More gruel
When climate change ruins your living room

When climate change ruins your living room

As Hurricane Irma plowed toward Florida, Rush Limbaugh derided weather warnings. Those warnings were part of a media conspiracy to hype climate change and sell bottled water. Forecasters fed alarmism to line their pockets and dupe the gullible into thinking climate change is real. The full transcript is a post-modern masterpiece.

Then the broadcast ended. The studio lights went out. And Limbaugh fled the storm to protect his fat, worthless ass.

There’s more to this story than the cynicism of a radio windbag. In a post over the weekend at Forbes, I wrote about a phenomenon that’s arriving early – climate deniers getting their carpet wet. What happens to the climate denial industry when climate change moves from threat to reality? People who’ve made a living pretending climate change isn’t real have been operating under one critical assumption – the physical, life-threatening outcomes of global warming won’t arrive for many decades. They were wrong. In fact, even most climate researchers have been surprised by the accelerating pace of climate change.

So, what do they do now? They double-down on their claims, of course, because talk is free. But they also leave for higher ground. It’s a very strange contortion. As the dissonance between talk and actions grows deeper, we’re likely to see some interesting performances.


  1. Beware, all ye fellow political orphans, for Ryan Ashfyre has returned from the depths of darkness and many cold showers to be with you in gracing the battlefield of political discourse once more!

    Needless to say, Hurricane Irma was a beast of a storm that I would be eternally grateful if I never had to encounter another of its like again. In all seriousness, I’ve never seen a hurricane show such stubborn resilience over land over such a long period; a testament to its overwhelming strength that should make every Floridian feel grateful to Cuba. Had Irma hit my home state as a Cat 5, the sheer level of devastation would likely be of historical proportions.

    That aside, Democrats look to have had quite a satisfying night tonight, adding two more special election wins to their board, one in increasingly Democratic N. Hampshire and another in blood-red (formerly?) Oklahoma. Democrats flipped two previously GOP seats for both state Houses tonight, flipping previous Republican wins by double-digits.

    1. Happy Irma has passed and you and yours are safe and sound (and clean!) Also happy to see Irma didn’t blunt your political sleuthing…the Daily Kos link was encouraging, and given the early efforts Repubs are making to suppress voting rights, this is very good news. Thanks for helping us stay focused and positive!

      “Republicans have yet to pick up a seat from Democrats in a contested election.

      Tuesday night’s victory in Oklahoma not only brings the total number of Democratic pickups to six, but it brings the number of races in which Democrats have outperformed the party’s 2016 presidential results in these same legislative and congressional districts to 26 (out of 35 held since last November.”

    2. Welcome back. Early indications look like 2018 will be a stellar year for the D’s. Up here in finally seasonably normal Pugetopolis (AKA Seattle) the state senatorial race still looks promising for D control of the state senate. A victory there will give the D’s control of the governorships, and both houses of the state legislatures for the entire West Coast. Also as you may be aware one of the R congressional retirements is Dave Reichert of WA-CD08, which gives the D’s a really excellent US House pickup opportunity. The district has an even Cook PVI.

      On a more personal note I got word from my brother in Punta Gorda yesterday. There was no damage to his apartment and no flooding. So everything is fine. That was a huge relief for me.

  2. I have a question that likely belongs somewhere off topic but I haven’t seen a thread relevant to my basic question…What comes after Trump? Regardless of how, this administration will end. Both parties are broken. We are gerrymandered to the point of gridlock with 36-39% holding everything hostage. Both parties are beholden to and funded by the top 15-20% of wealth in this country so neither are speaking coherently to any any constituency outside of that group. We haven’t had the infrastructure to seriously support third parties. The vacuums that exist appear to me will continue. What happens after Trump?

    1. Citizens United didn’t help elitist control of Congress; however, there are other groups that have exercised scalpel incisions into the power structure…the Religious Right, the Tea Party, and of late, the alt-right movement. To the extent that big donors identify with one of these special interest groups – (Religious Right, the Tea Party, and the newest kid on the block, the Alt Right. The lines blur between them. And, that’s just on the right.

      I’m so concerned about what is happening now WITH T that I confess it’s difficult to project on your concern, “what happens after T”?

      1. Thanks Mary. I can appreciate the issues here and now are sucking all my attention. Just concerned that I am getting consumed fighting and worrying about the everyday tradgedies. Wish I could invest time/energy on a more cogent message and or messenger starting a real movement toward sanity. At least I haven’t found it yet. Maybe I should stop watching Russian tv and focus on what my fellow citizens are saying/doing. Maybe its already happening and I am missing it in all the daily noise.

      2. I can’t imagine that Russian TV is helping elevate your mood….might change channels…I understand what you are saying and feeling. It’s easy to get swept up in the daily negative minutiae. I read – as widely as I can – and watch very little TV. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. Like Tutta, I listen to NPR on the radio when I can, and access PBS online for their podcasts, etc. Public media tends to at least offer some bright programming and it is a welcome distraction and informative (and can be entertaining). My brother-in-law has forgone TV all together and relies upon internet streamed content. He sends me links to his favs and I reciprocate. TED talks are another great source of upbeat, interesting content. Stay well and be happy…we can’t let them take that from us…we can only give it away. Let’s draw that line and stick to it!

    2. “What happens after Trump?”

      Your answer comes from a New Yorker article published in May of 2016, right after 45 got the GOP nomination:

      “Countries don’t really recover from being taken over by unstable authoritarian nationalists of any political bent, left or right—not by Peróns or Castros or Putins or Francos or Lenins or fill in the blanks. The nation may survive, but the wound to hope and order will never fully heal. Ask Argentinians or Chileans or Venezuelans or Russians or Italians—or Germans. The national psyche never gets over learning that its institutions are that fragile and their ability to resist a dictator that weak.”

      Before the 2016 election, the most frustrating thing, to me, about politics, is how strongly people on both the left and the right insisted on being distrustful of The Government (an entity that doesn’t exist in the construction they formulate it), The Corporations (an entity that doesn’t exist in the construction they formulate it), and The Media (an entity that doesn’t exist in the construction they formulate it). I at least expected the center to hold and figured the real work was on this concept of ‘rebuilding trust’ that people are always going on about.

      After 45 I don’t see how that trust can return. The nation will be a very different place, with completely new political alliances, by 2020, and that’s assuming we don’t get ourselves into a major war …. foreign OR domestic.

      At this point I’m building new institutions. The old ones can’t be saved.

      1. Aaron, this is exactly what I heard discussed on NPR – that what has happened that is more dangerous than the “alt-right” or homophobia or xenophobia or sexism (as if any of these is not bad enough) is that the real war is to make people feel that they no longer have control over their lives. This gives rise through individualism and becomes authoritarian and then results in abandonment of belief that our institutions can work. It’s insidious and it’s being fomented purposefully and for many people, it’s working.

  3. Hurricanes are expensive – for ordinary people and the federal treasury….which, ostensibly, is there because of taxes we pay for needs we have….Yet, the people who are in full control of “our” money are those who hold majority control of all branches of government, and you better NOT forget it. That early celebration by Dem leadership when they forged an off-the-cuff 3 month deal with T for Harvey relief and to raise the debt ceiling for 3 months? Not so fast says McConnell.

    It’s all in the fine print, per McConnell, and he is in full control. In the legislation that got passed, McConnell retained authority to shift funds as needed to raise the debt ceiling or whatever, whenever. “I think I can safely say the debt ceiling and the spending issue in December will be decoupled because the debt ceiling will not come up until sometime in 2018,” he said. Dems thought they could box Republicans in and force some tough votes on the budget and debt ceiling by virtue of the deal with T. Maybe, maybe not, as the article points out.

    What it affirms for me as one of the “ordinary” taxpayers is how little control we, the people, have over how decisions are made about how our taxes are spent. It’s humbling and infuriating at the same time. I don’t like it and I want it to change. I only have one vote but it will be for change. The gamesmanship in Washington has to stop! People are still mucking out their homes and the leader of the Senate is making threats like this about how he and the GOP can finesse the US Treasury? If you’re not royally pissed off, you are NOT paying attention!

    1. Read the article carefully. It states the following:
      “Mr. McConnell said that he insisted the newly passed legislation preserve Treasury’s ability to apply “extraordinary measures” and shift money within government accounts to pay off debt and extend federal borrowing power.” This means Treasury will 1. structure bond issues, etc. to preclude hitting the debt ceiling early in the year and 2. issue bonds so that everything is current, in the near term. But this is nothing new; they do that every time the debt ceiling is raised. Perhaps, the legislation could have been written, so a hard date deadline was in place, but the nature of the debt ceiling does not really make that feasible and has not been done.

      What that means is that Treasury will be able to shift money around as required to prevent default. Those are the same tactics that have always been there. They are the measures that Treasury has used to stave off default numerous times before. The authority is with Treasury, not with McConnell.

      The initial news reports did not make that clear. Inserting that clause does show how skillful McConnell is with tactics, however.

      To my mind, both sides are engaged in a bit of hyperbole. The D’s did play up the December date and did not discuss the details. On the other hand, McConnell is making it sound as if the debt ceiling issue is a minor annoyance and is taking credit where none is due. He is engaged in some ball spiking of his own. The debt ceiling is still there and will have to be faced around March, April or May of 2018. That will be when the 2018 election campaign is beginning to heat up.

      1. In prior years, (Obama) when communication on the debt ceiling was more “open” but no less contentious, the US Treasury did exercise authority to “shift” funds around through a legal maneuver called “extraordinary measures”. (We had a preview of this in 2013 when Ted Cruz played “debt ceiling chicken”.) Then US Treasurer Jack Lew described the government’s options thusly: ” …All borrowing authority, including the amount freed up through extraordinary measures, will be exhausted by late February, at which time they would have to rely only on remaining cash on hand and incoming receipts to pay obligations, and a formal debt limit increase or suspension would soon be necessary to avoid default. The Bipartisan Policy Center independently estimates that extraordinary measures and cash on hand will run out between February 28th and March 25th. After this “X Date”, the U.S. could only pay obligations with incoming receipts, forcing the Treasury to delay and/or miss many payments since the federal government currently runs substantial deficits in February and March.” That didn’t happen and likely McConnell is smart enough to avoid the political pitfalls inherent in such a strategy, but it’s still obscene that he would presage such a scenario to “save face” given the risk to America’s economic reputation and the looming federal aid we can anticipate for Harvey and Irma.

        Of course, the US Government could default, or, as Creigh often states, the Treasury can just “print more money”. What I suspect will happen is more “debt ceiling chicken”. It’s not a comfortable place to be in as a taxpayer (or a MoC). I do not appreciate the cavalier attitude that seems to pervade how our government is being operated and I suspect that I am not alone. This is not alarmist, it reflects my total loss of patience with those who are “in charge” to make decisions that impact ordinary people….myself included.

      2. The US Treasurer has limited authority to shift funds, but only Congress has the authority to lift the debt ceiling and pass a budget. Voters have responsibility to elect people who will make good decisions in all these areas.

      3. That is the difference between transparent communications as practiced under Obama and other if I may say so, recent Democratic administrations and the foggy ambiguous communications typically practiced under Republicans, particularly the Trump administration and the Republican Congressional wing. Or as Kayray said regarding Trump “or lying through his teeth.” Or as Orwell called it “newspeak.”

        You now know one of the main reasons I am a confirmed Democrat now and no longer a Republican or an independent. A prime example is how they sell tax cuts for the wealthy as leading to ‘revenue enhancement’.

      4. Mary, the debt ceiling is one of the laws prevent the Government from printing money at will. The laws would have to be changed to allow the Government to print money at will. Congress doesn’t really trust the Treasury and the Fed, therefore those laws remain in effect.

      5. Yes, running a deficit and “printing money” (now mostly done electronically, not physically) are exactly the same thing. But since the Government has the means (if not the legal authority due to constraint of laws passed by Congress) to create trillions of dollars, in what sense is that living beyond one’s means?

      6. Mary, you hit on an important point. The US Government’s IOUs are payable in money that they print. This is not the case for someone like Greece, whose IOUs are payable in Euros (which Greece can’t create). This makes a huge difference.

      7. (sorry, hit the post button too early) Yours and my IOUs (and everyone who isn’t the Federal Government ) are payable in money we don’t print. We’re like Greece, we can default. The US Government can only default by its own choice – by refusing to pay its own bills, for example.

  4. I was listening to an interview of Hillary Clinton this morning on NPR, and I was put off by one of her comments. She was promoting her new book, which deals with the election and why she thinks she lost.

    Anyway, I was taken aback when she said that she believed that one of the reasons she lost much of the female vote was because women in conservative households gave in to the constant “pressure” of their husbands and fathers not to vote for “the girl,” and that she felt for these women. Right there she is implying that women brought up as conservative have no will of their own. Her remark struck me as condescending. I can see how these women would be “influenced” to vote against Mrs. Clinton, if all they hear is trash talk about her, just like anyone, male or female, would be so influenced, but I don’t see them giving in to “pressure” from the male members of their household.

    1. Here’s the transcript:

      And Sheryl ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for “the girl.” And we saw a lot of that during the primaries from Sanders supporters, really quite vile attacks online against women who spoke out for me, as I say, one of my biggest support groups, Pantsuit Nation, literally had to become a private site because there was so much sexism directed their way.

      1. I supported Clinton as well but she needs to get off the blame train. Move on. There were a lot of reasons she lost which were NOT her fault – Comey’s terribly poor handling of her emails and the timing of his announcement; Russia’s admitted interference in the election with the express purpose of defeating her and electing T; Bernie’s refusal to offer her his full support asap rather than begrudgingly and late, to name a few. It does no good at this point to dwell on these things even though I am certain she is still in shock over the election outcome.

        FWIW, I do agree with Clinton that many women do not take responsibility for making their own decisions. They don’t do the work of investigating those running for major offices and they are receptive to pressure. Being one’s own person, being informed, making one’s own decisions is a life habit of a healthy, independent person – be they male or female. I was deeply disappointed in how many women supported T despite his known misogyny and his stated positions on issues which directly impact women’s lives. That, in and of itself, was all I needed to hear to justify my vote – even though the rest of his shortcomings were mammoth. Without doubt, T has lived up to and beyond my expectations – and, not in a good way.

    2. No comment on the subject of women being pressured not to vote for Clinton. However, your statement “Her remark struck me as condescending.” , I believe is one of the main factors in Clinton’s loss. Many people, particularly the non-college educated are inclined to believe that Hillary was condescending and did not appreciate them. On the other hand, Trump was sympathizing with them and vowing to MAGA. He was talking directly to them. Clinton and the D’s in general have a tendency to present themselves as elitist and to talk down to the working classes.

      That concept was constantly reinforced by FAUX News and some of the right wing web outlets. These outlets also to a large extent favored Trump. The MSM, though they attempted to be objective actually tilted their coverage towards Trump by constantly covering his antics and outrageous shenanigans. , Whereas they overwhelming concentrated on the email and Benghazi issues regarding Clinton, without giving any real substantive coverage to her policy positions.

      1. I agree that media contributed to Clinton’s loss through unequal time given to coverage of her platform and policy proposals – which were easily available. They tended to go with sensationalism in covering T. That said, Clinton could have run a more effective campaign. IT was hers to lose, and she managed to do so. Thankfully, albeit late, today’s media are doing good investigative reporting. It’s unfortunate that they came late to the party in this regard because most of T’s failures and empty rhetoric certainly were there to be exposed, but they didn’t, the election is over, and we now have a man as POTUS who is unsuited, ill-qualified, disrespectful, arrogant, uninformed, disrespected, narcissistic and impetuous. I’d add more but it’s depressing.

      2. No question that Clinton should have won the Campaign. The election was hers to lose, and she did that. Clinton does need to move on, but nevertheless there is value in analyzing the election, so D’s can learn from the numerous errors that were made. Maybe the general rule that someone who has been around a long time, rarely gets elected President because of the baggage, has a lot more merit than D’s generally think.

        Regardless of our criticisms of the media, they are finally doing good investigative reporting. I think that is the major reason that the Trump administration and the R’s have not been able to bury the Russian Connection.

      3. Yes, there is value in assessing “what went wrong and what went right”, but Dems don’t need to get stuck in the past because I assure you, Republicans are planning for the mid-terms and they have started. They know how critical mid-terms are to filibuster-proof Senate control and to protect House seats. Dems/DNC have a great opportunity predicated upon the disaster of T’s presidency and the turmoil he/it has caused the GOP legislatively, but they cannot dither. It is “game on”.

      4. “Trump was sympathizing with them and…talking directly to them.”

        He was telling them what they wanted to hear.

        “Clinton and the D’s in general have a tendency to present themselves as elitist and to talk down to the working classes.”

        People in general, R or D, have a tendency to believe their opinions are correct, and conflicting opinions are wrong. Some people have more of a tendency to resent this, and interpret it as condescension, than others.

    3. Tutt,

      I saw exactly that with close friends. My friend of 25 years generally votes R even though if you listen to her talk about work issues you’d swear she was a D.

      As election time neared, even though she was at first horrified by Trump, her husband kept pressuring her to vote T.

      On election day, she did.

      Both of them did, actually, and it has changed how I see them now.

      1. Wow, I had no idea. I guess I’m really naive.

        My boyfriend never even suggested to me that I vote for Mr. Trump. He said he was not a fan of Mrs. Clinton, but that I should vote my conscience.

        My boss is very pro Trump, but I think he was bitten by the Breitbart bug, and it wormed its way into his brain. When I told him I didn’t like Trump and would vote for Clinton, he was incensed, insisting that “Hillary is so corrupt,” and I just replied, “I can’t vote for him. Period.” And he let it go.

      2. Media can implant something in people’s brains, that seems for sure.

        I often wonder if a brain bug has captured the male half of that partnership.

        Even tho he has a science degree, he’s doesn’t ‘believe’ in climate change. He posits that T may likely be named one of the greatest presidents some day.

        In his former commute between Houston and Baton Rouge, he used to listen to a variety of radio programming. That he found Fox and Fox found him. He listens to little else now, except 60 minutes. He’s a much less interesting interesting conversationalist.

      3. I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh every now and then. He had the occasional quiet and reflective moment when he actually made sense.

        But then he went on his tirade against Sandra Fluke, and I never went back. I was absolutely, thoroughly disgusted.

      4. That was very wrong of your boss. I remember when Obama was running and some companies were telling employees not to vote for him and being shocked they’d dare go there. That’s why I don’t discuss politics in social or work situations. For people to claim Hillary is so corrupt while voting for Trump is hypocrisy at it’s finest.

        I’ve read that Fox employs well known brainwashing techniques and if you watch and listen you can pick them up. I took a course in school on Mass Media and the techniques used by marketing to influence via subliminal messaging. Interesting stuff.

      5. Hey try KNKX (NPR) from Seattle. It specializes in jazz, from all eras, including the 1950’s. It is streamed and is available on the web and via smartphones, with an app. That is my favorite and I make a monthly donation.

      6. EJ wrote: The world needs more 50s jazz.
        That comment brought to my mind a dumb but sad thought: There will be no more 50s jazz because it is no longer the 1950s. We can have 1950s jazz, but in a 2017 setting. We can discover more jazz from back then, but it is a finite set of music. We will never again see the likes of Gerry Mulligan, Clifford Brown, or Miles Davis.

      7. EJ

        I have some good news for you, Tuttabella.

        Many years ago I found myself in Prague, mostly because I wanted to try the excellent (and cheap, compared to Germany) Czech beer. One of the places that my group stopped in at was a jazz bar. I’d never heard Czech jazz, so I prevailed on the others to stick around for the bands.

        It was amazing. They were playing jazz of the sort that Davis, Coltraine and Gillespie pioneered. Scratchy-voiced old men playing in a medieval Bohemian stone-arched cellar just made it sound absolutely unique, but still recognisably the same style. I asked around and was told that apparently American-style jazz had been an underground movement during the bad years, illegal but played anyway as an act of resistance. (This was a common thing in Central Europe.) As such, it seems to have persisted as a time capsule of mid-20th-century jazz, kept alive and played through the years. Sadly, they said that it’s also dying because the young people have no USSR to rebel against, and so they instead imitate modern American music instead of 1950s American music.

        Needless to say, I bought a few CDs from them. If you’re interested I’ll see if any of it has made it onto Youtube.

  5. From Rolling Stone, another view of climate change attitudes over time and a new book on the subject by the author (Jeff Goodell) that looks interesting. “‘The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World’, which will be published on October 24th. In the book, I travel from Lagos to Rotterdam to Venice and beyond, looking at how rising seas are re-mapping our shorelines, our politics, our cities, and our appreciation for the power of Mother Nature. ”

    It seems we can’t get enough of this subject even as we have so much to learn about it.

  6. EJ

    In an echo of Charlotteville, a neo-Confederate drove his van into a crowd of counter-protestors yesterday. Fortunately nobody was hurt.

    The police released him without charge. Given that his murderous intentions appeared fairly clear, I’m disappointed in them.

    Is this a sign of tacit approval by the police; or just cowardice on their part?

    1. I looked up the article in the The Oregonian regarding this incident; it was last updated at 1817 PT, 20170911. According to the article the police released the driver because they could not definitely conclude that a crime had been committed. However, the incident is being referred to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office. The link to the article Is:

      I have generally found the Portland, OR Oregonian the best source for thorough coverage on Oregon and Vancouver, WA news. Vancouver, WA is really a suburb of Portland, OR as it is just across the Columbia River from Portland.

      Regarding this specific incident, I have little to add. However, to contextualize it some, I can describe the Clark County and SW Washington political culture some. Vancouver is generally a very conservative community. It is one of the oldest communities in WA, as Fort Vancouver was located there. Fort Vancouver was a Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post and the US Army took it over and constructed Fort Vancouver after the Oregon Territory question was settled in 1846. I am not sure but I believe that many ex-Confederates settled in the Vancouver area following the Civil War. In any event there is a significant group of neo-confederates in that area to this day. The general conservatism of the area has been reinforced by the tendency of people who despise taxes and want a very small government to settle in that area. OR has no sales tax, but it has an income tax, whereas WA has no income tax but one of the highest sales taxes in the nation. Both states have similar public services, tend to have similar social outlooks and are quite blue. By taking advantage of the difference in taxation many people get the best of both. In general the CD for that area, WA-CD03, is the 3rd most conservative in the state. The Cook PVI is R+4. Most of the time it has a Republican Representative but occasionally the D’s control the District. Jaime Herrera Beutler is the current Representative. She did vote against the AHCA. In 2016, Trump took the District by 49.9% – 42.5%.

      Regarding, the probable sympathies of the Vancouver Police, with the description I have given, you can draw your own conclusions.

      1. Unfortunately, I am not that familiar with Vancouver, specifically the economy. I can say however, that the areas surrounding Vancouver and I suspect Vancouver as well, have historically been dependent on timber and forestry as well as other similar industries. Those industries have been declining.

        On the other hand, Portland itself has a booming economy, with a fair amount of high tech. Much of that and the workers involved are located in Washington County, South of Portland. I know that area is prosperous.

        There could be a relationship between the prosperity and the attitude towards government. The traffic between Portland and Vancouver via the I5 bridge (obsolete) over the Columbia is horrible. A Washington State Senator from Vancouver (R) blocked a proposal to build a new bridge, largely because he did not want provisions for light rail to be built. There was considerable fear that the Portland light rail system would be expanded, leading to higher taxes. Of course, that was not the reason he supposedly blocked it. He used another excuse. If the Democrats do take control of the state senate in November, maybe after a few years, the bridge proposal will be revived. It is desperately needed.

        Does all this sound like the shenanigans in D.C.?

      1. Wow, look at that. The Twin Cities are one of my favorite places to travel for business, and BTW in my opinion they have one of America’s premier airports. I used to go there almost weekly and the food was a real treat. I used to go to Dixie’s in St Paul when I was homesick for the South. That town is a hidden (frozen) gem.

  7. Not much to add to the conversation, other than I will repeat what I have said before in a different way. Climate “terrorists” will soon start appearing I believe, who will begin bombing coal plants, and killing the limbaughs and kochs of the world. If the people in positions of power won’t stop the madness, the people will.

    The last two “storms of the century” in the last 2 weeks are going to be remembered as babies by the time most of America wakes up.

  8. As usual, The Onion gets it right: “Given the extent of the potential destruction, we urge anyone in the path of the storm to make their way to higher median incomes immediately,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, adding that residents should resist any urge to wait out the dangerous weather below the poverty line and proceed directly to a higher tax bracket.

    1. Both the Onion and Governor John Bel Edwards get it right. As the first Democratic Governor elected in the deep south in a long time (Louisianians had a real bad taste in their mouths after suffering through two terms of Republican Bobby Jindal), I don’t know if these same people will have enough sense to give this good man a second term. I’ll bet he gets a kick out of the Onion though. He’s that kind of guy.

  9. “They double-down on their claims, of course, because talk is free. But they also leave for higher ground.”

    This is also a point worth noting. The rich will always be able to evacuate. They’re not the ones who are going to pay the price for climate change.

    I suspect plenty of inland Red staters don’t care about climate change (or even take a secret pleasure in it) because the hardest hit people will be those godless commies on the coasts. What they don’t understand is that those godless commies happen to be rich, and can easily displace poorer inland communities when needed. Which means ultimately, the ones without homes won’t be the liberal hollywood producer whose Santa Monica beach house gets flooded; it’ll be the poorer inland family who can’t afford housing anymore when everyone on the coast moves inland.

    Already, in Houston, for example, richer areas were less affected by Harvey, because they were built on higher (more valuable) land, with better construction, and had better drainage. Furthermore, city services and infrastructure are always better in richer parts of a city, which means what damage they did sustain will be addressed faster. It’ll be the poor whose lives will be devastated. As always.

    So poor inland people who look at climate change with schadenfreude as revenge on those uppity rich folk on the coasts will be sorely disappointed when they realize the brunt of climate change will be borne by them, not the rich coasts.

    1. Without a doubt, the poor are always the first to suffer – whether it is through cuts to the safety net, flooding and disease from living in poor environments (which is all they can afford), or in being the “named” reprobates by conservatives for all life’s ills. They just can’t win because capitalism runs the world and it has not sympathy for those who don’t make it in their world.

  10. I doubt Rush will even notice a dip in his audience numbers. You’re talking about people who want to make this a Christian nation but fervently elected a nonbelieving, thrice married philandering predatory billionaire as their leader.

    For that matter, Rush has never been one to lead the life he preaches about. For the longest time, even as a railed about godless liberals and the hell they create when they’re in power, Rush lived in deep-blue Manhattan. Tell him to actually live in those rural red state heaven-on-earth utopias he extolls, and he’d probably sooner slit his throat. Same for Ann Coulter and pretty much every one of those “Real America” boosters. Even Sarah Palin got out of Dodge the moment she could.

    The main features of Rush’s life that he shares with his audience is his string of failed marriages, an opioid addiction, and obesity. I guess for his followers that’s enough.

  11. David Roberts at Vox has a most excellent explainer:

    Some of the best points- 1) the military has a perfectly succinct term to describe the effects of climate change on severe weather: threat multiplier.

    2) John Holdren’s formula for what happens – human challenge = prevention + adaptation + suffering. It’s our choice what the percentages of each term will be. Following the deniers guarantees that the suffering term will have maximum value.

    3) The example of how an increase in gravity would affect the probably of falls and the injuries they would cause.

    1. I agree this is a good way of addressing the issue. I think one of the problems is saying that climate change is the one and only culprit in all this, and so opponents will just say, hey, we’ve always had hurricanes., this is nothing new. It’s good for this guy to acknowledge that there are several factors, and pointing out that climate change is making it all worse.

      Sometimes, taking the alarmist approach — combat climate change, or else it’s the end of the world — falls on deaf ears, because it suggests exaggeration.

      1. I agree tutta. If I begin a conversation with climate change deniers by acknowledging that climate change is a natural part of life, then make the case that man can add to the problems that are naturally occurring in our environment, and introduce the suggestions from experts and scientists that will mitigate climate change, then they don’t shut me down as quickly.

        Of course it is terribly frustrating to have to go to these lengths, but with people I feel I can reason with, I try this approach. The rest, I ignore as much as possible. If we lived in a different, parallel universe where climate-denial didn’t impact me, they could simply live with the climate of their making. Unfortunately, we share the same air and land so I can’t accept their choices because it impacts my life in ways I can’t control.

  12. I’m fed up to my back teeth with these people. Cowards to a man. Trump looks like King Canute, standing at the oceans’ edge shouting at the water to hold back it’s tide. At least Canute was performing an ironical action to demonstrate his lack of power even as monarch. Trump wouldn’t understand irony if it smacked him upside the head, knocked him down and kicked his arse

    1. It’s been blatantly obvious that Limbaugh is a ginormous hypocrite since at least the day he resumed broadcasting after his drug rehab. I actually heard that- instead of manning up and taking personal responsibility for his choice, he deflected with the old “liberals have no standards” diatribe. I doubt his hypocrisy over weather reports effects him anymore than that past hypocrisy did.

      1. Limbaugh committed crime with his drug addiction. He should have gone to prison. A poor person would have, without question. More double standard in our justice system between the wealthy and the poor. Limbaugh is a reprehensible person who makes money through lying. I have nothing but contempt for him.

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