Newt Gingrich, environmentalist?

According to Publishers Weekly, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and conservationist Terry L. Maple have written A Contract with the Earth, which the Johns Hopkins University Press will publish on November 1, 2007. I will certainly review that book for my newspaper clients and post my review on my Science Shelf web site.

This is definitely a book to watch for. Is Newt Gingrich acknowledging that the time for denial is past? He will certainly advocate a different approach from the one Al Gore favors, but it looks like he is calling for bipartisan action on this issue.

I have been, frankly, puzzled by how long it has taken for conservatives to take up the critical environmental issues, both for their economic implications and the religious issue of stewardship of The Creation.

Though I am a politically moderate to liberal scientist, I have been consistently arguing in earlier blog entries here that this issue ought to be nonpartisan and ought to unite people who view the world through scientific and religious perspectives.

Could it take Newt Gingrich to wake up Americans to Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth?

Read the full article at:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6429438.html?nid=2286

8 COMMENTS

  1. I will go with you.I will shut my unappropriated belief,culture, and so on.I hope be able to finally stop scaring and get to work.I am me,I am available,and I never will do money on science blog.Anonymous you are smart.

  2. The last time the American People entered into a contract with Newt they got royally screwed and are still reaping the dubious results. I hope the corporate We is smart enough to keep him at arm’s length from now on. (Get it? Arm’s Length?) lol

    Back then, Mark Foley was a freshman who had just changed parties so he could feel the Republican love.

  3. Ah, we hear from another noted scientist. Much as I like Mr. Gingrich, in this respect I hold him in about as much esteem as the inventor of the Internet Mr Gore. What a JOKE. What Gore, Gingrich, or 83% of Americans think of Global Warming is IRRELEVANT. Until two things are known with much greater certainty, they will remain irrelevant .
    Those two things are: Is global warming a fact?, Is the warming caused by human activity? The two are separate issues and have yet to be proven (to me anyway).

    As you commented on your blog. Why are we bringing politicians into the Environmental debate. Let’s have some real science and factual conclusions before we start allowing the politicians cloud the issues. I have never seen any subject so misstated and misrepresented, even by scientists as the Global Warming issue.

    There are too many unanswered questions related to Global Warming and part two what is the source of the warming. Is it truly greenhouse gases or is it due in fact to some other factor. In today’s world, there are a lot of studies looking at various microcosms of the issue but very few scientists actually looking at the “Big Picture”.

    One: I have not yet seen any full fledged studies of the actual energy budget of the earth. If they exist in published form, I have not found them. (If you can point me to a url, it would be helpful). I want to see the research and make my own conclusions.

    Two: If the earth is truly warming, as indicated by the energy budget, rather than just moving the warm and cold places about, then what is the source of that warming. Is it really due to greenhouse gases – confirmed by the energy budget and spectroscopic studies, or is there another source of the warming related to increased insolation, orbital changes, changes in the location and quantity of reflecting and non-reflecting regions.

    The discussions I have seen on most blogs and even in Scientific American border on the religious. Of course the most often quoted are those noted scientists Al Gore and Dan Rather. And now we can add Newt.

    Let’s lose the hype, panic, and irrational fear of the unknown and do some real science in the way science has always done it. Observe, hypothesize, experiment, re-evaluate, finally present a conclusion. This works so much better than to create a hypothesis and set out to prove it. This method will almost always succeed in a limited way but produces no new facts or science.

    Science has NO PLACE for political persuasion. If one cannot be objective then one does not belong in science. Seek employment elsewhere.

  4. Making policy is an inherently political process, and that should be based on the best science possible. We need to start with the IPCC consensus view, but also consider scenarios such as the dynamic melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

    As long as Gingrich is not distorting the science, we need to pay attention to his suggestions for achieving responsible and effective public policy. Of course, I will consider his motivations in evaluating his suggestions, but I won’t dismiss them out of hand. In other words, I’m willing to allow for good suggestions that arise from less than noble motivations.

    If it takes Gingrich’s speaking out for people to listen to Gore’s message on the risks we are taking with our one and only planet, I’m all for it!

    Fred Bortz — Science and technology books for young readers (www.fredbortz.com) and Science book reviews (www.scienceshelf.com)

  5. Unfortunately, everything Gingrich does must be interpreted in a political context. — especially when he is testing the waters for a possible 08 Presidential bid.

    The term “shameless politician” was invented with someone like him in mind.

    After all, this is the guy who once wanted to abolish the US Geological Survey.

    Newt has zero credibility in my book. None.

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