Political leaders play key role in how worried Americans are by climate change: study

More than extreme weather events and the work of scientists, it is national political leaders who influence how much Americans worry about the threat of climate change, new research finds.

In a study of public opinion from 2002 to 2010, researchers found that public belief that climate change was a threat peaked in 2006-2007 when Democrats and Republicans in Congress showed the most agreement on the issue.

But public concern has dropped since then, as partisanship over the issue increased.

"It is the political leaders in Washington who are really driving public opinion about the threat of climate change," said J. Craig Jenkins, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

"The politics overwhelms the science."

The study found that the state of the economy was the second biggest factor affecting perceptions of climate threat. The incidence of extreme weather events had no effect on American's view of the climate change threat. New research published in scientific journals had no impact on public views, but major reports on climate change and articles in popular science magazines did have a small but noticeable impact. The work of advocacy groups also had some effect. The quantity of media coverage also affected perceived threat levels, but that coverage was mostly a function of what political leaders and advocates were saying.

"The most important factor remained the polarized positions taken by Democrats and Republicans in Washington," Jenkins said.

"When our political leaders can't agree on whether climate change is a threat, the majority of people can't either. The public is divided because our political leaders are polarized."

Jenkins conducted the study with Robert Brulle of Drexel University and Jason Carmichael of McGill University. Their results appear online in the journal Climatic Change and will appear in a future print edition.

The researchers created a U.S. Climate Change Threat Index that measures how public opinion has changed on the issue between January 2002 and December 2010. To create the index, they used a method that is regularly used in social research on public opinion, but has never been used specifically on the climate change issue, Jenkins said.

They combined data from 74 separate surveys over the nine-year period to create a quarterly measure of public concern over climate change. Included were 14 different questions from 6 different polling organizations, which were administered to 84,086 respondents.

They calculated the percentage of respondents choosing a particular response – for example, the percentage that sees global climate change as a "serious problem" or "major threat" -- over time.

The researchers examined how changes in the threat index were affected by five factors: extreme weather events, public access to accurate scientific information, media coverage, the impact of major advocacy groups, and cues from political elites. They also took into account other factors that may influence views on climate change, including the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment rate, war deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the price of oil.

The impact of political leaders was measured by Congressional press release statements on climate change issued by Republicans and Democrats, Senate and House roll call votes on climate-change bills, and the number of Congressional hearings on climate.

Advocacy was measured by the number of stories on climate change in major environmental magazines and conservative magazines, as well as the number of New York Times mentions of the movie An Inconvenient Truth, a popular 2006 documentary with Al Gore, the former vice president and 2000 Democratic Presidential candidate as a narrator, that supported the idea that climate change is a threat.

Jenkins said changes in the factors examined in the study can help explain how the threat index has fluctuated between 2002 and 2010.

Between 2002 and 2005, the index was relatively stable, with a score between about 41 and 45 (the numbers roughly correspond to the percentage of Americans who view climate change as a serious threat).

Beginning in the first quarter of 2006 and continuing until the third quarter of 2007, there was a steady increase in the threat index, peaking at a score of about 53.

During this time, Republican scores on anti-environmental voting decreased and Democratic statements in favor of action on climate change increased. Prominent Republican senators, such as John McCain, were openly advocating for climate change legislation and working with Democratic senators to pass it.

"This was a time when there was more partisan agreement that something had to be done about climate change," Jenkins said.

In addition, the movie An Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006 and it won two Academy Awards, increasing public concern about climate change.

During this period, the GDP was increasing and unemployment remained low and stable.

However, things began to change in 2008. The level of Republican anti-environmental voting increased progressively, reaching the highest level ever recorded in 2010.

"Partisanship increased and Americans no longer saw a consensus among their political leaders about the importance of climate change," Jenkins said.

In addition, unemployment increased and the GDP declined following the 2008 financial collapse, also contributing to a decline in the index, which fell below 45 by the end of 2008.

There was one final increase in the index during the second quarter of 2009, when a number of Democratic congressional statements were released urging action on climate change. These statements coincided with House debate and vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

But after this flurry of activity, the threat index soon dropped to the 2002 to 2005 levels and remained there through 2010. The Senate refused to take up the climate change issue.

Jenkins said the results of this study present a clear message to the climate science community.

"The message is that they need to re-think their strategy. Many scientists believe that if we simply educate people about climate change, they will eventually see it as a threat and determine that we need to do something about it," he said.

"But our findings suggest that's not what's happening. There is no linear process where people get educated about the threat and then demand action. People's views fluctuate quite a bit, and lot has to do with what they hear from their political leaders. It is a political battle."


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Media coverage affects perceptions of climate change

More information: Brulle RJ, Carmichael J, Jenkins JC (2012). Shifting public opinion on climate change: an empirical assessment of factors influencing concern over climate change in the U.S., 2002 – 2010
Climatic Change DOI 10.1007/s10584-012-0403-y
Provided by Ohio State University
Citation: Political leaders play key role in how worried Americans are by climate change: study (2012, February 6) retrieved 25 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-opinion-climate.html
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Feb 06, 2012
"It is the political leaders in Washington who are really driving public opinion about the threat of climate change," said J. Craig Jenkins, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

"The politics overwhelms the science."

"The message is that they need to re-think their strategy. Many scientists believe that if we simply educate people about climate change, they will eventually see it as a threat and determine that we need to do something about it," he said.

"But our findings suggest that's not what's happening. There is no linear process where people get educated about the threat and then demand action. People's views fluctuate quite a bit, and lot has to do with what they hear from their political leaders. It is a political battle."


I don't want to live on this planet anymore...


Feb 06, 2012
It could also be that the collective genius of mankind simply don't buy into catacysmic AGW predictions,.. it could be the climate scientists have lost credibility in claiming absurd precision in their predictions,.. or perhaps people understand there are no resounding solutions at hand in anycase, given that the blood that courses the veins of the economies of the world is oil, and economies are already fragile, and people are not willing to drastically lower their standards of living or allow a socialist government in power over what amounts to speculation. Perhaps it has little to do "education".

Feb 06, 2012
Noumenon, well said, but I'd still rather lean on science than politicians when deciding which way to lean. I make it a point to ignore climate predictions when sifting through data but it's hard to ignore the statistically significant increase in the global temperatures measured and the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

For me, the jury is still out on what 'will' happen but the data shows me that something, however large or small in the grand scheme of things, 'has' happened

Feb 06, 2012
"It is a political battle."
Exactly!
And when the 'scientists' chose to get in the mud with politicians, they lost their creds and begin to lie just like the politicians.

Feb 06, 2012
Noumenon, well said, but I'd still rather lean on science than politicians when deciding which way to lean.


Solutions will take time since the infastructure for alternatives is non-existent. No one will invest in such uncertainty, and economies must have time to adapt, naturally. Those who demand "something done now" should be met with suspicion because the tech does not exist to replace the volume of oil used, so their only alternative is redistribution of wealth and social engineering.

The republicans need to be smart about this and undermine the far left solutions by presenting the case that we need to become energy self reliant for national defense reasons,.. the economy is threatened by being dependant on foreign oil.

I would propose a major Manhattan'esque project to develop fusion and safer nuclear power, and other alternatives.

Feb 06, 2012
The biggest threat to the environment is a decline in the economy. Poor people don't care about the environment because they're too busy scratching a living. The green movement knows this but it's a sacrifice they're willing to make to perpetuate they're ideology;
Paradoxically "big green" is the destroyer of the environment rather than the saviour. Just look at the vast areas of rainforest that have been destroyed to produce biodeisel.

Feb 06, 2012
Well rubber, scientists aren't too well trusted either when every week some 'scientist' claims this is bad for you and then next week another 'scientist' states the opposite.
And then we have experts like Lindzen who are ridiculed and the APS that refuses to accept any critique.
Science is supposed to be a continuous process of discovery, but when 'scientists' try to shut down dissent, I suspect many people lose respect quickly.

Feb 07, 2012
Well rubber, scientists aren't too well trusted either...

Scientist may occasionally conflict in their work, but they are very trusted. Far more than a tea partier.
Science is supposed to be a continuous process of discovery, but when 'scientists' try to shut down dissent, I suspect many people lose respect quickly.

When that happens, in most cases the dissent is quackery. Occasionally you get pathological skepticism to a subject. But in this case, it's quackery.

Also R2:
And when the 'scientists' chose to get in the mud with politicians, they lost their creds and begin to lie just like the politicians.


Usually it's the other way around R2. Usually it's the right-wing politicians that try to get in the mud with the scientists that causes the rudeness. Politicians that hate what scientists are saying about a subject. "Bring in the Nerds" is what they say when they need a real solid science fact.

Feb 07, 2012
Usually it's the right-wing politicians that try to get in the mud with the scientists that causes the rudeness.

AlGore is right wing? Since when?
AlGore started this in 1988.
"The present hysteria formally began in the summer of 1988, although preparations had been put in place at
least three years earlier. That was an especially warm summer in some regions, particularly in the United
States. The abrupt increase in temperature in the late 1970s was too abrupt to be associated with the smooth
increase in carbon dioxide. Nevertheless, James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies,
in testimony before Sen. Al Gore's Committee on Science, Technology and Space, said, in effect, that he was
99 percent certain that temperature had increased and that there was some greenhouse warming. He made
no statement concerning the relation between the two."
http://eaps.mit.e...tion.pdf

Feb 07, 2012
"As most scientists concerned with climate, I was eager to stay out of what seemed like a public circus. But in
the summer of 1988 Lester Lave, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote to me
about being dismissed from a Senate hearing for suggesting that the issue of global warming was scientifically
controversial. I assured him that the issue was not only controversial but also unlikely. In the winter of 1989
Reginald Newell, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, lost National
Science Foundation funding for data analyses that were failing to show net warming over the past century."
"In the spring of 1989 I prepared a critique of global warming, which I submitted to Science, a magazine of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The paper was rejected without review as being
of no interest to the readership." http://eaps.mit.e...tion.pdf
No interest?

Feb 07, 2012
"As Aaron Wildavsky, professor of political science at Berkeley, has quipped, "global warming'' is the mother
of all environmental scares. Wildavsky's view is worth quoting. "Warming (and warming alone), through its
primary antidote of withdrawing carbon from production and consumption, is capable of realizing the
environmentalist's dream of an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller
population's eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less, and sharing a much lower level of resources
much more equally.''"

Feb 07, 2012
"Such weak predictions feed and contribute to what I have already described as a societal instability that can
cascade the most questionable suggestions of danger into major political responses with massive economic
and social consequences. I have already discussed some of the reasons for this instability: the existence of
large cadres of professional planners looking for work, the existence of advocacy groups looking for
profitable causes, the existence of agendas in search of saleable rationales, and the ability of many industries
to profit from regulation, coupled with an effective neutralization of opposition."
http://eaps.mit.e...tion.pdf
Profit from regulation: GE, BP, Solyndra, ....

Feb 07, 2012
It's hard to work towards a common goal when everywhere you look you see inequality.

"The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery." Churchill
So your fist goal is to make everyone equally miserable?
Now if you mean the everyone should have equal treatment under the law, everyone should have their property protected from individuals and govts, I would agree with that.
Or do you think all the western nations should be burning dung like much of the rest of the world?

Feb 07, 2012
Rygg, America gave the world Jersey Shore, Paris Hilton, Vince the slapchop guy, 2 George Bush's and Rush Limbaugh (there's waaay more but only 1000 characters). As penalty you should all have to keep warm using burning dung as a heat source for a week and think about what you've done. Sorry about Celine Dionne.....

The US didn't GIVE the world any of those things. They were created and customers PAID for them.
You sound like someone who thinks he is better than the hoi polloi.

Feb 07, 2012
It was a joke Rygg, nobody should have to use dung as a fuel source. But since you mention the hoi polloi I'd like to hear an example of what you believe that is.

I use the dictionary definition.
The 'intellectual elites' believe it is everyone else.

I don't care about the dung comment. My response was directed at your critique of the customers of the entertainment industry.

Feb 07, 2012
@VD:
"(Reuters) - Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday."


Lol. Really good find. Very much the R2 MO.

Double Lol.
As penalty you should all have to keep warm using burning dung as a heat source for a week and think about what you've done.


At least burning dung is CARBON NEUTRAL R2. You could introduce everyone to a new green energy source. :)


Feb 07, 2012
At least burning dung is CARBON NEUTRAL R2.

Maybe but how much methane was produced digesting the grass? TANSTAAFL

The last time the FBI became excited about US citizens opposed to govt they murdered women and children at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

Why isn't the FBI worried about terrorists and criminals walking across the borders, US and Canada?

Feb 08, 2012
R2:
Maybe but how much methane was produced digesting the grass?


I'm not sure how much methane a cow makes, but being scientists we can measure it!

http://www.physor...243.html

Lol. Ignoble prize winner if I ever saw one.

Feb 08, 2012
Based on your posts you appear to, and you are scared as hell because you know it can't last so you rant about all the entities whom you perceive are trying to take it.

I KNOW it can last AND it can last for the billions in turd world countries like North Korea, most of Africa and soon Greece, IFF socialism is rooted out and govts protect private property and individual rights instead of promoting the 'collective good'.
The hoi polli are quite capable of creating and innovating themselves into prosperity if people like Rubberman and the other self-anointed 'elites' get out of their way.
Data over the past 200 years supports this.
BTW did you know the '36 USSR constitution guaranteed all sorts of rights, vacation, salary, etc. Ever wonder they failed?
'Those trying to take it' are the utopian statists who want to keep the hoi polli poor and in their place.
Jack Kemp stated it quite simply, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Feb 08, 2012
The current fuel that propels our standard of living is finite and won't last.

Market prices motivate alternatives. Sperm whale oil was very expensive and motivated people like Rockefeller and Edison to find alternatives.
bringing a more prosperous lifestyle to those who don't have it.

The reason they don't have is the fault of their socialist govts.
North Korea could be just a prosperous as the South if they stopped being communists.
Free the entrepreneurs to implement solutions. The power grids are heavily regulated. Recall how legislation had to be implemented to 'sell' power from your solar panels?
Several companies small have sealed nuclear reactors that can power small cites or buildings.
When the 'elites' try to centrally plan the path forward they always fail. Remember all the scheme's Carter subsided and failed?
Oil is now artificially expensive because the US restricts production, and around the world, most oil production is nationalized and quite inefficient.

Feb 08, 2012
And as noted on another article, companies like Duke energy that have many coal fired plants promoted costly regulations on coal so they could charged more to their customers as they had a govt granted monopoly.
I saw a nice natural gas generator that could be installed in your house powering an air conditioner and, of course, making hot water. So far, the US has a large supply of natural gas.

Feb 08, 2012
R2, the problem with your anti-socialism position is that the American Constitution says nothing about socialism, communism or anything related to capitalism. It's neutral. NEUTRAL. It took great wisdom to push extreme liberalism as the foundation on which this country was built.

It thrills me to read the words of Benjamin Franklin who was so influenced by the French revolution and his absolutist position on Liberty. Or the thousands of other patriots who demanded separation from the monarchy.

So R2, if you want to slam socialism as an economic system, fine. If you want to slam communism as an economic system, fine. If you want to slam capitalism as an economic system,
fine. The bottom line though is that you and I have the freedom to build the society that we want and we've chosen to do that through representative democracy. Human nature is what has given us capitalism. Assuming "a fair playing field" that's not a bad deal. But it's never fair. End results: Regulation.

Feb 09, 2012
R2 says TANSTAAFL. It means "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". I had to google it. Very fitting of your idealism BTW.
(by the way).

Feb 09, 2012
Rygg, I'm trying to fathom your idea of utopian societal design based on your posts..

I don't believe in the fantasy of a utopian society like the 'progressives' or socialists do.
A totally unregulated society

Another impossibility. At a minimum, nature regulates human behavior to survive.
everyone is free to do what they want,

As long as you don't bother me, what's wrong with that? But if you think you are free to harm me, then I am certainly free to defend myself and I am free to join with others in a collective defense. Bastiat talks about this in The Law.
no one to collect money to pay them

You mean no who can use force to extort money? Not long ago a local fire department let a house burn down because the owner didn't pre-pay for the service.
Somalia has created ways to pay that do not require govt.
If you default on your credit card, you get a bad score and few will give you any more credit. That is regulation, no?

Feb 09, 2012
the problem with your anti-socialism position is that the American Constitution says nothing about socialism,

Of course it does.
The Constitution LIMITS the power of the federal govt.
Socialism is UNLIMITED govt power.
you and I have the freedom to build the society that we want

Not with a tyrannical socialist govt the restricts your liberty.
Do you understand that under current regulations, Home Depot could not have been created?
"If Sarbanes-Oxley was in effect in 1981 when we went public, the cost to the company (Home Depot) would have been something like $3-4 billion dollars."
http://www.hughhe...68be9f77
I want a society where entrepreneurs aren't hamstrung by the govt and are free to innovate and create new businesses.

Feb 09, 2012
Of course the French Revolution launched modern socialism with the Rights of Man.
The US Constitution documented the rights of men in the Bill of Rights.
The distinction? The US Constitution acknowledges that all men are created equal with inherent rights.
The Rights of Man promote collective rights. Humans are not bees or ants. Humans are individuals. Socialism cannot acknowledge individual rights or the system will collapse. If every individual has a right to his property, the govt can't take it and redistribute his property. he same. Therefore no one has inherent rights under socialism.
"This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for
all, and there are only three ways to settle it:
1. The few plunder the many.
2. Everybody plunders everybody.
3. Nobody plunders anybody.
We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal
plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these
three."
http://www.fee.or..._Law.pdf

Feb 09, 2012
Ok R2, that was a good dodge around Rubberman's question, so let me ask it in another way;

If you (R2) where to totally make up a new Government from scratch, would it have Socialist aspects to it? Would you have more socialism or less socialism in it?

I'm curious because I can't see any other country I would want to live that is not based on some Socialism in a Democratic Government.

Feb 09, 2012
I would want to live that is not based on some Socialism in a Democratic Government.

Sad is it not?
History shows that govts that have less legal plunder and protect private property rights have economies that are more prosperous.
The USA prior to the 'progressive' era that started over 100 years ago was an example.

Bastiat, Adam Smith and many others explain that coercion, legal plunder seems to be the fate of humans.
Why do you want to live in a society where the mob can steal your property?
You prefer to live like the shopkeeper who pays 'protection' money to Guido to keep the mob from breaking his legs? That is effectively the socialist 'bargain' you make. Unless, of course, you are a member of the mob or the ruling party benefiting from that 'legal' plunder? Better to rule in hell...?

Feb 10, 2012
R2, judging by the fact that you have been asked twice and still can't answer, you either don't know what you want or you know the answer is too absurd to voice.
The only country you referred to as a positive example is basically an anarchist state on the bottom of the pile of "turd world countries"(somalia).

http://topics.nyt...dex.html


What I want is a govt that has limited power and its sole function is protecting the individual property rights of everyone. It is NOT up to the state to 'guide' society.
That is the responsibility of the individuals of that society.

Even socialists must give in to capitalism to survive. China mostly left Hong Kong alone and the Swedes ended their wealth tax and India has free trade zones.

Feb 10, 2012
"It is a political battle."

It's high time scientists went into politics.

Get people who understand about issues to make decisions about issues. What a revolutionary idea.

Feb 10, 2012

What I want is a govt that has limited power and its sole function is protecting the individual property rights of everyone. It is NOT up to the state to 'guide' society.
That is the responsibility of the individuals of that society.

Even socialists must give in to capitalism to survive. China mostly left Hong Kong alone and the Swedes ended their wealth tax and India has free trade zones.


Thank you.


I don't know why I had to repeat what I had written earlier.

Feb 10, 2012
Hottie, here is a list of the top ten economically free countries:
Hong Kong
Singapore
Australia
New Zealand
Switzerland
Canada
Chile
Mauritius
Ireland
United States
http://www.herita.../default
If you peruse the data you will observe how more govt control of the economy lowers those scores.

Feb 10, 2012
Do they do a good job at all of them? No. Would they get done without one? Definitely not.

That is the excuse made by the statist/socialist.
"If govt won't do it, who will?"
Gee, maybe the govt should NOT be doing 'it' then.

Feb 11, 2012
R2:
"If govt won't do it, who will?" Gee, maybe the govt should NOT be doing 'it' then.

So how is the bridge that crosses your river (or gully) ever going to be built? Being a capitalist, I could step up an say "I'll build a toll-road and make a fortune from every $20 crossing." But what company will gamble a billion dollars on a bridge if there is not a well defined economic payback in 10 years.

Here is the deal. We are all in this world together and your actions can effect the health of my children. If your are going to dump pollution on my kids, ..., Do you see the issue R2?

I think your confusing waste in government with socialism. Socialism (in the sense of re-distribution of wealth, building infrastructure, getting people employed, is actually a really good idea.)

Rubberman is right; the only country you have sited as a favorable form of "Government" is Somalia. Pathetic dude. Pathetic.



Feb 11, 2012
Also Mauritius? It must be where you live.

Feb 11, 2012
If you peruse the data you will observe how more govt control of the economy lowers those scores.


Scores of what? Govt control? You are so anti-government but how about social issues? Where do you want those eyeballs to be at on those issues mister?

Feb 11, 2012
I think your confusing waste in government with socialism.

No I am not.
Not too long ago, farmers used to build roads out to their farms. They would all get together and build the road. I suspect they may have built a bridge or two if needed.
But since you mentioned tolls, in many corrupt countries, companies have been solicited to build major infrastructure projects like freeways, bridges, tunnels and the company has the franchise to charge tolls for 20-30 years. Seems to be working out as the company has an incentive to do the job and do the job right. Even in the US, corruption on major construction projects lead to shoddy workmanship at high cost.
I would also suggest that the states have the Constitutional right to be as socialistic as want: 9th and 10th amendments. The Federal govt has limited, enumerated powers.


Feb 11, 2012
If you peruse the data you will observe how more govt control of the economy lowers those scores.


Scores of what? Govt control? You are so anti-government but how about social issues? Where do you want those eyeballs to be at on those issues mister?

What 'social' issues.
Why to the 'liberals' want the govt out of their bedroom but DO want the govt reaching into their pockets? Seems inconsistent.

Feb 11, 2012
Why to the 'liberals' want the govt out of their bedroom but DO want the govt reaching into their pockets? Seems inconsistent.


Read the first part of your question; and you will see why half (or more) of the USA is liberal. Who wants "We the People" in middle of the bed-room. CPAC on the other-hand want a camera right there to make sure you do thing proper.

That sir is the difference between liberalism and your whatever it is rightist position.


Feb 11, 2012
why half (or more) of the USA is liberal.


"The Gallup poll shows that 40 percent of Americans consider themselves conservative; 35 percent moderate; and 21 percent view themselves as liberal."

But you still didn't answer the question. If a govt has the power to confiscate your wealth, force you to stop eating salt and sugar, can also demand you use contraceptives or be sterilized or murder a baby.
How does the 'liberal' plan to limit the power of the state in their personal lives? Just recently, the current regime tried to restrict religious liberty.
"the Communist Party decided to increase the
population from 23 to 30 millions of inhabitants. Therefore in 1967 it was adopted the
Decree 770 by which the abortion and using of contraceptive means were prohibited."
http://www.demogr...er25.pdf

Feb 12, 2012
Hottie:
the problem with your anti-socialism position is that the American Constitution says nothing about socialism,

I was wrong.
The US Constitution has been a socialist constitution since the passage of the 16th and 17th Amendments.
'Progressive' taxation is classic redistribution and direct election of US Senators destroyed the concept of a federal republic promoting mob rule.

Feb 12, 2012
"In December 1999, Algerian terrorist Ahmed Ressam was caught trying to cross the Canadian-American border at Port Angeles, Washington, with explosives in his car. "
"The ease with which Ahmed Ressam and his fellow terror cell members entered and left Canada and Ressam's ability to assemble bomb-making materials in Canada heightened concerns about border security and the apparent ease with which potential terrorists can move freely from one country to the other. "
"thousands of potential terrorists disappear annually into Canada's ethnic communities. Armed with a fraudulent French passport, for example, Ahmed Ressam had entered Canada in 1994 claiming refugee status."
http://www.adl.or...nada.asp
"A terrorist wanting to smuggle radioactive material from Canada into the United States probably would find it easy to do, a new report from congressional investigators said."
http://articles.c...active-m

Feb 13, 2012
R2: LOL Mob rule. I thought that was done to remove corruption and collusion that happened with a Governor appointed Senator. I mean, does the Librarian position prefer an Senatorial appointment over a freely elected individual? I seriously doubt that you want an appointed Senator.

Then there are your Supreme Court Justices. They are at least selected by their body of work in LAW (supposedly). Yet, selected for a lifetime service, half of the current body are Republican hacks. 1%'rs serving the 1%. The minority Liberals in the Supreme Court, to me always make a better argument and better decissions that the right, but majority rules in Law.

Vendicar lays it out. Your one issue voice no matter how loud you scream it, should not override sound logic, sound principle, and the desire to better the environment for man and animal. We are stuards of the environment, and we need to police polluting corporations better. Lastly encourage societies to sustainable energy and food sources.

Feb 13, 2012
I seriously doubt that you want an appointed Senator.

Why not? In many states that is what effectively occurs.
Teddy had to die in office and his son patches quit as he new he could depend upon daddy's cover.
A state legislature appointment would also motive voters to be more concerned about their local politics and legislators.
But that is not the goal of the statist/socialists who must centralize power.
we need to police polluting corporations better.

Then use the power of the govt to protect private property rights. Do you think Enron supported Kyoto for clean up the environment? Hooker Chemical tried to protect the environment but the local school board wanted to build schools and houses over the waste dump and forced Hooker to sell the canal.
Socialists have the worst environmental records around the world. The most effective way to 'save the planet' is by protecting private property rights. But that is in opposition to the socialist faith.

Feb 13, 2012
What do you say about a 'liberal' Supreme Court justice who opposes the US Constitution?
Ginsberg was preaching against the very document she and those who appointed her were sworn to support and defend.
The word of a 'liberal' is worthless.
The only principle a 'liberal'/socialist supports is power.

Feb 13, 2012
May I ask you R2, What property do you own that your so attached to? Do you need it for a gun range? Or do you have your own 8 hole golf range?

Trust me, a damn liberal like me does not want to take your land or tax the hell out of you. All we want is a free working functioning society. Freedom from religion and free to speak on political issues. Whats your problem with that?


Feb 13, 2012
An Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006 and it WON TWO Academy Awards, increasing public concern about climate change.


And unfortunately for the right-wing, Al-Gore was right. Hands down he nailed global-warming as THE issue for the next 100 years. The cons are what they are Con-men.

Feb 14, 2012
All we want is a free working functioning society.

No you don't. If you did you would support individual property rights.
You want YOUR version of a 'functioning society' and are willing to use mob rule (socialism) to pursue that utopia.

Obamacare is just one more example of the state forcing individuals to violate their principles and promoting a dis-functional society.
But then socialists have no principles, except power, so they wouldn't understand.

Feb 15, 2012
R2:
No you don't. If you did you would support individual property rights.


Yeah, yes I do. Oh horrors of horrors, I also support individual properties rights too. I have a modest property I own. But I'm not going to start coal mining on it, my neighbors might get pissed.

I said
All we want is a free working functioning society.
and all you have for me is "no you do not"

Your political pandering about Obama-Care is wining rightwing looser spilt milk. The right wing con men never do anything for the common man. Conservatism is poison when left to fester.


Feb 15, 2012
But I'm not going to start coal mining on it,

Do you have coal on your property?
Why would your neighbors get angry if you didn't disturb them? Maybe they are socialists and would become jealous if you made a profit?
Or, maybe you could join with your neighbors, who probably have coal on their property, crate a business together and become wealthy. Would your neighbors be upset about that?

never do anything for the common man.

Wow, you sound just like Jim Taggert in Atlas Shrugged. The only thing this regime has done for the 'common' man is make the 'common' man more dependent upon govt handouts by driving business away or making it too costly to keep a business open with govt regulations.
If Obamacare was such a great deal why have they had to grant waivers to thousands of business? Especially those businesses and unions that support the current regime?
BTW, there are many Dems who feel betrayed by Obamacare.

Feb 15, 2012
"Former Democratic congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, a Catholic from Erie, Pennsylvania, cast a crucial vote in favor of Obamacare in 2010. She lost her seat that November in part because of her controversial support of Obamacare. But Dahlkemper said recently that she would have never voted for the health care bill had she known that the Department of Health and Human Services would require all private insurers, including Catholic charities and hospitals, to provide free coverage of contraception, sterilization procedures, and the "week-after" pill "ella" that can induce early abortions."
http://www.weekly...302.html
A govt with power to do for you has power to do TO you.
If the govt can violate the 1st amendment, why not all?

Feb 15, 2012
"The overall number of flights by U.S. airlines have steadily declined since 2008 when the recession dampened travel demand. Most recently, stubbornly high fuel prices have prompted airlines to further cut capacity to reduce costs and maintain higher fares."
How has this benefited the 'common' man working in the airline industry?

Feb 15, 2012
R2; as has been shown, you either need to rethink the BS you learned, get an attitude adjustment or just give up your debate position.

Feb 16, 2012
R2; as has been shown, you either need to rethink the BS you learned, get an attitude adjustment or just give up your debate position.

I need to rethink the failures of socialism?
Data does not lie. Socialists do lie to themselves and everyone else.

Feb 16, 2012
R2; as has been shown, you either need to rethink the BS you learned, get an attitude adjustment or just give up your debate position.

I need to rethink the failures of socialism?
Data does not lie. Socialists do lie to themselves and everyone else.


No R2, I think you need to re-think you position on capitalism. Capitalism has caused to many people to think in the short term. The needs of showing a quick profit vs a long term sustained and sustainable growth.

There was a great article about Al Gore's new strategy in investing that you should read. Nothing socialist about Al Gore.

http://business.f...italism/

or

http://www.guardi...eporting

The bottom line is your socialism non-sense is just that. It's up there with the Loons man. R2, my friend, you not a Loon are you?

Feb 16, 2012
Capitalism has caused to many people to think in the short term.

No, it is the govt that has forced people to think in the short term.
Public companies are required to issue quarterly reports. Govt regulations can change at the drop of a hat impacting profits.
When property owners have confidence the govt will protect their property from 'legal' plunder (socialism) and illegal plunder (crime), they will have confidence to invest for the long term.

"While we believe that capitalism is fundamentally superior to any other system for organising economic activity,.." Gore.

Yet he still advocates for socialism. But then even socialists must admit that capitalism creates wealth, after the socialists have destroyed it. They need more to destroy.

I noticed article failed to mention the govt laws for quarterly reporting somehow blaming the 'industry'.

Feb 17, 2012
I didn't see where Algore advocated for the elimination of quarterly income tax filing.
That could prompt businesses to take a short term outlook.

Feb 18, 2012
"While we believe that capitalism is fundamentally superior to any other system for organising economic activity,.." Gore.

You know, that was the Vice-President of the US and should have been President of the US by popular vote. (I'll never forgive the assholes that gave this country to W; I bet you kiss his picture every night ;-).

Bottom line, all the lying isn't going to cure global-warming. You are just going to make it worst.

Feb 18, 2012
President of the US by popular vote.

One more excuse to trash the Constitution?
The US was designed to be a republic to limit mob rule.

all the lying isn't going to cure global-warming

Then encourage the AGWites to stop.

Hottie, where are Algores proposals to limit the quarterly tax burdens and why doesn't he state that it is the govt that requires public corporations to issue quarterly reports?

Feb 18, 2012
"According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkels staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germanys minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a threat to the economy."
"Solar power is at least four times more costly than energy produced by fossil fuels. It also has the distinct disadvantage of not working at night, when much electricity is consumed."
"Using solar, Germany is paying about $1,000 per ton of CO2 reduced. The current CO2 price in Europe is $8. Germany could have cut 131 times as much CO2 for the same price. Instead, the Germans are wasting more than 99 cents of every euro that they plow into solar panels."
http://www.slate....es_.html

Feb 18, 2012
Another example of the consequences of socialism:
"Germans have paid about $130 billion for a climate-change policy that has no impact on global warming. They have subsidized Chinese jobs and other European countries reliance on dirty energy sources. And they have needlessly burdened their economy. As even many German officials would probably attest, governments elsewhere cannot afford to repeat the same mistake."

Feb 19, 2012
Marjon fails to understand that the US was never intended to be the sort of dog-eat-dog country that he espouses.

The original settlements were very much communal; and, the earliest States were, as a few still are, formally designated as Commonwealths, not Privatewealths.

He might undertake a study of History before making claims as to what this country was or was not intended to be.

Feb 19, 2012
the US was never intended to be the sort of dog-eat-dog country

It never was, until the 'progressives' took over 100 years ago.
BTW, the Pilgrims breifly tried communism and quickly realized it was not productive.
But prior to the the socialists takeover, the USA had hundreds of mutual aid societies.
"Societies dedicated themselves to the advancement of mutualism, self-reliance, business training, thrift, leadership skills, self-government, self-control, and good moral character. "
http://www.herita...re-state
But this competed with the socialist's power and had to be eliminated.
John Adams wrote the Constitution was written for a moral people, not for socialists.

Feb 19, 2012
Anyone want to list out how many times peak oil has been predicted, passed, and predicted again?

Well, the first problem is, the companies are lying about actual state of oil resources, because the higher their claimed state is, the higher production quotas are enabled by governments. The second problem is, more and more energy is consumed for production of water vapor and additional energy required for mining and oil production. In 1931 the energy of one gallon of oil was sufficient for production of another 131 gallons of crude oil, in 1971 it was only 17 and now (2002) it's five to seven gallons only. I.e. the production of oil may appear stable, but the actual speed of oil resources depletion is increasing.

Monetary economy is not even able to control itself, as it always operates with actual prizes - not to say about oil production and consumption. So I don't think, the price of oil, which is kept low artificially can indicate or even regulate the actual state of oil depletion

Feb 19, 2012
So I don't think, the price of oil, which is kept low artificially

Then you support truly free markets?
For you socialists, a free market is one where prices are NOT controlled (subsidized, protected, taxed, etc) by the govt but by customers and competition.

Feb 19, 2012
Of course govts take much revenue from oil: oil leases, fuel taxes, taxes on profits, etc.
Most govts OWN the oil companies: Pemex, ARAMCO, Statoil, ...

Feb 19, 2012
Then you support truly free markets?
Truly free markets are artificial constructs - they couldn't exist without strong protective environment, which is working paradoxically at the totalitarian socialistic principle. Actually, the more free market do you want to maintain, the stronger government and extensive legislative you're required to develop for free market protection. Because people aren't fair traders by their very nature - they're egoistic cheaters, which is what the Ayn Rand probably ignored in the same way, like Marx with his Capital and concept of willing work for free. They're both dual Utopians. How is it possible, the philosophers and economists couldn't recognize this simple truth during whole last century?

Feb 19, 2012
Truly free markets are artificial constructs - they couldn't exist without strong protective environment,

That's false.
Free markets have existed for thousands of years before the creation of state.

Feb 19, 2012
Actually, the more free market do you want to maintain, the stronger government and extensive legislative you're required to develop for free market protection.

Again, no.
The minimum function of the govt is to protect private property. How much legislation and regurgitation is required to do that? Seems straight forward and quite simple.
Except the statists may use their failures to protect private property to usurp more power.

Feb 19, 2012
So long as you confine yourself and ALL of your property and effects to your real property, feel free to do as you like.

But, when you disturb a single particle outside your property, you've overstepped your property rights, and become subject to the forbearance of and regulation by others.

Feb 19, 2012
the US was never intended to be the sort of dog-eat-dog country

It never was, until the 'progressives' took over 100 years ago.
BTW, the Pilgrims breifly tried communism and quickly realized it was not productive.
But prior to the the socialists takeover, the USA had hundreds of mutual aid societies.
"Societies dedicated themselves to the advancement of mutualism, self-reliance, business training, thrift, leadership skills, self-government, self-control, and good moral character. "

But this competed with the socialist's power and had to be eliminated.
John Adams wrote the Constitution was written for a moral people, not for socialists.

You don't know wallaby turds about the Founders of the US and its Constitution; you just pick and chose that which serves your purposes.

Your ideal capitalistic laissez faire environment is wholly lacking for natural regulation, something that more than a few Founders of the US recognized as being a matter of concern.

Feb 19, 2012
What is really great about the US Constitution is that after it was written it required ratification by the states.
This process did not happen over night and required people to be persuaded. Part of that persuasion consisted of letters to the editor which have been collected and are called the Federalist Papers.
Enjoy:
http://www.foundi...tpapers/

Feb 19, 2012
So long as you confine yourself and ALL of your property and effects to your real property, feel free to do as you like.

But, when you disturb a single particle outside your property, you've overstepped your property rights, and become subject to the forbearance of and regulation by others.

Now you are beginning to understand.
The next step will now require you to work with your neighbors in mutual self interest.

Feb 19, 2012
R2:
That's false.
Free markets have existed for thousands of years before the creation of state.


R2 what you say is false. Free markets didn't exist back then. Free trade did. Anyway that is nothing compared to modern free markets, where nano-seconds can shift a half-a-trillion dollars from one pocket to another. You or I as Americans have no say in that. Or do we? I fundamentally support the Occupy movement. It's the only thing that can push politicians to intervene. We need to regulate the hell out of these crooked corporations and make their profits go down when they do evil to nature and it's people.

I also support Green-peace. Is there a problem with that?

Feb 19, 2012
Did you really not get it? Or, are you just feigning ignorance?

Under your position, your stepping off of your property is dependent on your neighbors extending the privilege to you. Your neighbors may not hold that there is any mutual self-interest in allowing you free passage to and from your property, a fact that is historically well documented.

On the other hand, under the Rule of Law here, it is held that it is in the common good that your neighbors not be permitted to hold you landlocked. Their property rights are TRUNCATED when such would stand to limit the non-property rights of others.

Property rights do NOT stand at the pinnacle of all rights.

Feb 19, 2012
Free trade did.

Where did that free trade occur?
I fundamentally support the Occupy movement.

I am not surprised you support criminals.
We need to regulate the hell out of these crooked corporations

They already are. That is why they are crooked. That is why the govt regulates, to 'legally' plunder and why the regulated do what they can to gain favorable treatment from the state.
your stepping off of your property is dependent on your neighbors extending the privilege to you.

It works both ways doesn't it? What you really support is the state's monopoly on violence.
What will neighbor's do to restrict me? What risks are they willing to take to 'fence' me in?
Property rights do NOT stand at the pinnacle of all rights.

Yes, they do. YOU own yourself. The state does not.
If you want to harm another, violate his property right, you must weigh the risks to yourself, your property, and your standing with others.

Feb 20, 2012
That does pretty much sum up their core position: The root of all crime is the Law.

Pretty perverted logic.

Feb 20, 2012
Property rights do NOT stand at the pinnacle of all rights.

Yes, they do. YOU own yourself. The state does not.
If you want to harm another, violate his property right, you must weigh the risks to yourself, your property, and your standing with others.

Question? Does an ant own himself? That ant hill is his property for all the world. It's event staked out with a mound and an army. Using your logic, ants have property rights and dominion over your opinions.

Think about that next time you step on one of them.

I'm stretching the logic but that is where it goes R2. Convert to the darkside R2 and join the socialists.



Feb 20, 2012
Ironically, Marjon is an ant, a drone who blindly does the queen's bidding.

Feb 20, 2012
Ironically, Marjon is an ant, a drone who blindly does the queen's bidding.

Socialist consider humans to be ants. Drones to support the state with no rights to themselves or their personal capital, labor, intelligence and initiative.
If the law is designed to protect each individual's rights to their property, then the law can only be opposed by criminals, those who want to use force to take wealth instead of creating and earning that wealth.
When the law allows some to 'legally' plunder others, (socialism), such laws must be supported by criminals.
Why do you socialists NOT expect corruption with corrupt laws?

Feb 20, 2012
undamentally support the Occupy movement.

A political cartoon describes it best.
Tea Party member to the govt: "Leave us alone."
Occupier to the govt: " Take care of us."
Why do the socialists want to be taken care of?
Ask the Greeks how well that has worked for them.

Feb 20, 2012
A political cartoon describes it best.
Tea Party member to the govt: "Leave us alone."
Occupier to the govt: " Take care of us."

Is that like:
Tea party: "Give us everything but we don't want to pay"
Occupier: "Stop conning us"

'cause that's what it's really like. The Tea Party is the ultimate socialist movement.

Feb 20, 2012

'cause that's what it's really like. The Tea Party is the ultimate socialist movement.

What do the tea party members want from the state except to be left alone by the state?

Feb 20, 2012

'cause that's what it's really like. The Tea Party is the ultimate socialist movement.

What do the tea party members want from the state except to be left alone by the state?

How very clueless you are. Either that, or a knowing liar.

By their own admission, the Teabaggers want all of the benefits that they currently receive from government without having to pay for them.


Feb 20, 2012
What do the tea party members want from the state except to be left alone by the state?

Let's see

- hospitals
- military
- research into future protection systems
- cops
- fire department
- justice system
- infrastructure (water, trash, streets, ... )
- protection from companies just poisoning their air and water
- protection of their civil liberties
- ...

Need I go on? And they don't want to pay for any of that, too.

Feb 20, 2012
No problem; Marjon's going to generously give of his own wealth to provide for the Teabaggers.

Feb 20, 2012
What do the tea party members want from the state except to be left alone by the state?

Let's see

- hospitals
- military
- research into future protection systems
- cops
- fire department
- justice system
- infrastructure (water, trash, streets, ... )
- protection from companies just poisoning their air and water
- protection of their civil liberties
- ...

Need I go on? And they don't want to pay for any of that, too.

The tea party started because Congress passed Obamacare without reading the bill. I suspect tea party supporters do NOT want the state to pay for hospitals and do support a limited govt's role in protecting private property: military, local fire, local police, a judicial system that follows their constitutions.

Feb 20, 2012
want all of the benefits that they currently receive from government without having to pay for them.

What benefits? We pay for a 'Justice' Department that refuses to protect the borders and sell weapons to drug dealers in Mexico who murdered a border patrol agent. And this was done to try and further restrict the citizen's right to keep and bear arms.
We have and 'Education' dept that fails to educate. Thousands of other regulators and regulations leading to govt agents inspecting the homemade lunches of kindergarten students, and confiscating them. We have a govt that restricts exploration and development of known energy resources and blows OPM on solar energy companies.
And this regime is doing nothing about an enemy building nuclear weapons.
I don't think tea party members want to pay for these 'benefits'.

Feb 20, 2012
Oh what fun. I'm just making popcorn (Monsanto branded roundup ready) ON TOP OF MY HEAD. Tea party for all concerned was an invention of Dick Army and a bunch of 1% racist donors that radicalized productive public discourse. Off year elections with lots of PAC money gets you a majority for 2 years, but what have they done except the bidding of corporations and big money influences.

Oh Popcorn is ready.

Feb 20, 2012
R2: You argue for property rights of an individual human over the societies needs. To me that sounds like one person being selfish.

Feb 21, 2012
No "sounds like" about it. It IS a person being selfish.

Feb 21, 2012
R2: You argue for property rights of an individual human over the societies needs. To me that sounds like one person being selfish.

What is 'societies needs'?
Why would 'societies needs' clash with individual property rights unless 'society' wants to confiscate the individual's property without compensation?
A woman refused to sell her house to Trump in Atlantic City, and the city could not force her to sell. So Trump built around her.
That's didn't happen in CT when the city forced people to sell their property to a private developer.
Why do socialists support violence? Because they cannot persuade people their way benefits society. Why can't they persuade? Because socialism does NOT benefit society. It only benefits those in power.

Feb 21, 2012
No "sounds like" about it. It IS a person being selfish.

Do you work for free? No?
Selfish bastard!
Or maybe you are on the dole and receive your money off other people's work? Selfish bastard!

Feb 21, 2012
Self interest has been demonstrated to be the best way to benefit society.
"Charity, while a virtuous act, cannot alone provide the essentials for living. Self-interest is the mechanism that can remedy this shortcoming. Said Smith: It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest"
http://www.econli...ith.html
State 'charity', aka welfare, income redistribution, socialism, is NOT charity. It is 'legal' plunder.

Feb 21, 2012
Do you work for free? No?
Selfish bastard!
Or maybe you are on the dole and receive your money off other people's work? Selfish bastard!


I'm working for free right now just so your point of view is challenged. I feel that strongly R2 in opposition to your wack-o ideas of "non-socialism"!

Basically what you say can be generalized as "It is my property and you have no dominion over it", but society taxes you for the privilege owning that property (social rent for the rest of the fleas). If you desirable to the area the social fleas my pay you to own property.

Anyway, the bottom line is you owe the society a lot for you luxury existence and you owe the Unions a lot for your standard of living. Hell dude, you owe an apology to Obama for giving you a health care plan that has impact on lowering your insurance costs.

And you owe the UN an apology for the lies you posted on the net about global warming. We are a global society now thanks to Al-Gores Internet (True BTW).

Feb 22, 2012
I'm still waiting to hear Marjon tell us that he only uses infrastructure that was privately and independently developed and implemented.

Feb 22, 2012
a health care plan that has impact on lowering your insurance costs.

More socialist propaganda.
My costs keep rising as will everyone else's costs.
The UK is beginning to run out of OPM and turning towards privatization of their socialist system.
Socialism continues to fail around the world but the socialists keep making excuses stating they didn't steal enough wealth to keep it going.

Feb 22, 2012
Your costs?

I would have expected you to eschew insurance, and stand or fall on your own ability to pay for your medical care, given your proclaimed stand for rugged individualism.

Feb 22, 2012
"The global economy is now expected to expand 2.5 and 3.1 percent in 2012 and 2013 (3.4 and 4.0 percent when calculated using purchasing power parity weights), versus the 3.6 percent projected in June for both years."
http://web.worldb...,00.html

Feb 22, 2012
""Instead of taming inflation, preventing a rapid decline in the economy will turn out to be the central government's primary task in the coming months," Li Yang, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a former adviser to the central bank, said to China Daily.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of inflation, rose 5.5 percent year-on-year last month, a further decline from 6.1 percent in September, after surging to a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July.

The World Bank estimated that China's inflationary pressure will ease further next year, predicting that CPI will grow 5.3 percent for this year and 4.1 percent for next year.

Meanwhile, "the downward trend in China's economic growth rate has set in, and the authorities should take measures to prepare for an even worse scenario," Li said. "
http://www.china....3369.htm

Feb 23, 2012
Careful, Vendy; Marjon's easily confused by facts.

Feb 23, 2012
Additionally, he's paid for quantity of posts, not quality.

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