Monday, August 15, 2011

Republican climate cladistics

Might be useful to have some categories for Republican leaders:

Genus: Science Believers

Species: As good as typical Democrats
examples: Arnold the Governator, the eight Republicans who voted for cap and trade in Congress in 2009, Bush promises during the 2000 campaign (more or less)
notes: functionally extinct, unless McCain starts getting mad at fellow Republicans again.

Species: Proactive, but not as proactive as Democrats
example: Chris Christie. Others??
notes: they'll do something, maybe even without having to be forced to do something. But not as much as Democrats, which in turn isn't enough.

Species: Embracing science, rejecting acting on the science
examples: Mitt Romney, John Huntsman. Maybe Bush post-2005.
notes: this is the leftist side of the Republican Party mainstream. Might actually do something, very limited, if elected to office.

Genus: Wafflers

Species: Incoherent action rejecters.
example: Tim Pawlenty. Plenty of others I'm too lazy to track down. McCain on some days.
notes: results will likely vary if elected to office - they won't do much anything to be helpful, but the resistance they have to sane efforts by others could differ from case to case. Might have something to do with what they "really" believe, although considering that issue is a road to madness.

Other waffler species?

Genus: Denialists

Species: Conspiracy True Believers
examples: James Inhofe, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry (Morano-approved)
notes: I suppose you could try to distinguish between the ignorant and the express conspiracy supporters, but it doesn't work too well. These folks will only do what they're legally bound to do, after they've been sued for failing to do what they're legally bound to do.

So the Republican nomination is a battle between action rejecters and conspiracy true believers. Wonderful.


Dan Olner said...

I was wondering elsewhere whether the Republican's detachment from reality is going to be a massive plus-point for the Democrats, and whether it means they'll actually be forced to talk about the reality of climate change - given that the other side will likely be talking loudly about it being nonsense...?

Anonymous said...

I woke up with a dystopian novel plot in mind. Like all dreams the details faded almost immediately, but the outline is this: 60 years from now, the Great Debate is whether or not the extraordinarily expensive Greenland SO2 Pumps should be shut down. Fossil fuel use had continued unabated following Rick Perry's election in 2012 and had, in fact, expanded. Coal is King once more. So, atmospheric CO2 levels had continued to climb. But by 2025, the necessity of Doing Something had swamped opposition. Now, 35 years of bearable temps had revived the old Tea Party spirit of opposition to government action. Needless to say, without a significant middle class, living standards had plummeted and so there was hostility to the expense of maintaining the pumps, caustically referred to as The Snakes.

Stes. Koch, Koch, and Inhofe are the abiding genii and guiding lights. And the exposition of the book's protagonists (in a thoroughly modern spirit, there are no antagonists left) follow a familiar catechetical format.

The last scene in the book? The pumps are shut down and, following a prolonged orgasmic ejection of SO2 into the stratosphere, the pumps shudder and collapse.

Jeffrey Davis

chek said...

Did the sulphur pump proponents forget about the effects of decades of global acid rain? Given the grasp we already know they have on the science that shouldn't come as a surprise but still, somebody might have mentioned the devastating regional effects already experienced and over-ruled the superfrigonomic-style naifs.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Rabett, I showed your list to my favorite Republican voter.

His reply: " Isn't wonderful to see so many Republican genuses running for president!"

Paul K2

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Allow me to introduce Frank's Half-Baked Strategy for Killing Climate Inactivism:

(1) Find the most science-friendly candidate C[0] from among all candidates from all parties. Support C[0] with all our might.

(2) From each of the other parties P[i] that C[0] does not belong to, find the candidate C[i] who's most likely to flop in the final election. (Whether they're pro-science or anti-science doesn't matter so much.) Get people to support these C[i] dudes.

(3) Then win.

-- frank

Russell said...

The Climate Wars have crossed the nature nurture divide !

The clade crunchers at elite institutions of Higher Homeschooling , like Oral Hogwarts, or Liberty Bob's Ladies Seminary & Kollege of Klimatological Knowledge , can turn wannabe Gubernators into congress-ready Dominionators in six semesters flat.

Scholarships available.

David B. Benson said...

Thought wafflers made waffles.

S Molnar said...

Siwwy Wabett, you should never take the party of dog whistles and red meat at face value. The Republican leaders (who are really Monarchists, of course) are very much believers in global warming, but they can't admit that to the teabaggers. That's why they have developed an indirect, but effective, method to address the problem. Their goal is to destroy the U.S. economy and return to feudalism. Thus, the unfortunate climatic side effect of the industrial revolution is overcome by a return to pre-industrial revolution society.

David B. Benson said...

S Molnar --- Ah, the light finally dawns...

David B. Benson said...

Oh, and I also had thought that denialists swam in a certain river...

Russell said...

Complete De-Nile is sure-fire way to reduce Egypt's carbon footprint:

Getting rid of the river will surely curb methane emission by the fecund anaerobes of Lake Nasser.

Snapple said...

People on this site should try to communicate clearly instead of trying to be cute.

Anonymous said...

re: Molnar

Actually, the right wing's response to AGW is to hugely increase coal use to drive up SO2 aerosols to levels sufficient to mute temp increases. That way, they believe, they never have to say that they are wrong.

Jeffrey Davis

Anonymous said...

I recently conducted an experiment on a conservative by exposing him to The Colbert Report. The results were amazing! He tried to not see or notice the program, but it kept hitting his "pay attention" buttons. His head would jerk back and forth has he tried to unsee it! He then fled!

I would recommend a campaign of exposing Teabaggers to the program.

BTW, the episode I used had the segment on the FOX SPEWS attack on Spongbob Squarepants.


dhogaza said...

"Their goal is to destroy the U.S. economy and return to feudalism. Thus, the unfortunate climatic side effect of the industrial revolution is overcome by a return to pre-industrial revolution society."

Ah, yes, we need to starve the beast in order to cool the beast!

David B. Benson said...

Snapple --- Humor has a role to play.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

Instead of playing pretend and throwing out politically correct lines like "science friendly candidate" just to be politically correct, let's be honest about it. The scientists don't agree. You have all taken the sides of Hansen, Schmidt, Humbert, Trenberth and Mann. I've taken the sides of Lindzen, Akasofu, Spencer, Singer and Christy. I happen to think they are better scientists and your team has failed spectacularly because they avoid debating them. It's really easy for you to hide behind your computers and snipe comments all day but when it comes time to face Dr. Lindzen, Peter Cotton tucks his tail and runs. That said, at I do give credit to Dessler for debating Lindzen. If one of you were really clever, you would get Isaac Held to do some debates, he at least knows what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...


Whoops you just fed the beast! With each individual key stroke, dhogaza, a piece of coal is burned and dirty black smoke goes into the atmosphere, eventually forming a giant black fire cloud over the arctic, melting it all instantly. It's so obvious you're all just activists who are probably paid to make these comments. If you really thought global warming was a serious problem you wouldn't be burning coal.

EliRabett said...

Snapple - too depressing

J Bowers said...

"You have all taken the sides of Hansen, Schmidt, Humbert, Trenberth and Mann. I've taken the sides of Lindzen, Akasofu, Spencer, Singer and Christy."

More accurate Jay Cadbury PizzahomeDelivery....

"You have all taken the sides of Alley, Berntsen, Bindoff, Chen, Chidthaisong, Friedlingstein, Gregory, Hegerl, Heimann, Hewitson, Hoskins, Joos, Jouzel, Kattsov, Lohmann, Manning, Matsuno, Molina, Nicholls, Overpeck, Qin, Raga, Ramaswamy, Ren, Rusticucci, Solomon, Somerville, Stocker, Stott, Stouffer, Whetton, Wood, Wratt, and all the others listed in this table of 623 climate scientists,..... I've taken the sides of Lindzen, Akasofu, Spencer, Singer and Christy."

David B. Benson said...

J Bowers --- Please do not feed the troll...

Mark said...

It was so refreshing to hear Al Gore, speaking at the Aspen Institute, call bullshit on the denialists. I would really love to hear, say Scott Pelly call bullshit on Rick Perry's recent accusation of fraud aimed at climate scientists.

J Bowers said...

David Benson, the link's for the casual lurker who might think there's no response to Cadbury's prima facie reasonable bollocks that there's an equal amount of climate scientists who disagree with AGW as those who do.

David B. Benson said...

Mark --- Scott Pelly?

I don't haver a program so I don't know who the players are...

David B. Benson said...

J Bowers --- The link is fine. But the general rule is (1) not to repeat the troll's name and (2) not to repeat his malinformed (misleading) comment. Both, it seems, tend to stick in some minds by the very repetition. I've learned these hints from others who have read Oreskes's book.


Anonymous said...

Snapple, you could always go to mt's.

- Pete Dunkelberg

Russell said...

'..... I've taken the sides of Lindzen, Akasofu, Spencer, Singer and Christy."

The last three are celebrated for overseeing the the satellite record screw-up, and you forgot Plimer ,Manuel, Monckton, Misczolski........

Wiley Coyote said...

Dear Mr. Dr. Professor Rabbit,

On behalf of the pack, I wish to express our sincere thanks for the relative flurry of recent, animal related posts and comments, covering all manner of interesting topics from polar bears to whales, hemiptera and kissing bugs, and much to our delight, even the pack's current favorite, cladistics, to which are ears are fully tuned, given the breathtaking amount of attention that the former Mr. Dr. Professor Gould devotes to it in his previously mentioned opus. We did not fully appreciate the term "long winded" until we embarked on that tome in our weekly book club discussions. And this even without his consideration of the mysteries of Republican phylogeny, convoluted as they almost certainly are by recent catastrophic mutations, repeated inbreeding and general genomic chaos.

Anyway, to the point. Following your recent posting regarding Mr. Dr. Gore's forceful identification and declaration of various male bovid fecals, I gathered the pack at the library to observe Mr Dr Gore's methods. All were very highly impressed, and could relate, given that we spend considerable time on our various identification skills, and well, natural history in general. I mean after all, we are outside pretty much "24/7", save for our trips to the library in Winslow and of course our thrice daily trips to the local watering hole. Anyway, during our identification exercises, when a fecal, track, or an animal of any kind, is spotted, all members initially--and loudly--call out whatever species they believe is represented, after which our scientific decorum returns, field guides are consulted if necessary, and a consensus opinion is formed.

It is within this background that the unfortunate--but fully understandable given the situation--incident occurred.

Wiley Coyote said...

Well, we had heard that a live feed of the recent climate conference from the "Heartland" group in Chicago had been obtained by the local "drive-in" theater, and even though same is roughly 120 miles away, we thought it likely to be edifying and worth the trip. Unfortunately, the ardors of the journey took their toll, and the best that most of the pack could do upon arrival was to curl up, as we are wont to do, right in front of the big screen, and allow the remarkably monotonic droning of the various speakers to encourage dreamland, which they most certainly did.

Although the exact course of events is not 100% clear at this point, I believe that it was just as Mr. Dr. Professor Fred Singer, PhD--or perhaps it was Mr. Dr. Professor Patrick Michaels, PhD--was beginning his talk, that Stu, our most senior member, who sleeps with one eye open at all times, spotted that most charming and emblematic equid holdover of the old mining days in these parts, making its way slowly off toward the eastern horizon, well beyond--but just off to the left of--the big screen.

The instincts engaged at once, he leaped almost against his will to his hind feet, which in fact put him on the roof of the adjacent Chevy Subdivision, fully silhouetted by the big projector for all to see, almost as if Mr Drs Singer or Michaels were engaged in some type of canid ventriloquism. Pointing with both paws, he called out in no uncertain terms "JACKASS, 1100 HOURS!!".

Well, this instantly awakened the entire pack and instigated the most awful group howl imaginable, such that Mr Drs Singer/Michaels, though fully animated, were effectively saying nothing. Now this is probably not an uncommon situation, but the synergism of the howling, Stu's sudden screen appearance, and the effectively muted conference speakers was not entirely well received by the automotively entrenched audience.

This state of affairs was helped not at all when my half cousin Terrence, who is also half deaf and was also still half asleep, but knows his fecals like no other, spotted a large pie of male bovine origin, not but 30 feet from our chosen location, and, in a manner of which Mr Dr Gore would be proud, vocally identified it with an enthusiasm that could only be described as startling.

This in turn set off at least three car alarms nearby, but maybe twelve or fifteen, it's hard to say, as some of these devices are apparently connected to the horn system, which in some vehicles of the "4x4" variety, are uncommonly similar to train horns. Numerous exclamations taking a wide variety of forms were almost immediately heard emanating from said vehicles at this point, and a fair volume of popcorn, Milk Duds and beverages were spilt, before the cans were thrown and the guns began to go off.

What followed are unimportant details, but I would just like to say that contrary to the news reports, the number of which was surprising, none of the pack initiated any of the reported exchanges, many of which were blown completely out of proportion. On the positive side, the rocket skates performed flawlessly under considerable duress, and we were glad to have brought them with us.