I’ve said it a thousand times. Like greenhouse gases, hate is a long lived pollutant.

Climate denial and racism go together like peas and carrots.

Obviously, recent events demonstrate that misogyny is an important part of the mix.

Raw Story:

Fox News anchor Kelly Wright on Wednesday held an emotional press conference in which he condemned the network’s “systemic and institutional racial bias.”

While Wright said that he enjoyed working at Fox and admired many of the people working there, he said that he could no longer justify remaining silent as many of his black colleagues were suing the network for racial discrimination.

“I should not have some sort of glass ceiling placed over me,” he said. “Management should not place an umbrella or a lid over my career or the career of anyone… simply based on the color of our skin and what they deem is ‘acceptable’ to their viewers.”

Wright then said that some people have told him that he shouldn’t ever worry about being fired from Fox because the network needed him to show the public that it isn’t a racist network.

“Some people have said, ‘You’re in a good position, forget about it. Fox would never get rid of you because they need more black men to defend themselves against the critics who accuse Fox of racial bias,’” he said. “Well, I’m not here to be a token, either. I’m here to be a valued employee.”

 

Forensic historians of the future, in piecing together why a great civilization tore itself to bits, may conclude that what destroyed our ability to reason together was the greed of media companies who played the great conversations of democracy as if it was Big Time Wrestling.

Media Matters:

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators participated in the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and sister marches around the globe. Many participants were protesting the Trump administration and Republican Party’s climate denial and their attacks on science. But some television networks covering the marches also devoted airtime to climate deniers, who misled their viewers about the impacts and extent of global warming.

The April 22 edition of CNN’s New Day Saturday featured a guest panel discussing the marches that included Bill Nye the Science Guy and physicist William Happer, a climate change denier. In the segment, Happer perpetuated the myth that carbon dioxide is not a harmful pollutant and that it benefits the planet, and he claimed incorrectly that temperatures are not rising as fast as climate models predicted. He also called for the cancellation of the Paris climate agreement because it “doesn’t make any scientific sense. It’s just a silly thing,” and then compared it to the Munich Agreement and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler.

Nye rebutted Happer in each instance and expressed his disappointment with CNN’s decision to host the climate change denier, stating, “I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change.” Indeed, the segment was in line with CNN’s typical approach of elevating conflict among panelists over truth telling.

Vox:

CNN has played an important role in mainstreaming and normalizing Trump’s misinformation, thanks in large part to the small army of Trump surrogates the network has hired to defend the president during panel debates. Read the rest of this entry »

jonescustody

Alex Jones enters his Child Custody hearing with exactly the emotional aspect you’d expect from one of the Fringe media’s most unrepentant science deniers.

You’re Alex Jones.
You lie about, among other things, climate, for a living.
You sell quack “male-enhancement” products to your audience of hapless, aging, science denying, conspiracy-addled boobs.
You claim the Sandy Hook massacre was faked – dead children and all.

You had to apologize for spreading baseless nonsense about a Pizzeria-based sex slave scheme that moved one of your followers to shoot up said Pizzeria with a machine gun.

Now you’re being sued for spreading equally unfounded stories, weirdly, – about a yogurt maker.

And you are one of Donald Trump’s key sources for news about the world outside his head.

Is it possible that what Donald Trump’s America finds threatening about yogurt, is that yogurt has an active, living culture?

Chicago Tribune:

Greek yogurt giant Chobani filed a lawsuit Monday against right-wing radio host Alex Jones, accusing the conspiracy theorist of publishing false information about the company.

Chobani says that Jones and his InfoWars website posted fabricated stories earlier this month that linked Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children. The company filed the lawsuit in Idaho District Court in Twin Falls, where it operates the largest yogurt plant in the world.

“(Jones) is no stranger to spurious statements. He has claimed that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut,” Chobani’s attorneys wrote. “Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community.”

Read the rest of this entry »

After two years of interviews from Seattle, to Oslo, to Greenland, boiling down hundreds of hours of detailed questioning with some of the most renowned arctic experts from the entire host of Arctic nations, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program today releases a 5 year study on the state of our knowledge of arctic change.

The Snow,Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic, or SWIPA, is rolling out today at a conference in Reston, Va, and I’ve produced videos to illustrate the major findings.

Chief among those is the solidification of the observations that changes in Arctic sea ice are beginning to cause downstream effects in the temperate zones. If you’ve ever heard the question “Why do I care if the Arctic is melting?” – this video will be a good answer.

Not only changes in large atmospheric movements, but sea level rise is a major focus, and includes input from Dark Snow Project glaciologist Professor Jason Box, among many other luminaries.

The scientists I talked to also mentioned invasive species, changes in permafrost and the outgassing of additional greenhouse gases as frozen soils warm.

I collected far more video than could possibly fit in one 10 minute piece, so look for many, many additional snips from interviews that I’ll be posting in coming weeks and months.

Also, now that I’ve finally finished this, I can start thinking about activities and fund raising for the summer field season – so look for that coming soon, as well.

Below, see an additional example of the interviews that I’ve conducted, this one with Dr. David Barber of the University of Manitoba. Read the rest of this entry »

Reuters on RussiaGate

April 25, 2017

Again, not off topic, because the story of the Russian attack on democracy is the story of fossil fuel’s last attempt to hold back the final implosion of the carbon bubble.

Been waiting for Reuters to put this on YouTube, but PBS beat them to it.

The story – the official Russian plan to attack and undermine democracy in the United States is essentially undistinguishable from the agenda of Fox News and the Republican Party.
Think about that.

Reuters:

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

Read the rest of this entry »

I know I have a lot of international readers and viewers who have been watching the catastrophic Putin/Trump administration’s planet-destroying agenda with dismay.

In the afterglow of this week’s highly successful, global, March for Science, here’s an update on the resistance.  Quicktake: just beginning.

Charles Blow in the New York Times:

I must say that the issue of resilience was one that I worried and wondered about from the beginning: For far too many Americans in this digital age, stamina is rare, attention spans are short and the urge for instant gratification, or at least for expedient resolution, is enormous.

But, to my great delight, my worry was unfounded. Not only is the movement still strong, it appears to be getting stronger. People have found a salve for their sadness: exuberant agitation. Far from growing limp, the Trump resistance is stiffening and strengthening.

Furthermore, young people are particularly unhappy with Trump and turning against him. A Gallup poll released last week found that the percentage of respondents age 18-34 who believed Trump keeps his promises fell a whopping 22 points in the two months from early February to early April, from 56 percent to just 34 percent.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, young people aged 18-29 also give Trump his highest disapproval rating (63 percent) of any age group.

But these young people aren’t just stewing and complaining. They’re taking action.

As Time magazine reported earlier this month: “For more than 15,000 students across the country, Wednesday marked the first day of Resistance School — a program where the educational focus is mobilizing against President Donald Trump’s administration.”


Taken together, all signs are looking up for the movement. The Trump administration, from pillar to post, is an unmitigated disaster, lumbering forward and crushing American ideas and conventions as it does. Damage is being done, there is no doubt, but Americans are not taking it lying down. They are standing in opposition. They are feeling their power. They are energized, and I’m very much encouraged.

For myself, I attended our own, local district Town Hall “Listening session”, with my local representative Congressman John Moolenaar.(above)
Actually, it wasn’t as raucous as some of the melees we’ve seen on television – this is, after all, the polite midwest.

townhallthum

MLive: 

A rowdy crowd confronted Republican U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar at a town hall “listening session” Central Michigan University’s Plachta Auditorium on Thursday, April 20. Read the rest of this entry »