In praise of cynicism, cynic is, all, whatever, optimists are jerks.


…at its best, cynicism is a greater force for progress than optimism. The optimist underestimates how difficult it is to achieve real change, believing that anything is possible and its possible now.

via In praise of cynicism | World news | The Guardian.



Saddest ‘three men in a boat’ joke ever.


Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh are in a boat. They are in the middle of a deep, cold lake. If the boat sinks they will die of hypothermia and their corpses will sink to the bottom. There is a device in the boat that will sink it instantly, or alternatively, propel the boat to the safety of the shoreline where there are three martinis waiting for them, but it all depends on all three of them correctly answering a question. …The question is, “Is global warming real, human caused, and important, yes or no.” They don’t know who is asking the question. It could be the Heritage Institute, it could be Michael Mann with his finger on a remote that operates the device. But they are told that the best available science will be used to determine if they are wrong or right. They will all answer “yes.”

via Why you sound so stupid when you say “global warming has stopped” – Greg Ladens Blog.


Science blogger compares volatility of climate to a blood-soaked failed state.


Our models can’t predict these events not because the events can not happen but because the models have no way of dealing with them. This problem reminds me of my days living in the Eastern Congo.

via Why Global Warming’s Effects Will Be Worse Than You Were Thinking – Greg Ladens Blog.


People of Earth, you are reminded that…


…there’s broad scientific agreement on very basic climate change questions.

via Scientists agree on climate change. So why doesn’t everyone else?.


Global Weirdness


When it comes to things like flood and droughts, most people seem to have accurately registered the recent trends in their area. But when the subject shifts to temperatures, the actual trends become irrelevant, and ideology and political beliefs shape how people perceive things. As the authors put it, “the contentious nature of the climate change debate has influenced the way in which Americans perceive their local weather.”

via Ideology clouds how we perceive the temperatures | Ars Technica.

A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.

via Global Warmings Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

The latest outlook released by the National Weather Service on Thursday forecasts increasingly dry conditions over much of the nation’s breadbasket, a development that could lead to higher food prices and shipping costs as well as reduced revenues in areas that count on summer tourism.

via Severe Drought Expected to Worsen Across the Nation –

Cold is an attitude, that devil-may-care ease with which you fling a sleeveless cardigan around your neck because sleeves make things hot and it falls off your back and down to the floor because there are no sleeves on that cardigan who makes a cardigan without sleeves?, but you casually strut away without looking back because you are cold.

via How to Be Cold: Weather Is a State of Mind – Entertainment – The Atlantic Wire.


Word of the Week: Concomitant

So, avuncular, saturnine, sybaritic, antediluvian… and now concomitant. This word has cropped up multiple times for me, including several times in the closing pages of Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror.”

It is an adjective.

Webster’s Fourth defines it as “accompanying; attendant.” My father wrote, “accompanying in a subordinate or incidental way.”

As in:

Unquenchable Thirsts

This type of dispute is likely to become more common, though, as local water shortages multiply around the country. Once again, Atlanta is living up to its reputation as a city of the future.

via Atlanta’s Water War Is First in a Gathering Flood – Bloomberg.

My Bucket List Just Got Shorter

“In 1989 when I first climbed Everest there was a lot of snow and ice but now most of it has just become bare rock. That, as a result, is causing more rockfalls which is a danger to the climbers,” he told AFP.

via Climate Change May Make Mount Everest Unclimbable : Discovery News.

Climate Change Is Delicious

“Not every outcome of climate change is going to be entirely negative for people,” he said. “The bottom line is that climate change is bad news — its small consolation we have tastier peaches.”

via Gardeners in a new zone, Metro/Region –

Not as Clean as It Seems

It is clear that continuing to rely on fossil fuels will have catastrophic results, because of the dramatic warming effect of carbon dioxide. But alternative power sources will affect the climate too. For now, the climatic effects of “clean energy” sources are trivial compared with those that spew out greenhouse gases, but if we keep on using ever more power over the coming centuries, they will become ever more significant.

via Power paradox: Clean might not be green forever – environment – 30 January 2012 – New Scientist.