Bloggers respond to global warming dissenters, upbraid Gen. Pace for comments on gays in the military, and gawk at the Israeli ambassador found in S&M gear.
Al Gored: A New York Times piece today lends an ear to skeptics who think Al Gore exaggerated the threat of global warming in his Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth. These critics "are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism," according to the piece. Bloggers wonder if this group of thinkers is the tip of an iceberg.
Noel Sheppard at conservative watchdog blog NewsBusters figures that if "the leftists working for Punch Sulzberger" are publishing articles questioning his film, Gore might be in trouble. "Wow. That's a lot of skeptics quoted by one of the most liberal newspapers in America, wouldn't you agree? I wonder what this means for the so-called consensus." Texas conservative Denny Burke agrees the piece is significant: "No one will be able to argue that this story is a propaganda campaign on the part of oil companies."
At The Huffington Post, liberal David Roberts calls the article possibly "the worst, sloppiest, most dishonest piece of reporting I've ever seen in the NYT." He dissects the piece at length, noting in particular Don Easterbrook's claim that previous climate shifts were up to "20 times greater than the warming in the past century": "But Gore never said … that the temperature swing in the last century is the widest temperature swing ever. Gore's point is that the global average temperature has never shifted so much so quickly—about ten times faster than previous swings. That speed, after all, is the primary evidence of human involvement."
At It's Getting Hot in Here, Brown University student Nathan Wyeth takes issue with what he calls the author's treatment of "the biggest public policy issue of our century as a gossip-fest."
At The Intersection, liberal science writer and Seed magazine correspondent Chris Mooney defends Gore's movie as "almost entirely accurate": "But my question as a point of strategy has always been: Why include the 1 to 5 percent of more questionable stuff, and so leave onself open to this kind of attack? Given how incredibly smart and talented Al Gore is, didn't he see this coming?"
Libertarian Ronald Bailey at Reason's Hit & Run supports the rationale behind running the Times' piece: "The chief reason is to show to readers that scientific evidence is not all pointing one way to ultimate inevitable catastrophe and that it is still possible for smart honest people to disagree on how bad man-made warming is likely to be."
Conservative "Gus Van Horn" argues the article won't hurt Gore much at all: "[T]he Times is clearly only paying lip service to the need for objectivity in the public debate, and in doing so lends undeserved credibility to Gore's position. … And don't hold your breath for any kind of an editorial questioning whether the global warming political agenda is really such a good idea."
Read more about the Times' take on Gore.
Queer eye for the straight G.I.: Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, saying homosexuality is "immoral," in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. After gay rights groups called for an apology, Pace said he regretted the remark but stopped short of apologizing.
D.C. liberal Milt Shook at MiltBlog slams Pace for his defense that he was raised to disapprove of homosexuality: "[Y]ou know what, General Pace? We don't give a rat's ass what you 'believe,' nor is it your place to 'condone' what two people do in the privacy of their own home and their own bedroom. Your job is to make sure the military is prepared to fight, and that's all."
At Word of the People, liberal Teethwriter disapproves of Pace's remark but defends his right to say it: "If gays have a problem with anything it should be the policy of the United States armed forces that bans open homosexuals from serving their country. This bluntly discriminatory policy is what needs to be challenged and not one man's opinion."
Gay liberal Bill Garnett at March to a Different Drummer parses what he calls Pace's inconsistencies: "If adultery is likened to homosexuality, then is an individual who is an admitted adulterer, as are all but one of the Republican presidential contenders—and also Gingrich should he opt to enter the race—too immoral to become commander and chief?"
Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy responds archly: "You know what would be ironic? If one day Pace were involved in something of dubious morality. Boy, if that day ever comes, we'll have a great comeback for this."
Read more about Gen. Pace's homosexuality remark.
Muzzle tov: Tsuriel Raphael, the Israeli ambassador to El Salvador, was dismissed after police found him in his backyard naked, drunk, and bound and gagged with sex bondage gear.
The Zero Boss, clearly delighted by the news, says he's "dying for the rest of the story": "Was this terrorism—an assault against the Jewish state? Was Osama bin Laden involved? … I'd love for nothing better than for Islamic extremists to set aside their exploding shoes and suicide belts, and wage war against Israel using ball gags and dildos instead.
At Ankle Biting Pundits, Bull Dog Pundit reflects: "The bright side of this is that he didn't break any laws. Because if he did—he'd be rotting in an El Salvadorian prison.
But on second thought, maybe that wouldn't be punishment for this guy. He might actually enjoy it."
D.C. gossip sheet Wonkette takes this opportunity to catalog Israel's other recent embarrassments: "The president is charged with being a serial rapist, another diplomat was caught running a Brazilian porno website, the ex-justice minister is charged with forcing himself on women soldiers, Ariel Sharon's son was sent to prison for corruption, the federal police commissioner got caught running one of Israel's biggest organized-crime families, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's being investigated for corruption as his own Scooter Libby is under house arrest and a 'rising star' of the ultra-right wing has been caught with a phony resume and phonier disability claim."
Read more about the bound, naked, drunk Israeli ambassador.