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Steven Hayward- Contributor
[Courtesty of Pacific Research Institute]

Dr. Steven Hayward is Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies for the Pacific Research Institute. He is also nationally recognized for his recently released book, The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order 1964-1980 (Prima Publishing, 2001), and Churchill on Leadership: Executive Success in the Face of Adversity (Prima Publishing, 1997). [go to Hayward index]

Tuning Out Environmental Gore
Cold days for global warming...
[Steven Hayward] 1/30/04

Washington is besieged with snow and ice again this week, which means it is time for another meditation on-wait for it-global warming! Of course, I have a tough act to follow, given the perfect comic timing of former Vice President Al Gore, who recently chose the coldest day in the northeast in the last 15 years to make a speech about global warming. Big Al was funnier still: he made the speech to If ever there was one subject about which the left won't ever "move on," it is global warming.

Earth to Gore: No one is listening.

To the amazement of environmentalists and the media, President Bush's approval ratings on his handling of the environment have stayed near or even above 50 percent throughout his presidency, despite the mountain of adverse headlines in the media, the nonstop fury of the political environmental groups, and the huge generic party advantage Democrats have over Republicans as the party best able to protect the environment. At no point in Bush's presidency have his "disapprove" ratings on his handling of the environment trailed his approval ratings.

The most recent Newsweek poll found 44 percent approving Bush on the environment, with 40 percent disapproving and the rest undecided. This is exactly where his ratings stood when he took office three years ago. In fact, Bush's environmental poll numbers are very close to President Bill Clinton's poll numbers for the comparable point in his first term, which must drive Gore out of his mind.

Gore complains that "The problem is that our world is now confronting a five-alarm fire that calls for bold moral and political leadership from the United States of America. With such leadership, there is no doubt that we could solve the problem of global warming. After all, we brought down communism, won wars in the Pacific and Europe simultaneously, enacted the Marshall Plan, found a cure for polio, and put men on the moon."

The trouble is that the Clinton administration itself estimated that the cost of the Kyoto Protocol to the American economy for just one year would be more than twice the total cost of the moon project and the Marshall plan put together. This is the reason President Clinton did not submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification, or lift a finger to implement it.

This is why in 1998 the National Environmental Trust blasted the Clinton administration for its "intransigence," for "abandoning the core principles of the [Kyoto] global warming treaty" and for "abandoning any pretence of living up to its rhetoric about cutting global warming pollution."

And in a speech in April 2002 Eileen Claussen of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, one of the leading advocacy groups for urgent action on the issue, had harsh words for the Clinton administration: "Finally, I'd like to offer a special posthumous award to the Clinton administration. For talking big about climate change on the international stage but doing next to nothing about it at home, I present the Clinton White House with the award for best costumes."

Gore and are hoping that everyone will forget this inconvenient fact about the Clinton-Gore record.

copyright 2004 Pacific Research Institute




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