Conservatives Still Try To Deny Consensus of Scientific Thought on Climate Change has listed the factual errors presented in last night’s Republican Debate. One of the biggest lies came from Tom Tancredo as he repeated the typical conservative denialist line on climate change:

Tancredo: Okay. First of all, the whole issue of global warming, for every single scientist that tells you it’s happening and that it’s our fault and they’ll stack up to here in this reports I can stack up another group of reports that say just the opposite.

Actually, we find that an overwhelming majority of the scientific community agrees that global warming is taking place and that human activity is predominantly to blame. Most recently the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), overseen jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, released a report representing the work of 600 authors from 40 countries and 113 government representatives, saying:

IPCC: The primary source of the increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial period results from fossil fuel use, with land-use change providing another significant but smaller contribution.

Also, the National Research Council, chief adviser to the U.S. government on science and technology, issued its own report as far back as 2001 that reads:

NRC: Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability.

It’s true that there are dissenters to this consensus view. Among them are the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels, chief editor of the World Climate Report Blog, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. But the split is by no means 50-50 as Tancredo claimed.

Yes, the Republicans have the petroleum industry on their side (or vice versa might be a better description) but few reputable scientists. Senate Republicans also tried to pass off the same false claims with this report released by Senator Inhofe’s office. As usual, the right wing bloggers show off their ignorance of science in citing this as a valid resource. For example, The Strata-Sphere writes, “I hate to say to the liberals I told you so, but I have been saying the ‘science’ on the matter of what is the force behind the Global Warming does not exist in the sense of established fact or accepted theories.”

As points out, global warming, and not the views of Senator Inhofe or other shills for the petrolium industry, does represent the consensus of scientific thought. Republicans have been making claims such as those from Inhofe’s office for quite a while. Typically they misquote scientists, distort statements to make them appear to contradict the views of others who have discussed climate change, or quote the views of people who are not recognized experts in the field.

In matters of science, such documents from someone who has a vested interest in the outcome are irrelevant. For someone who has denied the scientific consensus all along to make a phoney claim that scientists are reversing their views on the topic is meaningless. Only reports in peer reviewed journals, not those coming from partisans, or even newspaper articles, have any significance in indicating a change in the scientific viewpoint.

Related Posts on Global Warming:

Gingrich Admits Liberals Right and Republicans Wrong on Global Warming
Thomas Friedman on Bush Administrations Suppression of Climate Change Reports

Why it is Important to Refute Those Who Wage War on Science
The Truth Behind the Anti-Climate Change Documentaries
Report Predicts Dire Consequences of Climate Change

AAAS Issues Consensus Statement on Global Warming

How Conservatives Determine The Truth
Oil Companies Attempt to Bribe Scientists to Dispute Global Warming Report

Bush Administration Covers Up Reports on Climate Change
Global Warming and the Anti-Science Right

Conservatives Dominated by Flat Earth Mentality

Hysteria and Anti-Science In Conservative Attacks on Climate Change

Watchdog Group Accuses Bush Administration of Suppressing Climate Change Research

Mars Warming; Right Wing Still Hostile to Science

Who Would Bloomberg Hurt?

When talk first started about Michael Bloomberg running for President, I saw some opinions expressed that he would divide the Repubican vote and make it easier for a Democrat to win. The effects are far from that predictable, and The Washington Times even has an artilcle predicting the opposite. If Bloomberg prevents the Democrat from taking the electoral votes in New York and neighboring states, either by winning outright or by dividing the socially liberal vote and allowing the Repubican to win, this could prevent a Democratic victory nationally.

Making any predictions of the effect of a Bloomberg campaign is risky since we don’t know who the opposition candidates will be. The major issues might even be different than we now anticipate. We saw with both 9/11 and Katrina that the views of the major parties can change drastically following such major events. With Republican moderates threatening to abandon Bush on Iraq this fall, even the war might no longer be the major issue.

In trying to guess the impact of Bloomberg running, the geographical consideration is important considering the electoral college. It is also possible, especially if Giuliani isn’t the nominee, that a Democrat might still win in the Northeast, possibly with Bloomberg coming in second. Bloomberg might help the Republicans by dividing the vote and giving them a shot, or the option of voting for Bloomberg might be the final straw keeping many from even considering a Republican in the Northeast.

There is also the question of Bloomberg’s impact nation wide. Bloomberg could take votes from the Republicans from voters who don’t share the agenda of the religous right and the foreign policy views of the neoconservatives, dividing the GOP vote. The problem for the Democrats is that these are largely the voters who provided them with their Congressional victories in 2006, and are needed to achieve a majority in many states in 2008.

Despite all the talk of bringing out the base, Democrats didn’t win because there were more voters on the far left going out to vote. Democrats won because independents and moderate conservatives abandoned the extremist policies of the Republicans and voted Democratic, seeing no other alternative in a two party system.

Many of the new Democratic voters are the “Starbucks Republicans” who remain fiscally moderate or conservative but are more liberal on social issues. The number of middle class and higher income individuals voting Democratic increased tremendously. The challenge for the Democrats is to keep those votes if they desire to win.

If the Democrats are again seen as “tax and spend” liberals and supporters of expanding the “welfare state” many of those who voted Democratic in 2006 might have second thoughts. The Repubilcans do not have any credible candidates running, but someone like Bloomberg, might be seen as a more viable alternative.

Like Obama, Bloomberg is partially a blank slate at this point. Not having clearly defined positions on national issues, it is possible that some looking for a third party are projecting their desires onto him. How Bloomberg is perceived, and who he takes the most votes from, will depend a lot on how the campaign plays out. Between now and election day candidates will be forced to take some positons, as much as the media tries to avoid discussing issues. The fortunes of candidates can also change based on factors independent of their views, including from gaffes and from dirty tricks from the opposition. Ultimately a third party could wind up affecting the outcome in ways entirely different from what we would predict now, and neither party can afford to see this as making their task simpler.

Feingold Amendment Fails on Procedural Vote

The Feingold Amendment to cut off funding for the war lost 29-67 on a procedural vote. Following are the Senators who voted in favor:

Akaka (D-HI), Biden (D-DE), Boxer (D-CA), Byrd (D-WV), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Clinton (D-NY), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Menendez (D-NJ), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Obama (D-IL), Reid (D-NV), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR).

The candidates for the Democratic nomination all voted for it, as did John Kerry. It is unusual here in Michigan to see Debby Stabenow make the more liberal vote while Carl Levin let us down.

The Gilmore Girls Series Finale


Gilmore Girls fans have generally been disappointed since David Rosenthal took over for Amy Sherman-Palladino, but Rosenthal did a good job with the finale. The show had to be written so that it could work as either a season or series finale, and it worked on either level.

It was a good decision to have the break up with Logan take place at Rory’s graduation the week before. If the show returned, there’s always the possibility for the two to get back together if desired, but there were greater prospects for stories following graduation with Rory moving on. Having Logan’s last appearance in the pentultimate episode allowed the series to end as it should back in Stars Hollow where Logan (like Christopher) just do not belong.

We might never know how Amy Sherman-Palladino planned to end the show she created, or what would have happened if the negotiations for another season were successful. My suspicion is that, if the show was renewed, we’d briefly see Rory on the campaign trail following Obama, and then have her use connections she’s made to land a job near Stars Hollow. For a new graduate to go off to cover Barack Obama was somewhat of a fairy tale ending, but having her work for virtually no pay for an on line magazine made it sound plausible. From now on, whenever I see an Obama rally, I will feel that Rory Gilmore is somewhere nearby covering it. This ending provided a greater sense of the liberal spirit of the show, but it might have been more fun to have Rory cover a conservative Republican, allowing for a few final moments of sarcasm which were generally missed in the final season.

The finale returned to the feel of the early days of the show, from the reminder of Rory’s dream to be a reporter like her idol Christiane Amanpour, who she finally got to meet, to the final scene at Luke’s. We once again saw why we love Stars Hollow, from the town meetings to Rory’s going away party, which reminded us of all the town celebrations over the years.

Gilmore Girls is primarily about mother daughter relationships, and centered around this in the finale. Logan’s gone, and there was just enough between Loreli and Luke to leave hope for those who wanted to see them get back together without turning the finale into a rushed and unrealistic wedding episode. Although Rory is leaving home, the strength of her relationship with Loreli is seen. There is also another major development in that other mother-daughter relationship between Loreli and her mother Emily. The show began with Emily virtually bribing Loreli and Rory to have a weekly Friday night dinner with them, after beng apart for years, in return for paying for Rory’s education. In the finale, Emily was searching for a way to again make Loreli feel indebted to her, but finally it was not necessary as Loreli indicated her plans to continue their dinners together.

Rather than giving in to the temptaton for a grand exit with major changes in character’s lives, the show ended as a moment in real life. Rory’s life had to change with graduation, but Loreli remains running the Dragonfly Inn. Her relationship with Luke remains up in the air as it has for much of the last several years. We can imagine that, at any time, we might return to Stars Hollow with it pretty much as we remember it from the past seven years.

Related Post: Farewell to Stars Hollow