Science

Columnist Imagines CO2 Emissions Ceiling Debate Like Debt Ceiling Debate

A recent Climate Progress column imagines a "Green Tea Party" GOP takeover of the national discussion.

    

First, let's clarify some egregiously misunderstood pieces of the national debt ceiling debate.

1) It's only a problem because congress couldn't pass a budget back in May (when we first hit our debt ceiling).

2) They haven't solved it yet because of House Republican ideology that refuse to consider anything with tax increases or closing tax loopholes.

3) Raising the debt ceiling is not the same as raising debt. It increases the government's borrowing limit, which they'll use in the short-term to pay their bills.

4) The debt ceiling is not the most pressing concern, either short or long-term, for our country. Republicans have tried to frame it as the most pressing concern so they can attack government spending.

5) Obama's followed them there, seemingly to expose the extremist politicking of the Republican Party in Washington, at the expense of solving our real national crises: climate change and jobs.

Help Provide Tornado Relief

Two nights before Easter, my family and I were trapped at a store with several other dozen people while a tornado blazed down one of our main roads. As grateful as we were that we weren’t harmed, it was still devastating to see some of the areas we love—especially in St. Louis, where even our airport took a giant hit and closed due to the damage—impacted so severely by the deadly storm.

Another Polar Bear Bites the Dust

“I’ll go to Antarctica and slaughter a polar bear and bring you back its head!” When young Tristan Thorn of Neil Gaiman’s amazing Stardust declared this to his love, I’m sure he meant well. He was caught up in the moment, after all, and studies have shown that young adults—particularly males—tend to get excited over blood and guts in a similar way to their excitement over sex. That’s why there are so many sex scenes in horror films, after all.

Who's Afraid of Robots?

And so what now world?

From MSNBC The Dylan Ratigan Show -- "Jobs are already scarce in America despite some early signs of recovery. but the latest threat to employment might not be outsourcing, It might actually be robots. According to one estimate, there could be more than 1 million robots working jobs that used to belong to humans in the next two years alone."

What? In two years robots could be doing the jobs that one million people now do? Really? Really! Is there a robot job threat? See the video.

Welcome to Sunny Chernobyl

Stuck as we are in the tense middle of the ongoing disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, many people's thoughts turn to the Chernobyl disaster. How does it compare, and what were the long-term effects?

In 1986 the nuclear reactor in the Ukranian town of Chernobyl went red. This plant had no containment shell, and when it blew, it poured a plume of radioactive fallout into the air above the nearby town of Pripyat. The plume followed easterly winds and over the next week it settled over the Soviet Union, moving slowly eastward to Europe.

The official Ukranian government death toll stands at about 50, the number of workers who were killed directly by the explosion. But the number of people who died as a result of the long-term effects of contamination may number up to a million.

More Bad News From Japan

News Gets Worse Before It Gets Better, Right?

In Japan, the crippled nuclear power plant has had three explosions. The nuclear core of the four reactors in the plant are leaking dangerous levels of radiation. There is the danger that the reactors core could completely melt down, and send huge amounts of dangerous radioactivity into the earth's atmosphere, and this would affect not only the people of Japan, but people in other countries.

This morning the stock markets took a steep fall in Japan and across the Asia-Pacific region. The markets are expecting nothing but bad news, as a result of the Japanese nuclear disaster and the heath and social concerns raised, due to high radiation exposure, to the people of Japan and to the people of the region.

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