|Putting global warming on ice
By Thomas Lindaman
The debate over global warming just got hotter, if you'll pardon the pun. If you won't pardon the pun, it's too late for me to retract it. With the opening of An Inconvenient Truth, College Republicans swung into action and came up with some interesting ways to advance their position on global warming.
College Republicans at Oklahoma University gave away free snow cones to any student who wanted one. Along with the snow cones, they offered literature about their group, sign up sheets, t-shirts, and information on their position on global warming. The drive, which was called "Global Cooling Day," seems to have been relatively successful, given that they gave away nearly 1000 snow cones a day.
The College Republican National Committee featured OU's "Global Cooling Day" as a means to get out the message. They also chimed in with another way to poke fun at global warming: beach parties. Their website features the following comment: "Consider staging a similar event on your campus - but make it a beach party instead. Kiddie pools, sand, bikinis - you get the idea." Who says College Republicans don't know how to have fun? Almost makes me want to go back to college …
This idea caught the attention of the Democratic National Committee. In a statement by College Democrats of America President Grant Woodard, College Democrats started sounding more like grumpy old people rather than the young men and women who should know to throw killer parties. Woodard said the following:
The College Republicans' beach parties mocking global warming are just another example of the misplaced priorities and short-sightedness of the Republican Party. The College Republicans' ignorance towards the seriousness of global warming and climate change shows a Party more focused on partying than talking seriously about the issues facing young people across America. While College Republicans party on this summer, College Democrats will be knocking on doors, working to get Democrats elected nationwide. With young leadership like this, Republicans should prepare to get burned in the upcoming elections.
Let's see…spend a hot, humid summer knocking on doors trying to get people to vote Democrat with a platform weaker than Clay Aiken's rendition of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" from the season finale of "American Idol," or hang out with bikini-clad college coeds drinking fruity tropical drinks with little umbrellas. I'll take Door #2 and a pina colada, Monty.
I have two suggestions for Mr. Woodard and his College Democrat friends. First, give up trying to talk tough. Your line about the Republicans preparing "to get burned" was so pathetic, it wouldn't frighten Shaggy and Scooby if they were high on cocaine.
Second, tone down the sanctimonious self-righteous tone. Not everyone is going to agree with you on global warming. In fact, there are a number of learned individuals who aren't so sure that we're causing it. Like me, for instance. (Okay, you can stop laughing now.)
The fact Woodard is lambasting College Republicans' "ignorance towards the seriousness of global warming and climate change," "misplaced priorities," and "short-sightedness" for merely having fun while putting out their side of the global warming story suggests that the Democrats, College or otherwise, don't want a debate over the issue. You guys just want people to agree with your side. Gee, isn't this exactly what you accuse President George W. Bush of doing?
Either way, Woodard, the College Democrats, and the DNC are all engaging in a rhetorical form designed to hide a weak argument. Instead of taking on challenge of actually arguing the merits of their position, they tear down the opposition. Most of the time, this works because the opposition (namely Republicans) don't know how to respond. In this case, though, it backfires completely because the College Republicans have already taken the high ground by having fun. By attacking the College
Here's something else to chew on, kids. Scientists may agree that the planet is getting warmer (but there's research that suggests things have been cooling down since 1998, so there's another point of debate), but the jury is still out on our role in it. If we're not sure if we're causing the problem, how do we know we can fix it? And what's to say that the "solutions" Al Gore and others suggest will do anything to change the existing conditions? After all, the very charts Gore uses in "An
I don't know. I'm enjoying a College Republican snow cone with a bikini-clad conservative coed.
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