Tue, 27 Jan 2009 20:58:38 +0000 – By Dan GainorVice President Business Media Institute
It's almost Groundhog Day. That means it must be time for Americans to wait anxiously for Al Gore to pop up out of his hole, mumble "global warming" to the shivering masses and then scurry away again while we suffer through several more weeks more of winter.
We won't be disappointed. Gore is scheduled to nuzzle his way into a hearing for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday to warn of a warming planet. Temperatures are near freezing. It may even snow.
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Gore's appearance in the dead of bone-chilling winter is almost five years to the day since he came out of hibernation in New York and called President Bush a "moral coward" for his climate change policies. That very day the mercury in Central Park registered the coldest day the Big Apple had seen in 47 years!
If we're lucky, Gore will see his shadow -- dooming us to a longer chill, but saving us from more discussion of global warming until spring.
ABC's weatherman Sam Champion told viewers this season's weather "feels like the coldest winter in years." He added, "and a report from NASA climate scientists says 2008 was the coolest year since 2000."
Gore's message is also likely to be predictably similar -- more like a clip from the movie "Groundhog Day," than from the annual Punxsutawney Phil event. Al Gore, in the role of a dumpier Bill Murray, seems doomed to repeat his dire warnings of a toasty apocalypse forever. Only real life isn't as funny as the movie version and more Americans are turning their backs to his complaints.
According to the Pew Research Center for the People the Press, that's precisely what's happening. Pew conducted a survey of American priorities from January 7-11 and "global warming" finished dead lastout of 20 choices. According to the survey, concern for the environment and global warming dropped for the second year in a row. A recent Rasmussen poll says 59 percent of those surveyed don't believe mankind is warming up the planet.
So ordinary Americans are less receptive to global groundhoggery and more worried about the economy. Not so the new administration. President Obama promises a government that cares less about the economy and is more focused on eco-orthodoxy.
For all of his talk about the stimulus plan and getting the economy back on track, Obama vowed the United States will "roll back the specter of a warming planet" during his inaugural address -- no matter what it does to the economy.
Obama wants "an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050," according to the White House Web site. That plan would cost at least another $56 billion per year added to an already overwhelmed budget.
That doesn't seem to matter. "Global warming is not a someday problem; it is now," he said during a speech in New Hampshire in 2007. The new president has abandoned bipartisanship and sided with the eco-left. He picked Carol Browner, a Gore loyalist who worked for the former vice president and served on the board of the Alliance for Climate Protection -- a group that was founded by Gore.
Browner is already making headlines for her extreme views and as "one of 14 leaders of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for 'global governance' and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change," according to The Washington Times.
On Wednesday, we'll see much the same -- hypocritical finger-wagging about living small from a man who owns three homes and flies around the globe more than Superman. Gore is expected to tell Congress "the role he believes the United States should take as a leader on the environment and global warming," according to The New York Times.
The last time he appeared on the Hill, Gore tried to burrow into our lives in the form of new regulations, new taxes and even control of our light bulbs. That time we got Gore the "prophet,"as CBS called him.
This time, it's likely he'll follow the lead of his mentor James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Hansen recently declared: "We have only four years left to act on climate change -- America has to lead."
What Hansen means -- and what Gore will probably repeat -- is that America has to pay. Hansen proposes a global carbon tax and eliminating using coal-- an energy resource the U.S. has in abundance. It's impossible to reconcile Hansen's prescription for more U.S. giving with a major downturn in the economy. But for the liberal elite, such inconsistencies don't matter.
What does matter is that we embrace larger taxes and more regulation so that we live our lives the way Gore and others think we should.
Perhaps, if we're lucky, Gore will see his shadow -- dooming us to a longer chill, but saving us from more discussion of global warming until spring.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and Vice President of the Media Research Center's Business Media Institute. His column appears each week on Foxforum and he can be seen each Thursday from 9-10:30 on Foxnews.com's "Strategy Room."
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.