Monday, April 1, 2019

Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert find Mike Lee's presentation against the Green New Deal funny for April Fools Day

I promised an April Fools Day entry and I have something appropriately silly, Senator Mike Lee's presentation making fun of the Green New Deal and the equally mocking reactions to it.

First, the Washington Post presented the highlights with very little comment in Velociraptors, giant seahorses and babies: GOP senator mocks Green New Deal.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) took an unconventional approach to blast the Democratic plan to tackle climate change on March 26.
It says something that the least stupid of the three pop-culture prop-comedy examples Lee used was the tauntaun from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back."  One of them actually was used for warmth in the movie and, according to the canon version of the tauntaun entry on Wookieepedia, it is a lizard, although I prefer the legends version, which calls it a reptomammal.  And, no, none of this is an April Fools joke.

The last time something this silly in U.S. politics made the news, CNN's Anderson Cooper made fun of it on The Ridiculist.  Sure enough,  Cooper mocked Lee's use of props on the Senate floor, in which he mocked everything the Washington Post showed and more except the tauntaun.

CNN's Anderson Cooper's Ridiculist looks at Sen. Mike Lee's (R-UT) use of poster-board sized pictures to mock the Green New Deal, the proposed Democratic solution to climate change.
HAHAHAHA!  OAC's response is priceless!  Also, I'm with Cooper; I feel sorry for the young woman who was assisting Lee with the posters.  As for the Aquaman reference, he could at least have used something from the current movie instead of the Super Friends cartoon.

While Stephen Colbert barely showed the tauntaun, he made his own Star Wars reference in Colbert Gives Mike Lee The Mike Lee Treatment, calling him "the Jar-Jar Binks of the Senate."

Stephen gives Senator Mike Lee a taste of his own prop-comedy-based medicine.
If anything, AOC's comeback is even better the second time.  Her line needed a studio audience for full effect.

Colbert also pointed out some of the problems with Lee's solution, more children.  The other is that all environmental problems are reflections two factors, population and affluence, something I first pointed out in Lisa Hymas of Grist expounds on the A in I=P*A*T.
I teach my environmental science students the following equation to describe environmental impact: I=P*A*T, where I is impact, P is population, A is affluence, and T is technology. It's the A and inefficient T that is multiplying the impact of the effect of the relatively small P in the developed world, especially in North America.
Without more efficient technology, having more children, especially here in the U.S., is almost certainly guaranteed to make any environmental issue, including climate change, worse, not better.  Lee could not have picked a more counterproductive idea, unless it was intended to troll environmentalists, in which case it was very effective.  At this point, he could say "April Fools!"  Unfortunately, I know enough about the culture of Utah, which Lee represents, to know that he was probably serious.

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