The right wing just can’t do humor, and they just can’t seem to stop pushing tobacco, and climate denial.

A lot of humor depends on tweaking the powerful on behalf of the powerless – (afflicting the comfortable to comfort the afflicted, etc). Problem there for Fox is, if you are spending all your time defending the interests of the world’s greediest, most amoral and destructive corporate powers, you lose some of the empathic connection necessary for the best humor.

Something entirely lost on Fox News “comedian” Greg Gutfeld.

In the video above, Gutfeld takes the side of tobacco merchants against all those crazy left wing doctors who just want to tell us what to do.

FoxNews:

In just one year, e-cigarette use tripled among U.S. middle and high school students, according to a report today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). E-cigarettes have become the most commonly used tobacco product among this age group.

“Currently there is about 4.6 million students who report using any form of tobacco,” said Brian King, deputy director for research translation at the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “About 2.5 million of those are e-cigarette users.

Although e-cigarettes are “smokeless,” the devices use an aerosol mist to deliver nicotine, which is addictive.

“No form of tobacco — whether it’s combustible, incombustible or electronic — is safe for youth to use,” King said. “And that is primarily because we know nicotine can have adverse health effects on the developing adolescent brain. It can lead to addiction. And it could also lead to sustained forms of tobacco use.”

headvise

Gutfeld, is, I guess, the right wing answer to Bill Maher.  Except, kind of dumb, poorly informed, wedded to the right wing agenda, and not funny.  Need more proof?

Heartland Institute:

If you missed The Five today, you missed an EPIC rant by the great Greg Gutfeld. His segment was about New York City banning the use of electronic cigarettes in public places this week — Nurse Bloomberg’s last hurrah before ceding the mayor’s office to an even more dedicated leftist.

Why ban e-cigs, which deliver nicotine to the user and results in the harmless exhale of water vapor? Because it looks like one isreally smoking cigarettes … and that would send a bad message to anyone who happens to observe it. Seriously. That’s the mayor’s and city council’s justificaiton. That fact sent Gutfeld off the edge, prompting what is undoubtedly a righteous and hilarious Top 5 Greatest Rant from a master of the genre.

Heartland Institute, of course, is the prime example of the Tobacco/Climate nexus.

basttobaccolies2

Heartland CEO Joe Bast is a long time climate denier and tobacco promoter.

Below, see a boggling climate denial rant (I had many to choose from – caution, Gutfeld fancies himself a science buff..)

Headvise warning. Read the rest of this entry »

Anybody Smell Smoke?

July 7, 2015

activefiresKMSP Minneapolis:

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) – Plenty of folks have been asking about the haze and smoke lingering in the sky across Minnesota. That smoke is from wildfires burning in Canada.
Smoke from wildfires in central Saskatchewan is being carried southeast in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, and eventually mixing down to ground level here in Minnesota where we see and feel the effects with poor air quality, limited visibility and a smoky smell to the air we breathe. The silver lining is magnificent sunsets!

Minneapolis air quality worse than Beijing

Monday evening, the air quality index for the Twin Cities was at 187, with fine particle pollution reaching a level considered unhealthy for everyone. By comparison, Beijing had an AQI of 158 on Monday.

An air quality health alert covers the entire state of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities area. The smoke band should move out of the state during the next 12 hours, but smoke may return Tuesday afternoon.

While air quality briefly improved following rain showers on Sunday and Monday, heavy smoke returned to Minnesota behind the storm system. As of 9 a.m. Monday, air quality across the northern two-thirds of Minnesota had reached unhealthy levels. View current air quality conditions at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/aqi

CBC:

According to an expert on wildland fires, Saskatchewan’s smoky skies and persistent blazes can be largely attributed to climate change.

Mike Flannigan is a professor in the department of renewable resources at the University of Alberta.

A former weather forecaster with Environment Canada, Flannigan says climate change is contributing to a lazy jet stream, effectively decreasing the energy needed to create rain and wet conditions.

“Normally, a low pressure system comes through every three to five days, giving us rain and keeping the fire problem in check,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

wu_flood

One of the key findings of a recent National Academy of Science panel on abrupt climate change, is that its important not just to look at potential sudden tipping points in climate effects, but also to consider that a steady, incremental creep in climate changes can cause human systems and infrastructure, built for the conditions of 50 or 100 years ago, to fail suddenly in the face of the new normal.

Washington University:

As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain.

“This analysis shows that average high-water marks on these river systems are rising about an inch per year — that’s a rate ten times greater than the annual rise in sea levels now occurring due to climate change,” said Robert Criss, PhD, professor of geology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences and author of the study.

Published this month in an advance online issue of the Journal of Earth Science, the findings are important, Criss said, because many of the nation’s flood-control river levee systems are not engineered to withstand floods that rise much higher than the projected 100-year flood level.

Read the rest of this entry »

A lot of these clips you may remember seeing, but when you watch them all together – the effect is somewhat stunning.
For one brief, shining moment around 2007-8, taking action on Climate Change was a mainstream Republican position.

Below, a press conference jointly held by John Kerry and Newt Gingrich in 2007.  I remember hearing about this at the time and thinking it signaled a real sea change in politics. Naivete.

In 2014, Gingrich demanded Kerry’s resignation and called him “delusional” for comparing climate change to WMD.  He furiously spins denialist talking points to justify his flip-flop. Read the rest of this entry »

King George was a pussycat compared to King Koch.

Paul Gipe’s Windworks:

In a stunning turn in the battle between corporate domination of renewable energy and community ownership, a cooperative of German investors has rescued defunct commercial wind developer Prokon.

The move marks a forceful rejection of a proposed takeover by one of Germany’s largest electric utilities, Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW). The utility, one of Germany’s Big Four, has lagged far behind other German utilities in the connection of wind turbines to its system. Analysts saw EnBW’s proposal to buy Prokon’s assets as a particularly cheap way for the utility to quickly gain wind capacity without the arduous and time consuming work normally necessary.

However, the utility didn’t count on an effective grassroots campaign by Germany’s electricity rebels, including Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS)–the country’s most famous rebels–who urged investors to fight for their independence.

On 2 July 2015 a clear majority of Prokon’s investors chose the cooperative model to continue operation despite EnBW’s aggressive advertising campaign that threatened investors with the loss of their money if they rejected the utility’s offer.

EWS declared the decision a Great Day for Prokon and Community Energy, characterizing the decision as another victory in a David versus Goliath struggle for the future of renewable energy.

Electricity rebels argue that Germany’s Energiewende, or energy revolution, must be built from the ground up by putting renewable energy in the hands of the people.

At the time of its bankruptcy, Prokon operated more than 500 MW of wind generating capacity–assets worth more than one billion dollars–and employed more than 600 people.

EWS is a cooperatively-owned electricity provider in the Black Forest village of Schönau in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg.  The coop’s founders were described in the media as “electricity rebels” for their revolt against the local utility company after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. Ursula Sladek, one of the coop’s founders, received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize and met with President Barack Obama in 2011. The coop now has 100,000 customers. For more on EWS, see Strom Rebels of Schönau: The Village That Built Their Own Solar Utility.

nasapageYou’re cooking brats outside on an unseasonably cool July 4th afternoon, and your crazy dittohead Uncle sidles up to you with a Miller High Life and a smirk – “So, we sure could use some global warming today…”

Whip our your cellphone and show him the screen shot from the NASA Climate home page. Invite him to peruse the site with Aunt Teabag.

A Public Service. You’re welcome. Enjoy your brats.

nasapage22

The Director of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, reacting to feedback from 800 CCL members, who descended on Washington, DC last week for their trademark respectful and consistent dialogue with climate deniers in congress.
He’s optimistic – but we need a Climate Churchill among Republicans, and I’m not seeing it, yet.

Mark Reynolds in the Midland Daily News:

Here’s what we know about climate change: 97 percent of climate scientists are convinced, based upon the evidence, that human-caused global warming is happening.

The popular narrative in the media these days, however, is that Republicans in Congress don’t accept this fact and that the GOP is in denial about the science around climate change.

reynoldsWell, I have some surprising news: Everything you think you know about Republicans and climate change is a myth that I will now explode.

Our organization, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, recently sent 800 volunteers to meet with more than 500 House and Senate offices in Washington. This was our opening in those meetings:

“We’re here to talk about a policy that can grow the economy, add jobs, increase our competitiveness with China, and make our air and water cleaner.”

That policy, our volunteers would go on to explain, is to place a gradually-rising fee on carbon and return the revenue to households. They also shared the results of a non-partisan study that found such a policy would cut CO2 emissions in half within 20 years, while adding 2.8 million jobs to the economy and saving 13,000 lives annually because of reduced air pollution.

So, what happened when our volunteers engaged Republicans in this conversation?

In most instances, there was keen interest, active listening, productive discussions and — in some cases — expressions of support for our proposal. In very few instances was there pushback from the staff or member of Congress about the science of climate change.

In meeting after meeting with Republican offices, the unspoken agreement seemed to be: “Let’s not argue about the science; let’s talk about solutions and where we might find common ground.”

But what about everything we’re hearing on TV and reading in newspapers about Republican presidential candidates pushing back on the Pope’s Encyclical? What about a certain member of Congress who tossed a snowball on the Senate floor to dispute global warming?

These are the more sensational reactions that make the news because the media thrives on conflict. No conflict. No news.

Despite the headlines, CCL has found in the past year that the propensity among congressional Republicans to dispute climate science has waned considerably. So, why has that changed and why were we ever arguing the science to begin with? Read the rest of this entry »

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