Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

Santorum, Romney, McCain: Hairy Old White Men

Grumpy McCain

John McCain gets a little grumpy when we go a few days without the sweet sound of American bombs falling on foreign soil. Hence the calls to start bombing Syria.

You gotta love Repubs for daring to bash Obama for his foreign policy.  After a Bush presidency where we started 2 ill-fated wars and ruined America’s reputation overseas, I find it a bit ridiculous for Republicans to bash the foreign policy of a Obama administration that has overseen the fall of Bin Laden and Gaddafi and conducted a daring  hostage rescue in the past 12 months.  But of course Republicans won’t let little things like facts stand in their way, and so as always, Republicans are tripping over themselves to make themselves sound as hawkish as possible.

Just in the last couple of days, we’ve heard calls from John McCain to bomb Syria.  Mitt Romney, he of zero foreign policy experience, says HE would stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.  Rick Santorum also says that HE would be “tougher” than Obama when it comes to Iran.

What the hell is with (again, my wife’s phrase) “hairy old white men” and the need to thump their chests and act like warmongers?  Particularly, REPUBLICAN hairy old white men?   DO these idiots REALLY think it’s a great idea to start another war in the Middle East?   Look at what happened in Afghanistan after we accidentally burned a few Korans.  10 years of “nation-building” in Afghanistan were jeopardized.  We’ve had troops on the ground in the Middle East for FAR too long.  Iraq wanted us out.  Afghanistan wants us out.  If we follow McCain’s suggestion to bomb Syria, or if we start an aerial campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities, all hell breaks loose in the Middle East.   But I’ve come to believe there are a certain group of “hairy old white men” who are never happy unless America is bombing the hell out of someone.

 The Obama administration has done quite well in the foreign policy arena.  The Obama administration has a lot more information at their disposal, they know what’s happening behind the scenes.  They also know what a complete and utter disaster it would be for America to start another Middle East war.   Do us a favor, Repub “experts” in foreign policy.   Stop acting as if you could magically cure what ails the Middle East, and stick to blubbering about OTHER things you know nothing about, such as gas prices or contraception.

Oceans acidifying at fastest rate in 300 million years

Earth on Fire

Climate change skeptics...it's not just the temperature change, the measurable change in atmospheric composition, or the measurable change in ocean acidity. It's the completely unprecedented RATE of change that points to a human hand behind today's climate change.

Those that try to deny climate change is occurring, or try to deny that humans are influencing climate change, point to changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, or other climate related variables that have occurred in the past.  Climate change idiots skeptics point out that temperature increases have occurred in the past, or that carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere have occurred in the past.  All true, but what they purposely do not address is the RATE of change that is occurring.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have skyrocketed since the industrial revolution.  In geologic time, it’s a blink of an eye, rising from 280 parts per million to nearly 400 ppm today.  Over the past 500,000 years ago, carbon dioxide levels have naturally fluctuated…but only in a range between about 200 and 300 ppm.  Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels today are likely the highest they’ve been in over 20 million years. 

Again, however, climate change idiots skeptics point out that atmospheric carbon dioxide rates were much higher in the far distant past.  It’s true, as CO2 levels in the atmosphere were once much higher than they are even today.   Besides the fact that the earth’s climate when CO2 levels were once 600 ppm or higher wouldn’t be very conducive to support today’s massive human population, the point that climate change idiots skeptics miss is the incredibly rapid rate of change over the past 200 years.  It’s not just that today’s atmospheric CO2 levels are so historically high compared to the last 20 million years, it’s the astonishing rate of increase over just a 200 year period, a period that just happens to correspond perfectly to industrialization and the widespread use of fossil fuels.

Last week Science published a paper that talked about effects increased atmospheric CO2 are having on ocean acidity, stating that oceans today are acidifying at the fastest rate in at least 300 million years.  As the authors of the paper note, “What we’re doing today really stands out in the geologic record.”   It’s impossible to deny the correlation between human impacts on land-use change and use of fossil fuels, and the incredibly rapid increase in atmospheric CO2.  This study on ocean acidification further strengthens the empirical evidence linking human activity with an unprecedented rate of change in atmospheric and ocean chemistry.  

I’m sure climate change idiots skeptics (and industry and politicians on the right who back them) are hard at work behind the scenes right now, trying to come up with a way to dispute the findings in this paper.  From a scientific standpoint, you keep waiting for the day when the empirical evidence is so overwhelming that even climate change idiots skeptics can’t deny it any more.   Hell, the evidence ALREADY is so overwhelming that any rational human being can’t deny it.  Unfortunately we are either a) not dealing with rational human beings, or b) those in industry or those with political motivations for denying climate change KNOW it’s happening, but are purposely trying to distort the truth for their own political or economic gain.  The latter is obviously true, as I have NO doubt that those in the fossil fuel industries KNOW climate change is occurring, and that we are to blame. I have NO doubt that politicians will PUBLICLY act like climate-change deniers, actually know the truth but are lying for political gain.