Politics and its Discontents: The Blame Game

The fact that I experienced physical and verbal abuse at the hands of my teachers during my Catholic education probably has a lot to do with my visceral response to arrogance. Having someone presume to sit in judgement on another is both a humiliating and ultimately enraging experience, one that most of us have probably ...

Politics and its Discontents: Political Spin: This Story Isn’t True, But It Is Gratifying

My friend Gary sent me this yesterday, an apocryphal story that nonetheless offers certain pleasures. Enjoy! Remus Rudd Stephen Harper’s great-great uncle. Remus Rudd No matter what side of the political fence you’re on, THIS is FUNNY andVERY telling! It just all depends on how you look at the same things. Judy Harper an amateur ...

DeSmogBlog: Fuel Economy Standards To Save U.S. Consumers Billions, Create Jobs, Yet Republicans Say Too Expensive

fuel economy standards.jpg A proposed rule by the Obama Administration to raise fuel economy standards for cars and “light-trucks” is facing mounting attacks by Republican lawmakers. The proposed rule would require all newly manufactured automobiles that fall under the car or light truck category to achieve a minimum gas mileage of 54.5 miles per gallon ...

DeSmogBlog: Keystone XL Pipeline To Take Center Stage At Republican National Convention

money-pipeline.jpg Over the next few days, Republican lawmakers, Party officials, delegates, and supporters will gather in Tampa, Florida for the Republican National Convention. During their weeklong convention, we can expect to hear a lot of debunked talking points, particularly about the need to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. For more than a year, Republican lawmakers ...

DeSmogBlog: US Chamber Rejoices As Courts Rule For Polluters

dirty-air.jpg Earlier this week, an appellate court in Washington, D.C. ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overstepped their authority with their Transport Rule that was put in place to reduce the amount of air pollution being spewed from coal burning plants. The rule would have put stringent limits on the amount of ...

DeSmogBlog: Romney’s New Campaign Strategy: Attack Green Jobs During Massive Unemployment

Green Jobs US.jpg Since President Obama took office, industry-funded think tanks and faux grassroots organizations, along with oil-friendly politicians have been collectively demanding to know “where are the jobs?” And with last month’s jobs report showing an increase in the U.S. unemployment rate (even though there was a net job gain for the month, making ...

DeSmogBlog: Republican Ohio Governor Kasich’s Trillion Dollar Shale Gas Lie

kasichshrug2.jpg About the only positive thing you can say about industry-funded astroturf groups is that they at least base their misinformation campaigns on phony “studies” and “reports.” Their lies are based on SOMETHING. The same cannot be said of Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has come up with a whopper based on absolutely nothing. ...

DeSmogBlog: Are Conservatives Inherently More Biased than Liberals? The Scientific Debate Rages On

Republican Brain.jpg In the first round of critical reactions to my book The Republican Brain, there wasn’t much to impress. As I related at AlterNet, the general conservative response to the book was to misrepresent its arguments, rather than to engage them seriously. (The book predicted this, incidentally.) But now that some researchers have been able ...

DeSmogBlog: Conversion Fever! Why The Media Adores Former Climate Skeptics

Muller001.jpg If you’ve been following the science of global warming for over a decade—as I have—you might find the recent conversion of Berkeley physicist Richard Muller into a climate believer kind of underwhelming. That’s certainly the reaction of many longtime climate scientists, with whom Muller now, finally, agrees. “At this rate, Muller should be caught up to the ...

DeSmogBlog: Latest Pro-Keystone XL Website Backed by GOP Special Interest Group

kerpin.jpeg This morning, the latest in pro-tar sands spin went live. KeystoneXLNow.com takes aim at President Obama for failing to approve the Keystone XL project (even though the White House just announced approval of the southern leg today), calling it "an affront to millions of Americans out of work and an outrage to millions more who ...

DeSmogBlog: If Conservatives Were Really “Conservative,” They Would Want to Do Something About Global Warming

kerry-emanuel.jpg Originally, when I asked MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel to be a guest on the Point of Inquiry podcast, my goal was simple. I wanted someone who could give an expert take on the relationship between climate change and all the freakish weather we’ve been seeing. As for having this individual also be a ...

DeSmogBlog: It’s the Weather, Stupid: Slowly Re-Awakening the Public About Climate Change

drought monitor.gif The Yale and George Mason Centers on Climate Change Communication, collaborators on the well-known “Six Americas” studies of how the public views global warming, are out with their latest report, the fifth in the series. And it hints at an underlying theme discernible in many of these surveys: On climate change, the U.S. ...

DeSmogBlog: After All That, The Himalayan Glaciers are Indeed Shrinking

800px-Everest_North_Face_toward_Base_Camp_Tibet_Luca_Galuzzi_2006_edit_1.jpg Remember the Himalayan glaciers? They were at the root of the most deserved black-eye to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change during the intensely politicized period of 2009-2010. In so-called “GlacierGate,” it was revealed that the IPCC had published, in one of its reports, a truly bogus assertion that the Himalayan glaciers would be ...

DeSmogBlog: Republican Senator Scott Brown Suffering From "Subsidy Amnesia"

Scott-Brown-Campaign-SMS-Marketing1.jpeg With a straight face, Republican Senator Scott Brown told a crowd in Massachusetts this week that “oil companies don’t get subsidies” from the federal government. Brown tells us that, just like other companies, they are able to “take deductions,” but nothing more. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) was quick to jump on the ...

DeSmogBlog: Anthony Watts Is Right Because He’s Older Than Me

anthony-watts.jpg Last week, the leading climate skeptic blogger Anthony Watts criticized my writing based upon my age and looks—and other, er, observations: For the record, it is now official; Chris Mooney is a paid political hack disguising himself as a science writer. I’m going back to calling him a “kid blogger”, because no adult could have thought ...

DeSmogBlog: More Evidence That Republicans Are More Factually Challenged Than Democrats

pinocchio.jpg In writing The Republican Brain, I had a problem to solve. You see, it was one thing to cite all the psychological research suggesting that liberals and conservatives just think differently, because they have different personalities and cognitive styles. Sure, one could infer on this basis that certain conservatives, especially authoritarian conservatives, would simply ...

DeSmogBlog: FreedomWorks Fails Basic Math And Economics To Smear Renewable Energy Investments

Freedom_Works_Logo.gif The corporate funded, Libertarian/Conservative “think tank” FreedomWorks is doing their best to convince Americans that taxpayer-funded energy subsidies and loans are a waste of our resources. Of course, that doesn’t apply to the massive giveaways to the dirty energy industry, only to the federal loan programs established to invest in cleaner, renewable energy companies. ...

DeSmogBlog: The Politics of Ice and Fire

High_Park_Wildfire_Arapaho_and_Roosevelt_National_Forests_June_10,_2012.jpg In late June of 1988, just under 24 years ago, NASA’s James Hansen testified before the U.S. Congress about global warming. He noted that the Earth had been remarkably warm in the months leading up to that moment, and said he was 99 percent certain that the overall warming trend in the temperature data ...

Politics and its Discontents: Chief Blair’s Poodle Speaks

First, bullets flew through the Eaton Centre food court. Then, two weeks later, on a sun-filled patio in Little Italy. On Sunday, a man was shot while hundreds watched a fireworks display in the city’s east end. Just 24 hours before that, a stray bullet grazed a toddler’s leg in North York. Yet Mark Pugash, ...

DeSmogBlog: New Study: Climate Deniers Are Emoting–Especially the Conspiracy Theorists

Im-as-mad-as-Hell.jpg Anyone paying attention these last few years will have noticed that global warming denial simply isn’t a rational phenomenon. And it’s not just that if there were any reason involved, then denial it would have decreased in prevalence—rather than increased—as climate science grew more firm and certain over the past two decades. No: It’s much ...

DeSmogBlog: Climate Denial in Brazil: A Translation

ricardo augusto felico.jpg This is a translation of the May 2, 2012 “Programa do Jo” on Globo, a half hour interview with the climate skeptic geographer Ricardo Augusto Felicio on global warming. On YouTube alone, the interview has nearly 700,000 views; in Brazil, Globo is a dominant television network. Original clip here; for a critique of the ...

DeSmogBlog: Climate Denial Hits Brazil

ricardo augusto felico.jpg Last year, I wrote about how journalists in developing nations were doing a better job of covering climate change, largely because denial hadn’t really taken root in many of these countries. In particular, I singled out Brazil for praise: According to a study by James Painter of the Reuters Institute for the ...

DeSmogBlog: Rio-Inspired Optimism (If Not Optimism About Rio)

Rio de janeiro.jpg If the goal was to get the world focused on sustainable development, then this definitely counts as terrible timing. With global leaders pressured by the unending European debt saga—which most recently has engulfed Spain, the euro zone’s fourth largest economy—it’s not surprising that environmental concerns aren’t exactly at the front of their minds. ...

DeSmogBlog: The Normalcy of Hypocrisy: From Clean Energy to Health Care, Conservatives Flip Flop in Support of the Team

go team.jpg One striking feature of the liberal psyche is how it is simultaneously outraged by hypocrisy on the conservative side of the aisle—and yet also morbidly fascinated by it. Just this morning, reading, I came across the following examples: 1.      Ezra Klein’s much discussed New Yorker article, on how Republicans came to oppose the healthcare individual mandate ...

DeSmogBlog: Media Helps Sell The Myth Of “Job Killing Regulations”

unemployment-numbers.jpg Repeat something often enough, and it becomes true. That phrase has been a common theme among think tanks and politicians for decades. And sadly, there is a lot of truth behind that statement. But the claim itself relies on the belief that people will not seek out the truth for themselves; that they won’t ...