global warming

The Rick Santorum Show (Papal Froth)

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) in undated photo by Eric Gay/AP.

This is why we adore Rick Santorum:

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says he loves Pope Francis, but he wants the pontiff to stop talking about climate change.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, told Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano on Monday that the pope should “leave science to the scientists.”

His comments come as the pope, who earned a master’s degree in chemistry before turning to the priesthood, becomes increasingly vocal about climate change. Pope Francis is preparing a groundbreaking encyclical to be released in the coming weeks that’s expected to make the case that taking action to fight climate change is a moral and religious imperative.

(Mazza)

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Three-Eyed Billy

Three-Eyed Billy: 'Hi there, future squirrel eaters!' (Detail of animation by Mark Fiore, 10 April 2015, via Daily Kos Comics.)

“Hey, it works for climate, why not shake the very planet, too!”

Three-Eyed Billy

Um ....

Er ....

Ah ....

How about … “Don’t ask, just click.”

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Fiore, Mark. “Three-eyed Billy embraces the apocalypse”. Daily Kos. 10 April 2015.

Republican Governance (Egregious Everglade Edit)

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma to kick-off the grand opening of their new facility that hopes to create 60 new jobs by 2014 on February 21, 2013, in Miami, Florida. Flordia Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, 2013 and is now calling for an expansion of Medicaid to Flordia residents under the federal Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tell you what, we’re just going to skip straight on to Steve Bousquet of the Miami Herald:

Koon was talking to a Senate budget subcommittee about his agency’s request for federal funds to improve emergency life safety notifications for residents and visitors in advance of floods, tornadoes and hurricanes in Florida. Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, asked Koon if it’s true that states need to have “climate change plans” to qualify for that federal money.

Yes, Koon replied, referring to “language to that effect.”

“I used ‘climate change,'” Clemens said, “but I’m suggesting that maybe as a state, we use the term ‘atmospheric reemployment.’ That might be something that the governor could get behind.”

Senators roared with laughter, and the chairman, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, almost literally fell out of his chair.

Again, remember: There is a reason Republicans think government does not and cannot work; governance, in Republican hands, is a laughingstock.

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Bousquet, Steve. “In Senate testimony, top Scott adviser won’t say ‘climate change'”. Miami Herald. 19 March 2015.

Florida, on Reality

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma to kick-off the grand opening of their new facility that hopes to create 60 new jobs by 2014 on February 21, 2013, in Miami, Florida.  Flordia Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, 2013 and is now calling for an expansion of Medicaid to Flordia residents under the federal Affordable Care Act.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The thing about the “America’s Wang” joke is that Florida seems to revel in it:

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

(Korten)

Perhaps the only thing left to say is the obvious: When your only way to win the argument is to prohibit the other side from speaking, you’ve already lost.

But, hey, this is Florida, right? Why expect principle, decency, or reality to apply?

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Image note: MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma to kick-off the grand opening of their new facility that hopes to create 60 new jobs by 2014 on February 21, 2013, in Miami, Florida. Flordia Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, 2013 and is now calling for an expansion of Medicaid to Flordia residents under the federal Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Korten, Tristram. “In Florida, officials ban term ‘climate change'”. Miami Herald. 8 March 2015.

The Grudge Match: Republicans vs. Science

In this handout photo, taken in 2011, provided by Jonathan Gero, scientists witness and measured carbon dioxide trapping heat in the sky above, confirming human-caused global warming, using the Atmospheric Emitted Radience Interferometer seen here, located in Barrow, Alaska.  Scientists witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, chronicling human-made climate change in action live in the wild.  A new study in the journal Nature demonstrates in real-time field measurements what scientists already knew from basic physics, lab tests, numerous simulations, temperature records and dozens of other climactic indicators.  It confirms the science of climate change and the amount of heat-trapping previously blamed on carbon dioxide.  (AP Photo/Jonathan Gero, University of Wisconsin)

There are so many ways to go about this. We might, for instance, pause to consider the pathetic canard about how the competing political parties in these United States are the same. Or perhaps we could take a moment to think about why American progress lurches forward in quick bursts after seeming to stall for extended periods. And it is not exactly impossible that we might also eventually encounter an opportunity to simply look away and give our attention to something else.

First up, science:

Scientists training their instruments on the skies have caught the world’s major greenhouse gas right in the act of warming the planet, researchers reported Wednesday, providing the first direct evidence that human activity is dangerously altering the environment.

The instruments captured more than a decade of rising surface temperatures, changes that were directly triggered by the atmosphere’s increasing burden of carbon dioxide, a team of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, reported.

That gas, whose main source is emissions from burning fossil fuels, has long been the principal culprit in global-warming investigations by the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists. Its rising levels in the atmosphere have been the basis for increasingly strong warnings about global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, known as the IPCC.

“We have known for decades that there must be an effect, but getting a direct measurement and isolating the carbon dioxide component are a technological coup,” Christopher Field, a senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University who has led two major IPCC reports, said in an email.

The UC Berkeley scientists’ study, he said, provides concrete evidence for the first time of carbon dioxide’s effect on global warming.

(Perlman)

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A Little Heavy Humor

"Would people care more about climate change if we called it Globola?  The planet is burning up with fever, spread by emissions of its bodily fluids."Pretty straightforward. But perhaps we should try pornography, instead. Oh, wait. Raincoats. After all, what’s a little disease compared to wearing a condom?

Never mind. Condoms only make pornography even worse.

That is to say, while it is easy enough to stand for the idea of pornography against the various complaints of obscenity and misogyny, given the potential for the (ahem!) “art form” to show us the naughty bits without all the vileness, well, there is a difference between theory and practice.

So then, rather than offering a critique of the difference between stylized gangrape pornography and some random couple that wants to spice up their sex life by releasing video of his sac and pucker bouncing up and down on the screen while he drills her, maybe it would be best to simply skip it all and go back to fretting about ebola. Or climate change. Or … or … well, right.

Or maybe we could just mix it all up—disease, the effects of climate change, and pornography—smoke a bowl, and listen to some Bad Company, instead.

Tragic Humor

Detail: This Modern World, 15 September 2014Don’t blame the cartoonist; sometimes the stranger-than factor comes into play, and there really is no punch line that isn’t depressing.

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Tomorrow, Tom. “The existential threat”. This Modern World. 15 September 2014.

A Fairly Impressive (Republican) Wreck

Louisiana State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R-53)

“But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.”

David Wasserman

It is not, by the logic of conventional wisdom, a good thing when the candidate actually frightens the Cook Political Report editor, but down Lou’siana way perhaps the Palin of the South and voters in Terrebonne Parish see it differently.

And let us be clear—”Palin of the South” is not an insult, regardless of however hilarious or horrifying or redundant others might find the phrase.

Sigh.

David Wasserman explains, for the Washington Post:

As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I’ve been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions.

But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.

Then again, as bad reviews go, that one is pretty impressive.

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A Memo to Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Rick Perry

To: Gov. Rick Perry, State of Texas

re: A brief word of advice

It’s over, Governor. Your side lost. Get used to it.

The Texas Republican Party this month adopted a platform supporting access to “reparative therapy” for gays and lesbians, a widely discredited process intended to change sexual orientation. In response to an audience question about it Wednesday night, Perry said he did not know whether the therapy worked.

Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder.

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry said. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

(Baker)

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