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Climate Change
  • Rick Santorum and James Inhofe, Climate Scientists

    Though evidence for human-induced climate change is overwhelming, global warming skeptics have always had one trump card.

    Sure, the dramatic increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is a result of human activity and, yes, there's a tight historic correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperature. And yes,  climate change is an observable process, with increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, melting of ice sheets, changing wind patterns and a rising global average sea level already in evidence.

    But: Al Gore is very fat.

    It's an airtight argument, for now. Yet climate change skeptics are intelligent folks (political science interlude: contrary to popular belief, more highly educated Republicans are most likely to disbelieve the dangers of global warming, because they're more aware of the "correct" partisan position on this topic). They know there was a time when Al Gore was not fat and that this time may come again. Therefore, new backup theories are needed to undermine the science-rational thinking industrial complex.

    First up, Rick Santorum, who previewed this line of attack in Michigan before deploying his Druidic wisdom in Mississippi yesterday…

    In the Deep South, one of the most conservative regions of the country, Romney and his Republican rivals polished their credentials with attacks on President Barack Obama's handling of the economy and the nation's use of energy. "The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is," said Rick Santorum.

    He is the Santorum, who speaks for the trees. And if those trees could vote, they might propel Santorum to a first-place finish in Alabama and Mississippi, particularly if Mitt Romney makes them self-conscious about their height.

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    Tags: Climate Change, Environment, James Inhofe, Mississippi, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Science & Technology
  • Rick Santorum Pledges Never to Sit Where Democrats Are Sitting

    As if anyone needed more proof that Rick Santorum is wildly sexually inexperienced

    Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum told a Spartanburg crowd Wednesday that the only woman he's ever sat on a couch with is his wife, a not-so-subtle dig at former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who appeared seated next to Democrat Nancy Pelosi in a 2008 ad urging action on climate change.

    Wait, the couch thing wasn't about sex, or how much of it Newt Gingrich has had with women who weren't his wife?

    Aright, I'm curious where Rick's going with this. Maybe he can explain why Gingrich sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi, discussing an issue that pretty much every scientist believes to be true, is so bad…

    "Judgment matters," Santorum said. "When the winds are blowing, what we've seen with Romney and Gingrich is that they put their sails up and they go. I tack against the wind. I stand up for the values that I know are true."

    Ah, yes. Judgment does matter. Well, not the judgment of the scientific community on human contributions to climate change. Or the judgment of gays who feel marginalized because they don't get to have families.

    But, you know, judgment when it comes to sitting near someone on a couch. Then judgment matters.

    Photo by John W. Adkisson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Climate Change, Nancy Pelosi, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Science & Technology
  • Jon Huntsman's Rising Popularity Miraculously Coincides with His New Anti-Climate Change Beliefs

    Newt Gingrich has been the Republican frontrunner for well over a week now, so that means it's just about time for somebody else to take over the position. But who's left? Can't be Gary Johnson or Fred Karger because they think that gay people are people, and it can't be Rick Santorum because he's Rick Santorum. I suppose that means it's got to be Jon Huntsman.

    Which probably also means that we can probably be expecting a retraction of his previous statements that science exists in three… two

    In a move that's sure to endear him to the conservatives who are starting to warm up to the former Utah governor, Huntsman said Tuesday under questioning from TPM that he now believes there’s “more debate yet to play out” before we can be sure climate change is really happening…

    "[T]here is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently," Huntsman said, referring to the East Anglia University conspiracy that continues to fuel climate change skepticism. "I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation."

    "The East Anglia University conspiracy"? Where have I heard that before? Oh, right! Everywhere! Climategate! If anthropomorphic climate change is a real thing, then how come nobody — besides those six investigative committees — ever bothered to clear up that manufactured controversy? Sounds like an admission of guilt to me.

    At any rate, I'm glad to see that Huntsman is finally starting to publicly debase himself before the lowest common denominator voting bloc of his party and tarnish his record in a desperate attempt to grasp hold of power see reason.

    Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Climate Change, Jon Huntsman, Primaries, Republicans, Science & Technology
  • Our Endorsements: Bad Lip Reading with Ron Paul

    * Free bananas from Ron Paul, from Bad Lip Reading.

    * From National Lampoon, Silvio Burslusconi SINGS!

    * iPhone reminders for Herman Cain's next interview.

    * Via Laughing Squid, a Pong metaphor for the Occupy Protest Movement.

    * Bill Maher and Jimmy Fallon talk Cain and Perry.

    * Kristen Wiig's plan for global warming, from Funny or Die.

    * David Letterman's tops 9-9-9 tonight with Herman Cain.

    * The pizza crop is ready to harvest, I heard you like vegetables, and the mystery of the pyramid.

    Tags: Bill Maher, Climate Change, Daily Links, David Letterman, Funny or Die, Herman Cain, House of Representatives, Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig, Occupy Wall Street, Republicans, Ron Paul
  • Iowa Scientists Beg Candidates to Please Acknowledge Reality

    Uh oh. The GOP primary candidates are being lectured on the dangers of climate change by pretty much the last people in the country who are qualified to lecture anyone on science: a group of scientists

    Scientists from across Iowa issued a statement today re-affirming that climate change is real and urging candidates to acknowledge the science of climate change and present “appropriate” policy responses. The statement, signed by 31 scientists from 22 different colleges and universities in Iowa, is being delivered to Governor Terry Branstad’s office today and will be available for participants in the Iowa Energy Forum sponsored by Politico in Des Moines on Wednesday…

    "All major scientific societies and the US National Academy of Science have affirmed that the recent rise in greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere has contributed to changes in our climate," the scientists say. Additional climate changes will challenge farmers and planners "to maintain the prosperity of our state and its role in national and global food security."

    "I believe it is important for Iowans to know that scientists who live and work in communities across our state understand that climate change is real and has serious implications for our future," said David Courard-Hauri, assistant professor of environmental science and policy at Drake University. "This is an issue that all candidates for elected office, from city council to President of the United States, should acknowledge and address through public policy."

    Nice try, scientists. But we can all see right through your devious little plan to make us care about things that are proven through empirical evidence to be occurring.

    Come back when your scientific models show that rising greenhouse gases are contributing to an increase in Mexicans looking for jobs that provide health care in Iowa.* Or if it turns out that melted glacier water transmogrifies into Islamic terrorists opposed to ethanol. Then, maybe.


    * There's got to be some kind of correlation between CO2 emissions and really good authentic enchiladas verdes. Go find it.

    Photo by Greg Henshall/Wikimedia Commons

    Tags: Climate Change, Iowa, Primaries, Republicans, Science & Technology