Al Gore is fat

Not as much ice near the north pole as there used to be. Could be sunspots, it could just be that Al Gore is fat.

Views differ.

120 replies
  1. 1
    Joey Maloney says:

    Not as ice near the north pole as there used to be.

    Word missing?

  2. 2
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Joey Maloney: Verbal melting.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Thanks. Fixed it.

  4. 4
    kdaug says:

    Oh, sweet! Now we can get to those large Arctic oil reserves!

  5. 5
    Roger Moore says:

    @kdaug:

    Now we can get to those large Arctic oil reserves!

    After all, what could possibly go wrong drilling there?

  6. 6
    Punchy says:

    Not as much ice near the north pole as there used to be

    Meth dealers moved to Greenland?

  7. 7
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    The polar bears called and would like you to know that they think we suck.

  8. 8
    licensed to kill time says:

    North Pole’s last words “Ohhh! You cursed brats! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!”

  9. 9
    Dork says:

    Sunspots? So our star is menstruating?

  10. 10
    martha says:

    @Punchy: Call Ron Johnson (Feingold’s opponent) quick! He’ll want to use this in his next campaign commercial. Moran. Idiot. Creep. Liar. Ugh.

  11. 11
    Poopyman says:

    If Al Gore really is fat, wouldn’t that help block out the sun? Huh? Huh?

  12. 12
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Is Rick Sanchez guest blogging today?

  13. 13
    Poopyman says:

    @kdaug: Not if the Canucks & Rooskies get there first.

  14. 14
    kdaug says:

    @Poopyman: I know! This is going to be fun!

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Couldn’t be the sunspots, but if you show them the graph they’ll just say it’s the lack of sunspots that’s causing the melting.

  16. 16
    ricky says:

    I have seen no reference in Genesis to God wanting ice at the Poles. And 18% of Americans* think Poles are Muslim.

    (* Results inapplicable in South Carolina)

  17. 17
    p.a. says:

    And you know who else had a beard? Muhammad! Gore and Muhammad. That proves it.

    Anyone else enjoying Sully’s site (he’s on vacation again), where Andy and assorted fill-ins are marshaling ethical, legal and logical arguments in efforts to convince Republican true-believers that global warming is real, torture is torture, homosexuals are human beings deserving of the same rights as anyone else, it’s not a terror mosque in NY, Obama isn’t Muslim, there’s no such thing as death panels…

    Jesus Christ, what a waste of time and bytes. If they were susceptible to ethical, legal and logical argument they wouldn’t believe these things to begin with. They’re either brain-dead bigots or charlatans. Conversation isn’t the answer; derision is.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    You can’t trust any of this. First, this scientist is at a university in socialized Canadia. Second, the climategate e-mails proved none of this is true. Third, the Earth has gone through worse. Finally, we need the new shipping lanes.

  19. 19
    Keith G says:

    Well then, maybe Imam Feisal Rauf should move his community center – to higher ground.

  20. 20
    Poopyman says:

    @p.a.: I think to be accurate, they’re brain-dead bigots being led by charlatans.

  21. 21
    ricky says:

    @Poopyman:
    Yes, Sunblock is included in all Al Gore Rubdowns.

  22. 22

    The polar bears called and would like you to know that they think we suck.

    If they didn’t want us to destroy their environment, they shouldn’t have been such godless killing machines.

    Also, Al Gore is fat. And had a big house.

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    I am going to protest this pagan lie by running my SUV 48 hours a day.

  24. 24
    ricky says:

    @El Cid:

    You should have used “fourth” instead of “finally.” While the endtime is near, it is not here yet.

  25. 25
    Poopyman says:

    Oh yeah. Another endangered species – icebreakers. Their passing will be mourned only by what it represents.

  26. 26
    Bob Loblaw says:

    You know what would also help? Not having people like Begich and Manchin and Landrieu be crucial to the future success of the Democratic Party. How are the Dems ever going to gain any traction on this issue when 15% of their caucus is dead set against any action as well?

    The only way this problem gets solved is if northeastern Republicans, dying breed that they are, buck leadership. So, yeah, not looking good. I look forward to Obama having to veto one of his own appropriation bills next session after 10 Dem senators vote to strip the EPA of its meager authority to regulate under the Clean Air Act…

  27. 27
    Poopyman says:

    @ricky: Gaaah! Thanks for the mental image.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    @Comrade Dread: Polar bears? There are more of them than ever before. They love the warm water. They rub up against it and have babies.

  29. 29
    Chad N Freude says:

    On the one hand, there is less ice. On the other hand, there is more water. We have to maintain a balanced perspective.

    Having gotten the snark out of the way, has anyone bothered to read the column?

    But social scientists have identified another major reason: Climate change has become an ideologically polarizing issue. It taps into deep personal identities and causes what Dan Kahan of Yale calls “protective cognition” — we judge things in part on whether we see ourselves as rugged individualists mastering nature or as members of interconnected societies who live in harmony with the environment. Powerful special interests like the coal and oil industries have learned how to halt movement on climate policy by exploiting the fear people feel when their identities are threatened.

    And that’s one of the upbeat paragraphs.

  30. 30
    ChrisS says:

    Just think of all the fertile farmland there that hasn’t been used before and the greatly increased growing season.

    Or shorter denialist:
    The ice sheets aren’t shrinking, besides it’s happened before, and there’s no cause for alarm.

  31. 31
    kdaug says:

    @El Cid:

    Third, the Earth has gone through worse.

    Sure has! The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, the End Triassic extinction, the Permian-Triassic extinction, the Late Devonian extinction, and the Ordovician-Silurian extinction.

    I can’t wait to see what we’re going to call this one!

    Oh… wait…

  32. 32
    The Bobs says:

    Good stuff about climate change and the Kochs here: here.

  33. 33
    Chad N Freude says:

    @El Cid: Anchor babies, to keep them from floating away.

  34. 34
    Poopyman says:

    At the same time, warm Pacific Ocean water is pulsing through the Bering Strait into the Arctic basin, helping melt a large area of sea ice between Alaska and eastern Siberia. Scientists are just beginning to learn how this exposed water has changed the movement of heat energy and major air currents across the Arctic basin, in turn producing winds that push remaining sea ice down the coasts of Greenland into the Atlantic.

    I guess Palin won’t be able to see Russia from her house anymore through the thick fog that’s gonna be in the way.

  35. 35
    ChrisS says:

    People may build “underground cities,” developing “short, compact bodies” or “curved spines,” so that “moving around in tight spaces will be no problem.”

    Climate change is going to be awesome – we’ll have dwarves!

  36. 36
    steviez314 says:

    Look at the states we lose if sea level rises–Mass., NY, California, DC.

    It’s the lord’s vengeance on liberals. Flyover country becomes THE country.

  37. 37
    Alwhite says:

    There was a letter to the editors in the local fish wrap from a real moran a while back. “How do we know global warming is fake? Because everyone knows that when ice melts it displaces the same amount of water as it held – thats why melting ice does not cause your drink glass to overflow.”

    I know there are people this stupid in the world but I am surprised they can find a crayon to write with and disappointed the editors chose not to point out that not all the ice in the world is floating in water. And while the earth will certainly survive the coming ecological disaster it is highly unlikely that humans will.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    @kdaug: The what? I’m talking about the Flood. Killed pretty much every person and animal on the planet except Noah’s ark, just an example of God’s loving genocidal nature.

  39. 39
    Sir Nose'D says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    The only way this problem gets solved is if…

    It is too late to solve this problem in the usual sense of the word solve. The choice now is between eating the Philly Cheesesteak-sized shit sandwich and the Guiness Book of World Records-sized shit sandwich. The loner we wait, the less palatable our best case option becomes.

    Also, too. The Chinese.

  40. 40
    El Cid says:

    Also, soon we’ll be producing the finest wines in Greenland.

  41. 41
    David Hunt says:

    be. Could be sunspots, it could just be that Al Gore is fat.

    It’s both. Al Gore is actually a giant (fat) sunspot and is personally causing the melting of the ice so that he can cash in on it with speaking appearances and book sales.

  42. 42
    mrmike says:

    @ChrisS: Climate change is going to be awesome – we’ll have dwarves!

    Sounds more like Morlocks to me.
    Which would make the rich in their mountain redoubts the Eloi.
    Hmm.

  43. 43
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Sir Nose’D:

    I was merely speaking legislatively. Even that low bar is too high it seems.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    @Sir Nose’D: Fuck. Nobody’s gonna do shit about this but make it worse. And someday they’ll sadly blame their short-sighted ancestors, etc. etc.

  45. 45
    El Cid says:

    @steviez314: God will finally punish the Satanocommunists for their evil voting tendencies along with their letting there be too many brown people.

  46. 46
    mr. whipple says:

    @steviez314:

    Look at the states we lose if sea level rises—Mass., NY, California, DC.

    It’s the lord’s vengeance on liberals. Flyover country becomes THE country.

    Pessimist. Look at it this way: the people can move from CA to Utah, and turn it blue. We can send NY to TN.

  47. 47
    Emma says:

    kdaug: You, sir, owe me a monitor… I sprayed coffee all over mine. Yes, I know. I have a very strange sense of humor…

  48. 48
    HyperIon says:

    @Alwhite wrote:

    And while the earth will certainly survive the coming ecological disaster it is highly unlikely that humans will.

    Oh, SOME humans will survive. Very clever, these humans. Some will find a way to hang on. But their lives will be different from ours.

  49. 49
    morzer says:

    Can’t we all just compromise and agree that Al Gore’s expanding waistline causes sunspots?

    I’m rewatching Planet Earth, and hating how much damage the right-wing scumbags have done, and how little will there seems to be to stop the ruin of Earth. I know it’s only a small, blue kind of place, but I had hoped we could treat it as home, rather than a trash dump with humans around the fringes.

  50. 50
    licensed to kill time says:

    @HyperIon:

    Waterworld, but not as boring.

  51. 51
    El Cid says:

    @HyperIon: There’s an article in Scientific American which argues that when the human population declined to maybe about 10,000, they survived the varying of the worst ice age periods in primarily a small strip near the coast in South Africa where there were loads of shellfish and a huge variety in plant life.

    Maybe if the sea’s food chain survives our impact, that will be possible again.

  52. 52
    Quiddity says:

    If everybody adjusted their refrigerator so that it was cooler inside, then every time it was opened, you’d let out some cold air – and that would help bring down the global temperature.

    You’re welcome.

  53. 53
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @mr. whipple: Maybe this is God’s way of letting California try again, and clear out the Mormons while he’s at it.

  54. 54
    kay says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    While it’s certainly true that conservative Democrats aren’t going to budge, you’re going to run into real trouble with Democrats in certain states, no matter their ideological leanings:

    U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is returning to Washington after what he called a “lively” round of county listening sessions during his August recess. Although the most high-profile issue has become health care reform, the Senate is under pressure to act on a number of other issues, including financial regulation and energy policy.

    On the latter issue, he said the nation must do something to combat climate change, but he isn’t yet ready to commit to energy legislation with a so-called cap and trade provision for carbon emissions.

    “I’m not signing onto any bill that rips off Wisconsin,” Feingold declared, arguing the bill’s mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions could put the coal-dependent Badger State at an economic disadvantage compared to other regions and nations.

    At the same time, Feingold said he’s “troubled” by some of his constituents’ refusal to accept the principles of global warming, but agreed with some critics who have said the bill could stifle job growth in the industrial sector and increase energy prices.

    “Western Wisconsin is particularly strong in being concerned about this because of their reliance on coal,” Feingold said of the bill, which has already passed the House. “There is a real possibility … that it will be unfair to Wisconsin and Wisconsin ratepayers.”

    It’s coal. Sherrod Brown waffles on this too, and it’s because his state is dependent on coal. I don’t know how they get it done without liberals from those states.

  55. 55
    kdaug says:

    Ah, to be a young researcher living beneath the Antarctic Circle. After a day of hacking mangoes and bananas, you’d have the best pick-up line ever:

    “Hey, babe, I know I’m ugly, but we’ve got to make the whoopie to propagate the species. It’s 22 pairs of cross-breeding humans, after all.”

  56. 56
    kdaug says:

    @Emma: It’s in the mail. (I crack me up, too – probably not psychologically healthy, but fuck it).

  57. 57
    ChrisS says:

    So have any liberals suggested tax cuts for the wealthy to solve climate change? Or has it just been the same old tired liberal tropes about big government spending that will solve this “problem”?

    [Damn, this shit is easy.]

  58. 58
    NonyNony says:

    @kay:

    “I’m not signing onto any bill that rips off Wisconsin,”

    This, at every level, is what the climate change argument is about. If we want to do something about it there have to be sacrifices made. Lifestyles have to change, energy use patterns have to change, something has to change.

    The question is who is being asked to make that sacrifice, can they bear the burden, and will they choose to take it on themselves. When coal miners in West Virginia are being asked to take it on the chin for the good of the world there’s a question of why they’re being asked to bear the burden by themselves. When you add in the fact that the effects of climate change are so far not obvious to the layperson, it’s easy for them to fall into a “someone’s trying to screw me over” mode. Add in the corporate entities who have a vested interest in muddying up the debate – and who are also being asked to make a “personal” sacrifice for the good of the rest of the world – and you end up with a mess like the one we have.

    There won’t be a resolution until some method of truly sharing the burden equitably is all worked out, or until the problem reaches “crisis mode” where it’s obvious that the climate is broken even to the layman with no science training. Sadly I suspect that the latter will be reached before the former. I’m not even sure that the former is possible given the scale of the problem and the size of the burden that needs to be shared.

  59. 59

    Views differ and BOTH SIDES ARE EQUALLY VALID!!!

    Gah.

  60. 60

    Check out what Russel Simmons did to his apartment windows. Just so happens he lives right across the street from Ground Zero — not 2 fucking blocks away but RIGHT there.

    Sorry I’m feeling all shouty today.

  61. 61
    Cris says:

    I hope the displaced polar bears swim to Wasilla and eat some of it’s residents.

  62. 62
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Southern Beale: He watched a lot of Lost I guess.

  63. 63
    El Tiburon says:

    We need to stop discussing how to prevent climate change to how we are going to live with climate change.

    Any good links anywhere with some real-world wisdom on what we should be looking for in 5-10-20 years?

  64. 64

    I am starting to hear the media voice “has the Palin effect soured” sounds.

    Looks like once again they sniffed Republican shorts, got drunk on that heady brew, and then passed out only to wake up and realize they were riding the wrong horse all along.

    And that is today’s metaphor mash-up. Your move.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @NonyNony:

    Right. I agree. I’d pay higher rates. But Senators (in my view) have both a broad responsibility and a responsibility to the people in their states. I’m actually okay with that. I think it’s how the Senate is supposed to work, on one level. I take it into account. Some places are going to take a harder hit than others. Again, I accept that, but will they?

    Read this list and tell me what these people have in common:

    Brown Leads Nine U.S. Senators In Writing to Pres. Obama on Climate Change Legislation
    Sens. Outline Need to Maintain Level Playing Field for American Manufacturing in Climate Change Legislation through Border Measure, Other Provisions

    August 6, 2009

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ten U.S. senators wrote to President Barack Obama today to outline the need to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing in any climate change legislation. The senators expressed their support for a border adjustment mechanism and other initiatives that would ensure the future competiveness of U.S. manufacturing.

    The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Russell D. Feingold (D-WI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Robert P. Casey (D-PA), Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Arlen Specter (D-PA), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), and Al Franken (D-MN).

    “As Congress considers energy and climate legislation, it is important that such a bill include provisions to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing,” the senators wrote. “It is essential that any clean energy legislation not only address the crisis of climate change, but include strong provisions to ensure the strength and viability of domestic manufacturing.”

    The senators also outlined initiatives to ensure manufacturers are not disproportionately affected by climate change legislation.

    They have a two-fold concern: the effect on manufacturing, and the effect on consumer energy rates.

  66. 66
    Tonal Crow says:

    @p.a.: I agree that there’s no convincing the Republican base. And I believe that only emotionally-involving (fact-based) stories — not argument — can convince the general public. I have yet to see confirmation that argument works on anyone beyond pointy-headed intellectuals. But I see plenty of confirmation (e.g., Palin) that stories (even outrageously false ones) work on the general public.

  67. 67
    martha says:

    @kay: Yes. Until the geographic differences of power generation supplies are taken into account in some way, we will not get the votes of these representatives. It’s an economic reality. Some will say “just get off coal!” Well, maybe in 30-40 years, with leadership NOW. But during that time, you cannot expect residents and businesses to buy into a “scheme” where they’ll pay lots more because of decisions made by their local regulated utility that they probably hate anyway. So, misinformation and bad science gets used to turn people against climate change to make an economic argument…

    And, in a related note, the electric cooperatives have a very strong grass roots campaign in WI about the cost inequities of climate change legislation on them and their business model. After all, they don’t rape the ratepayers and pass the gains to the shareholders, like the investor-owned utilities. The two parties are one and the same…

  68. 68
    morzer says:

    @Cris:

    I imagine they’ll start with some good old Crunchy Cons.

  69. 69

    @kdaug:

    kdaug lists extinctions.

    I can’t wait to see what we’re going to call this one!

    Oh… wait…

    Excellent!

  70. 70
    martha says:

    @kay: What they have in common is that they come from states that (1) still actually have industrial manufacturers who make stuff, and (2) these manufacturers are likely served by electric utilities that generate much of their power from coal.

  71. 71
    chopper says:

    if al gore is so fat, why isn’t he blocking the sun and cooling the earth? shouldn’t we see algorogenic global cooling instead?

  72. 72
    morzer says:

    @chopper:

    Because he maliciously lets all the sun rays through to warm his huge-ass house and starve little Republican children in the deserts of Mississippi.

  73. 73
    chopper says:

    @morzer:

    the fiend! he can become invisible too – time to assemble the superfriends!

  74. 74
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Alwhite:
    That’s not melting ice, it’s freedom water. Why do you hate freedom water?

  75. 75
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but the RNC is starving for cash:

    By the numbers, the RNC brought in $5.5 million in July, compared with $11.5 million for the DNC.
    __
    […]
    __
    As of July 31, the RNC had $5.3 million in the bank and $2.2 million in debt, while the DNC had $10.8 million in the bank and $3.5 million in debt.

    Normally, I’d think this was unmitigated good news, but, given the Citizens United ruling, I wonder how much RNC money is being siphoned off instead by less regulated, independent expenditure groups like Karl Rove’s & Ed Gillespie’s American Crossroads.

    .

  76. 76

    I absolutely despise the “Crunchy Cons.”

    I wish they would keep their fucking hands off of my cultural references, assholes.

  77. 77
    licensed to kill time says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Freedom’s not freeze, doncha know.

  78. 78
    Bill Arnold says:

    Look at the states we lose if sea level rises Mass., NY, California, DC.

    Mainly, we lose Florida. Except maybe for (disneyworld’s) Space Mountain. And some higher places in the north.

  79. 79

    I wonder how much RNC money is being siphoned off instead by less regulated, independent expenditure groups like Karl Rove’s & Ed Gillespie’s American Crossroads.

    Probably a lot. Then again, the idea that the Republican Party might have Supreme Courted itself into bankruptcy is just delicious.

  80. 80

    We lose Florida, Louisiana, maybe some coastal areas of Mississippi and Alabama.

    Other than New Orleans, meh.

    /kidding

  81. 81
    Violet says:

    @JGabriel:
    A lot of it. The RNC is going to become a shell in terms of fundraising. And when the Republicans win a lot of seats, they’ll use that to their advantage and boast, “We did more with less! Just like America needs to.” Liars.

    As for how to deal with the messaging, Dems just need to equate “Republican” with “Liar” over and over and over again. If they can get that to stick it will go a long way to undermining confidence in the GOP. And it’s not that hard to do. They lie all the time.

  82. 82
    kay says:

    @martha:

    Right. And it’s cold.

    I’m not looking forward to The Regional Climate Wars, but it’s a big country, and our interests aren’t always aligned, ideology aside. :)

    In any event, I don’t know how the hell you get anything through Congress without the midwestern liberals. There are few enough liberals. Lop off the rust belt gang and it starts to look impossible.

  83. 83
    morzer says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Poor old Michael Steele. No more lesbian-bondage-themed night clubs for him and the Anyone under fifty? Young Republicans.

  84. 84
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @JGabriel:
    Alex, I’ll take the category “Why old money Republicans won’t give a dime to Michael Steele” for $500.

  85. 85
    Alwhite says:

    @JGabriel:

    I think for some time now there has been an effort to set up a shadow RNC. If Mikey was part of the reason or part of the plan I can’t guess. Notice when Newscorpse wanted to give a megabuck to the Republicans it gave it to the governors not the RNC. I expect you will see a lot more of that sort of shit, the money will go to groups where the worst of the worst can control more of its use.

    Short-term that is good for the wingnuts & the Dems as it undermines the Republican brand even further. Long-term I think it makes any useful progress much much more difficult

  86. 86
    Chad N Freude says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Any good links anywhere with some real-world wisdom on what we should be looking for in 5-10-20 years?

    No links, but I would recommend googling “condos in Iceland”.

  87. 87
    morzer says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Give it a decade, and I am sure they’ll be selling real estate in Greenland!

  88. 88
    martha says:

    @kay: And we’re relatively pragmatic–oh horrors!!!

    I just love it when people shriek about “getting off dirty coal” as if it can be done in a year. Cripes, these people use more electricity each year with all their gadgets and shit and they want to cut it out entirely? I think they’ve been going to the Bob Jones University College of Math.

  89. 89
    kay says:

    @martha:

    the electric cooperatives have a very strong grass roots campaign in WI about the cost inequities of climate change legislation on them and their business model. After all, they don’t rape the ratepayers and pass the gains to the shareholders, like the investor-owned utilities.

    I get power from a local cooperative, and I got a letter. I’m almost relieved to hear it’s national. I have spoken with the man who runs mine and he’s a raving wingnut. He used to be my neighbor.

    I assumed he was just doing the usual, which is using his position as head of the cooperative to screech incessantly about liberals, on cooperative letterhead, using cooperative funds.

    I thought he was acting alone.

  90. 90
    Svensker says:

    @El Cid:

    Also, too, this article is in the New York Times. Nuf said.

  91. 91
    kay says:

    @martha:

    I’d love to get off coal. I just don’t know how to do it, politically.

    I don’t know how to do it as a practical matter, either, but I imagine there are people who might.

    It’s vested energy interests, sure, but there are also some hard realities there, about who takes a hit and whether it can structured in a way that the heaviest burden doesn’t fall on the weakest.

  92. 92
    sukabi says:

    there aren’t any photos with bad kerning so this is a non-story.

  93. 93
    Bill Arnold says:

    We lose Florida, Louisiana, maybe some coastal areas of Mississippi and Alabama.

    Some maps from epa.gov that show up to +3.5 meters sea level rise.
    Not as bad as I thought. (Notably, Miami’s gone at +3.5 meters.)

  94. 94
    martha says:

    @kay: No, it’s a unified thing. And yes, some of them are complete wackos, but I do think that lots of it is driven by economics. The coops don’t have anywhere to “pass along” the markups for climate change legislation, especially if they buy their electricity from a coal producer or one that relies on more coal-fired plants than other fuels. They have a much smaller customer base, mostly residential, and they just can’t do the creative things with utility rates that bigger utilities can.

  95. 95

    All we have to do to get off coal — and ALL fossil fuels — is for everyone take one small step. I get so frustrated, everyone feels like we all have to jump to the future in one step. No, we don’t. We can’t. But everyone just do one thing. Not everyone can do everything but everyone can do ONE thing.

    People who can afford it can put solar panels on their roof, geothermal heating, swap out their energy-hogging appliances for energy misers, buy electric cars, get energy efficient windows and doors.

    Not everyone can do that. But everyone can eat less meat. Weather strip your windows and doors. Seal your duct work. Advocate for green energy policies. Take one fewer car trip. Close the blinds on your home windows during the day to keep the sun out. You will save money AND use less energy.

    If *everyone* did ONE thing I think there would be tremendous results. Because we’re so inefficient right now, we waste so much energy. Just the smallest conservation and efficiency effort will have a big impact.

  96. 96
    NonyNony says:

    @martha:

    It’s an economic reality. Some will say “just get off coal!” Well, maybe in 30-40 years, with leadership NOW. But during that time, you cannot expect residents and businesses to buy into a “scheme” where they’ll pay lots more because of decisions made by their local regulated utility that they probably hate anyway.

    The “get off coal” argument is even worse than that. Because it generally focuses on the point that the utilities and consumers are impacted by the legislation. And if they were the only groups impacted by it then, while it would be painful, there’s a good chance that the cost of the change could be spread out and the pain could be mitigated. Hell with the right kinds of tax cuts, grant funding and investments in infrastructure improvements, both the utilities and the consumers could come out ahead in a shift from carbon-based fuels to non-carbon based fuels.

    But that misses out on the fact that there’s one group that will lose out completely with a shift away from coal. And that’s the coal miners. Any state whose economy is even somewhat dependent on coal is being asked to sacrifice their economy for everyone else. And while a lot of folks will think “oh the energy companies – who cares”, what we’re talking about here is a massive loss of jobs from the people who actually work in the mines. That will absolutely devastate the economy of those states, as well as the lives of the miners. Many of whom are in families that have been mining those areas for generations.

    That’s the key problem to get the liberals from states where coal is important on board. If you’re going to phase out coal you have to come up with some way to salvage their states’ economies in the transition. And no one has come up with a clever way to do that yet – hell I’m not even sure anyone has been LOOKING for something in that regard. Getting liberals from the manufacturing states on board is a solvable problem given the will to fund a solution – you can dump money into infrastructure projects to make the transition “not too expensive” – hell you can dump enough money into infrastructure improvements to make the transition a good deal for the states involved. But no amount of money is going to create an economy from nothing, and that’s essentially what needs to be done to get the coal states on board.

  97. 97
    morzer says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    As a Dolphins fan, I ought to object. On the other hand, Miami isn’t really a thing of beauty either.

  98. 98
    Nom de Plume says:

    @Bill Arnold: Some maps from epa.gov that show up to +3.5 meters sea level rise.

    I was going to point this out myself. The biggest irony about climate change is that the deniers are going to suffer the most, at least in terms of sea level rise.

  99. 99
    Warren Terra says:

    (Apologies as this comment is in no way topical, but there’s no recent Open Thread and even this most recent thread is two-and-a-half hours old)

    There’s a post up at Crooked Timber that looks like pure catnip for Doug J:

    Inside Higher Ed has a good article on the Washington Post’s interesting editorial stance on colleges that make their money through hoovering up the proceeds of student loans rather than, like, actually trying to graduate students with useful degrees.
    __
    ….
    __
    As news provision becomes ever less profitable in its own right, we can expect ever more attention to the possible side benefits of owning a substantial share of the public debate. The Washington Post has already been a pioneer in exploiting these synergies, and can, I suspect, be relied upon to do more as time goes on.

  100. 100
    Alex S. says:

    If they are complaining about sunspots now, what will they do during the next 5 years, until we reach the next sunspot activity maximum? Right now, we’re leaving a phase of extremely low sunspot activity.

    @Nom de Plume:

    Hmm, I think that the liberals at the coast are going to suffer most. The deniers are mostly hidden in the inland where they don’t have to face any alien influences (Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, etc….)

  101. 101
    Roger Moore says:

    @steviez314:

    Look at the states we lose if sea level rises—Mass., NY, California, DC.

    California not so much. The West Coast is pretty damn steep, so you can get to ground that’s well above any likely sea level rise without traveling very far. My home is almost 1000 feet above sea level, but only about 20 miles inland. The East Coast is much flatter, so a small seal level rise will cause a lot more damage there. Same with the Gulf Coast.

  102. 102
    morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    a small seal level rise will cause a lot more damage there

    What did the small seals do to you this time?

  103. 103
    Dork says:

    @Bill Arnold: That takes out all the Keys, too, right? Does that mean Jacksonville will be flooded with all the tan and easygoing gheys?

  104. 104
    MattR says:

    @morzer:

    What did the small seals do to you this time?

    Jump to the 3 minute mark of this.

  105. 105
    beltane says:

    @Alex S.: The red states may be spared the effects of sea level rise, but they will not escape excessive heat and drought.

  106. 106
    mr. whipple says:

    @NonyNony:

    That’s the key problem to get the liberals from states where coal is important on board. If you’re going to phase out coal you have to come up with some way to salvage their states’ economies in the transition.

    I saw we get WV on board by legalizing moonshine.

  107. 107
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Alex S.:

    The deniers are mostly hidden in the inland where they don’t have to face any alien influences (Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, etc….)

    First: Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Alaska. Second, while inland areas might not directly be affected by sea-level rise, they will be directly affected by rainfall shifts (mostly toward drought), storm intensification, and temperature increases. Also there will be substantial indirect effects caused by climate change elsewhere, such as, oh, increased migration of people from badly-affected regions (Can you deniers say “Mexicans”? I knew you could!)

  108. 108
    martha says:

    @NonyNony: I hear you. But the real energy savings is in commercial buildings and industry. Just sayin’.

  109. 109
    Alex S. says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Virginia, North Carolina and Florida went for Obama. Alaska, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi have a combined population of about 27 million people which is less than the combined population of the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and New York (about 37 million), not to mention the Bay Area, Boston, Miami, New Orleans and the centrist town of Houston (Houston being one of the most endangered areas of Texas, along with Ron Paul’s district). – So I still think that liberals will suffer more. Migration is a good point though. What happens when New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans and Boston drown and 60 million people have to find a new place to live?

  110. 110
    quaint irene says:

    Could be sunspots,

    Nah. Next they’ll be blaming Santa’s workshop, trying to tie in that’s it’s too over regulated. That, or Rudolph’s glowing nose.

  111. 111
    Martin says:

    So no sooner will the wingnuts save ground zero from the existential threat of brown people playing basketball after school will they commit it to the sea because it’s too hot in July to turn down the AC.

    Priorities.

  112. 112
    Bill Arnold says:

    What happens when New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans and Boston drown

    at +3.5 meters, only Miami and New Orleans drown. Boston loses some low areas. New York loses some low areas and would have problems with some subways. From what I recall of the terrain of San Francisco, they wouldn’t have many problems, and LA is mostly plenty high.

  113. 113
    Cermet says:

    @Nom de Plume: A few billion third world people object to that idea – they will be the ones dying and suffering far worse and they had zero to do with it (unlike us) and less benifits from the AGW buildup (again, unlike us.)

  114. 114
    morzer says:

    @Alex S.:

    Republicans will refuse to spend money on housing moochers.

  115. 115
    Texas Dem says:

    I love the way the article just naively assumes ecological disaster will finally clear away opposition to climate change legislation in the same way that the economic crisis finally led to reform of our financial system. Isn’t it just as likely that many, if not most Americans will decide that we should just use our overwhelming military power to seize the resources we need, i.e., oil reserves and supplies of fresh water and arable land? And what would stop us? The Canadian army?

  116. 116
    PeakVT says:

    I like this map where you can fiddle with the amount by which the sea level rises. There’s actually quite a bit of land around the Bay Area that would be covered even with a 1m rise.

  117. 117
    Robert Waldmann says:

    both sides have a point.

    I mean you can try the Northwest Passage and the North East Passage (except, of course, the Earth is flat).

  118. 118
    Anne Laurie says:

    @steviez314:

    Look at the states we lose if sea level rises—Mass., NY, California, DC. It’s the lord’s vengeance on liberals. Flyover country becomes THE country.

    Nah, except for Cape Cod and the area right around Boston Harbour, most of Massachusetts will still be dry long after the Heartland Americans(tm) in the Mississippi Basin have drowned. Not to mention what the changes in weather patterns will do to the Great Lakes states…

  119. 119
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “From what I recall of the terrain of San Francisco, they wouldn’t have many problems,”

    C’mon folks, we have cable cars in San Francisco because *teams of eight horses* couldn’t drag the streetcars up the hills. I think we’ll be fine. Oakland, less so.

    New Orleans, though, is fucked. Or even more fucked than Katrina and Shrub left it.

  120. 120
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “I know there are people this stupid in the world but I am surprised they can find a crayon to write with and disappointed the editors chose not to point out that not all the ice in the world is floating in water. ”

    Or too stupid to have heard of “thermal expansion”, which is an additional cause of sea rise as well as or “positive albedo feedback” ‘cos seawater is like, dark and absorbs energy from sunlight wheras ice reflects it.

    I hope the social insects that take over after we’ve shat ourselves into extinction are smarter.

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