SHOCKING REVELATION: Christopher Monckton is Sacha Baren Cohen?!

Got a bunch on my plate today. So, a post with a silly video for right now. Talk amongst yourselves!

Via D-Dave in the comments of my last post about Monckton’s debate-dodging, comes definitive proof that Monckton is actually a character by Sacha Baren Cohen. That certainly explains why he can’t join the debate — he’s too busy being The Dictator right now.

Lord Christopher Monckton: where are you?

Potholer54, a.k.a former CBC correspondent Peter Hadfield, originally won my undying devotion for a series on Youtube debunking creationists. He’s also, recently, taken on climate change denialists, given how much overlap there is in the particular skillset you need to counter their dogmas. One of the biggest proponents of dogmatic climate antiscience is Lord Christopher Monckton. He and Potholer recently had a short dust-up over Monckton’s supposedly unassailable speeches. Anthony Watts, arch-denialist and proprietor of the Watts Up With That blog, hosted what began as an internet debate, and ended as a one-sided trouncing where Monckton retreated from the field unceremoniously with an as-yet unfulfilled promise to return and rebut.

It’s been several months since, and where I would have given up, Potholer is evidently not done with Monckton. He, and I strongly feel all Monckton’s and denialism’s proponents, deserve a rebuttal. Potholer authored an open letter to Monckton and posted it to Youtube.
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There’s No Tomorrow

This is pretty much what I would answer, if I could do it succinctly, every damned time someone asks Jodi and I why we aren’t having kids.

I think I’m going to go learn how to create flaming swords out of household parts. Also, could you guys kindly give me all your bottle caps? They might… I dunno… come in handy after the collapse. Even if said collapse doesn’t happen as a result of a nuclear apocalypse, I just want to be sure I get ahead of the dystopian future.

What will your kids be taught about climate science?

Ezra Klein’s coverage of the NCSE stepping into the climate change battleground is very timely, and asks many very relevant questions.

One revelation from the recent Heartland Institute document leak is that the group is crafting a K-12 curriculum to teach kids that global warming is “controversial.” Heartland officials have confirmed this. So is climate change set to join evolution as the next big classroom controversy?
[…]
But could Heartland actually spread its views? Rosenau says that Heartland could do what creationist groups like the Discovery Institute have been doing for years and simply mail out supplemental materials to educators far and wide. “There will be teachers who are sympathetic to the skeptic view or who think the material looks useful, and they’ll say to themselves, okay, I’ll bring this into the classroom,” he explains. It’s worth noting that the Heartland Institute had already developed a video along these lines — titled “Unstoppable Solar Cycles,” which laid out the long-debunked theory that the sun is driving recent warming — and shipped it off to teachers. (These earlier efforts, according to one Heartland document, met with “only limited success.”)

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The Lorax used to sell SUVs

Via Badass Digest, easily some of the most cynical and tone-deaf marketing I’ve ever seen. Remember The Lorax? The Dr. Seuss classic with heavy environmentalist overtones? The story about how corporations will destroy the environment to make a buck and it’s entirely up to the reader to preserve said environment?

Well, Mazda apparently convinced the braintrusts behind the new movie to sell old Theodor Seuss Geisel’s soul post mortem.

I cannot imagine the estate of Dr. Seuss being cool with this. I’m certainly not. Way to take the mantle of the Once-ler, Mazda. Sure, an SUV is probably the most fuel-efficient way to transport six people, but seriously, what percentage of the time do you see an SUV that’s actually full?

Just… whargarbl.

Blue Marble Redux

Via Wired Science, here’s what could be the single most powerful image of the year, though we’re not even through January yet.

Thumbnail for a super-high-resolution satellite image of Earth

The full image is 8000×8000 pixels. It is extremely high resolution — if you zoom in, you can see signs of civilization in some spots on the North American continent. This was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite from a lot of tiny shots of the globe over the course of January 4th, and stitched together afterward. While I would love to have seen a single image of the entire planet taken at one instant, to get a sense for how the weather patterns were at that exact moment, this will have to do for now, considering how far away you’d have to get and how much equipment you’d have to put into space to get as high a resolution image as this pastiche.

But what an amazing image it is. Look at how thin and fragile the atmosphere is on this planet of ours. This is the only planet we’ve got. Maybe we should stop destroying it.

Do extreme weather events make you more liberal?

I will happily admit, the next several posts over the next several days constitute me trying to play some amount of catch-up with my ever-burgeoning Firefox tabs and RSS feeds. I’m trying to post a bunch of days ahead of time, too, so I might be reporting on some older stuff. But I’ll try to keep it fresh and relevant with my opinionation. Apologies if we’re covering ground you’ve already covered, you savvy and avid reader you.

Via Peter Sinclair’s excellent Climate Denial Crock of the Week, this story from USA Today explores the ramifications of a study about how people react to global warming policy when having been exposed to examples of the kind of extreme weather event that climate realists have been warning of for decades.
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Obama rejects Keystone XL Pipeline proposal

But that doesn’t mean the end of the pipeline, or Canada’s tar sands.

The U.S. government has denied an application by TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department announced Wednesday.

A statement released by the department said it doesn’t preclude TransCanada applying again with a different route.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said the government hopes a new TransCanada application will be approved, but Canada is going to look to other markets to sell its oil.

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New Hampshire Republican voters sick of climate denialism too

I have this irrational penchant for assuming we humans will, eventually, let our better angels of empathy and rationality win out in the long run. This plays to that aspect of my psychology.

Of course, there are so many other reasons not to vote for Republicans that you don’t need to point out the fact that it’s been completely and thoroughly awash in scientific denialism for decades and fix that alone to get me to consider them rational actors on the political stage. You’d also have to untie them from religious zelaotry and magical thinking about economic factors and war hawkishness… et cetera, et cetera.