no two weeks) before she resembles a rag dog that has been chewed by a pack of canines. Then, of course, she might be the first president to resign while in office.

      • avatar Maska says:

        Linda: Actually, there was a previous President who resigned while in office: Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. I remember it well, as we were living in the greater Washington, D.C., area as that mess unfolded.

    • avatar JB says:

      Indeed, Linda. You stuck your neck out and got the typical partisan rant. Around here, Obama is either cast as a far-left, radical socialist, or the second…er…third coming of Bush, depending (of course) on the politics of the blogger.

      Obama has been absent on public lands management issues (starting with appointees), and seems to be trying to avoid many hot-button issues that rally the fringes of the movement and the “counter-movement”, if you will (again, probably thinking re-election). This has really enraged many western environmentalists as well as other activists.

      However, Obama has gone after a lot of “big picture” (i.e., energy) environmental issues that are on the political radar of most Americans. For example, he doubled federal research into clean energy, enacted a tax credit for hybrid, plug-in vehicles, raised fuel economy standards, etc. The issues that were discussed during the national election. Moreover, some of his more progressive initiatives have fallen victim to D.C. politics and the polarized politics in Washington today.

      I also think it is instructive to recall that Citizens United is still looming–meaning anyone who wants to get re-elected better be careful not to piss off industry, lest they choose to exercise their “free speech” rights by way of a few dozen of those ridiculous political attack adds that haunt the airways during the election season. (By the way, Citizens United was brought to you by Republican Presidents past, who appointed every Supreme Court justice that voted in favor of the decision).

      If you’d like to see a “measured” discussion of Obama’s environmental record, I would suggest the following:

      http://greenanswers.com/blog/199381/taking-look-obamas-environmental-track-record#ixzz1NqAKqctL

      • avatar Salle says:

        Thanks for that link, jb. I’ll be looking at that later n day.

      • avatar JimT says:

        JB, it is no accident that the issues that matter the most to Obama..energy generation, alternative energy generation and transmission..also reflect the vision of most Easterners when you say “environmental protection”. He simply doesn’t have any background…or apparent interest…in looking beyond those issues to the larger environmental and ecosystem issues.of the Western environmentalist.species and ecosystem health to be overly general. Nor does he seem to be interested at all in learning; he simply relies on the handmaiden of the mining, oil and gas industries and ranching..Salazar. If he had made an effort at all..Keep in mind that all of these energy policies seem to be taking place in the Western states, which makes the ignoring of these concerns even more troubling. .I would be the first to give him credit. But he hasn’t, and the record is clear to see, and he should be held accountable.

        There is no doubt in my mind that he came in facing probably the highest level of multi issue troubles this country has seen certainly since the Great Depression, and possibly even before that when you take in the foreign policy mess left by Bush. And I think not only did we expect Bush to be expunged in a month, but we truly did not know the great depth and breadth of the messes Bush and his cronies left behind. Add in, as you say, the incredible selfishness of the conservative extremists and the Republican Party’s willingness to turn their agenda over to the Tea Party idealogues, and it became an even more difficult task. But Obama should get and deserves criticism for not recognizing this fact of extreme partisanship, and pushing his agenda forward. Instead, he naively expected that in calling for a meeting in the middle, the Republicans would do the right thing by the nation and focus on problem solving. That tragic miscalculation led to the possibility of the Tea Party and the 2010 election disaster.

        What I would want to know is this..how can the environmentalists in the West..often THE KEY to any Democrat winning an election in our states..emulate the Tea Party in so far as becoming basically THE constituency that moves issues and agendas? They sneeze and the DC Republicans hold out the hanky. I would love for the environmental protection folks out here to have that same sway instead of the same old tired “vote for…XXXX Democrat, because.YYYY Republican is worse”.. and then ignored until it is time for the next election cycle.

      • avatar JB says:

        Sure, Salle.

        – – –

        JimT:

        Personally, I think Obama had to make a choice about what policy priorities to emphasize (i.e. where to spend political capital) and which to de-emphasize (i.e. where to take the “middle path”). He chose to push health care reform and “green” energy, and did his damndest to draw down efforts in Iraq. I agree that he misjudged the Republicans’ willingness to try an block any and all of his efforts and [especially] agree that he was naive to think that coming to the “middle” would be enough to satisfy them (his advisors fell down on the job there).

        Now, I won’t be making any excuses for this administration, but imagine you’re Obama and you’ve inherited (a) the worst financial crisis since the GD, (b) a two-front “war on terror”, (c) a massive housing bubble, (d) potential failure of the nation’s banks (and car companies), (e) booming health insurance, and on top of everything else, (f) the largest, wealthiest, and most politically active segment of society is about to retire and get really demanding. Now, when you consider all of those forces, it makes sense that he chose to focus on health care (read baby-boomer retirements), troop draw-downs, and politically “easy” tax-incentives for “green” energy. Throwing his “hat” into the sage brush rebellion is not likely to get him a single electoral vote in the next election, and in fact, could help his opponents cast him as anti property rights, civil liberties, etc. I guess what I am (in effect) asking is– where is the political advantage in pursuing the issues that many here care about?

        Personally, I am frustrated by the lack of attention to public lands (and other) environmental issues. But until there are political consequences, I doubt anyone will listen. On the other hand, the political consequence of the last environmental candidate (Nadar) was 8 years of Bush and the appointees which brought you such hits as Citizens United. Seems those that care about the environment are in a hell of a pickle.

        • avatar WM says:

          JB,

          Well stated. I would add that it is not all Obama and the Executive Branch. The D party is calling shots still, and there are some “D” Congressional types in both houses that are hanging on by a thread. Even if Obama did give environmental issues some face time, if he tips the cart too far on high risk/low general populace gain issues, there is greater chance of defeat for those hangers-on, by those with an R or a teabag behind their name. So, then the pendelum swings further to the right than this last election. Where is the gain there?

          • avatar JB says:

            Good point about the Party calling some of the shots, WM. It won’t do Obama much good if he gets re-elected and the Rs win the House and Senate in a landslide. [For those that dismiss the possibility, you needn’t look any further than the last presidential election, where GWB’s politics cost the GOP (at least for a short time) the house, senate and executive.

      • avatar DB says:

        JB,

        Thanks for your two comments and the link. I wouldn’t feel bad about making excuses for this administration though. You pointed out many of the problems Obama inherited and there’s been some progress on the economy, health care reform, auto industry, unemployment, Iraq drawdown, and, as Peter K pointed out, U.S. image abroad. I’d say to your last that those who care ONLY about the environment are in a hell of a pickle.

  13. avatar Nancy says:

    Ralph – nice shot of the sheep. Reminds of a shot I took on a steep hillside along the Sun River in the Bob Marshall.

  14. avatar timz says:

    How short are our memories, I believe this was posted somewhere here recently.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair05132011.html

  15. avatar timz says:

    My favorite quote from the article.
    “Of all of Barack Obama’s airy platitudes about change none were more vaporous than his platitudes about the environment and within that category Obama has had little at all to say about matters concerning public lands and endangered species. “

  16. avatar Rob Sisson says:

    No one is more disappointed in the GOP’s position on environmental issues than me (president of Republicans for Environmental Protection and a constituent in Fred Upton’s district). The primary system skews both parties towards the fringes of reality. Being the party out of power (ie, out of the White House), the GOP has settled in to a campaign strategy of opposing 180 degrees anything the Dems support.

    Hopefully, with every GOP presidential hopeful trying to get “right” of the others in the field, one candidate will recognize that the middle (science, common sense) is wide open. Cross my fingers.

    • Rob Sisson,

      You really nailed a key reason why the party’s candidates are so bad . . . it is the way candidates are chosen to be the party’s nominee. The primary election filters the candidates.

      Those voters who show up to vote in the primary elections are not just a smaller sample of the total Republican or Democratic electorate. They are in fact quite different.

      In recent years, they have become extreme, especially the Republican primary election voters. Candidates who are at all moderate are screened out, even though they might be the most electable in the general election.

      Folks talk about the need for a third party. That is a fine, probably a good idea, but changing the nomination process might be easier and work as well.

  17. avatar PointsWest says:

    25 years ago, we would not be having any such discussion because science was science and was not something to be debated by politicians, by writers, or by activists. Even people in this blog use the word “science” as if it were someones opinion or position sometimes. Science is not opinion or position and is not really something laymen can debate…not true science. Real science has rules very similar to mathematics and is simply not debatable. It has stringent rules and method and peer review and opinion or position never enters into real science. Scientists do have opinions but are quick to label opinion as opinion distinct from science. We as a society are blurring this distinction, however, between opinion and science. What often passes as science these days is often opinion or is at best junk science where real science is taken out of context by laymen and used to support an opinion or position.

    The GOP is, no doubt, the greatest offender in regards to bluing the line between opinion and science. They have been for sometime as the party of fundamental religious belief. They are constantly furthering the “war on science” along with their many other wars, but they are not the only offenders to science. Some left wing activists use junk science or makeup science to further their agendas too. There has been an explosion of junk science (and junk scientists) with the explosion of the Internet as it has become the great gathering place for people with similar agendas. Every activist with a cause deems himself a scientists and puts together a mass of junk science to support his and his follower’s cause. I believe the GOP is the greater threat to science, however, and is the greater threat to society.

    To give you an idea just how bad it is, I know that “science” is very clear and concise and united that we ARE experiencing global warming due to the combustion of millions of tons of fossil fuels. That is the real science. Science is unequivocal on global warming and has been for a couple of decades. No discussion. No opinion. No war. Yet if you watch or read the news or read the Internet, it sounds as if no one is sure. Global warming is debated. Opinions diverge. There is a scientific controversy…no. There is no controversy in science. Scince is firm on global warming and has been for some time.

    The only controversy is with science itself. That is the problem with the world today. Science itself is under attack…again. Science has been under severe attack several times in the past (most notably when it conflicted with Christian dogma) and it survived as where the attackers did not. Science will survive this current attack. The offenders will eventually realize they are fighting a losing battle. They whole idea behind science was to keep opinion and agendas out of inquiry into the real world. It did it before. It will eventually do it again.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      PointsWest,

      Yes, this is a fine short essay.

      We would be in much better shape politically, environmentally and economically if every person was acquainted with at least the basics of scientific methodology.

      Scientific discovery will win in the end because, unlike blind religious faith, discovery of the nature of the real world works.

  18. avatar Monty says:

    Points West: excellent comments! Isn’t it time to describe the “Denyers” as Criminally Ignorent”! Why does the mainstream media give equal time to these fools? A year or so ago Pat Buchanon (spel?) conservative TV personality & author & former presidental candidate said the following: “Climate change is a hoax, evolution is bunk and he could care less if the world’s tropical rain forests are destroyed”. How can someone so stupid have any credibility?????

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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