Crops without plowing

Via ABL on Balloon Juice, this quote from loathesome con-man “historian” David Barton in a Sept. 2009 Texas textbook review (.pdf link):

Multiple locations in the TEKS even suggest that it is people from “racial, ethnic, and religious groups” who “expand political rights in American society.” This is an absolutely false premise. Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society. In fact, in every case where a constitutional protection has been established for a minority, whether of race, gender, social status, or age, each protection was extended by the consent of the majority of eligible voters at that time.

Frederick Douglass saw things differently:

Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.

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Ethan Siegel at Starts With a Bang:

If you believe that blankets keep you warm, then it’s inconsistent of you to believe that emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere cannot possibly cause a rise in the Earth’s temperature. And if you still don’t believe it, then I politely invite you to go to Venus.

That’s the punchline. Siegel’s set-up is an extremely patient introduction to the basic science of climate change. It’s a good post to bookmark if you’ve got a relative who’s spent too much time watching “Nickelodeon for people with dementia.”

- – - – - – - – - – - -

My sense, though, is that today’s exclusions stems from fear and from the need to generate enemies so that we can justify our own need for violence. Clearly, concern about “creeping sharia” in the United States is absurd; chances that sharia will be implemented in the United States are only slightly better than that Martians will invade. And yet people are really exercised by the perceived threat of Muslims “taking over America.” A few exceptions notwithstanding, there is no real enemy to speak of, but people create the enemy. Why? Because they harbor enmity and are plagued by fear and resentment. This is a deeply unchristian stance. We are supposed to love enemies and, if possible, make friends of them; we are not supposed to manufacture enemies so we can have targets for our fears and resentments.

Theologian Miroslav Volf, interviewed by Patheos’ Patton Dodd

Can we just repeat that one bit where Volf echoes one of my obsessive hobby-horses?

A few exceptions notwithstanding, there is no real enemy to speak of, but people create the enemy. Why? Because they harbor enmity and are plagued by fear and resentment. This is a deeply unchristian stance.

For some of the fearful and resentful, it’s Muslims. For others it’s the Satanic baby-killers. Those Satanic baby-killers are everywhere.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Kudos to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley for standing up for the victims of alleged extortion and intimidation by the landlords of a Cape Cod manufactured housing community or “trailer park.”

According to a press release from Coakley, the company’s sales team “aggressively solicited homeowners at Peters Pond to pay up to $16,000 as a membership fee to remain in the community.” The fee was on top of the $6,000 annual fee owners paid to lease their properties at the Sandwich, Mass., housing community.

Coakley’s lawsuit seeks to end the collection and also return fees already paid by residents. She alleges the practices are a violation of the Consumer Protection Act and Manufactured Housing Act.

According to the lawsuit, nearly 100 homeowners have paid to join the club out of fear that they would lose their home.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

    Man, that is good writing.

  • Matri

    And if you still don’t believe it, then I politely invite you to go to Venus.

    The fundamentalists still won’t get it.

  • http://twitter.com/mattmcirvin Matt McIrvin
  • http://twitter.com/mattmcirvin Matt McIrvin

    Don’t bother reading the comments on that one.

  • Anonymous

    “Venus? Are you… are you implying that I’m effeminate?”

  • WingedBeast

    I will say one and only one thing in praise of the Frederick Douglas case.  Where there was slavery anywhere in America, it was all of America’s sin.  You didn’t get to be innocent of that just because you were in the North where nobody owned slaves, only clothes from cotton made by slaves.

  • http://twitter.com/mattmcirvin Matt McIrvin

    Douglass was initially with William Lloyd Garrison in regarding the whole US Constitution as fatally flawed by its acquiescence in slavery, and advocating secession by Northern states as the only way out of that sin. He later decided that this wasn’t the best course of action, but it was definitely on the table.

    And Lincoln, in his addresses on the subject, definitely characterized the horrors of the Civil War as possibly being divine payback for the offenses of the whole country, not just of the South.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NWHC47GV6PPU2HR6N2J7D4L56M S. E.

    The long-term research goal of The Land Institute is to develop perennial grain cultivars — crops that do not require plowing.

    They deserve your support.

  • Matthew Funke

    Ethan Siegel: If you believe that blankets keep you warm, then it’s inconsistent of
    you to believe that emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere cannot
    possibly cause a rise in the Earth’s temperature. And if you still
    don’t believe it, then I politely invite you to go to Venus.

    Unfortunately, Ethan repeats a ubiquitous error in understanding how global warming works.  An atmosphere does not keep you warm because it “acts like a blanket”.  Blankets (and, while I’m at it, greenhouses) keep you warm by inhibiting convection.  Atmopsheres keep their planets warm and even-temperatured by enabling convection.

    In other words, atmospheres keep their planets warm because the atmosphere itself has a temperature.  The surface of the Earth receives more thermal energy from the atmosphere than from the Sun directly.

    All of this does not diminish the major point: a higher carbon dioxide content allows the atmosphere to deliver more heat to the surface (by increasing its thermal capacity).  The Earth is warming up.  And denying it is as strangely contrary to elementary logic as adding blankets because you’re too warm.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVT7C7S6IP2OC44PFUZGAJ4OBM JohnK

    I was hoping that this article would be about how to get free food directly from seeds without having to plant or harvest anything.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Word.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     All of this does not diminish the major point: a higher carbon dioxide
    content allows the atmosphere to deliver more heat to the surface (by
    increasing its thermal capacity).  The Earth is warming up.  And denying
    it is as strangely contrary to elementary logic as adding blankets
    because you’re too warm.

    One of the problems with any sort of popularization of science is what I think of as the Star Trek explanation problem.  Complicated Plot Device A show up in Act II and nearly destroys the ship between Acts II and VI.  Finally in Act VII Applied Phlebotinum B provides the solution and Designated Expositor yelps, “I’ve got it!” then explains what he’s going to do and Designated Audience Viewpoint person says something like, “Ah!  Like letting the air out of a balloon!” and Designated Expositor says, “Yes, exactly!”

    Of course, in reality it’s nothing like that.  But most people wouldn’t understand the reality because they don’t have the background to understand it and need a simple analogy.  Or, y’know, it’s a load of science fiction gobbledygook.

    This is actually one of the things I like about Dr Who.  Complicated Plot Device A shows up, the Doctor explains what’s happening and someone offers Simplified Sci-Fi Analogy B.  The Doctor then says, “Yes, it’s like that.  Well, actually, it’s nothing like that, but if it helps, you can think about it that way.”  Then, later, someone will offer Simplified Sci-Fi Analogy B and the Doctor will look at that person with confusion because it doesn’t help him to think about it that way and he’s already forgotten about it.

    I find that bloody brilliant.

  • Matthew Funke

    Geds: The Doctor then says, “Yes, it’s like that.  Well, actually, it’s
    nothing like that, but if it helps, you can think about it that way.”

    Either that or “it goes ding when there’s stuff”.  Which is pragmatic and brilliant in a different way.  :)

  • Chunky Style

    Fourteenth!

    Volf touches upon something I’ve recently realized: “resentfulness” is really the life’s blood of the Republican movement.  Some will claim that Republicans are mean, or greedy, or uncompassionate; and I suppose you’ll find examples of each, just as you’ll find gentle Republicans who will extend every kindness to you.  But I have yet to meet the Republican who doesn’t have a resentful streak that can be exploited (and usually is).

  • Mr. Heartland

    “Multiple locations in the TEKS even suggest that it is people from
    “racial, ethnic, and religious groups” who “expand political rights in
    American society.” This is an absolutely false premise. Only majorities
    can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society. ”

    You better at least hope that isn’t true, Mr. Barton.  Because no matter how much faith you have in your chosen-race power to magically speak truth into being, the day when we are just another minority is coming. 

  • ako

    Multiple locations in the TEKS even suggest that it is people from
    “racial, ethnic, and religious groups” who “expand political rights in
    American society.” This is an absolutely false premise. Only majorities
    can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society. In
    fact, in every case where a constitutional protection has been
    established for a minority, whether of race, gender, social status, or
    age, each protection was extended by the consent of the majority of
    eligible voters at that time.

    Wow, he’s setting up a poisonously false dichotomy here.  Anything less than giving “the majority of eligible voters at the time” (a group that women, people of color, poor people, and many people with disabilities have been legally excluded from for large portions of U.S. history) full credit for expanding rights is treated as failing to give them any credit at all.  Because otherwise, there’d be no reason to claim that majorities voting for expanded rights somehow refutes the point that minorities have contributed significantly to expanded rights.

    No wonder there are so many angry right-wingers, if they can’t distinguish between “Actually, it wasn’t all about rich white dudes choosing to be altruistic for no particular reason” and “Rich white dudes never made any positive contributions to anything!”

  • ako

    Multiple locations in the TEKS even suggest that it is people from
    “racial, ethnic, and religious groups” who “expand political rights in
    American society.” This is an absolutely false premise. Only majorities
    can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society. In
    fact, in every case where a constitutional protection has been
    established for a minority, whether of race, gender, social status, or
    age, each protection was extended by the consent of the majority of
    eligible voters at that time.

    Wow, he’s setting up a poisonously false dichotomy here.  Anything less than giving “the majority of eligible voters at the time” (a group that women, people of color, poor people, and many people with disabilities have been legally excluded from for large portions of U.S. history) full credit for expanding rights is treated as failing to give them any credit at all.  Because otherwise, there’d be no reason to claim that majorities voting for expanded rights somehow refutes the point that minorities have contributed significantly to expanded rights.

    No wonder there are so many angry right-wingers, if they can’t distinguish between “Actually, it wasn’t all about rich white dudes choosing to be altruistic for no particular reason” and “Rich white dudes never made any positive contributions to anything!”

  • Eagle

    Mr Clark, could I please ask you something? It’s not related to this post, but it is related to Christianity, and you’re about the smartest Christian blogger I know of…

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon
    “Multiple locations in the TEKS even suggest that it is people from “racial, ethnic, and religious groups” who “expand political rights in American society.” This is an absolutely false premise. Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society. “

    You better at least hope that isn’t true, Mr. Barton.  Because no matter how much faith you have in your chosen-race power to magically speak truth into being, the day when we are just another minority is coming.

    This view does explain a lot of the persecuted hegemony phenomena.  After all, if only the majority can decide who has what rights, then what will happen to Christians when their rights are subject to the whims of a non-Christian majority?  With that logic, the only way to protect Christians’ rights is to keep non-Christian minority groups suppressed and out of the political process.  For that matter, it applies outside of religion as well. What will happen to whites when they are no longer in the majority? What will happen to men when they are no longer the dominant voice in politics?

    No wonder it is poisonous.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Chunky Style: and holy hell do they have a lot of projection going on because they accuse everybody else who is not them of “resenting the things people work hard for”.

  • http://heartfout.typepad.com/blog/ Heartfout

    I don’t think our host reads the comments that much…not sure how to contact him. Does he have a public email?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVT7C7S6IP2OC44PFUZGAJ4OBM JohnK

    I don’t think resentment in general is especially unhealthy or something that’s exclusive to the far-right or religious fundamentalists. It can be a powerful tool used to identify inequities and injustice, for example. The problem I have with the resentment expressed by many conservative Republicans is that it’s often targeted at people who are worse off than them or who have no control over the problems that are in their (that is, the resenters’) lives.

    If you’re living in poverty because your home’s agricultural sector is dominated by powerful plantation owners who use imported slave labor from Africa, it makes sense to be resentful towards the people who designed and promulgated that system. It doesn’t make sense to turn that resentment onto the African slave laborers who — I can assure you — are enjoying the situation even less than you are. Resentment (and similar emotions like anger, outrage) on its own is neither good nor bad; who you turn it against and what you do about it is.

  • kbeth

    Yeah, the statement “The atmosphere keeps the earth warm, like a blanket” is quite different from the statement “If you believe that blankets keep you warm, then it’s inconsistent of you to believe that emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere cannot possibly cause a rise in the Earth’s temperature.” Certainly someone sufficiently nutty could believe in convection and not in radiation…although I’m not sure how you can accept the science for one thing and not the other…but I guess a lot of people distinguish “micro-evolution” from “species change”, as if there’s a qualitative difference, so it could be done.

    My main concern is that many people who deny global warming actually make an argument similar to the aforementioned evolution argument, which is that they say “Sure, CO2 can make the earth warmer, and sure, the earth is getting warmer, but that temperature rise is so small that I don’t think it could possibly affect anything! What’s three degrees more or less?” They’ll accept the bare minimum facts as laid out, because it’s so hard to dispute them, but they refuse to acknowledge the implications of those facts. This actually seems even worse to me than denying the straight-up facts; you can (theoretically) deal with those people by showing them bacteria evolving in a microscope, or computing historical temperature averages. But accepting facts and rejecting the implications is purely a rejection of logic, and I have no idea how to deal with that.

  • MaryKaye

    kbeth writes:

    My main concern is that many people who deny global warming actually
    make an argument similar to the aforementioned evolution argument, which
    is that they say “Sure, CO2 can make the earth warmer, and sure, the
    earth is getting warmer, but that temperature rise is so small that I
    don’t think it could possibly affect anything! What’s three degrees more
    or less?” They’ll accept the bare minimum facts as laid out, because
    it’s so hard to dispute them, but they refuse to acknowledge the
    implications of those facts.

    Well, you could just keep going with the facts.

    One thing that brought home climate change to me, partly because it was so unexpected, was a graph of the frequency of previously tropical diseases in temperate parts of Europe.  For several different diseases there is a relentless northward march in the endemic zone.  This probably reflects a northward march in the range of the insect host.  You can show, right here and now, that a few degrees’ difference *does* matter to the mosquito, and therefore to you.

    Another thing that is very visceral is to plot severity of fires, droughts, storms, and possibly quakes over the last century.  Climatologists predict that adding energy to the system will tend to intensify all of these  (I believe the evidence is less strong for quakes than for the others).  How many of the top-ten storms are recent?  How many of the top-ten hot summers?  How many acres burned last year and the year before?

    I think the key is not to focus too much on what might happen in the future.  Plenty is happening right now.  Some places in the southern US have dengue fever and/or malaria that didn’t have them before:  that’s a problem right here and now.  (I guess it’s evil to wish dengue on climate-change denialists, but it would certainly be a satisfying kind of evil–dengue is REALLY unpleasant.)

    And, um, if three degrees doesn’t matter, may I please adjust your heating and air conditioning by three degrees each?  That could save you money, dropping several percent from your heating/cooling bill, and since three degrees doesn’t matter, you won’t mind!  Will you?

    (I tried this a few years ago:  if 66 works for me, how about 63?  Darn, it was cold.  Even with lap blankets and sweaters I found it difficult–my house doesn’t heat evenly and the bedroom got down around 57, and that was just too cold.  It gives a more visceral appreciation of why a wild animal might not survive even a modest temperature change.)

  • Chunky Style

    Invisible Neutrino: in a strange twist, that tendency towards projection might actually be a form of compassion and empathy.  It’s limited and selective, of course.  But if all you’ve got is a hammer then everything looks like a nail, and if you’re a highly resentful creature that’s your filter for understanding others.

  • Rowen

    My standard response to that is that 3 degrees is the difference between a healthy body temperature and a fever or hypothermia.

  • Matri

    My standard response to that is that 3 degrees is the difference between
    a healthy body temperature and a fever or hypothermia.

    My response would be: “So that’s negligible? Okay, when I come back after a hundred negligible increases, you better not be complaining about the blood boiling in your veins.”

  • Matri

    My standard response to that is that 3 degrees is the difference between
    a healthy body temperature and a fever or hypothermia.

    My response would be: “So that’s negligible? Okay, when I come back after a hundred negligible increases, you better not be complaining about the blood boiling in your veins.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One thing that brought home climate change to me, partly because it was
    so unexpected, was a graph of the frequency of previously tropical
    diseases in temperate parts of Europe.  For several different diseases
    there is a relentless northward march in the endemic zone.  This
    probably reflects a northward march in the range of the insect host. 
    You can show, right here and now, that a few degrees’ difference *does*
    matter to the mosquito, and therefore to you.

    I remember someone giving a presentation on this back in the 1990s, and I was shocked and dismayed. I said, “How can this be? We’ve wiped out these diseases in the industrial nations, for God’s sake.”

    Alas.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    This is a little tangental, but I am reminded of a science fiction universe that a friend of mine was creating when we were both in college.  One thing that he wanted to have in the setting was a giant ring built around the Earth with a diameter putting it in orbit, and that ring would generate power for the planet.  He had no idea how it would do this, but damnit, the idea was just too cool not to include.  So as I was the student who had taken the most physics classes, he wanted me to come up with some way of justifying this in the story.  

    So I came up with the idea that the Earthring would be a thin but long circumference loop of conductive material that encircles the planet, tapping the Earth’s own magnetic field to generate electricity, using the planet as a giant dynamo.  But of course, the conservation of energy means that you cannot get something for nothing, and that by generating electricity in this way the Earthring is slowly sapping the Earth’s spin, gradually slowing down the rotation of the planet.

    I did some calculations on the assumption that civilization’s energy needs will double every ten years, projected that into the future up to the timeframe of the setting, and for some time beyond.  I determined that though the Earthring would be slowing down the rotation of the planet, the Earth has such a massive store of kinetic energy compared to human needs (even at the rate humans would be consuming power) that it would be a few hundred of years before the day was even a quarter of an hour longer.  

    My friend actually liked this idea even more as it made an interesting source of political conflict which mirrored things such as global warming.  Perspectives like “We need to address this problem before it becomes critical,” “We can afford to wait for future generations to address it,” “A few minutes longer days?  What the hell difference does that make?” were all common.

  • Anonymous

    In the paper today was the story of two local kids who went to the ER with mysterious symptoms. It turns out it was mosquito carried meningitis. I’m in Western North Carolina, this is where coastal folk from South Carolina and Georgia came in the last century in the summer to escape the malaria outbreaks. But yeah, climate change was totes cooked up just for the grant money. 

  • silverscrawl

    I teach English to Japanese and Korean students who never believe me when I say there are actually GW denialists in the US.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Jessica_R: (O_O) eeep.

  • WingedBeast

    I like the idea.  Of course, there would also be the spinning-slow deniers, etc.  But, even a few extra minutes per day would make a big difference in terms of a magnified day-night temperature extreme that would, itself, drive more extreme weather.

    Of course, my brain would just be saying “Hey, a ring around the planet?  Solar power and meteorite mining/processing.”

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    We have dengue fever, Ross River fever, Murray Valley encephalitis and even freaking malaria threatening to move down from far north Queensland to more populated areas, so not thrilled about the idea of mosquitos having more room to move.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I like the idea. Of course, there would also be the spinning-slow deniers, etc. But, even a few extra minutes per day would make a big difference in terms of a magnified day-night temperature extreme that would, itself, drive more extreme weather.

    Of course, my brain would just be saying “Hey, a ring around the planet? Solar power and meteorite mining/processing.”

    As for the deniers, it is hard to deny that it would slow the world, that was known from the begining, but there were certainly those who claimed that the people who warned against the slowing of the Earth were just alarmists, that life on the planet could adjust to a few more minutes in the day, and that some future generation will invent some miracle weather-control technology which would keep the climate stable.

    Of course, one of the ironic things about the Earthring was that it was a decades-long international project to secure enough energy for the planet to last the next several centuries, but a few years after its completion humanity finally perfected sustainable artificial nuclear fusion, thus rendering the Earthring obsolete.  By that point though it had become both a critical docking facility for getting materials to and from the Earth, as well as a habitat to millions of people, both from its initial construction crews and for the many shipping-related industries that had sprung up on it.

    This leaves the issue a bit more complex than the simple mathmatics of its effect on the Earth’s day/night cycle…

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I like the idea. Of course, there would also be the spinning-slow deniers, etc. But, even a few extra minutes per day would make a big difference in terms of a magnified day-night temperature extreme that would, itself, drive more extreme weather.

    Of course, my brain would just be saying “Hey, a ring around the planet? Solar power and meteorite mining/processing.”

    As for the deniers, it is hard to deny that it would slow the world, that was known from the begining, but there were certainly those who claimed that the people who warned against the slowing of the Earth were just alarmists, that life on the planet could adjust to a few more minutes in the day, and that some future generation will invent some miracle weather-control technology which would keep the climate stable.

    Of course, one of the ironic things about the Earthring was that it was a decades-long international project to secure enough energy for the planet to last the next several centuries, but a few years after its completion humanity finally perfected sustainable artificial nuclear fusion, thus rendering the Earthring obsolete.  By that point though it had become both a critical docking facility for getting materials to and from the Earth, as well as a habitat to millions of people, both from its initial construction crews and for the many shipping-related industries that had sprung up on it.

    This leaves the issue a bit more complex than the simple mathmatics of its effect on the Earth’s day/night cycle…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    That’s a very nice realistic touch.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Yeah, and that is not the whole of it either.  The obvious solution would be to decouple some of the Earthring’s conductive segments to stop the power flow, but the Earthring has essentially become its own de facto state with its own national interests which it will defend.  The system was established so that the Earthring could broadcast the energy down to Earth via microwave beams to collector dishes on the surface.  However, if the Earthring were to adjust the microwaves to alter their aim and focus, they could weaponize the system and start boiling cities, doing considerable damage to any other state near the equator.  This effectively puts them into the same geopolitical league as nuclear superpowers, and they are not eager to lose their biggest source of military deterrence.  

    It was an interesting setting.  :)

  • Anonymous

    Not sure how many of you have seen the documentary “Jesus Camp” made in 2006 – but there is this fragment that always sticks with me. A mother, fundamentalist evangelical, is home schooling one of her children. She questions how much a 3 degree difference can make – after all, the temperature between any given day and night varies much more than that.

    I was absolutely aghast. How can anyone be allowed to homeschool unless they follow a curiculum, something to add weight to the ‘science.’ Just mind-boggling. She lacked even the basic understandings of thermal mass and how temperature and planetary thermal mass were so very different.

    This might eyed young lad nodding and going “Oooh yeah. Of course!”

    /me headdesks

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I was absolutely aghast. How can anyone be allowed to homeschool unless they follow a curiculum, something to add weight to the ‘science.’ Just mind-boggling. She lacked even the basic understandings of thermal mass and how temperature and planetary thermal mass were so very different. 

    You know, the right often uses the “liberal elites” as a phantom scapegoat to galvanize their base.  But by sabotaging their children’s education in this manner, they are just setting them up to limit how many options they have in life and to how high a level of authority they can rise.  Thus, ensuring that the liberal children do become the elites of the next generation that they so fear.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The worst part is that they’ll create a self-fulfilling prophecy when the university or college the young one applies for rejects their homeschooled academic credentials and recommends remedial courses. Then the young man or woman will blame said “liberal elites” for allegedly sabotaging their future prospects.

  • Anonymous

    Eagle, from the “About” link at the top of the page: “You can reach him via email at slacktivist at hotmail dot com.”

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    I can tell you, I have crops in my garden right now that didn’t require turning over any soil.  The beauty of lasagna gardening (http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/lasagna-gardening-not-delicious-but-nutritious-for-the-soil/).

    But I definitely had to plant and harvest them.  Unfortunately, activism, whether against racism or for food justice isn’t nearly so easy.

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    For the “changing your heating / air conditioning” example, it would be more like having it be six degrees cooler one day and three degrees hotter another.  And never knowing which one it is going to be.  They don’t seem to understand the 3 degrees is an average – depending on where on the planet you are (like the Arctic), it could be much higher than 3 degrees. 

    As for evidence, there was a new study that just showed animals moving faster than anticipated due to climate change (http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/08/19/how-climate-change-is-turning-plants-and-animals-into-refugees/).  And according to very well-respected NGO Oxfam, people in Africa are reporting that they are having a more and more difficult time estimating crop plantings and harvest times.

  • Anonymous

    I think there is a general need to avoid discussing general “weather temperature” except in very broad “The extremes and variability will increase in both frequency and extent” – because a lot of people get confused otherwise. Especially with climate change expressed in terms of thermal mass heating up by 2, or 4 or X degrees.

    Because the later is not the former.

    If, for exampe, the oceans increase by 1 degree … that is not a uniform measurement, rather it is a measure of heat in the entire ocean system. In that content a degree or two makes a huge difference to the variability and extent of changes of land temperatures.

    Predicting what those changes will be is not so simple – though models are getting better on this, they are not there yet. Some places with see a general increase in temperature; others a decrase; others either, seasonally, others will see their seasons shift, and many will be wetter, or drier.

    Overall, there will be more water vapour in the atmosphere and that has a very large affect on things such as seasons, precipitation, monsoon cycles and so on.

    The conflation of “weather temperature” and “thermal mass measurements” leads to all kinds of confusion – like lots of people going “Hey! More rain and more snow? – yeah … global warming my a$$” – which is a tragic misunderstanding. :)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That’s the thing I wish more people understood: the atmosphere, in simplified form, is basically a giant heat engine. (Paraphrased from an old entry I made a while ago…)

    Thermodynamics teaches us that heat engines fundamentally operate on a difference in temperature. It also teaches us that the temperature difference is the driving force for heat flow, and that in liquids and gases, the mechanisms of conductive and convective heat flow are both driven by the temperature difference*.

    Since the atmosphere is a convective heat engine, if the temperature difference between the poles and the equator increases, what happens?

    Stronger convection.

    Clearly, this would result in, at the very least, more windy days generally, and since pressure differences in the atmosphere often result in storms, you would get worse storms too due to the stronger airflow.

    And that’s exactly what’s been happening. Thermodynamics, the denialists are doing it wrong. X-(

    * I’m ignoring radiative heat transfer.

  • Anonymous

    Damn finally.  I’ve looking for that graph all over the place (The emissions/parts per million one).  That raises my confidence that climate change is largely anthropocentric from ~60% (but snarky about it) to 95% (although still wondering about the luminosity business).


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