Breaking news via The Onion:
Nation's Climatologists Exhibiting Strange Behavior
For some reason, climatologists have been running around in an agitated state, waving their little arms and squawking about "global warming."
Wait! Who is that under the heading "climatologists typically quiet, docile"?
Art Robinson? A climatologist?
Sometimes The Onion is actually funnier than The Onion means to be. If you aren't up on Art Robinson, he's the scientist turned politician who ran against Congressman Peter DeFazio last year (and lost).
Art Robinson falls firmly into the climate-change denier camp. But he does indeed sometimes exhibit strange behavior …
Anne Finn of The Onion says including Robinson as a climatologist was not intentional. She says, "From time to time, we'll find that our articles and videos have layers to them that even we don't realize from the outset."
Tired of reporters getting the facts wrong and tired of having climate change denied, climate scientists speak out, in rap form.
Heads up those of you with tender sensibilities there is "explicit language."
Droppin' facts all over this wax
While bitches be crying about a carbon tax
Climate change is caused by people
Earth unlike Alien has no sequel
We gotta move fast or we'll be forsaken,
Cause we (Politician) were too busy suckin dick Copenhagen.
I said burn! it's hot in here..
32% more carbon in the atmosphere.
Oh Eee Ohh Eee oh wee ice ice ice
Raisin' sea levels twice by twice
We're scientists, what we speak is true.
Unlike Andrew Bolt our work is Peer Reviewed... ooohhh
As it turns out, rapping is an excellent way to explain difficult scientific and environmental concepts. The song below is based on ProPublica's investigation on hydraulic fractured gas drilling (read the full investigation at ProPublica's website here).
Water goes into the pipe, the pipe into the ground
The pressure creates fissures 7,000 feet down
The cracks release the gas that powers your town
That well is fracked….. Yeah totally fracked
What the frack is going on with all this fracking going on
I think we need some facts to come to light
I know we want our energy but nothing ever comes for free
I think my water’s on fire tonight
The new Seneca biomass plant in Eugene will get millions in state tax breaks while the state releases prison inmates and stuffs kids in overcrowded classrooms for lack of tax revenue.
Ostensibly the tax breaks are for "green" power, but the Oregonian reports today that the Seneca biomass plant will "release more carbon dioxide and lung-damaging particulates than a comparable coal-fired power plant."
OSU forestry professor Mark Harmon tells the paper that Seneca's claims that the biomass plant is carbon neutral are "very misleading."
With gas prices through the roof and the economy in the tank, locals are using less gas.
Here's a chart of declining gas use from a recent LCOG memo:
The drop mirrors that for the Northwest and U.S. in a recent Sightline Institute study:
The trend is good for reducing global warming and increasing livability, but will it stick if gas prices drop or the economy improves? Sightline thinks so, especially if governments increase transit and bicycling alternatives and limit urban sprawl.
The Lane Bus Projectâ€™s Brewhaha at Cozmic Pizza packed the room with Eugeneans young and old April 7 for an evening of beer, pizza and environmental debate.
The â€œClash of the Climate Titansâ€ was really more of a titan sparring match moderated by WELCâ€™s Dan Galpern, with Congressman Peter DeFazio and former Oregon secretary of state Bill Bradbury agreeing on the issue of climate change, but disagreeing only slightly on how to deal with it. Bradbury in a button-down shirt and tie was (sort of) in the pro-cap and trade corner, and DeFazio, all mavericky in jeans and fleece, drinking a beer, denounced cap and trade as putting Wall Street in control of the climate change issue.
Bradbury kicked off the debate with a slideshow on the effects of warming including a video of scientists lighting methane on fire through a hole in the ice over a lake in Alaska and closer to home, debris flows from a melting glacier near Mt. Hood.
The liberal-leaning audience seemed supportive of both sides of the issue or maybe they were just happy that politicians were acknowledging climate change. As Oregon Wildâ€™s Doug Heiken, who was watching from the back of the room, pointed out, itâ€™s a big change when the politicians arenâ€™t debating whether global warming exists, but instead the argument is over the best way to deal with it.
DeFazio generated the most applause throughout the evening, though it was unclear to me whether that was because people agreed with his stance, or they just liked the laid-back but going against the grain persona he put forth as he denounced Wall Street. He compared a potential unregulated cap-and-trade system to the next subprime mortgage bubble," predicting future concerns about "subprime carbon."
DeFazio's against the political norm stance called to mind his recent interaction with President Barack Obama in which Obama "needled DeFazio for his vote against the stimulus bill, saying, "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother."
Aside from a couple hecklers in the back of room, periodically calling out that the climate change tipping point has already been reached and of course denouncing old-growth logging, the politicians really only lost the crowd towards the end of the evening when both simultaneously advocated for dam removal on some rivers, but also pointed out the clean energy benefits of the dams on the Columbia. While nobody booed, the applause that had been following each of the speakers' remarks was conspicuously muted.
The debate ended with questions from the audience, including an inquiry as to which of the climate titans planned to run for governor. Bradbury announced that he was â€œseriously consideringâ€ a run for governor in 2010.
Remember all the talk about Oregon leading the nation in fighting global warming? Well, ODOT must have thought people meant leading the nation in increasing global warming.
The state transportation agency, Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Portland's supposedly green city government is gung ho for a 12-lane, $4 billion, that's right $4,000,000,000, I-5 freeway bridge across the Columbia River to facilitate urban sprawl.
But, grassroots opposition is building. Here's a mocking shopping channel video from a Portland bike activist:
Twenty-one Roosevelt Middle School students biked to school today to save the world and perhaps win a prize, according to Freiker.
Whatâ€™s Freiker? Freiker (short for frequent biker) is a growing program started in Boulder, Colorado that rewards kids with iPods and other prizes for biking to schools. Kids put a RFID sticker (like in the library) on their bike helmets and pass under a solar powered scanner that counts their bike trips and sends the data to the Freiker.org website.
Frequent bikers get a prize from program sponsors, but the big prize is healthier kids, more livable cities and less global warming. Freiker has counted 105,000 rides since 2005.