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The first part of last week was unusually cold in most of North America. The reaction from the climate change deniers was predictable. They felt the Arctic chill when they stepped outside, or saw temperature maps on TV full of negative and single-digit numbers, and declared global warming to be a hoax.

Rush Limbaugh, great scientific mind that he is, explained it this way for his radio listeners:

"We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country ... And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex."

"Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week."

"See, normally the polar vortex stays up there in the polar region, but something is causing it to dip down like it's never happened before. We've never had arctic air blasts before. And remember, now, the key to all this is you have to understand one of the fundamental concepts of man-made global warming is ice melting at the poles."

"One of the ways they have always sought to convince you that the world is warming is not the climate where you live, but rather where you aren't, where you can't see what is really happening. So they tell you the ice is melting at the North Pole and the South Pole. And then they publish pictures, which are fraudulent pictures, of poor little polar bears stranded on three square feet of ice that you are told used to be the North Pole."

"... Well, obviously there is no melting of ice going on at the North Pole. If they're gonna tell us the polar vortex is responsible for this cold, that means record cold is also happening in the North Pole, which means there isn't any ice melting."

Of course, those with an actual grasp of climate science were quick to point out the flaws in Limbaugh's discourse. For starters, record cold in North America doesn't mean record cold elsewhere. For example, Australia has started off 2014 the same way as it spent a good part of last year -- absolutely baking. That's why the word global is included in the phrase "global warming." You have to consider what's happening across the entire planet, Rush.

Look at last year, for instance. It was relatively cool in North America but the global average temperature for 2013 was likely among the 10 warmest since 1850. (The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) hasn't published their final report for 2013 but their preliminary report notes a top 10 ranking is likely.)

As for Arctic ice, those who are actually studying what's been going on there tell a far different story from Limbaugh. Sea ice coverage in the Arctic reaches its annual maximum in March and its minimum in September. In 2013, the maximum ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. The 2013 minimum extent was also the sixth lowest.

Even more telling is the loss of older ice. In March 1984, 18 percent of the ice was four years or older. In 2013, it was down to 3 percent. In March 2013, 78 percent of the total cover was first-year ice, as versus 56 percent in March 1984.

Overall, the trend for March maximums and September minimums has been downward since the 1980s. The average decrease for the maximum as been 2.6 percent per decade. The average decrease for the minimum has been 13.7 percent per decade.

Finally, there's Limbaugh's assertion the "polar vortex" is a new term invented by the media to support the "global warming agenda." Sorry, Rush, not so. As NBC weatherman Al Roker pointed out, meteorologists have been using that term for at least 50 years.

Now, did any of these rebuttals make a difference to Rush and his legions of "dittohead" listeners? Of course, not! For them, global warming is just another liberal conspiracy designed to interfere with their lives and raise their taxes.

Reminds me of an Isaac Asimov quote I saw recently:

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
All of this got me thinking about what it would take to convince these folks and what this means for the future of the human race.

Limbaugh's listeners aren't particularly good at abstract thinking. If global warming had presented itself as a 10 degree year-over-year temperature increase everywhere, every day, year after year, sure, they'd be on board with everyone else. If they could look out their windows and see trees spontaneously bursting into flames, that would do it. But a gradual change which occurs by fits and starts, that is only evident when mountains of data from all over the world are analyzed over decades, is way too subtle for the dittoheads.

In fact, hardly anyone outside academia knew climate change was occurring until the late 1980s. Even among scientists, the effect of human activities on global warming was a matter of debate until relatively recently. By the 1990s, the accumulation of data and analysis made it clear to climate scientists (and some in the general public) that humans were having a major impact, but that was a hundred years after the Industrial Revolution which started it all.

Really, if one was trying to come up with a devious plan to rid the world of humans, climate change would be a great candidate. Think about it. A disaster which progresses so slowly and unevenly that it's hardly perceptible to the casual observer. And, it's mostly mediated by an invisible, odorless gas. Even more diabolical, the gas lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds, if not thousands, of years continuing to warm the planet. So, once the victims are aware of what's going on, a lot of damage has already been done. Quite clever!

The question for mankind is -- will this be our Waterloo? Do we have the ability to adapt to the new climate we're creating? Or, better, can we find a way to reverse the damage we've caused?

Seems unlikely to me, despite the good work by many environmental groups, that we'll be able to prevent the average global temperature from rising at least 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial average. Exactly when this century we'll cross this threshold is unclear, but those living then will be seeing major climate changes. A rise of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or more by 2100 is quite possible if current carbon emissions are not dramatically reduced. Whether humans can survive in such a world, and, if so, in what numbers is a good question.

Obviously, it would be far better if no one ever had to experience the far toastier world we'll have created by 2100 if we do too little. My hope is scientists, the same ones Limbaugh's dittoheads so distrust, will come up with ways to capture and sequester atmospheric carbon on a scale which allows global warming to be dialed back.

If we had any collective sense as a nation, we'd be funding the heck out of this kind of scientific research, but, again, we're not because too many of us don't sense the impending danger. So, we'll have to hope what little funding there is will do the trick. Doesn't give us our best chance of success but who knows?

As Auburn found out during the Iron Bowl against Alabama last month, sometimes you do field a kick in your own end zone with no time on the clock and run it back for the game-winning score. It happens.

Originally posted to skent4490 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:35 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  fraudulent polar bears (18+ / 0-)

    classic.  The entire block quote is one big load of BS.  I admire the patience you demonstrate by taking the time to refute some of his ridiculous statements.  

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:49:55 PM PST

  •  limbaugh is likely the main source of death threat (8+ / 0-)

    s to climate scientist michael mann and others when he got "climate gate" going to derail the copenhagen talks.

    he was named denier of the year in 2011 by media matters but really has been leading the  way on denial from talk radio for 20 years.

    the worst part is more than 28% of his stations and many other RW stations dedicated to denial put college sports logos on their megaphones. why communities and environmental groups don't make an issue out of it is hard to fathom.

    those 1000+ stations are regular deniers and soapboxes for guest denial experts from the think tanks.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:56:48 PM PST

    •  I occasionally listen to Rush (12+ / 0-)

      and his response to global warming is sad and disturbing.  He is actually proud and boastful that he "KNEW" that global warming was a hoax when he first heard about in the late 1980's.  It takes a special kind of person to not read the scientific literature but be able to come to a definitive conclusion about that literature.

      For better or worse, the conservative movement is betting their entire future on this one issue.  There are few things more stupid than betting against science to increase our understanding of the world and yet we have an entire political party doing exactly that.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:46:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only did he come to a conclusion that early... (10+ / 0-)

        ... but he has managed to ignore all the empirical data supporting the theory in the intervening decades since.

        There are few things more stupid than betting against science to increase our understanding of the world
        It's worse than stupid: it's destructive.  It'd be one thing if this line of "thought" hurt only those determined to remain ignorant, but it doesn't: it affects everyone, including every other creature on the earth and human beings who haven't even been born yet.

        But I guess it's typical of those who think that the only thing that matters is that those who can make a short-term monetary profit in any given area be able to do so, regardless of the long-term cost to other species and other humans.

      •  it may be a case of ignorance and denial, and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluefin, Wildthumb

        probably is, but there's a lot of money in it for him too. and others.

        in my opinion, denial for money is officially a form of treason considering it is a national security issue.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:38:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There will never, ever be a "Peak Stupid"™ point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, IreGyre

        for the Cons and Republikkkans.
        They have an inexhaustible supply of the world's most useless and counterproductive resource: "Stupid".

        We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

        by Bluefin on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:05:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Non-Global Warming Hoax (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre, atana
        For better or worse, the conservative movement is betting their entire future on this one issue.
        That is because of fresh infusions of Koch Bros. cash to Limbaugh and many RW institutions are flowing as the scientific consensus on the threat of climate change becomes more grim.

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:25:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rusty doesn't even care about (6+ / 0-)

    the short term future of himself, and even less about future generations. If he did he wouldn't drink and smoke so heavily, especially after abusing very powerful drugs for so many years. An addict who may be off drugs at present but who still can't manage his food, smoking, and alcohol addictions will not typically have any concern for anyone past, present, or future.

  •  Rush almost had me convinced that Arctic warming (8+ / 0-)

    was a hoax 'coz nobody is up there to see it - then I stumbled across this December bikini party in Siberia.

  •  maybe this is why he flunked out of college (6+ / 0-)

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:18:10 AM PST

  •  as a medical researcher.... (26+ / 0-)

    .... I gotta say, the vilification of science and scientists is such a disturbing trend from, say, the 1950s-1960s, when our nation seemed to really get excited about concepts of science / progress / exploration.

    One item in particular:  the right seems to enjoy suggesting that scientists are living high on the hog, with supposedly swank digs and fat juicy grants.  Lemme tell you:  it is definitely not the case.  NIH and NSF funding is so tightly regulated, you can barely buy a meal from a grant anymore, and no scientists are living the life of decadent luxury at taxpayer expense.  I promise you.

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein

    by ERdoc in PA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:28:20 AM PST

    •  The greatest thing JFK did... (20+ / 0-)

      was to challenge this country to go to the moon.  It made heroes out of scientists during the 60s and 70s.  Back then, every kid wanted to be an astronaut and the smartest people alive were rocket scientists.  

      NASA was the most respected organization in the world and we, as a nation, dreamed of one day walking on mars and beyond. Most of us believed there would be a colony on the moon by the turn of the century.   I bet if you asked 1000 kids today what they want to be when they grow up, there probably wouldn't be more than one kid who answered "Astronaut".  It does not appear that anyone dreams of what the future might bring anymore.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:33:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed! (14+ / 0-)

        very sad, this change.

        And a fantastic example of the power of the presidency - setting a vision, taking the bully pulpit.  Not to be underestimated.

        I think of this often regarding the weeks post-9/11 .... the nation would have done ANYTHING if George Bush had asked of them.... for national service, for doing good in their communities, you name it.  And he asked them to go shopping.  Sigh.

        The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein

        by ERdoc in PA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:55:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent point (9+ / 0-)

        It doesn't strike me that any president since Kennedy has been especially adept at communicating a science vision.   Kennedy focused on space (albeit, sadly, probably motivated by the Cold War arms race), but any area could selected:  oceanography to become better stewards of the seas, genetics research to find disease, energy exploration.

        Carter was perhaps closest to the science track when he talked about energy conservation, but I wish he had promoted a certain milestone vision and asked Congress to budget for it.

        If Al Gore had become president, I bet he would have had such visions.  

        Unfortunately, GW Bush was probably the worst president in modern history for science--incurious about the world in general, very anti-science with respect to stem cell research, purposefully falling behind other countries for energy research.  And I felt that his call to for a mission to Mars was an intentional distraction, and he never showed a commitment to it anyway.  

        •  The best project might be.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bluefin, IreGyre, PaloAltoPixie

          ....to figure out how to do everything necessary for a modern society with only, say, the fifteen most common chemical elements. We're going to need something like that to raise the entire world to more or less the same standard of living. And raising a country's standard of living is the most reliable way of reducing its birth rate.

          "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

          by sagesource on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:26:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This book is essential (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, Bluefin, NoMoreLies, Eyesbright

      http://www.waronscience.com/...

      About the Book

      Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since the Eisenhower administration.

      In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker’s agenda; or, when they’re too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues—stem cell research, climate change, abstinence education, mercury pollution, and many others—the Bush administration’s positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus.

      In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney tied together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.

      Now, in a revised and expanded paperback edition, Mooney brings us up to date on the war on science, relates the phenomenon to the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina—and ends with a call to arms to scientists and their allies.

    •  first, teachers. then, govt. now scientists... (4+ / 0-)

      I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

      by stagemom on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:25:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Eisenhower signed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ERdoc in PA, Eyesbright, Bluefin, IreGyre

      the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education Act. That funded a lot of curriculum reform and inservice for math and science teachers. That was back in the day when Republicans thought science was in the national interest.

      •  Things Done Changed, Friend (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, PlinytheWelder, Bluefin
        Eisenhower signed the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education Act. That funded a lot of curriculum reform and inservice for math and science teachers. That was back in the day when Republicans thought science was in the national interest.
        That was 50+ years ago, when most all Republicans were actually conservative believers in the Democratic process, and not poorly disguised reactionaries and oligarch wannabes.

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:31:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The 5th IPCC report final draft came out in June (6+ / 0-)

    Its considered conservative because it is structured so as to reach consensus with over 3000 scientists that there is anthropogenic warming.

    Its already looking at observable results which are worse than the worst case analysis from earlier reports.

    It projects we are going to blow through 1 degree warming as early as 2035-2050, hit 2 degrees before 2100, and continue on through 9 degrees or more

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:41:29 AM PST

  •  So many lies to unpack in his statement... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blackjackal, NoMoreLies, Bluefin, IreGyre
    We've never had arctic air blasts before.
    The Mississippi River used to freeze over in the 1800s as far south as St. Louis, so, yeah... arctic air blasts have never happened before.

    Article 196. Health care is a right of all persons and an obligation of the State, guaranteed through social and economic policies that provide...universal and equitable access to programs and services....

    by SLKRR on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:52:50 AM PST

    •  I'm sure he was mocking the "unprecedented cold" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SLKRR

      Idea.

      But the truth is that is was nearly 2 decades since the last artcic blast like that, and without a doubt they are becoming far less frequent in the recent decades.

      I wish I could find the reference to this - I thought it was in Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog, but the article on the cold snap doesn't seem to list the stats I'm thinking of.  But in a nutshell, we've waited 20 years for this cold snap, and 20 years ago they happened every 5 years or so.

  •  I can't wait to hear what this genius says about (5+ / 0-)

    racism and misogyny and homophobia.

    oh wait...

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:03:46 AM PST

  •  Aside from history and politics, my other passion (12+ / 0-)

    is meteorology, which prompted me to take a couple   courses in the subject when I was working on my bachelors years ago. I still study meteorology today as a hobby.

    The data on climate change is staggering and impossible not to see unless one blatantly chooses not to, as in the case of Limbaugh and the other collection of RW talk radio morons. Unfortunately, the RW talkers hold so much sway down here that I have given up trying to explain the concepts of climate change to the knuckle draggers.

    I have even tried a variance of Pascal's Wager to change minds on this, but to no avail. Eventually, the proof needed to convince the idiots who wallow around in the RW information cocoon will not be able to pass unnoticed; however, by that time it will be too late I think.

    Guns are never the principal in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:10:36 AM PST

    •  And they proudly buy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluefin, PaloAltoPixie

        ... incandescent light bulbs!  I sell light bulbs.

         They can't even do simple arithmetic. For instance, a 60W incandescent bulb that costs $1.00 and costs $8.00 per year to run* and lasts a year, as opposed to an LED bulb that costs $8.00 and costs $1.25 per year to run and will last 20 years.

         Do the math... After around a couple of years it's like printing money. I try to explain this to people but some of them never get it.  The wasteful is a badge of honor for them...

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Gandhi

      by PlinytheWelder on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:10:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bt it IS a hoax. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadGeorgiaDem

    The hoaxers claim global warming is a problem, but it's been cold, so there can't be a problem.

    Here, let me explain it formulaically:

        Warming = no cold

        Cold = no warmng

    It's just science.

  •  Don't Fall For Limbaugh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, maryabein

    I'm really surprised that people are still falling for his schtick. I don't for one minute think he believes what he says. He's a college dropout that was finding it tough to find a good job, and landed one in radio where he could put out some crazy thoughts. People loved it and he was on his way. One day when he's out of the radio biz, he'll probably say it was all a joke.

    •  Some of Limbaugh's listeners think he's (0+ / 0-)

      joking most of the time, just playing with words. They like the man's "humor."

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:50:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the humor of bullies, controllers, harassers... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti

        "I was just funnin' ya".... said with a sneer... can't ya take a joke??

        When the "joke" is just their way of dressing up their hostility, anger and desire to suppress or ridicule those they do not understand or fear... or want to continue to have some sort of power over...

        Cruel humor aimed at the weaker/powerless or defenseless or the suffering is not humor...  it is part of the control mechanism that enforces an unjust status quo.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:12:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  western v. eastern USA. (10+ / 0-)
    If we had any collective sense as a nation, we'd be funding the heck out of this kind of scientific research, but, again, we're not because too many of us don't sense the impending danger.
    our drought out west is getting worse and more frightening by the week.  but, the old "if it doesn't happen to me, i don't care" is hampering any national discussion.  
    if the headquarters for networks/politics/finances were consistently impacted by climate change, we'd have some action.  
    an occasional freeze and occasional hurricane/flood aren't enough to get the nation engaged.
    by the drought being in the west not the east, i have doubts if any policy/action at all will change.
    today, a fire in L.A.mtns...

    I am tired of laughing at the irony of their stupidity.

    by stagemom on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:23:54 AM PST

  •  I imagine this has been posted before, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Eyesbright, Bluefin

    but it bears repeating...the White House scientist explaining climate change, in 2 minutes.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

  •  but it's a dry cold... (4+ / 0-)

    It worries me that the climate discussion always centers around temperature.

    There seems to be no mention of the fact that during this arctic cold, that there has been relatively little precipitation.  Last year California experience 20% less winter snow and this will inevitably lead to water shortages in the coming years.

    (I should take a moment to confirm the number and add a link, forgive me for my laziness this morning).

    The lack of snow is not localized to the polar regions and the polar bear is not the only living organism on this planet that benefits from the ice.

  •  "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    ...meaning that my ignorant Congressman is better than your knowledgeable scientist.

  •  fortunately technology change is happening fast (7+ / 0-)

    between cheap Solar PV, Cheaper battery storage
    and electric vehicles i think we are within a decade
    of a tipping point for Carbon emissions in the G-20.

    if the average home has 5 KW on the roof, they are grid neutral.  if the average family has 7 KW on the roof they
    are producing enough to power the average car and be grid neutral  and if they have 10 KW on the roof, and battery
    they have enough to go grid free.

    at $5/watt that's a lot still.

    Germany is at $3/watt.

    DoE sunshot aims to get us to $1/watt.

    when that happens, we change the world.  Suddenly cities
    with almost zero coal power, instead wind,solar, hydro and battery.  EV's on the road.

    Toyota is getting ready to roll out 15 new hybrid vehicle models.

    Bloomberg says by 2020, the average EV will outperform
    the average ICE car.

    ALEC is fighting solar like mad.

    tells you we are about to win.  You should hear the drooling
    morons screaming about the hippies winning.

    if we can protect the Renewable tax prefereances for 2-3 more years the wave will wash over.

    •  That's the only way it can be made acceptable. (4+ / 0-)

      Too many people, here and elsewhere, seem to enjoy the prospect of industrial civilization grinding to a halt. They want to go back to the "good old days." Well, apart from the fact that you had to be a white male to get any of that good -- and even for most white males, it was iffy -- the good old days were not very good. I'm exactly one generation away from my father's family farming a crap piece of land on the Prairies with horse-drawn equipment. The life there was so "good" that my father lied about his age and joined the Army in the middle of the First World War, and I don't think he ever regretted it. After all, living on a "good old days" farm was damn near as dangerous, and any medical assistance was a lot further away.

      With near-infinite, nearly free, endlessly renewable energy, almost anything becomes possible. If people believed that, they'd push for renewables with an irresistible force. Instead, babbling fools with personal agendas tell them that they'll have to live smaller, less mobile, more restricted lives than they do now. If you like to live simply, fine. No one will ever stop you. But if you try to use the present crisis to shove your own tastes down the throats of others, then you're working to ensure failure of the renewables revolution, and eventually to kill us all. To most people, the "simple life" is about as attractive as a well-garnished turd, and they'll deny reality rather than chow down on that turd.

      "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

      by sagesource on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:44:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The best way to win is not fight to change the old (0+ / 0-)

      or defeat the old...

      the best way is to build the replacement...

      build the new and have it succeed on its own terms which makes the old simply fade away... fewer customers, outdated solutions... wrong paradigm...

      Consider them an impediment or damage to re-route around. In every field:

      Centralized fossil fuel energy production > Dispersed green  energy

      Large monopoly banks >  move to local - community controlled institutions....

      Industrial agriculture dominant with long distance transport > build up local source and support it.

      Publishing, Film-making, Music... cut out the top-heavy middlepeople and content monopolists... but still protect copyright of actual creators... not corporate hoarders.

      Health, education, utilities, information access...  with local participation protected and extended...but with national standards or protections as makes sense without corporate or religious nullification.

      And every other field

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:22:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Limbaugh is another "Straight Line" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PlinytheWelder, Bluefin, IreGyre

    persuader.

    He sells his product, triggering certainty, clarity and conviction on demand. All he has to do is anchor his main theme to a compelling image, whether or not there is any logic to it.

    Facts do not matter.

    What he is selling is that he will help his audience to achieve their goals. And what are their goals ??? To blame others for their shortcomings, for the failures in life.

    Limbaugh never, ever, no-no-no comes to grips with the disappearance of industrial factory jobs in the West. The impossibility of competing with the 350,000,000 Long-Distance Commuter wage slaves in China.

    That is what has destroyed Middle Class stability along with the Big Six Reagan-Clinton-Bush43 tax redistributions.

    So he sells Climate Hoax. He sells War on Christmas. He sells Homosexual Lifestyle Threat. Whatever is up on the Purple Sheet that day, he sells it.

  •  Word (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluefin
    My hope is scientists, the same ones Limbaugh's dittoheads so distrust, will come up with ways to capture and sequester atmospheric carbon on a scale which allows global warming to be dialed back.
    This thought always helps get me through the day. I am a scientist of sorts. So I look forward to the day that the ignorant fucks that Asimov foretold of, who get hard-ons over vilifying anyone who works hard to cultivate and grow their knowledge, will one day beg us to fix the mess we warned them about.
  •  My expectation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tim DeLaney, PlinytheWelder, Bluefin

    is that markets will continue to move ahead with Renewable Energy sources, now that we are passing through Grid Parity to the stage where renewables will be cheaper than fossil carbon almost everywhere. You can see signs of it all around, if you know where to look.

    Goldman-Sachs has been advising against any investments in coal for power generation, and against coal export terminals. The markets will simply not be there that long. Oil has long been too expensive for power generation.

    Wind and solar power are currently growing exponentially, at a rate that would allow us to generate all of our electricity sustainably by 2030. (Eventually, growth will follow something more like a logistic curve, which looks exponential in the beginning and roughly linear in the middle, with exponentially declining growth as we reach saturation.)

    Electric cars are making good progress, and there are moves to electrify more railroads. Although biodiesel is not ready for mass production, we can see a path from here to sustainable trucking. Carbon-neutral jet fuel is harder to make, but it is now a matter of cost, not impossibility. If we could convince jet engine manufacturers to do the necessary R&D on new engine designs, we might be able to start fueling planes with fuels we already know how to make.

    A large part of the question is when renewable energy sources are a large enough part of the economy to gain political influence comparable to fossil coal, oil, and gas. Do not doubt that that day is coming. Then we will be able to get rid of financial and regulatory fossil carbon subsidies, and tip even faster toward renewables.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:10:06 PM PST

  •  What needs to happen? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluefin

    "The question for mankind is -- will this be our Waterloo? Do we have the ability to adapt to the new climate we're creating? Or, better, can we find a way to reverse the damage we've caused?"

    Another Great Plague, population shrinkage by 30-50%. Enough so that lots of land can go back to forest and maybe produce the weather effects that extensive foliage cover produces. A population count that can survive locally, where ever local is.

    Also reduce demand for the ever harder to get natural resources. Potentially by extensive recycling and salvage. If society slips too far backwards who is going to write the Canticle for Leibowitz? To maintain our society takes the technology of our society, not the technology at the cusp of the Industrial revolution or before.

  •  Limbaugh Linking Questioned NFL Suicide Stats (0+ / 0-)

    to the his anti-science rhetoric. Heard him ramble on about that the other day and it led right into his anti-climate change spiel. Real men play football without helmets and they don't give a shit about pollution.

    Actually have listened to him more since the start of the year. Since the 1st, Los Angeles is without a commercial  progressive talk station. He is on two of my AM presets now. I can deal with the fact that we have no NFL team. But no Stephanie Miller or Randi Rhodes?

  •  Bringing logic to bear against Limbaugh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana

    is like screaming at a sponge. It may make you feel better, but the sponge is just going to keep being a sponge. In some ways, the climate battle is moot. We are going to hit 500 ppm in the next few decades and then we are basically toast. Nothing is going to stop this global train-wreck. We cannot even get a reasonable shot at staying under 400. We can't even get an agreement to end global coal subsidies and the idea that international agreement could start coal on a rapidly descending path is a non-starter. I used to think I would be long dead by the time the final reckoning kicked in, but now I think I may be alive to see it.  

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:06:34 AM PST

  •  A visual aid to put this into perspective. (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry I can't imbed this but here is a simple to understand image showing how much colder and warmer than average specific regions throughout the world are.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/...

    You'll notice that the US/Canada is practically the only region in mild blue-colder than average-while Siberia and Russia are in red and brown-much warmer than average.

    Look at the color bar below the image and you'll notice that the intensity of temperature is higher in the above average range than it is in the colder range.

    The United States is less than 2% of the worlds surface.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:19:18 AM PST

  •  climate change is alive and well and getting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana

    much worse out west. Limbaugh is an ignorant idiot. As I type this California is declaring the worst drought in over 100 years. Where I am in Washington State, this is the DRIEST winter in 13 years. Something is going on out here, and its not good. It could be the year the western U.S. goes up in flames! We keep getting these high pressure systems that park themselves over the west and they don't budge. All moisture goes way up north to Northern B.C. and then on the down slope, back east gets the polar vortex and the snow/cold. Anyone who claims there is no climate change at this point, is a complete ignorant idiot. I am NOT looking forward to summer. Speaking of summer parts of Australia, including Melbourne are baking. Some days are so hot, they have to suspend play in the Australian Open. Players are getting sick playing in the heat.

  •  If the Koch brothers could become trillionaires (0+ / 0-)

    through carbon sequestration, Limbaugh would be pushing it.

    But Big Oil is a status-quo technology. They make their current enormous riches through burning fossil fuels, and they use those riches to prevent significant political -- and technological -- change.

    Only breaking up their wealth hegemony could free us from their death grip. But they have destroyed our society's brain centers and we are politically paralyzed.

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