The Ironically Titled Inconvenient Truth

Scientists express concerns about Al Gore, according to the New York Times.

They're very glad he's raising awareness about global warming.

They just wish he wouldn't keep making shit up.

“I don’t want to pick on Al Gore,” Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.”

Mr. Gore, in an e-mail exchange about the critics, said his work made “the most important and salient points” about climate change, if not “some nuances and distinctions” scientists might want. “The degree of scientific consensus on global warming has never been stronger,” he said, adding, “I am trying to communicate the essence of it in the lay language that I understand.”


need wood

Greenpeace Hates Me

I dunno about you, but after watching this ad, I feel a great urge to do whatever I can to make this kid's life difficult.

Since I'll never meet him, I'll have to settle for cranking out all the CO2 I can just because I know it'll make him crazy.

On the plus side, he's bound to lighten up once he's old enough to get laid...

[Hat tip J-Go at the Corner, who's greatly amused.]

Al Gore speaks out on extraordinary rendition

Richard Clarke on Al Gore on international law:

The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, "That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."

One can reasonably hope that if the Democrats win in '08, they'll start acting like this again.
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If you're still following it...

Dean Barnett has a nice summary of the whole Edwards/Marcotte kerfuffle. Executive summary:

As for Edwards, he looks irredeemably pathetic. There’s a simple reason for this - he is irredeemably pathetic. He hired someone who had no business being legitimated by a mainstream political campaign. He then bowed to pressure and fired her. He then bowed to pressure again and unfired her. And then he left the stage to let her resign. In the wake of all these stumbles and pratfalls, he looks like a careless fool. He also may have alienated the Fightin’ Nutroots to boot. Well played!

I don't think this episode, per se, will do Edwards lasting harm. But I think it shows that he just doesn't have what it takes. His best shot in '04 was as the "anti-Dean"--the mainstream candidate the party could rally around to block the insurgent. In the event, Kerry played that role and got the nomination. I suppose he could be the "anti-Hillary"--if the party rejects Hillary (possible) and thinks Obama is too new (possible) they might turn to Edwards. Even there, though, I don't think it's likely. If they reject Obama for being too new, why turn to an Edwards whose resume is about as thin (six years in the senate as opposed to Obama's four)? If they worry that Obama's too liberal for the general election, would they turn to the Edwards who's reinvented himself as an economic populist? Edwards' main asset has been his southern accent (every Democrat elected in my lifetime has had a drawl). But the Marcotte thang shows him out of touch with the pews down home, as well as being timid and indecisive. And I don't see him wanting, or getting offered, a second shot at the veep slot (my money's still on Obama for veep[*]).

I don't think Edwards lasts long. First Prediction of the Season: Edwards sticks it out until the South Carolina primary, comes in third, and drops out. Kos claims victory.

UPDATE: Oops, forgot the Obama footnote. It follows (ahem):

[*] How to tell if Obama is aiming for veep? Simple: He tries not to piss off his fellow candidates. Given his high-road/new politics shtick, that'll be easy to do. He stays upbeat, deploring Republicans in amournful-yet-hopeful tone and speaking only good of his Democratic rivals. That's how I bet he plays it.


A study has found a correlation between cosmic rays and cloud formation, and a mechanism for it, too. An increase in cosmic ray levels mean an increase in cloud cover.

What gives it added flavor is--the level of cosmic radiation hitting the earth is affected by the sun's magnetic field. A decrease in the sun's magnetic field means more cosmic rays, which means more cloud cover, which means more sunlight reflected from the atmosphere, which means cooler surface temperatures. An increase in the sun's magnetic field means the reverse, naturally.

Which means there's a mechanism for how solar variations could drive climate change.

No, I'm not saying that means it's okay for you to go out and drive an SUV. On the other hand, I'm not saying it ain't...

(Also, according to that link, temperatures appear to have peaked--there's no significant increase since 1999, according to satellite data. That would be consistent with climate change being driven by solar factors. It would not be consistent with human causation--but, then, neither was the worldwide cooling from 1940-1970. Anyway, I'd like to see more background on the recent temperatures. Alas, I suspect that doing a search on "global warming" would prove fruitless...)
Cowboy Ron

Behind the scenes at the Edwards campaign

Iowahawk unearths some of the Marcotte/Edwards correspondence. Sample:

Dear Senator Edwards:

To help you hone your campaign message for the online community, I organized an impromptu focus group of top progressive bloggers for tomorrow night at the Raleigh Airport Hilton. This group will include political analyst Jeremy Lacewell of Die Motherfucking ZioNazi NeoCon Motherfuckers Die, feminist Kiersten Lomax of Hands Off My Cunt, and recent immigrant blogger Mohammed al-Aziz of I Intend To Detonate a Nuclear Weapon in St. Louis.

This event will help you get acquainted with online mainstream progressives, discuss the issues important to them, and come up with a strategy for countering the insane Xtian Jesusist lynchmobs. We will be serving lacto-vegetarian snacks and Ecstasy to help facilitate a free-wheeling discussion...

The New York Times lets me down again

Recent Edwards blogmistress Amanda Marcotte:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

The NYT's delicate characterization thereof:

In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

sigh You'd think the New York Times would understand the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth.