[Sadly, this is only a runner up for the worst Earth Day climate story from the traditional media. I'll post the winner on Earth Day. Hint: It's NBC.]
No, hell has not frozen over. But Slate and its partner the Washington Post would have you believe otherwise.
This week, Slate is hosting some of the world’s most eminent environmental thinkers, leaders, and advocates, and inviting them to answer questions from our readers about what’s happening to our world and what we can do about it.
Yes, Slate then describes Gingrich, author of the recent book A Contract with the Earth, as a “conservative conservationist” who has now “devoted himself to a bipartisan ‘mainstream environmentalism.’ ” And the Post runs their interview with him saying he will “discuss finding a common commitment to environmental stewardship and bipartisan solutions for global warming and other critical problems.”
Seriously. And people ask me if the media coverage of the environment and global warming has gotten better. The traditional media has the attention span and historical memory of an erection.
Back in November, Salon ran an interview (here) with Gingrich, who famously co-authored and then worked to enact the anti-environmental Contract with America (CWA), in which he claimed
I don’t know of a single thing in the Contract that was bad for the environment.
As I noted at the time (here), CWA was a clever, stealthy attack on the environment as detailed by NRDC in a lengthy analysis (summarized here), by the Sierra Club, and by the National Wildlife Federation, which wrote at the time: “Taken as a whole, the House plan constitutes the broadest and deepest attack ever mounted against laws that protect public health, the environment, natural resources and wildlife.”
Regular readers of this blog know precisely what environmental non-strategy
Luntz Bush Gingrich must embrace, and his Washington Post interview does not disappoint, from the very start:
Newt Gingrich: I want to start by saying that I believe we need an entrepreneurial, science and technology oriented approach to the environment, and that most Americans agree with that…. [A] majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans all agree that entrepreneurs can do more than bureaucrats to solve environmental challenges.
If you are a new reader and that doesn’t sound familiar, try this:
We need to emphasize how voluntary innovation and experimentation are preferable to bureaucratic or international intervention and regulation.
That of course would be a direct quote from the Frank Luntz playbook on how to seem like you care about the climate when you don’t, the same playbook our President has used with such great success (see Bush climate speech follows Luntz playbook: “Technology, technology, blah, blah, blah.” and of course, “Bush/Nero climate speech: “Technology, technology, blah, blah, let’s fiddle until 2025.”³
Sadly for Newt, he loves the wrong technology: “A very inexpensive hydrogen car would change the entire trajectory of environmental impact for China and India.” Not!
Needless to say, Gingrich does not favor either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. He favors technology incentives. Now he tells us.