On this past weekend’s edition of the "McLaughlin Group," panelist Eleanor Clift of "Newsweek" insisted global warming is man made, and called contrary opinions "theological arguments," and moderator John McLaughlin referred to those who do not accept Clift’s premise as "neanderthals." Ms. Clift also displayed her environmentalist sympathies, proclaiming "...[Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma] has, like, a zero rating from the environmentalists. And he, thankfully, will not be chairing that [Environmental and Public Works] committee anymore in the Senate."
In the opening segment of the program, McLaughlin brought up the subject of global warming. Token conservative on the panel, Pat Buchanan, asserted that though global warming is occurring, there is a real debate as to the cause, but he was outnumbered by his fellow panelists: Jay Carney of "Time," Clarence Page of "The Chicago Tribune," and Ms. Clift.
Eleanor Clift was the first to dismiss Buchanan’s argument, which led to McLaughlin referring to those who agree with Buchanan as "Neanderthals:"
Eleanor Clift: "The science is overwhelmingly in support of the fact that the phenomenon is happening, and a large part of it is man-made. The figures are dramatic. And what Pat has just laid out is really a theological argument that's made by a very small number of people in the political world."
John McLaughlin: "The Neanderthals."
Eleanor Clift: "The Neanderthals, okay -- not to put too fine a point on it."
Later, Jay Carney alleged that the science against global warming as a man made phenomenon is being driven by the oil and gas industries. However, there are credible scientists who agree that global warming is not man made, William Gray, Dr. Roy Spencer, and Patrick Michaels come to mind. Carney also mentioned reducing our dependence on foreign oil, this notion led to a feisty exchange with Mr. McLaughlin:
Jay Carney: "...If we could find a way to reduce our dependence on the oil of autocracies in the Middle East, we could solve a lot of problems."
John McLaughlin: "Do you want to propagate a lot of wonderful farm lands with windmills? Is that what you have in mind? Do you think solar energy can do it? We've been doing programs around here for over 20 years on the photoelectric cell."
Jay Carney: "Are you so convinced that we are so limited in our capacities to find scientific solutions to major problems that we should just give up, drain the earth of oil and then leave it to some future generation?"
Following this exchange, Clarence Page brought up the name of Senator Inhofe, who "thankfully" according to Clift won’t be chairing the Senate EPW Committee any longer:
Clarence Page: "Well, you know, Jim Inhofe is from Oklahoma, of course. I mean, to be against oil in Oklahoma is like being against gasohol in Illinois; I mean, certainly corn farmers and sugar cane farmers, et cetera. I mean, there's a lot of different alternative fuels. Jay is absolutely right. We have got to reduce our dependency on oil, and that is transcending party lines now. And Eleanor's also right to say that we need to talk about the environmental impact of these –"
Eleanor Clift: "Senator Inhofe"
John McLaughlin: "Before you get into any demonstrations of the disasters that will occur, do you remember the Y2 problem that we had at the turn of"
Pat Buchanan: "Y2K?"
John McLaughlin: "Do you remember that?"
Eleanor Clift: "That is a totally different magnitude."
Pat Buchanan: "We're going to run out of oil."
Eleanor Clift: "That was worries about whether the computers could make the transition. This is -- we're talking about a 10-year window here. And if we don't act over the next 10 years, it's going to be irreversible."
Pat Buchanan: "John, the purpose of this"
Eleanor Clift: "And Senator Inhofe, by the way"
Pat Buchanan: Okay.
Eleanor Clift: "-- has, like, a zero rating from the environmental"
Pat Buchanan: "So what?"
Eleanor Clift: "Excuse me -- has, like, a zero rating from the environmentalists. And he, thankfully, will not be chairing that committee anymore in the Senate."
There is significant debate as to the causes of global warming, yet this panel was yet another example of the media skewing their coverage in favor of the argument that global warming is man made.