The Environmental Spectator

Award-Winning Boat Anchors

The phrase "global warming" is gone with the wind.

By 5.6.09

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Irony is so much sweeter when its victims have slathered their false assertions with syrupy arrogance and mocking mix-ins.

Trouble is, the excess almost always causes a tummy ache.

Not to mention brain freeze, which Al Gore, NASA's James Hansen, and the rest of the environmentalist gorgers now suffer when pairing "global" and "warming." The New York Times on Sunday reported that a polling firm has learned that the word combo – trumpeted in a multiyear mass media blitz – is now nowhere near as popular as "peanut butter and jelly," or even "peas and carrots:"

The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is "global warming."

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

And we thought global warming-inspired visions of granola-munching, Birkenstock-clad, organic-farming, tree-hugging, smelling-up-the-commune hippies were limited to us conservative types. How wrong we were – now even real people surveyed by environmental consultants believe the same thing!

That doesn't mean the eco-activists served by ecoAmerica haven't become smarter and stronger. Despite their failure to capture the minds and hearts of average Americans with their pro-green propaganda, they kicked so much sand in the faces of corporate cowards like Enron, GE and BP that those bag-of-bones executives believed environmentalism went mainstream. These weaklings went off and bulked up their eco-cred so the beach girls would call them wimps no more. Now they use their newfound muscle to browbeat exemptions and favors for themselves in global warming legislation pushed by Democratic water-carriers.

But impressing the bubbleheads on the beach is not the same as wooing those in flyover country. The ecoAmerica report is only the most recent discovery. Last month Rasmussen reported that only one-third of voters now believe humans cause global warming, while nearly half (48 percent) believe it is due to long-term planetary trends. This continued a trend noticed in January by Rasmussen on the issue. Meanwhile the venerable pollster in February found also that 54 percent of voters believe the media excessively hypes the dangers posed by global warming.

But that's not all, no that's not all, as I cited in March for American Spectator:

Pew also found in January that of 20 policy issues it asked people to rank in importance, global warming fell last. In addition, a poll by the National Center for Public Policy Research last summer found an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want to spend any more on gasoline or electricity to address global warming, as is proposed under the Lieberman/Warner bill.

And finally, this week Gallup found a record-high 41 percent believe the media exaggerates the threat of global warming. "This represents the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade of Gallup polling on the subject," the polling firm reported.

As you can see, Al Gore, his sycophants, and his multi-million-dollar nonprofit mafia are tethered to the phrase that started it all – "global warming" – which they no longer warm to.

It worked so well for them in their heyday. They received media love every time NASA's James Hansen exposed his rump for their smoochin'. And proponents can credit a million megatons of award hardware thanks to "global warming," including Oscars, a Grammy, and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now it's a boat anchor. According to ecoAmerica, instead of messaging with "global warming," alarmists would be better off using terms like "our deteriorating atmosphere" and "climate change." The latter phrase has been utilized almost exclusively by the environoiacs and their journalist template-followers the last couple of years, since global warming isn't.

But it's hard to break from their roots. The crisis-promoters so effectively rat-a-tatted the panic of melting icebergs, homeless polar bears, and a million more Katrinas that "global warming" dangers – now understood to be a lie – is embedded in the perceptions of middle Americans. Gore, Hansen and company own it. They loved it when the ship set sail, but scurry like the proverbial rats now that the truth (that is, no warming in a dozen years) has run their cause aground.

And without "global warming," they lose their justification for the massive energy taxes they wanted that was supposed to combat it. Even many who they thought were their allies can't buy into it (PDF).

May the trophies be a nice consolation prize.

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About the Author

Paul Chesser publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, a news aggregator for North Carolina, and is a contributor of articles, research and investigative reports for both national and state-level free-market think tanks.