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The Daily Need

Climatespeak 2010: The year’s most outrageous quotes

Climate negotiations wrapped up in Cancun earlier this month with more steps toward global agreement than many thought probable. At this year-end height of positivism and backpatting, we thought it would be a good time to revisit some of our favorite 2010 climate change lows. Whether they be global warming deniers, green advocates or Beltway insiders, they all had words of “wisdom” to share about global warming.

Oil and gas giant wants to go with the flow
“[S]ince we can’t control Mother Nature, let’s figure out how to get along with her changes.”
Koch Industries newsletter, Jan. 1

File under unhelpful allies
“Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality. … All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis.”
Osama bin Laden, Jan. 29

Enviros want you to stop breathing
“[I]t’s not just your big car they’re worried about, they’re worried about your carbon footprint. You’re blowing out carbon as you exhale every breath and there’s too many breathers.”
— Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-Ken), Feb. 4

We will totally pass a climate bill this year
“Senator Reid made it clear to me the other day that he wants a bill and he wants it soon. … I can’t give you an exact timeline, but we are working very very diligently with our colleagues and all of the stakeholders to think this through carefully and get this done right, and get it done in a way that can pass the Senate.”
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), Feb. 23

Green stranglehold
“Global warming is a fraud. Watch Glenn Beck.”
Ted Nugent to an auditorium of Catholic high school students, March 8

Health care was too exhausting
“The horse has been ridden hard this year and just wants to go back to the barn.”
— Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod re: Congress passing an energy bill in 2010, April 20

But seriously, the climate bill is going to happen
“I’m going to keep fighting to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation in Washington.” — Pres. Barack Obama, May 26

Getting our priorities straight
“Terrorism kills and Barbara Boxer’s worried about the weather.”
— Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina’s campaign ad, June 2

So, actually we’re not passing a climate bill after all (but it’s the Republicans’ fault
“Many of us want to do a thorough, comprehensive bill that creates jobs, breaks our addiction to foreign oil, and curbs pollution. Unfortunately at this time, we don’t have a single Republican to work with.”
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), July 22

File under unhelpful allies, part II
“It is clear that climate change is now one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Copenhagen failed to produce a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, an outcome that many of us had hoped for. Yet that conference was significant in its own way. It demonstrated the futility of attempts by the rich and powerful to impose their views and policies on the poor and weak.”
— Zimbabwe Pres. Robert Mugabe, Sept. 24

Gore minus Al
“[W]e’re all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark.”
— Gory climate change advocacy campaign 10:10, Oct. 1


Fact-based reporting
“[W]e should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”
— Memo from Bill Sammon of Fox News, Dec. 8

The oil spill as a symbol of continuing American dominance
“As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me … That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion.”
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.), Dec. 13