published Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Just tell the truth: Spinning by White House, climate scientists

Just Tell The Truth

One day in the distant future, we'll probably know the truth about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, why he left his unit, what his fascination was or is with the Taliban, why the Obama administration made the exchange deal it did and why it made the exchange when it did.

It's not likely we're going to learn the truth from the administration, and the swap won't be undone, so continued speculation about the Army sergeant himself is fruitless.

But it does make you wonder why the Obama administration just won't level with the American people instead of spinning one story and then changing it.

Since Bergdahl's release Saturday, the president, his defense secretary and national security adviser have said publicly the reason for the prisoner swap was evidence that the soldier's health was deteriorating after five years in captivity. By the middle of the week, the story changed to the possibility that Bergdahl's life was in jeopardy from his captives.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle don't feel like they've gotten the whole truth, and they're right. But it's a pattern.

The suddenly changed story has echoes of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the death of four Americans there. The administration first blamed that on an inflammatory video but later had to admit it was an attack premeditated and carried out by Islamist militants.

And, similarly, the stimulus bill that was passed in the middle of the Great Recession, which the administration promised was full of shovel-ready jobs. It turned out, of course, there were no shovel-ready jobs, a fact the president even admitted several years after the fact.

The lesson here: Just tell the truth. Whatever it is, Americans can handle it. Imagine how much more forgiving the American people would have been if Richard Nixon stopped the bleeding after the Watergate break-in, if Bill Clinton broke off his affair with Monica Lewinsky and admitted it early on, and if the George W. Bush administration had said publicly and early it couldn't find the weapons of mass destruction that the administration (and Congress and our allies) truly believed were in Iraq.

All Climate Data Local?

Data from the National Climatic Data Center released earlier this week noted that the Northeast and Southwest are warming faster than the rest of the United States.


This is the uber liberal Northeast, which claims the most environmentally friendly people in the country and which has shed itself of much of its industry, and the more sparsely settled Southwest, where industry is minuscule compared to other parts of the country.

The places that warmed the least were the Southeast, where all the supposedly horrible coal plants are putting out huge amounts of pollution and the people are clueless about the environment (or so we hear), and the Northwest, with its heavy timber and aeronautics industries.

A climate scientist, in an Associated Press article on the data, noted this about the Southwest: that warming, especially in the summer, seems to be driven by dryness because when there is little water, the air and ground warm up faster.

Yes, it's true. The region is dryer than the rest of the country.

Another climate scientist, speaking about the Northeast, noted that less snow on the ground over the winter often means warmer temperatures.

That's also true. Winters from year to year will vary in snowfall.

And one more climate scientist, in spite of everything you've heard about the overall damage coal-burning plants do to the environment, said industrial sulfur particle pollutants from coal burning may be reflecting sunlight, thus countering heating caused by coal's carbon dioxide emissions.

The average Joe, who doesn't worship at the altar of environmentalism, hears that if it's too cold, if it's too warm, if there's too much snow, if there's not enough snow, if there are too many hurricanes, if there are too few hurricanes, if there are too many tornadoes, if there are too few tornadoes, global warming is the cause.

But "be careful," warned a fourth climate scientist quoted in the article, "about extrapolating from your own backyard to the globe."


Wouldn't it be nice if, with the honesty you'd hope for but rarely get in a White House (see above), climate scientists would speak with one voice and say, "We can't say for certain that global warming will continue, and don't really know how much of it is man-made, but we continue to believe it's to everyone's benefit economically to develop alternative fuel sources."

Even skeptics could get behind that.

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una61 said...

The right side of the TFP continues to look for ways to deny obvious Global Warming. The EPA ruling is about 20 years late.

June 7, 2014 at 7:48 a.m.
Plato said...

This piece is an example of where ignorance intercepts science. The writer is making the point that sulfur particulate emissions from coal plants is somehow a good thing because it reflects sunlight. Here are a couple of quotes from the Union of Concerned Scientist websites that expose how absurd that notion is:

"Coal plants are the United States’ leading source of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) pollution, which takes a major toll on public health, including by contributing to the formation of small acidic particulates that can penetrate into human lungs and be absorbed by the bloodstream." This of course leads to heart and respiratory disease.


"Particulate matter (also referred to as soot or fly ash) can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility."

It amazes me that one side of the political spectrum wants to continue to advocate for damaging pollution and ignore the growing signs of the consequences of global warming, when other, better options are becoming available. By any measure it simply defies logic.

June 7, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Wouldn't it be nice if, with the honesty you'd hope for but rarely get in a White House (see above), climate scientists would speak with one voice and say, 'We can't say for certain that global warming will continue, and don't really know how much of it is man-made, but we continue to believe it's to everyone's benefit economically to develop alternative fuel sources.' Even skeptics could get behind that." - Editor

The reason climate scientists can't/won't speak with one voice in expressing any uncertainties about climate science is because they would be lying. They are already speaking in one voice (97% consensus) in saying that climate change IS happening and it is being caused in large part by human activity. Just because they aren't saying what you would PREFER them to say doesn't mean that their science is skewed or tainted.

It never ceases to amaze me how you deniers choose to ignore or distrust or even accuse of lying outright the very ones whom you should be listening to the most intently (the specialists in their field) and you choose to listen instead to obvious shills for the polluting industries, scientists outside their field who have only performed one-dimensional, cursory research, and even pundits and pols who have no science credentials whatsoever.

As for its "being to everyone's benefit economically to develop alternative fuel sources"...well, any half-wit knows that. Many have made the argument that even if climate change were not happening or there is nothing we can do about it, it would be in our best interest to go full steam ahead in developing all forms of clean, renewable energy. Yet all you deniers do in response is shout "Drill, baby, drill!"

June 7, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.

Science (so-called) experiences extremely humiliating and embarassing REVERSALS approximately every ten years. Thousands of humans are dead because of very bad science. Instead trust Jesus Christ. Hey, He even makes the fraud scientist (their desision to perpertrate lies/hoaxes,money making schemes,etc. though).

Al Gore’s global-warming rhetoric is put on ice By Andrea Peyser February 17, 2014 | 12:09am

The “entire North Polar ice cap will be gone in five years,’’ Gore, now 65, told a German TV audience in 2008. Wrong.

Last month near the South Pole, a Russian ship carrying scientists and tourists traveled to the bottom of the Earth so passengers might document global warming and shrinking ice caps. But the ship got stuck on ice that was thicker than at any time since records started being kept in 1978. The warming fans were airlifted to safety by helicopter, leaving behind confused penguins!

Oh, ha, ha, ha! Someone help me hold my stomach. This belt of laughing is much too strong. Oh, wow, this is really rich. Oh, ha, ha, ha!

Yeah, choose Al Gore (and the like of his ilk) instead of Jesus Christ, who seems to know, for millions of years, how to control His planet earth.

Mallius Deium

June 7, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.


"The Southern Hemisphere polar ice cap for the month of April 2014 surpassed its greatest April extent in recorded history. The new record extends a long-term expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet that defies alarmist claims that global warming is or should be melting the polar ice caps."

June 7, 2014 at 12:18 p.m.

Global Warming will certainly wipe out this generation, or maybe the next one, I'm not sure. But, RUN FOR THE HILLS!Because Jesus Christ can no longer take care of this planet which some say He has kept turning for millions of years +(:>. Maybe He can still do His job?

Mallius Deium

June 7, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.

ORRMEANSLIGHT said... "When a Ten Year Old Child becomes a twenty year old adult the science he learned at ten years old, statistically speaking, will have had several major reversals!These scientific reversals are often deadly, and/or extremely damaging to society. Jesus Christ never has had a reversal."

You really are an illiterate person involving science. Science is not a fact, but a process. Science continually evolves as new evidence is studied, old theories proved false, new theories closer to truth.

Your religion expects people to believe that a man named Jesus (not a god, not the son of a god, not enough evidence to even prove his existence) walked on water, turned water into wine, raised dead people, and died and was magically raised from death.

That's your Bible science. But Bible science is not real science. Bible science believers are like children who believe that Sesame Street is real.

Or do you believe in Sesame Street as real? The arguments for the reality of Sesame Street is as valid as the arguments for Bible science.

Or have you accepted Big Bird as your personal savior? Do you pray to Big Bird? Does Big Bird turn pigeon poop into diamonds? Does Big Bird baptise in a birdbath? Did Big Bird get shot, die, and return three days later to walk through the neighborhood?

Of course there's no evidence of those occurrences with Big Bird just the same as with Jesus.

But I prefer Big Bird as an example for humanity instead of your imaginary gods of wrath and hate. People who follow the example of Big Bird are taught compassion, understanding, and joy.

People who follow your belief turn out to be, well, like you.

"As for me and my household, we choose to follow the Great Yellow Bird!"

Malleus Mickicus Mouseus

June 7, 2014 at 1:01 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ken Or, you know nothing about science and make an ass of yourself whenever you comment on it.

June 7, 2014 at 4:22 p.m.

Hi lkeithlu ! Did You know I consider You one of my best and most caring friends, and I haven't even ever met You. Your caring about humanity certainly does come through. I know this is not a social network, and You may not even care about what I am, I will stand by for the insult You send me.

Peace...Bro-ken (Brother Ken).

June 7, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.

ORRMEANSLIGHT said... Hi lkeithlu ! Did You know I consider You one of my best and most caring friends, and I haven't even ever met You. Your caring about humanity certainly does come through. I know this is not a social network, and You may not even care about what I am, I will stand by for the insult You send me."


you may have a stalker. Reminds me of the notes and paintings John Wayne Gacy sent out.

Aren't you glad he doesn't live next door to you? Put him on your watch list. Very delusional and mentally ill, and very creepy.

He'll be on the 6 O'Clock news some evening and he won't be doing the weather report.

June 7, 2014 at 6:53 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I get pretty tired of correcting Ken's science, frankly. People should learn from their mistakes; he never does.

June 7, 2014 at 8:11 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Mr. Orr cares about humanity about like the witch burners of old cared about humanity. I'm sure that they "hated the sin but loved the sinner" as they watched the witches go up in flames. They believed that they were ridding the witches themselves and all of humanity of the evil that possessed them.

His outpouring of "love" is especially heartwarming whenever he posts one of his homophobic tirades. If witch-burning were legal today I'd be willing to bet he would be rounding up gays (modern-day witches in the minds of most fundies) and setting the fire himself at their feet.

Better to have the open and honest hatred of an adversary than the so-called love of a deluded, sanctimonious Bible thumper like Bro-Ken. Broken indeed.

June 7, 2014 at 8:49 p.m.

I also have the Love of Christ Jesus for Rickaroo and Daytonsdarwin, uh, I mean allahsyoungerbrother.

I do want You all to be able to truthfully proclaim; "I've got salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for me on Calvary's Cross!" Nothing else will ever compare to that, not even billions of dollars, nor, riches otherwise in abundance.

Bro-ken (Brother Ken) (Broken 'for' Christ Jesus and put back together 'by' Christ Jesus.)

June 7, 2014 at 9:08 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Been there, done that, Ken Orr. I was a Christian in my younger years. I find it interesting, and more than a tad disgusting, that you evangelicals always seem to assume that we atheists/agnostics/non-believers have never given the old "Salvation-through-the-blood-of-Jesus" thing a try. Most of us have. You are not preaching to third-world heathens who have never heard of your precious Jesus. Practically all of us have been raised by Christian parents or have become familiar with Christianity from a very early age. But those of us who, upon maturing, decided to exercise our freedom of thought (like a truly loving God, if there be a God at all, would encourage us to do, not forbid us from doing) came to the realization that the entire Bible is too ridiculously, childishly nonsensical to be taken literally. And so we have devoted considerable time to reading it objectively, without blinders, and studying it in depth in order to determine the true origin and historicity of it. I encourage you to do the same. I guarantee you that if you dare to take your blinders off and read the Bible OBJECTIVELY, like any other book, you will easily see it for what it is: a collection of ancient myths that has little to do with actual history or life in the real world. It is truly liberating to be free of stale religious dogma and superstitions and petty beliefs in ancient mythical deities in the sky. I hope you might experience such a freedom of thought one day.

But if you choose to cling to the notion that your belief in your Jesus is going to give you eternal life and that is sufficient to give you peace and joy in this world, I do not wish to try to take that from you. Whatever floats your boat in this life. What is so disgusting is your arrogance in thinking that only you have a handle on the absolute truth, that everybody else is supposed to believe exactly like you and your Christian clan. If you can't open your eyes to see your Bible for what it really is, it would be nice if you could at least just shut up and keep your judgmental, self-righteous views to your self.

June 8, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.


What You have written above is, to me, like masterpiece literature. ('flattery' is a lie, my 'compliment' to You is truth.) I don't wish any harm to You, ever. I do wish You peace. I do not qualify as a judge.


June 8, 2014 at 3:08 p.m.
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