Climate & Climate Politics
- RealClimate: The dog is the weather
A TV series that ran on Norwegian TV (NRK) last year included a simple and fun cartoon that demonstrates some important concepts relative to weather and climate:
In the animation, the man’s path can be considered as analogous to a directional climatic change, while the path traced by his dog’s whimsical movements represent weather fluctuations, as constrained by the man’s path, the leash, and the dog’s moment-by-moment decisions of what seems important to investigate in his small world. What might the leash length represent? The man’s momentary pause? The dog’s exact route relative to concepts of random variation? The messages in this animation are similar to the recent results of Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorfin ERL (see post here).
- Video: Global Warming Goes to the Dogs or the Difference Between Weather and Climate | ThinkProgress
Even the Koch-funded Berkeley study found recent surface warming “on the high end” and speeding up. And scientists have long known that the overwhelming majority of human-caused warming was expected to go into the oceans, which just keeps heating up pretty darn steadily (see graph below).
But there is certainly a lot of natural variability (aka noise) in the long-term trend for surface warming, which the deniers doggedly exploit to confuse the public. This short video by Ole Christoffer Haga is a great visual explanation of the difference between climate and weather: (the same video that appears above)
- Climate change becomes a flash point in science education – latimes.com
- New model finds climate change could expose North America, East Asia and the Caribbean to costly hurricane damage
- NASA study identifies the ‘low hanging fruit’ in climate change • The Register
- The lukewarmer fallacy : Class M
- Tweaking the wackos : Stoat
- Tweaking the wackos, part II : Stoat
- Climate Deniers, Creationists, and the Practice of Science Denial « Climate Denial Crock of the Week
- A New Champion in the Battle Against Global Warming Denial: Eugenie Scott and the National Center for Science Education
- Climate 101 – Online and Free – NYTimes.com
- Rabett Run: No data is correct
- A new and perhaps innovative and progressive look at peer review: ‘Open Science’ Challenges Journal Tradition With Web Collaboration – NYTimes.com
- Rush Limbaugh: Joe Scarborough Praising Huntsman To ‘Keep [His] Job’ (VIDEO)
- Does Rick Perry even have a clue about reality? Rick Perry Draws Ire From Turkey After Saying Country Ruled By ‘Islamic Terrorists’
ANKARA, Turkey — United States Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has drawn Turkey’s ire after the Texas Gov. said the country was ruled by Islamic terrorists.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Tuesday saying Perry’s comments were “baseless and inappropriate” and the U.S. should not waste its time with candidates “who do not even know their allies.”
What a friggen idiot. The guy is an embarrassment to both the Republican Party and Texans. Republicans should however be proud of the message they are sending this moron with his pathetically tiny minuscule rankings in the polls. It time for Rick Perry to go home.
- The GOP’s Race Problem | The Nation
Martin Luther King Day would have been a perfect occasion for the GOP presidential candidates to express their commitment to racial tolerance and diversity. Instead, just the opposite occurred at last night’s GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Who needs a dog whistle when you’re in a state where the Confederate flag still flies atop the statehouse grounds?
This Republican field has been marked by questionable racial assertions, as my colleague Gary Youngerecently noted. Rick Perry’s hunting at a camp called Niggerhead. Ron Paul’s publishing of scores of racist newsletters. Newt Gingrich’s calling Barack Obama the “food stamp president.” Rick Santorum’s saying “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”
This racially inflammatory rhetoric was on full display last night, as candidate after candidate auditioned to be the next George Wallace. It started when debate moderator Juan Williams asked Perry about South Carolina’s restrictive voter ID law, which the Department of Justice found would disproportionately impactminority voters. Here’s the key exchange:
- The GOP’s Blatant Racism | The Nation
…So it has been these past few weeks with Republicans on the stump, campaigning as though in a time “before racism was bad,” when Rick Perry’s family had a hunting lodge known as Niggerhead and white people could just run their mouth without consequences. In Sioux City, Iowa, Rick Santorum was asked a question about foreign influence on the economy. As he meandered incoherently through his answer, he came out with this gem:“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”
“Right,” said one audience member, as another woman nodded.
“And provide for themselves and their families,” Santorum added, to applause. “The best way to do that is to get the manufacturing sector of the economy rolling again.”
The black population of Sioux City is 2.9 percent. In Woodbury County, in which Sioux City sits, 13 percent of the people are on food stamps, an increase of 26 percent since 2007, with nine times as many whites as blacks using them.
Just a few days later, in Plymouth, New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich told a crowd, “I will go to the NAACP convention and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks…[instead of] food stamps.” African-Americans make up 0.8 percent of Plymouth’s population. Food stamp use in Grafton County is 6 percent—a 48 percent increase since 2007.
- Pepe Escobar: The Myth of “Isolated” Iran
- Obama Has Proven to Be an Adamant Opponent of Marijuana Reform | FDL Action
- Mitt Romney will Govern as a Tea Partier
- The Immoral Minority: Is this the end of the Christian Right?
- Michael Kazin: The End Of The Christian Right | The New Republic (the emphasis is mine)
Is the Christian Right still a power in American politics? The lavish coverage which its partisans and their favorite issues have received during the current Republican campaign certainly leave that impression. Yet all this attention is akin to the dazzling glow of a setting sun. In fact, the Christian Right is a fading force in American life, one which has little chance of achieving its cherished goals.
Yes, pious conservatives earned the underfunded Rick Santorum a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, and, last week, a large gathering of evangelical leaders nodded fervently in his direction. Every GOP candidate still in the race speaks of Planned Parenthood as if it were a band of terrorists and vows to stop the largest and oldest reproductive rights group in the country from winning even a dollar of federal funding—and all of them except Ron Paul has signed a firm pledge to support a constitutional amendment that would essentially ban same-sex marriage. As for the presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, who has earned the suspicions of many conservative evangelicals, he has worked tirelessly to ingratiate himself with the Christian Right. Pro-Romney robo-calls in South Carolina currently feature a right-to-lifer from Massachusetts who opens her pitch, “I know you have heard a lot of folks talking about Mitt’s record on life, faith, and marriage while governor of Massachusetts.”
But, whatever their influence on the Republican primary, the Christian Right is fighting a losing battle with the rest of the country—above all, when it comes to abortion and same-sex marriage, the issues they care most about. A strong majority of Americans backs abortion in the early months of a pregnancy. If elected president, it’s exceedingly unlikely that Romney would ever sign legislation that could lead to the indictment of millions of women and tens of thousands of physicians for fetal murder. Last fall, even voters in Mississippi soundly rejected a bill that might have done just that.
- Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…Ike’s Nightmare | MyFDL
Fifty-one years ago today, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued his final, prescient warning about the rising power of the military industrial complex. More than half a century later, we find ourselves in a political system which has ignored Eisenhower’s sound advice as the influence of the war industry on our society reaches a crescendo. Nowhere is this “disastrous rise of misplaced power” more apparent than in the debate about the Pentagon budget taking place in Washington, D.C.
- Capitalism’s real “risk-takers” – 2012 Elections – Salon.com
Mitt Romney is casting the 2012 campaign as “free enterprise on trial” — defining free enterprise as achieving success through “hard work and risking-taking.” Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina says he’s supporting Romney because “we really need someone who understands how risk, taking risk… is the way we create jobs, create choices, expand freedom.” Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue, defending Romney, explains “this economy is about risk. If you don’t take risk, you can’t have success.”
Wait a minute. Who do they think are bearing the risks? Their blather about free enterprise risk-taking has it upside down. The higher you go in the economy, the easier it is to make money without taking any personal financial risk at all. The lower you go, the bigger the risks.
Wall Street has become the center of riskless free enterprise. Bankers risk other peoples’ money. If deals turn bad, they collect their fees in any event. The entire hedge-fund industry is designed to hedge bets so big investors can make money whether the price of assets they bet on rises or falls. And if the worst happens, the biggest bankers and investors now know they’ll be bailed out by taxpayers because they’re too big to fail.
- Is Obama Really The ‘Food Stamp President’? Fact-checking The S.C. Debate : It’s All Politics : NPR
…Gingrich criticized Obama for the growth in food stamps, calling him “the best food stamp president in American history.” He later said that “the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” We’ve rated that Half True because the number was headed upward before Obama became president.
Gingrich, a master at playing disgusting dog whistle politics.
- Does Obama push food stamps? – Jan. 17, 2012
Politics — Health Care
- Video: Illustrating the Success of Health Care Reform
Wondering how health care reform works, and why it’s so important? In this animated video, Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and former special advisor to the president on health care, explains the benefits of reform and why the individual mandate is necessary.
- The Affordable Care Act Is Already a Success
- The End of the Internet?
A rival bill to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) could protect copyrights without killing the web.
After President Barack Obama released a statement over the weekend that he would not sign any bill resembling the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Representative Darrell Issa postponed Wednesday’s hearing on the proposed law. News as of today is that SOPA is DOA. Since December, prominent tech figures and digital activists, including luminaries like Sergey Brin of Google and Jack Dorsey of Twitter, have characterized the bill as a draconian measure that would chill online innovation. A number of popular websites like GoDaddy, Reddit, and Wikipedia have threatened to black out service for a day to boycott the law, and Craigslist, in its rudimentary script, has a running message on its site protesting the measure. New legislation introduced by Issa and Senator Ron Wyden called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) looks to avoid a number of the problems with SOPA that upset Web-service providers. The debate over how to protect copyrights online nevertheless continues to pit entertainment moguls against tech’s celebrity innovators in a fight for the future of the Internet.