Saturday, August 27, 2011

Silly Sustainability Saturday for August 27, 2011

It's common for Silly Sustainability Saturday to spawn follow-ups, such as Why do Tea Partiers hate high-speed rail?, a post inspired by a reaction to a story covered in Silly Sustainability Saturday: Carmageddon, Tea Partiers against manatees, and Butterbeer. In fact, that happened this week with Narb's comment to Silly Sustainability Saturday for August 20, 2011 inspiring For Narb: Paul Krugman and fake alien invasions. Tonight, inspiration comes full circle, as Dr. Krugman takes his turn in the spotlight for Silly Sustainability Saturday because of something he didn't say.
Well, this is interesting. I hear that the not-so-good people at National Review are attacking me over something I said on my Google+ page. Except, I don’t have a Google+ page.
Dave Weigel at Slate has the faux Krugman quote.
Yesterday, a Google+ account belonging to "Paul Krugman" posted this thought experiment about the earthquake.
People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage.
The reactions were swift after Tim Carney -- who'd just joked that Krugman might think this -- spread the message around on Twitter.
Weigel has more reactions from conservatives who bit on the troll's hook. He also found the hoaxer.
The Google+ account was a hoax created by 2010 college grad Carlos Graterol, to make fun of the "many misguided beliefs that Paul Krugman holds, defends, and espouses on a daily basis."
Both Weigel and the snarky Dan Amira at N.Y. Magazine's Daily Intel Blog repeated Professor Krugman's reaction.
This is really cute, not. Apparently some people can’t find enough things to attack in what I actually say, so they’re busy creating fake quotes. And I have enough on my plate without trying to chase all this stuff down.

So if you see me quoted as saying something really stupid or outrageous, and it didn’t come from the Times or some other verifiable site, you should probably assume it was a fake.
Krugman became even more annoyed in his next post.
Actually, this thing ties in with what I just wrote about anti-Keynesian switcheroos: the hoaxer was trying to make my (correct) assertions in the past that even useless spending can be expansionary sound as if I revel in disaster. Those who can’t argue rationally, resort to fakery.

Also, the gullibility on display was impressive. All these right-wing hacks knew it must be a genuine quote, because they all knew that I’m a terrible person — based on past distortions!

And I’d be willing to bet that this fake quote will continue to pop up on right-wing blogs and talk radio for years to come.
Yes, Dr. Krugman, I'm sure it will. There is a reason why the opposition to the policies of the current incarnation of the Republican Party is called "the reality-based community," to which the Republican Party as a whole no longer belongs.

Speaking of Republicans no longer being a part of the reality-based community, Joe Romm of Think Progress covered John Huntsman's reaction to fellow candidate Michele Bachmann's pledge to bring back $2.00/gallon gasoline.

Huntsman Mocks Bachmann $2 Gas Promise As Not From ‘The Real World’
Yesterday, Jon Huntsman, who continues to play the role of truth teller in the race, mocked Bachmann for her voodoo economics on ABC’s This Week:

“I just don’t know what — what world that comment would come from, you know? We live in the real world. It’s grounded in reality. And gas prices just aren’t going to rebound like that.

“But just as we are in a static world, that is completely unrealistic. And, again, it’s talking about things that, you know, may pander to a particular group or sound good at the time, but it just simply is not founded in reality.”
As Joe Romm pointed out, explaining that Bachmann's economics have no contact with the real world earns him points for honesty, but it probably isn't a winning strategy.

Think Progress also covered Huntsman's criticism of Rick Perry for the Texas Governor's doubts about climate change, which prompted this revealing exchange on Fox News.

8/21/11: Fox & Friends Sunday confirms that man-made global warming is "certainly" a fact, but concludes that "it doesn't matter."
Thank you, Fox News, for admitting that the facts don't matter.

Enough of things that are silly but aren't really funny. Now for a quick collection of links that truly display the lighter side of sustainability.

The Maddow Blog turns out to be a gold mine for fun, funny, positive, or just plain silly sustainability stories. Thursday and Friday, Rachel and her staffers posted a trio of articles exemplifying their talent for silly sustainability, beginning with a video of the cheep sheep of Pennsylvania. A school district is using a flock of sheep to cut their grass as an economy measure. It also happens to be a very green way to mow their lawns. Not all austerity measures get in the way of sustainability.

Next, there was this charming story about harvested rainwater being used to flush toilets. It may seem gross, but it is actually clever and saves 30,000 flushes of water every year.

Finally, they debunked the photo of a shark swimming up the flooded streets of a Puerto Rican town. It turns out that the shark in question was photoshopped into the picture. Worse yet, it was a Great White Shark, which 1) cannot tolerate fresh water and 2) doesn't live around Puerto Rico. That doesn't mean that sharks could never be found swimming down a flooded Puerto Rican street. Bull sharks live in the ocean around Puerto Rico, and they regularly swim into fresh water streams and lakes.

Grist is always good for a couple of silly sustainability stories and this week they didn't disappoint. At least once every week, they feature a fun green-related product. This week it's a bicycle mustache--yes, really, a mustache for your bicycle.

Finally, Grist couldn't resist the festival of silliness, that is The Green Album, featuring covers of music from The Muppet Show by current indy rock musicians. Of course, Grist featured "Bein' Green." That's too easy. Instead, I'll conclude this report with OK Go.

And that's Silly Sustainability Saturday for this week!

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