Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Thanksgiving Eve

with 3 comments

* Bill Simmon has links on how to argue with your relatives about climate change over Thanksgiving. (If you have a smartphone, just queue up How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic and wait.) As I wrote over at Bill’s place, Matt Taibi’s recent piece on Sarah Palin—describing how she uses her endless interpersonal conflicts to generate political capital that is totally independent of anything so mundane as “ideas” or “positions”—really opened my eyes on how this Climategate nonsense is doing its work. Climategate shifts the field of debate from statistics and facts, which only a small minority are qualified to discuss, to the field of interpersonal relations and “bad behavior,” on which we can all have an opinion. It’s being pushed as a “huge scandal” precisely because it remakes climate change into a moral question about how smart people sometimes turn out to be arrogant jerks. That this moral question is totally irrelevant to the facts isn’t a bug, it’s the whole point.

* Also on the climate front: Obama will go to Copenhagen to commit to 17% under 2005, California introduces its cap and trade plan, and (via Alex G.) rich nations are not following through on promised climate change funds for developing nations. Surprise surprise.

* Elsewhere on the arguing-with-relatives front: Steve Benen has your charts that show the stimulus worked.

* BLDGBLOG goes inside Yucca Mountain.

* Another second-hand report on a recent Žižek talk, this one on ecology. There’s even more ecologically informed theory at Australian Humanities Review.

* History’s first entry in the things-that-make-me-kind-of-like-Bill-O’Reilly file.

* One of America’s most loathsome politicians may be about to stage a comeback.

* Stephen King may write a sequel to The Shining. Cynical-C says this must be stopped; maybe I’m getting soft, but it sounds to me like it actually could be decent.

* And, via How the University Works, UC Davis student activists have extracted limited concessions from the administration. The crisis, of course, remains ongoing.

3 Responses

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  1. I’d like to see more than some off-the-cuff remarks before deciding a Shining sequel is a terrible idea. True, King doesn’t have the best track record when returning to this story, but it is his book. I’d rather he wrote a sequel than somebody else.

    Fred

    November 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm

  2. I have hope–“Under the Dome” is very good.

    DCNahm

    November 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm

  3. […] would clamp down on the CRU hack and refuse to let go. I am, perhaps, naive, but I had thought the simple distinction between scientific claims and moral evaluations would be enough to return the discussion to rational, factual […]


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