As the Earth's climate warms, glaciers are shrinking worldwide. But Fox News is using a recent study showing stable glaciers in one region of the Himalayas to obscure the global melting trend and cast doubt on climate change.
Figure 2: Percentage of shrinking and growing glaciers in 2008-2009, from the 2011 WGMS report
It is also very important to understand that glacier changes are not only dictated by air temperature changes but also by precipitation. Therefore, there are scenarios in which warming can lead to increases in precipitation (and thus glacier ice accumulation) such as displayed in part of southwestern Norway during the 1990s (Nesje et al 2008).
The bottom line is that glacier variations can be dependent on localized conditions but that these variations are superimposed on a clear and evident long term global reduction in glacier volume which has accelerated rapidly since the 1970s. [Skeptical Science, 12/17/11]
Climatology Professor: Study Concerned "A Very Short Period" And Doesn't Contradict Global Melting Trend. The Guardian reported that Jonathan Bamber, an expert on sea-level rise and climatology, cautioned that the study covered "a very short period":
Prof Jonathan Bamber, at the University of Bristol, said Gardelle's research was consistent with global gravity work. But he cautioned: "Nine years is a very short period to draw strong conclusions about trends in glaciers. If you are looking for a climate effect - as opposed to a weather effect - you usually take a 30-year period as a minimum, on the assumption that this averages out the interannual variability."
Cogley emphasised that, despite the relatively ice small growth seen the Karakoram, global glacier and ice cap melting is continuing and contributing to rising sea levels. "The world exhibits enormous variety, but that doesn't mean we cannot make valuable generalisations about how it is changing," he said. [The Guardian, 4/15/12, via Carbon Brief]
Lead Researcher: "We Cannot Expect The Climate To Be Uniform Over The Whole Range." From an article at CNN.com:
Lead author, Julie Gardelle from University of Grenoble in France says explanations for this increase are still not clear, but might lie in the localized climate.
"Studies have already reported an increase in winter precipitation and a lowering of summer temperatures since the 1960s in low-altitude valleys of Karakoram," Gardelle said.
"Given the wide extent of high mountain Asia, we cannot expect the climate to be uniform over the whole range, so a peculiar atmospheric behavior over Karakoram may not be surprising," she added.
The study confirms an anomaly in the region which was put forward in 2005 and contrasts with the experience of the central and eastern Himalayas where most glaciers are shrinking, say researchers.
Despite the slight gains, Gardelle says, the message on climate change remains the same.
"Global warming is far from spatially homogeneous and continuous with time. In our warming world, there are regions of the Earth where, during a few years or decades, the atmosphere is not warming or even cooling," Gardelle said.
"Karakoram may be one of those, but we lack consistent high elevation weather station to conclude firmly on this." [CNN.com, 4/17/12]
Fox Suggests Study Refutes Global Warming. On the April 20 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News co-host Steve Doocy and guest Chris Horner never made clear that the study concerned one particular range in the Himalayas, and actually claimed that most glaciers are "getting bigger" and that this shows "their theory is wrong":
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST: Global warming hysterics could soon face a cold, hard truth. Some glaciers are actually growing. French scientists studying satellite images have discovered the glaciers in Asia have actually increased in size over the past nine years. Oh, hope Al Gore is not watching this. Chris Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute; he joins us today from Virginia. Chris, I thought the glaciers were all disappearing and now you're telling me that they're getting bigger.
CHRIS HORNER, COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: You could say most are getting bigger because most of the glaciers are found down under in Antarctica and that is cooling despite Al Gore's prior claims and growing. But around the world -- around the United States, South America, Canada, Asia, Europe -- glaciers are in fact growing, as well as some are shrinking. But frozen things have a very limited repertoire and they tried to read much too much into select ones shrinking.
DOOCY: So Chris, what does this do to their argument that everything, you know, the globe is getting warmer and everything is melting?
HORNER: Well they have yet to let facts stand in the way of their argument, but what it does is it continues to educate the public because glaciers have this emotional tie to people and you can point to them. But we're going to point to the ones growing -- Mount Shasta, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Ferry National Park in Canada, all over -- and point out that their theory is wrong. You don't -- we could continue spending money on the pursuit of knowledge, which seems to terrify them, instead of redesigning the American economy fundamentally, as the president wants.
DOOCY: Sure. This is surprising. You know, I haven't heard on any of the other channels that some of the glaciers are getting bigger, but that's why people watch Fox. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/20/12, emphasis added]
In the face of refusal from the US government to be transparent, the defense counsel for Bradley Manning has made an attempt to share court filings with the press that are usually made available during most federal trials but have not been available to[...]
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I happen to have met him about four or five years ago. I had a dinner in Washington, DC, where we were both invited to tell some jokes about our respective parties, and I found him to be a nice guy. I think he's a nice person, I just don't think we can afford him any longer....and on Sunday:
He tries to divide the American people. That's what we're in for. You're going to see one person after the other castigated. This is a president who is dividing America.And of course the real reason Mitt's so ticked off is that dividing America is HIS job as the GOP nominee,
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and primary sponsor of CISPA talks to TPM about the prospects for the controversial cybersecurity bill. [...]
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Politico nails the headline in the most important political article of the day, penned by Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin.
Team Obama has finally realized that talking about Mitt Romney as not having a “core” is a loser.
Anyone who has looked at his life, which I have, knows this is well off the mark. Romney has a deep, foundational core, which can be seen in his family life, his devout commitment to Mormonism, as well as the outreach he’s done through his church, which includes helping people.
However, there is nothing in the Mormon fundamentalist faith that is liberal or even centrist. It is a staunchly conservative doctrine with defined roles for men and women that are vastly outside of how the majority of Americans live. It’s also what allows Mitt Romney to embrace the Republican far right.
This reality is masked by whatever moves meant to get him where he wants to be, with Mitt Romney’s necessity to cater to the fringe right his most vulnerable point of weakness, because the American people are not moored on the right.
Of course former Pres. Bill Clinton would know the extremes are where Romney’s vulnerable, while also offering an opportunity to hit fringe right policies trumpeted by today’s Republican Party.
From Politico’s piece today:
Barack Obama?s top advisers are making a mid-?core? correction in their attacks on Mitt Romney ? with a little nudge from Bill Clinton, who is finding a niche as an Obama campaign whisperer and fundraiser.
Romney, senior advisers David Plouffe and David Axelrod intoned time and again, was a political shape-shifter who lacked any real moral or political ?core.?
The slogan was the Obama talking point for months. But Clinton, echoing survey data presented by Obama?s own pollster Joel Benenson, quietly argued that the empty-core approach failed to capitalize on what they see as Romney?s greatest vulnerability: An embrace of a brand of tea party conservatism that turns off Hispanics, women and moderate independents.
Helene Cooper did a story in the New York Times on team Obama’s new strategy last week titled “In Strategy Shift, Obama Team Attacks Romney From the Left.” This is how it began:
So long, flip-flopper. Hello, right-wing extremist.
Followed by the fill-in”:
After months of depicting Mr. Romney as the ultimate squishy, double-talking, no-core soul, Team Obama is shifting gears. Senior administration officials, along with Democratic and campaign officials, all say their strategy now will be to tell the world that Mr. Romney has a core after all ? and it?s deep red.
However, the Times missed former Pres. Clinton’s “campaign whisperer” role, which is the best characterization I’ve read to date on what’s been circling.
Bill Clinton’s role is critical, because there’s been no sense that Axelrod and Plouffe have gotten a clue how to run against Mitt Romney with a candidate that’s no longer about “change” and “hope” in anyone’s eyes. It begins with the lack of a campaign slogan. That there has been no mention of what Pres. Obama wants to do in his second term isn’t surprising, because if Pres. Obama came out and admitted he’s in on some form of entitlement grand bargain, his activist base would bail. It’s about defining his opponent as a choice people can’t afford to make, which is best made through Romney’s austerity penchant for the 99%, but not the 1%, with emphasis on his far right policy approach, not populism.
America’s had many wealthy presidents, but none wanted to balance the federal budget on the backs of people, which Mitt Romney telegraphs he would by embracing the Paul Ryan economic model.
“You can?t just keep changing these things around, they have to have more of consistent message or nobody will buy it,? Politico quotes veteran GOP consultant and the man who ran Jon Huntsman’s doomed campaign, John Weaver.
Considering that’s exactly what happened to Huntsman and Weaver, he learned the lesson the hard way.
Romney’s already Etch A Sketching his immigration stance, so Democrats need to get busy with their message. Mitt Romney wants to allow the government to force women to have unwanted medical procedures; he wants to tear Hispanic families apart; and double down on austerity, expecting the private sector to take over on multiple fronts, while drowning the government safety net in the oval office bathroom if he gets the chance.
Bill Clinton knows a deeply religious man like Mitt Romney, with a beautiful family, no scandal in sight, except the sin of being rich and not caring much how he did it, except to serve at the pleasure of shareholders, can’t be carved out as having no “core.” It also alienates the financial industry and big donors that the Big Dawg is now being tapped to reach, because Obama needs them to wake up.
Personal attacks also let a politician slip through the cracks on their policy extremism.
Pres. Obama wants a second term and former Pres. Bill Clinton beat Newt Gingrich at his own game, then beat back the right who tried to make a private consensual affair about something it wasn’t, utilizing what many have deemed unethical means through Kenneth Starr to do it, which was set up before Bill Clinton was in office by Chief Justice Rehnquist, something I talk about in the chapter of my book “Blaming Bill.” Yet, Bill Clinton survived to thrive.
The partnering of Barack Obama with Bill Clinton is long overdue and it could be something that will make a difference in the 8-12% of the electorate that will decide the presidency in November.
The rest will be about world events over which neither campaign or either big two parties have any control.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney's way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education.
Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. Nonmilitary programs would incur still larger cuts than those called for in the tightfisted GOP budget that the House passed last month.
The United States currently spends more on its armed forces than the next 14 countries combined. Increasing that historically-large gap even more when record numbers of American children are on food stamps is simply immoral.
In today's politics, Eisenhower wouldn't be a liberal Republican. He'd be a flaming liberal Democrat.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed a mandatory ultrasound bill into law last month, which will require all women who have an abortion in the state to have an ultrasound first, after backing off his earlier support for a more far-reaching version of the bill that would have required a more invasive ultrasound.
Despite his opposition to “invasive” TSA pat-downs, McDonnell still agreed with requiring women to undergo an additional medical prodecure because they “have a right to know” all available medical information before making a decision.
But his focus on a woman’s right to know ignores that the bill adds an unfunded, unnecessary burden for women seeking an abortion. In an interview with Bloomberg’s All Hunt, McDonnell stood by his “right to know” line without addressing if the law was a mandate:
MCDONNELL: The truth is that in almost all the cases already these ultrasounds are already required for medical reasons. [...] The important part, really, is to be able to show the woman the ultrasound along with all the medical information. [...]
HUNT: Suppose she and her doctor don’t think that’s necessary. You would still mandate it, though, right?
MCDONNELL: Well, again, it’s in a fairly small minority cases where it’s not being performed. But this is the policy that the legislature set. I thought it was the right policy.
The additional requirement throws up another barrier for women who want to have an abortion in Virginia. This invasive law, along with burdensome and expensive state regulations on abortion clinics, are Republican lawmakers’ attempts to limit women’s access to abortion procedures by making it difficult or forcing clinics to close.
Twenty of Virginia’s 23 abortion clinics affected by the new regulations that have gone into place reported that they already meet or will comply with the standards, such as larger hallways, bigger parking lots, and certain health and cooling controls. But complying with the standards was expensive, costing the clinics betweeen $150,000 to $3 million a piece. “These are difficult economic times,” Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington, told the Washington Examiner. “To put more onerous regulations on health care providers that are not necessary seems very counterproductive.”
On Friday, I laid out in detail the data on how women of color are underrepresented?and underpaid?in every aspect of the television industry. Today, I want to do something a little different. We all know about Shonda Rhimes, the single most powerful woman of color in the television business. And in the post-Girls conversation about the women of color who should be given the kind of creative control and financial backing that creators like Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. have received from HBO and FX, respectively, Issa Rae, the creator and star of the marvelous web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, has come up repeatedly as a suggestion. Rae’s work is tremendous, and unfortunately, it seems like her conversations with television networks lead her to conclude it was better to retain creative control and stay on the web rather than surrender her vision in exchange for a budget and amplification, and that rigidity on the networks’ part is a loss for them, and her, and us.
But it’s also worth remembering the women of color writing for network television who are less immediately visible because they don’t also appear in front of the camera. I called up a couple of television writers whose work I enjoy and asked them to recommend their colleagues, and added a few of my own. These are just a few of the women of color whose work is worth watching, and supporting. Some of them have already run their own shows. And I’d love to see more of them get a chance to do so in the future. In no particular order:
1) Nahnatchka Khan: Khan came up as a writer and producer on comedies like Malcolm in the Middle and American Dad*. She created Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, starring Dreama Walker, Krysten Ritter, and James Van Der Beek, which premiered on ABC earlier this month.
2) Denise Thé: Thé got her staff writing start on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and has since gone on to serve as the story editor on Medium and to write for Cold Case and Person of Interest.
3) Mara Brock Akil: She created Girlfriends and that show’s spinoff The Game. She’s a consulting producer on Cougar Town. And she wrote Sparkle, the Motown period piece that will be Whitney Houston’s last movie, and Gabrielle Union star vehicle Being Mary Jane, both of which are due out this year.
4) Silvia Olivas: Olivas co-produced Moesha and The Brothers Garcia, part of an initiative to make shows with Latino characters that would appeal to diverse audiences (these days, we just get Rob!). Recently, she’s been writing for children’s shows like Martha Speaks and Special Agent Oso.
5) Maurissa Tancharoen: Part of the Whedonverse by marriage (Tancharoen is married to Jed Whedon), Tancharoen wrote for Dollhouse, and currently is writing and producing in the Spartacus franchise for Starz.
6) Aisha Muharrar: Muharrar writes what I think are consistently some of the warmest episodes on Parks and Recreation, including “Kaboom,” involving prank volunteerism, and this season’s “Born and Raised,” the show’s rebuke to birtherism.
7) Stacy Littlejohn: She created MTV’s Single Ladies, wrote for both Wanda Sykes and Cedric the Entertainer, and has produced Life With Bonnie and All of Us.
8) Cherry Chevapravatdumrong: Another veteran of Seth MacFarlane shows, Chevapravatdumrong is a long time Family Guy writer and story editor, including credits on the series’ movies.
9) Natalie Chaidez : She’s produced In Plain Sight, V, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Heroes, Judging Amy, Cracker: Mind Over Murder, and New York Undercover and written for all those shows as well as Kojak, Skin, and Past Life. Need I say more?
10) Elaine Ko: Another veteran of the Family Guy writers’ room, Ko is presently a writer and executive story editor on Modern Family, one of the most successful comedies on television.
He’s said that at times in his life he’s worried about getting a pink slip and, more recently, that ”I’m also unemployed.”
On Friday, he personally guaranteed that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be built if he’s elected president:
“I will build that pipeline if I have to do it myself,” Romney said during a speech before state Republican Party leaders gathered at a retreat in Arizona.
I suppose now that he’s put the plans for his La Jolla car elevator on hold, he needs some project to keep him busy. But who knew he was a steel-drivin’ man?
Then I checked and sure enough, Bruce Springsteen had written a song about Romney. Here’s one of the verses:
Mitt Romney told his captain
“Lord a man ain’t nothin’ but a man
But before I let that steam drill beat me down
I’m gonna die with a hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord
I’ll die with a hammer in my hand.”
Still, if the pipeline to Canada’s climate-destroying tar sands must be built so we can export more refined product overseas, shouldn’t the few thousand jobs go to people without a quarter billion dollars?
Last summer, Bradlee Dean of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministry ? which was recently designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center ? filed a $50 million lawsuit against Rachel Maddow, claiming she had distorted comments he made suggesting Muslims are more moral than Christians for supporting the execution of homosexuals. (It should be noted that though no suit was filed, Dean recently expressed similar legal concern about ThinkProgress’ reporting on the suit, as described in an update on that post.) Now, Maddow has sought a swift dismissal of the claim under anti-SLAPP protections, which ensure that frivolous suits do not stifle free speech with the threat of mounting legal fees. MSNBC’s court response outlines three reasons Dean’s suit should fail:
1. The broadcasts truthfully reported on Dean?s May 15th statements. Those broadcasts re-played original audio of Dean speaking on the May 15th radio show. Dean does not ? and cannot ? allege that he did not make those controversial statements. The fact that NBCUniversal broadcast the essence but not the entirety of what Dean said during that radio show, as he now protests, does not change this analysis. Dean bears sole responsibility for the consequences of his words, however much he may try to distance himself from the backlash.
2. The commentary or rebuke Maddow offered about Dean?s statements was classic opinion and rhetorical hyperbole, and thus, cannot be actionable as a matter of law. As Dean is entitled to his opinions, however objectionable, so too is Maddow entitled to hers.
3. The fair comment privilege protects Maddow?s commentary. The broadcasts featured Dean?s actual statements and clearly indicated the source of those statements. Viewers were free to make up their own minds as to whether they agreed with Maddow?s remarks.
The response goes on to explain that the judicial process does not permit Dean to use lawsuits as part of his mission to stop the “radical gay agenda.” Though Dean has backed away from the comments and explained he in no way endorses the execution of homosexuals, he has nevertheless repeatedly called for gay people to be persecuted and incarcerated because he believes they are somehow a threat to children. He may not wish to be known for supporting the execution of gays, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem with supporting their life imprisonment.
ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg also examines the sense of entitlement conservatives like Bradlee Dean have about their anti-gay rhetoric.