These Are the Same Folks Who Denounced the Koch Brothers' Political Participation the Other Day

An excellent editorial from Tim Carney

Democrats occupied the Senate floor all night Monday, talking aboutclimate change. They didn't try to advance any legislation, and they didn't even try very hard to get media attention.

“The members know that serious climate change legislation stands no chance of passage in this divided Congress,” wrote the New York Times' climate-change reporter, Coral Davenport. Beyond that, Democrats know that action on climate legislation would help Republicans take the Senate in 2014.

So why occupy the Senate floor talking about the issue? In short: Faith, identity and cash.

The liberal climate cause is easier to understand if you think of it as a religion. Monday’s talkathon sounded at times like a religious revival. Senators spoke about the faithful who “believe in wind” and “believe in renewable” energy. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said climate for him is “a faith issue.”

One doctrine in the Church of Climate is sola fide. In the words of Reformation theology: Justification comes through faith alone. “Good works” are irrelevant....

Beyond exercises in faith and identity politics, the Democratic all-nighter should be understood as a very odd fundraiser. Most fundraisers feature one or two politicians speaking to dozens of donors. Monday night featured a dozen politicians speaking to one donor: Energy billionaire Tom Steyer.

Steyer, having made his riches partly in green energy and fossil fuels, has decided to spend his billions electing Democrats who will pass climate legislation. He says he’s divested from his energy holdings, signifying his intentions are sincere.

Steyer spent $8 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia last fall. “Steyer will inject millions into assorted races” in 2014, reports Joe Hagan in Men's Journal. Steyer has made it very clear what a politician needs to do to get his money: Make a big deal about climate change.

By the way, kudos to Carney for getting this correct.  It seems like an easy nuance to get accurately, but no one in the media ever does

Democrats called Republicans “deniers” 28 times during the talkathon. Majority Leader Harry Reidframed his speech this way: “Despite overwhelming scientific evidence and overwhelming public opinion, climate change deniers still exist.”

There’s an ounce of truth to this attack: Some Republicans wrongly deny that carbon dioxide and similar gasses exert a net upward pressure on atmospheric temperature, and that this has affected the climate.

But liberals hurl the term “climate denier” at anyone who doubts the hyperbolic catastrophic predictions of Al Gore, posits that non-manmade factors (like the sun) may also drive climate change, or opposes Democrats policies — the same policies Democrats aren’t actually trying to pass.

I have actually learned to embrace the "denier" label.  When it is applied to me, I agree that I am, but that one has to be careful what exact proposition I am denying.  I don't deny that the world has warmed over the last 100 years or that man-made CO2 has contributed incrementally to that warming, both now and in the future.  What I deny is the catastrophe.


  1. Charles Rice:

    On a very few occasions I have questioned the phrase "climate change deniers" with my own question of "So you are saying that you know of scientists who believe the climate is absolutely stable and unchanging?" On the two occasions my question was met with confusion. Either it is getting cooler, staying exactly the same, or getting warmer, so a "climate change denier" must be someone who thinks the climate is staying exactly constant, right?" Well, no, of course not, they said. So why do you call them "climate change deniers"? And the answer is something like "Because CO2, and Al Gore, who won a Nobel Prize by the way, and Hurricane Sandy! Man, what sort of crack-pot are you?" I say "on a very few occasions" because up here in Portland we all know the science is settled, and this does not come up very often in polite company.

  2. Mercury:

    The whole thing is absurd, it's like trying to parse the precise meaning of "war is peace" or "goodthink" and Warren is probably foolish to try to identify a Newspeak niche which he can fit into.

    Boiling the whole complex issue down to the smallest sensitivities to "climate change" implies that *climate stasis* has been the state which we have now broken out of.

    But yeah: Garden of Eden-->Temptation-->Fall-->The Truth-->The Church-->Redemption through the salvation of Sustainability...
    It's all there.

  3. treeher:

    The Dems are desperately trying to change the focus away from obamascare. Just look at the FL race where Jolly beat the Democratic challenger despite being outspent more than 10-1 and despite a Libertarian candidate who took almost 5% of the vote (votes that otherwise would mostly go to the Republican). The win has been mostly attributed to the obamascare fiasco. Other incumbent Dems are running for the hills (see North Carolina) and wish that the media would talk about ANYTHING other than obamascare. It's a lot more than being about "faith, identity and cash". They know they are in trouble of losing both the House AND the Senate.

  4. marque2:

    The dems supporting a libertarian candidate seems to be a new trick in their arsenal.

    The guy was not only outspent - but wasn't even known compared to a former candidate for gov. And he was a hated lobbyist!

    The deck couldn't have been stacked more against the GOP candidate.

  5. obloodyhell:

    }}} Senators spoke about the faithful who “believe in wind”

    So many snarky responses.... So little time... Brain... Freeeeeezesssssss...

  6. obloodyhell:

    }}} and this does not come up very often in polite company.

    Mr. Phelps Rice -- Your mission, should you decide to accept it....

  7. obloodyhell:

    }}} from obamascare

    I go with "ObamaDon'tCare", myself.