Climate Shitdown

October 9, 2013

SurrealPaintingClear and windy this early Wednesday here on California’s north coast as we continue on down the path toward a mega-not-magnanimous disaster — nine days within a vat of stupid.

Top-hat John Boehner is crying President Obama and Democrats are attempting to “annihilate us” Republicans, though, he and his nasty-faced buddies are making a most-creative effort to annihilate the US, and maybe the world.
Ignorance is no excuse — these assholes just don’t give a shit.

Authority diminishes, deteriorates.

(Illustration found here).

Just as the entire world needs some force to counter an environment that is both diminishing, and deteriorating.
This morning, Angel Gurria, head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is scheduled to give a speech at the London School of Economics on the topics of climate change and finances.
Portions of the speech were leaked to the BBC — some points:

In his speech, Mr Gurria will ask if leaders overseeing the financial system that led to the “train wreck” of the banking crisis would have been happy to take the risks if they had known the consequences.
“Unlike the financial crisis, we do not have a ‘climate bailout option’ up our sleeves,” he will say.
“And despite all the attention given to climate change deniers, our understanding of the scale of the risk is much better developed than our understanding of the financial risks, pre-crisis.”
An OECD source said the secretary-general’s remarks were directed both at countries which had dragged their feet on reducing emissions and those which had taken a leadership position but were now starting to wobble.
Asked if the latter group included the UK, where the chancellor argued last week that Britain “should not be in front of the rest of the world” in tackling climate change, the source said the OECD was fully aware of the situation in Britain and all its member states.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said: “Countries like Britain have been leading the charge (on climate change) and have to continue to do that. It’s because of leadership of UK that EU has seen that this is the way to go – and the rest of the world too.”
He said energy policy has become extra challenging following technology improvements on exploiting fossil fuels.
“We grew up with scarcity of oil and fuel, now we are entering a world of abundance so we’re really going to have to think very hard on this.”

No shit, sherlock.
Read Bill McKibben’s piece in Rolling Stone last year for a horror-look at the continued use/drilling of fossil fuels and the hard part is to not stop.

The current shutdown is a prelude to the shitty future we all are wonderfully looking forward to and any science is science — but not to fast with the math:

Marcia McNutt, editor in chief of the journal Science, says the shutdown is strict about scientists being barred from work, from her experience working on shutdown contingency plans as the former head of the U.S. Geological Survey during President Obama’s first term.
“The government rules for a shutdown are so strict that many scientists are not allowed to continue their work even as unpaid volunteers,” McNutt wrote in an editorial earlier this week.
“Experiments are interrupted, time series are broken, continuity is destroyed, and momentum is lost.”
The university and industry laboratories cannot “take up the slack” in scientific research, she says, because they purposely do not duplicate government-funded work and cannot provide any oversight that the government also provides.

And there we be.

The shutdown is beyond stupid.
Via Climate Central:

About 94 percent of the employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been sent on leave of absence as part of the U.S. government shutdown.
Nearly all of the agency’s 16,205 employees across the country, with oversight of air quality, industrial waste, water and sewage treatment plants, have powered down their computers, updated their voicemail, filled in their last timesheets, and left buildings as part of the shutdown.
Only 1,069 essential staff — such as emergency personnel who deal with events posing an “imminent threat to human life” such as chemical spills or rail derailments — remained on duty.
A few workers also stayed behind to feed lab animals and water test plants.
EPA officials said the shutdown would disrupt monitoring of air and water quality.

Employees are barred from checking government email, using government-issued cellphones during the furlough or catching up on any of their work for the duration of the shutdown.
“It stinks,” said John O’Grady, a union representative at the EPA’s Chicago office.
“No one is going to be out inspecting water discharges, or wet lands.
Nobody is going to be out inspecting waste water treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants, or landfills — nothing.
None of that is going to be done.
The employees are absolutely devastated.”

The world’s oceans feel exactly the same.
Climate change is crippling life on earth — from Salon:

“We have been taking the ocean for granted,” writes the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), a non-governmental group of leading scientists, in a new report.
But we’re no longer going to be able to ignore the large-scale decimation already occurring.
A “deadly trio” of warming, deoxygenation and increased acidification combined, the report found, are posing an even greater threat to the oceans than they would alone.
While the carbon absorbed from the atmosphere promotes increased warming and acidification, pollution from sewage and fertilizer is creating algae blooms that decrease the oceans’ levels of oxygen.
The report found that overfishing, too, threatens marine life.
The acidification, specifically, is “unprecedented in the Earth’s known history,” says the report, which found that the oceans are more acidic now than they’ve been for the past 300 million years.
And carbon is being released into the ocean at a rate 10 times more quickly than the last time there was a major collapse of ocean species, 55 million years ago.
As a result, the authors write, they have reason to believe that “the next mass extinction may have already begun.”

Meanwhile, back in DC, climate change deniers are bullshitting the bullshit.
Via Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker:

Some lawmakers’ comments have been so off the wall that they defy parody.
A few months ago, for example, Representative Michele Bachmann announced on the House floor that Obamacare needed to be repealed “before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.”
“Let’s not do that,” she added helpfully. “Let’s love people.”
“All of this would be funny,” President Obama noted the other day, after bringing up the Bachmann line, “if it weren’t so crazy.”
The crazy list goes on and on.
As the economist Paul Krugman has repeatedly pointed out in his Times column, congressional Republicans these days seem to think that they can override not just the laws of physics but also the rules of arithmetic.
They insist that the federal budget is so bloated it could easily be cut by hundreds of billions of dollars.
But when a transportation bill was drafted this summer that would have actually reduced spending, they refused to vote for it.
(The bill had to be pulled from the floor.)
It’s hard to cut the federal budget if you’re not willing to reduce the amount of money the government spends.
“What Republicans really want to do,” Krugman wrote recently, is “repeal reality.”

Reality is real only to the beholder — hahahahaha!
Shut it down, boys, shut it down!

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