When is this “liberal media” meme going to die? Would a true “liberal media”, that is allegedly trying to cram a liberal POV down the throats of their consumers ever do something like this?

In a long, and interesting speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

At a time that the nation is worried about a recession is that really the characterization his wife would want him making? “Slow down our economy”?

Isn’t that the conservative meme towards global warming? That fighting it requires crippling our economy? If you believe what ABC reported Clinton said, it feeds directly into GOP talking points:

“Senator Clinton’s campaign now says we must ’slow down the economy’ to stop global warming,” said Alex Conant, RNC Spokesman. “Clinton needs to come back to Earth. Her ‘tax-it, spend-it, regulate-it’ attitude would really bring the economy crashing down. No amount of special effects will hide Clinton’s liberal record.”

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton did NOT say that we have to slow our economy to fight global warming. Here’s what he actually said, in context.

Everybody knows that global warming is real, but we cannot solve it alone.

And maybe America, and Europe, and Japan, and Canada — the rich counties — would say, ‘OK, we just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.’ We could do that.

But if we did that, you know as well as I do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Mexico and Brazil and the Ukraine, and all the other countries will never agree to stay poor to save the planet for our grandchildren. The only way we can do this is if we get back in the world’s fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.

And guess what? The only places in the world today in rich countries where you have rising wages and declining inequality are places that have generated more jobs than rich countries because they made a commitment we didn’t. They got serious about a clean, efficient, green, independent energy future… If you want that in America, if you want the millions of jobs that will come from it, if you would like to see a new energy trust fund to finance solar energy and wind energy and biomass and responsible bio-fuels and electric hybrid plug-in vehicles that will soon get 100 miles a gallon, if you want every facility in this country to be made maximally energy efficient that will create millions and millions and millions of jobs, vote for her. She’ll give it to you. She’s got the right energy plan.

To paraphrase what Bill said, in his own words from another speech…

“We are not asking you to change your economic growth rate, we’re asking you to change the way you grow.”

Sheesh. Bill says “Promoting green policy will grow the economy”, and it’s reported as the exact opposite. What a joke.

Hat tip to the incomparable Climate Progress.

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  • It is amazing what can be done with an out of context quote. However… we actually cannot grow our way out of the climate change crisis. We can and should replace as many carbon-spewing jobs as we can with cleaner jobs. But if you plan to “grow” the economy, that means additional throughput, and that is impossible to do without increasing resource extraction, increasing consumption, and more waste products (including CO2). Simply impossible. Just think about it.

    If you’d like to see Bill Clinton’s out of context comment about slowing down the economy (which is actually an essential part of the solution), check it out, along with some entertaining commentary, at

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPDnaQMAO6E

    Dave Gardner
    Producer/Director
    Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity
    http://www.growthbusters.com

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