Tony Snow Gives Up the Game

Is someone in the White House Press Corps reading this blog, and in particular, did someone in the press corps read this entry? If you read the following exchange from the gaggle yesterday, you have to wonder...

Q And also, the White House yesterday issued an open letter on climate change --

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q -- and in it there is cited a National Academy of Science study, but it doesn't include in it part of the National Academy of Science conclusion that the verdict is still out to the extent that natural greenhouse cycle contributes to climate change, versus the human generation --

MR. SNOW: Are you talking about the 2001 report?

Q Right. I'm talking about the reference in the open letter to the President's speech, which doesn't include -- in fact, it doesn't even include one sentence in the paragraph it is cited.

MR. SNOW: So you're saying that we didn't heavily footnote the President's speech. I think if you go back and take a look at the status of science in 2001 -- I'm sorry, that was a cheap shot, and I apologize. You go back and look at the state of science in 2001, both with the National Academy of Sciences and the IPCC, you find that there was considerably more uncertainty about the nature and causes. In fact, go back and look at the 2001 IPCC report, and you will find that human activity is seen as likely, as opposed to very likely in the more recent report, and the percentage of likelihood was considerably lower than it is today.

What the President was calling for in 2001 is good science. And over the first six-plus years of this administration we've committed, as I pointed out yesterday, $9 billion to climate change science, which is more than any other country on Earth. And it is largely as a result of that research that the IPCC issued its findings.

Q But my question is also in reference to what you said yesterday, which is that you said in 2001, the President said, human activity is a significant factor, when in fact, as you just said, the verdict was still out on that.

MR. SNOW: Yes, but what he did, it still said -- here's what it says: "The National Academy of Sciences indicate that the increase is due in large part to human activity." You're right. He didn't use the term significant. He used the term "in large part."

Q Yes, but you also in that paragraph did not include what was in the President's speech which, prior to the sentence he read -- and this is what they're referring to -- an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q Yes, but this gives the impression that what you're referring to is that it's the actual increase of surface temperatures of the Earth that is in large part due to human activity, when in fact, in his own speech, that reference to increase --

MR. SNOW: No, Paula, you're trying too hard. You're trying too hard. If you look at the quote that we -- here's the President's full quote: "There is a natural greenhouse effect that contributes to warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat and thus warm the Earth because they prevent a significant portion of infrared radiation from escaping into space. Concentration of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution. And the National Academy of Sciences indicate that the increase is due in large part to human activity."

It then goes on to say that the science is unsettled and it is less settled today in large part because we've ponied up the money and we've funded the scientific research to try to get at it. What the President was talking about back then and continues to talk about is putting money behind good science.

Q Thank you for putting that full paragraph into the record.

MR. SNOW: Yes, happy to do so.

They should have put the next paragraph into the record too, because that's the one in which Bush proceeds to obfuscate on the role of natural versus human factors in causing warming.

Still, this exchange is significant, and clearly shows that the White House misrepresented the president's own words when it claimed that "Beginning in June 2001, President Bush has consistently acknowledged climate change is occurring and humans are contributing to the problem." All Bush actually acknowledged is that we're causing greenhouse gas concentrations to rise. Then, artfully avoiding the causal attribution of ongoing warming to rising greenhouse gas concentrations, the President went on to say, "Yet, the Academy's report tells us that we do not know how much effect natural fluctuations in climate may have had on warming...."

NOTE: The reporter asking questions doesn't seem to understand the state of the science as of 2001, but does understand that the White House was misleading us.

WATCH: You can actually watch this exchange here, starting at minute 24:40.

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Hi there

"WATCH: You can actually watch this exchange Send this entry to:"

I was interested and tried to watch but this link is down, is it typed right or are they pulling a dembski-springer?

Sir, please note this response is not aimed at the article attached, but rather at your body of work bashing Republicans and Science.

If you want the Govt to pay for all the things you want (all the regulation that you clearly support) you should sell your vehicle(s), move into an economy apartment with 6 other people, and 'donate' all of your excess money to the Govt. If you get all of your liberal buddies from Hollywood, the media, and hold your democrat politicians (the really rich ones...i.e. all of them) to the same deal, I think this country could afford to make those changes.

However, I like Free Market and Capitalism. And in this country, we have a choice as to what to do with most of our money b/c unlike socialist nations, we don't pay 60-70% of our income to the Govt in the form of taxes. I personally don't want to donate that much, but you Sir, you have that option as well and you and your buddies can CHOOSE to get rid of all of your excesses and donate to whatever cause you want. You really should talk to "Two Americas" John Edwards. Instead of buying that 28,000 sq ft house this past month, he could have saved a few tree frogs or something...whatever he wanted. I don't begrudge Mr. Edwards for his spending, so long as he doesn't want to decide where MY money goes, because when he wants to make that decision for me, but he doesn't give above and beyond, he is a hypocrite, a liar, who says one thing but doesn't really mean it.

Sir, I am not Mr. Republican/Mr. Liberal hater. I just hate hypocrisy and am sick of far left RICH persons wanting to raise my taxes to pay for things I don't agree with. Those rich people can give 98% of their assets to the causes that they want me to support, and still be in the top 1-5% of the wealthiest persons in this country.

I would really like if you, a left-wing, but seemingly stand-up guy, did a few articles calling out the politicians who lie to their constituents about fighting for the environment etc...when they live in mansions, drive SUVs, don't donate anything to support these causes etc...

Anyway, have a great day Mr. Mooney.

Hmm...a drive-by troll.

Should we enumerate the right-wing talking points in Kevin's letter?

1) "Democrat" (sic) politicians represent Hollywood (i.e., are Jewish) and the media and are all right.

2) Anybody who opposes the current state of the Republican party wants "the Govt to pay for all the things you want"

3) Anybody who opposes the current constitution of the government should pay 60-70% of their income to the government (a fairly bizarre idea).

4) If you're serious about being a liberal, living in a large house somehow is a betrayal of your principles (of course, these are simple principles that Kevin is inventing, and have nothing to do with what actual Democrats believe in).

Kevin: a word of advice. Read sources other than the handful of right-wing sources that you apparently expose yourself. Get your news from somewhere other than FoxNews. Go out into the real world and meet a few Democrats. Most of us are not "Hollywood". Most of us are not rich. Indeed, most extremely rich people support the Republicans, because they cut taxes disproportionately at the upper end of the income scale.

I've never even watched FoxNews, as we don't get it in Belvidere, IL. You didn't read my posting before you replied...I didn't say liberals couldn't live in a big house, just don't talk about a great divide that you want to fix between the rich and the poor and then go buy a 28,000 sq ft house...that is hypocritical.

I am a registered Democrat and over the past 41 years of voting, I would say 70% of my votes have been cast for democrats, versus at most 30% for has nothing to do with which party one is a member of when I decide who to vote for. I just hate hypocrites and bloggers or other media members who go out and trash only one group of people b/c they belong to that group's party. I just asked you to examine your own kind instead of just bashing republicans all the time, it really get old and turns many of us older Democrats off. You would have more credibility with more people if you did that...unless of course you just want to stir up your faithful followers, which may be your goal.


You may be judging Chris Mooney by the title of his first book rather than its content.

If you click on my name below, it will take you to my review of The Republican War on Science. There I questioned both the words "War" and "Republican" before I read the book, and understood why Chris used them by the time I finished.

If my review appeals, then try the book itself. There you will see that we have a long tradition of political abuse of science in this country, and you will come to understand why the current abusers are overwhelmingly found among Republicans. In other words, you don't have to start out as a Democratic partisan to conclude that the current science abusers are mainly to be found in the Republican Party.

Your viewpoint is welcome here, but I hope you can turn down the intemperate rhetoric.