Year 2, Month 10, Day 15: “Wading” Is An Apt Verb

An outlet called the Texas Tribune seems to have at least a vaguely DFH perspective on Texas’ current idiot-in-chief:

Between the year-long drought and Gov. Rick Perry campaigning for the presidency, global warming has become a big topic in Texas these days — and the head of the University of Texas Energy Institute, Raymond Orbach, is wading into the debate with a new paper aiming to debunk eight “myths” about climate change.

The paper, “Our Sustainable Earth,” appears in the forthcoming issue of Reports on Progress in Physics, a British journal known for encouraging (relatively) simple language from its contributors. In it, Orbach summarizes existing scientific evidence to argue that humans bear responsibility for climate change and an 80 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050 is needed to stabilize global temperatures. Otherwise, he writes, “current global temperature rises will continue, and even accelerate” as greenhouse gas concentrations keep rising.

Orbach got the idea, he says, when he was reading about eight myths about global warming on a UT campus website. “When I started looking at literature, I noticed that there was warming beginning in 1980,” he says. (Indeed, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that temperatures across the United States have increased by 1.5 degrees since the 1970s.)

Read the piece. I like it when he says that Perry’s entitled to his own opinion. Sent October 11:

Dr. Raymond Orbach’s going to have his work cut out for him when it comes to restoring scientific truth to the discussion of climate change. Unlimited monetary resources and equally unlimited access to mass media outlets has allowed the voices of denial to keep the public “debate” unresolved. Since a failure of consensus automatically translates into a failure to act, our governing institutions are unable to move forward on addressing the climate crisis.

And there’s the rub: while Dr. Orbach’s voice is sorely needed, it’s the grim truth that denialists in our political system are influenced not by evidence and analysis, but by the wishes of their financial masters. Governor Perry’s antipathy to facts demonstrates that he’s not a “skeptic,” but an intellectually incurious hypocrite who’s ready to believe six impossible things before breakfast — but who espouses doubt when it is convenient for the corporations whose interests he serves.

Warren Senders

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