Thursday, May 14, 2015

How do you believe in god with no evidence, but deny climate change with indisputable evidence?

The billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. (photo: AP)
The billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. (photo: AP)

Billionaire Environmentalist to Put GOP Presidential Climate Denier Candidates on 'The Hot Seat'

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch
08 April 15
here’s been some buzz lately about what the next step would be for billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer‘s group Next Generation. It hit the news last week that he was shutting down the group’s climate policy research arm, with speculation that he would shift resources to its political wing NextGen Climate (NGC).

Now we know. Monday NGC announced its first big campaign of the 2016 presidential election season, dubbed “The Hot Seat.”

“If you’re in a position that is different from 97 percent of scientists, that does raise basic competency questions in terms of whether people are going to want to give you the keys to the White House,” said NextGen Climate’s chief strategist Chris Lehane during a press call Monday.

The group describes the program as “a high-tech war room that will track Koch brothers-backed presidential candidates, put them in the Hot Seat for their science denial and support for policies that only serve the best interests of the Kochs, and press them on their plans to address climate change for the next generation.” It’s referring to the Republican presidential race as “The Koch Primaries,” tying the candidates to big-spending fossil fuel-billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have vowed to drop almost a billion dollars to put someone who serves their anti-climate interests into the White House.

The campaign will include TV and radio ad buys, billboards and social media, with college campuses and young voters a particular priority.

“America is at an energy crossroads, and there is nearly a billion dollars in money from the Koch brothers’ network standing in the way of real solutions that will move our country forward,” says NGC. “But there’s good news: Republican presidential hopefuls’ willingness to deny basic science and put our country at risk in their pursuit of the Kochs’ campaign cash is a serious liability with voters.”

The San Francisco-based group will set up satellite offices in DC and key presidential primary states to work on “making climate denial into a liability with voters and force these candidates to answer to the American people.” It’s been teasing the new campaign with billboards, truck-drawn mobile billboards and a plane that flew over the Iowa Agriculture Summit with a banner that said, “Jeb Bush: I’m Not a Scientist.”
NextGen Climate teased its Hot Seat campaign with this mobile billboard in New Hampshire. (photo: NextGen Climate)
NextGen Climate teased its Hot Seat campaign with this mobile billboard in New Hampshire.
(photo: NextGen Climate)
“From Iowa to New Hampshire, we’ll be ready to strike when Republicans deny basic science and refuse to show meaningful climate leadership for our country and our kids,” promises NGC. “NGC will expose the nexus between the nearly one billion dollars the Koch network plans to spend and the anti-science positions taken by Republican presidential candidates.”

Lehane didn’t attach a specific dollar figure to Steyer’s likely spending in the upcoming race, but said, “He has made it clear he will spend what it takes. It still is a drop in the big oil bucket compared to what the other side is spending. We’re up against the most well-resourced special interests I think in the history of democracy.

They will do whatever it takes to try to rig the system to keep in place an approach that generates enormous amounts of money for them regardless of its impact on our economic health, national security and the impact on our kids.”

NGC’s research showed that among Iowa voters, the Koch Brothers had a negative 16 favorability, and that 71 percent of likely Iowa voters said they would be less inclined to support a candidate bankrolled by the Kochs. They also found that among young voters in four battleground states, likely to make up about a third of 2016 voters, only 9 percent had a favorable view of the Koch Brothers and oil companies such as Koch Industries had a 15/58 favorable/unfavorable rating. Forty-one percent said climate denial would disqualify a candidate, no matter what their other positions.

The first batch of climate deniers NGC is putting on the Hot Seat include Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (the two official candidates), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Rand Paul announced his presidential bid in Louisville today, and NGC stood outside the event with its “lie detector test” to try to force him to reveal his positions on climate change. In the past he’s hedged and said that he’s “not sure anybody knows exactly why” climate change occurs and that the science behind it is “not conclusive.” He’s also said that someone who would tie extreme weather events like hurricanes to climate change is an “ignoramus.” Those statements undermine claims that Paul could have wide appeal to younger voters.

“If Senator Paul thinks he’s going to be ‘Nirvana’ or ‘Pearl Jam’ for these young voters, what is his plan to address an issue that is clearly one of their top concerns?” says NGC.

Of Bush, being pushed by supporters as the most “electable” candidate, Lehane said, “He claims not to believe in the science. I think it’s particularly interesting he is from a state that will be particularly impacted by [climate change]. I think it is really hard to run an electability campaign when you’re talking about the fact you need to generate more support from young voters when you are taking a position that is a defining issue for young voters—that is going to be a signifier as to why they shouldn’t support him.”

The popular media narrative about NGC’s 2014 spending—primarily Steyer’s and estimated at about $75 million—was that it didn’t yield much in the way of results. However, three of its seven priority candidates won, a decent record in what was a difficult election for progressive candidates overall. And unlike much of the money coming from the Koch Brothers, who have pledged to spend almost a billion dollars to elect a fossil fuel-friendly president next year, Steyer’s money is not “dark”—he’s been open about what he is spending and where.


+23 # Dust 2015-04-08 13:18
The idea that Ted Cruz would compare himself to Galileo for denying science is obscenely absurd.

The major difference, of course, is that Galileo could actually DO SOME F-ING MATH!!

Ted Cruz can't.
+11 # indian weaver 2015-04-08 14:27
So, why are the Democratic candidates so cowardly and ignorant (or whatever) that Steyer has to do this instead of them? Where are they? Hiding behind piles of corruption money? Where was Obama his entire presidential term in facing off with the Republican criminal climate deniers? It's not like they don't have massive ammunition to throw at the climate deniers! The Democrats deserve to lose for their cowardice, if nothing else. They may have a better position on ACD, but you rarely hear about it. We need Steyer's money behind a Third Party. Steyer could form and support the inception of a powerful Peoples' Party so we can finally dump all these inbred, sold-out, big mouths with no backbones (Democrats, Republicans, dumdum dubya and dick the prick, Obama et. al). [By the way, this article is the best news I've read in a long time. Suddenly, I have hope for We The People. Thank God for Steyer.)
+7 # VoiceOfReason 2015-04-09 00:47
WONDERFUL news!!! Kudos to Tom Steyer and his group.

Here are ten reasons we all should be very concerned about climate change: (Part one)

1. Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals argue that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity.
2. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 16 warmest years since temperature records were kept in 1880 have been since 1998. 2014 was the warmest year recorded and the last 330 months have all been warmer than the long term average for corresponding months. This means, for example, that July, 2014 was warmer than the average for all previous Julys since 1880.
3. Polar icecaps and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections.
4. There has been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.
5. California has been subjected to so many severe climate events recently that its governor, Jerry Brown, stated that, “Humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
6. Many climates experts believe that we are close to a tipping point when climate change will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless major positive changes soon occur.
7. While climate scientists believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, the world reached 400 ppm in 2014, and the amount is increasing by 2 - 3 ppm per year.
8. While climate scientists hope that temperature increases can be limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), largely because that is the best that can be hoped for with current trends and momentum, the world is now on track for an average increase of 4 – 5 degrees Celsius, which would produce a world with almost unimaginably negative climate events .
9. The Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for instability, terrorism, and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refuges fleeing from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.
10. The conservative group ConservAmerica (, formerly known as ‘Republicans for Environmental Protection,’ is very concerned about climate change threats. They are working to end the denial about climate threats and the urgency of working to avert them on the part of the vast majority of Republicans, but so far with very limited success.
+6 # ericlipps 2015-04-09 05:03
All Republicans should be concerned about climate change, since if it's real (and I say "if" chiefly to reflect GOP skepticism, not my own) it will pose a direct threat to business interests far worse than that offered by mere regulation.
+3 # Pufferly 2015-04-09 07:36
I favor a Third Party entering the race with support from Tom Steyer, a party
with no baggage. The Democrats have been the Wimp Wing of the Rethugnicons for too long, and are irreversibly compromised and corrupted by money. I'll call it The Survival Party, because that's what it will be. We are today hell bent on extinction. Who will tell the children?
0 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-04-09 10:39
They believe in God without a shred of evidence, but don't believe in "climate change" with mounting evidence. But more important do they want to take a chance on whether it is real?

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