Politico covers blogs and Lieberman-Warner

The Politico has a front-page article today entitled Friends of the Earth Kicks Up Dirt.  This article covers FoE ad buy (Fix-or-Ditch the Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Bill) in the blogosphere about the Lieberman-Warner Coal-Subsidy Act and the ads’ impact.  The impact seems strong.

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga says he wouldn’t have known about the bill had it not been for Friends of the Earth’s ads.

Evidently advertising can matter more than content, since the issue had been repeatedly on the Daily Kos “recommended” diary list in the months prior to the ad buy (such as here and here).

The article continues:

While it’s hard to establish a cause-and-effect relationship, the issue’s prominence certainly rose on his site and others after the ads began to appear.

True, in a sense.  It is not as if the issues surrounding Lieberman-Warner had not been regularly discussed at Daily Kos and elsewhere in blogosphere (also here, here, hereherehere, here, etc).  

A Kos diarist, A Siegel, had a post on the issue bumped to the front page as a high number of readers recommended it. 

Actually, Will Joe Lieberman decide our future? ACTION: The Climate InSecurity Act was not “bumped to the front page”, although it did make the Daily Kos “recommended” list.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) responded to the campaign by calling Friends of the Earth “defeatist,” further enflaming the blogosphere.

And, the discussion of her reaction, Boxing our way to Disaster? received relatively little attention within the Daily Kos community.  But, evidently, others were watching.

The surge of blogospheric interest got the attention of Environmental Defense, which strongly supports the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill and responded to the blog ad campaign by suggesting that Senate staffers launch one of their own.

“Sen. [Barbara] Boxer [D-Calif.] and the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act have come under attack in ads placed on liberal blogs,” the group’s Mark MacLeod wrote in an e-mail to staffers.

“One idea we have would be to run ads on the blog sites, and we would be happy to work with your office to arrange for filming of a short statement of support.”

Environmental Defense’s view of the situation, however, was not necessarily shared by Senators and their staffers, who quite generously shared this email with bloggers (including this one).  Not mentioned, by the way, in the article was that the e-mail specifically called out that low-attention Daily Kos posting as an item of concern, written by a “major DailyKos contributor” (again, thank you for the compliment). And, perhaps one can say that the ED’s intent backfired when this blogger’s reaction to it (On Being Called Out by Environmental Defense) ended up spending a day on the Daily Kos recommended list, being read by 1000s more than the earlier, ever-so threatening post. Perhaps this is why

MacLeod won’t talk about the dust-up now …

There is an important continuation of this, as evidently this doesn’t merit discussion with MacLeod 

dismissing it as “differences around the edges” among generally likeminded environmental groups.

The facts:  the “differences around the edges” relate to potential avoidance of catastrophic climate change and whether we should give $500 billion (or more) of permits to serial polluters.  Whether or not Congress will pass legislation that might or might not enable a viable world into the future for human civilization is “differences around the edges”?

The article focuses on BlogAds and the influence (or lack of influence) on bloggers. (To be clear, this blogger did not become aware of or concerned about the Lieberman-Warner Coal-Subsidy Act (falsely entitled the “Climate Security Act“) due to FOE’s ads, but the focus had started six months earlier.)  And, in that vein, the Politico article could be of interest to many in the blogosphere.

To this blogger, the issue of concern returns to the opening paragraphs of post. One of the (if not “the”) most influential voices in the progressive blogosphere stated that he was unaware of Lieberman-Warner until Friends of the Earth begin putting ads up on his site.

The bill, its inadequacies, and the devastating implications of those inadequacies had been regularly discussed on his site.  The bill has huge implications for society, if passed it would make avoidance of climate catastrophe much more difficult and much more expensive for society. And, it would be an anti-progressive approach, taking $100s of billions from ordinary taxpayers (and consumers) to pay for those given away pollution permits (which would, based on the history of such programs, simply lead to windfall profits for serial polluters).   Lieberman-Warner (any umbrella climate change legislation) will impact every facet of American life, with untold implications (great, good, bad, and otherwise).  Despite the many critical issues before the Congress (FISA, Iraq War, SCHIP), it is hard to imagine any more important single piece of legislation likely to go before Congress in our lifetimes.

Considering all this, Markos Moulitas “wouldn’t have known about the bill had it not been for Friends of the Earth’s ads”.  How many other progressives is this true of? How many other progressives remain unaware of and untuned to the critical issues with before us (the US) as to how to deal with Global Warming?

Global Warming is on the agenda.  As some say, Katrina opened the door, Al Gore walked through it, and now we’re aware.  Deniers and Skeptics are on the retreat, with “delayers” continuing a rear-guard battle against meaningful action.  But, with all the awareness of “Global Warming” and the need to do “something”, it is clear that this is not common understanding of what that something should be. 

This is dangerous because Global Warming legislation will determine our future paths.

We face a Perfect Storm of Global Warming and Peak Oil. Inadequacies will wreck us (the US) upon the shoals. We have the chance to “do it right”. To be clear, Lieberman-Warner (as now contrived) is not that “right” and allowing it to slip by due to lack of awareness would be beyond tragedy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s