Friday, August 31, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 8-31-07

  • It’s popular among some bloggers to diminish the role of protest in political affairs, claiming that it does more harm than good. Unfortunately for those folks, historically protest, and even violent protest, has been more associated with political change than any other activity. Grist has a post on a report showing exactly that regarding global warming. Change has accompanied protest more than shifts in public opinion, and institutional advocacy comes in a weak third. Even Big Al is calling for civil disobedience. Time to paint some signs, people, and don’t make plans for the weekend because you might be locked up, right? Right? (And while you’re at Grist, check out the brilliant post comparing the idiotic and mendacious editorializing of the Wall Street Journal taking the wrong side of an issue that its own news side had thoroughly debunked two weeks before. Talk about tools. Of course, things will improve now that Murdoch’s in charge.)
  • Speaking of tools, that moron Lomborg (the “skeptical environmentalist”), who’s been fried for his earlier work, has a new book out comparing Gore to the Inquisition and then admits, well, that’s probably over the top. And he’s finding out about lying down with dogs as Sen. Inhofe and other deniers and obstructionists are declaring him their BFF and the slime is getting to him. Tough sh-t, moron.
  • One of my big complaints with the “China and underdeveloped countries shouldn’t have to pay for our mess” argument is that, if the boat is on fire, it doesn’t matter if the folks playing with the fire to start with got to have the fun and you don’t. You put out the damn fire and then worry about how to deal with the injustice. You certainly don’t let others light fires just because you got to and they haven’t had a turn yet. Moreover, you don’t give the obstructionists among the original firestarters any justification to say, “Well, there are going to be fires anyway.” The German Chancellor is trying to get this message across to those nations right now, but our side isn’t helping any with displays of “let’s let them have some fun before they have to sacrifice.” Yes, it’s unfair. It’s also reality and ignoring reality is how we got here to start with. It’s time to stop.
  • This isn’t good news for those deniers and obstructionists who claim we’ll get oh-so-many more crops because of CO2, or for those who use pasture land. An experiment indicates that nasty kinds of shrubs will take over from grassland in increased CO2 conditions, making it harder to feed stock. Jeez, the hits just seem to keep on coming, don’t they?
  • The Christian Science Monitor outlines the pro-con economic arguments for dealing with global warming here and indirectly describes why we’ll dither and let the worst happen (proof of which you will find here and here as the latest UN meeting breaks up with no firm pledges to do anything but dither).
  • Over at Terra Daily, talk of a wheat OPEC may be cooling, Nigeria is losing $14b. (that’s billion) a year in theft of its oil, desertification is growing globally, and, oh, yeah, global warming will make our tornadoes, lightning, and hail storms worse. Get the rubber helmets ready.

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