Fat Al Gore Menaces the Homeland and Homeland Security Experts Don’t Care

Six days ago, Fat Al Gore (my shorthand for climate change) attacked the Philippines, killing as many 10,000 and leaving 250,000 homeless.

It was Fat Al Gore’s most successful attack thus far.

With Fat Al Gore’s growing success in mind, consider these data points.

Senate Homeland Security Committee doesn’t recognize Fat Al Gore as a threat

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing on “Threats to the Homeland.” It is focused almost entirely on what witnesses describe a dispersed Al Qaeda threat (which doesn’t have the ability to attack in the US), self-radicalized extremists who don’t have the ability to conduct large-scale attacks, and cybersecurity (though Carl Levin did bring up corporate anonymity as a threat, and Republicans brought up Benghazi, which isn’t the “Homeland” at all; also, Ron Johnson leaked that Secret Service officers have proven unable to keep their dick in their pants in 17 countries).

None of the three witnesses even mentioned climate change in their testimony.

Obama’s Chief of Staff threatened to “kill” Steven Chu for admitting islands would disappear because of climate change

Meanwhile, the lead anecdote of this mostly interesting (but in parts obviously bullshit) profile of how Obama disempowered his cabinet ministers tells how Rahm went ballistic because Steven Chu (whose energy initiative created a bunch of jobs) publicly admitted that some islands will disappear because of climate change.

In April 2009, Chu joined Obama’s entourage for one of the administration’s first overseas trips, to Trinidad and Tobago for a Summit of the Americas focused on economic development. Chu was not scheduled to address the media, but reporters kept bugging Josh Earnest, a young staffer, who sheepishly approached his boss, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, with the ask. “No way,” Gibbs told him.

“Come on,” Earnest said. “The guy came all the way down here. Why don’t we just have him talk about all the stuff he’s doing?”

Gibbs reluctantly assented. Then Chu took the podium to tell the tiny island nation that it might soon, sorry to say, be underwater—which not only insulted the good people of Trinidad and Tobago but also raised the climate issue at a time when the White House wanted the economy, and the economy only, on the front burner. “I think the Caribbean countries face rising oceans, and they face increase in the severity of hurricanes,” Chu said. “This is something that is very, very scary to all of us. … The island states … some of them will disappear.”

Earnest slunk backstage. “OK, we’ll never do that again,” he said as Gibbs glared. A phone rang. It was White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calling Messina to snarl, “If you don’t kill [Chu], I’m going to.”

Much later the story notes that Heather Zichal is on her way out too.

Even blue-chip West Wingers such as economic adviser Gene Sperling and climate czar Heather Zichal are heading for the exits.

Washington insiders applaud fracking while ignoring climate change

Meanwhile, also as part of its big new magazine spread, Politico has two related pieces on DC insiders views.

There’s this “Real Game Changers” piece capturing the “big forces they see shaking up U.S. politics.” David Petraeus talks about “the ongoing energy revolution in the U.S.” Jeb Bush promises, “With natural gas as an exponentially growing source, we can re-industrialize.” And while several thinkers describe the problem of economic inequality, only Al Gore talks about Fat Al Gore.

Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels is changing our climate and transforming our world. From more destructive and more frequent climate-related extreme weather events, floods and droughts, melting ice and rising sea levels, to climate refugees, crop failure, higher asthma rates and water scarcity, the consequences are profound. As citizens, we’re already paying the high costs. Billions of dollars to clean up after extreme weather events. Rising insurance bills. Lives lost.

Meanwhile, former respectable energy historian turned shill Daniel Yergin congratulates America on being almost energy independent.

Here’s his only mention of the word “climate.”

In a major climate speech this past June, he declared, “We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer because, in the medium term at least, it not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions.”

Yes, we’re going to fight climate change by burning carbon (gas) instead of carbon (coal).

To be fair to the DC elite, the reason we’re embracing fracking is to give ourselves space to ditch the terrorist funding Saudis. So there is a real national security purpose to it.

But of course, it’s a purpose that addresses a far less urgent threat than that terrorist Fat Al Gore, who just killed 10,000 people.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

8 replies
  1. bloodypitchfork says:

    quote:”But of course, it’s a purpose that addresses a far less urgent threat than that terrorist Fat Al Gore, who just killed 10,000 people.”unquote

    You should be a White House reporter. Gibbs would love ya.

  2. jerryy says:

    … “To be fair to the DC elite, the reason we’re embracing fracking is to give ourselves space to ditch the terrorist funding Saudis. So there is a real national security purpose to it.”

    Is that what they are telling each other these days?

    Via CNN Money:
    http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/17/news/economy/china-green-energy/index.html

    It would seem that they are more likely re-arranging their portfolios with a view towards getting in early on the lower-cost-higher-revenue=more profit natural gas bandwagon. Trading one demon for another.

    The CNN article claims that US investment in green energy sources is dropping rapidly instead of rising.

  3. der says:

    Rahm never fails to disappoint with his myopic political dickishness. Here’s what Rahm’s candidate and party promised in 2008:

    II. Renewing American Leadership

    At moments of great peril in the last century, American leaders such as Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy managed both to protect the American people and to expand opportunity for the next generation. They ensured that America, by deed and example, led and lifted the world–that we stood for and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders. They used our strengths to show people everywhere America at its best. Just as John Kennedy said that after Hoover we needed Franklin Roosevelt, so too after our experience of the last eight years we need Barack Obama.

    Today, we are again called to provide visionary leadership. This century’s threats are at least as dangerous as, and in some ways more complex than, those we have confronted in the past. …And they come from a warming planet that will spur new diseases, spawn more devastating natural disasters, and catalyze deadly conflicts.

    We will confront these threats head on while working with our allies and restoring our standing in the world. …

    Barack Obama will focus this strategy on seven goals: … and (vii) protecting our planet by achieving energy security and combating climate change. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=78283

    I keep going back to that frickin’ Promise to show what hacktacular liars they are. Hope and Change, bullshit. It gets a bit tiring holding their feet to the fire. Unfortunately inside the beltway they could care less that what they once said testifies to their dishonest self-centeredness.

    In a nutshell – Fuck my grandchildren: State Sen. Dick Saslaw does not mince words about his support for uranium mining. A Northern Virginia Democrat who is also the Senate minority leader, Saslaw says burying the radioactive byproduct known as tailings underground should be a solution to environmental concerns. And he says he can’t be concerned about what might happen 100 [years] from now.

    “What about 10,000 years from now? I’m not going to be here,” Saslaw says. “I can’t ban something because of something that might happen 500 or 1,000 years from now.“ http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/09/1418831/virginia-democrat-wants-to-roll-back-key-environmental-rules-im-not-going-to-be-here-to-suffer-consequences/

    If our hunter-gathering ancestors thought like Dick they would have killed their young for that last bit of bison and the next generation may not have ended here in 2013 to read about it in the Natural History museum.

  4. dutch says:

    I’ve never understood why higher average global temperatures would produce more severe weather. Weather, as we all know, results from the CONTRAST in temperatures between air masses. Increasing the temperature of all air masses equally would have no effect on this. But it’s even more confusing than this. If the computer models are correct then the regions experiencing the greatest temperature increases will be the coldest and driest regions of the globe , e.g. central Canada and Siberia – winter nights in these regions would not be as cold. The tropics which are already hot and wet, will see less warming. If true, this would indicate even LESS contrast between air masses would be expected as a result of global warming. So we should see less severe weather events, not more.

    Can anyone here explain this paradox?

  5. der says:

    This 180 from Time’s Elephant in the Room: Back in June 2011, Christie endorsed common sense. In his words, “when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this, stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.”

    …this past February, Christie dismissed the climate change issue as “esoteric.” And in May, he went further. When he was asked whether he had instructed state agencies to prepare for climate change, he said: “I don’t agree with the premise of your question because I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change.” http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/national-interest/61320-chris-christies-craven-sandy-pander

    And from the minds that time forgot: More lawmakers in North Carolina than in any other state have signed Americans for Prosperity’s pledge against spending money to address climate change without an equivalent amount of tax cuts.

    Dallas Woodhouse, the North Carolina director of Americans for Prosperity, has referred to climate change as “hocus pocus.”

    “Even if the climate is changing, that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Woodhouse said in an interview on the WUNC radio program “The State of Things.” “What kind of punishment do you want to put on North Carolina taxpayers and how do we want to regulate human beings to address something that there’s no evidence that one state can affect?”

    The group’s “Hot Air Tour” in 2008 maintained that legislation to deal with global warming would lead to higher taxes, curtailed personal freedoms and job losses. http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/article_0631feda-f63c-11e2-8947-001a4bcf6878.html

    The punishment is when the Snowbirds start selling in Fla. and buying in Asheville, NC and tourists stop flocking to Duck in June because the best hours to be on the beach are between 6 and 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m.

    …lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil (or stupid) of our political overlords. And Citizens United.

  6. bsbafflesbrains says:

    Love that global warming is called Fat Al Gore. Could we call Nuclear Power Horseface John Kerry?

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