The Daily Mail (Charleston, WV) on December 5 carried a strong editorial castigating its junior senator, Jay Rockefeller, for his joint letter to ExxonMobil. The editorial defended open debate about “tough questions” and used some tough language about the senators’ letter:
This is arrogant and intolerant speech. It is out of line, especially from a member of the U.S. Senate.
Global warming and health care are complex policy issues. Before the nation commits Americans to spending trillions to fix either, they want to be sure policymakers have correctly diagnosed the problems and are suggesting the right solutions.The best answers to tough questions emerge from open debate, and all Americans are entitled to take part in it.
Now, for the first time (I think) since the brouhaha began, Sen. Rockefeller is trying to defend himself. After all, when you get attacked by your home paper for an “intemperate attempt to squelch debate,” you have to take notice. Here’s what the Senator today wrote to the paper in response:
We didn’t “attempt to squelch debate,” as the Daily Mail suggested. Rather, our letter was, in fact, an attempt to create and foster greater debate.
And part of that debate, I believe, requires calling attention to Exxon-Mobil’s funding of a pseudoscientific community whose purpose is to prevent us from tackling global climate change.
Kinda limp, huh? How can veiled threats about funding global warming “deniers” help debate?