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Tilting at Windmills

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March 28, 2009
By: dday

A NEW BRAND OF STUPID ON CLIMATE CHANGE... Today is the second annual Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness on the issue of climate change. At 8:30pm local time, major businesses, local and national points of interest, and individual homes will dim their lights for one hour. Already today, sites ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Egyptian Pyramids have lowered their lights in recognition, and 4,000 cities in 88 countries will participate in the event. Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour will provide, in the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, "a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message: They want action on climate change."

It will also provide a new way for conservatives to show what hardcore rebels they are.

Tomorrow is something called Earth Hour. Take the official RedState Pledge:

I do solemnly swear that I will honor Earth Hour by turning on every light in my residence at 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2009, for one hour. God said, "Let there be light." Who are we to argue?

Yeah, they want you to turn your lights off, but everybody knows darkness leads to crime.

It's amusing to see Erick Erickson so terrified of possible boogeymen infiltrating his house from 8:30 to 9:30, as well as the wingnut tendency to go after all the most important targets, like symbolic light-dimming actions. But this has now become a cliche. My local wingnut radio hosts were making the same "jokes" last night: "I'll turn on every light in the house!... I'll keep my car running for an hour!" And of course, Glenn Beck devoted an entire show to running his car in the parking lot a couple months ago.

Conservatives are allowed to show their ignorance of sound science any way they want, but they ought to at least liven it up a bit. The "I'm going to turn on every light in the house" bit is getting about as hackneyed as jokes about airline food and Gilligan's Island ("all those clothes for a three-hour tour?"). Let me introduce you to a Republican with innovative and novel thinking about climate change. It's embarrassingly wrong, but at least it's new:

We've repeatedly documented Rep. John Shimkus' ridiculous positions on climate change. During a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing earlier this week, the downstate Republican was in rare form. Speaking to British global warming denier Lord Christopher Monckton, Shimkus made a novel argument that because plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, limiting our man-made carbon dioxide emissions would actually kill the world's plants. Watch the exchange here:

SHIMKUS: It's plant food ... So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? ... So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.

I've always wanted to use this line on Steve's site, and now it's appropriate: Shimkus did not appear to be kidding.

Shimkus basically maps out a world where, prior to the Industrial Revolution, no plant life existed, because we hadn't yet set into motion mass production of their "food." In this scenario, plants actually sprung to life shortly after the invention of the Watt steam engine in the 18th century.

Now THAT'S a new one! Relentlessly stupid, sure, but new.

dday 12:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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Comments

It's just being contrarion. That's what their entire worldview is.

Posted by: Karmakin on March 28, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Could somebody please just punch Erick Erickson in the face? Thanks.

Posted by: Toast on March 28, 2009 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I've always wanted to use this line on Steve's site

Oh my... :)

Posted by: Danp on March 28, 2009 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK


They are "reactionaries" in the historical sense of the term. Some happen to be conservatives.

Posted by: conduplex on March 28, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure it will matter not at all to some people, but for the record, it is not true that more light pollution corresponds to less crime.

please visit darksky.org for the ammunition to defeat this impression.

Posted by: jhm on March 28, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

If plants couldn't exist before the industrial revolution, what did Jesus and his dinosaur, Rick, eat?

Posted by: paulo on March 28, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Times like these I wish two Earth sized planets existed. One for thoughtful people and one for the retardo conservatives. When the retardos wreaked final destruction on their home planet, they would have to sell themselves into subservient slavery to us "Communist/Socialist" types.

Posted by: sci-fi fantasies on March 28, 2009 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

just to set the record straight: it's not true that plants didn't exist until the industrial revolution, because there were always naturally occurring fires and volcanic eruptions and our own breathing to provide the CO2.

however, plants began to flourish with the advent of the steam engine and industrialization, so much so that we had to start cutting down the rain forests to protect the planet from being overgrown. cutting down rain forests (and drying up wetlands) is important as a public health measure, because jungles are known as a major source of disease-causing vapors.

likewise strip mining is important to our environment, because acid run-off kills trout and other fish, who otherwise would drink all the water, reducing great swaths of land to dessert (you've heard the expression drink like a fish. now you know where.)

Posted by: mudwall jackson on March 28, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

dday, it is so funny that you posted this because I had just read it over at RedState and was going to do a post at TheZoo.

I love Erickson's "categories" relating to his post: Darkness leads to crime you morons and Stinking envirowhackos.

Erickson is friggin' unhinged. But, it was a breath of fresh air so see that he's pretty bummed these days. Read about Erickson being in a funk lately (towards the bottom of the post) because:

I am a bit overwhelmed. I suspect many of you are too. The information is coming fast and furious, the GOP has yet to get back in the game with a full swing, socialism is creeping upon us, and many of my friends around me have decided the best course of action is to put their heads in the sand and hope for the best. The default is to shift into the doldrums in the middle of the fight.

Aw...poor whacko.

Posted by: MsJoanne on March 28, 2009 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I could see deforestation being a factor in global climate change since a lot of the plants and trees that would have been available to absorb at least some of the excess carbon dioxide are gone, which would make problems progress more rapidly. But that's not quite the same thing. At all.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on March 28, 2009 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Aww yes and the "compassionate" bible thumpers have jumped in to celebrate Earth Day by not only turning all lights on tonight ... they're needlessly turning on generators to emit more nasties into the atmosphere as their icing on the cake for 'Murki-stan since the "protect America" campaign mantra has gone extinct.

Apparently their paranormal being created the planet replete with Play-Doh parasites instead of stewards of the very planet their pimped for tithing paranomormal being supposedly created.

www.michnews.com ... operated by uber-Taliban-gelicals is making sure their minions pink slipped their stewardship of their planet by headline screaming TURN ON ALL YOUR LIGHTS

Their ilk are in concert .... shots heard 'round the world via their beligerent god hates everyone bible thumper blogs.

Any wonder why the rest of the world isn't bothering to "protect America"?


Posted by: Jeff on March 28, 2009 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth there have been some experiments where CO2 was constantly blown through stretches of forest to see how growth there compared with similar areas that did not have added CO2. Growth in general was retarded although the species of plant was important. Some (poison ivy) grew better, but most did worse.

Apparently the problem may have been an increase in acidity caused by increased CO2 + H2O H2CO3 which results in a higher H+ concentration (lower pH = more acid). Plants have adapted their metabolism to present (former) conditions and don't do as well when hydrogen ions deviate from optimal in either direction.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on March 28, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

So, now Red-State Erik finally admits that human activity, does indeed, cause changes to the environment?

Posted by: Intelvet on March 28, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

The ability of plants to convert CO2 into usable forms (ie: sugar at first) depends on their ability to collect solar energy using chlorophyll in their leaves. Plants might very well be able to adapt to higher carbon dioxide and thereby grow faster, but this would be an example of evolution in action.

As for the congressman, I suspect that this is an example of low intelligence combined with the lack of education, in this sense: When I attended college, it became obvious very quickly that people who said ignorant things were corrected by those who were not so ignorant, and this created a strong incentive not to say ignorant or stupid things. The legislator in question was obviously just throwing words together without applying that critical sense which is involved in reality testing. Shorter form: what a dummy!

Posted by: Bob G on March 28, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Shimkus is absurd, as quoted. However, equatorial forests are growing 14% faster than 30 years ago, and it might be due to the increased CO2. Experiments have shown that CO2 increases produce faster growth in some tree and bush species if other conditions are favorable (nutrient-rich soil), which they appear to be in the areas of faster equatorial forest growth.

It's one of the detailed stories worth following as the world does or does not warm up.

Recently some weather scientists/modelers produced a "synchronized chaotic dynamics" model of global temperatures that matched the 20th century temperature record and forecast a couple more decades of continued cooling. The competition of the models is another story worth following.

These results were reported in peer-reviewed journals at about the same time they were reported in the press (in line with the usual regulations of professional journals.)

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on March 28, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

This puerile wingnut contrarianism makes me chortle mischievously at the possibilities...

- National Don't Pee Into the Wind Hour
- National Don't Stick a Fork in the Power Outlet Hour
- National Don't Breathe Auto Exhaust Hour

We could have one each week. Let's start organizing now!

Posted by: melior on March 28, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK
I do solemnly swear that I will honor Earth Hour by turning on every light in my residence at 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2009, for one hour.

So am I right to assume conservatives celebrate World AIDS Day by having unprotected sex with male prostitutes?

Just asking...

Posted by: Unca Paul on March 28, 2009 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Why am I reminded of two year olds?

Posted by: Glen on March 28, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

I heartily applaud Glenn Beck's idea to run his car for an hour - I hope all of his followers join him and do the same. In the garage with the door closed. Now that would help the environment.

Posted by: stoopid is as Republican does on March 28, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

melior: This puerile wingnut contrarianism makes me chortle mischievously at the possibilities...

LOL! You're right! We could have, should have, national celebrations every day. Here are some days I can imagine:

"Look both ways before you cross the street" Day
"Don't heap red hot chili peppers on your hanburger" day
"Don't spray hairspray in your eyes" day
"Don't drink a gallon of ex-lax" day
"Don't put your hand in the tiger's cage" day
"Don't shoot yourself in the foot" Day

etc, etc. Thanks for the amusement!


Posted by: PTate in MN on March 28, 2009 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

likewise strip mining is important to our environment, because acid run-off kills trout and other fish, who otherwise would drink all the water, reducing great swaths of land to dessert (you've heard the expression drink like a fish. now you know where.)

Great stuff.

Posted by: trex on March 28, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

We could have, should have, national celebrations every day.

How about "Don't Smear Your Privates With Tobasco Sause Day?"

Posted by: Unca Paul on March 28, 2009 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Note: Liberals whining about being mocked are really funny.

Posted by: Jim Treacher on March 28, 2009 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Never heard of the Conservative Diet Plan? "Say, doctor; is eating red meat bad for me? Why, no, of course not - eating the cow is just a super-efficient way of eating the grass that the cow ate; it's practically vegetarianism!"

"Well, then, how about fried foods? I have just two words for you - vegetable oil"

"Ok, then, but what about chocolate? Hello!! Cocoa beans! Another vegetable! What could be wrong with eating more vegetables?"

And much more, in a similar vein. Of course, they're joking. Conservative nutjobs are not. They just don't like to be told what to do, and consider that paying taxes - no matter how low - buys you enough of a share in national energy that you can waste it if you want to.

Posted by: Mark on March 28, 2009 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Now we have to get the conservative contrarians to eat pesticide- and carcinogen-filled food and to drink water contaminated with PCBs and lead, since they are probably opposed to cleaning up the environment and imposing clean standards on big business.

Posted by: sara on March 28, 2009 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Plant life is a series of tubes.

Posted by: Kevin Carson on March 29, 2009 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

The "I'm going to turn on every light in the house" bit is getting about as hackneyed as jokes about airline food and Gilligan's Island...

As opposed to the hackneyed joke of turning your light bulbs off for ONE FREAKING HOUR?

Show them you mean it, daddy... turn your lights off for a full night (it's OK, you'll be sleeping and won't have to tell anyone you were going to turn them off all night, anyway).

That'll teach those skeptics that you and your fellow cultist "climatologists" are serious... a night in bed, asleep, without the lights turned on. Save the planet! Woo-hoo~!

Posted by: David on March 29, 2009 at 4:23 AM | PERMALINK

Could it be he is a young earth creationist who think the earth is hundreds instead of thousands of years old? Anyway, if he thinks co2 is in perfect balance today then someone should ask him if he now opposes deforestation and the massive growth of populations and car ownership for the future.

Posted by: rt on March 29, 2009 at 6:18 AM | PERMALINK

Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face. I just looked over the posts on one wing nut blog, and these people may feel victorious about an hour of full throttle energy consumption in the name of celebrating human achievement...at least until the bills for March arrive. Earlier this month they were sharing their 'stories' about learning to be 'thrifty' in this brave, new economically challenged world (a new concept, I guess), and then they let Michelle Malkin talk them into blowing the utilities budget for March out the roof. That's the way to show those Socialist tree-hugging hippies!

Posted by: Varecia on March 29, 2009 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

If Jesus didn't want us to have light, he never would have invented the light bulb.

Posted by: Virginia on March 29, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

This does make me curious as to just what Dino was dining on 6,000 (4,000??) years ago when God created Fred Flintstone & his pet dinosaur.

Posted by: Marie Burns on March 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone please name one falsifiable prediction that global warming theorist propose? In other words, actual science. Preferably one that runs counter to our intuition, like the bent starlight that was used to confirm Einstein's theory.

Posted by: Geoff on March 30, 2009 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, what a long list of whining comments. How about if you quit wasting your time with "symbolic" events and the do the world a favor by turning off your computers for good. Not only would it make a dent in the country's energy usage but then those of us with functioning brains would no longer be subjected to your foolish (un)scientific claims. A mere 30 years ago liberals claimed we were headed for a new ice age, in the last decade it's been global warming, and now that none of that is panning out it's "global climate change".

I work for a non-profit, environmental education organization and am surrounded by liberals who cry foul about the environment all the time. Do you know who the 'greenest' family in our organization is? Mine. The republican, meat-eating, gun-owning conservative family. Until you whiners DO things to improve the world (instead of just crying like children, hoping Momma Obama will do it for you) the rest of us would appreciate it if you'd just shut up.

Posted by: Ole Buck on March 30, 2009 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

Just a random thought, but how much energy do you suppose was wasted organizing this 'event'? I would not be surprised at all if more energy was used emailing, phoning, posting, twittering and texting both before and after the great 'de-illumination' hour than was saved by the pointless show of stupidity in and of itself. I can only imagine the breathless anticipation of many of the participants sitting the dark, just waiting for the magical hour to come to an end so they could quickly jump back online and tell all their facebook friends the joyous rapture they felt doing their part to save the world. Get a life!

Posted by: Michael S. on March 30, 2009 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Funny, do you people actually think the turbines slowed, the water flowing over the dams lessened? Did the coal burn rate lessen? Did the nukes slow? I might have a shred of respect for the left if they were realistic and advocated real cost effective solutions but all this global warming bunk is about taxes, wealth redistribution and misery.

All this and the power grids saw no detectable dip in usage. More feel goodism from the left. Your entire bankrupt ideology is based upon emotion and feeling.

As to burning my budget, hahaha, get a grip freak libs. Currently (although I know your trying to change that rapidly) it is my money to blow and if I want to spend it giving you liberal babies the middle finger, oh well.

I hate it for you.

Posted by: DaveT on March 30, 2009 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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