climate of doubt

A man with a nasty habit of suing the EPA now leads it, because why not?

Congrats, America: We now have a Senate-confirmed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again. 

Oh, except that administrator is Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who sued the EPA multiple times over what he sees as its overly aggressive environmental regulations. Plus, he denies the mainstream scientific conclusion that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming. 

So, there are those little caveats.

SEE ALSO: Exxon’s former CEO is now our secretary of state. So, there’s that.

Pruitt has also questioned the dangers of mercury contamination and other hazardous substances the EPA is in charge of regulating. His record is so one-sided that the Sierra Club calls him simply, “… The most dangerous EPA Administrator in the history of our country.”

Pruitt’s reputation as an agency foe eager to give states more autonomy in regulating air and water pollution, combined with the EPA transition team’s gag order of the agency, has instilled so much fear among the EPA rank-and-file that agency scientists were among the thousands of people calling their senators on Thursday urging them to vote no on the nomination, a rare step for federal employees to take. 

Pruitt, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Energy secretary nominee Rick Perry, all have expressed views doubting climate science findings, and each of them are in charge of agencies deeply involved with the U.S. response to the global issue.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said he does not quite agree with the vast majority of climate scientists whose work has shown that greenhouse gases are causing global warming. 

“I believe the ability to measure with precision the degree of human activity’s impact on the climate is subject to more debate on whether the climate is changing or whether human activity contributes to it,” he said.

“If you don’t believe in climate science, you don’t belong at the EPA,“ said May Boeve, executive director of the climate advocacy group 350.org, in a statement on Friday. 

What happens now?

Pruitt is expected to try to dismantle large parts of the EPA’s portfolio of regulations and science research put in place under prior presidents, particularly the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. Without that plan, the U.S. cannot live up to its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. 

However, Trump may be poised to pull the U.S. out of that pact entirely, which would make dismantling the Clean Power Plan easier. Trump is also expected to sign executive orders as early as Friday that would begin rolling back the EPA’s climate change work, though it’s easier to order that than it is to actually accomplish it.

Remarkably, Pruitt was confirmed only hours after a judge in Oklahoma ordered the release of nearly 3,000 emails between Pruitt and fossil fuel companies from his time as attorney general. 

We’d like to congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his confirmation! We look forward to welcoming him to EPA.

— U.S. EPA (@EPA) February 17, 2017

Senators never got a chance to factor those into their decision-making. 

Senate Democrats tried in vain to delay the vote to allow senators to see the emails, which stemmed from a state lawsuit filed by the Center for Media and Democracy and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. Those organizations were concerned about Pruitt’s cozy relationship with the oil and gas industry there. 

Pruitt’s backers, including mainstream Republican groups like FreedomWorks, see him as an administrator to will try to get red tape off the backs of business owners, despite studies showing that the EPA’s regulations don’t stifle job growth.

A 2014 New York Times investigation already established that Pruitt often did favors for the oil and gas industry, particularly for major donors to the Republican Attorneys General Association. These included writing letters to lawmakers and the EPA seeking regulatory changes.

In the end, Pruitt won confirmation narrowly, on a 52 to 46 vote, garnering the most "no” votes of any EPA nominee since the agency was founded in 1970. 

BONUS: NASA timelapse shows just how quickly our Arctic sea ice is disappearing

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Dark-eyed Junco–A Shadow of its Former Self, Oakton, Virginia, March 16, 2017

If there was any doubt over President Trump’s views on climate change, those doubts evaporated with the unveiling of his proposed federal budget on Thursday.

The budget would end programs to lower domestic greenhouse gas emissions, slash diplomatic efforts to slow climate change and cut scientific missions to study the climate.

“It’s terrible from the perspective of having any concern at all about climate change,” says Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute’s climate program and a professor at George Mason University.  (The Two-Way BREAKING NEWS FROM NPR:  NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE)

Fossil-fuel companies, to protect their profits, spent decades throwing up a smoke screen about the risks of climate change.

Most of them now say they have stopped funding climate denial, but they still finance the careers of politicians who say they are skeptical of climate science and who play down the risks.

anonymous asked:

Hello, my url is saltbearthekitten (I am a sideblog). I'm trying to pile together some psychological studies (links to, more like, but you get the drift) that can support our arguments. For ex: I've seen antis excusing their abusive behavior by claiming that they were abused, like being abused cannot in the end turn out an abuser. I want to help provide evidence to dispute these claims. Do you have any good readings you would recommend? Your blog is very refreshing and I binge read your posts.

I will make an effort to find an answer to the question “Can victims of abuse become abusers?”. It’s a 2226-words-long effort, so I’m putting it under a ‘read more’.

tl;dr: yeah, sure - but anyone can become an abuser or someone displaying abusive/manipulative behavior; there are people more likely to do so; meanwhile children/adolescents who have suffered child abuse or have been exposed to domestic violence are considerably more likely to display internalized/externalized behavioral issues - such as depression, anxiety, trauma, aggression, manipulative behavior.

Keep reading

nytimes.com
Opinion | What Exxon Mobil Didn’t Say About Climate Change
Company scientists raised concerns about greenhouse gases and the climate, but executives told the public a very different tale.
By Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes

“Our findings are clear: Exxon Mobil misled the public about the state of climate science and its implications. Available documents show a systematic, quantifiable discrepancy between what Exxon Mobil’s scientists and executives discussed about climate change in private and in academic circles, and what it presented to the general public.“

Metatron Manipulation, because I like alliterations (also rhymes)

So yesterday, I was looking at the Wikipedia for Psychological Manipulation. I had expected to find some similarties, make a few connections to Gadreel and Metatron’s relationship. What I didn’t expect was some that fit so perfectly. Apparently Metatron (or the writers) consulted Harriet Braiker’s book on manipulation, because its pretty exact.

So let’s take this step by step.

1. Positive reinforcement: includes praise, superficial charm, superficial sympathy (crocodile tears), excessive apologizing, money, approval, gifts, attention, facial expressions such as a forced laugh or smile, and public recognition.

One of the first things he says to Gadreel was that he thought his story was “tragic” and that Gadreel was once trusted and loved. He claims he wants to be Gadreel’s friend and that he would be part of the “hand-picked few” to be raised to Heaven.

also he gives this creepy-ass smile

2. Negative reinforcement: involves removing one from a negative situation as a reward, e.g. “You won’t have to do your homework if you allow me to do this to you.”

Metatron is basically saying that if Gadreel helps him, he will take the burden and “free” him from the Winchesters (he could also mean the other angels too)

AND in that very first scene Metatron claims that he is come kind of saviour to Gadreel saying “You and I go back a long way. I was actually the one who freed you.”

3. Intermittent or partial reinforcement: Partial or intermittent negative reinforcement can create an effective climate of fear and doubt. Partial or intermittent positive reinforcement can encourage the victim to persist - for example in most forms of gambling, the gambler is likely to win now and again but still lose money overall.

Metatron had Gadreel kill Kevin, and then he had him kill Thaddeus, which Gadreel had no problem with. He’s shows Gadreel that killing doesn’t always have to be a negative thing, he even treats it like its a good thing that should be enjoyed. 

4. Punishment: includes nagging, yelling, the silent treatment, intimidation, threats, swearing, emotional blackmail, the guilt trip, sulking, crying, and playing the victim.

and then he immediately goes back to number one 

he makes sure to end the conversation on a fairly positive note (or at least not negative) before giving Gadreel the next name.

5. Traumatic one-trial learning: using verbal abuse, explosive anger, or other intimidating behavior to establish dominance or superiority; even one incident of such behavior can condition or train victims to avoid upsetting, confronting or contradicting the manipulator.

(sorry, thats probably too much text on one picture)

So, yeah. Basically, Metatron is kind of awesome at this. He should not be underestimated.

If you reject this explanation for planetary warming, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does the atmosphere contain carbon dioxide?

2. Does atmospheric carbon dioxide raise the average global temperature?

3. Will this influence be enhanced by the addition of more carbon dioxide?

4. Have human activities led to a net emission of carbon dioxide?

If you are able to answer ‘no’ to any one of them, you should put yourself forward for a Nobel Prize. You will have turned science on its head.
But the link has also been established directly. A study of ocean warming over the past forty years, for example, published in the journal Science in 2005, records a precise match between the distribution of heat and the intensity of manmade carbon dioxide emissions. Its lead author described his findings thus:

“The evidence is so strong that it should put an end to any debate about whether humanity is causing global warming.”

This sounds like a strong statement, but he is not alone. In 2004, another article in Science reported the results of a survey of scientific papers containing the words 'global climate change’. The author found 928 of them on the database she searched.

'None of the papers,’ she discovered, “disagreed with the consensus position…Politicians, economists, journalists and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.”

In 2001 the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s pre-emininent scientific institution, published the following statement:

“Despite increasing consensus on the science underpinning predictions of global climate change, doubts have been expressed recently about the need to mitigate the risks posed by global climate change. We do not consider such doubts justified.”

It was also signed by the equivalent organisations in fifteen other countries.
Similar statements have been published by the US National Academy of Sciences, The American Meteorological Society, The American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

—  George Monbiot, Heat
Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. Newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon has made a fortune from corporate interests. ‘He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.’ The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon’s funding.
Exxon accused journalists of using deliberately cherry-picked statements. But what we find is when we look at all relevant documents, we observe clear trends. We’ve looked at the whole cherry tree.
—  Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, who published a peer-reviewed analysis with Naomi Oreskes on Exxon’s climate communications. Read more. 
bloomberg.com
Ted Cruz to Hold Hearing on Whether Global Warming Science Is 'Data or Dogma'
The witnesses set to appear at the Republican presidential candidate's Senate hearing are all climate change skeptics.

Ted Cruz is holding a Senate subcommittee hearing next week that is entitled “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.” It’s goal? To cast doubt on the science of climate change. His only witnesses? Climate deniers.

psychopulse75-deactivated201709  asked:

I want your thoughts on the Powerpuff Girls reboot coming out. They have a preview clip of it on Youtube.

…Their lines are awfully thin, with no change in thickness anywhere.  The older designs looked a lot stronger, while these look rather flimsy and unfocused.  I suppose only time will tell if the series ends up being decent, but the changes in political climate make it doubtful that it will retain the same charm as it did years ago.  I also have concerns about heavy gatekeeping within the fandom, as I’m sure certain types of people will latch onto it, and try to keep others from enjoying it.

Either way, I suppose it has to be better than that godawful anime…