John Andrews

“The climate crisis is both urgent and solvable [so] our ultimate aim is halt global warming,” proclaims an Al Gore website and ad campaign. But conservatives, among whom former Speaker Newt Gingrich proudly counts himself, believe hardly a single word of that statement. So it’s hard to fathom why Gingrich is appearing in TV spots with Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi, promoting the campaign.

In a damage control letter, Newt claims he is merely trying to engage the climate debate and keep the right relevant, without granting the left’s premise “that we have conclusive proof of global warming [or] that humans are at the center of it.”

He insists his purpose in doing the ads with Pelosi is to advance “a Green Conservatism that wants to use science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurs, and prizes to find a way to creatively invent the kind of environmental future we all want to live in.”

Sorry, but that sounds like moonshine to me. The sum total of Gingrich’s message on these cheesy spots, showing the past and present Speakers seated like couch potatoes in front of the US Capitol (similar to an equally horrid beach sofa scene with the Revs. Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton, heaven help us) is this:

“Our country must take action to address climate change. If enough of us demand action from our leaders, we can spark the innovation we need.”

But why, Newt, pray tell, “must our country take action” on something which, according your off-camera spin lacks conclusive proof as to its very existence, let alone its human cause? And how can your Green Conservatism get any hearing whatsoever from, the Gore-led website to which Nancy directs us at the close of the ad?

The site offers no “spark the innovation” option at all. It's not about an open debate, it's about saluting the Al Gore orthodoxy. Gingrich disciples who go to the site will find that “demand action from our leaders” translates to a rigged three-part agenda:

(1) Sign the petition for a global treaty on climate change, Son of Kyoto. (2) Ask lenders to consider climate impact when funding new coal plants, a concession to precisely that “left-wing environmentalism” which Newt’s letter, shown below, condemns. And (3) Urge the press to ask about global warming. Right, we sure need more of that; just so the theory’s validity isn’t asked about.

Newt Gingrich has long been a hero to many of us for, among many other notable achievements, tagging the word “nutty” onto things that liberals like naked emperors had always gotten away with before. How sad to see him (and poor old Pat Robertson) now standing at the summit of — or should we say sitting on the sofa of — nuttiness themselves.

John Andrews

John Andrews is former president of the Colorado Senate and the author of "Responsibility Reborn: A Citizen's Guide to the Next American Century"