Climate & Climate Politics
- Bill McKibben, Armed With Naïvete on Keystone XL Pipeline | ThinkProgress.
- Study finds a better way to gauge the climate costs of land use changes
- Climate change models flawed, extinction rate likely higher than predicted – CSMonitor.com
- Climate Change Is Undeniable and Must Be Addressed Now, Says Former U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman | ThinkProgress
- The Curious Case of Richard Muller, Former Climate Change Skeptic | Re-Envision | Big Think
- Masters: “It Is Very Likely That This Has Been the Driest First Week of January in U.S. Recorded History” | ThinkProgress
Politics — Newt Gingrich
Watching the NBC/Facebook debate this morning I listened to a idioitc comment whinning complaint regarding the EPA’s efforts to regulate of dust in Iowa. A classic example of Republican Anti-Science naiveté. I wondering if the so-called Historian Gingrich ever heard of the Dust Bowl or read or watched The Grapes of Wrath. And that is only a small part of the problems that dust and particulate matter can create. And so searching for some more background on Newts scientific ignorance…
- Newt Gingrich’s War on the War on Dust | Mother Jones
- Gingrich, Dust and the Typical EPA Employee – Fedblog
- Are Supersize Dust Storms The New Normal for Southwest? : TreeHugger
- GOP Vows To End Nonexistent Farm Dust Regulations : TreeHugger
- Chinese Dust Cloud Circled the Globe in Two Weeks : TreeHugger
- Earth Is Twice As Naturally Dusty As A Century Ago – Yes, There’s Climate Connection : TreeHugger
- Today’s Earth is Twice as Dusty…In Photos : TreeHugger
- Portraits of the Southwest in the Shadow of Drought | ThinkProgress —
NOTE: NY Times readers who want to see an extended excerpt of my Nature article can go here: “Nature Publishes My Piece on Dust-Bowlification and the Grave Threat It Poses to Food Security.”
The NY Timesreviews two new books on Dust-Bowlification — A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, and Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City:
Both authors cite the work of Jonathan Overpeck, a geologist and a director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, whose tracking of simultaneously increasing temperatures and decreasing rainfall leads him to conclude that a new era of drought is dawning in many regions. He is not alone. The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies had already predicted that extreme droughts would be an every-other-year phenomenon in the United States by the middle of this century.
And of course, the American Southwest is not the only region experiencing drought apparently tied to climate change. According to the journal Science, of the 12 driest winters the Mediterranean has experienced since 1902, 10 have occurred in the last 20 years. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say climate change can explain half of the added dryness.
“The coming droughts ought to be a major driver — if not the major driver — of climate policies,” Joseph Romm wrote in a recent issue of the journal Nature. Dr. Romm, a physicist who edits the blog Climate Progress, added, “Raising public awareness of, and scientific focus on, the likelihood of severe effects of drought is the first step to prompting action.”
People who read these books will understand that message.
Politics — Mitt Romney
- Pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC documentary savages Mitt Romney’s time at Bain – The Washington Post
The documentary, titled “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” paints the GOP presidential frontrunner as a corporate “raider” more unscrupulous even than Wall Street executives, preying on the misfortune of people who lost their jobs when his company, Bain Capital, turned around their companies.
“This film is about one such raider and his firm,” the film begins. “His mission: to reap massive rewards for himself and his investors.
“A group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney more ruthless than Wall Street. For tens of thousands of Americans, the suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town.”
(The trailer for the film is above. The full version has yet to be posted to the Web site for the film — kingofbain.com — but it was shared with The Fix.)
- Video- Mitt Romney Don’t run for office unless you’re independently wealthy | The Political Carnival
Politics — Rick Santorum
- Can Candidate Thou Shalt Not Catch Romney? | Resurgence | Big Think
To call Rick Santorum a spectacularly awful presidential candidate would actually be too kind. As the Don Quixote of the Republican Party, Candidate Thou Shalt Not insists on tilting at windmills that ceased to exist long ago. Newsflash to the Santorum campaign—the GOP is selecting a presidential candidate, not the next pope. In case Candidate Thou Shalt Not is a little confused about religious freedom doctrine enshrined in our constitution, it also includes right to be free from influence of a particular religious creed.
It is painful to watch Santorum proselytize about putting the genie back in the bottle when it comes to modern contraception. It is excruciating to listen to the ludicrous explanation Santorum concoctsto explain why President Obama is wrong for promoting more access to college educations for America’s youth.
And yet even as Santorum continues day by day to break new ground in advancing the most ridiculous of notions, hardline conservative factions are thinking seriously about advocating the abandonment of Gingrich and Perry to come together to back Santorum’s candidacy from here on in as the one true conservative left in the race. Selling Candidate Thou Shalt Not to independent voters will become increasingly difficult, if not downright impossible, the more he opens his mouth.
If these utterly myopic conservatives of the Republican Party decide to hitch their wagon to Santorum, this will be the culmination of the last three years that began with Anybody But Obama, devolved to Anybody But Romney, and is now flirting heavily with the latest Republican theme for the 2012 election season, Any Christian White Man With A Suit.
- Anderson Cooper: Rick Santorum Changes His Tune On ‘Black People’ Welfare Comments (VIDEO)
- Evangelicals Consider Pushing Gingrich, Perry To Drop Out And Back Santorum
Politics — Health Care
- The Year of Voter Suppression | Truthout (via As we enter another election cycle, our most…)
As we enter another election cycle, our most urgent challenge will be to ensure that the right to vote and the right to have that vote counted is protected. It comes as no surprise that this “basic right, without which all others are meaningless” has come under massive attack as we prepare to re-elect the first Black POTUS, who was swept into office by voters of color, youth and women.
- The “No True Libertarianism” fallacy | Hullabaloo (via The “Somalia” argument is a sore spot for…)
- Anatomy of the 1% — In These Times
Economics & The Economy
- Why Economic Growth Totally Is Imperative | The Moral Sciences Club | Big Think
- Why Economic Growth Is Not Imperative | IdeaFeed | Big Think
- President Obama removed from Georgia ballot in 2012?
via Georgia Court To Hear Out Birthers | Camels With Hammers
- Edwin Kagin Abortion Satan Atheism | Blasphemous Blogging
ON THE MYTHOLOGY OF ABORTION
There is a movement afoot in America to prevent pregnant women from deciding whether or not to have a baby. The control freaks who advocate this view characterize their beliefs as “pro-life” or “right to life.” Those who hold that they, and not the woman, should decide whether to let a fertilized egg develop into a living child share a common mythology. It goes roughly thus: all life comes from the deity. The deity gives life, and every zygote is imbued by the creator deity with an “immortal soul” (a concept found nowhere in the Bible). Microscopic products of conception are perceived to be persons vested by the deity with the right to be born. The exercise of rational reproductive choice in obtaining an abortion is viewed as the murder of a person.
The mythology is powerful enough that its advocates think they can ignore the laws of nations and impose their will on those who disagree. Basically, they have initiated a holy war–us against them, good verses evil, we are right and you are wrong–the same primitive absolutism and lust for power over others that produced the Crusades. Moralists have declared war on reason. With aborted fetuses enblasoned on their shields and chastity belts secured, the armies of God, like ancient pestilence, are marching to stop forbidden sex and to ensure all products of ill advised copulation be born. The births proclaim the truth that the only reason sex is lawful at all is to make God’s babies.
According to the theocratic understanding of biology of the anti-choice movement, at the moment the sperm penetrates the egg, the mythical “soul” is placed in the zygote, presumably whether it is in a uterus or a petri dish. That which God has infused with soul may not be removed by the mere mortal choice of not wanting a baby. This notion of a soul inhabiting a collection of cells that may, barring accident, abortion, or whatever, become a child is rather new in mythological thought and bears analysis.
There must be a soul bank somewhere for the almighty to draw from to implant the soul moments after male orgasm (female orgasm is unnecessary for this or any other reproductive function, and is therefore discouraged), or the heavenly power must create new souls in a soul shop for all of the fertilizations. [read on…]
- Stephen Hawking 70, Lou Gehrig (‘s Disease) 0 | Think Tank | Big Think
- NeuroLogica Blog » Why Stephen Hawking is Cool
- Prof Stephen Hawking too unwell to deliver own 70th birthday speech – Telegraph