Tag Archives: global warming

GOT Spoiler: Never Mind, Winter Isn’t Coming

 

If complaining is an art, I am Picasso. If it’s bullshittery, I am Ferdinand.

So please excuse my latest deposit, whatever its contents. I can’t help myself.

But why the oxygen-depleted approach to Hurricane Harvey when it comes to  a connection with global warming? Has this somehow become a political issue, too?

Last night, NBC’s Lester Holt gave the entire NBC Nightly News  from Houston. Apparently, Texas is god’s downspout. Or anus. Regardless, the boss was having major runs: By the end of the newscast, Holt had to move  to higher ground, the currents invading so quickly.

Yet nowhere in the half hour did he mention global warming. Indeed, most networks have avoided the issue like a Category 4, lest they incur the wrath of dullards. Apparently that’s a key demographic. And a frighteningly large one.

Last month, Gallup did a poll of Americans and found 81% of them believe there is a scientific debate over global warming. In truth, Gallup later noted, 97% of scientists agree that global warming is a man-made dividend on ill-advised investment. That is as much agreement as you’ll ever get from the scientific community, which still debates the nature of gravity.

To their credit, some smaller outlets have attempted a connection. At the Houston CBS affiliate (which has become a YouTube star overnight),  a University of Houston professor estimated that 20% of the rainfall was due to global warming. USA Today ran a piece Tuesday entitled Is There a Global Warming Connection?

Both stories added fascinating components, from nature’s cyclic tendencies to our ever expanding carbon boot print. But there’s a must simpler story here:

This is what global warming will look like.

For all the data Al Gore drops on us, for all the wisdom Neil deGrasse Tyson offers in baritone, nothing matches the images we digest. We are watching coastlines alter live. Those Houston homes now have new owners: brine. And they don’t pay rent.

Trump, of course, used the opportunity for political expedience — and to let us know he chose the timing of a political pardon because the storms would get great ratings. If nothing else, we know how to ferret fortune out of nature’s indifference. The guy will pardon Harvey the moment he realizes most of the victims are minorities.

We have seen this before, with Katrina. In a tsunami. If you’re looking for work, here’s a suggestion: Google Earth is going to need people just to update its maps.

But when the debates are over, when we’ve given up on the notion that this is all a “gotcha!” from the Far East, we will be left with these images. What we do with them is the only real issue to come from Harvey, as is its only lesson:

You don’t need to be a product of global warming to be a preview of it.

 

 

 

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U.S. to Mother Nature: Drop Dead

     That Donald Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris global warming accord was as inevitable as the rising sea.
     What is surprising is the rationale that punctuated the withdrawal — and that we in the press let it pass for logic.
     We would expect the right to applaud it. Republicans increasingly find themselves on the wrong side of science, from evolution to stem cell research, that will eventually leave it the party of ancient texts. Now the GOP can claim a new acronym: Get Our Planet.
     But what was stunning was the pass afforded the administration. We in the media (and that’s all of us, social media strollers) permitted Trumpeteers to applaud the decision as Trump keeping an election promise.  CNN and MSNBC both featured Trump supporters like talking pimple whitehead Jeffrey Lord, hailing the move as canny American scrimping, which it may indeed be.
     Not once, however, could I find an analyst to ask this question: Did the promise itself have merit? We have reached a political strata where simply keeping your word suffices for integrity. But what if the pledge itself is a crackpot one?
     Say, for instance, that Trump promised to make America great again by returning us to slavery. And, thanks to the bible-thumping populace of the American South, he won — largely on that campaign plank. Would we have “the other side” of a political debate? The one that argues that, sure, Trump may have repealed the 13th Amendment, but at least he kept his word?
     Of course not. We would apply a larger question to the issue. Not ‘Is it legal?’ But ‘Is it right?’
     Yet I continue to look for a reporter who will ask this simple question of a single supporter: America makes up 4% of the world’s population. Yet we account for 32% of the world’s carbon emissions. Whatever your thoughts on the economic unfairness of the accord, doesn’t that mean we owe 8 times the amount on the dinner bill? Judge Judy likes to say “You ate the steak, now you have to pay for it.”
     Didn’t we eat eight steaks?
Now, on to other non-alternative facts, bitches:
  • An elephant’s skin can be up to 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) thick but is so sensitive it can feel a fly landing on it.
  • In Nepal, Mount Everest is known as Chomolungma, meaning “Goddess Mother of Mountains.”
  • In 2005, a psychologist and an economist taught a group of monkeys the concept of money. Soon, the monkeys engaged in prostitution.
  • Today’s average American woman weighs as much as the average 1960s man.
  • The U.S. joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations that aren’t part of the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions.
  • If you deprive a fruit fly or a fish of sleep, it will try to catch up the next day.
  • Butterflies have 4 eyes, bees have 5 eyes, most spiders have 8 eyes and Caterpillars have 12 eyes.

 

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