A Green Gingrich is on the Run

And Endorses John Kerry's Enviro Book

By AmandaBCarpenter Posted in Comments (29) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

In a heavily hyped debate that environmentalist Democrats hoped would be a “smack down,” on Republicans, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich disappointed them and conservatives alike when he declared that human activity was causing the Earth to warm.

Read on . . .

The concession was made in a debate on global warming with Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) today on Capitol Hill that was sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation.

In his first portion of allotted time Gingrich said there were two undisputed areas of scientific consensus on global warming: that the earth is getting hotter and the warming had been caused by human activity.

At one point, Kerry asked Gingrich what he would say to conservatives like Sen. James Inhofe (R.-Okla.) who do not believe global warming is caused by human activity. Gingrich said, "The evidence is sufficient that we should move to the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon."

“We should be moving towards develop all kinds of new green technology,” Gingrich said. He challenged Kerry to find market-based solutions to reduce carbon emission instead of increasing environmental regulations.

“Regulation and litigation are the least effective ways of getting solutions,” the former Speaker said. “Reshaping markets with incentives are the fastest way.”

Kerry argued that environment laws drafted with help from the United Nations have been successful.

Kerry said the laws were “needed to create the leverage and the market so they would go out and invest in the technology because they don’t invest without it.” Government regulation, he said “is the only way to invite people to make that investment.”

“We are not arguing bureaucracy and regulation. We are arguing whether putting a price on carbon is bureaucracy.”

Kerry said it was not. “This is not bureaucracy. You set the standard, the market will set the price,” he said. “We all live in a world where we don’t pay for the cost. We don’t pay for the loss of fish, we don’t pay for the lost of these species. None of that is priced into the goods today.”

Before launching into his initial speech, Gingrich endorsed the book Kerry had co-authored with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry "This Moment on Earth.".

“This is excellent, this is a very good book,” he said. “I would commend this book to anyone who wants to see local leadership make a difference.” Gingrich said he didn’t agree with “about 60% of it” but would urge others to “read it because it’s an example of individual local leadership against the odds.”

Gingrich’s concession was expected in many news circles as part of his long-shot strategy to run for President in 2008. He has said since last year he would make a decision to run or not sometime in the fall of this year. He is planning to release a new book, "Contract with the Earth" this November that he co-wrote with conservationist Terry Maples.

Yesterday, in his weekly email newsletter “Winning the Future” Gingrich said that September 27 would be “Solutions Day.” This is to honor the 13th anniversary of his 1994 “Contract with America.”

Last week, Gingrich called the Spanish language a “ghetto language.” Immediately after the mishap, he recorded an extensive apology, in Spanish, directed to the Hispanic community that was made available on YouTube. Last month, he revealed to Focus on the Family’s James Dobson he had an extramarital affair.

In January, Gingrich appeared at a hearing conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to talk about how to stabilize Iraq.

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Yep I saw this coming. The minute I heard the title of his new book would be contract with the earth.

I have to ask just what is he up to with this ? Is he pulling a McCain or is he trying to gain support for other issues by surrendering on the environment ?
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"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

of winning the Republican base by this stunt.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

I keep saying, but no one believes me.
______________________________________
The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

be proven right. But what is he thinking? He is takeing himself out of any kind influence. He will just be another Dick Morris.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

He seems to be trying to cultivate a "maverick" reputation for himself. He has been working at that for a few years now. Before too long it will get to the point where I like him about as much as McCain, too.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Why do people (some conservitives) feel the need to capitulate to those on the left? It seems when ever there is a platform to debate and put forth a sound argument to show people how out whack the keft can be we spot them seven points before kick off.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

Gingrich has never been the conservative folks think he is.

You don't believe me he wasn't all that conservative?

Guess who this great "conservative" backed in the 1964 GOP presidential campaign -- remember, from Georgia. Did he side with Goldwater, the great and clear conservative candidate? Nope. Gingrich backed Rockefeller!

Just a blip? Fast forward to when he first ran for Congress -- remember, in Georgia -- he did so seeking the support of the Sierra Club and the National Education Association teacher-union bosses!

Now he has returned to that same line of thinking.

"But he seemed so conservative!" He was a GOP congressman, who had to win in GOP primaries, in a conservative, Southern state. That first time he ran, on the left side, he lost. He was smart enough to know where the votes were in a Georgia, GOP primary. And, when it was about the whole Congress, he was smart enough to know that winning the majority in Congress required mobilizing conservative constituencies nationally. So why be surprised he tacked right? Whatever else he is, he isn't bag-of-hammers stupid.

have you listened to any of his speeches he's made over the past decade? do you receive his email updates: Winning The Future? He sure has been putting up a good front for a very long time for someone who isn't sincere.

...for most politicians.

They adopt positions the way people don clothes -- based on the season or climate.

Adopting conservative positions when you are a Republican pol from a conservative state is as sensible as wearing parkas in the Yukon. But it does not demonstrate ones convictions.

What does tend to be revealing is when someone is caught being very candid, or speaking or acting contrary to what is presumptively the smart thing to do.

I can cite an example for each of these from the current run for the presidency: Giuliani, prepping to face right-leaning voters in GOP primaries, maintains his support for legal abortion. There's absolutely no reason for him to be "faking" that. An example of unscripted candor (what the media call a "gaffe"), is when he blurted out about still supporting tax-funding for abortions. Afterwards, realizing the mistake, he and his people started hedging and "spinning."

But whenever a politician says what the constituency wants to hear, what will help him with the constituency -- however nice and good that is -- does not demonstrate sincerity (nor does it demonstrate insincerity). So, for example, when Giuliani says he likes Alito and Roberts. Well, duh!

So, Gingrich was consistent in saying the things that appealed to his constituents? All that proves is he wanted to stay on their good side.

I hope he runs just to give Thompson some challenge on the conservative end- that would put Rudy over the top. I don't see how Gingrich thinks he could actually win- he looks like a fat and old college professor..

United States Air Force
http://airforcepundit.blogspot.com

I don't think its that big a deal that Gingrich believes "that the earth is getting hotter and the warming had been caused by human activity."

I don't think this concession is a big deal, because even if everyone agrees with it, it doesn't necessarily change the status quo.

You have to keep going with the progression of questions:

1) is the Earth getting hotter?
2) Is it caused by human activity?
3) is it getting hotter to such a degree that it will actually ever cause a meaningful problem, and if so what problem(s)?
4) are there any realistic measures to stop or reverse the warming trend if problematic- and not just measures for the US, but that everyone (China, India, etc) would go along with?
5) Would the benefit of mitigating whatever problems are caused by those measures outway the costs to a degree that it would be worthwhile.

It doesn't matter if someone thinks the answer to 1 and 2 is yes because 3) just sounds like chicken-littleism, "in 10 years Florida will be under water, blah, blah" no one really believes it. Might Florida have some problems 300 years from now? I don't know, maybe, but no one will be proactive on a problem 300 years from now.

And with regard to 4)/5) - I guaranty you, no one will ever, ever be willing to incur the type of proactive costs necessary to stop and reverse the carbon emission trends on a global basis necessary to stop/reverse global warming trends, if in fact it is a real problem.

Best case, one it had clearly reached crisis level stage, people would be willing to incur costs, but it is human nature that we will not do anything until that point (if it ever comes).

In fact, I think it may even be good strategy to concede questions 1 and 2 to the enviro libs for the sake of arguement, because it forces them to then get serious about limited effectiveness and extreme costliness of whatever measures there are to deal with an unknown problem of completely uncertain degree and timing. Then when people can see what they are actually advocating, they will be widely rejected and this issue will finally go away.

It really doesn't matter whether you concede this 'problem' or not (I don't). The rubber hits the road in the solution, its costs and its enforcability, the broad-based support for which no greenie/leftie will be able to sustain until the surf's up in Orlando.

I've been reading editorials in the newspapers here (local and campus) that are calling for the US to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. Only way we could cut things that far would be to stop breathing...

Not to mention the real inconvenient truth to libs about CO2 and America... the US is a net sink of CO2, due to the amount of vegetation we have. That's right; our society, as a whole, is producing negative CO2 due to all the trees. And yet still the left wants us to live like African bush people. Ugh.

"I could explain, but that would be very long, very convoluted, and make you look very stupid. Nobody wants that... except maybe me."

become a pillar of conservatism? If so, it seems very similar to the group-think that the left is accused of on this topic.

No. It's not "group-think". The point here, which seems to be beyond the ability of many to process, is that without regard to the cause, the "solutions" proposed by FatAlbert™ and his acolytes are utterly unacceptable. We are unwilling, based on sketchy and unproven theories, to embark on a course that will reduce our economy to third world status.
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Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Yeah! Turning our economy into a third world economy is the job of our immigration and trade policies, not our environmental policies!

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Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

If Newt assesses the concerns of the scientists who are concerned about anthropogenic global warming as valid, it seems natural that he would express concern.

And, clearly he differed from Kerry in what he believed was a sensible approach.

Articulating that economic incentives, rather than regulation, were an appropriate way to address his concerns about anthropogenic warming seemed to back his conservative credentials in my mind.

If all of this climate change concern really does end up being a big deal, wouldn't it be prudent to approach it in the most economically rational way?

I think mbecker908's comment is on-target, that, yes, we don't want to regulate ourselves to third-world status, but it is truly important to consider what should and could be done, if the concerns are valid.

I flatly don't believe that a strong economy, the reduction of carbon dioxide, and prudent conservative economic principles are ultimately irreconcilable.

I will say that cap and trade systems have the potential to be a minor disaster, however.

Yes by zuiko

Articulating that economic incentives, rather than regulation, were an appropriate way to address his concerns about anthropogenic warming seemed to back his conservative credentials in my mind.

Because we all know that supporting corporate welfare cases with money taken from taxpayers is a fundamental part of conservatism.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

You make it look funny when you pull it out of context like that. ;)

I guess I think that the government has done some smart things with money sometimes that have been forward-thinking, and set the stage for technological eras.

The government funding that went into the semiconductor industry and the defense industry during the cold war is a large part of what enabled our nation to create some of the pioneering innovations in that field, and the enduring legacy of silicon valley is a testament to some of these grants.

The kind of incentives that I think are valuable are those that have the power to support and define industries, prior to the feasibility of private capital supporting it.

It is really challenging for high failure-rate industry-changing ideas to attract private capital. Traditionally, VC's fund what they know, and are very social creatures; radical ideas have a hard time getting traction.

The solar industry, while not quite "there" yet in many respects, has been able to make a series of technological leaps that private capital alone would have had a hard supporting them through.

More generally, I see government funding as being absolutely critical to the sciences in higher education.

I really like your Milton Friedman quote; I just think that sometimes the free market (and private capital in particular) doesn't always have the right time-horizon nor the scale to help create entire industries around innovative technology.

And in this case, I see what is needed are technological leaps.

The things you point to may not - at some time in the future - be irreconcilable, but they sure as heck are now.

I have yet to hear a single proposal that even borders on reasonable or rational.
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Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I happen not to know whether humanity is contributing meaningfully to global warming; nor do I know that what warming is recorded, has the meaning the crisis-mode folks attribute to it. And should someone clearly demonstrate that human activity is a significant culprit in global warming, I do not know at what point some global warming may not be preferable to the negative consequences of policies aimed to slow or stop it.

And while I can't say that no one knows the answer to these questions, I am skeptical of those who insist the questions have all been answered, and anyone who disagrees is just like a Holocaust-denier. And I do know that for many people, these environmental issues are a kind of religion. At a party, try telling people you don't recycle -- you will hear more gasps than if you blasphemed the Almighty.

When our "betters" try to stampede things, you always see feckless politicians jumping on board because they don't have the nerve to say, "I'm sorry, but it's all crap!" Happens with minimum-wage hikes, new government handouts, feel-good government programs, so-called Campaign Finance "Reform," and so forth.

At this point in the global warming "debate," with the attempts to get us to rush, panicky, where they want us to go, Gingrich's move has the look of being one of those moves.

Why did they bother debating if they agree with each other?

It's Official! Newt is not a candidate!!
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Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Our Newt is running the ‘third way’ the ‘can’t we all get along’ way.

Nine nineties anyone?

But you have to ask yourself: if 60% of the book was ‘good’ what was the other 40%? 100% government regulation?

Kind of like that scene in the movie Patton where Patton is standing in the middle of the battle screaming ‘I read your ****ing book you magnificent Ba****d!’ Kerry could only stand there like the fool that he is… ‘I didn’t read your book’ Newt did the same to Cuomo a couple of weeks back.

Newt is running (for VP in my opinion) the only way he can with his record…via the high road, and playing to his strength… by thinking… big ideas…solutions…go head to head and beat them with those ideas. If he got down in the mud with, well with anyone, he’s lose, and lose early and badly.

Will it work? I’d say not likely…but even at that, he raises the bar just being in the room. If only his nine ninety idea comes off, if we, our guy, gets nine 90 minute debates with whoever the dems put up, 90 minutes to debate IDEAS, then I’d say that Newt single-handedly handed the GOP the White House. The Democrats CAN NOT compete on ideas…

It might surprise some people here but there are real conservatives out there who are green. I, for one, would go along with much (but not all) of what the more reasonable enviromentalists are wanting, even though I do not buy into AGW.

The thing is, the city I live in is polluted, and there is even more enviromental degradation in other countries. So I see nothing wrong with realistic (and especially market oriented) attempts to curtail pollution.

Gingrich, really believes in AGW, so what? he is wrong about something (again). We have several conservatives on this site who regularly argue for AGW, It is something we can disagree about without being disagreable.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Gingrich is the one warming up ........ he's toast.

"Damnant quod non intellegunt."

Why wouldn't Kyoto have stressed reducing the CO2 equal to all the cars and light trucks in the US by putting out the coal mine fires in China?

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~prakash/coalfires/china.html

Newt is a talker, not a mover and shaker.
Does NOT motivate me like say Fred Thompson.

 
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