Supe Bowl Halftime Show Spells Doom

I don’t know which is more brilliant, the headline,

Guns N’ Peas Is Where the Trajectory of Man Began It’s Steady Decline

or this passage:

Let’s face it. We all know that, thanks to pollution and war and overpopulation, we will eventually end up destroying our species. But the video linked here represents the exact moment the doomsday clock was activated. We aren’t going to advance any further now. We aren’t going to invent nanobots or flying cars or hang out with aliens. There won’t be world peace. We aren’t going to invent clean energy. That isn’t going to happen now. What’s going to happen is that everything will get worse and then we will all die. The world will commit suicide. AND FERGIE IS TO BLAME.

I was tempted to agree until I recalled last year’s monstrosity, itself an affront to fond memories of my misspent youth.

Category: music, super bowl

Nuttery Transcends Political Affiliation

Budiansky writes a killer blog lede:

In the geography of politics, there is a strange and shadowy place far, far down the narrowing alleys of the left, where one turns a final corner and is suddenly face to face with like-minded wanderers who arrived at the same spot from exactly the opposite direction, via equally tortuous passageways.

The rest of the post is just as good.

Category: nature worship, organic food

The KrugRomm Hybrid

Did Joe Romm ghostwrite Paul Krugman’s column in today’s NYT? Let’s look at the uncanny similarities between Krugman’s op-ed and an argument advanced by Romm in several of his recent posts.

For example, Krugman writes today (my emphasis):

After all, the big question about uprisings against corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Middle East isn’t so much why they’re happening as why they’re happening now. And there’s little question that sky-high food prices have been an important trigger for popular rage.

If you click on that link Krugman provides, it’ll take you to this Romm post, where he wonders aloud (my emphasis):

The question is why specifically now have the Egyptians and Tunisians rioted after decades of anti-democratic rule?

Why indeed? Here’s what Krugman emphasizes:

While several factors have contributed to soaring food prices, what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate — which means that the current food price surge may be just the beginning.

That’s precisely the linkage Romm plays up in his post, when he writes (my emphasis) that

leading political experts say the Middle East rioting is driven in part by the dramatic rise in food prices, which the agricultural experts say is driven in large part by oil prices and the extreme weather we’ve seen in the last few months.  Of course, the climate science experts have been saying for a while now that the extreme weather is driven in large part by human emissions…Now the question is, why are food prices are at record levels?  Again, reality pretty much speaks for itself here.  Extreme weather is a major contributing factor — and our top climate scientists say global warming has contributed.

I have to say, if you’re a blogger banging out posts from your kitchen table, this is as good as it gets, when a prominent NYT columnist is taking his cue from you. Krugman has previously written that he “trusts Joe Romm on climate.”

Perhaps it’s time for him to amend that to “I trust Joe Romm on climate and political science.

UPDATE: Roger Pielke Jr. weighs in on Krugman’s column. I’m interested to see other reax when it comes in, so if you spot something, leave a comment.

UPDATE: Andrew Revkin has a nuanced big picture take.

Category: climate change, Egypt, global warming

Birding and Counterinsurgency

Thomas Ricks at Foreign Policy finds some striking similarities between a bird-watching manual and a primer on how to spot bad guys.

My old colleagues at Audubon magazine should go to town on this one.

Category: birding