Herseth: Global warming bad.

Crystal Lindell of the Pierre Capitol Journal is reporting today that Congresswoman Herseth now backs the Kyoto treaty, a document she had rejected earlier:
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., said she thinks global warming is real and President George Bush needs to do more to acknowledge the problem.

Herseth Sandlin recently completed a tour of four nations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and said the evidence is easy to see.

"From the scientific evidence that's been presented in Washington , from the observations and experiences of the native people, as well as witnessing first hand the melting and what's happened, it confirms even more in my mind that global warming is happening," she said.

and...

"We've got to fill in the detail and keep sort of the pressure on to move forward with the immediacy that I think this deserves," she said.

Herseth Sandlin originally was against the Kyoto Treaty - which assigns emissions limits to reduce greenhouse gasses - because China and India were not a part of the framework. However, now she recognizes the need for the U.S. to join.

"I do think that so long as the United States doesn't participate in the multilateral negotiations, that it makes it too easy for China and India to go ahead and say 'Why should we participate when the United States isn't participating,' she said.
Read it all here.

To start with - the rumor about Herseth's Chief of staff going along on the trip - it wasn't true. Apparently she was on a personal vacation, and not part of the ice melt tour. (Stop sending me that kind of stuff guys).

Otherwise, can anyone tell me how this trip appeals at all to the Congresswomans' constituency - a red state concerned more about economic development than the climate in Greenland?

You know Greenland. The place that used to be green, and was settled by Vikings about 1000 years ago. Until it got cold, which must have been because of global cooling caused by Viking bonfires. But it's ok now. The climate is returning to a previosu state

And speaking of those red state farmers Herseth represents.... What are they going to think of what her change of heart is going to do to them? (Hat tip to SDP). Is she going to rush in and say "Hey guys - I know you have it tough, what with the weather and all. But, that 50% cut in your income - we need to do it for Greenland. So suck it up boys."

Actually this brings up a good point - Didn't she send out a press release in 2006 that brought up the drought? (you know, right before the election).

How soon they forget. The drought was important then, but 8 months later, it's all about global warming in Greenland.

The best drought quote in that article?
Herseth wrote, "It is particularly important that rural Americans know they will be treated equitably. The deafening silence by the House of Representatives is sending a powerful message that Congress is not committed to helping those rural Americans affected by this natural disaster."
And 8 months later, it's about melting ice in Greenland.

As I noted previously, we're still waiting for the Herseth sponsored Pelosi tour of the Conanta basin. And it might even be possible that paying attention to the trouble of South Dakotans would resonate more strongly with the South Dakota electorate.

Comments

Hank said…
Oh no, PP. Please tell me you're not turning into one of those kind of conservative bloggers who thinks global warming is a "myth." You're smarter than that.
nonnie said…
If global warming was really the serious problem it's claimed to be by Pelosi and Gore, they would not be living in huge houses, driving big and many cars, and flying all over in their private jets. They are hypocrites, pure and simple.
Anonymous said…
Irresponsible fearmongering PP. A 1998 study about what "may happen" to ag income? Can you link me to a site that says Bruce Whalen is a swell guy? What's the current price of corn? Ground beef? Greenland, covered in ice, was named so to decoy people from Iceland. I can't decide who you hate more, Herseth or Adelstein. The western half of the US west of the 5th p.m. is basically semi-arid desert. Things don't always grow so well in the desert. Can you somehow tie this to the dems? Spending has grown so out of control under W and the neo conmen, GOP should now stand for Gonna Often Pay.
nicholas Nemec said…
A 1998 "study" of the Kyoto Treaty effects on farm income by the Farm Bureau isn't worth the paper it's written on. Back then the price of gas was hovering around $1/gal. This summer, nine years later, I paid over $3.50/gal before Memorial Day it's now around $3.25 in Highmore. The prices paid for commodities have also gone up since then although they haven't tripled. That "study" is so outdated it's useless.

As a farmer, for me the bottom line on global warming is whether Hyde County South Dakota gets warmer and wetter or warmer and drier. Does it turn into Iowa or does it turn into Utah? Iowa good, Utah bad. It's that simple. And in the grand scheme of things that's more important than prairie dogs.

Oh and by the way a trip to Greenland for a few days to study a problem with potentially catastrophic consequences doesn't preclude Rep. Herseth from also working on the prairie dog issue. Makes about as much sense as saying John Thune shouldn't go to the Howard Wood Relays because there are prairie dogs in the badlands.
PP said…
Nick - are you saying we should deny Thune a private life? At least the Howard Wood Relays are in SD.

What I'm saying is Herseth's trip to Greenland seems to be an incredible political blunder as far as South Dakotans are concerned.

And, if she were serious about making her new found concern for the environment relevant to her constituency, she'd bring her buddy Nancy Pelosi to the state and show her what South Dakotans experience.

Absent that, the comments about melting glaciers are making even the people who voted for her scratch their heads.
nicholas Nemec said…
No Pat. John Thune can go to the track meet. What I'm trying to say is that complaining about Herseth spending a few days studying an issue with potential catastrophic consequences is stupid. I don't understand your fixation on this trip. Learning more about global warming doesn't preclude Rep. Herseth from also working on the prairie dog issue or any of the hundreds of other issues that she and every member of Congress work on every year.
Anonymous said…
Her name is actually Herseth Sandlin.

A trip that isn't on the radar of 98% of SD voters is certainly not "an incredible political blunder as far as South Dakotans are concerned." It's pretty kmuch meaningless.
Fleming said…
Nick,

Maybe PP's just mad because he didn't get to go, and he's because he's tired of herding prairie blogs.

BF
greatplains said…
nonnie,

Pelosi's and Gore's alleged hypocrisy has nothing to do with the science of global warming. Their actions do not invalidate the truth about what is happening to the climate. Criticize Pelosi and Gore all you want, but it's extremely bad logic to ignore the science just because a few people live hypocritic lives. I'm not defending Gore or Pelosi--I'm equally distraught over their personal actions. But the facts are wholly separate from the lifestyles of two people.
Anonymous said…
PP asked:
"[C]an anyone tell me how this trip appeals at all to the Congresswomans' constituency[?]"

She's responsible for setting federal policy. Most of her actions as US Rep do not directly concern South Dakotans. This is American Government 101.

Of course, you know this, but you'd rather try to score a few silly political points because you realize that most people, especially readers of this lowbrow blog, do not understand the principles of American Government.
Anonymous said…
great plains:
I have not seen any facts that prove humans are causing global warming. I have seen just as many facts that it is caused by solar activity or natural swings in temperature that occur over hundreds of years.
When I was in high school the world was worrying about global cooling and a new ice age, so maybe I'll just wait another thirty years and see what the temperature is.
The Kyoto treaty will do to much damage to the global economy to be taken on lightly without incontrovertible evidence of human causation of permanent global warming.

drj
Anonymous said…
9:06 Which is it? You have "not seen any" and then "just as many?' Just as many as what? The ones you haven't seen? Please explain.
nicholas Nemec said…
Fleming

The problem with herding prairie dogs is the little bastards always go down their holes. Now if you can catch one while he is in transit to a new town... yeee haww we is gonna have some fun now.
Anonymous said…
I do not plan on ever voting for Herseth Sandlin, but it won't be because she took a trip to Greenland to study global warming.

Indeed, the challenge for all responsible politicians is how to balance the present needs of their constituents with the future needs of their constiuents' great-grandchildren.

Such is the case with climate change.

Global warming at this point is not so much a "myth" or an "impending catastrophe" as it is a highly probable, very risky proposition. We don't know the future. But we do know the earth's history, and every time carbon dioxide levels get above a certain threshold, the polar ice caps melt.

Why is that a big deal? If Greenland melts, sea levels around the world rise almost 24 feet. It is almost inconceivable how much freshwater is frozen in the mile-thick sheet of ice over Greenland.

(By the way, PP, Greenland gets its name because the southern most tip is actually quite lush and ice-free....and that was the only part of the island on the minds of the settlers at the time it was named. The ice sheet has been there pretty much as long as humans have been around in modern history.)

Why is a 24 foot rise in sea level a big deal for a farmer in Lake County or a rancher from Midland?

Economic disruption and climate disruption, at the local level, and at the global level.

Nearly all of the world lives near the ocean...South Dakotans and Chicagoans are a rare minority in the grand scheme of world settlement. Which means most of the world's consumers and producers live near the coastline, and face massive relocation (and production and consumption) issues if sea levels rise.

In addition, Europe's mild climate is a result of ocean currents which are quite likely to be disrupted if Greenland melts into the north Atlantic. Ironically, then, a warmer planet means a much colder Europe...and if Europe sinks into another Ice Age, the world economy, including Presho and Parkston and Platte, is at risk for serious economic consequences.

Higher temperatures in South Dakota might make us more like Utah, or, alternatively, more like Missouri. We don't know which one. We can, however, expect more frequent and stronger weather events...because severe weather of all kinds exponentially increases with warmer temperatures. Warmer air can hold exponentially more moisture, and warmer, moister air is much more volatile. Alternatively, warmer, drier air dries out cropland much much faster. In addition, warmer weather generally means more bugs, pests, and vermin.

And of course, a climate change will bring new plant species to South Dakota we don't have right now.

Given all the risks, permitting climate change to occur is not a safe bet. Neither is burying our heads in the sand. However, it is also not a safe bet to go out today and turn off all the lights, shut down all the gas stations, and stop breathing in order to avert catastrophe.

There is balance somewhere between these extremes that permits us to study the problem, begin taking steps to solve it, and harness market forces which can improve our chances, while creating new and more jobs along the way. That is the balance I support, and PP, I think you should, too.
Fleming said…
9:33 Excellent. Nicely done.

Nick, I've chased both prairie dogs and prairie blogs in my day. And you're right, "Little bastards" is a good way to describe 'em (present company excluded of course.)
Anonymous said…
Maybe PP hasn't noticed, but western South Dakota is experiencing a bit of "climate change" right now. The drought is devestating western ranchlands and the surrounding economies. In fact, the brightest light in our state's economy is coming from renewable energy.

How looking for a solution to climate change and pushing for renwable energy is bad for South Dakota is lost on me.
Anonymous said…
PP is like a very small dog with a very small bone when it comes to the topic of this trip.

We'll probably see 10 more posts saying essentially the same thing: There's no such thing as global warming, and shame on Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin for taking on EXTRA WORK and getting on the ENERGY INDEPENDENCE and global warming committee.

Even if PP writes 20 more posts on this same topic, I predict he still won't generate any traction for his GOP lackeys.
Anonymous said…
Global warming is fad that will be gone 10 years from now when global cooling is the new thing. In the end, this is just another way for liberal politicians to tell the little guy how to live his life without changing their own. Gore can talk all he wants and be a global warming prophet- but what kind of prophet doesn't at least partly practice what he preaches? The man buys phony "offsets" from himself! By the way, GWB owns a house that is powered by geothermal heating and uses less energy than the average household. Whereas Hersetht's buddy Gore lives in a mansion that uses 20-something times the energy of an average household.

If these libs really believed what they were saying, they'd actually be doing something about it. But, like John Edwards and poverty, its one of those things the "middle class" will have to take care of while rich libs keep living large.
mhs said…
As a red state with economic development issues, we should be paying very, very close attention to the global warming debate.

The largest construction projects in the last 50 years, Big Stone II and the DME project, could both be affected in many ways by new climate change regulations and accords.

Anyone who doesn't believe environmental legislation doesn't affect us here needs to get their heads out of the sand.
greatplains said…
10:58,You're falling prey to the same sloppy logic as nonnie. Debating global warming on the merits of the science is fine (although since I lack the capacity to do my own global-scale research, I tend to trust the science community who does). But dismissing the message because a few of its proponents don't exactly live up to their own warnings is flat-out fallacy. If I'm obese and so is my physician, it's still ignorant and counter-productive of me to dismiss his warnings to get my weight down just because he doesn't live up to that advice himself.

9:33, Excellent, well-reasoned response!
Anonymous said…
You are right 11:54, let’s trust the scientific community. The problem is that people are trusting what Al Gore and other celebrities/politicians tell them, but all of the directives drip with hypocricy. They either believe it or they don't.
Anonymous said…
MHS, we don't have any economic development issues. Didn't you hear? We just got a new economic development director whose qualifications are that she is 25 years old and married to a state representative.

All of our economic development problems are solved!
Anonymous said…
I am a Republican, I beleive in Glabal Warming and I am glad that Herseth is starting to move towards a better climate. More Republicans need to green up......
I am also a life long resedent of this fine state, a green Republican from SD....LOL
Anonymous said…
You're not welcome here or anywhere else in the Republican tent, anon 12:46.
Anonymous said…
1:30 pm

That's an interesting tent you've got there.

Perhaps the 'greenest' president in history was Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican.

Conservatives, by definition, should be conserving things, including God's values and God's earth.

That's a tent big enough for greenpublicans.
Anonymous said…
1:30 Speak for yourself. And try not to be such a blatantly, pig-headed, idiotic windbag.
Anonymous said…
"PP, You're smarter than that."

No, he's not.
Anonymous said…
Teddy Roosevelt was 300 years ago. That was the old Republican party. The new Republican party, MY Republican party, doesn't give a damn about the environment. Let the greenies pitch their own tent. There's no room for them in MY tent.
Anonymous said…
4:26 Ok, I get it. Never mind. (Stephen Colbert is in the building... or is it Tony Clifton? )
PP said…
4:48 - HA! I love the Tony Clifton reference
Anonymous said…
Cool. High five, then, PP. Best, 4:48.
Anonymous said…
Green house gas emmissions were reduced over the past thirty years! Nearly 50 million potential users of petroleum products were murdered in the womb or minutes after exiting the womb.

A multiplying factor is refineries are not getting built in the US.

Remember 30 years ago we were supposed to be entering into an ice age.

In the mean time China and India will party on whether South Dakota becomes like Missouri or Utah.

It doesn't surprise me to see Pelosi scratching behind Sandlin's ears. Anything to politically assinate President Bush.
Anonymous said…
9:03 "Assinate?" What an absolutely, ass=tonishingly delightful typo!
Anonymous said…
"Assinate." It's what PP does most of the time when he pontificates on a topic.
Anonymous said…
So, she's just another enviro-communist...surprise, surprise.
Anonymous said…
All right Dems, we'll put John Thune's travel record up against Staphanie's any time your ready. John's committment is to South Dakota and when he has time away from the job he was elected to do, he spends it here with us. Go ahead and check it out.
Anonymous said…
Back off. John's trips to other states to raise money for their politicians helped us here in SD.
Anonymous said…
Thune's commitment is to DM&E.
Anonymous said…
Anom 1:30 you must be Bill NAAAAPOLY with your open mind, you would think after your best friend Ted Jabbet da-hut was arrested one would think there would be plenty of room for us "green" republicans....;.under your tent....
Anonymous said…
Anon. 9:59, No, Jabba da-schumacher, anon 1:30 was not napoli, it was me...stan da-adelstein.

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