So I saw this trailer the other day for a new film from radio host Phil Valentine about global warming: An Inconsistent Truth.
The blurb from the film's site seems to indicate that a carbon conspiracy may be afoot: "Many people believe in man-made global warming but they don’t know why. This is one of the most important issues of our day yet the average American knows so very little about what’s really going on. Is that by design? Who stands to make billions off cap-and-trade legislation? Why do those who raise their voices the loudest lead the most wasteful lifestyles? Is carbon dioxide really a pollutant or is it a harmless gas that’s essential to life here on Earth?"
What's interesting to me is that Newt Gingrich is in the trailer. He says in a quick clip, "This has been a very effective opportunity to get your tax money to pay for his car company." (I can't find the comment in a Nexis search, but I'm going to make a clue-like guess that it was Mr. Gingrich outside a hearing about Tesla talking about Department of Energy grants.) The star of the film is this guy Phil Valentine. A guy named Shayne Edwards directed; he runs a digital media company in Tennessee that makes a lot of electronic press kits..
Valentine has an A to Z of his philosophy on his website in which J stands for "Junk science is behind the global warming scare." He believes he shares values about global warming with Gingrich, who himself shares top "billing" with several climate scientists who have become part of the political debate: John Christy, Fred Singer, and Roy Spencer. Interestingly, those scientists don't all share the same views: Christy argues that the cause of global warming is not known; Singer & Spencer argue that natural processes are predominantly responsible.
In 2007, Gingrich was all about global warming. Appearing with Senator John Kerry, Gingrich said the evidence is sufficient that we should "move towards most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading."
Gingrich says there has to be a green conservatism. He seems to be "The environment has been a powerful emotional tool for bigger government and higher taxes." Perhaps as part of that green conservatism push, he also appeared that same year in an ad with Nancy Pelosi (watch it all the way through for the nervous grimace smiles!):
And if you set the Wayback Machine all the way back to 1989, you'll find Newt Gingrich co-sponsoring a bill that would have established as a national goal, first, "that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere be reduced from 1988 levels by at least 20 percent by the year 2000 through a mix of Federal and State energy policies" and second, that we take part in an international agreement about climate.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing anything about this evolution of thought if you went to Gingrich's website:
Through his entire career, Newt has supported pro-market, pro-entrepreneur, innovative solutions to our environmental challenges, which he believes are superior to the liberal pro-bureaucracy, pro-tax, pro-regulation approach to the environment.
Newt believes that conservatives cannot be absent from the conversation about the environment and instead that conservatives must offer and explain why conservative solutions are better. […]
Newt will continue to oppose the Democrats’ destructive cap-and-trade and carbon tax proposals, continue to support expanded domestic oil and gas drilling, and continue to fight for a fundamental replacement of the job-killing Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency.
These days, Gingrich dismisses the Pelosi ad as the single dumbest thing he's ever done. But what he really believes about global warming, whether he shares Valentine's conspiracy-minded views of junk science, or whether he is intrigued by the minority views in climatology shared by the scientists in the film, is kind of unclear. The people who could ask that question best are probably on the campaign trail.
“I don’t know whether global warming is occurring,” Gingrich said earlier this winter. “The vast majority of National Academy of Sciences says it is, a minority says it is not. Science is not actually voted on. Science is a function of truth.”
The film An Inconsistent Truth opens this Friday in Nashville. No idea whether more cities will get it. I'm always interested to see the politicization of this kind of science in an election year, though.