Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.
O'Brien's first move was to run a clip featuring James Hansen, the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Science. Hansen: "The human link is crystal clear. There's no question the increase from 280 to 380 ppm of CO2 is due to the burning of fossil fuel."
O'Brien to Inhofe: "So that's James Hansen. What do you say?"
Well, that's what I would have asked the honorable Mr. Inhofe. Mr. O'Brien let the senator's ad hominem go unchallenged. I'm not particularly upset about that -- if you really want to prove the Inhofes of the world are fools, give them microphones -- because it can be hard to command every possible fact in an interview setting. But please: If you were going to be confronted by the Senate's leading global warming troglodyte, a man famously (and repeatedly) referred to as "Inhofe, R-Exxon," wouldn't you at least go in armed with a ballpark figure for his special-interests indebtedness?
Via our much-missed friend Peg comes a link to blogging cartoonist Hugh McLeod's post on How to be Creative, which has been around since 2004, not that we ever noticed before. Anyway, there are 31 points to his manifesto, and they're listed after the jump...
No, wait -- I mean the Chicago Bears (not me, but a psychological extension of me). And rather than just mentioning them, I'm going to attempt to boost traffic by saying something totally, offensively, boldly, outrageously controversial:
THE BEARS ARE GONNA /PWN THE "OVERDOG" COLTS & WIN THE SUPER BOWL! AND THE GUY WHO IS GOING TO WIN THE GAME MVP IS THE ULTIMATE MEDIA/PUNDIT WHIPPING BOY, REX GROSSMAN! AND YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK, BITCHES!
I'm here in Chapel Hill getting highly frustrated with my nifty new SanDisc Cruzer Titanium flash drive, which is great at synchronizing folders and drives but -- so far as I can tell -- designed by people who are actively hostile to the idea that I might want to simply copy and move a single file (in this case a Powerpoint file for my short talk today).
I'll deal with that later, but in the meantime, I'm uploading my talk here. We're not going to YouTube it, but anyone with an interest in my main talking points (and a copy of MS Office on their computer) will be able to download the file and see what we're suggesting. Plus, if my geek stick gives my ANY trouble, I'll simply browse to the file I want.
Who needs a flash drive for transferring files when you've got a blog?
A newspaper can look like a fortress to outsiders, and many readers struggle to understand the bunker mentality of so many editors and reporters. Bloggers wonder: Why aren't newsrooms more open to feedback from the public?
Here's a clue: While the vast majority of people who call newspaper editors are probably sane, in the legal sense, a high percentage seem to suffer from a distinct lack of context, and the objects of their obsession can be alarmingly (or entertainingly) random.
Which is why this podcast from The San Francisco Chronicle made me laugh out loud. I spent more than 12 years on the city desks of two newspapers, and I cannot count the number of phone calls I took from people who were just as ... shall we say myopically passionate ... as this guy. In the immortal words of "The Dude": "You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole!"
Rather than the tone of a rant, which I’m inclined toward in this post, I’m going to pose this as an inquiry about a particular arena of ideological magic.If this were a rant, it would be directed toward those people, even those of you, who throw cigarette butts on the ground, out the car window, on the road, without a moment of hesitation.If this took the tone of a rant, it would be with outrage that I yelled at those who so easily throw garbage out their windows.The reason I choose not to pose this as a rant is because I’m not quite sure there are any bad guys to whom I can focus my voice.That is, I’m beginning to believe that the meaning of those cigarette butts is not “garbage” to many of those who smoke (and I only quite myself a few years ago), but something more benign, something magically degradable, I suppose.So rather than a rant, I want to pose a few questions: What kind of magic turns that compacted piece of cotton wrapped in paper into something other than trash?What kind of magic changes a situation in which those who don’t smoke are either able to ignore it when others throw butts out the window or feel strangely pushy if they make a big stink about it?
Imagine this scenario:You take a break with a friend at work, and you decide to take a walk outside as the weather is nice.As the two of you walk around the block, your friend pulls out a new bottle of aspirin, pulls the foil off the top, fingers the cotton out of the bottle, throws both to the ground and takes his aspirin.Do you walk on? Do you look with surprise at your friend’s open act of “littering”?Do you pick the garbage up yourself?Do you insist that your friend do it?Of course you do.Then why isn’t the same true of cigarettes?As we walk over and around hundreds of cigarette butts each day, detritus with a 1-3 year decomposition range, how are we able to ignore it?
As much as I'd like to read Stratfor's 2007 Annual Forecast, I just can't come up with the $399 to buy a copy right now. However, I thought some of you might be interested in the company's sales pitch summary of some of its key preditions:
Russia and China will rank at least as high in importance as the U.S.
conflicts in the Muslim world.
The United States and Iran are blocking each other's ambitions in Iraq. This
will open new possibilities for political arrangements. The war in Iraq will not
end in victory for anyone. That will become the basis of all negotiations.
The United States is the world's leading power. When it moves toward
political paralysis, others grow bolder. Aggressiveness will continue from
Venezuela to Asia. But the most important moves will come from Russia and China.
Sorry to step on Ben's post (just below) on evangelicals and environmentalists, but I'm looking for some feedback on the best topic for me to present during my 10 minutes of floor time at a conference for copy editors in Chapel Hill this Sunday. Conference topic: The evolving news business. I've listed some topics on which I'm prepared to riff ... after the jump...
Evangelical politics get more and more interesting. A group of prominent evangelical leaders and Harvard scientists have joined forces to convince politicians and average citizens that global warming is real and must be addressed. Here's what one of the groups leaders, Rev. Richard Cizik, has to say on the topic:
"We desire to imagine a world in which science and religion and cooperate together, minimizing our differences about how Creation came to be -- [and] to work together to reverse its degradation," he said at the press conference.
Several thoughts come to mind. First, it's encouraging that both sides are able to recognize a common purpose that pushes them past mutual suspicion - that's the kind of intelligent, moderate coalition building that our society must have to advance. Second, the spin war going on here is interesting:
A rival group of evangelicals who dispute anthropogenic climate change pooh-poohed the announcement. A statement from the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance called the latest announcement "just another attempt to create the impression of growing consensus among evangelicals about global warming. There is no such growing consensus."
Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based conservative group Family Research Council, said in a Jan. 18 e-mail to his supporters, "The media seeks to spin the story as a coalition of evangelicals, when in fact it's fueled by only a few outspoken voices on global warming, some of whom have used their organizations as a platform for airing personal views …. Unfortunately, the liberal media are using some groups' mixed message to focus away from the protection of life and marriage to global warming, a subject on which scientists -- let alone evangelicals -- have yet to form a consensus approach."
So is this just a couple outliers? Maybe, but I think they're also becoming opinion leaders. First, note that this is a different sort of group, politically, than the one behind the New Baptist Covenant, publicized by Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton last week. It's hard to tell at this point, but that group seems like it will be closer to the Jim Wallis/Sojourners position, which aims at centrism but is widely (and correctly) perceived as left of center. Wallis tends to be close to leaders of mainline denominations, which have been drifting left and losing members for decades. For that reason, Wallis and his crew have sometimes been considered generals without an army. Put another way, they're great people to put on TV for quotes and "balance," but not many people think they influence a ton of votes.