The Real Enemies: Liberal Media, Pop Culture, Hollywood Elites

I went to a session at the Heartland Institute’s conference in New York City yesterday called “Climate Change Politics.” Guess what didn’t come up until the Q&A? Politics.

So what did the panelists talk about? Those reliable conservative bogeymen, the liberal media, pop culture and Hollywood elites.

They all started with one liners on Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Barbra Streisand. The audience ate it up.

MoranoIn fact, the communications director for Sen. James Inhofe spent virtually his entire presentation mocking celebrities and journalists who’d expressed support for or reported on climate action.

Then panelists moved on to attacking that liberal media for reporting all that science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For some reason, a favorite target was Ann Curry. I mean, I expected the potshots at MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and CNN’s Miles O’Brien, but even Ann Curry is controversial to these people?

The more I’ve listened to these speakers, the more I’ve realized that for most of these deniers, it’s not about the science. They can only see the world in terms of left and right, so they’ve absorbed global warming into that broader paradigm of partisan politics and culture wars.

But as National Wildlife Federation President & CEO Larry Schweiger says, “Confronting global warming is not an issue of left and right. It’s a matter of right and wrong.” We have a moral responsibility to confront climate change now to protect our children’s future.

Fortunately, while attacking the liberal media, pop culture, and Hollywood elites may play well on Rush Limbaugh, it’s falling flat in the halls of Congress. U.S. Senators like John Warner, Norm Coleman, and Elizabeth Dole recognize that climate action is not a partisan issue. They’re joining a bipartisan coalition supporting the Climate Security Act, a bill that would establish a cap-and-trade system to cut our carbon emissions.

And while President Bush has stonewalled on climate action, every one of the leading presidential contenders has expressed support for mandatory cuts in carbon emissions.

So maybe the deniers should keep playing to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Pretty soon, those may be the only allies they’ll have left.