- Palin's "Going Rogue" spreads falsehoods about bipartisan clean energy legislation
- NASA reports hottest June to October on record*
- Best. Review. Ever.
- Status-quo-media stunner: David Broder urges Obama to make a decision on Afghanistan right now, "whether or not it is right."
Posted: 16 Nov 2009 08:55 AM PST
During the 2008 campaign, the Washington Post itself gave Sarah Palin its highest (which is to say lowest) rating of "Four Pinocchios" for continuing to "to peddle bogus [energy] statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers." That didn't stop the Post from running a 2009 piece by her filled with bogus information attacking climate action and clean energy action, which Senators Boxer and Kerry later debunked: "The governor's new refrain against global warming action reminds us of every naysayer who has spoken out against progress in cleaning up pollution." Still Newt Gingrich said she was a conservative leader on energy issues.
So now Palin's book Going Rogue is out — hmm, the subtitle of the original Freakonomics is A Rogue Economist explores the Hidden Side of Everything – and Media Matters has two debunkings of it that I'll repost below. First, MM's "ongoing list of falsehoods in Palin's memoir":
And here is from MM's Fact Check on Clean Energy Legislation:
Posted: 16 Nov 2009 07:27 AM PST
Fast on the heels of the hottest June to September on record*, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports that last month was tied for the second hottest September on record (after 2005).
Unlike NOAA, which announced its October global analysis with a major "State of the Climate" monthly update, NASA just quietly updates its data set (here). So you have to do a little math to see that for the June through October period, 2009 now tops both 1998 (easily) and 2005 (just barely, hence the asterisk).
For NOAA, it was the sixth warmest October on record, and the fifth-warmest January-through-October period:
Yes, the one place in the world where it warmed the least is, of course, the good old (continental) U.S. of A. — though it was the wettest October on record for the lower-48 (see WWF's U.S. Sees Wettest October on Record; Arkansas Records are Washed Away).
That's the continental United States, of course. Once again, the geographical distribution of the warming continues to be bad news for those worried about the permafrost permamelt, since temps even in the summer ran upwards of 5°C (9°F) warmer than the 1961-1990 norm over much of Siberia and parts of Alaska and Canada. Siberia contains probably the world's largest amount of carbon locked away in the permafrost (see here).
As for the NASA data showing its been the hottest June to October on record, I'm not cherry-picking these last four months, but rather ENSO-picking them. The reason 1998 was so anomalously warm even beyond the human-caused trend was the uber-El Niño. Back in January, NASA had predicted: "Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance."
Then, back in early June NOAA put out "El Niño Watch," which I noted meant that "record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record." So here we are.
What makes these record temps especially impressive is that we're at "the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century," according to NASA. It's just hard to stop the march of anthropogenic global warming, well, other than by reducing GHG emissions, that is.
Finally, NOAA again reports on the temperature trend from the lower troposphere ("the lowest 8 km (5 miles) of the atmosphere") — the satellite data that began in 1979 analyzed by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). NOAA reports that the lower troposphere warming trend for October is
So yes, the satellite data also shows that the lower atmosphere is warming, contrary to what you may have heard. As the AP reported last month:
h/t Nick Sundt
Posted: 16 Nov 2009 06:16 AM PST
This is the Washington Post book review by Neil Irwin. I think this review just edges out Elizabeth Kolbert's, but it's close. In particular, Irwin covers the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve for the paper, not climate, so he hits some other parts of the book, like "Patriotic Prostitutes" and drunk walking:
And then he does take on the "Global Cooling" chapter:
Posted: 16 Nov 2009 05:16 AM PST
When we last left David Broder back in April, the dean of the DC press corp and the sultan of the status quo centrists, he was criticizing Obama for "launching highly controversial efforts in health care, energy and education." What was his argument? "Each of those issues has a history in Washington — a history marked by congressional gridlock and legislative frustration."
Never mind the fact that inaction on energy would destroy a livable climate for billions. No, Obama was rocking the establishment boat by trying to do too much too fast, taking on problems that were mired in decades of inside-the-beltway inaction because they were too difficult.
But now, in a stunning piece titled, "Enough Afghan debate," Broder flips his criticism entirely. Obama simply can't act fast enough on perhaps the most complex issue of his presidency — even if it means getting this vital and dangerous issue completely wrong:
As the Washington Monthly opines on this piece by "the so-called Dean of the D.C. Media Establishment":
For Broder, Obama is moving too fast and too slow.
I understand why many readers wish Obama were pushing harder and moving faster on the bipartisan climate and clean energy bill. But in fact, on most major issues, particularly ones like global warming and Afghanistan, a President basically gets one shot. Again, look at health care, where the president is pushing his hardest with speeches, town hall meetings, and intense hands-on lobbying with members of Congress. There's still no Senate bill.
I've always said Obama could get a better climate bill in 2010, and so he will.
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