RCimT: Climate round-up

Apropos of the topic of discussion for today’s radio show, here’s a roundup of some links related to climate change, plus some other related sciencey bits that I otherwise just wanted to get out of my tabs. Enjoy!

Here’s how climate change was subsumed into the “culture war”. Good overview of how we got to the point where science and anti-science polarized along political lines, and how it’ll backfire on the pro-money and anti-science crowd.

Knowing that bots and hired trolls have all but filled the discourse on other matters, Googling for related topics and astroturfing dissent as though they were legitimately grass-roots, it’s no surprise that climate denialists are employing these same tactics to muddy the discourse.

Some new study came out claiming some ridiculous things about the science proving anthropogenic global warming, and the media is touting this study as “blowing a hole” in the science, calling those people that understand and accept the evidence “alarmists” in the process. Phil Plait rips ‘em a new one over this mendacity, and in the process, Learns to Stop Worrying and Love the Ad Hominem in the process. Though I’d argue that since he’s also showing why they’re wrong, what he’s doing is simply including a personal attack in the conclusion. You’ll want to click pretty much every one of the links in his post, as the actual debunking mostly happens off-blog.

Like at RealClimate, for example. If you don’t want to go through the links above, at least check that one out.

John Abraham, one of the participants in the Atheists Talk radio show today, had another radio spot recently about climate change that you should check out.

The Koch Brothers, apparently movers-and-shakers in the conservative world, are making a concerted effort to stamp out a wind power generation project in New Jersey. And, of course, disguising it as a grassroots movement.

Mike Haubrich, host of the Atheists Talk show, has a good piece on “Hide the Decline”, those unfortunate terms of trade in the “Climategate” emails. Those emails led to a million false allegations against climate scientists and climate science as a whole due to a simple misunderstanding and a willful ignorance of the truth, even after having it explained a million and one (for good measure) times.

And now that the raw data from the “Climategate” study has been released, and STILL they can’t find any actual wrongdoing or manipulation in the scientists’ processes, I’m sure that’ll evaporate finally! Right?

If we could find some way to keep space debris from smashing it to bits, I’m now convinced space solar is the best path out of this era of fossil fuels and into the next, of renewable resources. Building the arrays and keeping them safe from space junk would be expensive, but no more expensive than, say, three ongoing wars, or the Bush-era tax cuts.

Enjoy the radio show! I’ll be listening live myself, if I can get the stupid feed to work properly this time around. Last time the streaming was glitchy as hell. Here’s to hoping it’s sorted now.

The real issue right-wingers have with DADT’s repeal

If you’ve been following the recent fallout from the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, you’ll know that the vocal fringe of the right-wing has said some pretty absurd and hateful things about the potential results of allowing openly gay soldiers in the army. Specifically, that doing so will “pussify” or make effeminate the otherwise manly army. Because skirts are incapable of killing brown people, I guess. Or something. I don’t know.

Anyway, the real issue here is less to do with how effeminate the army is as a result of allowing people into the army who prefer penis to vagina. Rather, the issue is whether the right-wing are allowed to demonize homosexuals as a matter of faith. That’s right — it’s not about human rights, and it’s not about the capabilities of the army. It’s a certain sect of people that demand the right to go on discriminating against some outgroup. It’s clawback at the inconvenience of losing one more excuse, one more bludgeon, with which gays can be beaten back into their closets.

[J]ust one month ago [Washington Post "On Faith" blogger] Sekulow wrote in the same pages, “If DADT is repealed, the American Center for Law & Justice is committed to advocating for the ability of military chaplains to do their job according to the dictates of their faith. The ACLJ has a long history of defending military chaplains.” And he had previously told readers, “Take your head out of the sand and recognize that the teachings of the Christian faith direct America’s opinion of homosexuality.”

This is, as I’ve said, being spun as the religious homophobes having their rights revoked — their rights to revile and demonize people for their in-built genital preference. This war against the “homosexual agenda” is nothing but a pretense — it is a fight for the right of those fundamentalists that take the Bible literally at one verse in Leviticus even while they ignore the remainder of the chapter. Sarah Posner goes on:

At its core, the war against the “homosexual agenda” pits the rights of LGBT people against the “Christian nation” mythology. Since we are a Christian nation, the argument goes, our laws must reflect that Christian theology condemns homosexuality. Despite being on shaky ground both theologically and historically, religious right legal organizations — claiming the need to counter the ACLU and its advocacy for both LGBT rights and the separation of church and state — have attempted to transform this culture war argument into a legal one.

To make my position perfectly clear: you do not have the right to deprive others of rights due to your own bigotry. This is not a right being taken away from you. This is a right being restored to another human being. If it has the side-effect of putting you at odds with your religious faith, then there’s a distinct possibility that your religious faith does not have humankind’s best interests at heart. There is the distinct possibility that if you cannot reconcile what you feel to be just and humane to other humans, and what your religious commandments tell you to do, that your religion is wrong.