COMMENTS: More Heat Than Light

There was more hoopla elsewhere on Capitol Hill--but as little lawmaking. Gore, former Congressman, Senator, Vice President and current teller of Inconvenient Truths, testified to both House and Senate panels about the dangers of global warming. All three networks covered his testimony. ABC's Kate Snow (subscription required) summarized his legislative agenda as calling for a current ban on any increase in carbon emissions and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases by 2050. NBC's Chip Reid characterized it as "a massive tax on polluting industries." CBS' Gloria Borger did not mention any legislative substance.

Instead, most of the coverage consisted of Academy Awards soundbites and political squabbling. Snow and Reid showed us green activist senator Barbara Boxer waggling her gavel at her predecessor and global warming denier James Inhofe: "You are not making the rules. You used to when you did this. You do not do this any more." And Snow and Borger ran Gore's joke in self-deprecation: "Rin Tin Tin was a movie star. I just have a slide show."


"global warming denier", huh?

I have to say I'm not entirely comfortable with that phrase, still.

Clearly, things are getting warmer. Whether that's anthropogenic, and whether first order (people burn coal) or second order (people breed too much, and want to eat beef; more cows fart) still seems much less clear -- certainly not to the point where a phrase lifted from "holocaust denier" is merited...

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