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Sarah Palin: Too much ice anyway [updated]

When I want an astute analysis of climate change, or of any complex scientific topic, including the search for the Higgs boson, the mystery of human consciousness, and the Protein Folding Problem, I turn to America's most trusted scientific expert, Sarah Palin.

Ms. Palin lives in the Arctic. She can see the North Pole. She has field-dressed moose on Denali glaciers. What she knows is that there's still a lot of snow out there. There's ice all over the place. Frankly it's way too cold. Warm things up a bit and Alaska might actually be habitable! And those polar bears are dangerous predators for whom extinction can come only too soon.

If the permafrost becomes occasionalfrost, that will open up land for development -- condos, suburbs, shopping malls, all loaded with Palinites who will understand that a little melting ice and snow is a natural, cyclical event, kind of like that hankering some people get to run for president.

Here's Palin in her Post Op-Ed:

With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point. The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.

You understand, these aren't climate change experts she's talking about, these are "so-called" climate change experts. Never mind that studying climate change is what they've done their entire professional lives. They're a bunch of Salahis! Full-time posers.

Just because these scientists have been under constant assault for years and years because of their conclusions does not give them the right to be so dyspeptic in their e-mails. Just because they've reached conclusions that call into question the sanity of burning up all the fossil fuels on the planet and thus put them in the cross-hairs of trillion-dollar industries does not forgive their clubbiness and sense of embattlement.

The fact that these scientists have let politics creep into their scientific work is what's so appalling, because surely the politicization of science is the proper responsibility of politicians.

More from Palin:

That's not to say I deny the reality of some changes in climate -- far from it. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. I was one of the first governors to create a subcabinet to deal specifically with the issue and to recommend common-sense policies to respond to the coastal erosion, thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice that affect Alaska's communities and infrastructure.

But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes.

Climate, weather -- it's all the same. Just because Arctic sea ice has been in wholesale retreat and ships now make the Northwest Passage doesn't mean that's anything but a warm spell.

Tomorrow: Palin solves the mystery of Gamma Ray Bursts.


Here are some links for those who want to read more about climate change and "ClimateGate."

Andy Revkin in the Times has a roundup of the ClimateGate controversy.

The Times ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, comes to Revkin's defense after he's attacked for being an interested party.

Paul Krugman takes James Hansen to task for venturing into economics rather than sticking to climate science.

Roger Pielke, Jr., has been sparring with climate scientists who are upset that he's a contrarian (which is different, I think, from being a skeptic, no?).

And make sure to check out Juliet Eilperin as she reports from Copenhagen (it's a new blog -- go post some comments!).

Here's my magazine story from a few years ago about climate change skeptics.

Here's my story from a while back saying that people shouldn't blame local weather events and short-duration phenomena on global climate change.


Marc Ambinder has annotated the Palin Op-Ed. Excerpt:

"AGW is supported by the research -- it is a theory of probability (not certainty) that is large enough to account for discrepancies, too. The case against AGW is supported by a theory that seizes on the discrepancies, magnifies them, and disregards the overwhelming weight of the evidence."


Via HuffPo, here's science blogger Tim Lambert with a blog titled "The Washington Post Can't Go Out of Business Fast Enough." He says that Palin's argument is directly contradicted by the Post's own reporting, to which there is a link in the original Palin Op-Ed. Lambert concludes: "So what use is the Washington Post? If they are not going to do even the most perfunctory fact checking on the stuff they publish, what value do they add?"

Um, maybe the reporting that you just cited?


Interesting email from a reader named Jon in Springfield, Va., who thought my debt story was insufficiently dire. I quote it in full (I agree with him that the comparison between today's debt and that at the close of WW2 needs to be put into context -- including the fact that today we haven't just concluded a world war against two imperial powers):

While your article has some balance to it, presenting both sides of the picture, I think you gave too easy a pass to some arguments that the debt picture is not that serious. In particular, you noted that the proportion of debt was higher at the end of WWII. While true, the situation was so different then that it provides no useful context today. First, we came out of that war as the sole undamaged big industrial economy in the world and thus benefitted for years as a major supplier to other nations, boosting our economy (and therefore personal savings and tax receipts) beyond what we could expect now. Second, the only entitlement program of significance was social security, and it was raking in large surpluses that helped pay off the debt, because there were numerous workers for each retiree. In contrast, we now have other massive programs such as medicare; spending on medicare and social security will soon far exceed current tax receipts, causing them to be an addition to the annual deficit and therefore the growing debt. Finally, the major driver of WWII deficits was the cost of the war, while defense spending was by far the biggest component of the national budget during the war. At the close of the war, defense spending was dramatically reduced for several years and even the onset of the Cold War did not result in a quick return to spending at WWII levels. With the exception of a few years in the 90s (during the internet fueled boom that proved a bubble), we have been running annual deficits based on spending in a wide array of areas, none of which we will likely reduce in any significant way (the exception being war spending, but that is relatively small compared to the budget as a whole). The Bush tax cuts have made things worse, but reversing them now would probably be harmful to the economy. Deficit spending related to the current recession may go away soon, but large annual deficits will remain. Everyone should understand that the challenge of digging out from under our current debt is orders of magnitude more difficult than was the case after WWII.


And in local news, faithful A-blog reader and universally beloved A-blog neighbor John Menditto has been named Coach of the Year for DC Stoddert Soccer. Congrats Johnny!

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 9, 2009; 8:38 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Debt as legislation lubrication [updated]
Next: Going deeper into the heart of things


Why attack Palin? Gore is no scientest but he was hailed as a messiah because he promoted these theories. You make a good point that the rotten piece in this whole situation is that the so called scientests have been shown to have been skewing data and suppressing dissent to get the results to fit their theory. However, to attack someone who touts this situation is not healthy. Real science needs the synthesis of data to come to a result.

Posted by: schmitt_fam | December 9, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

why does the WP print this gibberish? i mean, i know why but seriously, WHY?

Posted by: adruff | December 9, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez. Everybody in the bunker, quick! slyness, bring some extra bottled water and maybe some Oreos. I think we're gonna be hunkered down for a while. Somebody grab the new Star Trek dvd.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It's surprisingly common for smart people to treat the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal as unassailable sources of fact.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Who has the #1 Ladies Detective Agency videos? Give me time to leave some food out for the neighbor cats.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Uh, schmitt_fan, Joel was being...uh, he often has his tongue firmly lodged...he's a kidder, see? and you can't always...

Oh, the hell with it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Salahis (and I just can't help my schadenfreude), it seems even his fancy watch is a lie (sort of) -- it wasn't in working condition!

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

So why don't scientists respond by calling Palin a "so called" politician? I suppose politician is pejorative enough.

It is not uncommon for smart people to opine on things outside their field of acknowledged expertise and influence even the non-rabid. Usually this comes after much study and/or experience. (Though personal experience is the most anecdotal evidence of all.) Should Ms. Palin study or experience anything worth reading about I'll be happy to read it. Until then I'll long for the days when there was a real distinction between the things I read in the check out line and what could be found in the WaPo.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 9, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

schmitt_fan, be reminded that scientific thwory is the higest form of scientific statement. Global climate change as a function of changes in atmospheric CO2 has been proven to occur as a result of decade3s of research. Do a literature search. Withthat, I'm heading for the bunker withenough shrimp dip and scoops for all. Sometime today, I want to watch Napoleon Dynamite with the spanish subtitles.

Posted by: -jack- | December 9, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

These chum in the water kits are probably a bad idea.

Posted by: joelache | December 9, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Are those DoubleStuf Oreos down in the bunker? *trying very hard not to drool*

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

George Stephanopoulos to replace Diane Sawyer as host of GMA. Kurtz has the story. JuJu Chang to replace newsreader Chris Cuomo--another change.

Glad George's talks went so well with Westin. Having a more serious tone on this morning show will inject new vigor into the morning format. Imagine the public actually being better informed rather than better entertained?

The switcheroo at ABC will certainly give Lauer and Viera a run for their money. Is that why Lauer and Roker headed for Afghanistan this week? Amazing report by NBC team on yesterday's morning show about a "model" Afghan village near Bagram built by U.N. for $8 million. Shoddy construction, some units already collapsing, not near a water source. No electricity, while the few Afghans who dwell in these substandard dwellings can look over at the blazing lights within Bagram all night long.

Posted by: laloomis | December 9, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Don't know about any of you, but I've *never* heard Sarah "articulate" anything.

Unless one can articulate with a wink and a "you betcha!".

Posted by: martooni | December 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

We can all argue whether man is responsible for global warming. That is hardly the point.

What is indisputable is the globe IS warming. An article appeared in the NYT LAST fall (Sep 6, 2008) that "the North Pole’s being an “island” for the first time in 125,000 years."

We'd all better figure out how to adjust to a warming of the planet. Nothing goes in a straight line forever. Can we survive the change? That's unknown at this point in time.

Posted by: dbelliot | December 9, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert too, FWIW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse


You mentioned the protein folding problem in the same sentence as "the one who really should not be named for fear of spontaneous neuronal combustion".

I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive you

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Predicting, i.e. constructing models, for the weather is hard enough. Predicting the climate is (so far) impossible. There are too many variables. It is healthy for scientists to debate the facts. It is unhealthy for public policy to be based on what Gore or Palin believe.

Posted by: LtOrr | December 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm on my way to the bunker! Got the DVD's, check, and will stop by Total Wine on the way...

Personally, I don't know why anybody listens to Sarah Palin about ANYTHING.

Joel, we know it's all about eyeballs. We're okay with that, it gives us an excuse to enjoy ourselves in the bunker. Come on down!

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I've got the Star Trek DVD at home on loan from Blockbuster. I'll try and get it over to the bunker this afternoon. I think in some respect dbelliot has a point-there has been a global warming trend under way for some time. Some of the scientific arguments have been over how much of that is due to man-made emissions and how much is due to natural cyclical trends. For now the general consensus in the "nonpartisan" science community is that carbon emissions have had a significant effect. We can, and already have affected the envrionment. Anyone remember the ozone hole that was created by CFC's? It's still with us, incidentally. Acid rain has sterilized lakes and streams in the northeast. It is not a bad thing to limit these pollutants, no matter how much they directly affect the envrionment. It's good for US.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 9, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I think we should apply the same skepticism to the Bible that we demand of climate scientists --you know, the so-called talking snake, the so-called global flood, etc. Where are the irrefutable pieces of evident, the so-called witnesses?

Posted by: yatest | December 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all you Boodlers. It warms my heart to see so many citizens passionate about one of the problems facing this great country of ours. Not necessarily that "global warming" is a problem, since it maybe is kinda an opportunity. And my heart sure needs warming today, what with it being sixteen degrees out this morning and a strong north wind blowing, too. Yep, it's the kinda day where the sun makes your eyes all squinchy, and the wind slaps you in the face, also. A nice brisk walk makes you take a deep breath and feel lucky to be alive anyway, and we always have to think of the children.

You betcha.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Rather than the new Star Trek movie, might I suggest The Day After, Ice Station Zebra and The Thing (either version)?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

When Sarah Palin quit her job, she immediately went to the lower 48 to see how she could benefit from her 15 minutes of fame. She's been away from Alaska so long that she hasn't noticed the melting perma-frost and sinking landscape. Alaska will not only get warmer with the melting of Arctic ice, it will lose a great deal of the land where it's people live and work. Denial is not a scientific principle. But if she thinks it is, she should rename Denali into Denial.

Posted by: clairevb | December 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Re: schmitt_fam and the "scientests" all I can say is WOW!

Re: the #1 Ladies Detective Agency DVDs, I've got them and they are a lot of fun, especially if you like women of "traditional shape".

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ooooh, never been down here before. Y'all decorated it very tastefully. Is the fridge big enough to hold these sandwich fixins and milk for the Oreos?

Slyness, does Total Wine carry Dogfish Pale Ale?

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

With the early break up and late formation of the ice cover the polar bears will have to replace the seals in their diet with Alaskan on snow machines. Not a frikking minutes too soon.
And really the polar bears should be called Northern, Boreal or unipolar bears, as most of them are not bipolar bears.

Look at the pretty snow:

I should have stayed in the home bunker. The slog back is going top be heck.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

There is a good ice planet sequence in the new ST, IIRC. It's no Hoth, but it'll do.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Dunno, MsJS, but if they don't, I'll stop by Fresh Market and get some. We don't want anybody to be thirsty!

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'll bring the Diet Pepsi, MsJS...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I should count by blessings, it's -34C/-29F in Thompson MB.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

These so-called "natural cycles" Palin refers to are starting to look like ghosts. No unknown inputs to climate temperature are likely; they have been tallied exhaustively. Solar output, volcano dust, albedos, ocean chemistry; everything's dialed in to the equation now.

It's akin to a belief in the aether, or phlogiston or something.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Not much snow here, looks nasty Shriek definitely not missing living in the Capital today, we do have some good waves though.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Of course her scientific analysis is junk. But you'd think she'd get the parts about government right.

A common mistake is using State and nation interchangeably. A former gov of Alaska should know what a nation is, considering there are 7 of them within the State. Not only does she misuse the term nation, she takes it one step further, using the EU as an example of one. (I guess that would make the UN a nation too, and Coca-Cola a State?)

She really ought to figure out what she can speak knowledgeably about, and stick to that. (Wild game recipes? The right mascara for those who wear glasses?)

Time to bring in more firewood. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 9, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hiya -- hoping that someday we can get a solar-powered (or wind powered, as we're so close to the hot air emanating from Capitol Hill) escalator for the Bunker. But, I have my cane and so long as I take the stairs one-at-a-time, I'm good to go.

Frosti, I agree with you about last night's SYTYCD. I do like Ellenore a lot, but I think the second dance did her in, unfortunately. That being said, Ashley's injury isn't going to get that much better before next week, and to keep her on isn't good for her or for the rest of us. On the other hand, a compromise would be to have her and Ryan do their Latin ballroom thing (which should be great) during the finale.

I still like Kathryn and Mollie is growing on me, although I still see her as a bouncy teenager (even if she's a couple years older now). But both are terrific dancers, and I will admit that Mollie has really improved a lot. But I do like Ellenore's quirkiness. As for the guys, Jakob is the frontrunner, that's definitely for sure. Russell is really fun to watch, though. I suspect that he'll reach the finals. Maybe Legacy will, too, but he doesn't excite me that much -- or certainly not as much as the other guys.

It's a good season, methinks.

I've ordered #1 Ladies Detective Agency and will be watching my mailbox everyday. Still waiting for Three Cups of Tea. I am currently reading Guernsey/PPP Literary Soc. and I do like it. I'm sure I'll finish it this week, and then onto the second Steig Larsson book.

So many books, so little time. And so goes the mantra. And, no, Sarah Palin is *not* on my reading list, either in book form or op-ed form. Nope. Nada. Never.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I could use a little global warming applied topically today. -13 F temperatures predicted. But the upside is that it's too cold to snow.

That's left for the poor suckers to the south of us. Blizzards, high winds, and havoc.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I am about to leave the telescope and head down to breakfast. Let me just note: climate is easier to predict than weather, not harder. The statement made by one commenter that it is "impossible" is deeply ill-informed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 9, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If they are such poser, why is it that the UN used them for the basis of their climate change report.

As far as the National Academy of Sciences, goes they don't acctually study anything. They collect information and produce reports. They also are in a position to influence where federal funding for research goes. Thus far, every report they have produced has been based on model projections and statistical analysis. The models and the base numbers for the math are based on theories, not facts. I am not calling into question their integrity. Even NAS will tell you they have no definative proof that global warming is manmade.

Posted by: akmzrazor | December 9, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

hi all. i know i tend to wink in and out of the boodle. had a few minutes this morning to check out joel's response to dr. palin's thoughtful, fact-based op-ed on the weather.

i do wonder really, along with adruff, how the wapo got into the condition it is. used to be someone had to know a wee bit about the subject about one wished to opine on.

very confused about all of this. coupled with the story about many australian farmers not believing in climate change even though record droughts have devastated their farms.

glad to see it's not just americans.

am on the run today. maybe can check back in later. doesn't look like the bunker is needed quite yet. this may change as the day proceeds. have fun with the star trek dvds!


Posted by: shellinelson1 | December 9, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to all who are bringing more beverages. I like a good variety.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey, shriek, there you are. I was looking for you yesterday to tell you I picked up the new "Military Heritage" magazine at Safeway while I was waiting for my prescriptions on Monday, and it has a major article in it about the Canadians at Vimy Ridge in WWI. Really first-rate article, which calls the Canuck attack on the ridge the greatest Allied victory of the war up to that point, and calls Vimy "the toughest bastion" of the Western Front. (No argument here.)

I'll bring it with me to the bunker so you can read it.

Good piece in it on Vinegar Joe Stilwell and the Burma Road, too. Can't remember who, but somebody here has a dad who flew the Hump. IM? slness? somebody. Also a piece on Walt Whitman as a one-man Civil War sanitary commission. Also a piece on the unsung horses, dogs, elephants, bats, mules, camels, reindeer, pigeons and one brown bear that served in WWII. (Elephants pulled seaplanes out of the water at a seaplane base in India. The bear was the mascot of the Polish 22nd Artillery Support Company. Smokey, a 4-lb. Yorkie found in the jungle of New Guinea, flew 12 combat missions with the 26th Photo Recon, was awarded 8 battle stars, survived 150 bombing raids and one typhoon, helped build an airfield by threading telephone wire through pipe conduits, spent the remainder of the war as a therapy dog for wounded GIs on New Guinea, and spent his post-war years in Cleveland, appearing at vets hospitals.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I still can't say anything about SP without being impolite - so I won't say anything.

Feeling fortunate as it's just pouring rain here. Most of the state has snow so it pays to live near the coast. I have spinach balls with mustard sauce as an hor d'oeuvre and there are cookie balls and midnight delights being prepped. I'll bring them to the bunker in a bit.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 9, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hi Nelson! Good to see you. Please come to the bunker and bring the big bow!

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It is nasty dmd.

We have our own deniers in Canada as well. With all the money made in the tar sands business in Alberta (and Saskatchewan) it's not surprising to find that our Sarah, Lorne Gunter, is punditing from the board of the Edmonton Journal.
In today's fact-deprived colunm he attacks both East Anglia and Goddard using a religious metaphor.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

ftb & frosti, once again we agree on the dance evaluations. Before last night I was ready for Mollee to go home, but she did well enough for me to lose my certainty. It speaks well of her (as of Ashleigh before her) that she was able to use a partnership with Jakob to raise her level, rather than just being overshadowed by him.

A general comment about this season: I wish they'd announce and briefly explain when they're changing the format from previous years. I understand that they had to do the early eliminations without audience vote because the World Series messed with the results show schedule, but they never said so; we just had to figure it out. And now they're talking about next week being the finale, with six dancers left. Huh? It's always been four in the finale before. Do they have to end early because of holiday programming? Okay, but say something! I would think that the top vote-getter out of six dancers might not be the same as the top vote-getter out of four, depending on how everyone reallocates their votes when someone is eliminated. But whatever; as long as it's Jakob or Russell, we're good.

Posted by: -bia- | December 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

FYI, I added some links to the kit...

Posted by: joelache | December 9, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Cheerwine (which is really non-alcoholic) is one of my favorite soft drinks. My son's fraternity stocks one slot of their soda machine with a mixed random collection. Last time I got a Big Red, which is not a gum but was pretty good, if a little sweet.

Down in Tampa my sister-in-law and her Marielito husband treated us to some good Cuban food. I had a Jupina which was pretty good, but I should have gotten the Ironbeer (also non-alcoholic). I'll have to hunt it down in a local Latin market.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Still on SYTYCD, it says something about generational naming patterns that they're not Molly, Ashley, Jacob, and Katharine (vs. Kathryn). I'm not quite sure what it says, but something.

Posted by: -bia- | December 9, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I like how Krugman puts this:
"Things like this often happen when economists deal with physical scientists; the hard-science guys tend to assume that we’re witch doctors with nothing to tell them, so they can’t be bothered to listen at all to what the economists have to say, and the result is that they end up reinventing old errors in the belief that they’re deep insights. "

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the recommendations, mudge.
I'm almost finished with Le Carré's "A most Wanted Man". It reconciled me with Le C. His recent books didn't do it for me but I really liked this one.

Also, I would like to recommend Reginald Hill's latest (in pocketbook anyway) "A Cure for All Diseases" (US Title:The Price of Butcher's Meat. I thought the original title was in English. I was obviously wrong since it needed translation). It is Pride and Prejudice, not with Zombies but with Dalziel and Pascoe. A fantastic stylistic exercise and a great read. Even if it's the first D&P you read it should stand on its own.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse


Mudge, my dad was in the Army in WWII, Pacific. Sat on a boat and slogged on foot over a buncha islands.

Joel, thanks for the Ambinder annotation of Palin. Unfortunately I couldn't read the whole thing because, doncha know, I'd still have to read the Palin piece and I just can't do it. Not even in short bursts. You betcha.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse


Mudge, my dad was in the Army in WWII, Pacific. Sat on a boat and slogged on foot over a buncha islands.

Joel, thanks for the Ambinder annotation of Palin. Unfortunately I couldn't read the whole thing because, doncha know, I'd still have to read the Palin piece and I just can't do it. Not even in short bursts. You betcha.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

May I say that I love yatest's 10:35 post above?

And I was delighted to have to rummage through the purse and find my sunglasses today while out running a short errand. Sun! This was after {thankfully} hearing the loud SWOOOOOOOOOOSH of the sump pump this morning.

I won't get sucked into a Sarah Palin conversation. Imagine my disgust when I saw an old friend's Facebook status when she "Became a Fan of Sarah Palin."

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

bia, those alternate (here pronounced "wrong") spellings for perfectly good names is a long-standing peeve of mine. My sister-in-law was ahead of the curve, having both her first and middle names spelled creatively back in the mid-fifties.

I've got several bottles of good Cab Sauv and Sauv Blanc to contribute, as well as a mushroom/spinach lasagna. Please don't deactivate the air-lock before I get there.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

*memo to self: be sure to check FY2010 Shop Steward's Budget proposal before it goes to the financial committee to make sure capital improvements section has line item for handicapped accessibility upgrade for the bunker, re: escaltor versus elevator versus stairway chair-lift options, cost and feasibility studies, etc. Strongly recommend expedited approvals. ftb isn't only one with knee problems, or advancing age. Q.: Could rear service elevator next to billiard room be adapted to handicapped access? Would have to walk a little further to get to it, but may solve problem; would have to remove cartons, trash, bulk papers supplies, etc. from elevator shaft. Reprimanded janitorial last week, told them it wasn't a storage and dumping area, told them to use old handball court if regular storeroom not sufficient. Would need to completely re-wire panel so service elevator didn't go into auto lockout during Rovestorms, other emergenies. Elevators need to be acessible during emergencies, not shut off. Talk to OSHA.*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Nelson!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

A totally off-topic issue of trivial consequence that has nonetheless bored a hole in my otherwise carefree mind:

When I look at the 'heads' side of a coin, I do not see multiple heads. My brain registers only one. So how come we all say 'heads'?

Yes, I know, it's time for my meds.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Financial institutions hired math PhD's to generate new financial instruments to sell. The generated things like credit default swaps. When presented to the board, they all nodded approvingly even though they did not understand these new instruments or the risks they carried.

The science of global warming is presented to the public in much the same way. We don't understand it. We may get pieces but the predictions rely on the warming caused by a tiny increase in carbon dioxide to potentiate a rise in water vapor, a much more potent ghg. How this works is pretty murky since water vapor is part of the water cycle. Despite the science's opacity, we get strong pronouncements on both sides of the issue from people pretending to understand it.

The science is difficult but the politics is easy. Really restricting the sources of ghgs will negatively impact the economy. This is simply electorally unsustainable. "It's the economy, stupid" will easily prevail over "Save the Earth" in the real world of the voting booth. No matter the text decided in Copenhagen, real cuts will not happen unless disaster is upon us, in which case, they will happen automatically.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 9, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the voiceprint security upgrade for the elevator, 'Mudge...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

And I am unsure if I have seen even a single "tail" on any coin at all. Although I'm sure there must be several.

There is a frightening yellow-white orb in the sky. I must go throw barley at it or something. I'm unnerved, although it vaguely seems familiar.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, heads is an adjective or adverb in that usage, not a noun.

That usage dates from 1675 or so, when adverbs were alwayS being made betimeS with esses when needS must.

But I'll let Mudge make something up for kicks.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: I was gonna talk to you about that. A couple of strong lads who happened to be passing by carried my and my chair down. Once the coast is clear, I'll need some help getting back out.

In the meantime, would someone plase pass the Oreos? *said with chocolate crumbs plainly visible in milk mustache*

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, "heads" is an artifact from the days of the Roman Empire, when MA (Marcus Aurelius, to you) and I first invented coin-tossing as a way to handle advanced decision-making and pick who goes firsties. Back in those days we used a coin that had two-faced Janus on it, and the Roman Eagle on the flip. People would toss it in the air and call out "Faces!" which we discovered wasn't such a good idea, since "Faces!" sounded like a remarkably similar Latin word for excrement, and it made no sense to call out *that* word until after one had learned one had lost. So simply as a matter of vernacular, we decided to change "faces" to "heads." Same thing, more or less.

Janus never much liked it, though. He was always of two minds about a lot of things. Indecisive, ya know? Which was actually pretty ironic, under the circumstances.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

And I have it on good authority that one of Ray's parents deserves a large round frosted baked item with candles in it today...


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod!! I'm insulted. I never make this stuff up. I'm no climatologist, ya know.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

As I mentioned in the other Boodle, Palin's article annoys me as much for its logical inconsistency as for its disingenuous distortions.

But even worse, is her extension of populism into areas of science. The implication seems to be that not only should everyone have an opinion on this matter, but all opinions are equally valid. This denies the whole concept of the expert.

I mean, it's like somebody claiming that, I dunno, that bottle-feeding an infant nothing but malt liquor is just fine no matter what those so-called "experts" claim. I mean who knows a child better than her own mother, right? And now little Susie seems real happy and sleeps good too.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well Sarah Palin had a book signing in Colorado Springs this week. 800 people were there. Many camped out overnight in SUB ZERO temperatures in order to be there when the doors opened.

A TV news report showed a man choking up. Another man said "We can't think of anyone else alive that we'd rather meet." A woman said "She's such a great role model."

So, like it or not, Sarah is here to stay. I wish it weren't so, but at least we can look forward to easy cannon fodder.

Posted by: delantero | December 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

You're fabulous, Mudge-- emphasis on fable.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Canadian coinage has a bunch of tails; duck, beaver, etc.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, perhaps if I explicate "expert" for you it would explain Palin a little better. The word breaks down into "ex-," meaning former or has-been, and "spurt," meaning a drip under pressure. Clearly such a term applies to the guvernator.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Boreal bear, elk, loon...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: I knew there was a logical explanation. I will rest peacefully tonight.

Jumper1: Some Canadian coins have 'tail'

Wilbrod: My pal MW (Mirriam-Webster of course, I'm such a name dropper!) says heads is a noun (definition #3 of "head" in the online version). But he could be misinformed since the entry contains no reference at all to Mudge and MA and their coin-tossing ways.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of loons...

*facepalm facepalm facepalm*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Merriam and I don't get along, MsJS, from way back. He overheard me one day say that "Merriam" sounded like a girl's name, and he got all uppity and in-your-face at me. Once in a while I still manage to sneak in under one of my pen names, Anon, but only when Merriam isn't aware of it.

Well, it does too sound like a girl's name.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Funny stuff. She is uch a dim wit she does not even get that she is using a politicized selective reading of stolen private property as the basis for promoting a radical political agenda, in a piece where she decries a radical political agenda that doesn't exist.

Love that you point out her "so-called climate scientists" you can practically hear Tina Fey reading the op-ed unedited as comedy on SNL. What a terd stain on the body politic ms. palin is.

Posted by: John1263 | December 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, CBS is planning a new Christmas special: "How the Grinch Stole Lindsey Lohan's Underwear."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It's always the same head though. The old
Errr eye eye as Constables Goody and Habib once said in The Thin Blue Line. They were wondering why ER II was part of the station's logo.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Apparently that'd be a very brief special, 'Mudge...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Guys, guys -- the more you criticize Palin in this way, the more you feed the beast that is her popularity. "In this way" meaning implying she is a simpleton, is unsophisticated, is stupid. This is a democracy. The person with the most votes wins, period. A lot of people do not identify themselves with the sophisticated, the highly educated. These people will take your condescension towards Palin as directed towards themselves. And in a natural reaction, will circle the wagons around their leader, and vote for her just to stick it to you! And if the numbers happen to total 51%, well ...

Posted by: etin | December 9, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's a nice, concise refutation of "Climategate":

Now that I've shown my hand, may I take refuge in the Bunker with the rest of you?

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | December 9, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, SciSpouse! I believe we saved some of Yoki's mushroom/spinach lasagna just for you! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna have to remember not to drink milk while Mudge and Scotty are at it...

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Since Palin is very uncomfortable being around Asians and Pacific Islanders (according to her dad), it's not too surprising that she experiences discomfort with science and technology. I mean the gall of all these minority types to actually graduate from good colleges and work in high tech. Then add on the fact that some of them are Buddhists and Hindus is even more appalling.

In Palin's world, maybe all US scientists should take a creationist vow and pretend that scientific theory is the same as mere conjecture.

Posted by: bhuang2 | December 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

But they barely reach 20 percent, etin, so we can comfortably mock Her Shallowness all we want.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I've been meaning to say this re: Paul Krugman for some time. The last time I saw him on George S.'s show George Will was droning on about "Climategate" and they cut to Krugman. His wide eyed, jaw down to his knees, reaction to Will's nonsense said far more than words could ever convey. Either that or someone had just goosed him under the table.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 9, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

delantero, Colo Spgs is the christian right capital of the US, so it's not surprising that they like SP.

Posted by: oldbam | December 9, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Heads has it!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

When I want an astute analysis of climate change, or of any complex scientific topic, I turn to Al Gore. Because he earned Cs and Ds in his science classes, is a politician = science expert, and doesn't cite any sources in his book "An Inconvenient Truth." He's MUCH more believable.

Posted by: obamamama31 | December 9, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

etin's "And in a natural reaction, will circle the wagons around their leader, and vote for her just to stick it to you!" only proves that Palin's followers are stupid.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This one has a head and a tail on it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

No comment:

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's why you non-Glee watchers need to watch it tonight. (I assume it's on, isn't it?) Anyway:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. Sunday, my pastor had read all about the Great Climate Scandal in the Wall Street Journal and was utterly incensed at the miscreants' behavior and relieved that the flimflam of climate change had been totally discredited. He's been handed a copy of Archer's "The Long Thaw", a concise briefing on what we're to expect, and why.

I suppose that someone who took the WSJ's editorial views on the Great Recession seriously would take its rants on climate to heart. But I'm starting to wonder about the WSJ's audience. Who reads it? I assume that people who actually work in the financial industry need accurate information and genuinely expert opinion. Do they read the WSJ's news pages and simply treat the opinion pages as fun fantasy? Do they believe that stuff? Or is the WSJ actually written to appeal to the world views of amateurs, hobbyist investors, petty stock gamblers?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Better one with full video:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Gore's doesn't have a science degree either. Gore vs palin in 2012!

Posted by: FLvet | December 9, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

dave, the WSJ has a sterling reputation among the business-finance types for its reporting and analysis on things financial/economic, from the newsroom side. It is read by all serious students of business, world wide.

It has never made any bones about its conservative (in the old, respectable sense) editorial slant, and that doesn't affect its status as a paper of record, any more than the NYT's leftist one does its.

In recent years the WSJ has also taken steps to broaden its appeal, with the weekend edition, etc. And I think it has done a good job of bringing more general-interest stories to a wider public.

I would not like to speculate on what any individual reader takes from his reading, but I defy anyone to say it is an inferior paper.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

explains why I am finding this site fascinating

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

DaveotC, I subscribed to the WSJ for years. The news reporting was solid and the news/financial reporting was much better than that. I never read the editorial page. It slipped a little, and shrunk, post-Murdoch but the news was still good. I gave it up because they priced me out with a steep increase last year. Not being a financial type myself, I couldn't justify what was essentially an indulgence and fine rabbit cage liner.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-thanks for the link. I loved KC in that episode, but I don't think I've disliked her in anything.

Don't know what we Gleeks are going to do with Wednesday nights after the season finale tonight. Perhaps I'll read some fiction, vaguely remember enjoying that.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 9, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Someone asks "why attack Palin" when she has the same scientific credentials as Gore.

Palin's entire argument is essentially "nuh-uhh." Have you seen Gore's film? You can disagree with it but it presents a coherent argument. A coherent argument is something we have never seen from Sarah Palin.

Gore has a history of working with science. He was the leading proponent of the Internet in the US government. He didn't "invent" the Internet but he sure deserves some credit for making it happen.

Give me something comparable that Sarah has done. She's got nothin.

Posted by: zpope | December 9, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh my achin'back, Some Facts for you: Ever heard of a fellow called Roald Amundsen, who sailed the Northwest Passage when it opened in 1905? Also open in the 1930's. Why is Greenland so-called? When the Vikings/Norse settled it around 1000 AD it was green and warm, and stayed that way for 300 years until the ice came back and they had to leave.

What they were doing at the Hadley CRU was not science, but activism, clearly, did you read the computer code comments? Why would researchers try to "hide the decline," or hide anything? Why did they suppress a journal which published skeptical papers?

Open up your mind, let in some info, see what happens...

Posted by: mikermoon | December 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Mudgekins. My knees thank you and I, of course, *heart* you unendingly.

As for the rest, I'm just gonna get into that bunker with more food (if I can have some help getting all the stuff outta my car and into the Bunker).

Posted by: -ftb- | December 9, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

mikermoon - Come on. Don't be silly. Amundsen took three winters to get his ship through. The Soviets traversed a totally different route and relied on super-heavy breakers.

And Greenland was so named as a marketing rouse.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Frostu, after tonight we'll just have to reply on Tivo and Santa Claus:


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Awwww Scotty! You remembered!

I really like edbyronadams' 12:08. I always wondered the reasoning of the deniers. Cutting CO2 means cutting petroleum use, which means reducing our dependence on foreign oil. I wasn't seeing the downside.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 9, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Plus, he DID invent the internet, duh. [cheap shot, I know.} Like I said yesterday, Palin is parroting the latest talking points. Her article was nearly word-for-word an argument my dad started with me last week. They have quit denying that the climate change is happening, which is a step in the right direction.

The Vast Ring Wing Conspiracy seems to have an amazingly precise method of finding dim-witted telegenic doofuses willing to be a mouthpiece for their causes. First Dubya, and now Sarah. That is a pretty deep bench they have.

Sarah Palin:GOP::Peanut:Jeff Dunham

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

So why is that the press accepts everything Al Gore says about the environment as gospel truth but ridicules everything Sarah Palin says as nonsense? Why is Gore an expert on the environment but Palin is unqualified? I'm not particularly a fan of either one, but it seems fairly obvious there's an agenda being pushed here. Why else would everyone go so ballistic at the merest suggestion that maybe the environmental fearmongering isn't what it's cracked up to be? How about fairly examining the claims instead of attacking the messenger? Seriously, ask Bjorn Lomborg how much blind fanatical fervor lies in store for anyone who dares to question environmental orthodoxy. The modern enviro movement reminds me of a bunch of religious nuts, for whom every finding of doom is the gospel truth and shall not be questioned, under any circumstances. And the press is a willing accomplice.

None of this is to say we can ignore the environment. But when there's such firebreathing outrage directed at anyone who questions anything the modern enviro movement claims as truth, it makes me suspicious of the movement. The Lady Doth Protest Too Much.

Posted by: amrush | December 9, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge, we'll convene the financial committee tonight and take a look at the elevator proposal. Providing, of course, that Yoki brings the current financial info for us to check.

I love that our treasurer isn't a US citizen. We have secret accounts!

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

zpope, you're missing the point. A "coherent" argument doesn't automatically equate to a sound argument. I saw Gore's movie, and a lot of the claims he made there are exactly the things being refuted. Forget about who's delivering the message for a minute and just look at the data.

I love how the Post gave Palin a pulpit for the opposition. One of the oldest journalistic tricks in the book is to discredit the opposition by letting one of its most inarticulate members speak the case. You really think the Post doesn't have an agenda?

Posted by: amrush | December 9, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Why, following the recent debacle, would anyone presume that the creatures of Wall Street want accurate information and expert opinion? Did they not pay the rating agencies to produce inaccurate information, and follow the expert opinion of the crowd like a suicide of lemmings?

I had hoped that with the well-earned earned decline of the Washington Times, the Post would feel less need to reach out to the far-right fringe.

I'm a little distant to make it to the bunker, however I can pull the shutters and hole up with Trader Joe's apple pie left over from Thanksgiving, dig out the old VCR, and put on The Right Stuff.

Posted by: j2hess | December 9, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

pst - mudge - if you buy the first one it comes WITH the second included...


Posted by: mortii | December 9, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. Trader Joe's apple pie. . . .

How close is your bunker, j2hess?


Posted by: -ftb- | December 9, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

amrush, you take my breath away. Really. If the Post *doesn't* give Palin a forum, it's because they have a secret left-wing agenda. If the Post DOES give Palin a forum, it's in order to discred the opposition. So you set it up as a lose-lose no matter what the Post does.

You saw the movie, and the points it made are the ones being refuted.

Jaysus wept.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

hey! no shoving at the bunker door!!! i hope you saved me some food! i pre-ordered a copy of glee for the bunker...


Posted by: mortii | December 9, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I find it extremely intersting that several of the on-Kit posts (a) bring up Gore and his qualifications, or not, as a scientist, and (b) compare those with Palin's qualifications as a scientist, to justify her op-ed piece. This is such a classic example of a straw man it is a pleasure to watch.

You'll notice that in the Kit Joel does not mention Gore. The criticism leveled at Palin's article is that she does not have the scientific background or experience to compare with scientists and researchers in the climate-change or global-warming arena (on either side, really). That is, the criticism compares Palin to the professional persons she herself criticizes. Gore isn't in that mix.

Why bring Gore up? Because it is easier, if wholly irrelevant to the question, to compare one politician with another, if what you want is to justify a politician's expression of her opinions, and don't want the basis of those opinions examined too closely.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Great 2006 article by Achenback on the deniers. I'm surprised though, that he didn't point out that "arch-denier" Fred Singer not only took money from Exxon to deny climate change, he also used to take money from the tobacco industry to spread disinformation casting doubt on the link between tobacco and lung cancer.

Posted by: bourassa1 | December 9, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin reminds me of the "mean girls" in high school. Rather than coherently argue with anyone who disagrees with them or is different from them, they just call them names.


Posted by: Raysmom | December 9, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Amrush, thanks for the comment.

You write: "So why is that the press accepts everything Al Gore says about the environment as gospel truth but ridicules everything Sarah Palin says as nonsense?"

Read my piece (linked above) on why hurricanes etc. shouldn't be blamed on global warming. That's not singing by Gore's hymnal (I got slammed by the Left for that piece, but I think events have backed me up, as we've had some calm hurricane seasons and no detectable warming the last couple of years).

You write: "Why is Gore an expert on the environment but Palin is unqualified?"

Because Gore has been working on this issue since the 1980s, passionately, and has written multiple books about it -- which doesn't make him infallible by any means, but puts him far ahead of Palin as a credible opinionator, I think.

You write: "Seriously, ask Bjorn Lomborg how much blind fanatical fervor lies in store for anyone who dares to question environmental orthodoxy."

I'm all in favor of skepticism in general and orthodoxy-questioning of any kind. I think Lomborg plays an important role in these debates and agree with you that there ought to be room for disharmony etc. But if someone takes a couple of emails and tries to spin them into a global conspiracy to push a radical environmental agenda, that's at best a disproportionate response and at worst intellectually dishonest.

Posted by: joelache | December 9, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Tiger news that doesn't involve golf or bimbos.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Science is supposed to be separate from activism, but some people do both.

Some people on the other hand, do ONLY activism, without any science.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

way funny and tooo true.

palin admires ignorance and opinion, and so do her minions

Posted by: tru-indy | December 9, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

ftb, bia, I enjoyed reading your assessments of SYTYCD. As I know little to nothing about dance, all I can evaluate the contestants on is their entertainment value and personality. Which is exactly why I don't vote. That said, I *loved* Legacy and Ellenore's first dance--so athletic and daring. I think Russell's chances were hurt by having to take a new partner at the last minute. And I hope few sympathy-voted for Ashleigh, as I doubt she'll be able to compete next week anyway. Kathryn's crying and Mollee's cutesiness annoy me, so Ellenore's my pick among the girls. Jakob is clearly the best, but I don't think he will win (see Danny, Season 3).

Posted by: Raysmom | December 9, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I also liked amrush's "the press accepts everything Al Gore says". Yeah, sure.

The heavy snow started when I got the dogs out at 06:00 this morning and hasn't let up all day. The atmospheric pressure is still dropping and the temperature is rising. Which means more snow/wintry mix/rain to come. It will be ugly at rush hour both tonight and tomorrow morning.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,
In fairness, it's more than a couple of emails.

Consider that, for the moment anyway, Ms. Palin's ability to make money is tied to her remaining controversial. She chose the Climategate/Copenhagen topic specifically with that in mind. I'm not saying she's right or wrong, but her column at its core isn't about the environment or the politicization thereof. It's about her.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

You touch the crux and then dismiss it.

These 'scientists' who are supposedly pragmatic and fair about the facts have been marginalized by the revelation that they pick and choose the data that supports the results they desire.

They even work to discredit anyone who publishes the data they discarded.

At this point they are as scientific as lobbiests.

That's ALL they are.

Lobbiests. Our world's fate will be decided by political lobbiests posing as scientists. Humanity has been duped.

They have ZERO credibility at this point. NONE. ZIP. NADDA.

I have racehorses who are better climate predicters because their winter coats grow longer when the weather is going to be colder, AND they come down from the upper pasture when the rain sweeps in.

Now they don't always do either in the described circumstances, but I have decided that when their coats DON'T grow, and they stay up the hill, that it's just an anamoly that occurs only 50% of the time. To support my original argument, I toss out the video records of them being uphill when it rains. See? My claim is correct. Because I tossed the data that discredits my statement, I'm absolutely right, and anyone who says otherwise is unreliable, a liar, and probably an eco-terrorist.

It's all full of bull of course, but it's no more irrational then these 'experts' who have sold their souls at the expense of the truth they claimed to be searching for.

Fox took the X-Files off the air too early. Either that, or Mulder and Skully couldn't compete with the REAL idiocy on display in Copenhagen. Actually if Mulder and Skully did an episode surrounding this fiasco, Mulder would probably have sensory overload and suffer a siezure from all the BS he'd uncover.

Anyone who knowingly uses the data presented by these LIARS to promote any policy on global warming should be pilloried.

It's a joke. A bad joke. Not even SNL could come up w/a skit to cover this embarassment.

Any idea that there IS global warming is now completely suspect and discredited.

Way to go you self-serving morons. By the way, you should be forced to pay back the research money you've stolen from us taxpayers too....losers....

Achenbach, you may not like Sarah, but at least she has the brass cajones to call these parasites on their lies. If you deny her veracity to do so, then you are just as guilty as the college professors liar's club.

Get out...!

Posted by: kentuckythunder | December 9, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

schmitt_fam, meet kentuckythunder, you tell him all about the "scientests" and he'll let you in on the "lobbiests". Seriously folks, before you call others morons you should try using this thing called spellchecker, lest you too be called morons.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Also, please look up the difference between "weather" and "climate."

Heavy hint: we don't speak of desert weather, or of seventy-degree climates.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

See, Joel. That's what happens when you try to have a sensible discussion with the trolls.

It's the season finale of Top Chef tonight too, so I am going to have a lot of spare time on my hands on Wednesday nights for a few months.

Boodle quiz: Which of the remaining three chefs (Michael Voltaggio, Bryan Voltaggio, or Kevin Gillespie) would you want slathered in olive oil in your kitchen? If you are unfamiliar with the show, there was a chat today complete with photos of the Volt Bros.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Why would I want them emulating bc in my kitchen, yellojkt?

I accept no substitutes for the original.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

RD Underscore Padouk, The NYT published an article back in 1905 describing the open Northwest Passage. Marketing in the year 1000AD? No, it happened, they colonized it, look it up...

Posted by: mikermoon | December 9, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yes, Amundsen may have been delayed by his little side trip to the North Pole...

Posted by: mikermoon | December 9, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

They wouldn't have had too many colonists if they called it FrozenRockLand.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I almost feel like a spider in its web, because someone stumbles in here flaunting the Medieval Warm Period like it's going to do some good. Good grief, we know all about the Medieval Warm Period here! Your blather will gain no foothold, sir or madame! It is YOU who should do further research!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

" Even NAS will tell you they have no definative [sic] proof that global warming is manmade."

Ummm...Co2 is a known "greenhouse" gas (hint: Earth would be too cold to live on if our atmosphere didn't contain this and a few other gases that prevent all of the solar energy that comes to Earth from being radiated right back into space - see Mars). Factories, vehicles, and other consumers of fossil fuels produce huge amounts of this gas. Some greenhouse is good, a lot of greenhouse cooks you. Duh.

And pray tell, re: Palin's assertion, what could the "agenda" possibly be for making this stuff up? Does any party or other group seriously want to stress the economy for nothing?

Posted by: Pamsm | December 9, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

yello, why did you have to go and insult Peanut like that???

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Paul Volcker's telling it like it is-

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

According to Icelandic sagas the Norwegian Erik the Red called it Greenland to encourage settlement (c 1000) after being exiled from Iceland for murder. Marketing's been with us a long time. Or it could just be a bad hearing of the Danish Gronland (with the funny slash through the o I can't do because I don't have TBG's mad skillz). Bad hearing of foreign tongues has been around a long time too.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 9, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Greenhouse emissions; refusal to sign Kyoto. Pro-polluter business. This isn't just about greenhouse emissions, it's also about a general attitude of deregulation even when it directly affects people's health.

A recent study showed that autism rates spike closer to coal-powered plants-- because coal has mercury.

I think by making it all about "global warming" and charging it's not true, they're blowing smoke using mirrors to obfuscate the real issue about controlling pollution.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

It was a flawed analogy. I just couldn't think of a ventriloquist's dummy as stupid as Sarah Palin.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Go after this guy-

he REALLY hates Sarah Palin.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

mikermoon - Here's from Wiki.

"The Northwest Passage was not conquered by sea until 1906, when the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had sailed just in time to escape creditors seeking to stop the expedition, completed a three-year voyage in the converted 47-ton herring boat Gjøa. At the end of this trip, he walked into the city of Eagle, Alaska, and sent a telegram announcing his success. Although his chosen east–west route, via the Rae Strait, contained young ice and thus was navigable, some of the waterways were extremely shallow making the route commercially impractical."

This is very different from the situation emerging now which involves year-round ice free conditions.

As for Greenland. True, its climate has fluctuated, but I assert that it was never "green" in the way you implied. The consensus historical view is that this name was chosen to encourage colonization and not as an objective statement of the flora.

But what I object to is the "gotcha" idea that because, technically, someone spent three years navigating a circuitous seasonal route through the pack ice and that somebody a thousand years ago may or may not have called someplace "green" global warming is clearly a fake.

And this is what makes people so frustrated with global warming deniers. They dig through mounds of data, pull out one or two errors or unexplained exceptions, and then claim that this invalidates the whole thing.

It's like claiming that the Titanic didn't really sink because, you know, there were still a few parts that remained floating.

This is not only bad science, it is bad logic.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

yello - would def be bryan - michael was an a$$. kept dissing on kevin who would invariably win the quick fire challenge... he thinks he's gods gift to the kitchen...
bryan, on the other hand, was a sweetheart...
(but i do love michael's tatts)
anyone notice how many chef's have tattoos? and not just one or two... like LOTS of 'em! (not that i'm complaining - well, maybe a little cuz i can't get all tatted up)


Posted by: mortii | December 9, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why the Washington Post would risk its credibility by running an op-ed by this retarded person. Sarah Palin is stupid...I don't mean, I don't like her because her opinions, or I don't agree with her, I mean, she is just stupid. She's a dumb hick who used her boobs and make-up to become Governor of a state with a tiny populations. She is not suited to run anything. She is not intelligent. Her opinions matter no more than the opinion of a child in special ed classes. The truth is that in this country, there are people who are smart and there are stupid people and Sarah Palin is stupid. Her opinion doesn't matter because she is stupid.

Posted by: draywilliams | December 9, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I didn't quite get that. So where would you rank Sarah Palin on an intellectual scale?

Not that I disagree.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, like yellojkt said. Dray, tell us what you really think!!!

Posted by: joelache | December 9, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The Northwest Passage.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, the boodle is very vitriolic today. There is some truth on both sides. I do have to say I don't understand why Sarah Palin has such a large following...guess there really are a lot of light thinkers out there...if ya know what I mean.

Regarding climate change I can say we're having incredible lingering cold spells in Colorado and it's been very cold and rainy in arid San Diego--two places I've been spending a lot of time these days. Most anybody knows temps have dropped the last couple of years all over the place. Bottom line--it's really mostly about money...although keeping the future of our fragile planet on the forefront is a good thing no matter what.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 9, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Amundsen went to the South Pole.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 9, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Palin and people of her stripe are great... at seizing the opportunity to lead the unwashed masses. Those masses must have lots of money... so many go after their dollars with books, etc. I think the high-school dropout rural voter is to politics what the 13-year old girl is to the movie industry. I am sure the others have opinions and needs, but who cares?

Posted by: steveboyington | December 9, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boko999 | December 9, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Boko! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. I'd forgotten that ol' Roald flew up to the the North Pole later in life.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 9, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse


What larks here on the Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Palin has to move quickly. Time is of the essence. Her followers and their money are soon parted, I hear.

Posted by: steveboyington | December 9, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Forgive the vitriol, but its just so frustrating that a reputable paper like the post can’t or won’t distinguish between meaningless, thoughtless, and completely uninformed banter and really news or worthwhile through provoking opinion. It’s true that there is a dumb half of America and its true that the dumb half loves Palin, Limbaugh, and Beck. However, the dangerous part, is when so-called reputable institutions like the Post, give legitimacy to their voice. Same with the health care debate and death panels, the Washington Post KNOWS that there are and never will be death panels, so they shouldn’t run anything about it, because its just thoughtless ignorance. The press is supposed to be the information wing of the American public, but they fail to take that responsibility seriously when they pretend that what these ignorant right-wingers are doing right now is legitimate. Sarah Palin is never going to be President because half of America realizes that she’s as Dumb as she sounds…therefore…they shouldn’t humor her or her ignorant, hick followers by publishing her Facebook posting. It’s all very disappointing.

Posted by: draywilliams | December 9, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

You can tell someone's age with this question:

When was the first time you heard of a ship taking the NW Passage through the Arctic Ocean and what was its name.

Here are some possible answers:

(1) Bering, 1729, aboard the Sviatoi Gavriil (on the route through the Eastern Hemisphere)

(2) Unknown captain, 1958, aboard the USS Nautilus. (Bering Strait to geographic North Pole then to Portland, England)

(3) Sir Hubert Wilkins, his ship the Nautilus. (Made an unsuccessful trip to the Pole, but otherwise traversed what can only be called the Northwest Passage.

(4) Whoever, took a gigantic oil tanker through the NW passage in 1969 to see if it was feasible to transport Alaskan oil to US ports that way (thereby avoiding pipeline fees).

(5) A half dozen guys took a catamarain in 2008 through the Arctic to retrace the route of a successful crossing many decades earlier.

So what is it that's so exciting about crossing the Arctic? This has been going on for an awful long time!

Posted by: muawiyah | December 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"So-called" climate change experts: IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri was educated as a RAILROAD ENGINEER!

Posted by: wsulek | December 9, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

An entertaining read about early Arctic exploration is Peter Freuchen's "Arctic Adventure" which deals with his travels along with Knut Rasmussen in Greenland and the polar regions at the turn of the century. Lots of useful knowledge if you are frostbitten or fall into a crevasse or need to build something out of frozen feces. Really, it's in there.

Freuchen was originally from Denmark, where he participated in the Danish Resistance in WWII. In later life he worked as a Hollywood technical advisor on Arctic films and competed (and won) on the TV show "$64,000 Question."

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different:

AS if some little Arctic flower,
Upon the polar hem,
Went wandering down the latitudes,
Until it puzzled came
To continents of summer,
To firmaments of sun,
To strange, bright crowds of flowers,
And birds of foreign tongue!
I say, as if this little flower
To Eden wandered in—
What then? Why, nothing, only
Your inference therefrom!

--Emily Dickinson

Have at it, CqP, Yoki, et al. It's pomey slammin' time!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually, dray, it appears to be *much less than* half of America is dumb, but they are louder, so the number seems higher. That being said, once Bush ("little boy") was reelected to a second term, I learned *never* to underestimate the utter stupidity of the American people.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of corporate sponsors of right-wing radio and television, and plenty of publishers who care nothing about publishing dreck. It's all about the money, honey.

I do agree with you, BTW, about how the Post seems to have gone the way of television, ascribing to the "infotainment" business, rather than the {*ahem*} news. . . . .

I don't care about Tiger Woods, the Octomom, the other couple with bazillions of kids or all the other ectoplasms crying out for our attention. If only we could get paid for ignoring them.

I'm feeling kinda cranky right now. Mudge, what's left in the fridge?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 9, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Non-Palin ephemera appended to kit, fyi.

I think a vitriolic day is good once in a while. Gets the blood going.

Posted by: joelache | December 9, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

bhuang2 ~ our experience with Sarah is that she's pretty open to Asians and minorities. Many of her critics are upset with her marriage to a gentleman who is counted as an Eskimo (I believe both his grandmothers lived in Eskimo villages).

As you undoubtedly know ALL Eskimos are closely related to and dirivative of the Yakuts ~ as are the American Indians, the Japanese Daimyo (including the royal family), and, of course, modern Yakuts and Sakha everywhere.

Even Bhuddah was a Yakut ~ his tribe were Sakha who'd come down to India. They later moved back due to a Hindu uprising (about 200 AD).

I think you've been getting bad information from someone who thinks you are prepared to accept such stories.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 9, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

wsulek ~ you really have to wonder about the basic competence and intelligence level of a guy trained to engineer railroads who was told, at some point, to just go look at the sky boy!

Posted by: muawiyah | December 9, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Right. Gingers us up.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse


Judging from your blog here you have not really come to terms with what was in those emails.

Those bullying and lying scientists are really the victims here? Palin and her types were pushing them around... you know, intellectually?

Posted by: scott3 | December 9, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Dray: following along on ftb's comments, the Post edtorial policy has shifted in the past few years. They have gotten more conservative on the Op-Ed pages (by which I mean moving to the middle of the road). There's also this damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't thing going on. If they try and stick to solid factual news the wing-nuts claim bias against alternate points of view - Not expressing the "will" of the common folk. So the editors feel like they have to let in folks like SP sometimes. It is, after all, and opinion piece and doesn't have to comport with any actual truth or facts. And even folks we consider pretty bright, like George Will, also get in the habit of only looking for data that supports their pre-conceived notions.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 9, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: old pome

by William Cullen Bryant

One is the long, long winter night;
Look, my beloved one!
How glorious, through his depths of light,
Rolls the majestic sun!
The willows, waked from winter's death,
Give out a fragrance like thy breath--
The summer is begun!

Ay, 'tis the long bright summer day:
Hark to that mighty crash!
The loosened ice-ridge breaks away--
The smitten waters flash;
Seaward the glittering mountain rides,
While, down its green translucent sides,
The foamy torrents dash.

See, love, my boat is moored for thee
By ocean's weedy floor--
The petrel does not skim the sea
More swiftly than my oar.
We'll go where, on the rocky isles,
Her eggs the screaming sea-fowl piles
Beside the pebbly shore.

Or, bide thou where the poppy blows,
With wind-flowers frail and fair,
While I, upon his isle of snow,
Seek and defy the bear.
Fierce though he be, and huge of frame,
This arm his savage strength shall tame,
And drag him from his lair.

When crimson sky and flamy cloud
Bespeak the summer o'er,
And the dead valleys wear a shroud
Of snows that melt no more,
I'll build of ice thy winter home,
With glistening walls and glassy dome,
And spread with skins the floor.

The white fox by thy couch shall play;
And, from the frozen skies,
The meteors of a mimic day
Shall flash upon thine eyes.
And I -- for such thy vow -- meanwhile
Shall hear thy voice and see thy smile,
Till that long midnight flies.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Winter: A dirge

The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
This one request of mine!—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.

- Robert Burns -

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

never in my life have i uttered or SHALL i utter the following 4 words:

is it monday yet?


Posted by: mortii | December 9, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing about the criticism of the "trick" the East Anglia guy did.

Climate scientists have relied on tree-rings as an indication of temperature for the distant past because there are other historical observables that confirm this correlation. And during a large period of time when thermometer measurements were available this correlation held up. But in recent years tree ring measurements have diverged with thermometer measurements.

So what should a researcher do? Should they *ignore* the thermometer data and just report the clearly erroneous tree ring data (which is what the deniers would have us believe)? Or should one supplement the tree-ring data with actual real measurements and file the tree-ring data under the "unexplained mysteries" file? A mystery that clearly deserves more attention.

What is the unknown variable that has only recently come into play? This is interesting - but it is *secondary* to the issue of rising temperatures. So I think the East Anglia researcher did the only reasonable thing. Note the discrepancy, but present the most reliable data available.

Look, it's like losing weight. So called "experts" tell us that to lose weight you must exercise. But in the last few weeks I haven't been exercising nearly as much and I have actually lost weight. Does this mean that the "experts" are wrong, or is there another variable? Like, you know, I haven't been eating very much. Or my metabolism has gone up because I have been stressed. Or I have temporarily lost muscle mass.

See the point? I'm not going to abandon the thesis that exercise is good for weight control because of one poorly controlled period of unexpected data. I must look at *all* the data and the *entire* picture. You look at aggregate trends. Yes, you value your exceptions, but you do not allow outliers to dominate. Otherwise you end up making foolish conclusions.

Which is a shame because I really hate to exercise.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,

Of the four items you added two are Palin-related.

The third is thoughtful, but longwinded. In the end it kinda says the obvious: "With the exception of a few years in the 90s..., we have been running annual deficits based on spending in a wide array of areas, none of which we will likely reduce in any significant way..."

Hooray for the fourth! We could use more kudo-focused stuff after a day of vitriol.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

A Patch of Old Snow

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There's a patch of old snow in a corner
That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I've forgotten --
If I ever read it.

Robert Frost

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

muahwiyah, your 4:20 was one of the dumbest posts to ever grace this Boodle.

1) Bering failed.

2) The capt. was the great Edward Beach, USN. See his book "Nautilus 90 North." But he did it underwater. Ain't the same thing. *almsot speechless with frustration*

3) Wilkins's Nautilus was also a sub (built by Simon Lake), and Wilkins' voyage failed horribly; his engines failed and he never even came close. (And he was trying to go underwater anyhow. The skipper was Sloan Danenhower.

4) The 1969 tanker was the SS Manhattan, which was a purpose-built tanker but which had an icebreaker bow. She was the largest ship of her day, and the world's largest icebreak. Her captain was Roger A. Steward; he had two "staff captains" along with him, Donald Graham and Arthur Smith. The Manhattan broke up ice up to 14 feet thick and routinely encountered (but failed to break) ice from 20 to 100 feet thick. She finally got jammed and had to be broken out by yet another icebreaker. So yeah, she made it.

5) The 2008 voyage was by Sébastien Roubinet in a 25-foot catamaran, all right -- but it was designed as a combination catamaran AND iceboat, which glided over top of the ice when it could. Doesn't count.

That you think crossing the Northwest Passage is some sort of piece-of-cake voyage is just...mind-boggling. You know nothing. And you're dangerous, because you don't know you know nothing.

(I was in the merchant marine aboard a tanker in 1966, sailed with a guy named Jimmy Gunderson who'd been on the Manhattan, though not on the NW trip. Saw the Manhattan come up the Delaware River, though, once. Can hardly begin to describe how big she was. The numbers are meaningless.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Now Winter Nights Enlarge

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.

- Thomas Campion -

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Not that kind of engineer.

"Pachauri was educated at La Martiniere College in Lucknow and at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, Bihar."


Posted by: Jim19 | December 9, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

'pologies on the coding. Short R. Frost poems are gems.

Wish I could find more translations of Tomas Transtromer, who writes lovely winter poems. He is Swedish and comes by his arctic dreams honestly. Here is one:

The Tree and the Sky

There’s a tree walking around in the rain,
it rushes past us in the pouring grey.
It has an errand. It gathers life
out of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard.

When the rain stops so does the tree.
There it is, quiet on clear nights
waiting as we do for the moment
when the snowflakes blossom in space.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yoki -- adore, I, that Thomas Campion. Bless you for that.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

We had a visit from Queen Bess I today in the office. Imagine looking up and seeing her coming toward you.

I think my Canadian friends would be proud of my little curtsy.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

A patch of new snow.

I went out to buy gas for the snowblower (yes, I could procrastinate like the best of them), it was pretty greasy out there with the minivan.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Cool TBG, at a former employer we had a Town Crier come to the office announcing a special event for the companies 325 anniversary - it was great. Now to figure out who Queen Bess is - rapper?

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Amundsen was bipolar too?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I am delighted to have given you pleasure, CquaP. Tis an honour.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Very nice, shriek. Yes. Byrd, a bunch of them.

Sailing to the South Pole is going to be a bit harder than sailing to the North Pole, since it's mainly solid ground. But I await muahwiyah's report on the great voyages who have already done so.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The Snow Storm
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

No hawk hangs over in this air:
The urgent snow is everywhere.
The wing adroiter than a sail
Must lean away from such a gale,
Abandoning its straight intent,
Or else expose tough ligament
And tender flesh to what before
Meant dampened feathers, nothing more.
Forceless upon our backs there fall
Infrequent flakes hexagonal,
Devised in many a curious style
To charm our safety for a while,
Where close to earth like mice we go
Under the horizontal snow.

(For RDP who keeps track of the most excellent red-heads among us. E was such.)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a a research scientist myself I have to admit she's right on one thing. sense of "embattledment" as Joel puts it...justifies faking data and hiding results PERIOD. I'm sorry that she's right, but she is. The's guys have committed the unpardonable sin of science and they, and their work, should be trashed. If that tips the scale then so be it. But if we begin to say the ends justifies the means in data analysis then science is dead!

Posted by: Drew95 | December 9, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I've gotten to read loads and loads of them by more and less respected people in ecology. A few people are reasonable, articulate, and nice all the time. Most trip up here and there, and some get vitriolic. In one situation, the vitriol got badly out of control. The primary victim changed his research to a less controversial large animal.

The University of East Anglia has launched a credible investigation, and Penn State is "looking into it" according to Science magazine.

As best I can tell from news stories, the stuff that's been released, assuming it hasn't been altered or made up by the thieves, may result in some reprimands and changes in procedures. I don't yet see signs that papers in scholarly journals will be retracted. Nature magazine's editorial (December 2) was underwhelmed. I'm sure that in recent years, Nature has dealt with increasing numbers of fraudulent or over-hyped manuscripts, just as their rival, Science, has.

A December 4 news story in Science noted:

"The messages—whether hacked or released by a disgruntled insider—have raised thorny questions about the proper behavior of researchers who feel under siege for their science. How willing should they be to share their raw data with their staunchest critics? 'It's very difficult to admit that your data are not as strong as you wish it were, especially if you know that will be used against you,' says Nicholas Steneck, an expert on research integrity at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor."

Those who expect scientists to be dispassionate seekers of truth, fair to their colleagues, generous, and so forth should read James Watson's classic bit of autobiography "The Double Helix". It's enthralling reading, all the more so for being one-sided.

Then pick up something portraying likeable scientists. There's lots of them, too. John McPhee followed several utterly likeable geologists in his "Annals of the Former World"
Or read "Flotsamatrics and the Floating World" over the holidays. Or anything by Archie Carr, who spent a lifetime figuring out sea turtles.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Scientists are people. They reflect the foibles of humanity.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The Darling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

- Thomas Hardy -

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Ack! SCC! Darkling Thrush

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

HBC, dmd?

Posted by: Boko999 | December 9, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

CQP -- I happen to have a lovely book of Tomas Tranströmer poems (and maybe even signed). IIRC, he is blind. Alas, they are in Swedish. Could try my hand in translating, but I am wary of copyright issues in that, so I shall decline for now.

He is good, though.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 9, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Boko

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I have a science/car question for the all-wise boodle...

My car has a warning system that not only tells me when tire pressure is low, but shows me the PSI of all four tires.

When the temps get cold, the PSI goes down and I get this SYSTEM WARNING and flashing like Homer Simpson is about to set off Sector 7 of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

But once it warms up a bit, the PSI rises again to the desired number.

Should I be filling my tires when I get this warning? Won't that mean that they'll be overfilled when the temps rise again?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Full disclosure: I edited documents for a number of the climate scientists involved what is being called CRU Hack,

Want to read scientists dissecting -- live -- the debacle?

Go here to

Search on "cru hack" to pull up the threads. I have been reading for two weeks to make sense of this all.

This quote characterizes the process of science (study, publish, refine, refute, study more....rinse, repeat)

QUOTE FROM Real Climate:
It’s obvious that the noise-generating components of the blogosphere will generate a lot of noise about this. but it’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him. Science works because different groups go about trying to find the best approximations of the truth, and are generally very competitive about that. That the same scientists can still all agree on the wording of an IPCC chapter for instance is thus even more remarkable. END QUOTE

What we see here is the sometimes ugly stuff of real life. ALL organizations have private conversations of process not meant to be overheard.

And, science reflects the human condition of scarcity and struggle. Not always polite posies and benisons of bon mots. And, poets together also ravage each other, with pens and word-ish flourish.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

dmd and boko, you're almost ready for yello's Twee.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse


Launching an internal investigation won't make any of this go away for the U. of E.A. Lack of transparency and all that.

The thing I wonder about is whether there are other endeavors of scientific and/or technological inquiry that are behaving just as badly (or worse) that haven't yet been caught.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to feel warm here, folks. How about some fireplace poetry?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Having spoken a brief apologia for scientists, let me say this: once we lose our credibility, very hard to reclaim that ground. Character does count and I am sorry -- indeed deeply worried -- that science credibility takes a HUGE hit.

And, we all lose if we delay in taking steps to stabilize our fragile blue marble home.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You can put a little more pressure to carm down the bot TBG but don't go crazy. The recommended pressure, 28-35psi, marked inside the driver's door, is for "cold" readings at approx. 15C/60F. Figuring that PV=nRT your pressure will vary with temperature in a closed vessels, something the bot isn't seemingly aware of.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

And, be warned. The comment thread about the CRU Hack stands at, and I quote:

1,092 Responses to “The CRU hack”

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

To my small Hearth his fire came

To my small Hearth His fire came—
And all my House aglow
Did fan and rock, with sudden light—
'Twas Sunrise—'twas the Sky—

Impanelled from no Summer brief—
With limit of Decay—
'Twas Noon—without the News of Night—
Nay, Nature, it was Day—

- Emily Dickenson -

Maybe this is not exactly the sort of fire you meant, Wilbrod? Oh well, you know what we always say... more quam.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

But nobody *faked* any data. They simply chose to ignore data that they knew was wrong. Not because the data told a story that they didn't like, but because the data contradicted other data that was more reliable.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh! Emily's birthday is tomorrow. Break out the black cake, peeps.

Not warm enough, Yoki. I saw the sun today on my walks and he gave me the cold shoulder.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I liked this one.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

WB -- faxing you my neighbor's corn stove: pot bellied and red enamel. Charming and cozy. And, rag rug for WB-Dog. Teapot under the knitted cozy. I will join you with some sangivoise grape elixir, a Tuscan remedy from frozen white hands.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

RD_P: My understanding of the tree ring data episode is that in time periods when it stopped correlating well w/ actual temperatures it was dropped in favor of data that linked up better, but used in time periods when the correlation was strong.

When and where I developed statistical models, that was considered a no-no. There are those who disagree, and I respect that. I'm just saying it's not a universal practice.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Tea in microwave;
Space heater straining fully;
Window defeats all.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Wilbrod, I've looked through my anthologies and online, and most of the hearth-fire poems I find are fluffy, sentimental twaddle. Some of the fire=passion ones are pretty good, as are the dark emo-destruction examples, but not really what is called for right now.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I like tropical poetry, Yoki. Bring the jungle in!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

MsJS -- long tradition in paleoclimate science to use "data assimilation" techniques to reconstruct a time line of temperature records. Most of the these documents -- published in peer-reviewed places -- include extensive notes on the process, including which data sets to use etc. The notes are MINDNUMBINGLY careful. And, scientists discuss quite passionately which data sets/types are better proxies. Etc.

Data assimilation is emerging as its own field: statisticians and scientists preparing techniques to insure robust, responsible, and transparent data sets.

Now, I also work with economists on their documents. I have not seen the same level of painstaking analysis, even revealing what the scientists call

pre-analytic vision.

I have spoken broadly. I love working with economists. However, the intellectual humility of scientists trumps the economists every time.

Pardon if I offend.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

When I want to examine and digest good typing, and avoid running headlong into good writing, I Google Joel Achenbach, and I'm never disappointed... for I set my going-in assumptions and standards accordingly low.

Palin's critique of "Climate-Gate" and it's ramifications is not only timely and relevant, but appropriate for a person who has familiarity for what goes on in DC, how the media seems to work when it does, and who knows Al Gore as a politician and opportunist, neither of which are on the career track to respected scientist.

Furthermore, given the amazing coincidence that NONE of the nation's TV News Networks - save one - has whispered a mention of what happened, the content of the leaked emails, the meaning of what the co-conspirators were arranging, and the blatant attempt to create the appearance that "the science is settled" by freezing out any and all critics from access to "peer-reviewed journals" so they could make the claim (see bald-faced lie n your nearest dictionary) that there are no credible, peer-reviewed scientific analyses that conflict with or even question the combined knowledge and opinion of every living scientist on the planet.

So if the media won't take note, maybe it takes the likes of Sarah Palin to get the media's attention against their better judgment to shine some light on this ugly mess that is the foundation for all that IPCC claims, and all that EPA and the Activist-Scientists are peddling like snake-oil salespeople.

Thanks for forcing the media to acknowledge that there may be a story here, even if it had to take a "Bash Palin" detour on the way to the real story.

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | December 9, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Top Chef (and I realize I was the only one), I've put together a comparison of the restaurants of two of the finalists.

Big night of couch potato-ing for me.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

And for Gleeks, Kristin Chenoweth is doing a revival of 'Promises, Promises' in the Spring with Sean Hayes (Jack from Will and Grace). Ought to be good.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

This might be late TBG, but I have the same thing in my car, system warning light came on the other day when the tires were cold, putting the car in the garage at night solved the problem. A month or so ago I had a nail in one tire, threw off the psi readings for all four tires, kept putting air in the tires for a few days until I realized - the car was not accurate and that there was a large nail in one tire.

Shriek, Villeneuve carries the torch tomorrow in front of the basillica.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I had a tire that would tend to lose a little pressure, particularly on cold nights. I would have to top it off about once a month. It got progressively worse and the other day I saw it worn down to the belt. It was time for new tires. If the pressure lights eventually go off, they may just be a little low for cold weather. Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Love pomes. No time. Would post Ted Hughes pome on roe deer in snow. Maybe later, if still pome slam.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 9, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, the devil is in the detail when it comes to data assimilation. It has to do with degree and intent. Ignoring data you don't like is fraud. Ignoring data you know is wrong is prudent. But nothing I have read implies that anyone was "faking" data.

I mean, years ago I had to deal with data from a laser altimeter. Every once and a while the thing would go nuts and introduce spurious discontinuities, which implied that the platform had leaped upwards hundreds of meters in a second. So what I did was omit those data points and do an interpolation between the gaps.

Was this data massaging? Of course. Was this "fakery?" Certainly not. Most importantly, did I rest my conclusions *solely* on such massaged data? Again, no.

And neither have climate scientists.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Please post it whenever you are able, Ivansmom.

I always think of the tropics as lending themselves to arts other than poetry; think, Gaugin, Conrad, et al.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

dbsinOakRidge. Come on, you are telling a fairy tale. Are you really claiming that no other television network covered this except Fox? That if it weren't for brave Sarah we would know *nothing* of this? Seems to me that there was quite a lot of buzz about it on the airwaves. And since when did television have a lock on news? The Washington Post, New York Times and many, many reputable journals have discussed this intelligently. As well as a dizzying array of online sources.

And what's with that nasty jab at Joel? You revealed your cards right there that you are not a serious commentator.

Which is a shame because I'm kind of fond of Oak Ridge.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 9, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

CQP: Not offended at all. Good to have the discussion. My point is that not all scientists/statisticians will reach the same conclusions regarding data assimilation techniques.

RD_P: I agree that a measuring device can sometimes go out to lunch. One has to deal prudently with that.

At this point I remain a bit skeptical of how some of the data at the U. of E.A. were handled. Does that compromise the entire body of climate research? No, not in my mind anyway.

Posted by: MsJS | December 9, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG - shrieking is correct as far as he went, pressure in a closed vessel (a tire) goes up as the temp goes up. What has to be established is what you are meaning by temperature. Temperature of the ambient air or temperature of the tire (and the air contained therein?)

Car and tire makers specify a "Recommended" "Cold" pressure. Cold means the tire has not been driven more than a mile or two in the last 2-4 hours and therefore the air in the tires is about the same temperature as the outside air.

The primary thing to remember is that for most vehicles the recommended cold tire pressure is set for the smoothest, most comfortable ride. It is not set for best handling, braking, or longest tire wear. To get better performance and wear from your tires you need to add about 2psi of air pressure to all four tires as a starting point, assuming a rear wheel drive vehicle. For front wheel drive vehicles(cars, minivans) or pick'em up trucks add another pound or two to the front tires, 3-4psi total over recommended. If you regularly carry a car full of people or bags of sand or what not, add another pound or two to the REAR tires. Its all about weight distribution and tire load. The object is to get the tire tread flat to the road and equal contact pressure at all points of the tire contact "patch" for all four tires.

The only way to set this optimally is to watch your tire wear patterns. If the tire edges are wearing faster than the center, the pressure is too low. If the center is wearing faster, the pressure is too high.

There will be no danger of overinflating your tires with the added 2-4psi of pressure. Most good passenger tires will allow about 44psi "cold", high performance tires can go 50-60psi "cold". The sidewall of the tire will show a Max tire pressure rating. The increased tire temperature and pressure that comes from running the tires at highway speeds and within recommended loads is factored into the "cold" temp recommendations. And here is the kicker: tire temperature and pressure at highway speeds and at max load can actually be LESS with 3-4 extra psi than with the "Recommended" setting. Why? because the tire walls and tread flex less at higher pressure and thus generate much less heat.

With some luck, bc will confirm or refine this.


Posted by: DLDx | December 9, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CollegeQuaParkian1, you might enjoy reading Bruno Latour's (w Steve Wolgar) Laboratory Life. He has fun, declaring total agnosticism on whether Science produces Truth, which antagonizes scientists who argue that you can't analyze their activities without accepting truth. Latour, instead, argues that scientists aim to accumulate credibility. Like capital, credibility is invested in the search for grants which build laboratories and hire staff and grad students, with the goal of producing papers which hopefully renew the starting credibility but with an increment, a profit, which can be reinvested.

So this attack of the deniers on their credibility is a deadly threat, and they react like any CEO/owner whose business is under attack.

The deniers, meanwhile, want to destroy the whole industry, so they're going to imply that the credibility of this group implicates all. It's just a bubble, you see, and it's time to bring in the short-sellers to burst it. So everyone else, anticipating a run on the market, is bulking up their reserves and pointing to independent sources of credibility.

For that reason, this attack will fail - the deniers don't have the resources to take on the whole industry. If they'd kept their scope small, they might have taken down the CRU and one or two others, but they insisted on the whole shebang and the other players are going to join the defense. There will be some bruising, but no deep damage.

Posted by: j2hess | December 9, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

That U of EA investigation is being run by what seems to be a suitably distinguished Civil Servant from Glasgow. I'd give it a chance. Civil Servants seem to be taken more seriously in the UK than the US.

TBG, we had a cold spell recently and sure enough, my (simple, not-very-informative) tire pressure warning sensor went off. Now it's warm, so I need to check to see whether the tires are over inflated. Those of you who live in climates of wildly fluctuating weather must be driven nuts by this stuff.

Florida State University just hired a climatologist with a Penn State background to be its new president. So the entire field of climatology must not yet be in political disrepute. Supposedly, FSU had enough of the recent Florida tradition of handing out university presidencies to unemployed politicians. So now they want to get admitted to the American Association of Universities.

Thinking of FSU, Science reviewed a new biography of Paul Dirac, the celebrated British physicist who spent his last years there. I posted info on the review at a Brevard County (= space and technology) message board and immediately got a neat Dirac story in response.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

How angiosperms took over the world: forget about flowers. Flowering plants developed better plumbing in their leaves, allowing more efficient water evaporation.

The news story sounds plausible. Not that pine trees can't evaporate huge amounts of water through those needles.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, all, for the tire advice... especially DLD with the nice, long explanation. Yes, I'm talking about the outside temperature, and around here it does fluctuate wildly from day to day and even hour to hour.

I park in an unheated garage, but it is attached to the house, so it's much warmer than outside but not necessarily warm.

Tomorrow we leave on a short road trip to Chapel Hill (open basketball practice!) and I think we'll add a few PSI to bring it back under control. It's funny, too, that sometimes one tire will flash to show low pressure (on my screen) but it is the same number as the corresponding tire.

That leads me to believe that the system is goofed up. Uh oh... I sound like Sarah and the Doubters.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, another uninformed blog as usual. I think the author is missing the point. She refers to Sarah Palin sarcastically as a "climate change expert" yet the other "climate change expert", Al Gore, has equally as much experience in critiquing climate change. He as as much experience in critiquing climate change as--the rest of us! Just because he acted in a "documentary" that looks like a Sally Struthers video designed to guilt you into joining the cause doesn't give him an ounce more authority than Sarah Palin or anyone else for that matter.

I don't believe the science unless the data is public and free for anyone to compile and do their own research. The fact that these people hide the data and operate more for their own grants and credibility than seek the real truth gives me no more faith in them than any politician.

As an aside, we've barely cracked the human genome and that is a far less complex thing than ALL the factors in the entire planet which contribute to weather and climate. Meteorologists spend years in college only to make semi-educated guesses as to what the weather will be and a good percentage of the time they are wrong. What on earth makes anyone think that an even smaller subset of scientists are capable of predicting the future of our planet? If they can't get the weather right how can they forecast several years into the future and prove that man is the cause of any effect they forecast?

Lastly, let's say the temperature is rising in the planet; we don't have a real way of quantifying what if any damage we've done. Assume that man has no impact on the weather changes, because the planet has gone through several warming and cooling phases since its existence well before man. Who is the real environmentalist then? The one who will let the planet take its natural course, or the one who will seek a solution to keeping the planet the same temperature and make attempts to curtail a natural phenomenon?

Posted by: dominic6 | December 9, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

HAHA (as Weingarten would say).

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Quite a day for you, Joel.

Not only are you insulted on your writing, you've also apparently changed genders.

Your wife will be so surprised when you go home a woman.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Cold snowflakes evoke
old memories of warm rain
half a world ago

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 9, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

O, DNA_Girl! August in Chennai, I saw just this.

You are our precious pearl.

Posted by: Yoki | December 9, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Yoki--wonderful poems.

CQP--love that phrase--"fragile blue marble home"

Posted by: Windy3 | December 9, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Say hello to the North Carolina Botanical Garden if you have time. They recently opened a much-anticipated new building. Cheap, energy-efficient, useful.

The NCBG took a very long time to grow up, and of course its forest suffered terrible damage in the storms that devastated the campus some years ago.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!!!

Posted by: joelache | December 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse


COmes from two places. this iconic earthrise (Apollo 8) shot at NASA:

And, the blue marble from Apollo 8

and these lyrics:

(Julie Gold)
From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow-capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flight

From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace
It's the voice of every man

From a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
There are no guns, no bombs, no diseases
No hungry mouths to feed

From a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of home, playing songs of peace
They're the songs of every man
God is watching us, God is watching us
God is watching us from a distance

From a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance I can't comprehend
What all this war is for

From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves
It's the heart of every man

It's the hope of hopes, It's the love of loves
It's the song of every man

Nanci Griffith's version:
sangivoise grape

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

OK.. I'll take the bait. Since Joel may not be here to defend HER writing at the moment...

Here's a blog posting about Sarah Palin's higher education background...

Besides the fact that his higher education includes Harvard, Vanderbilt Divinity School and Vanderbilt Law School, Al Gore's interest in climate change began when he took a class in climate science at Harvard in 1967. He wrote the book Earth in the Balance in 1992 and has been studying climate change and global warming in earnest since then.

I just don't see how anyone who knows anything can say he "has equally as much experience in critiquing climate change" as Sarah Palin.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

For all of Gore's later fascination with science and technology, he often struggled academically in those subjects. The political champion of the natural world received that sophomore D in Natural Sciences 6 (Man's Place in Nature) and then got a C-plus in Natural Sciences 118 his senior year.

Yet, this is the man liberals and dolts in the media are willing to bet their very lives on when it comes to complex scientific issues surrounding meteorology and climatology. On a regular basis, such folk have the nerve to suggest that Gore is more knowledgeable when it comes to these matters than scientists who have spent their entire lives studying and educating others at the finest colleges and universities around the world.

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | December 9, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

i must have drifted off there for a minute. 'cause when i woke up i thought i saw that sarah palin was writing opeds about global warming for the wapo and kathleen parker was suggesting that rick 'the saint' santorum might be the next president. did i miss something important? is it time to wake up? is this all just a terrible, terrible dream?

Posted by: butlerguy | December 9, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I want to know who issues the talking points. For years it was "There is no global warming." And then it was "Al Gore is an idiot." Now we have "It's part of the natural cycle." Who issues this stuff and why does everybody fall into lockstep so quickly?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

mr. yellojkt: i think ricky currently 'works' at the joint where they dream up the talking points.

Posted by: butlerguy | December 9, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

New Kit. Boodle regulars may migrate.

For those staying here, the Post has posted a rebuttal to Sarah Palin by Alan Leshner, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Not everyone likes Organized Science, and the AAAS's journal, Science, has its critics. But it publishes vast quantities of the best new science, and does its very best to make it understandable to non-specialists.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

With respect to Gore's purported grades, I think he was a Harvard student before grade inflation took hold. I was embarrassed by several Cs at a big state university in the same period, and later was horrified to watch my graduate major professor flunk half of a freshman class at another, relatively elite, state university. Some of the flunkees were no doubt valedictorians. I think it was the last time the professor taught a lecture course.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

So sad when people who know nothing of what they talk about. Our great climate scientist Al Gore must really be offended.

Posted by: 65apr | December 9, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey Achenfuch,
Like you really know your a$$ from any other hole in your POS head.
Love all the lib tard poems and "earthy" crap being spewed here. (In a lisp voice:)"It's so beautiful, because you really are making a difference."
Here is mine:

If only libs wouldn't be,
so fuc*ing full of hypocrisy,
then we would likely see,
how much Al Gore and his Hoax are a comedy.

It's all about a great big lie,
that says the polar bear is starting to die.
Because CO2 is the worlds death,
Please Libidiot hold your breathe..forever.

Posted by: 65apr | December 9, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Achenfuch,
Like you really know your a$$ from any other hole in your POS head.
Love all the lib tard poems and "earthy" crap being spewed here. (In a lisp voice:)"It's so beautiful, because you really are making a difference."
Here is mine:

If only libs wouldn't be,
so fuc*ing full of hypocrisy,
then we would likely see,
how much Al Gore and his Hoax are a comedy.

It's all about a great big lie,
that says the polar bear is starting to die.
Because CO2 is the worlds death,
Please Libidiot hold your breathe..forever.

Posted by: 65apr | December 9, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I think I can understand Gore's anger now! Since he's actually convinced every lib (tree hugger) of his "new found celebrity and cause". The US government has loaned $750 million to his new company that is producing high-end "green" experimental sports cars in Finland (that will retail for $75K each). Gee, could that seem odd to anyone else. Seems a bit phony to "us idiots on the right" that loans just don't seem possible for small US businesses in this country to promote jobs in the US???? In any event, Sarah Palin isn't going away and people are listening or maybe you just haven't noticed.

Posted by: amy16 | December 9, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

amy16, you're good at stating things. Could you back it up with some kind of link or citation about where you got that $750 million figure, what Gore's purported company is called, or something? Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke and Fox news talking points.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | December 9, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Here is an interesting contrast.

Sarah Palin lives waaay up north of the American continent.

Michelle Bachelet lives on the southern end of the world.

It's an eye opener to listen to Bachelet speak English (not her native language) vs the moose skinner's blather.

Here's the link:


Posted by: Braguine | December 10, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I swear, if these people didn't see it on TV it doesn't exist for them.

They can't seem to figure out it isn't about Al Gore. It's not about TV. It's not about Sarah Palin. It's about science and the immutable laws of physics, and people who have provably denied reality over and over and over and over and over again.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 10, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

To Wheezy11: Here is an article from "The Wall Street Journal", (you probably haven't heard of it before)... If you keep up on current events here is an article you might want to read up about on your Al Gore, his new business, and your President's preferences on federal loans. I was wrong though, he only got 469 million and the cars will sell for 89,000.

Posted by: amy16 | December 11, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

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