Saturday, July 30, 2011

Silly Sustainability Saturday: The Onion, more manatees, heat wave denial, and a poem

Yet another week of sustainablity news worth laughing at.

First, The Onion, courtesy of Think Progress.

Nation's Climatologists Exhibiting Strange Behavior (Season 1: Ep 5 on IFC)
For some reason, climatologists have been running around in an agitated state, waving their little arms and squawking about "global warming."

It was only a matter of time until The Onion showed up in this series.

Do you remember Tea Party Patriots vs. manatees from the first Silly Sustainability Saturday? The Tea Party Patriots, tinfoil-lined tricorn hats and all, managed to get their local U.S. Representative to listen to them.

Think Progress: Nugent Amendment Pushes Tea Party Attack On Manatees
Florida Tea Party members believe that federal efforts to protect manatees from extinction are part of a United Nations conspiracy to place manatee over man. Freshman Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL) is now standing up for the Tea Partiers against the feared manatee overlords, offering an amendment to the FY 2012 Interior and Environment appropriations bill (HR 2584) that would block the creation of a manatee refuge in Citrus County:
When I read "Nugent" in relation to an anti-wildlife political decision, I did a double-take. Michigan has its own Nugent who "is also noted for his conservative political views and his ardent defense of hunting and gun ownership rights."

More from the Citrus County Chronicle: Nugent aims to put brakes on manatee rule
Congressman pushes to strip funding to enforce rule
By Mike Wright
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm
U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent is asking Congress to withhold funding for a proposed manatee-protection rule involving Crystal River and King’s Bay, effectively stopping the rule before it starts.

Nugent, R-Brooksville, filed an amendment to the Department of the Interior’s appropriations that says “none of the funds” from the department’s budget may be used to implement the proposed manatee refuge rule.

Nugent said Wednesday the amendment is aimed at giving local residents and officials more time to meet with federal officials before the rule takes place.
“What I’m hearing is people want to be heard on it,” he said. “The federal government seems to work that way: We’ll let you have input after we design the rule. In the sense of fairness, I don’t see that as the way to do it. You have the discussions, and then make a decision.”
I'm glad he listens to his constituents, even ones as silly as the ones claiming that the manatee refuge is an expression of U.N. Programme 21. However, he doesn't have that same regard for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
He said he did not consult with federal wildlife officials before offering the no-funding amendment, other than to tell them it was coming.

“They didn’t talk to me and ask me about it,” Nugent said, referring to the manatee rule. “They wouldn’t even tell me about it until after it dropped.”
That's not all for the silly anti-sustainability amendments proposed for the Interior Department appropriations. The Democrats on the national resources committee have an entire list.

  • Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) has an amendment to eliminate funding for the Energy Star program, which allows appliance manufacturers who make energy efficient refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, or air conditioners to put an "Energy Star" label on those appliances so that consumers know that these are the most efficient appliances they can buy.
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has an amendment to bar funding for the SunWise Program, an EPA program to teach parents, teachers, and children about what they should do to protect kids from overexposure to the sun, because I guess the Tea Party is OK with kids getting bad sunburns and increasing their risk of getting skin cancers later in life.
  • Rep. Blackburn also has an amendment to bar any funds to be used for the upkeep of the residence of any former United States President. Presumably, that may force the closure of the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts as it was the residence of two former Presidents (John Adams and John Quincy Adams). And for those who are not Federalists, it might even threaten Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton's boyhood homes.
  • Rep. Blackburn also has an amendment to bar any of the funds appropriated in the bill from being spent on more energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, because the Tea Party apparently is deeply offended that a 100-year old incandescent light bulb technology invented by Thomas Edison should be replaced with a more efficient form of lighting. Perhaps they would prefer a return to the lighting methods of the Founding Fathers - candles and whale oil lamps!
  • Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) has an amendment barring any funds from being spent on climate change research, because we don't really need to know anything more about a problem the Tea Party refuses to recognize even exists.
  • Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) has an amendment to bar any funds for rules, regulations or guidance unless they are based on "hard" science. As opposed to "soft" science?
  • Rep. Pearce also has an amendment to bar any funds for the Mexican wolf recovery program, driving the last 50 Mexican wolves to extinction, which is one solution to the non-existent immigrant wolf problem.
  • Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) has an amendment to bar any of the funds in the bill from being used to develop any musical song. Because Tea Parties, like the movie Footloose, frowns at music.
  • Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) has an amendment to bar funds from being used to conduct aerial surveys, presumably because the "black helicopters" of the USGS pose a threat to individual liberty. Hopefully, they'll still be able to use Google Earth.
  • Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) has an amendment to bar any funds from being used to reduce the speed limit in Padre Island National Park, presumably because when you go to National Park for vacation you want to get in and out of it as soon as possible.
  • Representative James Lankford (R-Okla.) has an amendment to defund the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Apparently, since this bill will, if enacted, degrade the quality of the environment so dramatically that a presidential council to monitor environmental quality would no longer be required.
  • Representative Lankford is also proposing an amendment to prohibit any funds in the bill to "create a protective perimeter or buffer zone" around federal land. Given that there is no money in this bill to create buffer zones, because buffer zones do not exist, this amendment really comes from the Twilight Zone.
Folks, you can't make this stuff up.

Tea Party Patriots vs. Manatees was not the only rerun this week. At least one of the boobs from last week's Silly Sustainability Saturday: Boobs and Haboobs returned and he was joined by new boobs.

From Media Matters: Rush Pushes Conspiracy Theory Involving Climate Change, Liberals, Heat Index, Record-Breaking Heat Wave

Think Progress captured this image from Fox News showing that they were spreading Limbaugh's conspiracy theory.

Meanwhile, Think Progress has the real weather story.
Here's the data (from NOAA) on the number of U.S. records broken or tied in the month of July so far:
  • All-Time Highest Maximum Temperature: 70
  • All-Time Highest Minimum Temperature: 175
  • Monthly Highest Maximum Temperature: 125
  • Monthly Highest Minimum Temperature: 330
  • Daily Highest Maximum Temperature: 2,125
  • Daily Highest Minimum Temperature: 4,787
Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

This week in silly sustainability wouldn't be complete without including my friend Nonnie's visual commentary on James Inholfe mocking Al Gore.

Finally, the poem I promised you. From The Bard of Murdock about Oak Park's own Julie Bass.

Julie Bass: Anarchy in Oak Park
Your honor, may it please the court,
I’ve just received a new report
Detailing crimes of Julie Bass,
The woman who despises grass.

I’m sure your honor was informed
About the way Ms. Bass transformed
Her yard into a veggie bed,
Without the city’s go ahead.

But now, your honor, we’ve found more
Examples of her civil war
Against the city and its code;
And this time it’s the mother lode!

We’ve noticed that Ms. Bass surrounds
Herself with two unlicensed hounds,
Which she allows to freely roam
Both in her yard and in her home.

Our public safety is at stake!
If we allow Ms. Bass to break
The law without a consequence,
Anarchy will, no doubt, commence.

And having left unturned no stone
We think your honor should make known
That since the charges count as three,
Her crimes must now be called a spree.

With ‘three strikes’ laws still on the books
To deal with anarchists and crooks
Like Julie Bass, the outlaw wife,
We seek a prison term of life.

And when she’s safely locked in jail
For living well beyond the pale,
We’ll then resume our normal lives
As Oak Park men with Stepford wives.
For more of Bard of Murdock's fine work regarding July Bass, I refer you to The Oak Park Outlaw.

That's it for this week on Crazy Eddie's Motie News!

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