It comes as no surprise that the right wingers are responding to Al Gore winning the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth by attempting to swift boat him with attacks based upon the amount of energy he personally uses. While they still attempt to, it is getting harder for conservatives to deny the science of climate change now that it has become the consensus of scientific thought. This leaves their most common strategy of resorting to smears, knowing that the conservative pundits and bloggers will repeat any claim without any requirement for evidence. No matter that all the documented evidence refuted the claims about John Kerry, and that his accusers were found to be paid partisan hacks with a political agenda–its an attack on a Democrat so it will be passed off as truth.
Just as the Swift Boat liars were found have an agenda, James Johnson and James Boyce have found that those raising the charges against Gore are also Republican partisans. So far they have uncovered the following:
They are part of the right’s State Policy Network. According to PFAW,
“SPN is a national network of state-based right-wing organizations in 37 states as well as prominent nationwide right-wing organizations. Through its network SPN advances the public policy ideas of the expansive right-wing political movement on the state and local level.”
As of Feb. 16, the Tennessee tax dept. considers them “not a legitimate organization” because of their misrepresenting themselves involving questions about the group’s opposition to a state crackdown on drug dealers.
Think Progress has contacted Al Gore for further clarification. (By the way, if you need evidence of how little regard right wingers have for honesty or rational thought, check out the comments by a troll there by the name of Patrick1.) Think Progress received the following answers:
1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.
2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero.
In a sense purchasing carbon offsets is something that conservatives, who claim to support the free market except when it comes to the real world, should understand. Of course we understand their mind set which makes them not want to understand or acknowledge such a solution.
The mind set in work here is to paint the opponents as extremist crazies and only attack the straw men they create, as opposed to responding to their opponents’ actual views. To the conservatives those who of us who oppose the Iraq war as being counter to our national interests are unwilling to defend America from real dangers. Those who exercise our rights to criticize the government are called unpatriotic traitors. Those who oppose the corporate-welfare schemes of the Republicans are called socialists. Similarly, when dealing with global warming they try to obfuscate the fact that this represents the consensus of the scientific community by claiming it is a religion. They claim those who speak of climate change are tree huggers who oppose the advantages of modern life. When they run into those who want to take real world action, such as lowering their carbon footprint and buying offsets while still living an affluent life style, they call them hypocrites for not living as predicted by their phoney stereotypes. Al Gore’s sin here is not his actions, but not being the caricature of an environmentalist which they would make him out to be.