Chris Hayes Compares Climate Change To The Struggle To End Slavery

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is no stranger to making extreme and outrageous statements on his weekend show Up with Chris Hayes, but he forgot to filter his leftism for mainstream American consumption on Friday when he appeared on the noontime Now with Alex Wagner program.

The Ivy League-educated Hayes ridiculously compared the environmentalists' fight against global warming to the struggle of 19th century abolitionists to end slavery:  [See video below.  MP3 audio here.]

There was hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent because frankly, I mean, the amount of money that’s on the line, the only historical analog for the amount of money that’s on the line in terms of the fossil fuel industry is the sum total value that the slaves represented in the Civil War. That is the analogy you have to go back to.  When you think about the current present value of the fossil fuel reserves that are on the books, the current fossil fuel companies, the last time that that much wealth was at stake  was when the South fought the Civil War.

Hayes, who earned his bachelor's in philosophy from Brown University, made these remarks in the midst of the panel's discussion of the role that energy policy and global warming will have on the presidential election.  All the panelists, but especially Hayes, attacked Republican skepticism to the theory that global warming is manmade, rattling off typical talking points about why Democrats should push the global warming hysteria further. 

 You may recall that Chris Hayes is the same man who several months ago was forced to apologize after he said he felt uncomfortable calling those serving in the U.S. military "heroes."  This is a major escalation from his previous rhetoric featured in an MSNBC ad where he called global warming our “biggest governing challenge.”   

According to Hayes, the petroleum industry wishing to make money off the abundant oil resources we have is equivalent to the South fighting the Civil War to protect slavery.  What’s even more abhorrent is that no one on the ultra-liberal NOW panel ever once objected to Hayes’ insulting and ludicrous comments.

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Now with Alex Wagner

October 19, 2012

12:52 p.m. EDT

ALEX WAGNER: Here to energetically discuss energy with us is MSNBC's Chris Hayes host of “Up with Chris Hayes" for a little segment we like to call up now.

CHRIS HAYES: Up now.  Let's do it.

WAGNER: Chris, let's do it. The night of that debate, i believe you said this discussion around energy it’s like talking about cancer without talking about smoking.

HAYES: Talking about smoking without talking about cancer.  Exactly.  The point is I felt that, you know, you're having this debate about energy. One of the people believes that climate change -- accepts the scientific consensus and wants to do something about it, has stated that, and he’s defending an energy policy that has been crafted with that guiding it in part, not wholly, but in part.  And so it's very hard to defend that record if you don't talk about that part of your belief system or that part of the actual empirical data. If you landed from Mars and looked at our policy towards dough tobacco and didn't know it caused canner you would be like, why are they picking on this one industry, they tax the heck out of it, the attorney generals are suing it, are they trying to drive these poor people out of business.  Well no, actually it's public policy that’s done because tens of thousands of people a year die from this product. You can't make sense of energy policy without climate in the background.

WAGNER: And yet, I would love to hear everybody’s thoughts on this, we don't talk about -- global warming was something that was talked about and was a bipartisan issue at one point.

HAYES: John McClain had a climate plan in 2008.

WAGNER: Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi sat on a couch together, that has never happened again, talking about climate reform.  And large part, people attribute the lack of a discussion around energy –

ANDREW RPSS SORKIN: It's a jobs story.

WAGNER: Exactly.

SORKIN: And people are so nervous about talking about it on either side.  And there are Republicans that want talk about it but feel like they can't.  I mean I think that’s the issue.  I think Obama knows right now, it will not poll well. If he's out there talking up climate change, Romney is going to come and say hey, you're not the jobs president. That's the issue.

BEN SMITH; It's both a partisan issue and a geographic issue where Republicans inside their party even the ones who probably, who don't want to take the internal flack inside their party for saying that climate change is real, at the same time Democrats, there's a bunch of Democrats in coal states who don't want go there.  And so, what you would expect would be a bipartisan coalition around it and that's what there was for a while with democrats from states like Arizona, john McCain who really didn't have any domestic reason to care one way or they other so who would be out there on this issue.  And Democrats from Ohio who would be very scared about it.

WAGNER: But that's dissolved.

HAYES: I mean there’s one other thing here which is the fossil fuel industry. Opposition to it didn't just [inaudible] spring up. There was hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent because frankly, I mean, the amount of money that’s on the line, the only historical analog for the amount of money that’s on the line in terms of the fossil fuel industry is the sum total value that the slaves represented in the Civil War. That is the analogy you have to go back to.  When you think about the current present value of the fossil fuel reserves that are on the books, the current fossil fuel companies, the last time that that much wealth was at stake  was when the south fought the Civil War.

SMITH: Nobody suggested they dump the oil in the Gulf.  It’s not like…

HAYES:  I mean, no, people are suggesting, I mean Bill McGibbons says if you do the math, one-fifth, which means four out of  every five BTU’s that are in the ground have to stay there. That's trillions of dollars of wealth.

WAGNER: So we were talking before the segment started and Jonathan, what can -- if the president is elected for a second term what does this mean in terms of energy reform and climate change and attention paid to the fact that it's getting warmer?

JONATHAN CHATE: I have no reporting but he does have powerful regulatory tools they’re not talking about.  The EPA can regulate carbon emissions and that can either be the policy or they can use that as the stick to force congress to do something that's less harmful to the energy industry but make some progress on it.

WAGNER: It would be nice maybe if he gave a little shout out to that possibility on the stump.  You think he might…

HAYES: I will agree with Ben and Aaron and say if I were David Axelrod and advising the president I’m pretty sure I would be giving him the advice that he's getting which is if this election comes down to Southeastern Ohio and we have someone from the mining union from that part of the country on our show tomorrow, you know, that's what they're thinking about and I'm not sure the political advice is the wrong advice.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.