Saturday, August 27, 2011

Via JMG: Photo Of The Day





reposted from Joe

Via Climate Progress: How Does Global Warming Make Hurricanes Like Irene More Destructive?

PHOTO: Hurricane Irene
Climate science suggests that global warming will make hurricanes like Irene more destructive in three ways (all things being equal):
  1. Sea level rise makes storm surges more destructive.
  2. “Owing to higher SSTs [sea surface temperatures] from human activities, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere leads to 5 to 10% more rainfall and increases the risk of flooding,” as NCAR Senior Scientist Kevin Trenberth put it in an email to me today.
  3. “However, because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense and bigger as well,” as Trenberth writes
On the third point, warming also extends the range of warm SSTs, which can help sustain the strength of a hurricane as it steer on a northerly track. As meteorologist and former hurricane hunter Dr. Jeff Masters has explained:
… this year sea surface temperatures 1 – 3°F warmer than average extend along the East Coast from North Carolina to New York. Waters of at least 26°C extend all the way to Southern New Jersey, which will make it easier for Irene to maintain its strength much farther to the north than a hurricane usually can. During the month of July, ocean temperature off the mid-Atlantic coast (35°N – 40°N, 75°W – 70°W) averaged 2.6°F (1.45°C) above average, the second highest July ocean temperatures since record keeping began over a century ago (the record was 3.8°F above average, set in 2010.) These warm ocean temperatures will also make Irene a much wetter hurricane than is typical, since much more water vapor can evaporate into the air from record-warm ocean surfaces.
Also, hurricanes tend to be self-limiting, in that they churn up deeper (usually cooler) water, that can stop them from gaining strength and also weaken them.  So since global warming also warms the deeper ocean, it further helps hurricanes stay stronger longer.
One says, “all things being equal,”  because, among other things, it is possible that global warming will increase wind shear, which can disrupt hurricanes.
The media prefer to ask the wrong question — as Politico did Friday with its piece, “Was Hurricane Irene caused by global warming?”  But they do have a good quote from perhaps the leading expert on the subject:
I think the evidence is fairly compelling that we’re seeing a climate change signal in the Atlantic, ” said Kerry Emanuel,  a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Citing other recent trends of extreme weather, including hailstorms and catastrophic tornadoes, “one begins to wonder,  if you add all those up,  maybe you are seeing a global warming effect.”
Still, he adds, “I would be reluctant myself to say anything about global warming and Irene” — but again, that I think is a function of asking the wrong question.  That’s a point Climate Central makes in its post on this subject, “Irene’s Potential for Destruction Made Worse by Global Warming, Sea Level Rise“:

At the moment, the immediate question for anyone in the path of the storm is — or should be —  “how can I keep myself and my loved ones safe?” But another question may be lingering in the background. It’s the same question that came up in April, when a series of killer tornadoes tore up the South in April, and in May, when floods ravaged the entire Mississippi River basin, and in July, when killer  heat waves seared the Midwest and Northeast, and in August, when Texas officially completed its worst one-year drought on record — a drought that isn’t over by a long shot.
The question: is this weather disaster caused by climate change?
Wrong question.
Here’s the right question: is climate change making this storm worse than it would have been otherwise?
Answer: Absolutely
For one thing, sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are higher now than they used to be, thanks to global warming, and ocean heat is what gives hurricanes their power. All other things being equal, a warmer ocean means a more powerful storm. It’s hard to say that all other things are exactly equal here, but it’s certainly plausible that Irene would have been a little weaker if precisely the same storm had come through, say, 50 years ago.
What we know for sure, however is that thanks largely to climate change, sea level is about 13 inches higher in the New York area than it was a century ago. The greatest damage from hurricanes comes not from high winds and torrential rains — although those do cause a lot of damage. It’s from the storm surge, the tsunami-like wall of water a hurricane pushes ahead of it to crash onto the land. It was Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge, not the wind or rain, that destroyed New Orleans back in 2005.
With an extra foot of sea level to start with, in other words, Irene’s storm surge is going to have a head start. And climate change is a big part of the reason why.
Note that teasing out a relationship between global warming and hurricane damage is tricky because “More than half the total hurricane damage in the U.S. (normalized for inflation and populations trends) was caused by just five events,” as Emanuel explained in an email to me a while back.  Storms that are Category 4 and 5 at landfall (or just before) are what destroy major cities like New Orleans and Galveston with devastating winds, rains, and storm surges.  One extra Cat 4 or 5 hitting Miami and you’ve obliterated the damage records.
Still, here’s a key finding of a 2009 study, “Tropical cyclone losses in the USA and the impact of climate change — A trend analysis based on data from a new approach to adjusting storm losses” (subs. req’d):
In the period 1971-2005, since the beginning of a trend towards increased intense cyclone activity, losses excluding socio-economic effects show an annual increase of 4% per annum. This increase must therefore be at least due to the impact of natural climate variability but, more likely than not, also due to anthropogenic forcings.
That isn’t definitive attribution — which the authors explicitly avoid — but it still is a statement of attribution.
Here’s more from Climate Central:
The relationship between climate change and hurricanes is one that scientists are still trying to understand. As I mentioned above, warm ocean waters provide the energy that keeps a hurricane going. That’s why the storms lose energy when they pass over land, and why they gain energy when they pass over warmer water (as Katrina did when it entered the Gulf of Mexico after crossing Florida).
Still the phrase “all other things being equal” is key. In a warming climate, all other things will not necessarily be equal. For one thing, wind patterns will probably change, and something called wind shear, which tends to snuff out hurricanes before they can fully form, may increase over the Atlantic as the climate changes. Moreover, some climate scientists argue that a key factor in hurricane formation is not simply the ocean temperature, but the differences in temperature from one ocean basin to another. One recent paper in Science concludes that the overall number of hurricanes in the Atlantic is likely to decrease over the coming century — but that the intensity of those that do happen is likely to increase.
But that says nothing — and nobody has a clue — about how many of those hurricanes will hit land, and if they do, whether it will be in densely populated areas or not (although more and more of the U.S. shoreline that lies in hurricane territory is filling up with people).
Nevertheless, one study has projected an overall 20 percent increase in hurricane-related damage based on population growth and sea-level rise alone, even if there were no change in hurricane frequency or strength.
Let’s also not forget that while storm surges pose the biggest danger, Irene will almost certainly bring torrential rains to a part of the country that has already been drenched over the past couple of weeks. With saturated ground and a deluge that could add up to 10 or even 20 inches of rain in just a day or so, rivers and creeks will likely overflow their banks, causing widespread flooding. And then there’s the wind, which will inevitably cut power to hundreds of thousands of people, at least (it can happen even when there isn’t a hurricane).
So this is another potential way that global warming can make hurricanes more destructive — by causing more deluges that can saturate the ground and worsen the flooding caused by a subsequent hurricane (whose deluge itself was likely worsened by global warming).
Finally, even without global warming, there are obviously good reasons for increased funding of early warning of hurricanes –  which the Republican House has in fact reversed — and for improving the ability of coastal communities to deal with hurricanes.  And, because of global warming, there are good reasons to plan for more extreme weather events, which, again, the GOP House bitterly opposes.   As long as the Tea Party rules, coastal communities are unlikely to see any significant funding increases for monitoring, planning, resilient, or adaptation.

Related Post:

Via JMG: Maddow Rips FL Gov. Rick Scott


Remember when FL Gov. Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott mandated that all welfare applicants pass a drug test before receiving benefits? It turns out that so few applicants are failing the test, the entire program will cost much more than it saves. That's probably no concern for Scott's wife, who has a financial interest in one of the companies doing the testing.




reposted from Joe

 

Caminhada de hoje - Daily Walk - Sabado 27 de Agosto - Ouro Preto, MG

Stacks of cobblestones on the Rua São José


Construction of the new sewer water, and redo on the
Rua São José



Creepy Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard) in Ouro Preto

Zoom dog


Side of Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora da Conceição




another new paint job



Republicans: Tax The Bottom 50% More

Friday, August 26, 2011

Via JMG: Hurricane Irene Bingo


(Via - Gothamist)


reposted from Joe

Via the Coffee Party Movement: The Cost of Corporate Communism | Dylan Ratigan

‎"Unfortunately, they use our wealth and laws not only to benefit their outdated, failed companies, but also spend a small pittance of their ill-gotten gains lobbying and favor-trading with politicians so the government will continue to protect them from competition and their well-deserved failure."

www.dylanratigan.com
Lately I have been using the phrase “Corporate Communism” on my television show. I think it is an especially fitting term when discussing the current landscape in both our banking and health care systems.

ViaJMG: Tweet Of The Day - Matt Barber


Right Wing Watch notes that Liberty Counsel spokesbigot Matt Barber has joined the very recent flood of high-profile Christianists denying any knowledge of the dominionist movement, which claims that only Christians are authorized by God to run America's government, schools, and courts. Barber's tweet is rather laughable, considering that just last year the Liberty Counsel themselves hosted a conference titled Sovereignty and Dominion: Biblical Blueprints For Victory.


reposted from Joe

Predicted rainfall for the 5-day period ending at 8 am EDT Tuesday August 30, as issued by NOAA/HPC.


Via Climate Progress: Carl Hiaasen: GOP Attacks on EPA Ignore the Probem, “Nothing Kills Jobs Like an Environmental Catastrophe”

Dutifully following their Tea Party scripts, most of the Republican presidential candidates have declared war on the Environmental Protection Agency. They claim that the economy is being smothered by regulations designed to keep our air and water safe.No iota of evidence is being offered, and in fact the record profits of big energy companies indicate a spectacular lack of suffering.

But listen to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s promise to an Iowa crowd about one of her first presidential priorities: “I guarantee you the EPA will have doors locked and lights turned off, and they will only be about conservation. It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C.”

Granted, Bachmann is a witless parrot who has no chance — absolutely zero — of being elected to the White House. But her hatred of the EPA is shared by Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who is considered a GOP frontrunner.

Like Bachmann, Perry refuses to accept that global warming is real. He launched a lawsuit to stop the EPA from enacting rules to limit greenhouse gasses from oil refineries, power plants and other industrial sources.

Perry likes to whine that “EPA regulations are killing jobs all across America,” a statement that draws more cheers in his native state than in the rest of the country. In fact, polls show that a large majority of Americans are worried about air and water pollution, and hold a positive view of the EPA.

Nothing kills jobs like an environmental catastrophe, as the Gulf Coast gravely experienced during (and after) the BP oil spill last year. The true cost of that accident to the economies of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida is probably incalculable, although surely many billions of dollars were lost.

The cleanup wasn’t perfect, but it’s absurd to think that BP would have worked faster or more efficiently if the Obama administration and the EPA hadn’t been leaning on the company, both publicly and behind closed doors.
That’s best-selling author and former investigative journalist Carl Hiaasen writing in the Miami Herald.  Here’s more:

Forty-one years ago the agency was formed, and for good reason: Toxins by the ton were being flagrantly pumped into this country’s rivers, bays and oceans, and blown through smokestacks into the air. People were getting sick and dying only because some companies were too greedy to spend money cleaning up their own mess.

The corporate mentality toward pollution has changed because the alternatives are heavy fines, criminal penalties and savage publicity. A reminder of why we still need the EPA was last month’s oil spill on the Yellowstone River, which affected ranchers, farmers, fishing guides and rafting companies. It also occurred seven months after Exxon Mobil insisted that its pipeline would never rupture because it was buried too deep.

Of all the reasons government exists, none is more crucial than trying to keep its citizens safe, whether from a terrorist attack, Wall Street’s recklessness or industrial poisoning.

Not surprisingly, surveys show that most Americans want their children to grow up drinking clean water and breathing clean air. How, then, to explain the radical hostility of Bachmann, Perry, Newt Gingrich and some of the other Republican candidates?

First, it’s about raising money. The petroleum and coal conglomerates are huge GOP donors, and they’d love to have a president who would gut the EPA.

Second, it’s about politics. To win Republican primaries — the theory goes — a candidate must fire up the Wingnut Right. The easiest way to do that is to brainlessly bash whatever government does.

Perry specializes in this, even though almost half of Texas’ vaunted employment growth has been in the public sector — government jobs, in other words. You won’t hear the governor complain about the $200 billion that U.S. taxpayers pump into his state’s economy annually for military bases and related industries.

One thing to emerge from the Republicans’ attacks on the EPA is the early campaign path of Mitt Romney. Clearly, his strategy is to appear less loony and misinformed than his rivals.
Romney says the EPA has an important role, and furthermore he has actually conceded that global warming is a fact. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney expressed interest in a carbon cap-and-trade program, and proposed a plan to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

Predictably, with the primaries looming, Romney now says he opposes regulating carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change. As he and the other GOP candidates begin piling into Florida for the long campaign, pay attention to their rhetoric about the dreaded EPA.

The economy here would crumble if the environment was left unprotected. Florida can’t survive without tourism, and tourism dies when tar balls and rotting fish turn up on the beach.

What remains of the long-polluted Everglades would also be doomed without a federal regulatory presence, however cumbersome. Doomed, too, would be South Florida’s chief source of fresh water, upon which business growth depends — not to mention the future of about eight million people.

Yet don’t be surprised if Perry and Bachmann arrive here clinging to the Tea Party narrative that government oversight is inherently evil. They’d like us to kindly forget about that little mishap in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and other manmade though preventable disasters.
It’s easier to ignore the past and stick to the script, especially if someone else is writing it.

Via Utne: The Benefits of Being an Introvert



In a world full of extraverts and TMI, a return to introversion could be just what we need.

Read More >>

Via JM: Nate Silver On Hurricane History


 
Statistics geek Nate Silver charts the rare history of hurricanes and tropical storms in the northeast. According to Silver, a direct hit from a Category 1 storm could cost New York City as much as $22 billion in economic damages.


reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Pay Attention



A public service message from NYC artist Jay Shells' "Metropolitan Etiquette Authority." More signs at the link.


reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Apostrophe



(Source)


reposted from Joe

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute - "I've Seen The Promised Land"

 

Via JMG: NYC Releases Evacuation Plan



No order to evacuate any part of NYC has been issued, but just in case, today Mayor Bloomberg's office released the above map of areas to skedaddle from, should the edict come. (Huge version here.) City beaches will likely be closed this weekend due to riptides, regardless of the storm's track. Airlines are reportedly making plans to reposition their aircraft away from the "most vulnerable airports," which will likely mean hundreds of canceled flights. Drama!


reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Richard Dawkins On The GOP


"There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job." - Famed atheist Richard Dawkins, responding to Rick Perry's denouncement of evolution.


reposted from Joe

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stephen Fry on Confidence

OK Go and The Muppets - Muppet Show Theme Song

Today's WTF, via JMG: Heritage Foundation: Poor People Aren't Really Poor, Poverty Is A Leftist Scam


"The typical poor child, in fact, lives in a house that has air conditioning, cable TV, a computer, three color televisions, an Xbox, a DVD [player], one or two cars [for] the household, [and] there's not any sign of food scarcity. Everything I just said comes from government reports, but the government doesn't publicize that information. The welfare state has a vested interest in exaggerating poverty in order to build bigger government bureaucracies to serve the poor, and the news media are even worse than the government." - Robert Rector, "senior research fellow" with the Heritage Foundation.


reposted from Joe

Via Progressive Alliance/Children's Hope:


Now that he is safely dead,
Let us praise him,
Build monuments to his glory,
Sing hosannas to his name.

Dead men make such convenient heroes.
They cannot rise to challenge the images
We would fashion from their lives.
And besides,
It is easier to build monuments
Than to make a better world.

So now that he is safely dead,
We, with eased consciences, will
Teach our children that he was a great man,
Knowing that the cause for which he lived
Is still a cause
And the dream for which he died
Is still a dream,
A dead man's dream.

--Carl Wendell Hines, Jr.

Via Moveon.org: What Happens To Your Income When Democrats Run The Show?



Across all percentiles studied, average income has grown at a much higher rate when Democrats have the majority.

Found on DailyKos. Originally submitted by volunteer editor Laura S.

Via Utne: The Towering Book Stack



Blending literature and architecture, a visual pop artist creates a seven-story tower of books to celebrate the designation of Buenos Aires as the world book capital.

Read More >>
 

Via The Raw Story: Maddow: Mitt Romney embracing his inner-Thurston Howell, III | Raw Replay

His campaign, however, looks to run a bit longer than a three hour tour.
 
www.rawstory.com
 
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Wednesday explained how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was like Thurston Howell, III, the “zillionaire” character from the 1960s television show Gilligan’s Island. Maddow pointed out that Romney, who is worth about $200 million, had begun his campaign by trying t...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can You Solve This? Campaign for the Right of Education in Iran


As some of you are already aware, we partnered with a group of organizations and individuals to launch the Can You Solve This? campaign that raises awareness and invites people to take action for the right of education in Iran. Watch the video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM-b_PZ8o-w&feature=player_embedded

Can You Solve This? is a grassroots campaign with a mission to raise global awareness about the systematic denial of education that the Iranian government uses as a tool of persecution towards various groups of students. Those affected by this systematic persecution include members of the Baha’i Faith, human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, student activists, amongst other ethnic and religious minorities. The catalyst to this campaign was the recent incident in which the Iranian government, in a concentrated effort to persecute the Baha’is, shut down the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education and arrested dozens of its staff. Apart from frequent house raids, arrests and violence, this is another means of keeping the Baha’i community marginalized and suffocated in Iran.

The campaign, whose official website may be found at can-you-solve-this.org, employs QR codes in a creative and far-reaching fashion to attract people’s interest and enable them to take the appropriate action against Iran’s discriminating policies against innocent students. On the website, visitors are able to send a pre-drafted message to political representatives requesting their support in addressing this problem. 

QR codes are used by the campaign as a strategy to bridge offline content with online content, so that people who would normally not be exposed to these messages would have the chance to be informed about the topic of education rights in Iran. The code is distributed internationally by volunteers and can be found anywhere from public transportation, shirts, stickers, outdoor banners or car magnets, amongst many other places that are likely to get a person’s attention. Once someone scans the QR code with their phone, the user is taken to a campaign site where they can watch the video and proceed with sending letters to the relevant authorities regarding this issue. 

Human rights defenders everywhere are encouraged to publicize the campaign within their own networks and publications to help increase the potential of this movement. 

For more information, please visit us at can-you-solve-this.org and do not hesitate to get in touch.

http://www.mideastyouth.com/2011/08/22/can-you-solve-this-campaign-for-the-right-of-education-in-iran/


A few pics from my walk back to work today after lunch

Ao lado da Igreja do Pilar




Via JMG: New From Gallup Polls



reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Rick Perry Flip-Flops On His Own Book


Perry is furiously backpedaling from his own book in which he calls for abolishing Social Security and Medicare.




reposted from Joe

Via JMG: So Much For Jon Huntsman, "Moderate"


After gaining tons of positive press for comments on global warming and evolution, yesterday Jon Huntsman completely threw his credibility out of the window by announcing that he was open to being the vice presidential choice of Michele Bachmann.
CNN’s Piers Morgan asked the former Utah governor “If Michele Bachmann continued to get real traction, and she came to you and said: Look, you’re the other part of the party. Together we can create sweet music. Could you countenance such an idea?” Huntsman replied, “You know, if you love this country, you serve this country. Every time I've been asked to serve over different administrations— from Reagan, to the two Bushes, to President Obama — I have the same answer, and that is if you love this country, you serve her.” “And so if you’re in a position to better the country, to bring whatever background you have to bear, whatever experiences to use in fine-tuning our future, I’ll be the first person to sign up, absolutely,” said Huntsman, who most recently served as U.S. ambassador to China.
So much for the "moderate hero of the GOP."


reposted from Joe

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fault Lines: The Top 1%

UFOP celebra 42 anos em 21 de agosto


A história da Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP) começou em 1839, com a fundação da Escola de Farmácia, um marco do ensino no Brasil. A também tradicional Escola de Minas foi fundada anos depois, em 1876. Mas foi apenas em 21 de agosto de 1969 que a Universidade foi criada da maneira como a conhecemos hoje, e iniciou sua trajetória pelo ensino de qualidade aliado à pesquisa e à extensão.

Neste 21 de agosto de 2011, a comunidade acadêmica da UFOP celebra com alegria as conquistas dos últimos 42 anos, conciliando tradição e modernidade, em um ambiente repleto de história, conhecimento e inovação.

Que nos próximos anos a Universidade siga seu caminho em busca da excelência, e mantenha-se preocupada com a formação de profissionais éticos, talentosos, preparados para superar desafios.

Parabéns, UFOP, pelos 42 anos!


----

The history of the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP) began in 1839 with the founding of the School of Pharmacy, a landmark of education in Brazil. The School of Mines also traditionally been founded years later, in 1876. But it was not until August 21, 1969 that the University was created the way we know it today, began its path through quality education combined with research and extension.

In this Aug. 21, 2011, the academic community of UFOP celebrates with joy the achievements of the last 42 years, combining tradition and modernity in an atmosphere full of history, knowledge and innovation.

In the coming years the University will continue its journey towards excellence, and remain concerned about the ethical training of
talented professionals, ready to overcome challenges.

Congratulations, UFOP, for 42 years!

Via NPR: Martin Luther King Memorial Opens To The Public


Today, a memorial to civil rights leader Martin Luther King opened to the public. The official dedication is on Sunday, but visitors to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., can see the 30-foot sculpture today.
The memorial is the first honoring an African American and the first honoring a person who did not serve as president. The Washington Post describes the memorial like this:
The sculpture, called "Stone of Hope," stands looking onto the basin, across from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and next to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. King's head, his upper body and the tops of his legs emerge from stone. Lei Yixin (pronounced "lay ee-shin"), a granite sculptor from China, designed it so that King is part of the stone.
The sculpture's name refers to a line in King's "I Have a Dream" speech. "With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope," King said. His statue is designed to look as if he were once a part of the "Mountain of Despair" but is now the "Stone of Hope."
The memorial was also a long time coming. The Post has a timeline of the memorial's history. The idea was first presented by a chapter of King's fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha in 1984 and President Clinton signed a congressional authorization for the memorial in November 1996.

Via Utne: It's Not Easy Being Filthy Rich




It's Not Easy Being Filthy Rich

Ever wondered what makes the well-to-do lose sleep at night? A new, intimate survey conducted by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy reveals the most personal fears, desires, and disappointments of America’s affluent, reports Graeme Wood in The Atlantic (April 2011).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Via Coffee Party Progressives: Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2T in Loans

Yet small business owners & others trying to start a business have a difficult time getting loans.
 
www.bloomberg.com
 
Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

Via Climate Progress: Huntsman Slams Perry on Climate and Evolution: We Are “On the Wrong Side of Science and Therefore in a Losing Position.”

Last week, Jon Huntsman began to call out Governor Rick “4 Pinocchios” Perry and others in his party for being anti-science.  He started with the tweet above that went viral.
On ABC’s This Week, Huntsman went even further, explaining that being anti-science would harm his party — and America’s future:
TAPPER: These comments from Governor Perry prompted you to Tweet, quote:  “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.  Call me crazy.” Were you just being cheeky or do you think there’s a serious problem with what Governor Perry said?
HUNTSMAN:  I think there’s a serious problem.  The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem.  We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012.  When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.
The Republican Party has to remember that we’re drawing from traditions that go back as far as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush.  And we’ve got a lot of traditions to draw upon.  But I can’t remember a time in our history where we actually were willing to shun science and become a – a party that – that was antithetical to science. I’m not sure that’s good for our future and it’s not a winning formula.
Whether it’s bad for the Republican party remains to be seen — that would require President Obama and his team (and other progressive politicians) to push back in the general election the way Huntsman has in the GOP race.
But there’s no question that having one of the two major political parties in the most powerful country in the world being anti-science is a disaster for the nation and the world (see WashPost stunner: “The GOP’s climate-change denial may be its most harmful delusion”).  I’ll be expanding on that position in the coming weeks, but what is interesting is that in the full online interview with ABC (video below), Huntsman himself starts to explain just how counterproductive and self-destructive it is for the party:

I think we ought to be straight up and rational and stick with the facts.   And when we have a body of science, listen when — you know, if you had 98 out of 100 oncologists, cancer doctors, who basically said the following course of treatment is  going to be good for prostate, breast or colon cancers, we would all salute and say finally we have a consensus among the scientific community.
We raise up our young people we tell them to get a good education and tell them to move forward and solve the great challenges of today, find a cure for cancer, make the world a better place. We then get the results are willing to jettison it and to shun it?   I just think that’s the wrong direction.
I’m here to tell you that a lot of people in this country, a lot of people the Republican Party I think are willing to embrace science and willing to embrace the realities that have been present around whether to surround evolution or whether its climate change.   And I’m here to tell you that for us to be successful as a party, we must be a party that respects science, not one that runs from science.
Will other leading Republicans stand up for science?
Here’s the full interview (the science part quoted above start around 5:30):
As an aside, it would be nice if Tapper, rather than quoting the statistics about how many GOP voters have unscientific views, would actually take the time to point out that Huntsman indeed has the scientific view, as expressed by our leading scientific bodies.
Also, Tapper should have asked him what the heck Huntsman proposes to do about global warming, given his recent flip-flop against cap-and-trade.  More on that soon.

Via Climate Progress: Karl Rove Predicts Sarah Palin Will Run for President

 Karl Rove aka Bush’s Brain predicted this morning on Fox News that Sarah Palin “gets in” to the presidential race next month (h/t TP):

One can never really figure out Rove’s machinations since he helped ruin the country and his own party as President Bush’s consigliere. He and the Bush mob don’t like Rick “Four Pinocchios” Perry — even though Rove  helped make Perry possible, as HuffPost has noted.

Certainly Obama looks beatable with his plummeting popularity and lame messaging, which is no doubt why Perry got it.  But if Palin were smart — yes, I know — why would she get in now, rather than a month ago, which might have forestalled Perry — or even earlier, to forestall  Michele Bachmann?  Her entry now means a three-way split for the tea party vote and would probably make Mitt Romney the happiest of all.

As for Palin herself, she makes Perry seem like Lincoln (see Palin blames ‘Gore-gate’ for “this snake oil science stuff”).  During the 2008 presidential campaign, the Washington Post itself gave her its highest (which is to say lowest) rating of “Four Pinocchios” for continuing to “to peddle bogus [energy] statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers.”

There aren’t enough Pinocchios in a children’s library for this crop of GOP presidential candidates.

Via Climate Progress: “The Lesson for Today” by Robert Frost

I’m liberal. You, you aristocrat,
Won’t know exactly what I mean by that.
I mean so altruistically moral
I never take my own side in a quarrel.
http://www.rblewis.net/technology/EDU506/WebQuests/frost/robertfrostpicture.gif 
NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd ends her evisceration of President Obama’s fecklessness with that quote from Robert Frost’s poem “The Lesson for Today.”  The poem is satirical (and not as easy to find online as one might expect — try here).

Frost read the poem at Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society seven decades ago — June 20, 1941.  Plus ça change.

My thought for the day:  Progressives are liberals who will take their own side!
Like so many Frost poems, the poem has a great ending:

And were an epitaph to be my story
I’d have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me on my stone:
I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
My favorite Frost poem is an epitaph for the planet:
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Sadly, the planet need only perish once — and fire melts ice….

Zoom Foto da nossa varanda - Ipê Amarelo ea primeira casa na Rua Alvarenga




Via the CoffeeParty:

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. 
~ Thomas Paine
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