Links 7/10/12


‘New McCarthyism’ Described by Climate Scientist Michael Mann ABC. I get so annoyed when readers insist that there is a conspiracy promoting concerns about human-induced climate change. Follow the money. Hint: it ain’t scientists who are pushing PR, and the big money isn’t behind green tech or taxes on carbon. Or go read the book Agnotology.

Great white shark sightings up on East and West Coasts: What are they after? Christian Science Monitor. Do the math. You are way way more at risk from drunk drivers than sharks.

UCLA develops world’s fastest camera to hunt down cancer in real time ExtremeTech (Chuck L). Sounds a little like Carcinoma Angels.

Clinton takes jab at China by linking political openness, prosperity in Mongolia CBS

China rebalancing, my butt MacroBusiness

Economic Slump Weakens China’s Trade Growth Associated Press

China heads for a deflationary shock Ambrose Evansp-Pritchard, Telegraph

Eurozone talks stuck on detail of bank rescue fund plan Guardian. This looks consistent with the Wolfgang Munchau piece we posted on yesterday, that there really was no deal on bank rescues (as in the vague commitment did a crappy job of papering over fundamental disagreements). But this FT story suggests not: Eurozone draws up Spanish aid blueprint. This tries to square the circle: European technocrats squabble over the spoils MacroBusiness


Former Barclays boss regrets not sacking Bob Diamond 15 years ago Guardian

The BBC as Apologist for Lying about Libor William Black. It was Peston who also whipped up the furor about the call between Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond, which now looks like a very convenient red herring for Barclays

We’re powerless to get truth about bankers, says key MP Independent

Libor Scandal Threatening To Turn Companies Off Syndicated Loans Bloomberg

Rules of American justice Glenn Greenwald

Obama’s Administration Killed a 16-Year-Old American and Didn’t Say Anything About It. This Is Justice? Tom Junod, Esquire

Obama Has a Serious Tax Credibility Problem Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Maddow befuddled by snooty Romney donors: These must be leftist protesters Raw Story

Higher Political Spending by Unions Wall Street Journal. This means they are really bad at it.

Wall Street’s Captive Arbitrators Strike Again William Cohan, Bloomberg (K. Ackermann)

Major Rent Strike Against Millionaire Slumlord Catches Fire in Brooklyn Alternet (Carol B)

Tarnished CEO Dimon faces the grinder New York Post

Indentured Students Rise As Loans Corrode College Ticket Bloomberg

Consumers Credit Jumps… a Good Thing? EconomPic Data

Big Dealers Sweat as Swaps Face Reckoning Wall Street Journal

Robert Samuelson Blames the 60s Again Dean Baker

The curse of advanced economies in resolving banking crises VoxEU

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 60 and counting*

If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.” — JFK, on accepting the New York Liberal Party nomination

Occupy. #NATGAT: “Multiple organizers told [City Paper weekly] that one member – known as “Sage” – had been accused by six different women of sexual harassment over the course of National Gathering. They said he had also been making racist, sexist comments to multiple members of the movement. He was asked to leave and at one point, Occupiers formed a barricade to keep him from entering the camp.”

AZ. ObamaCare: “If the feds can’t force Arizona to move forward with the massive Medicaid expansion, it’s a near certainty the Republican-led Legislature won’t do it for them.”

FL. Public records: “A reader did a Miami Dade County Public Records request. He had 6 queries. [The charge:] $888.00.” In what sense are these records public, then?

IA. Code enforcement: “Supporters of urban chickens say it’s time the Iowa City council allow residents to raise chickens in their backyards.”

LA. Letter to the Newhouse family: “[I]t is nearly impossible to find a kind word in these parts about your family or your plan to take away our daily newspaper” Check the signatures. … Water: “But after three decades of extensive efforts to clean it up, nitrate along the rivers is getting worse. In Hermann [Mo, in the center of the Missouri River basin], the levels have increased 75 percent since 1980, according to USGS research published last year…. And no one – at least yet – has figured out exactly why. … The pollution that creates a [6,800 square mile] dead zone [in the Gulf] 1,247 miles downstream.”

ME. ObamaCare: “ME Gov. Paul LePage has refused to give in to demands that he apologize for comparing the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo, but he said he never intended to insult anyone or ‘minimize’ the misdeeds carried out by Nazi Germany’s secret police force.” A non-apology apology.

MN. “A provisional ballot ain’t a vote… If you ballot was rejected for bull**** reasons, how could you appeal?”

NY. Tinpot tyrants: “The NYPD has created a “wanted” poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them “professional agitators” who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address.” (MR) … Fracking: “In reassuring the public that shale gas development is safe and beneficial, officials within the DEC’s Mineral Resources Division have publicly denied that hydraulic fracturing uses dangerous chemicals.”

OH. Fracking: ‘[Concerned Citizens of OH:]” I don’t think people are adequately educated about the impact of this industrial process, or (know) that local zoning was totally removed from the hands of local government. I think most people are not aware of that.” (danps)

PA. Fracking: Rural counties roar ahead, suburban counties to be studied. Alrighty then. … Money: “According to new filings, Obama has collected $2.8 million from donors in Philadelphia zip codes. That’s far less than the $4 million he collected from the same area at a similar point during the 2008 campaign.”

TN. Meme watch: “He’d not heard of the Teavangelical label [coined by CBN news reader in new book] before but said that it fits. His faith shapes many of his political views.”

TX. ObamaCare: “In a move that surprised exactly no one, Rick Perry announced Monday that TX will not create a health insurance exchange nor expand Medicaid.” “[PERRY in letter to Sibelius:] I look forward to implementing health care solutions that are right for the people of TX. I urge you to support me in that effort. In the meantime, [health reform’s] unsound encroachments will find no foothold here.” Nullification?! … Voting: “In TX, for example, concealed handgun licenses are an acceptable form of [voter] ID under a new law that’s yet to take effect, but student ID cards are not.”

VA. Privatization: “One of our state’s most prized assets [the Port of Virginia] is about to be sold (ok, leased for a really, really long time) to a private operator. … without any input from the public. We’ve seen this play before, most recently with the implementation of tolls on the tunnels in our area. We also are seeing it locally, as both Norfolk and Virginia Beach take on new zoning plans.” …. Privatization: “After the [single] July 17 meeting [on the Port of Virginia], panel members will be required to sign nondisclosure agreements giving them access to sensitive financial details of any proposed deals, but leaving them extremely limited as to what they could share with the public.” … Snark watch: “Rosalynn Carter:  OMG! You mean this was a political party convention here in the United States of America, in the state of Virginia? Is it really possible that a major American political party could hold contested elections in the 21st century and make this much of a mess of it? ” Super article on state party shenanigans with reform proposals.

The empire. Cartagena redux? “In pre-dawn darkness, a ­Toyota Land Cruiser skidded off a bridge in [Mali] in the spring, plunging into the Niger River. When rescuers arrived, they found the bodies of three U.S. Army commandos — alongside three dead women.”  … Charles Pierce reacts: “There is democratic logic and there is imperial logic, and they are mutually and forever exclusive. Making secret war makes war a secret only to the people footing the bills.” So, you’re voting for the emperor, then?

ObamaCare. A sober look, LA Times: “Millions of Californians will still lack insurance even after a massive coverage expansion. Medical costs and premiums are expected to keep rising, at least in the short run. And many of those who do gain coverage could have a tough time finding a doctor to treat them.” … Taxing power: ObamaCare’s mandate is neither a tax nor a penalty. It’s a “mixed exaction” (A theory of the tax power that justifies – and may have informed –Roberts’s analysis.) … The mandate: “[In MA,] some 97 percent of the taxpayers are complying with new health reform filing requirements.”

Jobs. Nate Silver: “Is this the new normal?” Simple answers to simple questions: Yes.

The trail. Money: “Ominously for the Obama re-election campaign, Romney is beginning to bring in money from small donors in substantial numbers as well as wealthy donors. His campaign said about 20% came from small donors.” Money: “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate [Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, and 60-Plus Association,] Republican-leaning nonprofits who are spending millions on the 2012 campaigns. DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil: ‘These organizations are actually claiming that they are no more political than a church, a synagogue, or even the American Cancer Society. It is patently absurd'” (SW). The FEC is comprised of three Ds and three Rs. … Razor thin margin: “Why isn’t President Obama doing worse? The answer favored by political professionals is that Obama is playing a mediocre hand well, while his GOP rival Mitt Romney is failing to leverage his strong hand — particularly on the economy.” … Streamers: “House Ds are taking it to another level. They’re now recording video of the homes of GOP congressmen and candidates and posting the raw footage on the Internet for all to see.” How do we know it’s raw?

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Failure to communicate: “It took several weeks for Burton and Sweeney to come up with a name for [Priorities USA]. To their irritation, every slogan they considered had already been trademarked by Republicans.” “Jail the banksters!” has been trademarked by the Rs? That’s remarkable.

Romney. “The real question is when will we see Romney start to define himself on his terms? Where is the People Magazine profile? Or the Good Housekeeping interview?”

Obama. Middle class tax cuts: “The move underscored Obama’s support for raising taxes on higher incomes and his effort to cast himself as a populist.” Banksters in orange jump suits doing the perp walk; that would be populist. … Middle class tax cuts, White House communications director tweet: “[PFEIFFER]: Will the GOP join him to provide certainty for 98% of Americans?” Bizarrely out of touch. “Certainty,” sibling to the Confidence Fairy, is a corporate frame. 99% of Americans are concerned about the certainty of paying the bills this week, not something far off next April. A job helps. …. Bain flap: Press plays stenographer, gives misleading Obama claims a free pass.

* 61 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with som tam on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. JFK was elected in 1960.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. fresno dan

    “The curse of advanced economies in resolving banking crises VoxEU”

    What is interesting, or sad, is that the aspect of corruption is not even considered. Perhaps we need to look at our “established institutions” and “rule of law” which seems to be nothing more than a fancy way of obfuscating the varied ways of screwing people in our “advanced” economies and bailing out the corrupt and incompetent. The adjective “advanced” makes it even more vomit inducing.

  2. skippy

    Canada’s PM Stephen Harper faces revolt by scientists

    Scientists to march through Ottawa in white lab coats in protest at cuts to research and environmental damage.

    Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, faces a widening revolt by the country’s leading scientists against sweeping cuts to government research labs and broadly pro-industry policies.

    The scientists plan to march through Ottawa in white lab coats on Tuesday in the second big protest in a month against the Harper government’s science and environmental agenda.

    Harper is accused of pushing through a slew of policies weakening or abolishing environmental protections – with an aim of expanding development of natural resources such as the Alberta tar sands.

    His government is also accused of jeopardising Canada’s scientific reputation by shutting down the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a research station that produced critical evidence to help stop acid rain.

    “In my view there are a lot of attempts in this country, and other countries too, to push through resource-based economies,” said Prof John Smol, a freshwater lake biologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. “People working at ELA are constantly finding reasons why you can’t just put a pipeline here, or an industry there, because there are going to be environmental costs.”

    Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, was even more pointed. “It’s not about saving money. It’s about imposing ideology,” he said. “What’s happening here is that the government has an ideological agenda to develop the Canadian economy based on the extraction of oil out of the Alberta tar sands as quickly as possible and sell it as fast as it can, come hell and high water, and eliminate any barriers that stand in their way.”

    Skippy… This should pair with the climate link nicely.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      But, but isn’t Stephen Harper the Bush Point Man for the North American Union?

  3. Cap'n Magic

    FL TB ourbreak kept quiet:

    “JACKSONVILLE — The CDC officer had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst his group had investigated in 20 years. Linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, it would require concerted action to stop. That report had been penned on April 5, exactly nine days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the Department of Health and required the closure of the A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, where tough tuberculosis cases have been treated for more than 60 years. As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Robert Luo’s 25-page report describing Jacksonville’s outbreak — and the measures needed to contain it – went unseen by key decision makers around the state. At the health agency, an order went out that the TB hospital must be closed six months ahead of schedule.”

    “Meanwhile the champion of the health agency consolidation, Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, said he had not been informed of the Jacksonville outbreak and the CDC’s role as of Friday.
    Told the details, the chairman of the House Health Care Appropriations Committee vowed that there would be money for TB treatment. “There is every bit of understanding that we cannot not take care of people who have a difficult case of TB,” Hudson said.”

    Well, so much for vacationing in certain parts of Florida for the next decade or so…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Cap’n, quarantine will have to be resurrected. Or not, depending on the plan.

      1. ambrit

        Is this why I’ve been seeing paper towels in the waste bin in my workplace bathroom filled with sputum mixed with fresh blood? (Saw one yesterday.) This can’t be a good thing. Very few people today remember the panic and fear of TB outbreaks in the old days. (I certainly don’t, and had hoped not to learn first hand.) This is the leading edge of Mistress Gaias Human Population Re-balancing Program.
        I’m with the Blue Oyster Cult on this:
        “History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of men.”

    2. Susan the other

      Just in time for the Republican convention where there will be enough hyperventilation to such the bacilli in from miles around.

  4. Cap'n Magic

    Let’s see if I can make up for it: Economically Healthy ‘Daily Planet’ Now Most Unrealistic Part Of Superman Universe,28718/?ref=auto

    “NEW YORK—Frustrated fans of the Superman comic book said Monday the continued financial stability and cultural relevance of the series’ Daily Planet newspaper is now the most unrealistic part of its universe and an annoying distraction that has ruined their reading experience.

    While they acknowledged that enjoying the adventures of a superhero who can fly, lift a bus over his head, and shoot beams of intense heat from his eyes requires some suspension of disbelief, longtime fans told reporters they simply could not accept a daily metropolitan newspaper still thriving in the media landscape of 2012.

    “I can play along with Superman using a steel girder to swat someone into outer space, but I just can’t get past the idea that The Daily Planet still occupies one of the largest skyscrapers in all of Metropolis and is totally impervious to newsroom layoffs or dwindling home subscriptions,” said comics blogger Marc Daigle, adding that it was impossible for him to even look at Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, without immediately thinking he would have been replaced long ago by a freelancer who gets paid nine cents a word and receives no health benefits. “Every time The Daily Planet shows up, I just get taken out of the story completely. I usually flip ahead to Superman freezing a volcano with his breath or something.”

  5. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Ready? LIBOR GETS RELIGION! see: “The Devil is in the Libor” – blog today: — will link you to:

    See YouTube: “Hateful Catholics” by ChurchMilitantTV on July 5, 2012.
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen rises from the dead via Michael Voris, without the cape. The message? “REAL LOVE involves real hatred.”

    How might this connect more largely “The Devil in the Libor” with the TV Bishop of the McCarthy Era? Recall the set-up in 1993, from York, PA:

    “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII” by Plinio Correa de Oliveira, with Foreword by Reagan’s minister of propaganda, Morton C. Blackwell, Republican Committeeman of Virginia.

    1. ohmyheck

      Ha! Since no one has posted this, I thought folks might enjoy the Front Page Headline at the HuffPo right now:


      “New York Fed, Geithner May Have Known About Outrageous LIBOR Problems In 2007”

      “Senate Committee To Question Geithner, Bernanke On Scandal”

      Oh, and the CEO of BFGBest may have attempted suicide this morning. Condolences to his family.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        RE: HuffPo piece re Geithner-Libor: CLAW.BACK.

        Oh, and Katie Holmes returns to the (Roman) Catholic Church.

        1. Ms G

          Opus Dei is p***d off that Scientology is grabbing too many high profile Opus-Bots. Unto the breach — grab ’em back!

  6. rjs

    re lambert & kennedy on liberals; my take on you all has always been closer to that of phil ochs:
    “An outspoken group on many subjects. 10 degrees to the left of center in good times, 10 degrees to the right of center when it affects them personally”

    1. James

      LOL! Probably right. My take on conservatives is that they strive to be morally consistent – that is to say, amoral, self-righteous, selfish, and clannish – 100% of the time. Pick your poison I guess.

  7. Ned Ludd

    In Australia, it looks like the Labor Party has decided to trash the Green Party – even though the Greens currently prop up Labor’s minority government at the federal level.

    Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has backed other party figures who have distanced Labor from the Greens amid a stoush over preference deals.

    New South Wales Labor secretary Sam Dastyari and Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes both criticised the Greens at the weekend as “extremists” after Victorian Labor decided to preference Family First ahead of the Greens in a state by-election for the seat of Melbourne.

    Mr Dastyari said he would move a motion at the state conference this weekend to preference the Greens last at the next federal election, while Mr Howes called the Greens the most dangerous fringe group in Australian politics and urged Labor in other states to follow Victoria’s lead.

    Given how Australia’s preference system works, this proposal would mean that if a Labor politician running for the Australian House of Representatives was eliminated before the Green candidate, Labor votes would be automatically transferred to a right-wing candidate in order to defeat the Green candidate.

  8. Deb Schultz

    I’m amazed to read that someone with a graduate degree in microbiology is struggling to find work. (Indentured Students Rise as Loans Corrode College Ticket) I believe it, but it’s shocking. It makes me wonder about all the rather hysterical talk about the need to increase the number of STEM graduates from American colleges and universities in order to ‘compete’.

    1. Ms G

      It does make you wonder about all the “buzz” that certain professions (especially in STEM) are desperate for workers and therefore an excellent educational investment.

      Close to home, a friend went to nursing school (second career) following the “buzz” about the “huge” demand for nurses. Graduated — took over a year to get a job in a less than ideal environment. This, with high grades, excellent creds and references, etc.

      Maybe the “high demand for STEM workers” buzz is just a high-pressure propaganda tactic to feed the (undisclosed) demand for student debt from “sell side” lenders who need cash to collateralize, derivatize, sell off, slice and dice and quarter.

  9. par4

    JFK was a “leberal” alright. As soon as he got in office he called for tax cuts for the rich then got us involved in Viet Nam and the space race.

    1. K Ackermann

      And what a waste that space race was. Other than global communications, GIS, and weather prediction, what has it ever done for us?

      1. ambrit

        Dear K.A.;
        A big plus one there! Plus, what about all those secret bases on the Moon and Mars? The elites have to have backup habitats when Nibiru comes swinging around again.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Like a lot of things, the result is mixed. Let’s try to clean the hi-tech waste floating in space now.

      2. Ms G

        Ackerman — excellent points, reflecting that all is not black + white. (Were you riffing Monty Python Life of Brian — reminded me of the spiel on “what the Romans did for us” (acqueducts, hygiene, roads, and of course … wine!).

  10. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Let’s turn five banks into seven banks”
    Milliband’s soft-shoe shuffle: video at Independent site, link at NC today.

  11. jsmith

    Regarding climate change:

    I too also get annoyed by the fascists and their right-wing libert enablers who deny the human basis of global warming in the face of mountains of scientific evidence.

    On one level it IS quite fascinating to watch the cognitive dissonance on display as libertarians and their rightish ilk attempt to defend both science and their anti-science views concerning climate change in the same breath.

    I mean, much how one can go to nearly any rightish/libertarian econ blog on the web and find out all about how the current neoliberal fascist system we’re suffering under in the U.S./EU is REALLY marxist/socialist, I swear I can smell the cognitive dissonance through my monitor when the liberts and friends spew about glacial/solar cycles and how this proves that we can just keep burning every last ounce of fossil fuel that we run across even though 98% of scientists say this is just not the case.

    For a nice recap as to why this phenomenon occurs, please see this article from 2009 which highlights the points that if global warming/climate change is accepted by everyone to be man-made, well, then it shows capitalism has failed and that the libertarian/fascist worldview is done/over/finished/gone.

    Although the author is much too in the can for “liberalism” for this socialist’s taste, his points are well taken nonetheless:

    1. K Ackermann

      These people have a vision of Utopia, and will mow down anything that conflicts.

      Have you ever seen their proofs at places like Cognitive dissonance actually appears as a calculus that appearently will prove anything true or false as desired.

    2. 4C

      It doesn’t matter if some party shills deny it, the state accepts the reality of global warming, and it’s preparing for it at the collateral level (compartmented and special-access programs.) The permanent state is going to treat global warming as a technical matter of allocating productive land and controlling transhumance. In Katrina, Deepwater Horizon, NORTHCOM, AFRICOM, you’re getting glimpses of an integrated preparedness program for . When you try to escape your dust bowl, the state will be there to stop you.

      1. jsmith

        That’s exactly why this fascist neoliberal state/system must be dismantled.

        Because it is a failed state/system which will seek to sustain failed policies and failed agendas.

        Capitalism must first end for the rise of any sort of state that can humanely and intelligently deal with the threats of global warming and the damage that mankind has done to the biosphere.

        I agree that thinking that a fascist state such as the U.S. that has such utter disregard for human life and nature could conceivably deal with coming crises in such above stated ways – i.e. humanely – but the common citizen first has to jettison the belief systems that the elite have imposed upon us and which seemingly presents people with no alternatives other than what they – the elite – prescribe.

        Of course the elite are going to try and grab everything but that doesn’t mean global warming ISN’T happening.

        Instead it means we have to wrest control from the sociopathic monsters who think they will somehow still be able to survive said catastrophes.

        1. Up the Ante

          We’ll see about global warming once the tundra begins melting in earnest.

          “Of course the elite are going to try and grab everything but that doesn’t mean global warming ISN’T happening. “

    3. colinc

      I am past “annoyed” and past “terrified” and have migrated into “amusement” at the incessant exhibition of abject “beliefs” espoused by the masses, regardless of their “understanding” of AGW. Don’t get me wrong, you and the article in your link are, by and large, absolutely correct. However, all of “that” is pretty much irrelevant at this juncture. You remember that point where Wile E. Coyote’s chasing of the Road Runner resulted in said cur suspended (briefly) in mid-air, raising a sign that read “Yikes!” then plummeted out of sight through the “smoke-ring”? As a species/ecosystem, we are way past that point now!

      I read an article, I think from a “Links” page a day or 2 ago, stating that at the start of the growing season most farmers in the grain-belt and upper Midwest were anticipating a “bumper harvest.” However, the heat and lack of precipitation have many of them now expecting at least a 30% reduction. Alas, what isn’t mentioned is that another week or so of these conditions will take yields to 50%. That pretty much assures that food prices will double or triple before the end of this year and a minimum of 5-10 million “exceptional AmeriCONS” will be starving to death before the next presidential inauguration. Add another week or 2 of the “dry-heat” (is that like a “dry-hump”?) and all the crops fail. How many will be starving then? Regardless, it will still only be a small fraction of the number starving globally. The jet-stream is almost completely off its rails (will be absolutely “complete” in 2-3 yrs when the summer Arctic ice no longer exists) and the “weather cycles/patterns” we’ve all known and loved (and relied upon for our sustenance) no longer exists. This past March, we experienced “summer-in-winter.” How many of “us” are even remotely “ready” for 2-3 weeks of “winter-in-summer?” How do you suppose the crops will respond when 14-21 days of freezing-or-below temps hit the arable regions of the northern hemisphere in July or August? Yet all the uproar is about “jobs” and “growth.” Is it not insanity to do the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results? Nonetheless, please, one and all, do not believe any of this and keep doing what you’re doing and nature will run its course.

      1. jsmith

        I somewhat agree with your overall assessment but people don’t realize how food and other resources could be put to use if the objective of humanity was – gasp! – to save as many humans as possible.

        There is no need for ANY human being to be starving right now, dying from lack of water, dying of an innumerable number of treatable diseases etc etc.

        It is just that certain groups – ahem, Americans – consume so much more than they need in order to survive that these problems aren’t addressed.

        A poster below mentioned the overpopulation canard:

        Actually, the world’s population has already begun to slow:

        3 Billion: 20 October 1959

        4 Billion: 27 June 1974

        5 Billion: 21 January 1987

        6 Billion: 5 December 1998

        7 Billion: 31 October 2011

        8 Billion: 15 June 2025

        9 Billion: 18 February 2043

        10 Billion: 18 June 2083

        Consumption is the problem. Americans consume 32 times as much as the average 3rd worlder and 11 times as much as the average Chinese citizen.

        Capitalism is built on consumption and must end for their to be any hope in saving humanity.

        It’s really both that simple and that difficult simultaneously.

        1. colinc

          Those points are, of course, quite valid and I must concur having witnessed (inexorably still) the egregious “gorging” (in any and every form) by my fellow(?!) “exceptional” citizens, much to my chagrin. A [near] 180-degree “paradigm shift” in “cultural mentality” is absolutely required to “save as many humans as possible.” At best, that amounts to no more than ~1/2 of the current population. If our species continues (globally) its current policies of extract-consume-waste more than another year or so (but probably already “too late”) we assure that, at best, the survivors will only be the “other 0.01%,” and they surely will not be the “lucky” ones. In case you haven’t noticed, the American “way-of-life” has infected a significant portion of the rest of this rock’s population outside the USA. They all must change and do it now! I do not see that occurring by any means. I am not saying that we need to revert to hunter-gatherers or even to a predominantly agrarian form of existence. However, without “drastic” reductions in consumption-and-waste (of everything) our near-extinction is already writ large.

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Americans generating 32 times the “human waste.” Figure the exponential progression of that among obese junk food/beef/pork consumers of huge “portions” (to go with the 64 oz liquid crap), together with that of their 6-8 kids, and try to imagine “disposal” in the future (if you dare).

        3. jsmith

          Adding in light of the other link:

          If consumption doesn’t kill us, consumption will.

      2. Up the Ante

        And you think you’ve seen it all ?

        “.. another week or so of these conditions will take yields to 50%. .. Add another week or 2 of the “dry-heat” .. and all the crops fail. “

    4. Susan the other

      ABC. The New McCarthyism. Mann’s account of his and other scientists’ intimidation at the hands of big-oil astroturf campaigns. We need to pass a law against this surreptitious stuff. If I called up my neighbor, whose politics I detest, and threatened her to just keep quiet she’d have me in front of a judge in no time flat. And I her. But the behavior of right-wing henchmen escapes scrutiny. Intimidation is a problem, in fact a crime, in and of itself.

      The problem of Global Warming also is a problem in and of itself. It happens to be true by all accounts. And if this interview is on ABC then the fact is already recognized. Propaganda from the oil and coal patch is known to be laughable. Not only does fossil fuel cause CO2, it is godawful toxic for any of its uses.

      It is interesting ABC chose McCarthy to reference. McCarthy’s vested interests, backers, remained well hidden. They were the cold warriors; the MIC; NATO, etc. who wanted to continue the fight against socialism in order to appropriate the entire world. (In fact some books say McCarthy was so manipulated he didn’t know his butt from a bottle of scotch.) War is a good way to grab whatever you want, albeit temporarily.

      So just a thought: Today’s anti-global warming pushers are big interests that are not so much vested as rapidly becoming divested. Even the military is going green.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here is one Zen Joan.

      What is it like to be alive in 2029 when your planet is no longer around?

      1. colinc

        With all due respect, the planet will certainly still exist in 2029 and will be “fine,” in the sense that Mercury, Venus and Mars are just fine. However, you, me, Ray K. and most of the rest of the life-forms on the planet almost certainly will not be around to see it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You are quite correct.

          The planet will survive global warming. Whether we will survive it is the worry. Even if it turns into another Mars, it still lives.

          The koan asks what is it like to be alive when the planet (as we know it) no longer eixsts. It’s a question to meditate on for humans. The planet should be fine for a few billion years. If I only said, the planet, and neglected to say the planet, as we know it, that’s my fault.

          1. F. Beard

            Even humanity (in its present form) has at least another 1000 years (Christ’s Reign on Earth). And, of course, some will live forever.

  12. emca

    To the Antidote du jour:
    Skunks are actually very affectionate animals. Pets (yes there are skunk pets, deoderized of course) enjoy being petted and as one comment floating around states, will ‘tolerate’ being petted all day long.
    A few other thoughts:
    -Skunks, as member of the weasel family, are nocturnal, so seeing them out and about during the day in the wild is a little odd.
    -Skunks mostly signal warning before they spray by stamping on the ground and holding there tails up. When that happens – time to move away.
    -Skunks have very poor eye sight, but very good hearing and sense of smell. As a result they won’t spray in confined spaces. They evidently don’t like their own scent any more than the victims of their defenses.
    -On the negative side, skunks in an urban environment are not good for reasons outside their pungent odor. They can carry a number of diseases which they can share with more orthodox pets (dogs in paricular), including rabies and strains of parvo virus. Like most if not all wild-ones they carry ticks and fleas and their associated diseases.
    -having them under your deck (as I did with ‘skunk hotel’) will require trapping and moving them, most likely by a someone in the business of wildlife removal.
    -Skunks will eat anything, grubs, insects, fallen fruit, small rodents; cat and dog food are a favorite. If you think cat is eating amazingly well from her outside dish at night and you have skunks in the area, think again. You are inviting trouble.

    1. James

      As I can attest from numerous local hikes, they also make very good food for coyotes. Lots and lots of black and white fur regularly on display along with what remains of their pungent odor.

      1. emca

        In my area, skunks are most often victims of run-ins with auto traffic, despite which it does not seem to effect their ability to survival; an indication more likely of just how plentiful they are.

  13. docG

    “I get so annoyed when readers insist that there is a conspiracy promoting concerns about human-induced climate change.”

    It’s not a money conspiracy. It’s a conspiracy of dunces. “The Science” involves more than climate science. You as an economist should know that. Ill advised efforts to turn back the clock on carbon, based solely on what the climate scientists are saying, have already produced disastrous results, measurable not by climate science but social science, which in this case is far more important.

    The world has already been hit with a huge increase in the cost of food, especially in the poorest countries, thanks to misguided efforts to promote biofuels. This is an ongoing disaster because there is no easy way to put that genie back in the bottle.

    Nuclear power got a huge boost thanks to the hysteria over climate change and now, in the wake of Fukushima, we see the results.

    Exactly the same “scientific” hubris that gave us fossil fuels and heavy industrialization in the first place is now producing the illusion that we can turn back the carbon clock and start over. We can’t. So we’re going to have to learn to live with it and adapt.

    A tax on carbon would be a tax on everyone using fossil fuels, and would hit the most vulnerable populations in the world the hardest. But hey, whatever makes you feel better about yourself, right?

    For a sensible approach to the problems of climate change I must once again point to my blog:

    1. Susan the other

      We don’t need oil and coal. We have thermal, hydro-electric, wind, solar, and soon thorium reactors. We have the technology, all we need is the conviction. And you are certainly not helping with your little hysteria. No one is advocating starvation, unless it is actually you – because that is exactly what you will get if GW turns bread baskets into deserts.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        S, that’s what happened with the Sahara. Still no “reversal.” More to come.

      2. docG

        I suppose, Susan, it all depends on what you mean by the word “we.” Yes, for upper middle class Americans, there are all sorts of alternatives. If you can afford the investment, you can equip your home with solar power generators, and for 30 or 40 thousands dollars invest in an electric car. Unfortunately the great majority of the world’s people are not in a position to do that sort of thing. They depend, whether “we” like it or not, on fossil fuels. As far as deserts are concerned,
        “While persistent droughts in parts of Africa have been attributed to global warming, “a new study of lake sediments in Ghana suggests that severe droughts lasting several decades, even centuries, were the norm in West Africa over the past 3,000 years. The earlier dry spells dwarfed the well-documented drought that plagued West Africa in the late-20th century . . .”

        For more “inconvenient truths” of this nature I’ll refer you to yet another blog post:

        1. Susan the other

          The big desert, the desert belt that stretches from the Sahara beyond Saudi Arabia, is – according to the History Channel- a cyclical desert which comes and goes every 20 thousand years because of the Earth’s wobble. The last vestige of pastoral life in the Sahara goes back to about the beginning of the building of the Great Pyramids. But there is some contention on that date. So say about 5,000 years ago. So it’s time for the climate to become more livable in northern Africa. But slowly. Maybe. Who knows.

          The people who cannot afford to live in a non-fossil fuel world might be a mirage. Because the change-over can and should be universal. The people who are destined to suffer the greatest shock are the populations of the great cities of western civilization. But do not underestimate the resourcefulness and willingness to find a way, with some help from the government, of people. In fact, my bet is on street smarts. Good old fashioned “capitalism.”

          1. docG

            Sorry to be so contrary, Susan, but good old fashioned capitalism is also a mirage. What is called capitalism could not exist without “big government” to save it from itself on a day to day basis, and bail it out when necessary. I get impatient with people on both sides of the political fence, I must admit. Today’s problems are too complex to be settled on the basis of anyone’s political agenda. (Can’t we all learn to get along?)

    2. Dick Hertz

      This is of course bollocks. Energy is not the issue; it is neoliberal colonialism that drives countries to shift arable land to export food production to support financing of infrastructure. We could do that with sailing ships; Britain did.
      “Tax on carbon” is disingenuous posturing that apes Norquistian metalogic by leaving out entirely what taxes are proposed on what products and what the thresholds are. Taxes can be carefully constructed to direct behavior and to support the shared costs of otherwise externalized economic costs, e.g. cigarette and booze taxes.
      Bubble thinking but at least it has reached the “bargaining” phase (anger, denial, rage, bargaining, acceptance).

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Are there a lot of space worms in a worm hole?

    I think they are good for space agriculture.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It’s not so much big money is in or not in green tech, it’s the preference of less consumption over more tech, with the sword of Jevon’s paradox over the whole thing.

    Moreover, one can be for the choice of less consumption because it’s good for one’s spiritual health to lead a non-avaricious life, without knowing a thing about whether the world is cooking or not. Spiritually speaking, it’s better than to say, I’m for green tech because otherwise I will die. You might get the same desired outcome but the motivations are different.

    1. F. Beard

      Moreover, one can be for the choice of less consumption because it’s good for one’s spiritual health … MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Mostly wrong. Except for extremes such as gluttony and waste but also including prideful self-denial (aestheticism), consumption and spiritually are orthogonal.

      I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. Philippians 4:12

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry for not unpacking the argument more. The assumption is (if I get it) that SOMEONE is manipulating/paying for all those client scientists to promote the (false) line that man made emissions can/are affecting the climate. Now the nuttier ones present it as that the government is somehow behind it as part of a massive secret plan to impose fascism/socialism (in the meantime, where are these people on stuff that is in our faces, like Holder saying he can call anyone a suspected terrorist and rub them out with no due process?)

      The less nutty ones don’t mention agency, but there has to be an agent for there to be a conspiracy. So if it isn’t government, it would have to be private interests that would benefit from reducing carbon use, so green tech types.

  16. Susan the other

    Dean Baker. Robert Samuelson Blames the 60s Again. Why doesn’t Samuelson blame the later 70s after Nixon and Connally unleashed capital to run free and propagate like a feral dog. Nevermind. I don’t understand Dean Baker’s point. Except that debt to GDP is OK until @ the year 2000. This would indicate it is a Little Bush Story. So let’s hear it. Is it a story about how Little Bush colluded with bankers to ransack the country by commoditizing everything that wasn’t nailed down via a fake loan and mortgage, securitizing it by magic in fraudulent instruments, and selling it to pension funds to keep the “economy” going around? While the country went to war? Whatever. WTFever.

    One question: Why are all countries of the world now suffering such high debt levels; high “debt to GDP?” Is it because there isn’t enough money to go around; it’s all clogged up and bottlenecked in special interest and black books and yattayattayatta. What a mess. Just when we have so many products circling the waters in ghost ships eager to sell at any price.

    1. F. Beard

      Why are all countries of the world now suffering such high debt levels; high “debt to GDP?” Susan the other

      Good question. How can monetary sovereigns be in debt? They can’t unless they CHOOSE to be.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      High debt levels do not imply not enough money; I think it’s a case of too much money…If money is debt and debt is money.

      There is money, even among the 99%. It’s just sitting on the sidelines.

          1. docG

            There is a very real reason for all that debt, but no one wants to recognize it because concern for a certain class of human beings is no longer fashionable. “Sure, everyone, poor folk, rich folk, banks, investors, cities, states, whole nations, borrowed much too much, often on outrageously manipulative terms — and now the debts have multiplied to the point that they can never be repaid. Sounds simple enough. Only no one ever seems interested in figuring out why it was necessary for all these people and all these institutions to borrow so much in the first place.”

            For the answer, see

          2. F. Beard

            “Only no one ever seems interested in figuring out why it was necessary for all these people and all these institutions to borrow so much in the first place.” docG

            What’s to understand? If “loans create deposits” then the process of bank lending is essentially counterfeiting. And with counterfeiting, those who get the money first benefit at the expense of those who get it later. So everyone has an incentive to borrow or be left behind.

          3. Susan the other

            This is a reply to Doc’s Workers of the World post. Clearly labor has been sacrificed. If globalization were just, there would be no borders and all countries would offer workers a living, both wage and living conditions, which were just and in balance with all other countries of the world. Labor is being ruthlessly arbitraged. Period. If I had my way there would be no borders. Not between Mexico and the US, the US and Canada, nor borders at the shores of any country. There would be just, universal labor laws around the world. Dream on. In my world the banksters would make minimum wage, but they would be provided decent housing and food.

      1. F. Beard

        But how many have sold out since then?

        The worst are the hypocrites who did pot then but now insist it must be illegal.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The issues about marijuana are whether you treat it as something sacred of not, whehter you fast and purify yourself beforehand or not and whehter you use it to cure others in the tribe or only youself.

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Did the American Revolution take place?

    It is by now clear that The “British Empire”/Imperial City/Royal Treasury as a “Winner-Take-All-Bloc” is the enemy of We the People of America. WHY are we still “sharing intelligence” with this “foreign power” and its Agents within our borders? Is it because we “share a language” as claimed, or is it because AngloReich .01% Dynastic DNA has us enslaved? MI5-MI6-CIA closed system for .01% AngloDNA and their .99% Agents in FIRE and “Government” have RUINED our Real Economy with full intention, have they not? They should pay the “ultimate price” for their treason. The French Revolution set the tone.

  18. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Bar codes are working out just as intended at super markets, now nursing inflation for the masses along nicely. Today I purchased a gallon of water @$.65, which was priced @$.59 less than two weeks ago. All other foodstuffs have been inflated by 10% or more. We’re just getting started, folks!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe The rich are buying up water as there are no more cheap Picassos to be bought.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      There’s an even more pernicious and less detectable scam that is played upon purchasers; namely, that the amount of the item in the packaging becomes less, yet the price remains the same for each unit purchased. The calculus being, of course, that purchasers might be more likely to notice a price rise than a creeping diminishment of the size of the purchase unit. I observed this recently when I was shelving items in our pantry that I stock up on when they are on special. The newer boxes of one particular cereal were slightly smaller. The change translated to about a 4% price rise.

      1. F. Beard

        Yep, it’s called “hidden inflation.”

        Do the banks use our own deposits to drive up our living costs? Or lend them to food speculators for that purpose?

          1. F. Beard

            That depends. If those responsible for the inflation are the only ones who might necessarily suffer from it, then it is not theft.

    1. emca

      “All knowledge, the totality of all questions
      and answers, is contained in the dog.”

      Franz Kafka – Investigations of the dog

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I like dogs too, but they are higher maintenance than cats. If I had time and a suburban house (something I never plan to have, BTW), a little collie might be nice. I gather they are really smart and good natured but not terribly energetic (as in they don’t require huge amounts of exercise) and not pushy like most of the other smart dogs. But people who have poodles swear by them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The thing I am fascinated about cats, or at least the cat who is cuurently occupying my habitat sapce, is that she, at less than 2 ft tall and weighs no more than 10-15 pounds, would want to pick a fight with me, someone approxmately 3 to 5 or 6, 7 times her height and 10 times her weight, if I don’t hold her a certain preferred way.

        Once she is down safely on the ground, she gives one of my ankles a good one-two punch after staring down my heels.

        Talk about courage and taking on someone big and powerful (on the surface, at least).

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      V, thanks. Consistent pitch and duration. The metallic sound of the “Nibelungen at work” — the smiths of Norse mythology?

    2. craazyman

      are you sure those aren’t misquitos and gnats flying into the microphones?

      I don’t know about this theory. People take great pleasure in believing all sorts of crazy stuff for some reason. They like it better than reality. I know I do. But at some point you just have to say “enough”.

  19. craazyman

    I am Not a Mathematician, But . . .

    I am not a mathematician, but if I’m straddling my board waiting for the next set 50 yards off Nauset with my legs in the water and I see a gray fin coming at me like a torpedo, I know the odds are zero it’s a drunk driver. Unless, that is, they are really really really drunk and have a shark fin welded onto their roof. It makes you wonder how anything can happen. Maybe a meteor will fall and hit the shark in the head right when it opens its mouth. Some things just don’t model well. ;-0

  20. Foppe

    Yves, seen this pathetically opaque Statement by the NY Fed?

    In the context of our market monitoring following the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, involving thousands of calls and e-mails with market participants over a period of many months, we received occasional anecdotal reports from Barclays of problems with Libor. In the Spring of 2008, following the failure of Bear Stearns and shortly before the first media report on the subject, we made further inquiry of Barclays as to how Libor submissions were being conducted. We subsequently shared analysis and suggestions for reform of Libor with the relevant authorities in the UK.

  21. Hugh

    Re “Eurozone draws up Spanish aid blueprint”, the Eurozone is always drawing up plans. That’s the problem. It draws up plans, but doesn’t actually do anything, or at least not anything to the point. It’s all conditions on conditions. Spain gets 30 billion euros for its banks by the end of this month, if the other European governments agree. The money according to the FT article is supposed to come from the ESM. Does anyone know if the Germans have actually gotten parliamentary approval for the ESM yet? I don’t. The Spanish government is on the hook for the 30 billion, if it materializes, but again if more conditions are met, it will be let off the hook, which given the nature of the long running European crisis means the government is on or off the hook depending upon your point of view and which way the wind is blowing.

    I have also read that Spain will be allowed an extra percent of GDP (up to 6.3%) for 2012 for increased deficit spending from its planned 5.3%. That would be something like about 15 billion dollars or 12.2 billion euros. There’s no stimulus in that though. Spain’s 2011 deficit to GDP was 8.5%. So we are still talking 2 percentage points less than last year.

    This still looks like a recipe for disaster. And while this “solution” is being portrayed as a recapitalization of Spanish banks, it remains an open question how much of this is actually a backdoor recapitalization of Northern banks.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hugh, don’t forget that re-hypothecations of myriad derivatives muddy the waters, to say the least; and that bankers WILL NOT suffer losses.

  22. Susan the other

    Bill Black on the BBC’s reportage of apology. The banks are not the central bank. And even the central bank, wherever it may be, is not a paragon. The whole thing is a house of fraud.

  23. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NPR All Things Considered spouting the Reich Party Line re why RIM “lost market share” — RIM’s security against snooping was too good, as Glenn Greenwald has just revealed. Saudi Arabia said “No Blackberries” if we can’t snoop; and Obama followed suit. With Apple, no problem!

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Your “mobile phone” – replete with “medical apps” IS the “CHIP.” And Aaron Russo “died of cancer.”

      1. Ms G

        Yes, smartphones ARE the Chip. We are so waay beyond the movie IDIOCRACY (which scared the living lights out of me when I saw it 3 years ago because it so clearly was NOT science fiction.)

  24. Up the Ante

    It’s all been baked in.

    Jiabao and his mirth when dealing with the Americans, perhaps he sees fit to smirk when the Americans assure him they have strength in depth and Jiabao only sees that presented by the media reps, all politicians he observes obviously visibly corrupt and the ‘financial economy’ rigged.

    [the Patriots have done Mao’s work for him, in fact can’t help BUT do his work for him]

    1. Up the Ante

      Also sprach Analyst, you forgot the ‘/irony’ at the end of this,

      “The only good news that we could think of .. is that the real estate market is warming up as the government is obviously trying to reflate the economy once more, [/irony]”

      The environment-trashing Manufacturing Economy is resorting to real estate to reflate its economy ? Justice served to those with/without due diligence.

  25. Synopticist

    On the BBCs as an apologist for lying about LIBOR.
    Robert Peston is the British Adam Davidson.

  26. rps

    Time to kick back and review the simple truths of the day. Saw a sign in the poli-sci dept:

    “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one”

    1. Ms G

      That was one of the slogan-posters at OWS Manhattan Zucotti Park from the very first days. I remember seeing it and thinking “this is the money slogan.”

      Cool to hear that it has traveled and found a place in a poli-sci department’s walls.

      So much for the condescending lament about “OWS just didn’t amount to much.” My stock answer to anyone who says that (usually in a matter a fact tone): what about the concept of the “1% and the 99% — that’s entered every corner of discourse across the boards.” And the reaction is always: silence, pause, then lightbulb, “oh yeah,” hadn’t thought about that.

      The manifestations of influence are many and varied. And they don’t always appear in the form of a Power Point slide with bullet points, or a pat manifesto.

  27. Francois T

    Interesting and audacious article from Faye Flam of the Philadelphia Inquirer. One thing is sure: The lady is not easily intimidated to write stuff like that.

    (Emphasis are mine)

    The Climate Change Naysayers

    Several of the regular readers of this column have told me that since I’ve been brave enough to tell the truth about evolution, I should do the same for climate change and expose it as a hoax. It’s an interesting attitude and speaks to some key differences in the way creationists and climate change skeptics approach science.

    Climate change skeptics are much more scattered in their views than are creationists, but they are better organized and together speak with a louder, and angrier, voice.

    There are some similarities between the two, as Steven Newton of the National Center for Science Education pointed out in an opinion piece for Earth Magazine titled “Defending science: the link between creationism and climate change.”

    “It’s phenomenal,” he said in an interview. “They use the same tactics and same misunderstandings of the way science works.” Both assume scientists are in a conspiracy to hide the truth.

    And both groups tend to see themselves as pioneers, he said, often invoking Galileo or the long- doubted theory of continental drift as examples of minority views eventually prevailing.

    In my experience, those similarities are strongest among the most extreme biblical creationists and global warming conspiracy theorists.

    But one key difference across the board is that creationists by definition reject science in favor of supernatural explanations. Whether they are biblical literalists or subscribers to “intelligent design,” they find places to insert God into the equation.

    There is no equivalent supernatural force invoked by global warming skeptics/deniers. And while creationists are united in disbelieving that nature alone could produce humanity, climate deniers are disjointed in their targets. Some doubt the planet is warming, others disbelieve that human-generated CO2 plays a significant role, and still others accept both those premises but argue that curbing emissions will cause more harm than good.

    There is some very basic science connecting CO2 to climate — science that some “skeptics” reject, others accept, and still others are unaware of. The idea goes back to the 1800s, when scientists realized that the Earth was much warmer than it should be given the amount of energy it receives 93 million miles from the sun.

    Nineteenth- century chemists knew that the Earth absorbs sunlight and emits infrared radiation. With laboratory experiments they showed that carbon dioxide and water vapor absorb and trap infrared, while oxygen and nitrogen let it pass through and escape. They realized that without our CO2, the Earth would be a big snowball.

    It’s also well- established that human activity has dramatically increased our atmospheric CO2. Climatologists, for the most part, (she obviously mean, the immense majority) see multiple lines of evidence connecting this rise to climate change — basic physics and chemistry, atmosphere-temperature connections on other planets, climate models, arctic melting, and studies that used tree rings, ice cores, and other proxies to estimate past climates and show the 20th century was unusually warm.

    There is uncertainty about exactly how increasing CO2 will play out. Some climatologists say we may nudge the atmosphere past some tipping point after which the climate will swing wildly around in a way that humanity hasn’t experienced for 10,000 years.

    Worrisome as that sounds, some climate skeptics see the uncertainty as a reason not to act. Maybe, they say, it won’t be that bad. Maybe curbing emissions will cause worse trouble. That view is not science denial. Those are value judgments and opinions on policy that have no equivalent among creationists.

    The other major difference between creationists and climate change critics is public behavior. My columns get relatively few reactions from creationists, and of those, most are reasonably polite. Climate change stories bring on a torrent of vehement, toxic e-mail, which has become much worse over the last three years.

    These e-mail torrents are deceptive barometers of public sentiment, said Stanford psychologist and political scientist Jon Krosnick. He found that when polled with straightforward questions, about three- quarters of Americans have said they believe the globe has been getting warmer and even more believe human activity is partly to blame. Only about 10 percent were confidently skeptical, but they can sound very loud.

    Recently, he said, the skeptics have been rallied by people such as Mark Morano, who runs a blog called ClimateDepot and appears to have no background in science. According to a recent New York Times profile, he was a reporter for the Rush Limbaugh show and has worked as spokesman for Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma.

    Krosnick sees evidence of the climate skeptics’ organization in the fallout from a New York Times op- ed he wrote in 2010. In it, he explained why he thought his polls disagreed with others that showed a majority of Americans doubted climate change. His questions were simple and straightforward, he wrote. Other polls used complicated, multipart questions that would have been interpreted differently.

    As a result, he got an influx of hate mail, including death threats, he said. He saw that as an opportunity to study political activism. He found the level of emotion “fascinating.”

    What’s driving it? Usually, Krosnick said, three major motivating factors get people politically involved — self-interest, values, and social identification. I could see how that applied to creationists, since there’s a religious motivation that could create a powerful sense of identity, and possibly self-interest for those who think loyalty to the Bible will affect their experience in the afterlife.

    Climate skeptics may get some sense of identity from their views, but Krosnick believes another factor may come to the fore — ego. “Some people may think that if 80 percent of other people believe something, it must be wrong,” he said. “It may create a sense of self-esteem for them to think they’re smarter than most other people.” (In my youth, such people were called egotistic blowhards)

    Krosnick reexamined a University of Texas survey whose authors claimed to show that the more people knew about climate change, the less they cared about it. “The implication was that if people were fully informed, nobody would care,” he said.

    What he found was that among Democrats and independents, those who were more informed were most concerned. Among Republicans, being more informed on climate change made no difference in level of concern. But the “skeptics” will surely find grounds to deny that.

  28. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, “Summer in the City” — the Guardian is getting warmer. And look what the cat dragged in:

    GATA –
    “Submitted by the Administrator on Tue, 2001-12-18 08:00. Section. Essays”

    2001! See content in full. In what year was that CIA debacle in Italy? Could this be related to that complex sordid saga that caused such a ruckus in the English Parliament and on YouTube a few months back?

    1. skippy

      Gladio will never stop, it just changed mission.

      Skippy… thought you might like that.

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