Gallup poll: For the first time among U.S. voters in 25 years, economy takes precedence over environment

vote_us_envoronment

Gallup, 19 March  2009

http://www.gallup.com/poll/116962/Americans-Economy-Takes-Precedence-Environment.aspx

Americans: Economy Takes Precedence Over Environment

First time majority has supported economy in 25 years of asking question

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ — For the first time in Gallup’s 25-year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth, a majority of Americans say economic growth should be given the priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.

Gallup first asked Americans about this trade-off in 1984, at which time over 60% chose the environmental option. Support for the environment was particularly high in 1990-1991, and in the late 1990s and 2000, when the dot-com boom perhaps made economic growth more of a foregone conclusion.

The percentage of Americans choosing the environment slipped below 50% in 2003 and 2004, but was still higher than the percentage choosing the economy. Sentiments have moved up and down over the last several years, but this year, the percentage of Americans choosing the environment fell all the way to 42%, while the percentage choosing the economy jumped to 51%.

The reason for this shift in priorities almost certainly has to do with the current economic recession. The findings reflect many recent Gallup results showing how primary the economy is in Americans’ minds, and help document the fact of life that in times of economic stress, the public can be persuaded to put off or ignore environmental concerns if need be in order to rejuvenate the economy.

h/t to Benny Peiser

FULL STORY at http://www.gallup.com/poll/116962/Americans-Economy-Takes-Precedence-Environment.aspx

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60 thoughts on “Gallup poll: For the first time among U.S. voters in 25 years, economy takes precedence over environment

  1. Gallup serves to confirm George Will was right (in a number of respects). Recall, he wrote:
    “Because of today’s economy, another law — call it the Law of Clarifying Calamities — is being (redundantly) confirmed. On graphs tracking public opinion, two lines are moving in tandem and inversely. The sharply rising line charts public concern about the economy, the plunging line follows concern about the environment. A recent Pew Research Center poll asked which of 20 issues should be the government’s top priorities. Climate change ranked 20th.”

  2. Well I think both are important. It’s just that as with all polls the question is loaded. Certainly if you were to ask me if I thought the economy should take priority over carbon trading, my answer would be a resounding yes – even assuming a robust economy, that route is suicide. I think that most people on this blog care about the environment,but we can only fully concentrate on that once we have eradicated the CO2/greenhouse gas obsession.
    We’ve a long way to go.

  3. Not to say that correlation equals causation but the inflection points around 2004 in this curve are matched in the graph of people who think that global warming is exaggerated.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/11/gallup-poll-new-high-41-of-americans-now-say-global-warming-is-exaggerated/
    There may be a positive feedback loop here. Fear about the economy makes people critically examine global warming alarmism, which causes fear about the economy being needlessly harmed in the name of the environment. Rinse and repeat.

  4. Off topic but I saw on the weather channel where hybrid vehicle cales are down but they blame it on lowering gas prices.I wook at a local ford dealership and the prices of the hybrid is around 3 to 5 thousand dollars more than the gas .The fact our climate is entering A cooling cycle and the fact global warming is nothing more than cycles to begin with ,and the over price of the vehicle,are the reasons why ther vehicles don’t sell.

  5. This is just more reenforcement that the governing elite knows what’s best for us because we are obviously not smart enough to see the big picture. -SARC OFF

  6. Broadly speaking, in human social and material development, we always need every stage that the whole thing is built on.
    Although we have an information revolution, we still need industry.
    Although we had an industrial revolution, we still need agriculture.
    Even agriculture is built up on top of earlier more fundamental stages to do with human safety and bonding.
    If ideas about making the world greener start by including and working with these existing stages of systems, then those ideas can work to improve those systems, gradually, without breaking them.
    If on the other hand green’s ideas ignore these things, then their ideas tend to become more about “stopping” and “halting” and calling everything “unsustainable”.
    You’ll notice that each of those new stages, agrarian to industrial to informational, brought something genuinely new to the world, and was built on top of the previous stage. I think in ordinary life we all know this. You can’t eat a piece of information, or eat a piece of machinery.
    If green ideas are to be healthy for the world, they need to work with the existing systems and perhaps bring something genuinely new on top of what exists.
    I’m sure that if horses had been deemed too polluting for some reason, and everyone decided to stop riding horses, the human world would have barely sustained itself at the agrarian stage. Of course some greens might think that would have been a good thing…

  7. A third of our resources went to feeding, raising, and housing horses. The combustion enging was one of the best things for the environment in a long time.

  8. I also think both are important.
    Choosing between a future based on coal, gas and oil on one side and new nuclear / wind/ sun / wave technologies is not a difficult choice.
    Why do we want to keep on giving our money to non-democratic regimes around the world in exchange for energy?
    And choosing is not the only option. Investments in renewable tech will, and must, pay off.
    But lying about why we need to change – And why we absolutely need to change right now – is not the road forward.
    We will not only loose faith in the politicians (if they had ever earned it :-)) but also loose faith in science.
    And science is what gave us, the west, the yellow jersey in the first place…
    We have to be able to trust science, when the going really gets tough…Sometime in the future.

  9. The question seems to be seeking a pro-environment answer. There is only a risk of curbing economic growth, but the environment suffers.
    Nevertheless, people vote their wallets. Hey, I’m all for protecting the environment as much as possible, but there are many safeguards already in place.
    To answer the rephrased question – I think growth in economic activity should be given priority even at the risk of curbing environmental protections.

  10. “I fear that Americans are seeing the light too late. Cap and trade is already entrenched.”
    We’ll see about that, once Americans do see the light. If the greenshirts try to stand in their way, they’ll only discredit themselves (and their allies) further.

  11. This Gallup poll is a prime example of “false alternatives.” On one hand, excessive government-mandated protection of the environment does, indeed, have a direct and negative impact on economic growth. HOWEVER, the false alternative is that reducing government-mandated environmental regulations to assist economic growth will cause a negative impact to the environment. This assumption is false. In a free society, over short-terms and small local geographic areas, this will sometimes be true. But the free market works these things out over the medium to longer-term, and, in fact, DRIVES IMPROVEMENTS to environmental protection technology as economic growth continues!
    As one example, America has absolutely the best technology and processes for extracting fossil fuels from the Earth. However, the current self-proclaimed environmentalists have used politics, academia, media, and law to virtually stop free Americans from using our own natural resources. What this does is force the demand for these resources to be obtained from other places in the world where the technology and processes for extracting them is much worse – thereby CAUSING the unintended (I hope) consequence of MORE harm to the environment!
    We need to BE collectively more vigilant in watching for false alternatives when they are presented to us, and challenging them openly. And we also need to challenge our leaders to think-through environmental policies by understanding the unintended consequences of every law and regulation they consider enacting.

  12. I, too, care about the environment. In order for the Amazon Jungle to heal itself of Man’s depredations it needs CO2.
    Since the Carbon Footprint of Al Gore, James Hansen and HRH Prince Charles has been truly massive, may I nominate them for a “Friends of the Biosphere” Gold Star

  13. One might suspect the Economy/Ecology debate to be two sides of the same coin.
    Cold, Wet, and Hungry can change an opinion in short order. Any two of those variables can impact the politics. Unfortunatly, the politicos are usually way back on the power curve when it comes to providing solutions.
    For my part, “Give Me Heat”. I’ll deal with the other two.

  14. With the economic meltdown currently picking up speed, by the end of the year only the real radicals are going to care if a tiny amount of CO2 is going to burn up the Earth. There will no longer be unlimited amounts of other peoples money for the government and the greenies to tax and spend on their pet projects.

  15. There may also be an issue of diminishing returns. Where before environmental protection and environmental safety meant tangilbe improvements to quality of life (reduced smog, clean water, etc.), now it increasingly means reducing your quality of life for an intangible future benefit to “Mother Earth.”
    Also, contrary to what is alluded to above, the poll does not suggest Americans think current environmental regulations should be lifted to promote economic growth.

  16. Mockery: http://www.seablogger.com/?p=13099
    Friday, 20 Mar 09, politics
    James Hansen thinks “the democratic process isn’t working” — because it is working, and his viewpoint has failed to persuade a majority. Now he will rationalize his way to thuggery — people’s democracy, one might call it, to be administered ultimately by the commissars of a People’s Republic, where the views of James Hansen will be accorded proper respect.
    Expect a similar evolution among the more passionate advocates of Barack Obama.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/obama_wants_you_to_pledge_loya.html When their Messiah is blocked by bickering in his own party, they will announce the failure of democracy, then they will try to destroy democracy in order to save it. When the O-bots come to your door, mock them as modern day missionaries for Gaia-worshipping freaks. They hate religion, and the accusation will drive them nuts.
    If we mock them, they will fail. They have no real sense of humor or proportion. Did you hear Obama’s quip about the “special Olympics?” That’s liberal humor — sneering at the disadvantaged. If a conservative said such a thing, imagine the outcry! But liberals mean well, we are told, and they prove it by spending other people’s money, so they get a free pass.
    Mock the buffoons, Hansen and Gore; mock the popinjay, Barack Obama. Laugh; don’t weep. This too will pass.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/18/nasa-climate-change-james-hansen
    [REPLY – As this is an inherently political thread, and as it isn’t directed personally, I will allow this. But please don’t push it any further. Part of democracy is the right to be wrong. ~ Evan]

  17. Nothing like a dose of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to clarify objectives…
    FWIW, I too think this is a false choice. You can have both. Why folks (often green fanatics and sometimes business bullies) don’t see this is puzzling.
    Prudent greens (which I’ve taken to calling “olives” which I call myself) “get it” that we need smart industry and responsible business leaders know they live on the same planet and will be sucking the same exhaust…
    On the issue of energy (and the need to get more, green or otherwise) I’ve summarized the choices at:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/
    which I would summarize as “Don’t panic! We have all you want!”

  18. Too bad the poll doesn’t identify participants by IQ. If they were placed on an IQ bell curve, the believers in Global Warming would be clustered in a fearful group somewhere on the left side.
    The only Global Warming believers on the right side of an IQ bell curve are the ones clever enough to manipulate and frighten the simpler souls.
    They are engaged in a “Complex Fraud”. If Dante is right, such souls are in grave danger of eternal perdition.
    Hard as it is to pray for professonal liars, we should try.

  19. There’s a great book from the fifties that is very relevant today, Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Fanatical members of these movements are nasty, overbearing types who join to vent their nastiness and to compensate for their flaws as individuals. Here’s the link to the Amazon source.
    http://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Thoughts-Movements-Perennial/dp/0060505915/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237572334&sr=1-2
    Here’s a snippet from one of the reader-reviewers:
    “Hoffer’s beginning notion is that “people with a sense of fulfillment think the world is good while the frustrated blame the world for their failures. Therefore a mass movement’s appeal is not to those intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but to those who crave to be rid of an unwanted self. He continues by saying that the true believer “cannot be convinced, only converted”. This basic tenet of the story is about human nature and its susceptibility to totalitarianism both secular and sectarian. To wit, he writes that “all mass movements strive to impose a fact proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world.”

  20. Roger Knights (10:14:42) : Excellent quote!. It means, then, that we will not be able to convert them, as far as we do not profess any particular “faith” against climate change but just the humble arguments of reason.

  21. Rich people care about the environment. Poor people don’t. People are discovering that enviromentalism is a luxury.
    If you want to help the environment, first make everybody rich.

  22. terry46 (07:39:15) :
    Off topic but I saw on the weather channel where hybrid vehicle cales are down but they blame it on lowering gas prices.I wook at a local ford dealership and the prices of the hybrid is around 3 to 5 thousand dollars more than the gas .The fact our climate is entering A cooling cycle and the fact global warming is nothing more than cycles to begin with ,and the over price of the vehicle,are the reasons why ther vehicles don’t sell.

    Hybrid vehicles are a great example of ‘feel good’ environmentalism, not ‘do good’ environmentalism. How much energy does it take to mine the ore for the batteries, ship it to a refinery, ship the metal to the battery factory, make the battery and ship that to the car factory?
    And what do you do with the batteries afterward? They are toxic waste.
    BTW: I understand that Toyota loses money on every hybrid they sell.

  23. billadams (10:04:53) :
    Too bad the poll doesn’t identify participants by IQ. If they were placed on an IQ bell curve, the believers in Global Warming would be clustered in a fearful group somewhere on the left side.
    The only Global Warming believers on the right side of an IQ bell curve are the ones clever enough to manipulate and frighten the simpler souls.
    They are engaged in a “Complex Fraud”. If Dante is right, such souls are in grave danger of eternal perdition.
    Hard as it is to pray for professonal liars, we should try.

    Bill, I’ll take you to a Mensa meeting sometime. I can’t find any correlation between IQ and intelligence! There seem to be more lefties and liberals (at least among the Mensans I’ve met) than conservatives or libertarians.

  24. Bill, I’ll take you to a Mensa meeting sometime. I can’t find any correlation between IQ and intelligence! There seem to be more lefties and liberals (at least among the Mensans I’ve met) than conservatives or libertarians.

    That is why I only attended a couple of mensa meetings. There does not appear to be any relationship between raw intelligence and common sense or practical critical thinking. I have known some very bright people that were incapable of seeing even the most obvious practical problems to their proposed “solutions” because they simply did not think in real world terms. They over thought everything and their solutions tended to be overly complex theoretical solutions to problems that were of little consequence in the greater scheme of things.
    I have come to believe that to be a practicing engineer (or scientist) you should be required to serve an internship in a related hands on field — such as a mechanical engineer should work as a car mechanic for 2 years, before he/she can can be licensed as an engineer.
    Years ago I worked as a “client” to an engineering program called EPIC that is used by the Colorado School of Mines to force engineering students to face the facts that real world engineering problems do not have “one correct answer”, but are usually some sort of compromise between what is possible, what is desirable (you can sell to the client) and what is affordable.
    It was interesting to watch the groups as their proposals developed and matured. It reinforced my belief that the quality of the out put of the group was very frequently predictable before hand, based on if the group had a “leader” who could or would rein in the more outlandish flights of fancy and direct others in the group to focus on real issues rather than try to chase some pie in the sky solution that could not be built or financed.
    I think AGW is an example of that sort of flight of fancy engineering where the concept has over whelmed the science and as a result you have people chasing a predetermined out come rather than gathering data and trying to determine what it must mean. I am sure that many of these AGW scientists are also very bright and talented individuals but somehow they or the system they work in, are looking for only that “correct answer” as if this was some sort of test, and they are determining the correctness of the answer not on the classic process of the scientific method, but whether or not the answer they get fits in with their pre-conceived notions of what the answer should be.
    A true scientist would be just as thrilled to get a totally unexpected answer if it resulted in a new understanding of a theory or problem. Many of our greatest scientific discoveries were accidents where experiments produced unexpected results. Some goop in a test tube that should not be there.
    Larry

  25. If you in the USA think that you have it bad just look across the pond at what we poor Brits have to put up with. Not only do we have a so-called government busily tearing our economy to pieces (but being frightfully Green at the same time), we also have Hansen over here defending criminals and then acting as an ‘activist’ in Coventry. On top of that we now have the following to tolerate, and we were never even asked to vote on it! How long before being a ‘denier’ falls foul of some other country’s law?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/5018778/You-can-forget-about-getting-British-justice.html

  26. I went to school in Pittsburgh in the winter of 1936-37. The pollution was terrible, with soot flakes coming out of the sky. Pneumonia was endemic and nearly killed my mother. The landscape was grim. Then in the 1940’s I worked in the industrial triangle between South Chicago, Gary, and East Chicago, Indiana. The air pollution was so bad that you could literally tell the wind direction by which smell was in the air. Every building in Gary was colored brick red from hematite dust. Drinking water from Lake Michigan contained chlorinated phenols, with an awful taste. I enjoyed my work, but after four years decided I didn’t want to spend my life in such a dump, so I quit. So I became a philosophical environmentalist before the word was invented. I don’t want beautiful parts of our nation despoiled unnecessarily. But now the reaction has swung so far in the opposite direction that further progress of our economy is being undermined by uninformed citizens for sake of the word “green”. Yes, I want energy independence for our country, and we can have it by conservation and using domestic coal, crude, and natural gas resources; and the CO2 emitted is not a pollutant, but makes plants grow faster. I hear the clamor for “renewable energy”, but I never hear where it is coming from at night or when the wind is not blowing. I looked up solar electricity storage, and I find all kinds of schemes being studied, many in the exploratory laboratory stage. I never hear how they are going to protect many square miles of solar cells from lightning strikes in the southwest where there are frequent summer thunderstorms. I worry about where our industrial capacity (that saved our bacon in WWII) is going to be if we burden it with large carbon taxes that are not being paid in China, India, and other growing economies. So now I consider myself a “conservationist”, and hope that the greenies don’t force us down the road to ruin before our countrymen come to their senses. My letters to newspapers, Senators, or the American Chemical Society along these lines don’t get published. I therefore appreciate being able to express my views on this blog, even though I can’t follow all the details of the statistical analyzes.

  27. Check out the Triumph of Reason. I like those polls numbers more.
    ” * 92 percent supported more funding for research on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power;
    * 85 percent supported tax rebates for people buying energy efficient vehicles or solar panels;
    * 80 percent said the government should regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant;
    * 69 percent of Americans said the United States should sign an international treaty that requires the U.S. to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide 90% by the year 2050.

    You’re too easy

  28. probably should add the link 😛
    http:// gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/3/19/111321/562

  29. I’m all for environmentalism. Provided it is done the most cost effective way.
    AGW prevention efforts and Carbon taxing will do nothing for the environment — maybe even hurt it (more CO2 is probably a good thing). But they will waste $Trillions that could be spent to make the environment better. So, being an environmentalist, I’m not for AGW/CO2 mitigation programs.

  30. Retired BChE
    Do you still see the places you mentioned? How do they compare? Are we making progress?

  31. The more people read up on the science behind AGW the more likely that they become skeptical about it. It is amazing that they find out water vapor is about 95% of the “greenhouse effect” and man contributes so little of the CO2, they formerly though man contributed at least 70-80% in some cases. You can imagine what they think when they find out the facts.
    Simply put, man’s 3% of total CO2 which is 0.03% of the atmosphere causing a catastrophe because temperatures have risen about 1.5 degrees F over a Century appears ridiculous when temps can change 20 or more degrees F during a day and we exhale 40,000 ppm of CO2.
    I have yet to meet a skeptic that has become an alarmist, but there are former believers of AGW that now consider AGW bovine poop.

  32. “* 80 percent said the government should regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant;”
    Dear government,
    I’ve got a device that turns a toxic, tetragenic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, volatile, hazardous, environmentally damaging waste product that’s a very strong greenhouse gas into plant food, water and energy.
    May I turn it on? Pricing starts at $10k, and you can get 100kmile warranties on them.

  33. You must stop thinking that at some point eyes will open and that a realization of Co2 as a harmless gas will stop the Cap and Trade in the United States. If its not housed under Climate Change it will reappear under Energy Independence. Please see this movement for what it really is. It is a money making scheme for our federal government. They are already counting on the taxes they will be getting from Cap and Trade. When Obama says he will cut the deficit in half by whatever date, he is planning on using the proceeds from Cap and Trade to do it. It has never been about the environment, it has always been about funding or the results from the countries that have implemented Cap and trade and the lack of results in Co2 reduction would have scrapped the idea.
    I almost feel badly for some of the organizations and individuals that this hidden tax has been using to move ahead. Even radical environmentalists will agree Cap and Trade is a failure as far as lessening Co2 emissions.. so if you look at the situation logically the only reason to put it into effect is to tax the crap out of everyone in the name of “our children” i.e. the greater good, ie socialization. People like James H are being used.. his thing is coal power, if it gets rid of coal power its all good by him, but how will he feel when those same coal plants are still in use or worse, used more with increased pollution and land destruction because it will be ok as long as the industry buys the proper amount of carbon credits. . . The only thing Cap and Trade will solve is the “how to justify” part of the huge gov. budgets we will be seeing over the next two years.. it will serve to depress an already sick economy but that wont matter don’t you see because big br.. err Uncle Sam will be here to care for our every need. Perhaps then the righteous being used to push forward this agenda will open their eyes and see how they have been used, maybe then we will be on the same side eh?

  34. With regard to Mark’s question, I have not returned to either Pittsburgh or the area south of Chicago in many years. However, a few years ago my son went to Pittsburgh, and he found it nothing like it was when I lived there. The city has evidently been completely cleaned up, I’m glad to say.

  35. Stefan (07:45:07) wrote: “Broadly speaking, in human social and material development, we always need every stage that the whole thing is built on. …”
    Very, very nice, Stefan! Thank you for much to think on.

  36. Chicago is cleaner too. I lived in Chicago in the mid 1960s, 10 or 15 miles from the steel mills and refineries. Their greasy dirt settled on everything. Sometime between 1968 and 1975, things got much cleaner. Some visits in the mid 90s showed further improvement. Laws, public opinion, and business failures all contributed.

  37. Dear Mr. Watts,
    A good story on the UK Daily Telegraph, Comment section, by Melanie McDonagh. In the UK, belief in global warming is now officially regarded by the courts as a religion, or philosophy, on a par with Islam or Judaism. Tom Nicolson, an ardent green, was dismissed by his firm when he made himself a pest about their carbon footprint among other things. The courts have ruled that he can sue for unlawful dismissal on the grounds of religious discrimination.
    Worth a line or two, do you think?

  38. I’d suggest this has to do with the fact that the economy has just fallen off off a cliff and is in absolutely critical condition. I think many people are aware that catastrophic failure of global economic systems is unlikely to result in many environmental benefits.

  39. @Dale McIntyre (21:11:41) :
    “[…]In the UK, belief in global warming is now officially regarded by the courts as a religion, or philosophy, on a par with Islam or Judaism. Tom Nicolson, an ardent green, was dismissed by his firm when he made himself a pest about their carbon footprint among other things. The courts have ruled that he can sue for unlawful dismissal on the grounds of religious discrimination. […]”
    So when somone writes “OMG!!!” it now probably means “Oh My Gaia!”

  40. I don’t know if anyone has posted this, but $2T for cap-and-trade isn’t going to help the U.S. economy.
    “At the meeting, Jason Furman, a top Obama staffer, estimated that the president’s cap-and-trade program could cost up to three times as much as the administration’s early estimate of $646 billion over eight years. A study of an earlier cap-and-trade bill co-sponsored by Mr. Obama when he was a senator estimated the cost could top $366 billion a year by 2015.
    A White House official did not confirm the large estimate, saying only that Obama aides previously had noted that the $646 billion estimate was ‘conservative.'”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/18/obama-climate-plan-could-cost-2-trillion/

  41. Cap-and-trade will not pass the U.S. Senate. There are way too many Democratic senators who must oppose such legislation on the grounds that their constituents will be badly hurt economically by such a scheme. There are only so many Barbara Boxers in the Senate. Combined with most of the Republican votes, there is a solid majority against imposing trillions of dollars of new energy taxes through cap-and-trade. Add on top of that the current economic climate and there is just no way this is going through. It might pass the House, but not the Senate.

  42. I am a rabbid environmentalist! I love natural settings, clean air, and clean water.
    Unfortunately, we need a THRIVING economy to pay for our environmental clean-ups and to create technology that is “green”.
    Poorly performing economies do not generate enough wealth to pay for a “green” lifestyle.

  43. Kirk W. Hanneman (09:05:53) :
    Gee I sure hope you are right.. I have seen some crazy crap coming out of Washington in the last 60 days or so… I was shocked by quite a few things that “should’nt pass” this year already so at this point nothing is going to suprise me. Ive taken to calling, writing and emailing my reps, the president and anyone else I can think of but to date, no joy. Although my states representives, both house and senate, seem to be behaving themselves. Tea bag tags are the new thing:P
    But still I keep hope:) Hope that they didnt just slide it into the bill that no one read, but i bet we have a nasty little suprise to come out of that still. I used to think; well how much damage could possibly be done .. now thats just like asking, could it get any worse. Its a Murphy’s law sort of deal.. you never ask if things could get worse, because the answer is always yes:)

  44. Obama thinks he can pass cap and trade or any other form of carbon tax without the Senate and before Copenhagen.
    He thinks going on Jay Leno like he’s plugging a stupid movie is all he needs to do to get support and make people forgive him.

  45. John Galt (10:54:39) :
    I understand that Toyota loses money on every hybrid they sell.
    Not unlike Chrysler, Ford and GM then. Except they must have been losing on everything they sold!

  46. Kirk W. Hanneman (09:05:53) :
    Cap-and-trade will not pass the U.S. Senate. There are way too many Democratic senators who must oppose such legislation on the grounds that their constituents will be badly hurt economically by such a scheme. There are only so many Barbara Boxers in the Senate. Combined with most of the Republican votes, there is a solid majority against imposing trillions of dollars of new energy taxes through cap-and-trade. Add on top of that the current economic climate and there is just no way this is going through. It might pass the House, but not the Senate.
    You’d better to hang onto that hope. But really, politicians acting (voting) logically? Pigs may fly!

  47. David Jones (13:35:31)
    Politicians vote the way they do so that they stand the best chance at reelection, logical or not. People like Mary Landrieu or Jon Tester just aren’t going to be able to support cap-and-trade as it’s currently being proposed. They would be signing their political death warrants. I’m very certain that there are more than enough senators in this kind of position, coupled with solid Republican opposition (with the exception of a few), that this will not have a reasonable chance of gaining 60 votes in the Senate.

  48. Brethren, be ye of good cheer.
    The One has over-committed our current and future resources to the shrill and hysterical special interests. He will try to amortize your children into economic servitude in order to enhance the power of today’s ruling elite. There is nothing novel in this betrayal, although, yes, it is somewhat beyond biblical proportions. Give it less concern than your own conduct. The One is ephemeral, and you are not. Learn, prepare, endure, preserve, and teach. All these things you would have your children understand, am I right? Your power is in the character of your children, and your selves. Guard these strengths fiercely. In a few years, all The One’s successor will need do to get elected is promise to undo his actions, and we will change, change, change, and believe, believe, believe all over again. The One will be consigned to building a “library”, probably in some ghetto for political reasons, and he will become as meaningless as Monica is today. There will not be a “Two”. Then we will endure the stupidity, arrogance, and treachery of his successor. How can I stay optimistic? These policies of punishing American productivity guarantee minimal financing of their pseudo-marxist state. Since the anti-capitalist forces have placed all their taxation hopes on carbon dioxide eradication, their ruin is assured, as predicted by Europe. A broke Red is helpless Red. Meanwhile, capitalists will be gaming the new system. Doing what we do best, every loophole will be exploited, every Congressman will be bribed, and every profit maximized, in a tax-privileged fashion. A cynical capitalism will short The One’s new marxist economy, and hide the profits with impunity. Capitalists will bow obsequiously, and silently smirk. The days of The One already have a number. Can I get an “Amen”?

  49. And while the Congress diverted the public’s attention with their act of anger at AIG bonuses, they quietly accepted a pay raise for themselves.

  50. Henry Phipps
    I’m always amazed at those who would choose a good ole boy as leader over someone who demonstrates that he has a brain and uses it . After 8 years of good ole boy leadership and 200 plus years of conservatism-how’s your 401/403 doing these days?
    Anti-capitalistic forces? I believe the anti-capitalistic forces have met the enemy and they are themselves in this recent meltdown and in fact-all the previous ones (pretty much a 10 year cycle with a 70 year grand minimum). Those damned reds-sneaking in when no one was looking and injecting the markets with derivatives and the such!! All to set the stage for the grand socialistic maximum to come!! To the bunkers! To the bunkers!

  51. In reaction to a Pew survey with similar results, Thomas Kostigen’s Ethics Monitor (an online column, apparently) reacted with an article titled, “Is global warming passé?: Issue drifting from minds of many Americans”, here: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/issue-global-warming-passe/story.aspx?guid=%7B069CE285%2D245D%2D4680%2D99B9%2D81783283C271%7D&dist=msr_5
    “The way to strengthen the nation’s economy, improve the job situation, and defend the U.S. against terrorism — the top three priorities voiced by Americans polled — is through embracing environmental, or green, initiatives.
    ………………
    “The pollution emitted by people and businesses that leads to climate change is the same pollution that crimps our health-care system with illnesses. It’s the same pollution that infects our food supply with things like mercury in fish.”

    This drew 96 spicy comments, the first one of which read:
    “Is that right? Show me one single case of CO2 illnesses.”

  52. PS: Thomas M. Kostigen is the author of You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet (HarperOne). http://www.readyouarehere.com
    So he is well read in the field, meaning this wasn’t an innocent error.

  53. Dan Gibson (10:01:41) :
    Dan, I believe you’ve made an assumption which, though understandable, is inaccurate. I don’t like Republicans any better than Democrats. There is no difference between New World Order George Bush, and New World Order Barack Obama. If you believe in politicians’ promises, fair play in professional sports, or the Easter Bunny, I’m not going to break the bad news to you. Both political parties are a self-selected ruling elite, which stand to election from time to time, but hang around no matter what the outcome. Reminds me of herpesvirus. This struggle which I only watch from the sidelines is not between the ruling elite and me. Both parties massively bloat the bureaucracy, and we still have the same problems I knew as a child. You are about to watch The One repeat every mistake of European socialism, at many times the cost. Businesses WILL game the new system, meaningful reform WILL remain a myth, and you may never experience a balanced budget government. When The One is no longer electable, and his bumper-sticker philosophy no longer gets a laugh, no other candidate can use his unique mystical charisma again without looking like Number Two. Pun intended.
    Best wishes, Henry. P.S. I went to cash and fixed investments almost a year ago, because of technical indicators. Still can’t find much exciting to invest in yet. But thanks for asking.

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