Below is the kind of sneering remark that debases our "dialogue" on climate change. James Hansen has dedicated his life to science. He is the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Millions of Americans were introduced to Hansen through Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth.

Hansen has been a "climate hawk"--someone who is hawkish about fighting against global warming--since 1988, warning citizens of the climate crisis we have entered, and demonstrating time and again that human activity in CO2 emissions has contributed to the change in our climate.

Recently, Hansen warned Americans that if Obama allows the Keystone XL pipeline to traverse 1700 miles, from Canada to Texas, it will be a game changer for carbon emissions. We have to end our addiction to fossil fuel. Keystone XL will bring in a form of crude that releases more CO2 in the production process than traditional oil.

Right now, hundreds of people are in Washington D.C. as they demonstrate--and are placed under arrest--against the pipeline, in a movement led by Bill McKibben.

Hansen has not been in the pocket of either political party. As a scientist, and a citizen, he has been critical of George Bush as well as President Obama.

Do we listen to our scientists? Do we respect them?

In response to Hansen's remark, here's what an energy specialist--and a self-described "skilled media specialist"--from Bracewell and Guiliani, Rudy Guliani's firm, had to say:

"James Hansen was fresh and new in 1988," said Frank Maisano, an energy specialist at Bracewell & Giuliani. "He's been around the block around the few times. He doesn't carry as much as weight as he once did."

My Offense o Meter went into overdrive. Maisano sure isn't the kind of media specialist I'd want on my team.

First: the attack on the person, and worse, in this case, his age. Stick to the issue. This isn't a run for Miss America we're talking about. This is the future of the planet.

Second: the stupidity. We want our scientists to have "been around the block." That means they have depth of experience and knowledge. That carries more weight.

Third: the stupidity. Last we heard, Rudy's still "considering" a run for President. Can't wait to hear what his own firm has to say about how many times Guiliani's run around the block. He's stale, doesn't carry as much weight as he used to....


Anonymous said...

Personal attacks seem to be the thing in public relations.What happened to the facts!

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a right to their opinion... That is why I am not taking offense to what you are saying.

Understandably, 'A Conversation with Dominique Browning' is your platform for expressing your opinions. The only question is what does your political viewpoints have to do with Slow Love Life.

I think your idea of starting another blog that is purely political is a good one, because, in all honesty, a blog about nurturing, home and hearth is not where these opinions belong. Perhaps you should look closer to home for your personal 'case of the crazies' because you have just committed journalistic suicide by venturing into the world of politics.

Since I came to you to read about your style, opinion and expertise in lifestyle, home and decor and am getting nothing but political 'opinions', I and I am sure many others, will say farewell to your very well written controversial blog.

profA said...

I'll be interested to read, as on other weekends, the posts on your latest weekend editorial. I think you are finding your voice/tone with these, as you work it out.
This one has good focus.
It may take some time. Your H&G tone didn't just burst full form from your pen, I would imagine. I look at these weekend pieces as impassioned works in progress.
I hope you don't think I am patronizing. I admire your courage to venture into new territory.

sparkletruly said...

I don't understand these comments. How can a person write about home and hearth and all the H&G stuff in a personal blog and NOT be a whole person. H&G was good but it was necessarily sometimes fluffy. That's the nature of the publishing business. A blog on the other hand is one's personal voice, which, in my opinion you found long ago. The stuff of pottery and plants, civility in entertaining along with the shared experiences of mothering adult sons, vintage fabric and good eggs, plus, I must add, brilliant photos are all interesting to me but what makes them even more worthwhile is the fact that the person blogging all these thoughts is intelligent, passionate about life and the planet and gives a shit beyond garden pests. Thank you Dominique. (Sorry for swearing. No other word seemed to work there.)

Deborah A. said...

Well, unfortunately Anonymous, does have a point about "committing journalistic suicide", it is a choice that I assume Dominique has thought out and realizes that whenever one steps into politics, enemies can be made and friends can be lost.
Obviously, she has decided that working hard for a cause that she believes in deeply is worth the risk of losing followers.
However, I take exception to your statement that you are getting nothing but political opinions and posts. Her last 3 posts have not been political and I can think of several posts in the last month that were all about travel, home ect.
I think that Dominique is perhaps not the same person who started out with Slowlovelife. She has grown and evolved into a more "planet conscious" person. She has a goal and a deep belief and an "arena" to push and work towards reaching her goal.
What I am having trouble understanding, is why this should bother Anonymous so much...just skip what you find "offensive" and enjoy the posts that you like. In other words "don't throw the baby out with the bath water"! Just because you may not agree with her political views, does not mean that you can't enjoy her other posts.

Anonymous said...

"..what does your political viewpoints have to do with Slow Love Life.....a blog about nurturing, home and hearth is not where these opinions belong."

This was never a blog about "nurturing, home, and hearth" and, for that matter strictly speaking, neither was House & Garden where DB served as editor-in-chief for many years. HG was a Design magazine, not a home magazine.

DB has been careful to explain many, many times that this blog parallels her book by the same title, a movement if you will to slow down, break the mindless frenetic pace, and look around, teach yourself to see things from multiple angles; look around for what opens your heart, look around for what breaks your heart, examine the surfaces of things for hidden narrative information, for clues and voices.

To my mind, DB speaks exclusively of, and through nothing but narratives here, all kinds, the impassioned work ethic of the Shakers, the impassioned work ethic of a spider or a dragonfly, the cruel, efficient work ethic that powers natural disaster. So, why would she not speak about the impassioned work ethic that comes together to create unnatural disaster [which is just another way of saying Politics].

DB has been environmentally impassioned ever since I've read her, including at HG. But Newhouse didn't want the magazine to go there [my interpretation]. She went there anyway, I can remember the issues she'd touch down either in her opening remarks or in the forward pages before the serious features began, but especially I remember how bold it was of her to dedicate one big fat issue "The Green Issue" I think she called it. Chock full it was, too; I worried for her career with that bold step! In other words, I disagree that she's just recently found her voice.


Debra said...

Here we go again, projected insecurity! Folk needing to define and keep one within a box. Don't even consider biting, Dominique. We love you, otherwise... Please press on in your usual voice, which I assume, as an intelligent, ever evolving being, will continue to reflect full human dimension. Yes, you can express yourself and put the real you in your blog. That is what we want.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here - All points very well taken. D' very well rounded and intelligent political opinions seem very confusing in the same place as a blog called 'Slow Love Life'.

D's HG readers are looking for her beautifully well written posts about the 'fluff and stuff' of home & hearth. Perhaps there are those who are up their eyeballs in politics, problems and the stuff that real life is made of and by reading D's blog on Slow Love Life they have the opportunity to escape from it. Her posts are deep no matter what she is writing.

Again, I reiterate, D should create a separate blog on 'Dominque Speaks Out' or change the name of this one as the title is misleading. By separating her two interests will make each blog stronger unto themselves and when people log on, at least they will know what to expect. If it stays under one roof with both Home & Politics, I am sure loyal followers will remain. As Deborah said, 'don't throw the baby out with the bath water' is true, but many will opt not to log-on at all in anticipation of reading a piece that takes them down a road they have no wish to travel.

Debra said...

Anonymous,yourrecommendations are well taken. But my read (and of course,everyone is not me) of the blog feels like conversation. Depending upon topic, Slow,intiment musings,or fast moving, party fare. Many points of view to consider. Why sort it out into one topic all the time. I never want to talk to someone who only has one thing o say. Also, we knew what hat Dominique would be wearing as H&G Editor. IMHO,it's much more delicious to
wander what hat she will be wearing the next weekend. I trust she'll know which one is appropriate. Otherwise...

Warren said...

Ahhhhh discourse and disagreement. That is what makes us and our democracy great. Thanks to jefferson et al.

But on the subject can anyone, including the scientists explain why this administration is so clueless about natural gas?

We've got so much. We have serious business types like Pickens who have the vision to setup a distribution system for converted autos and trucks.

Any ideas?

The Swan said...

SO SAD ... The view to a World of Fluff vs. A Planet that is void of Life.

Frakking for gas in the East...could this be what is at the bottom of the recent earthquake felt all along the Eastern Continental shelf? Hurricane Irene, Blizzards and Heatwaves over 100 degrees for more than a month in some areas of OUR beautiful country. Never before has the Planet been be defiled in the name of Corporate and SMALL business MONEY grubbers.

Recently read about the hunting of Sperm Whales for their oil in the 18th/19thC almost to extinction. The gland that was the producer of this oil was needed for buoyancy as this creature of GOD is the only who of. The planet species to dove to depths of 13000 plus feet. This seemingly innocuous oil HAD a purpose unbeknownst to those hunters of Moby Dick days...like perhaps the gas fields beneath our crust.

How could anyone who READS...that WISHES on a Sunset, SMELLS a flower or LISTEN to the morning songs of birds while drinking their first cup of coffee- believe that the World is NOT in PERIL.

Little Orphan Annie said...

It's one thing to have an opinion DB, but to be a fear-monger is unworthy of a person of your stature. It would be helpful if you published articles about the pros of the pipeline, like how many barrels of oil it will produce a month for the U.S., making us less dependent on foreign oil. How many jobs will the pipeline create?

I'm amazed how little research you do when you post something about coal, or oil, or politicians. If you want a real debate, then offer both sides of the story. And why throw Giuliani into this story when it seems to be really about your dread of pipeline emissions? Your hatred of all things and people Republican is disturbing.

BTW, my husband worked on the Alaska pipeline in 1977 when the vitriol was even higher. Shouts of wildlife being killed, of air pollution, of ruination of the world. The wildlife thrives, the air quality is supreme, Americans everywhere benefit every day from the pipeline. I see no downside at all. Not one. I hope the Keystone XL Is built for the sake of our country.

If you want to shut down all coal plants and you don't want pipelines, and most assuredly you aren't pro-nuclear, how do you propose we generate our energy? Rub two sticks together at night?

Deborah A said...

After reading all of the comments, I have to say, I do understand Anonymous a little better now....yes its true, loyal followers love all of the wonderful, warm, homey and educational posts that Slowlovelife, has offered us.
It is hard to see it change to include subjects that have become very thorny. I mean we are inundated and barraged every day with bad news from every angle. So its true, this site was an escape.
I have to say I was surprised by Flo's comment concerning Dominique being interested in the keeping the planet clean for a long time. I read all 3 of her books, I believe the first one was written around 2001. I don't recall the subject ever being mentioned. So I did assume that this is a recent endeavor for her.
That said, I would not give up this site because of thorny issues, obviously there has been a change and there will continue to be.
I love Dominique's spirit, but knowing politics well, I do fear for her. Politics are a dirty business.
4 years ago I took a stand on "health care for all" in my state, trust me when I say this, I lost friends I had had for years, to this day our relationships have either completely stopped or changed. It is painful for me, to have lost good friendships. I paid a good price for my beliefs. Which by the way, still stand strong.
Only Dominique can decide if she wants to separate her quest for clean air from Slowlovelife.

Deborah A said...

I applaud everyone for stepping up and stating their opinions on whether Dominique should leave her political opinions out of Slow Love Life.
I truly "get" what anonymous is saying...everyday we are inundated and barraged with ugly news. Right now politics are getting pretty ugly(and only going to get worse by 2012). This site was a reprieve from all that... a real respite.
Having lost good friends over political leanings that got pretty hot over health care for all a few years back, I fear for Dominique. To this day it greatly pains me, that I have lost friendships I so enjoyed. I can truly say it stunned me...the way good friends ended friendships over my firm philosophy about health care for all. I fought through and stayed true to my beliefs...but not without paying a price. When you have really strong beliefs its so easy to get down in the mud and start slinging at the opposition.
In the end only Dominique can make the call as to what she wants for this site.
I am surprised that Flo writes that Dominique has been involved with environmental issues for a long time. I have read all her books and never heard it mentioned in any of her memoirs. I assumed that this was something new for her...thinking of her future grandchildren living with clean air.

c said...

I apologize in advance ... do not have the patience to read about politics while a hurricane is knocking on our doors.

But -

this is DB's blog - she can post whatever she feels like writing about. You don't like it? don't read that particular entry.

Please go on Dominique - you have made a few converts already. Keep going!

Scarlet's Mom said...

In my experience, most any time you hear a knee-jerk denial of climate change, you can bet that the denier has or has had some type of relationship with a special interest group, either directly or indirectly. This would include such people as Little Orphan Annie, whose husband apparently benefited monetarily from the Alaska pipeline.

What we never hear from the deniers is any thoughtful hypothesis to account for the global changes that are occurring. "Natural variation" is a cop out. What is really going on?

Dominique, keep Slow Love Life just as it is. For those who want fluff, there are more blogs out there that one could possibly read. SLL has SUBSTANCE!

mary said...

Hi Dominique, I'm late to this conversation....let's have a spin-master walk-the-plank party. I have always felt that stupidity goes hand-in-hand with arrogance. There seems to be no mention of the fact that Dr. Hansen was correct back in '88 when some of us started living more conscious lives after listening to him. The pipeline must be voted down; our voices must be louder. thanks. Mary

Anonymous said...

I agree with Little Orphan Annie- just how do you anti-coal, anti-oil, anti-nuclear, anti-fraking, anti-pipeline people propose that we get our energy????

William said...

I wouldn't call myself "anti-coal, anti-oil, anti-nuclear, anti-fraking, anti-pipeline", however, this particular pipeline project seems overly risky and also seems to be a very unsophisticated solution to the energy use problem in this country.

Further, what is most unfortunate is when seeming champions of the enviroment - Al Gore - turn out to live in 10,000 square foot houses that use 12x the power of the typical house - totally destroys their credibility.

Note to all: Lose the car and get a bicycle.

pamingram said...

i am surprised that anyone who was a long time reader of H&G wouldn't have read of Dominique's concern about the environment. Flo is absolutely right about that. I too have read all her books and her columns at H& G were especially compelling because she didn't compartmetalize her interests in life....at any rate, i thought flo's observation about how dominique writes'"To my mind, DB speaks exclusively of, and through nothing but narratives here, all kinds, the impassioned work ethic of the Shakers, the impassioned work ethic of a spider or a dragonfly, the cruel, efficient work ethic that powers natural disaster. So, why would she not speak about the impassioned work ethic that comes together to create unnatural disaster [which is just another way of saying Politics] " is perfectly stated. Meanwhile, as C pointed out, a hurricane is wreaking havoc and there are greater issues to concern ourselves with,like the environmental concerns others have iterated and reiterated. Yes,i agree with Scarlet's Mom- Dominique's blog has "substance"...and as Mary underscores, Jim Hansen has been a principled concerned scientist for years:James Hansen intends to be on CSPAN at 9 a.m. Monday talking about the implications of exploiting tar sands. In Storms of My Grandchildren, he foresees as an implication the Venus Syndrome in which our oceans boil away into space. He calls it a “dead certainty” if we not only burn the standard fossil fuel reserves, which might set off the syndrome anyway, but go on to exploit the more exotic fuel sources such as the tar sands. psi

Deborah A said...

Actually,pamingram, I am not a long time follower of H&G. The first time I ever read anything from Dominique was when her new book Slow Love Life
was released. I enjoyed it so much I went out and bought her other 2 books. From that I went on to her blog and have been commenting for the last several months. All I meant is that I thought this path of Moms Clean Airforce is relatively new for Dominique, as it was not a focus in her memoirs.

pamingram said...

ah, sorry to misunderstand...appreciate your reponses,psi

Dominique said...

I'm certainly not anti-Republican! Far from it. I'd vote Republican if the right candidate presented herself. Same with Democrat. In other words, I'm Independent.

And I don't have a "dread" of fossil fuels. I have a pragmatic view: we have to use them, until we have developed other, cleaner fuels. It is that simple. So long as we don't have to have even dirtier oil, from the tar sands, why should we?

On natural gas, EDF is working hard to get the companies to disclose what chemicals are being used to get at the gas far underground--we don't even know that, and they have contaminated people's water.