Thursday, February 10, 2011


The new chair of the House Committee on the Environment marginally believes, with eyes lowered and face turned away, that there's global warming going on, but doesn't think human activity has anything to do with it. Well, I guess it's better than nothing. He can read thermometers.

So all we need to do is convince him of what 97% of scientists in the field say. Which, admittedly, is no walk on exposed shale, given the teabagger propensity to recoil at the very mention of science, like Lestat from a crucifix. In educating (another recoil word) the guy, maybe we should start with ocean acidification: the numbers are there, it's pretty straightforward, doesn't require much in the way of deductive or inductive reasoning -- no ice cores, only a pretty rudimentary knowledge of chemistry. Dissolve CO2 in water, get carbonic acid. Not hard, makes sense. Observe what happens to the calcium in coral reefs as the water becomes more acidic. Then tell us where that CO2 is coming from.

But, heck, it's only fish, right? I mean, who cares about the ocean? Too salty to drink, that's for sure. Or coral. CORAL? What's that all about?

Okay, then let's ask the congressman how he explains the above graph, in which he evidently sort-of slightly kinda believes, and the rise in which -- whaddya know -- coincides with the arrival of the industrial revolution. If he's gonna discount all of science, and given that he's pretty literally in charge of our future, ought he not be expected to produce some alternate explanation? Some way to justify not doing a damn thing about it? (Note to Mr Upton Down: sun spots have already been eliminated.)

No good can come of this. We've handed enormous power to people who lack the most basic rudiments of common sense, let alone the ability to think with any part of their bodies residing in a location above their waistbands. It's not good enough simply not to believe. Not in the halls of Congress. You wanna ignore something that science says has cataclysmic potential, you gotta say why. You gotta learn about the science and tell us why it's wrong. "I don't believe it" might not kill us when it's about evolution (other than the fact that brainwashing kids will make us a nation of dunces that can't compete with anyone on anything). Take to your churches and disbelieve till the cows come home. Or drown. But "I don't believe it" WILL kill us when it comes to climate change, if the scientists are right. So you owe us a lot more, Congressman. Put your mouth where your money is.


Anonymous said...

You do know it snowed in Atlanta this morning???
And it could be the Global Warming from AlGores Gulfstream, Greenhouse Gases, or because its February in the Northern Hemisphere...
but OMFG the temps gone up 0.6 degrees CELSIUS!!!!
Umm Sid, thats what they called "Centigrade" when you were learning how to use a slide rule by candlelight...
Which is umm lets see 0.6 x 9/5 umm just a little over 1 degree in Fahrenheits.
And you know whats wierd, I was watching the Austrailian Open, and even though it was January, people were wearing shorts, and shortsleeves eventhough it was 30 degrees.
Oh yeah, they use Celsisus's
So it was 30 x 9/5 + 32 hommina hommina.
OVER 90 DEGREES!!!!!!!! in JANUARY!!!
guess your right, I'm still gonna let my vette idle for 30 minutes, that 4 mile drive to work doesn't even get the oil warm, bad for the pistons...


Timmyson said...

I heard recently about Belgium, where their parliament has supposedly been out for months. Apparently things are going well? Perhaps Belgium might provide a decent model for the States. Only actually convene Congress for one month of the year, so that everyone can concentrate on it, and look at things deeply, instead of attention fatigue?

I'm just spitballing here.

Sid Schwab said...

The problem with your proposal, Timmyson, is the dearth of people in Congress willing or able to look at things deeply, no matter how much or how little time they have to do it.

When a guy like Upton is put in charge, there's no amount of thoughtful input that will be of use. It's like having VIrginia Foxx in charge of the committee on higher education.

I think the message is pretty clear: the Rs want to destroy these institutions, and they're ensuring it by putting the most stupid people in charge. Not even trying to pretend otherwise...

Anonymous said...

You're talking about people who choose every belief on the basis of "what will annoy the Left?"

What's the evidence for global warming, evolution, the non-self-correcting character of markets? No matter, liberals accept that they exist; therefore we will take the opposite view.

Logic and facts don't enter into it. These are positions taken purely out of spite.

Here's the worrisome bit (to me, at least): At a certain point--which much of the Right is long past--choosing your beliefs in this manner requires pulling away from reality. You have people who genuinely cannot or will not distinguish between a fact and even the worst-supported opinion.

It's as if a large portion of our country was having a paranoid, hate-fueled mass psychotic break.

Molly, NYC

Anonymous said...

Frank, WTF are you on about? One would think that even a gas-passer would know the difference between weather and climate. One would think you'd also know that the USA is only about 2% of the surface of the earth, making weather events here even less representative of what's actually happening with the earth's climate.

Funny you should bring up Australia, which has endured record-breaking heat for the last several summers, causing drought and huge wildfires. Not "proof" of anything, but it's likely an indicator of a general warming trend. You do know it's summer down there, right?

From ABC (Australian Broadcasting Co) a few days ago, "The heatwave has been the longest spell of 30C days in more than 100 years of records."

Fox Johnson said...

Frank, Just so you know, When your searching your empty head for ideas and it takes awhile for your brain to come up with a word, there is no need to spell out "Ummm". That just makes it easier to pin you as an idiot. (although the rest of the comment does that as well.)

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