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Scorched Earth Strategy: Perry Wants to Bring All America the Texas Miracle, Firefighters Paying for Gear, Engine Fuel

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"Scorched Earth Strategy: Perry Wants to Bring All America the Texas Miracle, Firefighters Paying for Gear, Engine Fuel"

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The morning after the GOP debate, the nation and the world woke up to the reality that an unabashed climate science denier could be the next president of the United States.  The UK’s Guardian warns its readers of Rick Perry:

The world needs to prepare for a climate sceptic defeating Obama

A year or so ago, the very idea that the most powerful person on the planet could, within just a couple of years, be someone who refuses to accept the science that underpins our knowledge of anthropogenic climate change was almost laughable.

They discuss Gov. Rick Perry’s debate performance and conclude:

Sadly, it now appears that Obama’s brief window for action is over and he is unlikely to ever regain the political capital he needs to implement any serious climate policies. But, most alarming of all, the whole world – not just the US – needs to start seriously preparing for the very real possibility that a staunch climate sceptic could, within 16 months, have his cowboy boots under the desk in the Oval Office.

Perry is indeed a hard-core climate science denier and a Tea Party extremist.  It is hard to know how bad the Texas climate would have to get before he would concede that climate scientists were right:

This year’s scorching Texas summer heat, in a dubious honor, broke a national record once held by Oklahoma that had stood since the Dust Bowl changed the face of the country in the 1930s.

The Texas months of June through August were the hottest three months ever recorded in the history of the United States…..

“It has been scary hot from one end of Texas to the other,” [state climatologist John] Nielson-Gammon said….  “The dryer it is, the hotter the ground gets during the summer, and it becomes a cycle that feeds on itself….”

The 12 months ending on August 31 were the driest 12 months in Texas history.

Heck, it’s hard to know how bad the climate would have to get before Perry would even take even the most basic adaptation measures, like, say, adequately funding firefighters, rather than, so, just praying for rain.

Climate Progress has noted that the Texas Drought Now Far, Far Worse Than When Gov. Rick Perry Issued his April Proclamation Calling on All Texans to Pray for Rain.  And the month after adopting that futile adaptation strategy, Perry signed a budget that devastated the state’s ability to fight fires:

The Texas Forest Service’s funding was sliced from $117.7 million to $83 million. More devastating cuts hit the assistance grants to volunteer fire departments around the state. Those grants were slashed 55 percent from $30 million per year in 2010 and 2011 to $13.5 million per year in 2012 and 2013. Those cuts are effective now.

We previously reported that the fires have now destroyed an area the size of Connecticut, and the Texas Forest Service put out statement saying, “This is unprecedented fire behavior. No one on the face of this Earth has ever fought fires in these extreme conditions”

Here is  a stunning video of  just how fast the fire spread during the latest historic blaze “on the north edge of Bastrop State Park near Austin”:

Now that the budget cuts have taken effect, HuffPost reports:

firefighters have had to pay out of pocket for basic necessities like proper protective gear and fuel to get them to the scene. One fire department that battled the blazes in Bastrop County had to pay for a hose, recalled Bastrop City Fire Chief Henry Perry….

Here’s the grim wildfire projection for mid-century from a presentation made by the President’s science adviser Dr. John Holdren in Oslo last year:

The  hard-core deniers oppose all action to deal with global warming –  mitigation and adaptation (see “The GOP War Against Climate Adaptation“).

The climate, however, is impervious to denial.   The more heat trapping gases we poured the atmosphere, the more it will  just keep changing, and more extreme the weather will become.  As Texas Climatologist Katherine Hayhoe writes Climate Progress:

We often try to pigeonhole an event, such as a drought, storm, or heatwave into one category: either human or natural, but not both. What we have to realise is that our natural variability is now occurring on top of, and interacting with, background conditions that have already been altered by long-term climate change.

As our atmosphere becomes warmer, it can hold more water vapor. Atmospheric circulation patterns shift, bringing more rain to some places and less to others. For example, when a storm comes, in many cases there is more water available in the atmosphere and rainfall is heavier. When a drought comes, often temperatures are already higher than they would have been 50 years ago and so the effects of the drought are magnified by higher evaporation rates.

So the forecast from Time magazine’s Bryan Walsh is dead on:

But we’re headed towards a climate where summers like the one we’re experiencing in 2011 will be the norm, not the exception….
Forecast: unpleasant, unhealthy and unbearable.

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61 Responses to Scorched Earth Strategy: Perry Wants to Bring All America the Texas Miracle, Firefighters Paying for Gear, Engine Fuel

  1. cervantes says:

    While this is indeed worrisome, don’t forget that Perry is a complete idiot and a psycho in every way. He is also a Christian dominionist, denies evolution, and wants to abolish Medicare and Social Security which he believes to be unconstitutional, among other interesting opinions. That we are actually talking seriously about this raving lunatic and refugee from the 12th Century as president of the United States brings disgrace and shame upon this country.

    Come to think of it he would probably actually be good for constraining fossil fuel consumption because a Perry presidency would destroy the U.S. economy.

    Not that I’m for it.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      You’re right, Cervantes- this guy is a stone cold hillbilly [snip], who wouldn’t recognize a fact if he tripped over it with his cowboy boots. Watching him in action leads you to believe that maybe there’s no hope for the human race after all.

      That doesn’t mean he won’t get elected, though. Perry’s policies are not that different from Bush, another warmonger who also tried to kill Social Security, but Perry is better looking and more convincingly macho. A real cowboy will get more votes in states like Missouri and Colorado than a former Yale cheerleader.

      I’m too old to move to New Zealand. Maybe the Right and Left will meet in our own adjacent Ruby Ridges in the Rockies, fed up with where we are headed.

      • caerbannog says:

        There’s an old Texas-ish line that describes Perry to a T:

        “He couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel”.

  2. Wonhyo says:

    First, Perry and the Tea Party will never back off their climate science denialism. Every time a new, more extreme, climate event occurs, they will double down on their denial. In fact, I expect they will find a way to blame it all on liberals and direct Right Wing anger at liberals, ultimately in violent ways. Don’t think it can happen? Don’t forget Dr. George Tiller.

    Unfortunately, it won’t matter much who’s president. It is true that a Tea Party President would accelerate climate change and energy decline faster than Obama would, but an Obama second term will not change the outcome.

    Obama has made weak, token gestures for the climate (a new proposed fuel efficiency standard) while actively giving in, giving up, and giving more on the bigger climate issues: cap-and-trade, offshore exploration, nuclear power, green jobs, etc.

    An Obama second term will guarantee that we continue along the path to climate destruction and energy depletion. A Tea Party presidency will merely accelerate that process.

    I’m still hoping there will be a strong third candidate challenge from the left, but there’s currently no third candidate in sight from the left. Even if a left-sided alternate candidate won the presidency, recent events suggest they will not be able to achieve much more than Obama did.

    At the least, an alternate president can speak out truthfully. For that, I still have hope.

    • Observer says:

      I disagree that it won’t matter in respect to climate policy who will be the next president. The next president will be the one who will decide, what the US position in international climate negotiations will be. In the next president’s term the 5th IPCC AR will be published, which will nearly certainly demonstrate, that the climate got even worse then projected (look at sea ice, glacier melt, sea level increase, etc). It is possible, that – with the science so much clearer then – countries like China or India are willing to make commitments to mitigation goals, because they are not stupid and they will recognize what’s at stake. If the US will then have a president Perry, you can bet your ass, that those negotiations will end without any result. If Obama is president, the whole thing looks different.

      Also, Obama currently has no real choice what to do, because he needs the GOP for nearly everything. So it is no wonder, that he hasn’t much achieved yet. The only chance he has had, was to rush every single decision in the first year of his term. He hasn’t done that, partly I think because he then thought that bipartisanship on real problems would be possible, as it was in the past. But now bipartisanship is not possible at any topic. The Tea Party Baggers would let America go bankrupt, before working together with the Democrats or even moderate Republicans. It is astonishing, how a small fraction of ultra-conservatives can hold a whole nation hostage…

      A President Perry could cost the whole world 4 or perhaps even 8 years on climate action. Time, that we might not have or that will make the costs for mitigation much higher. I am hoping strongly that the next president will not be Rick Perry. Even if you think that Obama is just the lesser of two evils, he is still by far so much better, that we should do everything to prevent a Rick Perry precidency.

    • Paul magnus says:

      The reality is there is going to have to be a revolution…

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      wonhyo, you are 100% on the button. The Right always ends up mobilising violence, its strong suit and perennial preference. Just recently climate scientists here were threatened, and denialist thugs sat in the audience as climatologists discussed the coming catastrophe, waving nooses. Denial, then anger, a familiar process, but after that I suspect we will get stuck, because the great unraveling will be ever accelerating, a process that will benefit the violent and compassionless.

      • Len Conly says:

        Do you have a link to a story about this?

        Thanks.

        “Just recently climate scientists here were threatened, and denialist thugs sat in the audience as climatologists discussed the coming catastrophe, waving nooses.”

  3. Ernest says:

    I will vote for Obama. But assuming he doesn’t win, here’s a possibility even given rampant climate denialism by a small controlling faction. Perry’s winning would probably be along the lines of the populace saying “we’ve tried it one way, let’s try it another way” (in trying to fix the economy/joblessness, as well as choice of political philosophy). The other pole has to be tried. Politics runs in cycles. Churchill’s saying Americans will do the right thing after trying everything else may be applicable. I guess that “everything else needs” to be tried. The Tea Party needs to run it’s course. Perry wins, he will have to deal with the ongoing weather disasters, not for just one year, but an emerging trend, irrespective of what he believes. The same can be said about the economic system world wide when many things come to a head. Eventually when nothing works, people will ask what’s going on. It will be clear that we’ve settled into a new regime (climate wise, and economically). No matter where we turn, the solutions of the past don’t work. It is here that radical change may be possible. Fundamental rethinking on assumptions about “growth”, “consumerism”, “ecological services”, “development” become possible.

    (My counter-argument to myself against the above is that things work “well enough” but not great, we muddle through business as usual, huge and permanent damage is done, we lull ourselves to sleep with the “new normal”, we reach the tipping point in climate, and it’s game over …)

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      You, we, the world, do not have eight more years to waste (and however long it takes to recover from Perry). And waiting for the Tea Party to ‘run its course’ could be decades, as it mutates and metastasises.

    • disgustedandamused says:

      The problem is, when religious conservatives see things going to hell after trying their way — they assume God wants it that way. Seriously, I’ve watched this happen.

  4. Tom Street says:

    I am torn between abject despair and an alcohol induced daze. How to choose? I started drinking heavily during the Reagan administration. Sadly, I am too old to keep up such a regimen at this age.

    • Ernest says:

      I became more “spiritual” during the 8 Bush years. I saw very little that was “of interest” in the world, anything that could be changed. (However, I do love science and technology. I saw no hope in politics.)

    • muoncounter says:

      This might sober you up quickly. Have a look at InciWeb, the national Incident Information System. In the data filter (right side of screen), set status to active and max age to 30 days. The first 80 or 90 incidents are all less than one week old. Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona (again), you’re up next. And we’re running out of emergency funds.

  5. Joan Savage says:

    I don’t underestimate Perry’s savvy, as he might craft a charismatic ‘valiant stand’ in Texas to generate political capital. There are lots of cheap shots available in emergencies, like Gov. Christie telling people to get off the New Jersey beaches.
    With FEMA running low on funds, there may be other fire departments besides those in Texas that will have to pass their boots around to raise cash. This is an unstable situation.

  6. Paul magnus says:

    A White House ‘sceptic’: Would it matter?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk
    With most of the US Republican presidential hopefuls sceptical of human-induced climate change, what’s in store for the environment?
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=174982272578564&id=139434822741700

  7. But it’s not Rick Perry’s fault that he cannot slow the ocean’s rise or heal the planet – or make it rain.

    Or get Obama to sign off on federal disaster declarations and the funds that come with that type of declaration.

    Texas has committed more than $76 million since last year to fighting wildfires.

    • muoncounter says:

      Guvna P would say that neither sea level rise nor ‘healing’ the planet, whatever that means, are ‘problems.’ As for making it rain, we’ve already seen his plan for that; not working so much. And we all know how he feels about taking money from the Feds. But $76 mill might not cut it for this mess.

    • Patrick Linsley says:

      No he can’t do anything on his own, but with both disasterous budget priorities and anti-science stance he is putting his state in harms way worse than it would have been. No he can’t prevent forest fires, but slashing the budget for fighting them is beyond obtuse, it is frankly obscene that he hasn’t gone in front of the Texan public on TV and apologized greatly for putting his fellow citizens in danger by trying to gut the funding of people dedicated to making Texas a safe place for it’s denizens. And by the way Obama HAS declared the state of Texas is in a state of emergency. If you want to look at who has really been using federal disaster relief money as a hostage for political gain look no further than Republican House Member Eric Cantor and the Teapartedettes in the house.

  8. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    POTUS a division of Koch industries.

    I am beginning to think that George Carlin’s rather cynical view of modern democracies may be more accurate than funny.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpcd0woY2KY&feature=related
    I cheered when Obama was elected, but has his election made any difference?

    Could it be worse, looking like we will find out the answer is yes.

  9. Peter says:

    If you are looking for a possible political alternative, check out http://www.americanselect.org. This is a creative, web based way to take back control of the political system, rather than just trying to find a way to deal with our two horrible alternatives. The plan is to get a candidate, nominated and chosen through an online process, on every state ballot. It could conceivably muster enough force, especially from those such as the readers of CP, to make a real impact. With a third hat in the ring with the potential to disrupt the normal way, the realities of responsible, rational leadership might once again be in our grasp. I think many possible great people could be persuaded to be the AE candidate. It may be our last opportunity.

    • Nathan says:

      I read somewhere that Americanselect is an “astro-turf” group hoping to split the democratic vote to help defeat Obama without doing anything of value for the people. Please check it out before you sign on.

  10. Peter Mizla says:

    The economic policies of the last 30 years will not work now. You need demand- lots of consumption to pull this economy out of the rut It fell into after the asset bubble burst in late 2008.

    Perry will attempt to use these same economic policies again. Likely it will result in failure. The system needs to be fundamentally changed.

    With a climate that is going off a cliff, (which Perry simply denies) our troubles add up to that perfect storm (that will make the aftermath of October 1929 look like A day at the beach)

    • pedro says:

      The demand was supposed to come from taxpayer funded infrastructure repair, updating and new work.

      The consumer demand would then be from the earnings if the infrastructure funded workers.

      • Peter Mizla says:

        The infrastructure rebuilding that has never happened? The T Party and Perry will have no part of it. No rebuilding, no jobs and no improvement in the economy.

        • junkwaffle says:

          And if Perry is elected, it’s “game over”
          for our country and democracy. The rich will
          take all their money and go hide out
          in some plush place while the rest of us
          devour each other for what’s left.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Henry Ford realised that he had to pay his workers decent wages or there would be no demand for his cars. Since the 1970s the ruling US elites have refused to any longer pay living wages. So, first the wife went to work, then second and third jobs were worked, but all along, with median wages stagnating, households were going nowhere. The last throw of the dice was debt, leveraged on increasing home ‘values’ in a mega-bubble. That having burst, and household debt being too great to increase further, its implosion time. Capitalism usually gets out of these recurrent depressions by a big orgy of ‘creative destruction’ and pump priming through military mobilisation, in other words a war. Wiping out the Middle East won’t suffice, so it must be Russia or China or both.

  11. Merrelyn Emery says:

    There are already moves a foot in the UN to change the voting system to a simple majority vote rather than allowing the big powers such as the USA a veto. Should the people of the US be crazy enough to install another climate denier as President, and I can only hope that my faith in them is not misplaced, this movement will gain momentum.

    As climate destabilization continues and catastrophe becomes more common, it is inevitable that all the nations of the world who care about the common good, the life of the planet, will come to an agreement about a severely carbon constrained future and institute a punitive regime on those nations that do not cooperate.

    I know that many USA citizens rarely think of the international situation, and some have no time for the UN, but these forms of disregard do not change the international reality.

    Explaining the growing international consensus about a climate agreement, particularly amongst the small nations who all have a vote, should be part of the Presidential campaign as such sanctions can have very nasty consequences, particularly for the less fortunate. Worrying about where your next fire engine is coming from could start to look like a small hiccup.

    Perhaps Obama should tour the Pacific Islands such as Kiribas, Tuvalu and Tonga and start making the contrast, ME

    • adelady says:

      Merrelyn, I’m afraid that Obama becoming more informed or committed on these issues will not be much help. The opposing forces will do absolutely anything to oppose him regardless of the power of his arguments and they’re seriously uninterested in anything beyond their own blinkered interests in the USA, let alone the rest of the world.

      The real challenge is finding a way to get *others* to a)get informed b)get active and somehow persuade the nay-sayers to get with the program.

      This is depressing, or desperate, or something. I really believe we’ll do the right thing eventually, I’m just heartsick at what many people will have to suffer before we get to that point.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Sorry I was even more unclear than usual Adelady. I was trying to make the point that one morning, the USA may wake up to find that far from being the ‘leader’ in international affairs, it has become a pariah.

        If it is reckless enough to elect somebody like Perry for President, it is going to be even further out of step with the growing international consensus that action is required NOW, and many are already taking it. And that could have serious consequences for everybody in the US.

        I am trying to think of everyway possible to get through to the American public. Maybe they might respond to a sudden change of status from top dog to leper, or the runt, in the pack.

        It is not a question of Obama being informed – he is.

        It’s a question of what, if anything, is going to rouse the American public from its long hazy, dazy love affair with their TV sets and their fantasies of exceptionalism, ‘leadership’ and ‘we’ll be right mate’! The latter is supposed to be ours but I think they have a worse case of it than we do, ME

        • Mike Roddy says:

          The US is already a pariah among educated people around the world. It’s especially grating that we have the best scientists, and won’t even listen to them.

          • Merrelyn Emery says:

            Yes Mike but increasingly it looks as if nothing is going to happen until the vast majority of the population gets it, ME

        • Charles Zeller says:

          Barack Obama is a stone cold politician who was dealt a bad hand (“Climategate”?, “Tea Party”?) wrt energy policy. In his second term, he’ll aggressively play the hand he’s dealt. We must continue working to mobilize the public into being a fair dealer. In two brief conversations I’ve had with the President he said “We need a price on carbon.” I take him at his word, and am sure that the alternative is disastrous. We’re a little crazy over here right now, but don’t give up on us.

          • Merrelyn Emery says:

            I haven’t given up on the American people or Obama yet Charles but for goodness sake, get on with a strategy that builds on day to day perceptions of reality that can be used as a focus for mobilizing the people, ME

  12. Joan Savage says:

    Some stream conditions in Texas

    0.00 cfs flow in the Colorado River near Ballinger TX

    0.00 cfs flow in Nueces Rv nr Tilden, TX

    62 cfs Rio Grande River near Big Bend National Park, TX

  13. Great article, Joe. Thanks. This hypocrisy of Perry’s is definitely catching people’s attention. Denying climate change when your state is suffering through all time temperature, drought and wildfire extremes is callous and dangerous. Cutting funding for the volunteers who have been fighting the fires for over 290 days is heartless and mean. Begging for federal funding after attacking the very legitimacy of such federal funding for others who have suffered weather tragedies is nasty, greedy hypocrisy. People are talking about this on the streets.

    This is exactly the kind of thing that brings politicians down in USA.

    If you can’t trust the American voters to see the harm in these kinds of actions then there really isn’t any hope to be had. At some point we have to trust that Americans will do the right thing.

    • Pangolin says:

      You’re kidding right? Americans haven’t done the right thing since the before the 2000 election. The election of Barack Obama was supposed to be the right thing but when it turned out that he was Wall Streets paid lackey americans just sat back and shrugged.

      Even in Texas climate change denial is still so acceptable that Rick Perry doesn’t face local outrage.

      We’ll be well past whatever tipping points into climate chaos there are before america does the right thing. The insane weather of 2011 and the non-response of the average person is more than proof of that.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      Why do you just have to sit there and hope that they will respond adaptively? Doesn’t the USA belong to all of you? Doesn’t it depend on the actions of all its citizens?

      Surely, if all the concerned USA citizens who contribute to this blog actually got out there with a good, effective strategy for getting through to the apathetic and the deniers, couldn’t they make a real difference? ME

  14. Michaelc says:

    In looking at these candidates I am reminded of the AA adage that an alcoholic can’t change until they have hit bottom.

    While I think that Obama is marginally less destructive than Perry would be, having Obama win again would just delay this country hitting bottom and starting the significant changes that are needed for survival in the coming century.

  15. AGW is destined to get worse every year – and the fall election of 2012 will, more likely than not, see continued drought, heat waves, and increased moisture load with increasing heat load. There may even be some marked sea level increase.

    Perry will be cemented into his own climate petard next year. It will be interesting to see.

  16. _Flin_ says:

    Seen from Europe, the difference between a person that denies the science and a person that accepts it, but isn’t able to implement measurements, is marginal.

    No federal cap and trade. No CO2 regulation.

    Only difference will be if a President Perry introduces something like a tax cut for burning fossil fuels.

  17. L Streeter says:

    TEXAS is in the TOP TEN

    Before anyone starts thinking that Governor Rick Perry might be the right man to run the country, let’s take a look at how he has been running Texas.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST TEENAGE PREGNANCIES.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST TEENAGE ALCOHOL/DRUG ABUSE.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST CHILD ABUSE.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST DOMESTIC HOMICIDES.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST ALCOHOLICS needing but not receiving treatment.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST DRUNK DRIVING FATALITIES.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. MOST CASES OF DEPRESSION.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    …. MOST PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. LOWEST HOUSING VALUES.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. FEWEST COLLEGE GRADUATES.

    TEXAS is in the top ten of the states with the …..
    ….. WORST PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS.

    This may in fact be Perry’s and the republicans’ strategy …..
    ….. pandering to the abused, depressed, drunk, drugged, promiscuous, and uneducated poor!

    To read more truth and common-sense from L Streeter … Google “expatmusing.blogspot”

  18. John B Hodges says:

    This will sound like a joke. But I’m asking everyone to consider it seriously.

    Suppose that lots of us on the left half of the political spectrum pulled together an independent campaign, not connected to the Democratic Party. We set up an organization, raise money, recruit volunteers, print buttons and bumper stickers and lawn signs and all that, organize rallies and marches, spend money on media ads if we get enough to do that. With this theme:

    RE-ELECT OBAMA: THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS

    A button or sticker: HOLD YOUR NOSE AND VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    some signs: OBAMA: HE’LL SLOW THE DECLINE

    ENERGY POLICY: NOT QUITE AS HOT WITH OBAMA

    CIVIL LIBERTIES: LESS LAWLESS GOVERNMENT WITH OBAMA

    NO NUTS! NO NUTS!

    VERY SLOW WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WARS

    And so forth. Loudly and proudly giving faint praise to the Democrats and the Obama administration, and urging everyone to get out and vote for them, because the alternative is worse.

    The best part (or maybe the worst) is that no one will be sure if we are sincere. This is, after all, the exact argument that we have heard many times before, FROM people in the Democratic Party, meant seriously. However disappointed we may be with Obama and the Democrats, we must support them, because we have no alternative. Third-party bids are both useless and harmful. Primary challenges are almost as bad because if unsuccessful they weaken the centrist candidate, and if successful they put someone in the ballot who will lose the general election.

    The only strange thing about this campaign would be that, though everyone has heard this argument before, and may even have made it before, always meant seriously, no one has ever said it loudly and proudly. Perhaps if we do it, it will shame the Democrats into having more spine.

  19. Sally says:

    If you’ve never seen a cedar tree catch fire (like in the video), it’s something else. Especially when dry- they are explosive.

    Perry’s a jerk who will not get elected President.

  20. Shane Menken says:

    How much impact would a series of desalination plants on the coast pipelining water to the interior have had on the drought? I haven’t done the math, but it wouldn’t hurt.

    • Pangolin says:

      The math says that it’s simply impossible to provide more than drinking water, not household water or irrigation water, by using desalinization plants.

      It’s cheaper and easier to purify treated sewage than to desalinate seawater; that’s how expensive that is.

  21. jduhls says:

    He spent all that time prayin’ for rain, and then god set his state on fire. But it’s better to only pay attention to the signs that flatter you.

    • Pangolin says:

      No, no, you don’t understand. When if finally rains that will be claimed as a miracle and a gift from GOD. The drought is just weather. A motor vehicle crash is an “accident;” the emergency room doctors who stitch the patients back together so they can heal are part of GOD’s gift.

      Their God never does bad stuff to them; only to other people.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Yes, but exactly who was he praying to?

  22. Phil M says:

    How good is those elevated levels of CO2 doing for the farmers in Texas eh? Wonder how many repeat the mantra that we are CO2 starved? Would 1000ppm of CO2 make the crops grow any faster………without water?

  23. Susan Anderson says:

    Hey, have fires, will lay off firefighters. Is it possible to get a teapartier to connect cause and effect? Nah.

    I love the negative slogan effort – really smart way of saying what everybody knows so we can all get back to work instead of joining the circular firing squad.

  24. Tim Kelly says:

    I admit to not being as astute as some of those who regularly post here, but I just can’t see this election going down without Obama having to play what I’ll call “the Climate Card”. Making the case for global warming AND ocean acidification (anyone think this could be the easier one for the public to understand?) could be a solid way to distinguish himself from his moronic Right-wing challengers. In effect, the argument would be “who do you trust to take on this threat?” This, in my humble opinion, is what we should be pushing for.

    It’s no secret the the Democratic Party has a probelm voicing a positive vision (as you have noted many times, Dr. Romm), but there is so much positive stuff out there that folks aren’t getting wind of (think Ray Anderson’s Interface business model, for example), that if we could get that squarely in front of folks, the Right wouldn’t stand a chance. At least, I hope not.