Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category
This strikes me as an opinion only a class of disconnected, western elites could possess.
[I]magine a diverse world in which for every 100 citizens; there are 97 Homer Simpsons and 3 Spocks. The self interested second group can and will smell an economic opportunity. The sheer desperation and suffering that the Homers will suffer from as climate change unfolds means that a huge market is available for those entrepreneurs who seize the day. The irony here is that while the Homers smugly believe in technological optimism, their collective willingness to pay for a “bailout” actually helps to make this happen. Part of my optimism about our future in the face of climate change is my belief in induced innovation as self interested entrepreneurs seek out the potential opportunities caused by climate change.
A fifth of Pakistan may be underwater, but somewhere, a young Bill Gates is hatching plans for a giant hamster bubble humans will be able to float around in once the polar caps melt. Russia caught on fire and burnt all their wheat crops to the ground, but somewhere, someone is plotting to create elevated suburbs wealthy people will be able to live in once the masses start rioting for food down on what will be known as “Sub-Earth.”
As for all the poor people left behind during the entrepreneurial renaissance AKA doomsday. Well…
I get that Kahn and Sully are trying to make the best of a bad situation. Climate change is coming. We see evidence for it everywhere. The U.S. is not working to slow it, so what can we do in the meantime? But really, this interpretation of events is absurd in its sterility. I’m sure the right people will get rich from climate change because there are always a handful of predators willing to slap a price tag on human survival. That’s really nothing to celebrate or get smiley over.
Update: In the comments, Dave makes an excellent point:
Spock was a Vulcan. He would never oppress the Homers. He was always saying “the good of the many outweighs the needs of one” or something like that. Pure utilitarianism. It would never occur to him to be a capitalist fuckstick.
So true. Fuck you, Kahn. For besmirching the good name of Spock.
Update II: I can’t handle all of this nerd wisdom. From Josh:
Homer Simpson once tried to convince his family that they could live their life “under the sea”, only to be slapped down by Marge:
“Homer, that’s your solution to everything, to move under the sea-IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN”
What Marge is clearly saying is that we can’t adapt to climate change, but that we must prevent it.
Now, this doesn’t seem to make a lick of sense.
ISLAMABAD, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) – A total of 13 suspected militants were killed during a U.S. drone attack launched Saturday night in northwest Pakistan, reported local media Express on Sunday.
According to the report, the U.S. drone fired three missiles at a village near Mirali in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan late Saturday night.
Initial reports said that the drone strikes killed eight people and injured five others, and one of the missiles fired hit a house of a tribal man.
Saturday’s U.S. drone strikes coincided with Pakistan’s Independence Day and this could seriously hurt the feelings of the Pakistani people as many of the people killed in the past drone attacks are reportedly innocent civilians.
Read: “Suspected militants” until reports inevitably come out that civilians were mixed into the baddy pool. Then those irrational leftist Pakistanis will get shouty and probably burn President Obama in effigy. Oh, the strange, exotic mystery of the East.
The fasting month of Ramadan began yesterday in sorrow for 14 million Pakistanis, as one fifth of the nation is underwater from the worst monsoon-related floods in living memory.
And the only entity willing to stick around and offer aid to citizens appears to be the Taliban. The corrupt President Zardari (appointed via nepotistic assassination) was too busy gallivanting around Europe to bother with his underwater constituents. The second richest man in the country, who exists as president only because of his western allies, really could give two shits about drowned poor people. In that sense, these “undesirables” in Pakistan have a lot in common with the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, although Dubya was never officially charged with murder.
When I was watching the teevee this morning, I overheard Savannah Guthrie gnashing her teeth on MSNBC, fretting over the risk of TERRORISTS getting their hands on a NUCLEAR WEAPON. The majority of Pakistan’s civilians, Tariq Ali writes, are “poor, illiterate or semi-literate.” That is the true threat to stability in the region. Mix in a climate catastrophe and a wildly inept, corrupt, unfeeling leader, and the Taliban has a wide window of opportunity to step in and play the roles of benevolent saviors.
Looks like Fred Barnes isn’t the only high-profile conservative columnist still arguing that climate change doesn’t really exist.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post‘s George Will, got in on the act. And it took us about ten minutes — longer, it appears, than the Post‘s editors spent — to figure out that Will, like Barnes, was essentially making stuff up.
Both of Will’s major “data points” fall apart after a moment’s scrutiny.
Here’s the first:
According to the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.
But within hours of Will’s column appearing, the ACRC had posted the following statement on its website:
We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.
It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.
So, nevermind then.
As for Will’s second claim, he writes:
[A]ccording to the World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade.
This one is a little more complicated. But only a little.
Will’s claim appears to come from a BBC News article from way back in April 2008, whose first version reported:
Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.
The World Meteorological Organization’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.
This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.
It’s true that temperatures haven’t risen since 1998, because that year was a particularly hot one. But as anyone with a high-school level grasp of statistics understands, you need to look at data over a broad period to get a realistic assessment of what’s going on. In fact, the WMO itself made that very point in an “information note” that confirmed that the organization believes global warming is continuing, and pointed out that the last decade has been the warmest on record.
The WMO wrote:
The long-term upward trend of global warming, mostly driven by greenhouse gas emissions, is continuing. Global temperatures in 2008 are expected to be above the long-term average. The decade from 1998 to 2007 has been the warmest on record, and the global average surface temperature has risen by 0.74C since the beginning of the 20th Century. [...] “For detecting climate change you should not look at any particular year, but instead examine the trends over a sufficiently long period of time. The current trend of temperature globally is very much indicative of warming,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General, Mr Michel Jarraud said in response to media inquiries on current temperature “anomalies”.
Indeed, the BBC soon changed the third paragraph of its report to read:
But this year’s temperatures would still be way above the average – and we would soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of global warming induced by greenhouse gases.
That changed prompted climate change deniers to see a nefarious conspiracy to hide the truth. But given that additional information from the WMO, it’s pretty clear that the revised version better reflects reality.
Will, of course, doesn’t appear to have been interested in any of this. He saw (perhaps via Rush Limbaugh?) a report that appeared to confirm what he believes … and straight into the Washington Post it went. Neither did Will’s editors at thePost seem to care enough about not misinforming their readers to take ten minutes to delve into any of this.
An assistant for Will said the columnist might be able to return TPMmuckraker’s call about the column this afternoon. Fred Hiatt, the Post‘s editorial page editor told TPMmuckraker he’d try to respond to questions about the editing process later today. We’ll update this post if we hear back.
Thanks to reader C.P. for the catch.