Upside-down homes, strategic defaults and our moral obligations to the banking industry

It goes without saying that we should all be mindful of our obligations, be they legal, ethical, spiritual, or, in the case of one Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, marital. But I have to tell you – I just fucking love it when an industry manufactures a category 5 shitstorm out of thin air and then lectures me about my moral duties.

If I might appropriate some phraseology from my colleague Dr. Slammy and popular conservative telepundit Stephen Colbert: Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., can gargle my velvety smooth mansack….

UN Secretariat knew COP15 wouldn't hit 450ppm CO2, 2°C target

The pledged cuts to carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) won’t be enough to hit the targeted 450 ppm of CO2 thought to be necessary to keep the Earth’s mean temperature from rising more than 2 °C. This isn’t news to anyone who’s followed climate closely for a few months. What’s news, however, is that the UN knew this as well and yet they’re still saying that 2 °C is possible. Earlier today an early draft of an internal UN analysis of GHG cuts leaked, and the document shows that the UN Secretariat knew in advance of the Copenhagen meeting that the cuts wouldn’t be enough.

According to the 2009WEO [World Energy Outlook], global emissions in 2020 are projected to be about 5 Gt for the reference scenario. According to the 450 ppm scenario, global emissions peak around 2015 at the level of 43.7 Gt and remain broadly stable at that level before starting to decline in 2020.

The UN Secretariat’s “reference scenario” puts the global emissions peak at or above 550 ppm, occurring after 2020, and at least 3 °C. Continue reading

What Monckton's AFP event would have looked like if real Nazis had invaded instead of nonviolent climate activists

Last week, Lord Christopher Monckton accused a group of young climate activists who invaded an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) event where he was speaking of being “Hitler Youth” three times – twice caught on video (see these two posts from last week) and then at least twice on the Science and Public Policy Institute blog here and here (and he denied making the claim at an Associated Press event over the weekend). Clearly Monckton believes that the activists are behaving as the Nazis would.

Monckton is wrong. Temporarily taking over a meeting, chanting, and disturbing the organizers and invited speaker (Monckton) is not what the Nazis would have done. As someone who studied the history of Nazism and fascism in college, allow me to describe what would have happened during the meeting had it been invaded by the Nazis. Just a warning – I’m not going to go into gory detail, but I’m not going to sugar coat this either, so some of what I describe below is unpleasant. Continue reading

Nota Bene #96: Saturn's Hexagon and the Bulava Spiral

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Continue reading