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Archive for October 19th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Abbey Road

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Abbey Road
Doing something a wee bit different tonight – am featuring an entire album, The BeatlesAbbey Road. I would suggest you click on that Abbey Road link, open it up in a new tab, and just let ‘er rip.

Doing something a wee bit different tonight – am featuring an entire album, The BeatlesAbbey Road.  I would suggest you click on that Abbey Road link, open it up in a new tab, and just let ‘er rip.

Here’s the playlist and location for each song:

1. Come Together – 0:00
2. Something – 4:20
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – 7:24
4. Oh! Darling – 10:51
5. Octopus’s Garden – 14:18
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – 17:09
7. Here Comes the Sun – 24:56
8. Because – 28:02
9. You Never Give Me Your Money – 30:46
10. Sun King – 34:49
11. Mean Mr. Mustard – 37:17
12. Polythene Pam – 38:22
13. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window – 39:35
14. Golden Slumbers – 41:32
15. Carry That Weight – 43:03
16. The End – 44:40
17. Her Majesty – 47:01

What’s on your mind?

We present you with this slap across your wrist
Well, well, what’s all this then? NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was disciplined Tuesday for pepper-spraying two female protesters in the notorious YouTube video seen around the world. The NYPD found that Bologna violated departmental guidelines and docked him 10 vacation days, or the equivalent amount of pay, police sources said. Awesome, this guy gets […]

Well, well, what’s all this then?



NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was disciplined Tuesday for pepper-spraying two female protesters in the notorious YouTube video seen around the world.

The NYPD found that Bologna violated departmental guidelines and docked him 10 vacation days, or the equivalent amount of pay, police sources said.

Awesome, this guy gets to spend 10 extra days patrolling around NYC being pissed off at protesters that he isn’t on vacation. That’ll learn him and adjust his attitude for sure.



10 Non-Jobs: Career Alternatives in a Broken Economy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

10 Non-Jobs: Career Alternatives in a Broken Economy
Here are 10 survival schemes, ranging from adventurous to asinine. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers—and we’ll all be begging soon enough.

By Peter Z. Scheer

Here are 10 survival schemes, ranging from adventurous to asinine. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers—and we’ll all be begging soon enough.


Related Entries



Vegas Debate Shows It’s Romney Versus Perry

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Vegas Debate Shows It’s Romney Versus Perry
LAS VEGAS — The Republican debate here Tuesday night made one thing very clear: It’s Romney versus Perry. Rick Perry, the Texas governor, has fallen…

WATCH: Rick Perry Booed For Going After Anderson Cooper
LAS VEGAS — The audience is quickly becoming the most interesting player in the GOP presidential debates. Past audience members have booed a gay soldier…

Alan Schroeder: What Happened in Vegas: The Romney-Perry Bout
Memo to future debate producers: Cut the extraneous set-up material. And don’t move Romney away from Perry on the debate stage. The dynamic between these two candidates is too compelling to tamper with.

Howard Fineman: Herman Cain, Barack Obama The Real Winners Of Las Vegas Debate
With the devastating accuracy of a CIA drone, the Republican candidates zeroed in on their own party’s chances with exchanges that played right into Democrats’ hands on a series of issues, from immigration to taxes.

Biggest Gaffe Of The Night At Las Vegas Debate
Here’s a matter that I missed commenting on but wanted to circle back to once the debate was over. What was the biggest gaffe of…


A Guide To The Smear Campaign Against Occupy Wall Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

A Guide To The Smear Campaign Against Occupy Wall Street

The right-wing media have engaged in a relentless smear campaign against the Occupy Wall Street movement, including calling the protesters socialists and Marxists, saying they represent the “fringe of the fringe of the fringe,” and claiming they “sound like the Unabomber,” among other attacks.

The Protesters Are “The Fringe” And “Lunatics”

OWS Website Reads LikeThe Ravings Of … The Unabomber”

They’re Only “Little Rascals” And “Petulant Little Children” …

… Who Don’t Know What They Want …

… But We Know They’re Socialists, Marxists, And Anarchists Bent On “Destroy[ing] Capitalism” …

… And They Don’t Even Pay Taxes!

They’re Not Diverse Enough (Maybe) …

… But They Sure Are Anti-Semitic

Their Protests Are Astroturfed

Iran And Chavez Support The Protests …

… And So Do Nazis!

The Protesters Don’t Shower Enough

So Don’t Support The 99% — Support The 53%

The Protesters Are “The Fringe” And “Lunatics”

Fox’s Doug Schoen Claims The Occupy Wall Street Movement “Reflects Values That Are Dangerously Out Of Touch With The Broad Mass Of The American People.” In an October 18 Wall Street Journal article, Fox News contributor Doug Schoen claimed, based on in-person interviews his polling firm conducted at Zuccotti Park, that the Occupy Wall Street movement “reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people.” [The Wall Street Journal, 10/18/11, via Media Matters]

For more on Schoen’s flawed poll, SEE HERE

Varney: Demonstrators Are The “Fringe Of The Fringe Of The Fringe.” On the October 14 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed:

VARNEY: I think the numbers [of protesters] start to fade away. Rain and cold will do that to demonstrators. I — they haven’t got the numbers. This is not a movement, certainly not in New York, that’s numbered in the thousands. It’s a few hundred, mostly. And let’s not forget, it’s the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. That’s who is down there demonstrating. And the rest, those who are not fringe, fringe, fringe people, they’re flat-out socialists. [Fox News, Fox & Friends,

[Fox News, Hannity,

[Fox Nation,

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/11/11, via Media Matters]

The Blaze: “Could The 53%-ers Be The New Silent Majority In America?” An October 13 post on The Blaze promoted “a budding movement called ‘I am the 53%’ ” whose followers, it claimed, “are not ‘wealthy’ people … but they do not blame ‘Wall Street.’ ” The post went on to claim that the “53%-ers feel a common bond with other responsible/self-sufficient citizens. They also wear their successes and failures with honor.” From The Blaze:

Less than a week ago we reported on a budding movement called “I am the 53%.” These folks call themselves the 53% because they claim to be part of the 53% of the American people who actually pay Federal Income Taxes, meaning they are ones who support the 47% that pay nothing in Federal taxes.

These are not “wealthy” people. Many are struggling to make ends meet or even to hold on to their homes, but they do not blame “Wall Street.” In fact, most feel as if the politicians in Washington, DC are at the core of the problem and do not have the solutions to the troubles plaguing our economy.

[…]

The 53%-ers feel a common bond with other responsible/self-sufficient citizens. They also wear their successes and failures with honor. This informal, but growing group of citizens that do not identify with the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd must be of concern for the Left and those who are endorsing the “occupiers” because the Left has started attacking and mocking the 53% movement.

[…]

And yet, the growth and momentum of this fledgling movement seems to be building.

Could the 53%-ers be the new silent majority in America? [The Blaze, 10/13/11]


Kevin Ring: Gov’t Wants ‘Grossly Disproportionate’ Sentence In Abramoff Scandal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Kevin Ring: Gov’t Wants ‘Grossly Disproportionate’ Sentence In Abramoff Scandal
A legal team for Kevin Ring, the member of “Team Abramoff” who the feds want to send to prison for two months longer than Jack Abramoff himself, is arguing that he doesn’t deserve to spend four years and two months in prison for giving tickets to a former Justice Department official and two Senate staffers.

House Ethics Panel Resumes Inquiry Into Jesse Jackson, Jr.
The Justice Department has withdrawn their request for a deferral in the ethics investigation of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) and the House Ethics Committee has voted to end the hold on their probe, the panel announced Tuesday.

Presented By:


Report from Occupy Berkeley CA

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Report from Occupy Berkeley CA
Specially designated bills (and not part of the regular donation fund used for expenses) donated to the Occupy Berkeley site are burned to get the attention of the hard to impress journalists in the liberal media. These photos were taken on October 18, 2011.


Cain Holds Lead in South Carolina

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Cain Holds Lead in South Carolina
A new NBC News-Marist poll in South Carolina finds Herman Cain leading Mitt Romney among likely primary voters, 30% to 26%, followed by Rick Perry at 9%, Newt Gingrich at 6% and Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5% each.

Among all registered Republicans in South Carolina, Cain leads Romney, 28% to 27%.

Quote of the Day
“You can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for pete’s sake, we can’t have illegals.”

— Mitt Romney, at last night’s Republican debate.

Cain Holds Edge in Florida
A new NBC News-Marist Poll in Florida shows Herman Cain edging Mitt Romney among likely primary voters, 32% to 31%, followed by Rick Perry at 8% and Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are at 6%.

Among all Florida Republicans, Romney edges Cain, 30% to 29%.

More Debate Reaction
My reaction was that Mitt Romney won yet again and the Herman Cain bubble was popped.

Here are some other reactions:

Andrew Sullivan: “Perry gave petulance a whole new universe of meaning, and was so personal with Romney he lost the crowd. I wonder if Romney will appeal to Western Republicans more than Southern ones. But this felt to me like a settling. On Romney. And learning to like it.”

Howard Kurtz: “Perhaps such things shouldn’t matter, but by keeping his cool and forcing his rivals to stop interrupting him, Romney projected an image of strength–and cemented his status as the man to beat. He undoubtedly bested the Las Vegas spread in what had to be his most animated debate performance this year.”

Jonathan Chait: “Mitt Romney remains vastly better than his antagonists, but the gap has shrunk. Rick Perry has reduced his brain freezes in both number and duration. Romney took the first real damage of the debate season tonight, as Rick Santorum truthfully explained that Romney’s health care plan adopted essentially the same approach as President Obama’s. Romney kept evading the question, and explaining that the people of Massachusetts approve of his plan. I’m not sure that will help.”


20 Years in Prison for Sending Your Kids to the Wrong School? Inequality in School Systems Leads Parents to Big Risks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

20 Years in Prison for Sending Your Kids to the Wrong School? Inequality in School Systems Leads Parents to Big Risks
There’s a vast difference in quality among public school districts in the US–and parents who try to enroll their kids in better schools may face severe punishment.

Activists in New York Target ‘Governor 1 Percent:’ Cuomo Under Fire for Refusing to Extend Millionaire’s Tax
Tuesday night, Occupy Wall Street protesters marched to give New York Governor Cuomo the message: stand with the people, not the 1%.

GOP Debate: Perry and Romney Get Physical; Cain Given Pass on Koch Connections
Perry was determined not to bumble, and came off looking nasty. Romney got rattled and put his hands on Perry. And nobody asked Cain about his connections to David Koch.


The Lean Years

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

The Lean Years
“We’re drifting, and the laughs are few . . . ” — James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn Hello again. It’s been a while. Until two weeks ago, we were faced with the dubious satisfaction of reelecting a center-right president…

In Romney’s World, the Sky Is Falling
The United States government is spending more for military purposes than at any time since World War II. President Obama’s current proposal to scale back the Pentagon’s spending plans by $350 to $400 billion is not a “cut.” It…


Evidence Builds That Scientists Underplay Climate Impacts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 19th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Evidence Builds That Scientists Underplay Climate Impacts
Far from being “alarmist,” predictions from climate scientists in many cases are proving to be more conservative than observed climate-induced impacts. The observed rate of Arctic ice loss exceeds the projections of all IPCC climate models — by NSIDC scientist Julienne Stroeve updated through 2011 (via Climate Crocks, click to enlarge). By Douglas Fischer, Daily […]

Far from being “alarmist,” predictions from climate scientists in many cases are proving to be more conservative than observed climate-induced impacts.

The observed rate of Arctic ice loss exceeds the projections of all IPCC climate models — by NSIDC scientist Julienne Stroeve updated through 2011 (via Climate Crocks, click to enlarge).

By Douglas Fischer, Daily Climate editor, in a repost

The warnings were dire: 188 predictions showing that climate-induced changes to the environment would put 7 percent of all plant and animal species on the globe – one out of every 14 critters – at risk of extinction.

Predictions like these have earned climate scientists the obloquy from critics for being “alarmist” – dismissed for using inflated descriptions of doom and destruction to push for action, more grant money or a global government.

But as the impacts of climate change become apparent, many predictions are proving to underplay the actual impacts. Reality, in many instances, is proving to be far worse than most scientists expected.

“We’re seeing mounting evidence now that the scientific community, rather than overstating the claim or being alarmist, is the opposite,” said Naomi Oreskes, a science historian with the University of California, San Diego. “Scientists have been quite conservative … in a lot of important and different areas.”

A decade ago scientists predicted the Arctic wouldn’t be ice-free in summer until 2100. But the extent of summer ice in the North has rapidly shrunk and today covers 70 percent of the area it did in 1979. Now some scientists think the Arctic could be naught but open water within 25 years.

In August, a team lead by University of York researcher Chris Thomas published a study showing that plants and animals are moving to higher elevations twice as fast as predicted in response to rising temperatures. They’re migrating north three times faster than expected, they found

As for extinctions, earlier this year two scientists at the University of Exeter paired predicted versus observed annihilation rates. The real-world rates are more than double what the best computer modeling showed: While the studies, on average, warned of a 7 percent extinction rate, field observations suggested the rate was closer to 15 percent.

Oreskes has spent a career studying climate science. She finds ample evidence that climate scientists are indeed biased – just not in the way portrayed by politicians such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who claimed scientists paint a bleak picture to secure more research funding.

In reality, Oreskes said, scientists skew their results away from worst-case, doomsday scenarios. “Many people in the scientific community have felt that it’s important to be conservative – that it protects your credibility,” she said. “There’s a low-end bias. It has led scientists to understate, rather than overstate, the impacts.”

Media’s fault, too

Not all scientists agree that they and their colleagues have deliberately downplayed impacts, of course.

But other scholars have noted the misperception – and argued the fault lies not just with scientists, but also with journalists reporting those findings.

In a notable 2010 study, the late William Freudenberg, a University of California, Santa Barbara, researcher who studied science and the media, found that new scientific findings are more than 20 times likely to show that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.”

He drew two conclusions from the assessment, one for scientists and one for journalists:

Scientists should be more skeptical toward supposed “good news” on global warming. And reporters, he warned, “need to learn that, if they wish to discuss ‘both sides’ of the climate issue, the scientifically legitimate ‘other side’ is that, if anything, global climate disruption is likely to be significantly worse than has been suggested in scientific consensus estimates to date.”

Inherent challenges

Of course, the science of climate modeling itself could be inherently biased. Predicting the future impact of emissions remains a difficult task, despite advances in the field over recent decades. Disparate elements can interact in surprising and additive ways that belie scientists’ best assumptions.

That may be the case with the discrepancy between predicted and observed extinction rates, said Ilya Maclean, a researcher at the University of Exeter and lead author of the study, published in July in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Many studies he examined tie predicted extinction rates to just one factor – rising temperatures, say, or loss of habitat due to sea-level rise. But a changing climate can impact habitats and species in diverse and unexpected ways, he said.

“That’s not to say there are always additive effects,” Maclean said. “But that might be one of the reasons why predictions tend to be quite conservative.”

As for the notion that scientists are – unconsciously or not – underplaying impacts, the charge has a ring of truth for Maclean.

Academics are a cautious lot, generally wary of being seen as making “alarmist” predictions, he said. The peer-review process tends to discourage bold or aggressive interpretations of data.

It’s a trend he recognizes even in his work: Maclean and his co-author, Robert Wilson, also a researcher at the University of Exeter, were careful to exclude any studies and factors they could not definitively link to climate change. That meant excluding a “fairly large” body of work from their analysis, he said.

Their standards, he acknowledges, were probably a little too conservative. But the main point of the paper wasn’t to highlight the gap between predictions and observations, he said. They simply wished to show the predictions were reasonable, not alarmist.

In an interview, Maclean was willing to “go beyond the message of the paper” and flatly state that the extinction predictions are too conservative.

But, he added, “I can’t say it definitively.”

By Douglas Fischer, Daily Climate editor, in a repost

Related Post:

Video: Senator Whitehouse?s Must-Watch Speech On Climate Change And The Senate?s ?Failure Of Duty?
On Thursday, Oct. 13, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivered a blistering speech on the failure of the U.S. Senate to act on global warming pollution. In a 22-minute speech, the climate hawk reviews the science, the history of polluter denial, and the moral necessity of action. “As regards these laws of nature, because we can […]

On Thursday, Oct. 13, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivered a blistering speech on the failure of the U.S. Senate to act on global warming pollution. In a 22-minute speech, the climate hawk reviews the science, the history of polluter denial, and the moral necessity of action. “As regards these laws of nature, because we can neither repeal nor influence them, we bear a duty, a duty of stewardship to see and respond to the facts that are before our faces according to nature’s laws,” Whitehouse concluded. “We are earning the scorn and condemnation of history.”

Transcript:

Mr. President, I am here to speak about what is currently an unpopular topic in this town. It has become no longer politically correct in certain circles in Washington to speak about climate change or carbon pollution or how carbon pollution is causing our climate to change.

This is a peculiar condition of Washington. If you go out into, say, our military and intelligence communities, they understand and are planning for the effects of carbon pollution on climate change. They see it as a national security risk. If you go out into our nonpolluting business and financial communities, they see this as a real and important problem. And, of course, it goes without saying our scientific community is all over this concern. But as I said, Washington is a peculiar place, and here it is getting very little traction.

Here in Washington we feel the dark hand of the polluters tapping so many shoulders. And where there is power and money behind that dark hand, therefore, a lot of attention is paid to that little tap on the shoulder. What we overlook is that nature — God’s Earth — is also tapping us all on the shoulder, with messages we ignore at our peril. We ignore the messages of nature — of God’s Earth — and we ignore the laws of nature — of God’s Earth — at our very grave peril.

There is a wave of very justifiable economic frustration that has swept through our Capitol. The problem is that some of the special interests — the polluters — have insinuated themselves into that wave, sort of like parasites that creep into the body of a host animal, and from there they are working terrible mischief. They are propagating two big lies. One is that environmental regulations are a burden to the economy and we need to lift those burdens to spur our economic recovery. The second is the jury is still out on climate changes caused by carbon pollution, so we don’t need to worry about it or even take precautions. Both are, frankly, outright false.

Environmental regulation is well established to be good for the economy. It may add costs to you if you are a polluter, but polluters usually exaggerate about that.

For instance, before the 1990 acid rain rules went into effect, Peabody Coal estimated that compliance would cost $3.9 billion. The Edison Electric Institute chimed in and estimated that compliance would cost $4 to $5 billion. Well, in fact, the Energy Information Administration calculated the program actually cost $836 million, about one-sixth of the Edison Electric Institute estimate.

When polluters were required to phase out the chemicals they were emitting that were literally burning a hole through our Earth’s atmosphere, they warned that it would create “severe economic and social disruption” due to “shutdowns of refrigeration equipment in supermarkets, office buildings, hotels, and hospitals.” Well, in fact, the phaseout happened 4 years to 6 years faster than predicted; it cost 30 percent less than predicted; and the American refrigeration industry innovated and created new export markets for its environmentally friendly products.

Anyway, the real point is we are not just in this Chamber to represent the polluters. We are supposed to be here to represent all Americans, and Americans benefit from environmental regulation big time.

Over the lifetime of the Clean Air Act, for instance, for every $1 it costs to add pollution controls, Americans have received about $30 in health and other benefits. By the way, installing those pollution controls created jobs because they went to manufacturers to build the controls and to Americans to install them. But setting that aside, a 30-to-1 benefit ratio to keep our air clean sounds like a mighty wise investment to me. That 30-to-1 ratio doesn’t even count the intangible benefits — intangible but very real benefits — of clear air and clean water, the benefits of the heart and the soul, the benefits to a grandfather of taking his granddaughter to the fishing hole and still finding fish there or of the city kid being able to go to a beach and have it clean enough to swim there or the benefit to a mom who is spared the burden of worry, of sitting next to her asthmatic baby on the emergency room albuterol inhaler waiting for his infant lungs to clear.

Well, unfortunately, polluters rule in certain circles in Washington, and they emit propaganda as well as pollution, and they have been emitting too much of both lately.

Their other big lie the jury is still out on is whether human-made carbon pollution causes dangerous climate change and oceanic change. Virtually all of our most prestigious scientific and academic institutions have stated that climate change is happening and that human activities are the driving cause of this change. Many of us in Congress received a letter from those institutions in October 2009. Let me quote from that letter.

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.

Let me repeat that last quote.

Contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.

This letter was signed by the heads of the following organizations: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the American Statistical Association, the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, the Botanical Society of America, the Crop Science Society of America, the Ecological Society of America, the Natural Science Collections Alliance, the Organization of Biological Field Stations, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Society of Systematic Biologists, the Soil Science Society of America, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

These are highly esteemed scientific organizations. They are the real deal. They don’t think the jury is still out. They recognize that, in fact, the verdict is in, and it is time to act.

More than 97 percent of the climate scientists most actively publishing accept that the verdict is actually in on carbon pollution causing climate and oceanic changes — 97 percent. Think of that.

Imagine if your child were sick and the doctor said she needed treatment, and out of prudence you went and got a second opinion. Then you went around and you actually got 99 second opinions. When you were done, you found that 97 out of 100 expert doctors agreed your child was sick and needed treatment. Imagine further that of the three who disagreed, some took money from the insurance company that would have to pay for your child’s treatment. Imagine further that none of those three could say they were sure your child was OK, just that they weren’t sure what her illness was or that she needed treatment, that there was some doubt.

On those facts, name one decent father or mother who wouldn’t start treatment for their child. No decent parent would turn away from the considered judgment of 97 percent of 100 doctors just because they weren’t all absolutely certain.

How solid is the science behind this? Rock solid. The fact that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs heat from the Sun was discovered at the time of the Civil War. This is not new stuff. In 1863 the Irish scientist John Tyndall determined that carbon dioxide and water vapor trapped more heat in the atmosphere as their concentrations increased. A 1955 textbook, “Our Astonishing Atmosphere,” notes that nearly a century ago the scientist, John Tyndall, suggested that a fall in the atmospheric carbon dioxide could allow the Earth to cool, whereas a rise in carbon dioxide would make it warmer.

In the early 1900s, a century ago, it became clear that changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere might account for significant increases and decreases in the Earth’s average annual temperatures and that carbon dioxide released from manmade sources, anthropogenic sources — primarily by the burning of coal — would contribute to those atmospheric changes. This is not new stuff. These are well-established scientific principles.

Let me look for a moment at the book I talked about, “Our Astonishing Atmosphere,” published in 1955 — the year I was born, more than half a century ago — for the “Science for Every Man Series.” Let me read:

Although the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere remains at a concentration of 0.03 percent all over the world, the amount in the air has not always been the same. There have been periods in the world’s history when the air became charged with more carbon dioxide than it now carries. There have also been periods when the concentration has fallen unusually low. The effects of these changes have been profound. They are believed to have influenced the climate of the earth by controlling the amount of energy that is lost by the earth into space. Nearly a century ago, the British scientist John Tyndall suggested that a fall in the atmospheric carbon dioxide could allow the earth to cool whereas a rise in the carbon dioxide would make it warmer. With the help of its carbon dioxide, the atmosphere acts like a greenhouse that traps the heat of the sun. Radiations reaching the atmosphere as sunshine can penetrate to the surface of the earth. Here, they are absorbed, providing the world with warmth. But the earth itself radiating energy outwards in the form of long-wave heat rays. If these could penetrate the air as the sunshine does, they could carry off much of the heat provided by the sun. Carbon dioxide in the air helps to stop the escape of heat radiations. It acts like a blanket to keep the world warm. And the more carbon dioxide the air contains, the more efficiently does it smother the escape of the earth’s heat. Fluctuation in the carbon dioxide of the air has helped to bring about major climate changes experienced by the world in the past.

This is 1955. This is “Our Astonishing Atmosphere,” out of the “Science for Every Man Series.” This is not something that was just invented.

Let’s look at the facts that we actually observe in our changing planet. Over the last 800,000 years — 8,000 centuries — until very recently the atmosphere has stayed within a bandwidth of between 170 parts per million and 300 parts per million of carbon dioxide. That is not theory, that is measurement. Scientists measure historic carbon dioxide concentrations by, for example, locating trapped bubbles in the ice of ancient glaciers. So we know, over time — and over long periods of time — what the range has been.

What else do we know? We know since the industrial revolution, we — humankind — have been burning carbon-rich fuels in measurable and ever-increasing amounts. We know we release up to 7 to 8 gigatons of carbon dioxide each year. A gigaton, by the way, is 1 billion metric tons. So if you are going to release 7 to 8 billion metric tons a year into the atmosphere, predictably that increases carbon concentration in our atmosphere. “Put more in and find more there” is not a complex scientific theory. It is not a difficult proposition. And 7 to 8 billion metric tons a year into the atmosphere is a very big thing in the historical sweep.

So we now measure carbon concentrations climbing in the Earth’s atmosphere. Again, this is a measurement, not a theory. The present concentration exceeds 390 parts per million.

So 800,000 years and a bandwidth of 170 to 300 parts per million, and now we are over 390.

This increase has a trajectory. Plotting trajectories is nothing new either. It is something scientists, businesspeople, and our military service people do every day. The trajectory for our carbon pollution predicts that 688 parts per million will be in the atmosphere in the year 2095 and 1,097 parts per million in the year 2195. These are carbon concentrations not outside of the bounds of 800,000 years but outside of the bounds of millions of years. As Tyndall determined at the time of the Civil War, increasing carbon concentrations will absorb more of the Sun’s heat and raise global temperatures.

Let me end by reviewing the scale of the peril that we are facing if we fail to act. Over the last 800,000 years, as I said, it has been 170 to 300 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Since the start of the industrial revolution, that concentration is now up to 390 parts per million. If we continue on the trajectory that we find ourselves, our grandchildren will see carbon concentrations in the atmosphere top 700 parts per million by the end of the century, twice the bandwidth top that we have lived in for 8,000 centuries.

To put that in perspective, mankind has engaged in agriculture for about 10,000 years. It is not clear we had yet mastered fire 800,000 years ago. The entire development of human civilization has taken place in that 800,000 years, and within that 170 to 300 parts per million bandwidth. If we go back, we are back into geologic time.

In April of this year, a group of scientific experts came together at the University of Oxford to discuss the current state of our oceans. The workshop report stated:

Human actions have resulted in warming and acidification of the oceans and are now causing increasing hypoxia.

Acidification is obvious — the ocean is becoming more acid; hypoxia means low oxygen levels.

Studies of the Earth’s past indicate that these are the three symptoms . . . associated with each of the previous five mass extinctions on Earth.

We experienced two mass ocean extinctions 55 and 251 million years ago. The rates of carbon entering the atmosphere in the lead-up to these extinctions are estimated to have been 2.2 and 1 to 2 gigatons of carbon per year respectively, over several thousand years. As the group of Oxford scientists noted:

Both these estimates are dwarfed in comparison to today’s emissions.

As I said earlier, those are 7 to 8 gigatons per year. The workshop participants concluded with this quote:

Unless action is taken now, the consequences of our activities are at a high risk of causing, through the combined effects of climate change, overexploitation, pollution and habitat loss, the next globally significant extinction event in the ocean.

The laws of physics and the laws of chemistry and the laws of science, these are laws of nature. These are laws of God’s Earth. We can repeal some laws around here but we can’t repeal those. Senators are used to our opinions mattering a lot around here, but these laws are not affected by our opinions. These laws do not care who peddles influence, how many lobbyists you have or how big your corporate bankroll is. Those considerations, so important in this town, do not matter at all to the laws of nature.

As regards these laws of nature, because we can neither repeal nor influence them, we bear a duty, a duty of stewardship to see and respond to the facts that are before our faces according to nature’s laws. We bear a duty to shun the siren song of well-paying polluters. We bear a duty to make the right decisions for our children and grandchildren and for our God-given Earth.

Right now I must come before the Chamber and remind this body that we are failing in that duty. The men and women in this Chamber are indeed catastrophically failing in that duty. We are earning the scorn and condemnation of history — not this week, perhaps, and not next week. The spin doctors can see to that. But ultimately and assuredly, the harsh judgment that it is history’s power to inflict on wrong will fall upon us. The Supreme Being who gave us this Earth and its abundance created a world not just of abundance but of consequence and that Supreme Being gave us reason to allow us to plan for and foresee the various consequences that those laws of nature impose.

It is magical thinking to imagine that somehow we will be spared the plain and foreseeable consequences of our failure of duty. There is no wizard’s hat and wand with which to wish this away. These laws of nature are known; the Earth’s message to us is clear; our failure is blameworthy; its consequences are profound; and the costs will be very high.

I thank the Senator from Arkansas for his indulgence for the extra time, and I yield the floor.