Year 2, Month 7, Day 18: Look Before You Leap!

James Inhofe is still an idiot. Witness, for example, this AP article printed in the Greenfield Reporter (IN):

TULSA, Okla. — Sen. James Inhofe says he believes a swim earlier this week in algae-laden Grand Lake made him ill.

Inhofe told the Tulsa World that he took a routine dive into the lake Monday morning and that night he was “deathly sick.”

Oklahoma authorities warned people Friday against swimming in the lake, saying potentially toxic blue-green algae had been detected. They’ve also advised against water skiing and other activities that would bring people or pets in contact with the water.

The algae would undoubtedly do a better job as Senator. Sent July 2:

James Inhofe’s excellent adventure — diving into Oklahoma’s Grand Lake — wound up making him seriously ill. No wonder: the surface of the water was covered with a blue-green scum which the senator had never before seen, despite decades of living on the lake shore. It’s unsurprising that Mr. Inhofe didn’t look before leaping, since the senator has made a successful political career out of a public contempt for facts, prediction, and analysis. If he’d bothered to investigate the algae, he would have learned it was exceptionally poisonous — up to 18 times more toxic than the warning level used by the World Health Organization. If he uses his convalescence to do some more research, he might learn that according to an April 4 paper in the journal Science, the cyanobacteria that laid him low thrive and flourish in the weather extremes that are a consequence of (you guessed it!) global warming.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 5, Day 20: Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha.

The Koch Brothers were pranked by “Youth For Climate Truth,” a low-budget Yes Men group which sent out some phony press releases in the name of Koch Industries a while back, claiming the Bircher billionaires had seen the light on climate change and were no longer going to fund denialism in the media. Ha ha. The Kochs then proceeded to sue YFCT. Ha ha.

The suit has now been laughed out of court
. Ha ha:

A federal judge in Utah on Monday tossed Koch Industries’s lawsuit against the pranksters who set up a fake website and sent out a bogus press release saying the company had found religion on climate change.

In a case being watched for First Amendment implications, Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City also said Koch can’t disclose the identities of the “Youth for Climate Truth” members or use any other information obtained via subpoena from two Utah-based domain hosting companies.

The ruling is a major one as courts navigate the intersection of the First Amendment with anonymous speech and computer hacking on the Internet. Koch’s claims included charges of trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting and breach of the company website’s terms of use.

Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha.

Sent May 9:

Koch Industries’ lawsuit against “Youth For Climate Truth” was a mother lode of irony. That one of the world’s most egregiously irresponsible corporations trotted out such massive legal firepower in response to a small group of internet pranksters suggests that these notorious tea-party funders and climate-change denialists are, perhaps, a wee bit sensitive about it. Well, Judge Kimball has laughed them out of court, and rightly so. “Youth For Climate Truth,” the online activists who tweaked the corporate titans with a phony press release, merit our thanks and applause. Given their huge role in delaying and derailing meaningful political action on climate change, the Kochs and their cronies in the fossil-fuel industry have perpetrated a grotesque practical joke on all the rest of us; the American public deserves a few laughs at their expense before the coming decades’ likely ecological collapse strips all humor from the situation.

Warren Senders

Month 12, Day 5: FSM Is An Iron

The beaches at Cancun are being eroded. (USA Today) Perhaps building a resort city on a narrow, storm-vulnerable peninsula wasn’t such a great idea?

It’s a sad irony that the beaches of Cancun are under threat from rising seas and intensifying storm systems. The vulnerability of this tourist destination is eerily similar in microcosm to the state of our own global civilization, in which the survival and prosperity of billions of people is predicated on interdependent systems of extraordinary complexity. Food travels hundreds or thousands of miles to reach our tables; the fuel we burn comes from halfway around the globe; the products that support our consumer economy are shipped from China, Pakistan or the Philippines. A disruption anywhere will have huge impacts everywhere; as climate change’s effects are felt across the planet, our lifestyle will be threatened in various and unpredictable ways. Like a resort erected on sand, our civilization is built on a shifting, fundamentally unsustainable platform. One hopes this similarity is not lost on the delegates to the Cancun climate convention.

Warren Senders