The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.Now there's a story more important than Benghazi. Then again, most stories are.
The Coming GOP Civil War Over Climate ChangeFrancis X Clines:
The meetings didn’t take. “[Newt] Gingrich and [Mitt] Romney understood, … and I think they even believed the evidence and understood the risk,” [MIT scientist Kerry] Emanuel says. “But they were so terrified by the extremists in their party that in the primaries they felt compelled to deny it. Which is not good leadership, good integrity. I got a low impression of them as leaders.” Throughout the Republican presidential primaries, every candidate but one—former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who was knocked out of the race at the start—questioned, denied, or outright mocked the science of climate change.
Soon after his experience in South Carolina, Emanuel changed his lifelong Republican Party registration to independent. “The idea that you could look a huge amount of evidence straight in the face and, for purely ideological reasons, deny it, is anathema to me,” he says.
When Mark Barden considers Adam Lanza, the young man who murdered Barden’s 7-year-old son, Daniel, and 25 others in the Sandy Hook school massacre, he is struck by what he calls “a sad parallel.” In his short life, Daniel made a habit of seeking out and befriending youngsters he spotted sitting alone, a virtue that his teachers praised at Sandy Hook Elementary.Newtown changed everything, and people in Newtown will continue to work for change.
“The young man who killed my son was the little boy that sat alone,” says Mr. Barden with rueful certainty. “Maybe if there was a little Daniel Barden that came along in his growing up, perhaps things could be different.
If this list of organizations sounds a bit confusing, it can’t be helped, gun-control advocates say, and it doesn’t preclude effective action. “It’s not about creating a single, monolithic organization” like the N.R.A., Gross insisted. “It’s about expressing the voice of the American public—from moms to mayors to people who live in impacted communities.” Arkadi Gerney, a former head of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, agreed. “There is no ‘silver bullet’ organization on our side of the debate,” he wrote to me in an e-mail. “It’s going to take a bunch of actors and a lot of voices—mayors and moms, cops and faith leaders, victims and responsible gun owners—to engage. This will be less unified, less command-and-control. But it is coming together—and when it does it will represent a much broader swath of the American public than the NRA’s lobbyists could ever hope to engage.”More politics and policy below the fold.
The Senate voted down a gun control measure last month, but the fight is just beginning.Greg Sargent on the IRS scandal:
The National Rifle Association and new pro-gun control groups headed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and Michael Bloomberg are in an arms race since a background check bill narrowly failed in the Senate last month – ramping up their fundraising, airing attack ads and revving up their grassroots machines.
Mitch McConnell is calling for an investigation. In purely political terms, this is right in the conservative sweet spot — the IRS, bullying, intimidation, political thuggery, etc. We hear that stuff regularly from the conservative media, of course, and the thundering about this one will be epic. But this time, it seems entirely justified. There should be an investigation – a real one – and we should all want to follow it wherever it goes.Completely agreed. If someone at IRS is investigating you for political reasons, fire their ass and find out what happened. Doesn't matter who occupies the WH, this is wrong.
You may have seen the news about H7N9, a new strain of avian flu claiming victims in Shanghai and other Chinese locales. Influenzas always draw notice, and always deserve it, because of their great potential to catch hold, spread fast, circle the world and kill lots of people. But even if you’ve been tracking that bird-flu story, you may not have noticed the little items about a “novel coronavirus” on the Arabian Peninsula. ...Well, if you read Daily Kos, you already know about the little buggers.
One authority at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an expert on nasty viruses, told me that the SARS outbreak was the scariest such episode he’d ever seen. That cautionary experience is one reason this novel coronavirus in the Middle East has attracted such concern.
As for H7N9, it's going to take a while for a vaccine:
Major Challenges in Providing an Effective and Timely Pandemic Vaccine for Influenza A(H7N9)More homage to the human spirit:
The World Trade Center's rebirth has long revolved around creating a centerpiece of unsparing symbolism: a skyscraper 1,776 feet tall, its height an homage and a bold statement about looking forward.
The new 1 World Trade Center reached that height with the lowering of a silvery spire from a crane on Friday, officially taking its place as a signature of the city's skyline and, with some argument, the nation's tallest tower.