Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Japanese agricultural fields may remain under water

A swath of agricultural fields lies between the Japanese city of Sendai and Sendai Bay, and the area was one of the hardest hit by the tsunami on March 11, 2011. The fields nearest the ocean were still covered with standing water. It is possible that some areas could remain that way, as the ground level sank along the east coast of Japan during the earthquake. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stunningly Hypocritical

I find right wingers stunningly hypocritical. They raise hell about the government attempting to regulate green house gas emissions, but insist that government regulate a woman's reproductive system. Republicans see gay marriage as morally reprehensible, but see no moral imperative in preventing the devastation that global warming will visit on future generations.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

House votes 228 to 192 to defund NPR

While Japan goes down in flames and stock markets around the world go down with it, Republicans in the US House of Representatives held an emergency session to address what they apparently consider our most pressing issue; government funding of NPR. Glenn Garvin argued in his op ed piece (Tri-City Herald, Thursday, 3/27/2011) that , “What has most of NPR’s congressional critics riled up is a series of scandals in the past few months that have laid bare the truth about the network’s steep leftward tilt.” Baloney!

Republicans have been trying to kill NPR ever since Richard Nixon decided it was too prone to telling the truth about banks and bankers and the politicians they bought. Garvin’s op ed piece is so full of hyperbole and unsubstantiated charges (e.g., NPR “loathes” Republicans) it’s surprising the Herald editorial board chose to publish it, especially in light of the questionable “investigative reporting” techniques used to attack NPR -- techniques that even Glenn Beck’s Theblaze.com found unsavory. For readers interested in a more balanced view of public media, take a look at William F. Fore’s piece, In Defense of Public Broadcasting in Religion On-Line.

In the meantime, the House voted 228 (all Republicans) to 192 (all Democrats and 7 Republicans) Thursday to defund NPR, thereby potentially slashing $60 million (.0004%) from the $1.4 trillion federal deficit. Whoopee!

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) congratulates his Republican colleagues in this funny video.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss for Republicans

A floating restaurant stranded in a branch of the Yangtze River during a drought in Chongqing Municipality, March 21, 2010.
Photo: Reuters/Stringer
House Republicans have proposed a budget that would slash funding for scientific study of our atmosphere and the consequences of the past 150 years of massive carbon-dioxide pollution on our climate. Some representatives seek a $379 million cut in NASA’s programs to study climate change from space that would deprive scientists of essential knowledge about our increasingly chaotic climate. The bill would also devastate America’s clean energy and other scientific research by cutting the Department of Energy’s Office of Science by 18 percent.

In addition to flattening funding for scientific investigation, the House Republicans’ proposed spending bill would devastate the federal government’s ability to study, understand, and communicate vital information about our changing energy sector. It would cut the Department of Energy’s independent Energy Information Agency by nearly one-sixth. EIA is the preeminent collector and disseminator of vital statistics and projections of energy production, consumption, and pollution.

The budget also would wipe out the “Greenhouse Gas Registry” that collects data on companies’ carbon-dioxide pollution. These two cuts would save a paltry $25 million. For comparison, this is just one-twentieth of the $500 million spent on military bands in 2010. The large congressional climate science denier caucus clearly believes that ignoring the problem will make it go away.

Well over half (55 percent) of the incoming Republican caucus are climate zombies. Thirty-five of the 46 (76 percent) Republicans in the U.S. Senate next year publicly question the science of global warming. Of the 240 Republicans elected to the House of Representatives, 125 (52 percent) publicly question the science.

Of the freshmen Republicans, 36 of 85 in the House and 11 of 13 in the Senate have publicly questioned the science. There are no freshmen Republicans, in the House or Senate, who publicly accept the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is an immediate threat.

Nearly all the rest of the Republicans in the 112th Caucus either signed the “No Climate Tax” pledge from the climate-denier Koch Industries front group Americans For Prosperity, the “No Cap-And-Tax” Tea Party pledge, or co-sponsored a resolution to overturn the EPA’s scientific finding that greenhouse pollution threatens the American public’s health and welfare.

This post is based on: The Wonk Room @ http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/19/climate-zombie-caucus/
and The Center for American Progress @ http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/budget_cuts_innovation.html