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Live Earth Disappoints With Everything But Shrill Rhetoric

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 9, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The world watched this weekend as Al Gore's Live Earth concerts went off around the world, or maybe not. Many people are criticizing the event today as not being impressive or as popular as Live Aid or Live 8 in the past. There are even some concerns tonight about whether or not the concert themselves were environmentally friendly. But none of this stopped the typical shrill, end-of-the-world rhetoric from environmental extremists, and one of their targets, shockingly, even included little, old me. Take a listen at what Robert F. Kennedy said at the New Jersey concert.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR., ENVIRONMENTALIST: So I'm going to tell you this: that the next time you see John Stossel or Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, these flat-Earthers, these corporate toadies, lying to you, lying to the American public, and telling you that global warming doesn't exist. You send an e-mail to their advertisers and tell them you're not going to buy their products anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: A very angry man. Joining us now with more on the Live Earth hot air, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming," Chris Horner, the president and founder of the Global Warming Action Conference, John Cleveland, and from Natural Resource Defense Council, Jon Coifman is with us.

Gentlemen, welcome back.

First of all, he not only said that about me, you know, flat-Earthers, corporate toadies, we're lying, then he also said about corporations. He called them "villains that put their interests above the American peoples' interests," that corporate interests, that they're traitors and we should treat corporations like traitors.

JON COIFMAN, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: Well, Sean, I'll tell you, I think that at some point somebody is going to begin asking the question when it was that conservatives decided they were going to surrender conservation...

HANNITY: Every time you're on you give me — you know, I'm asking you about his rhetoric. Does that bother you?

COIFMAN: Well, you'd have to get Bobby here to talk about Bobby's rhetoric, but I can tell you is that you've got companies, oil companies, auto companies in this country that have signed up, that are on record now calling for concrete limits on global warming emissions, Shell, BP, General Motors...

HANNITY: If you're not going to answer a question, I won't ask you one. If you're going to give me your talking points, I'll just go to our other guest.

Chris Horner, first of all, the incendiary rhetoric here, when you have somebody like Robert F. Kennedy, who travels on private planes, who supports wind farms but not outside the Kennedy compound, says about corporations that their villainous, that they put their interests above American interests, that it's treason, and we need to start treating corporations like traitors, does he want to kill them?

CHRIS HORNER, GLOBAL WARMING SKEPTIC: I don't know. The most striking thing should be to anyone that the people who claim to so aggressively loathe Joe McCarthy are so quick to embrace his tactics. I expect to be asked — and we often are — the equivalent of, "Are you now or have you ever been a global warming skeptic?" And the answer is, like 50 percent of the public, according to the Ipsos-MORI poll for BBC and over 17,000 scientists, yes, we see the alarmism for what it is.

The flat-Earthers, I do want to remind everybody, were an elite cadre that insisted there should be no more debate, that the consensus — and stooges of the globe-making industry, like Pythagoras , pointed out that, in fact, they're wrong. We spend $5 billion in taxpayer dollars every year in the United States pursuing the knowledge that they claim to have. Maybe if we say, "Let's stop spending the money," the truth would come out.

HANNITY: John Cleveland, let me ask you this question. You know, Al Gore travels around in private jets. He uses 20 times — excuse me.

JOHN CLEVELAND, GLOBAL WARMING ACTION ALLIANCE: Wrong. You are wrong.

HANNITY: Sir, I've chronicled it. He travels around in private jets. We've gone through a whole experience — and I'll give you the dates and times that we now have chronicled he's been on private jets. So that's a fact.

CLEVELAND: And how much of that has he done on commercial airlines?

HANNITY: He uses 20 times the amount of electricity than the average citizen of Tennessee. For this concert, how many of these guys traveled how many miles around the world and put a big carbon imprint ? Is that a problem for you?

CLEVELAND: The thing that you're not telling people is that the organizers of this organization paid for carbon offset credits. Al Gore's home is...

HANNITY: What a joke.

CLEVELAND: ... 100 percent green, 100 percent green.

HANNITY: Chris Horner, this is a carbon offset company that he owns and he makes profit on. Let's talk about the carbon offset fraud.

HORNER: OK, real quickly, Sean, you have a priest. If your priest tells you every Sunday, as he probably does, that adultery is a mortal sin and then holds a big orgy at his house and tells everybody about it, but then says, "You still need to take me seriously about adultery, because I bought adultery offsets," would you keep going back to that church? That's what the high church of environmentalism is about. Remember, they just said, as long as — obviously, the wealthy, you buy offsets. It's 100 percent green. It's like the infidelity never occurred.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: John, if polluting the Earth is so wrong, rather than buy an offset to plant a tree, why don't they stop polluting the planet? Why don't — for example, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on this program admitted he flies in private jets, will not promise to give them up. Don't you think people like Al Gore and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., should lead by example?

CLEVELAND: I say that we shouldn't shoot the messenger. Let's look for solutions to the problem.

HANNITY: I asked you if they should lead by example, because they're telling people at these concerts to walk and ride bicycles. Shouldn't they give up their private jets?

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Let me go to Jon Coifman. I'll speak to you, Jon. No one else wants to talk to you. They do lead by example, and the fact is, nobody could be carbon-neutral without doing something to offset it. We're all human beings who pollute the environment.

COIFMAN: Exactly.

COLMES: So, you know, let's be realistic here. In fact, Al Gore, they want to make it personal to him rather than deal with the actual issue.

COIFMAN: I think there are a lot of people who would like to turn this into a conversation about a kind of environmentalism that doesn't exist in this country and to paint a lot of folks who are perfectly concerned about quality of life and the environment in their communities as something that they're not. You do not need to live in a tree or a mud hut to care about the environment.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: You can take steps. In fact, the message of this particular event, Mr. Cleveland, was that we could all take small steps. That's what this message was over the weekend. We can take small steps...

HORNER: Ninety percent reduction, Alan.

COLMES: I believe I was talking to Mr. Cleveland. I'll get to you in just a second, sir. But we all can take small steps to do something for the environment, and that's what we take home from what happened over the weekend.

CLEVELAND: Yes, exactly. We can change light bulbs, for instance, very simple thing to do.

COLMES: Mr. Horner, let me go to you. Why is it the people that — let me get your position. Do you deny that there's such a thing as global warming? Or do you admit that there is such a thing but it's not man-made? What's your position on it?

HORNER: You tell me the year you want me to start, and I'll tell you...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Right now, what's your position?

HORNER: ... since the time Christ walked the Earth, it is cooler since when Christ walked the Earth. It's warmer than the 1970s. It's warmed one degree Fahrenheit in the last 150 years, and man likely had something to do with it. That's as far as the consensus goes. You just said something that's patently untrue.

COLMES: What's that?

HORNER: This was just out about swapping out a few light bulbs. One of those geniuses at the brain trust corps put up on stage this weekend, "How can the skeptics be upset about us calling for change out a few light bulbs?" And if you dig all the way down to Gore's highly publicized seven-point plan of a 90 percent reduction in energy use emissions, which according to Hoffer, et al, (ph) in Science magazine means 90 percent reduction in energy use, unless your colleagues there support nuclear energy , which we know they don't, you're talking about far more than swapping out a few light bulbs. And...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Mr. Cleveland, what I said — and I see you nodding your head — is we can all take small steps. We can all do something to offset some of the pollution that even Chris Horner acknowledges we are responsible for...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Mr. Cleveland, I believe I'm talking to him now, that we can all do things to offset our participation in the planet, something that's unavoidable.

CLEVELAND: I'm not sure there's a question there. What's the question?

COLMES: Well, I'd like you to address Chris Horner, who seems to be in denial about some of this, and seems to just waive this off as if it's all bunk.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Hold on, Mr. Horner.

HORNER: People heard what I said. People heard what I said.

CLEVELAND: Excuse me, excuse me, 99 percent of the scientists in the world agree we have a serious problem and we need to address it now.

HORNER: What's your source for that? What's your source for that? You just made that up.

CLEVELAND: Look at any peer-reviewed — I did not. Look at any peer- reviewed scientific journal.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: All right, guys, stay right there. We have a lot more debate coming up.

(CROSSTALK)

HORNER: ... they're not unanimous, either.

HANNITY: A lot more debate straight ahead. And a liberal blogger that went from porn to politics is inciting violence, and he says he wants to shoot Rush Limbaugh and take rocker Ted Nugent out, as well. The latest on that ludicrous story.

And more from the not-so-green Live Earth extravaganza, the ultimate showcase of environmental hypocrisy. It's all coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSARIO DAWSON, ACTRESS: I will buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just and prosperous world for the 21st century.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLMES: Welcome to "Hannity & Colmes." We now continue with the author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism," Chris Horner, the president of the Global Warming Action Alliance, John Cleveland, and the media director for the National Resources Defense Council, Jon Coifman.

I'm just curious, Chris Horner, why is it — it seems most of the people or many of the people who want to speak out against global warming or denounce Al Gore or denounce this movement are people who actually get money from big business or get oil money or are somehow funded by people who have a vested interest financially in this not being an issue. Why is that?

HORNER: I guess you're going to figure out and name names or give me specifics, because you know, as you pointed out on the show, Enron started this in the United States, Duke Energy, GE, BP, DuPont have picked it up. Every responsible company has devised a scheme to make money short term by picking our pockets. If you go to CEI.org , you will see that. But they're assuming you won't go all the way to what Al Gore calls a World War II-style commitment, which was not a battle of the bands.

COLMES: Have you ever taken oil money or have any of the organizations you've worked for taken oil money?

HORNER: I'm sure my organizations have received a lot of money, just like — guess what? — BP gives madly to these groups. The big oil companies are pushing carbon taxes and things. You want to demonize us, remember, let's just stick to what's being called for.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Clearly there's an agenda.

HORNER: Alan, real briefly, World War II-style commitments, what was on the table, not swapping out light bulbs. The boys who scaled the crag at Pointe-du-Hoc did not do so wielding low-energy watt light bulbs, and the Battle of the Bulge wasn't about...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: All right, you're not dealing with my question. John Cleveland, there clearly is an agenda here by people who either want to denounce Democrats, denounce Gore, or get big oil money, because they are paid to say the things that they say about reducing the importance of the issue of global warming.

CLEVELAND: You know, you're absolutely right. Mr. Horner, he's a hired gun. He's the man who was...

HORNER: For whom?

CLEVELAND: As a matter of fact, Exxon Mobil. Exxon Mobil dropped CEI. His job is to discredit global warming.

HORNER: You just defeated your argument, and I'm still here, and I'm still here.

CLEVELAND: And he's paid to do that. He's paid to do that.

COLMES: Are you paid to do that, Mr. Horner? Do you get money to say the things you're saying?

CLEVELAND: Of course he's paid to do it. Of course he's paid to do it.

HORNER: Of course not.

CLEVELAND: I'm an average guy. I work for a living. I have a boat repair business.

HORNER: Well, I think you're a little below average by saying, look, we're supported by big oil, except they left us two years ago. Why time are you lying? I'm still here, and yet we're not receiving funding. Doesn't that sort of undercut your — I guess, for lack of a better term, argument?

CLEVELAND: How about Ford and some of the other companies? Look, the issue is this.

(CROSSTALK)

CLEVELAND: It's all about people. Profits before people.

HANNITY: All right, guys, let me step in. Let me give it back to Jon Coifman who's sitting here...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: By the way, I love your book, Chris. I think it is the definitive book on exposing this hypocrisy.

Jon, let me go back to you. Al Gore wants everyone to take a seven-point pledge, and we heard the attack by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., against me, to take personal action to solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO-2 pollution as much as I can. Now, I had an exchange of this very program with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Let's roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Do you use a private jet?

KENNEDY: You know what? I'm not going to dignify that question, because...

HANNITY: Because you do. And that's the point. You're going to lecture us about a car, and you're traveling around the world on a private jet. I find that hypocritical. Hypocrisy is an issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, Al Gore still travels around in private jets, and yet in his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," he puts up signs, "Walk, ride bicycles, take light rail."

COIFMAN: I have no idea how either one of these guys travels. I can tell you, I got here on the subway tonight, and I can tell you that I do think it's a mistake to turn this into a polemical conversation where we're blaming corporations, blaming individuals, at a time when we think we've really turned the corner and to start thinking about sensible steps. Now...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: But here's the deal. One hour in a GulfStream is about the equivalent of one year's car use for the very people, us, that they're — hang on — they're lecturing us to walk, use light rail and ride our bicycles. Can't they give up their jets? That's all I'm asking. If they're going to lead, lead by example. Why can't you demand that and put aside your love of Democrats and say they're being hypocrites?

COIFMAN: Well, it's not a love of Democrats or a love of Republicans. It's a recognition that this isn't about finger pointing. Either way...

(CROSSTALK)

COIFMAN: I think there's a chance here for folks to start engaging at home. And where the real action is going to happen is when Congress comes back later this month, the House of Representatives takes up an energy bill, where they're going to be dealing with fuel economy, with global warming emissions, and all sorts of steps that are going to take that to the next level.

HANNITY: Chris, one of the things that — you know, if you look at the actual jet use, how many of these artists have been traveling all around the globe in their private jets, with their bands, and their equipment, and their staff? You know, maybe if they started carrying their drums on their bicycles, I'll take what they have to say a little more seriously.

HORNER: We can go back to the good old days of bongos. Look, if this were a crisis, as they said, one of the first things to go, if not the first thing to do, would be this frivolous extravagance, which was not — it was about pointing fingers. It was about saying our day-to-day energy use is illegitimate. Meanwhile, as the Arctic Monkeys — I've never heard of them, but now I'm their biggest fan — said that, "Who am I, a 21-year- old who bangs drums, who uses the equivalent of energy use to fuel 10 houses, flying around the world on jets to lecture people about energy use killing the planet?"

HANNITY: Let me ask one side note question to John Cleveland here. John, Yusuf Islam, who used to be Cat Stevens, sang "Peace Train" at one of these concerts. This is the same guy — remember when the fatwa came out against Salman Rushdie, who wrote "The Satanic Verses," who said, "Salman Rushdie" — he said, "Indeed, any writer who abuses the profit or, indeed, any prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death." Does Al Gore have any obligation not to associate somebody with those extremist views?

CLEVELAND: Well, that sounds a little bit convoluted to me. All I know is that we've got a serious problem on our hands. Most of the people in the world agree, and we need to find solutions and stop picking on people's way of flying around.

HANNITY: As long as you're a liberal and say you're a green, then you can get away with any crime, that you can say anything, that you can live a hypocritical lifestyle, as long as you say the right thing.

COLMES: What crime?

HANNITY: I'm not saying any crimes.

CLEVELAND: Well, then again, neoconservatives can say anything they want and get away with it.

HANNITY: I'm convinced that if I saw Al Gore robbing a bank with an arm — do an armed robbery, you liberals would say, "Well, at least he supports the environment."

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Yes, but he would do it in a very green way.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: We've got to take a break. We thank you guys very much.

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