King Knut Knew What He Was Doing. These Bozos Don’t

Today’s climate change updates in the LALALALALALALA I Can’t Hear You file…

Exhibit A:

National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea level rise and storm surge, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science.

The document was supposed to report results of studies on the risks to National Park properties from sea level rise, which is one of the major proximate consequences of anthropogenic global warming.  Stuff like this:

The report, titled, “Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Projections for the National Park Service,” reveals that national treasures will face severe flooding if global greenhouse gases keep increasing. Some of its projections, according to the drafts, include:

  • In North Carolina, the Wright Brothers National Memorial has the highest projected increase in sea level among parks nationwide – 2.69 feet by 2100 under a scenario of high growth of greenhouse gases. Along with Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras national seashores, the memorial could face significant permanent flooding. “Future storm surges will be exacerbated by future sea level rise nationwide; this could be especially dangerous for the Southeast Region where they already experience hurricane-strength storms,” the report says.
  • In Virginia, three parks – Colonial National Historical Park, home of Historic Jamestowne; Fort Monroe National Monument; and Petersburg National Battlefield – face the biggest potential sea level increases in the park service’s Northeast region – 2.66 feet by 2100.
  • Parks in the Washington, D.C., region could experience some of the greatest sea level increases – 2.62 feet by 2100. “Storm surge flooding on top of this sea level rise would have widespread impacts,” the report says.
  • If a Category 2 hurricane hit Florida’s Everglades National Park, the entire park could be flooded, with most of it under several feet of water.

This is the kind of information that would be useful — complete with an analysis of causes and mechanisms — to anyone trying to think how to protect America’s parks, and/or mitigate the damage that human action has set in train.  Interior Secretary Zinke and his staff — and the Trump administration as a whole, and the GOP in toto — seem to think that not saying certain words means that what those words name won’t happen.

Sadly, of course, carbon dioxide don’t care if Mr. Zinke doesn’t want to pay attention to its radiative properties. The atmosphere in bulk isn’t somehow going to get rid of the last 20 years of CO2 ppm increase just because Republicans shout at it.  The ocean isn’t going to turn around in its tracks because Deadbeat Donnie, the orange hemorrhoid-cream salesman now sadly infesting the White House wiggles his ample posterior over a putt (that he’ll miss) on some seaside golf course.

King Knut knew better, even if he had to make the live demonstration to prove it too his court.

And then there’s Exhibit B:

Dead Man Walking Trump/GOP Corruption Poster Child Scott Pruitt won’t be dynamited out of his office at the EPA without attempting to gut one more Obama-era accomplishment, the increase in fleet fuel efficiency requirements for American light trucks and cars:

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he would revoke Obama-era standards requiring cars and light trucks sold in the United States to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, a move that could change the composition of the nation’s auto fleet for years.

This is no surprise from Pruitt, of course, who never met a fossil he didn’t want to burn (and whose long term livelihood and political ambitions turn entirely on making sure Big Carbon loves them some Scott).  It will be challenged in court, and California may yet save the day.

Before that gets settled, though, two thoughts:

First: this is a reminder that you cannot trust oligopoly capital under any circumstances. The new standards were negotiated over a quite a long time with the big automakers, and they signed on to the Obama deal. As soon as Trump was elected, they reneged:

Pruitt’s decision reflects the power of the auto industry, which asked him to revisit the Obama administration’s review of the model years 2022-2025 fuel-efficiency targets just days after he took office.

The Auto Alliance (these guys) will tell you that they’re all about clean transportation — just look at their home page!  But it took them less than a month (see p. 4) into the new guy’s term to write to the Trump administration and seek a do-over.  You could have had these guys put up Agamemnon’s pledge and they’d have backed out on this deal as soon as they got the chance.

So:  moral one. Don’t trust anyone with that much cash on the line until you have at least one of their kidney’s in pawn. And maybe not even then.

Moral two: this is how big US industries die.  I’m sure it will be nice for those who pay for their hookers and blow by selling SUVs that the gravy train will run a few years longer.  But the rest of the world isn’t completely ignorant of climate change and, more immediately, the insane and expensive toll that air pollution takes on their cities.

I’m old enough to remember the ’70s, when the Big Three US automakers discovered in a shocking short time just how destructive it could be to miss the next technological and design shift.  Fuel efficient and alternate fuel vehicles are not just coming; they’re here. If the US-based auto industry wants to let China or whoever get one, two, three generations ahead of domestic production, that’ll happen.  And those companies and vehicles will roll, and ours will straggle behind.

Again: our kleptocratic leaders can say what they want. Shortsighted corporations can grab for the next dollar, and miss next year’s millions. Don’t change a thing.

So, in sum: this is one dumb move on every level, and puts yet more pressure on an already breaking climate system. But I don’t think that a change in US fleet standards is nearly as big a deal as Pruitt et al. wish it were.  Much of the world doesn’t give a shit about our stupidity, and the creation of a more efficient transport system is already on rails (sorrynotsorry).  ISTM that this move is mostly a surrender of crucial industrial ambition and opportunity to other regions and will have only a minor effect on emissions going forward.

IOW: Trump, Pruitt, the Republicans and Big Auto just punched America in the nuts, for all the joy it brings them.

Also too: King Knut was a pretty smart guy.

Images: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Calais Pier1803.

Jan Steen, The Sacrifice of Iphigenia1671.

84 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    As nice as it would be to have a positive, functioning government (But Her Emails!), let’s not forget that the government isn’t the only source of power or progress in society.

    Keep up the pressure until 2021 and then go medieval on their asses.

  2. 2
    Roger Moore says:

    Pruitt, of course, who never met a fossil he didn’t want to burn

    He hasn’t made the tiniest attempt to burn the impostor in the White House (ETA: or anyone else in his party), so I’m going to have to call fake news on this claim.

  3. 3
    SFAW says:

    Every so often — say, about every hour or two — I find myself wishing that this is all a St. Elsewhere, Bobby’s-death-was-a-dream-sequence Dallas, or some equivalent nightmare from which I will wake up any minute now.

    All the more reason to make sure mid-terms crush as many Rethugs as possible.

  4. 4
    Ohio Mom says:

    Those #%*$&@!! automakers. Obama — and the rest of us — saved their asses. And this is the thanks we get.

  5. 5
    Schlemazel says:

    I read just today that the shelf ice (the stuff that helps keep the land-based glaciers from sliding into the sea faster) is shrinking faster than projected and as a result the land ice is going to raise ocean levels faster than expected. I wonder how far underwater Jacksonville, Savana, Virginia Beach, Mobile, Galveston and COrpus Christi will have to be before those jerkoffs realize they screwed up.

  6. 6
    SFAW says:

    @Roger Moore:

    He hasn’t made the tiniest attempt to burn the impostor in the White House, so I’m going to have to call fake news on this claim.

    I’m going to call bullshit on your calling bullshit on Baud. Fossils aren’t obese just slightly overweight but OH NO NOT OBESE because I are a admiral and I would NEVER FUCKING LIE

    Sorry, got carried away for a second there.

  7. 7
    Thoughtful David says:

    The change in fuel efficiency standards is a win for the car makers. They’ll still make high-efficiency and electric vehicles and if some liebrul wants to buy it, he can. But now they can sell as many Ford Land Barges at 1.6 mpg as they want to and bring in all that sweet, sweet dough. Overseas, they’ll continue to sell the efficient vehicles.

  8. 8
    Mary G says:

    Jessica Valenti is at an event with Hillary and tweeting:

    “Fox News is always trying to impeach me, and someone needs to tell them it doesn’t work that way with a private citizen.” –@HillaryClinton— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) April 3, 2018

    HRC says “Putin is a world class misogynist.”— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) April 4, 2018

  9. 9
  10. 10

    @Baud: Reading the last thread, I was just thinking that the Parkland kids give me hope that ordinary citizens can make a difference.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @Mary G: I for one hope she never goes away.

  12. 12

    @Baud:
    Thank you. I needed that.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Never a doubt in my mind. Ordinary citizens have to do it, though. Lots of money being thrown at us to discourage, distract, and divide.

  14. 14
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Why U.S. Carmakers Could End Up Wishing They Never Asked For Weaker Fuel Economy Standards

    Link

  15. 15

    @Mary G: They appear to be running against HRC in the mid-terms. Her and Nancy Pelosi. Gee. You’d almost think powerful women upset them.

  16. 16
    Mary G says:

    WaPo just now:

    Mueller told Trump’s attorneys the president remains under investigation but is not currently a criminal targetNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONONONONONO

  17. 17
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Thoughtful David: Yes. I should have been clearer: the cars and trucks that meet efficiency standards will be made, and more overseas than they would have been if US efficiency standards do in fact shift back. The primary losers, thus, are the common clay of the New West who voted for Trump and imagined they might work in a US based auto plant. To the extent that Chinese car companies, say, pursue new efficiency technologies under compulsion there at a more intense level than the US based industry, Big Auto could suffer as well. But, as usual, those who’ll get it on the chin first and most will be the suckers who believed the rich guys.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    In all honesty, you do frighten me a little.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled” – Richard Feynman

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @Mary G: That leak came from Trump’s attorney. Chill.

    ETA: Mueller is trying to get Trump to testify.

  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    Agamemnon’s pledge

    Goddess said to Aga “Kill me a son”
    Aga said “Man, you must be putting me on”
    “But I gotta daughter …”

  22. 22
    Mary G says:

    @Mary G: Well. I messed that and FYWP says no permission edit. Sorry.

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Magic 8-ball says yes.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): That’s not slander, at most its an over count of one or two. The genetic testing combined with documents and other family history materials clearly indicate that Jefferson had at least two children with Sally Hemmings, who was his sister in law.

  24. 24
    kindness says:

    I’m saddened by US corporations attitudes but not surprised. I’d still think bailing out the auto companies in 2009 was the right thing to do. Corporations don’t have morals. They don’t have conciouses They don’t have souls. The Supreme Court was wrong in saying Corporations are people. Corporations are legal entities made up of companies so that the owners can be provided legal personal protection from the corporation’s debts and misdeeds. Corporations should not be considered people. We can’t do that. So add that to the list of things we gotta fix when Democrats run the show in 2020.

    @Thoughtful David: Nope. As long as California is allowed to set their own air pollution standards US autos are going to make efficient auto’s here. Supreme Court said CA had the right.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    peak derp

    Fucking morons. The WaPo “slandered” Jefferson? Do those fucking morons know the difference between slander and libel? And what parts I could stomach of the rest of the article — which wasn’t much — were not especially intelligent, either.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Take a deep breath. You’ve got three people talking to Leonig and Costa who heard something from someone. You have no statement, and you won’t, from Mueller. Cobb claims in the piece he’s not making any statements at all. So it is unclear what, if anything, Mueller actually told Cobb and Dowd. Dowd is now gone – pushed out. Sekulow has virtually no trial experience at all and certainly no criminal trial experience. He’s basically a full time mail donation scammer and shakedown artist via his religious freedom foundation. Unless or until Mueller or Rosenstein make a statement, this is, at best, somewhere between spin and hearsay.

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mary G:

    Here’s a paper bag to breathe into. Why would Mueller tip his hand?! If he announced now that Trump is a criminal target, the opposition to him would ramp up exponentially. Better to stay under the radar and keep the investigation perking along. I would be satisfied if the first news of Trump being a criminal target is an indictment.

  29. 29

    I once knew a Greek woman named Iphigenia. Always wondered what sort of father signed off on that name.

  30. 30

    @SFAW: “There is almost no evidence that Sally Hemings existed at all”
    No lie, I almost fell victim to a derp-induced aneurysm.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): To be even more honest, I kind of like it.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I would be satisfied if the first news of Trump being a criminal target is an indictment.

    Not a lawyer, so I need to ask: would it be one indictment containing many charges? Or many indictments, each for a separate charge? Or would/could it be a combination of those two?

    Asking for a country friend.

  33. 33
    Emerald says:

    @Mary G: I like that word “currently.”

    I hope Mueller keeps whatever he’s got stuffed as far under his hat as the hat can take. The second Twitler panics, he fires Muller and maybe lobs some nukes somewhere.

    Because you KNOW that money laundering, for decades, at the very least, is going to be a major part of this.

  34. 34
    efgoldman says:

    @Schlemazel:

    I wonder how far underwater Jacksonville, Savana, Virginia Beach, Mobile, Galveston and COrpus Christi will have to be before those jerkoffs realize they screwed up.

    They’ll still. be in denial when their beach houses wash away for the 8th time in ten years, become uninsurable, and all that expensive waterfront real estate is permanently six feet under. Also when their ski chalets haven’t seen any snow in a decade, or are buried so deeply they aren’t accessible.

    Fuuckem

  35. 35

    @Major Major Major Major: Old-timey (re: ca. 1920s) with an clear air of tryhard about them.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    SFAW says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    I do have one quibble with your original comment: “peak derp,” like “peak wingnut,” is a lie.

    But those morons keep trying to get us there, that’s for sure. I hope they devote similar “brain” power to debunking man landing on the moon, the “fake news” that 9/11 was NOT a false flag operations, and that slavery had NOTHING to do with the Civil War (or vice versa).

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Tom, in happier news, one of your older books (Measure for Measure) is due to delivered to my dad for his 75th birthday tomorrow.

  40. 40

    @Major Major Major Major: Some South Indian names are real tongue twisters and oh so long. Husband kitteh is named after his grandfather and his name is quite a mouthful.

  41. 41
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Awesome! I’m so glad you thought well enough of it to burden your dad with it!

  42. 42
  43. 43

    @Major Major Major Major: Well it’s an archaic name. Is her dad a professor and/or Greek?ETA: Never mind, I missed the “Greek” qualifier in your OP.

  44. 44
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Schlemazel: St. Simons Island will be ok, right? Asking for a friend.

  45. 45

    @schrodingers_cat: @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I’m concerned about what Agamemnon did to his daughter Iphigenia, not the pronunciation.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tom Levenson: It is right up his alley. And thanks for not saying, “Good god, is that thing still in print? Worst thing I ever wrote.”

  47. 47
    Jay says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    A lot of “export rules” are fleet based for energy efficiency and air quality.

    So if Ford brings out the Canyonero, and the Canyonero Sport, at 1.6 MPG, and all the Deplorables that can afford them, buy them, that drags down the whole “fleet” average, which disqualifies even “greener models” from some export markets.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    Almost 19 years ago we went to Hatteras on our honeymoon and they were moving the Lighthouse:

    In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Light Station, which consists of seven historic structures, was successfully relocated 2,900 feet from the spot on which it had stood since 1870. Because of the threat of shoreline erosion, a natural process, the entire light station was safely moved to a new site where the historic buildings and cisterns were placed in spatial and elevational relationship to each other, exactly as they had been at the original site. While the National Park Service has met its obligation to both historic preservation and coastal protection, the much-heralded move of the historic station, especially the lighthouse, was hotly debated and closely watched.

  49. 49
    Trollhattan says:

    @SFAW:
    Shove a wick in Trump and he’ll light the cave all winter.

  50. 50
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ;-)

    I’m actually very proud of that book. It’s got a couple of errors in it, but I stand by the overall arc and argument, and while it was unequivocally the hardest of my books to write, I still relish the paths it took me down.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hey, father-daughter relationships can be odd. At least Aggie didn’t tell temple prostitutes that they looked like Iphie.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tom Levenson: Cool.

  53. 53

    @Major Major Major Major: Got it!
    ETA: Just curious why did you learn Sanskrit?

  54. 54
    Jay says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    I doff my cap to you Good Sir for the “common clay of the New West” reference.

  55. 55

    @Omnes Omnibus: at least trump didn’t name Ivanka Electra.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Destined to in Brooklyn herself find.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven:

    Almost 19 years ago we went to Hatteras on our honeymoon and they were moving the Lighthouse:

    So it’s your fault!!!!//

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Shell says:

    I guess ‘Climate Change’ is their ‘Lord Voldemort.’

  60. 60
    oatler. says:

    @NotMax: But being chased by the Amenities!

  61. 61

    @schrodingers_cat: I was going through an epic poetry phase.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    @Schlemazel:

    I wonder how far underwater Jacksonville, Savana, Virginia Beach, Mobile, Galveston and COrpus Christi will have to be before those jerkoffs realize they screwed up.

    They will have to be so far under water that they will be called the lost cities, like Atlantas, and even then people who can’t see the writing on the walls now, like republicans, will say we didn’t try hard enough. What they did try was more than stupid enough. There is no way to reach them, it is a cult. The cult of stupid fucking moron conservatives. They want to conserve a way of life that never was and never will be. They are afraid of change because they think they will be left behind. They should be put in and left in jail to fucking rot and the remains shot into space and let the rest of us get on with our lives.

  63. 63

    @Major Major Major Major: Aah, so which poetry in Sanskrit did you read? Kalidasa? Or the Ramayana or Mahabharata?

    ETA: I have read that the Ramayana is the easiest to read, hence its popularity.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @Schlemazel: Savana? WTF-K?

  65. 65

    @schrodingers_cat: that was the one we looked at, yes. Obviously not the whole thing.

  66. 66
    Dulcie says:

    @Major Major Major Major My real name is from Greek mythology. I looked up the meaning when I was ten, and was horrified. She was not a nice person. Apparently this is why they call it “Greek tragedy” :)

  67. 67

    @schrodingers_cat: Out of curiosity, I’ve read that Malayalam is the language most likely to have the stereotypically unwieldy Indian names. Is that true? (Though I’ve never really had pronunciation problems here).

  68. 68
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Adolph Ochs who started the NYT named his daughter Iphigene; she married Arthur Hays Sulzberger. Her mother, Iphigenia Wise, was the daughter of the rabbi who brought Reform Judaism to the US, Issac M.Wise.

    I double-checked all of this via google to make sure I remembered it all correctly. I have a vague memory of the Titanic figuring in somewhere but that will take more goggling.

  69. 69

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I can’t understand a word, so I can’t tell you. My husband’s family are Tamils originally from Kerala ( where Malayalam is spoken)

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    This is the kind of information that would be useful — complete with an analysis of causes and mechanisms — to anyone trying to think how to protect America’s parks, and/or mitigate the damage that human action has set in train.

    At this point, it would not surprise me if Trump and his goons sold off all the parks. Problem solved!!

  71. 71
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I have always wondered why there isn’t more shock in these modern times that Jefferson’s wife owned her half sister and at least one half brother. And that Jefferson made his daughter’s aunt her maid. And trained his brother-in-law to be his cook. Amazed there was some great pushback in the comments to the article — my favorite: “If Jefferson wasn’t the father of Sally’s children, then he was her pimp to his relatives.”

  72. 72
    Dan B says:

    Sea level rise may be the least of our concerns. It appears that disruption to the jet stream may shift weather patterns so far that yearly averages will be meaningless. We may be “living” with extremes so harsh that agriculture will be hanging by a thread.

    Still, refugees from coastal flooding would add to the pandemonium.

    Me, I’m just a patriotic American who believes in free enterprise and the constitution. Big money has a right to their wealth but no right to stifle progress or to muffle science.

  73. 73
    DHD says:

    I inadvertently rented a Chevy Cruze a while back and was surprised to discover that it is a reasonable facsimile of a Toyota Corolla, albeit with a few too many gadgets and blinkenlights on the dashboard. Even got okay fuel efficiency, somewhere around 6L/100km. It’s a pity that your president* is hell-bent on destroying everything that made half-decent American cars like this possible, namely NAFTA and the bare minimum of responsible efficiency/carbon emissions standards.

    As an aside, miles per gallon is a very misleading way to report fuel consumption, because the difference between 10 and 20 mpg is huge, whereas the difference between 40 and 50 mpg is not such a big deal, and yes, that is why the Rest Of The World ™ does it the other way around…

  74. 74
    Zinsky says:

    @Thoughtful David: The elimination/reduction of the CAFE standards are a disaster for the planet. Burning toxic, carcinogenic fossil fuels is slow suicide. How stupid is it to emphasize a fuel that requires millions of years and thousands of pounds of pressure and great heat to produce when solar energy is instantly available in quantities sufficient to meet almost all of our energy needs. Only an ideologically blinded fool would think that was a prudent future course of action.

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Adolph Ochs who started the NYT named his daughter Iphigene.

    Ochs bought the financially struggling newspaper in 1896. It was founded in 1851 by Henry Raymond and George Jones.

  76. 76
    frosty fred says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Search on “Sally Hemings Hidden Room” perhaps with “Monticello” as well, there is a windowless chamber directly next to Jefferson’s room in the location where his grandson (admittedly not always a reliable witness) claimed Sally’s room was. This came up a year or two ago, if memory serves.

  77. 77
    frosty fred says:

    @frosty fred: Can’t seem to edit, but this counters a major claim in the original linked “slander” article.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @Zinsky:

    Only an ideologically blinded fool would think that was a prudent future course of action.

    That covers what, at least 40% of the electorate and 100% of republican political operatives and politicians.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Wow. That article about Jefferson is some of the stupidest stuff that I have read in a while. Dumb and pointless. But I expect defenses of slavery and new attempts to whitewash history to pop up in more mainstream sources.

  80. 80
    Aleta says:

    In a federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday, major oil companies concurred with the “scientific consensus,” saying it was “extremely likely” that human activity has been driving global warming since the middle of the 20th century. They just don’t think they can be sued for it.

    “Chevron accepts what the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has reached consensus on concerning science and climate change,” said Theodore Boutrous, who represents Chevron and is heading up the assorted legal team for the five oil companies that are defendants in this lawsuit. But, he said, that didn’t mean that a civil lawsuit was the right way to address climate change. “It’s a global issue that requires global action,” he said.

    Over the course of two hours, Boutrous ran through the findings of the most recent IPCC report (released in 2013), acknowledging that global temperatures were rising due to carbon dioxide caused by human activity, that other factors were negligible, and that as a result, sea levels were rising. No time was given to any denials of climate science, with Boutrous sticking closely to the substance of the IPCC report. Even his attempt at implying that his client was not at fault was framed within the substance of the IPCC report; he said that the report never said “extraction or production” of oil was the cause of carbon dioxide emissions, but rather the “economic activity” that burned fossil fuels.

    Judge William Alsup, who is presiding over the lawsuit, is giving the other oil companies — ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP — a week to quibble with anything Boutrous said in court about climate change. …

    Wednesday’s session was not a trial, or really even a hearing in the typical sense of the word. It was, in Judge Alsup’s terminology, a “tutorial” — a session in which the legal teams for both sides present background facts for his edification. It’s not discovery, it’s not evidence, and just because it was presented Wednesday, it’s not necessarily admissible for a jury in the future should this case go to trial.

    Nonetheless, the hearing marked a moment in which major oil companies went on the record to say that human-caused climate change is real.

    By Sarah Jeong and Rachel Becker in The Verge

  81. 81
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Brachiator: That is true. I was trying to be succinct, and concentrate on Major x4’s question about who names their daughter Iphigenia.

  82. 82
    prostratedragon says:

    (For the great paintings)

    “Peace, Be Still”

  83. 83
    PSpain says:

    My 1st reaction reading this is what a bunch of short sighted dumb fucks.

    The foreign owned companies in the alliance already manufacture much more economical vehicles for foreign markets. The US will remain an island of large shitty inefficient vehicles.

    Been teaching my kids to recognize car brands. They get excited if the see a Chevy plus sign or Chrysler badge as they are exotic vehicles here in Spain.

    Volvo is now Chinese, Opel French, Jaguar/Range Rover Indian, Saab no more. Once all owned by GM and Ford.

    We are in the Pyrenees now on vacation. Got 46 MPG coming here from sea level in my Citroen Gran C4 Picasso 7 seat mini minivan.

  84. 84
    Procopius says:

    I’m old enough to remember the ’70s, when the Big Three US automakers discovered in a shocking short time just how destructive it could be to miss the next technological and design shift. Fuel efficient and alternate fuel vehicles are not just coming; they’re here.

    I’m older than that and went to high school in one of the middle-class suburbs of Detroit (that was the McCarthy Years). David Halberstom wrote a great book called The Reckoning about exactly how the Masters of the Universe in Detroit blew it with their hubris and greed. One thing that surprised the Japanese, who really doubted they could possibly compete in America, was that the Detroit automakers never paid attention to their lousy quality control. One reason the Japanese cars gained in popularity was that Detroit cars in those years were as badly built as Soviet cars. The Japanese, on the other hand, adopted advanced statistical techniques and ASKED THEIR WORKERS FOR SUGGESTIONS HOW THEY COULD BUILD BETTER CARS. Sorry for shouting, I get a little wrought up over the utter soullessness of modern American management.

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