Climate Props

If a picture, as the adage goes, says a thousand words, then I take umbrage to a picture of an emaciated Somali child being used as a prop in this post. For the meaning of it does not support the text. I went over to Climate Progress and left this comment:

The picture accompanying this post is of a Somali child. Neither climate change, nor the current drought in East Africa are primary causes of the tragic famine in Somalia. It’s unnecessarily exploitive to use this child’s picture to reinforce a climate change message.

It’s also misleading to suggest there is a meaningful climate connection to this picture of a malnourished child.

Joe Romm responded, which I’ll excerpt here:

This is an absurd stretch, even for you, Keith.

First, warming of the Indian ocean has been directly linked to the Somali drought, but you wouldn’t know that as you hardly ever write about the scientific literature anymore. You just find the most tortured excuses to attacked those of us who do. You devote far, far more posts to attacking those who try to articulate the science than to those who spread disinformation.

Hmm, I’m sure a few well-known climate skeptics might beg to differ, but that’s another argument for a separate post. Let me restate what I wrote several months ago about the Somali famine:

This humanitarian tragedy is not in any way attributable to global warming.

Those who are familiar with Somalia’s recent history and current state of affairs do not mention climate change as a relevant factor to the country’s latest tragedy. As one Somali expert notes:

The leading cause of the famine is the absence of a functioning state in Somalia. The current drought has affected other states such as Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Although communities there are vulnerable, none of these countries face the same level of starvation taking place in stateless Somalia.

Ed Carr has an informative post that makes the same point, with more detail:

Famine stops at the Somali border…Basically, the people without a functional state and collapsing markets are being hit much harder than their counterparts in Ethiopia and Kenya, even though everyone is affected by the same bad rains, and the livelihoods of those in Somalia are not all that different than those across the borders in Ethiopia and Kenya.  Rainfall is not the controlling variable for this differential outcome, because rainfall is not really variable across these borders where Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet.

Here’s Oxfam on the root causes:

Years of of internal violence and conflict have been highly significant in creating the conditions for famine in Somalia.

It’s also important to know, as this expert points out, that the famine has struck hardest in regions controlled by  Al-Qaeda linked extremists:

South-central Somalia is controlled by al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab is paranoid about international NGOs and a year ago, they banned aid agencies from helping people in that region. A lot of the crisis is attributable to the fact that many people whose situation was very vulnerable did not get adequate help in time. That is why you see this crisis has reached this level.

Finally, Andy Revkin, in this essential Dot Earth post, weaves together all the strands of the story, including the climate angle:

For the moment, the science is mixed on how the greenhouse-driven heating of the planet might affect east African patterns of drought.

But he also helpfully reminds us of the region’s paleo-climate history (which is mostly absent from current discussions):

Over all, in considering policy options related to African progress, it’s vital to keep in mind that the climate history of peri-Saharan regions includes millenniums-long patterns of mega-drought far more extreme than anything experienced in modern times.

None of this is to say that global warming will not exacerbate the already vulnerable societies in the East Africa, especially those, like Somalia, stuck in an endless cycle of political unrest and violence. But man-made climate change is certainly not responsible for Somalia’s current agony. In his post,  Revkin wrote that he was

irked by recent efforts to link this catastrophe to human-driven climate change. That is an unsupported distraction from the causes, and any talk of addressing this crisis.

In my post this summer, I expressed a similar sentiment and added:

Anyone who wants to invoke climate change as a contributing factor to Somalia’s latest tragedy should spend 48 hours having tea with the warlords and Islamic extremists that currently rule much of the country.

As best as I can tell, Joe Romm has never linked the Somalia famine in any way to climate change. Additionally, the photo that I object to, as Romm pointed out in his response to me, does not contain a caption. Well, leaving aside that it should have a credit of some sort, I think it’s reasonable to infer that anyone following recent world events might associate the photo with the Somali famine. Curious about the picture, I moved my cursor over it and sure enough, a small caption appeared, reading “Somali boy.”

After reading Romm’s response to my comment, I went back to the photo on Climate Progress and noticed that the internal caption had been erased (unless my cursor is no longer picking it up for some reason).* I wrote this post, in part, so a malnourished Somali child would not be seen as just an anonymous prop in a climate blog.

Update: Kudos to a reader for tracking down where the photo originally appeared. Photo taken by Peter Biro for IRC

*Shortly after publishing this post, I went back to CP and tried again. This time, the cursor picked up the internal caption: “boy_somaliafamine

49 Responses to “Climate Props”

  1. EdG says:

    Congratulations Keith. Shades of Judith Curry, an emerging intellectual hero.

    Romm’s fundamentalist (faux) certainty and his nasty response to any (reasonable) questioning of his (evidence challenged) opinion typifies all that went wrong with the AGW sales campaign.

    I don’t expect that Romm will dare to address your point, because, of course, he can’t.

  2. harrywr2 says:

    I went back to the photo on Climate Progress and noticed that the internal caption had been erased (unless my cursor is no longer picking it up for some reason)


    It’s your cursor..the ‘somalia boy’ tag shows up for me.
    Eventually CJTF-HOA will get a green light to wander across a border.

    http://www.hoa.africom.mil/index.asp

  3. Keith Kloor says:

    @2
    Yes, I tried again and it worked, so updated my post.

    As for excursion across border, don’t underestimate powerful legacy of Blackhawk Down. That doesn’t mean nothing is happening

  4. Nick says:

    I think the crux of this debate is whether you can partly attribute the current drought to anthropogenic warming.  Human impacts of environmental change are ALWAYS defined by socio-political factors – and so I don’t see why Somalia’s failed-state status removes the climate variable from the impact assessment.  If you can attribute this drought event in some part to anthropogenic warming, then why shouldn’t we conclude that the famine is partially a result of climate change?  People are exposed to massive drought (due to GHG warming?), incredibly sensitive given the nature of their livelihoods, and utterly unable to adjust in productive ways, largely due to the political situation in their country.  To generalize this argument, climate change is going to royally suck for those people who are sensitive to change and living in weak (or failed) states that are unable to facilitate adaptation (or, worse, exacerbate the problem). 

  5. Bob Koss says:

    The original image is located at http://www.rescue.org/blog/quoted-preventing-next-famine
    There is a tax-deductible donate link at the bottom of the page if anyone is inclined to make one. 

  6. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @4
    +1

    This reminds of the arguments that occurred around these parts when the Russian heat wave hit, and when the protests in Egypt boiled over, and when there were floods in Nashville, and when temps skyrocketed in Texas and… 

  7. kdk33 says:

    climate change is going to royally suck for those people who are sensitive to change

    Well, now that that problem is solved.  On to world hunger!

  8. EdG says:

    Speaking of poster children that don’t work out as planned:

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/judge-delivers-bittersweet-polar-bear-ruling

  9. Eric Adler says:

    Keith,
    Joe Romm’s bottom line does make  sense in my opinion.
    “I have little doubt that observers without a chip on their shoulder would think that this photo was simply meant as visual of the health threat the doctors warn about in the article.”
    The internal caption does say boy_somalifamine, but so what?   There is no claim in the article that the Somali famine is related to climate change, so you seem to be making a straw man argument here.
     
     

  10. Paul Kelly says:

    Nick,
    First you have to show the climate of Somalia has changed. The climate there is frequent drought. It has been the climate there for thousands of years. Measured by the frequency and severity of drought, the climate there is better now than in the past. You’re making an if bullfrogs had wings argument.

  11. Evil Denier says:

    IIRC, the models gave predictions scenarios which predicted showed increased rainfall in E. Africa (including Somalia).
    Fail.

  12. Evil Denier says:

    Toolbar hasn’t worked.  Consider every word starting with ‘predict-‘ as struck.

  13. Keith Kloor says:

    Eric (9)

    I disagree. The Somali famine–while largely ignored by mainstream media–has still made episodic news these last few months. People have seen the tv images, etc. I’m willing to bet that most readers of that post looked at that picture and made the connection.

    Pictures are intended as visual complements, intended as a way to make the text stronger in people’s minds. Nothing wrong with that, of course. I just reject the obvious (tho indirect) connection implied. And rather than using a victim of the Somali famine to reinforce a general climate message about public health, I’d have preferred if Romm communicated along the lines Revkin suggests here.

    But then that would be too nuanced, right? 

  14. Keith Kloor says:

    Bob (5)

    Thanks for providing the link. It really bothered me not having any information for this picture. I know Romm doesn’t consider himself a journalist (except when he headlines his posts “Breaking…”) but its incumbent on him, given the influence and sizable audience of his blog, to provide credit (and even minimal info) for photos, at the least.  

  15. Vinny Burgoo says:

    KK, you might find it profitable some time to have a look at the widespread claim that Somalia/Horn of Africa/East Africa/Africa (depending on the source) is suffering its worst drought for sixty years. This claim originated in a June FEWS NET bulletin reporting a dodgy study of meteorological drought in northern Kenya and south-western Ethiopia. Somalia was excluded because it’s too dangerous to gather data there. When the bulletin was picked up by a UN PR flack, it went viral – and now everyone knows that the starvation in parts of Somalia is due to the region suffering its worst drought for sixty years.
    Except it isn’t.
     
     

  16. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Er, south-eastern Ethiopia.

  17. Nick says:

    @10
    “Measured by the frequency and severity of drought, the climate there is better now than in the past.”
    And in the past, I’m sure there were famines caused by changes in weather patterns.  The primary question here is how people are vulnerable to environmental changes today, not the past (although, history might tell us something about drought coping capacities).  The attribution question is thus very important; and from a risk management perspective, it’s poor form to neglect studies implying that the Horn has dried, and could dry further, due to physics set in motion initially by a GHG-induced energy imbalance (e.g., here).   

    Reckless attribution is stupid.  Ignoring socio-political filters is even stupider.  But climate change is central to any discussion about drought exposure anywhere in the world.

  18. Bob Koss says:

    Keith #14,
    I suspected the image might be from a charitable organization and just thought they should get credit and have at least the possibility of getting a few donations for others making use of it.
    Found it a couple pages deep using google image search.

  19. Eric Adler says:

    Keith @13,
    If you examine Romm’s blog, none of the photographs have any credits.  The purpose of such a photo is to call attention to the article. So this picture is no exception. 
    Since no specific instance of famine is totally attributable to global warming, therefore you are ruling out the use of any picture of a starving person as an attention getter.
    I think this is nit picking, even if Revkin agrees with you.
     
     

  20. Keith Kloor says:

    Eric,

    First of all, I think it’s flat out wrong that he doesn’t give credit for photos.

    Secondly, I think your reasoning is flawed and Climate Progress’s use of the photo disingenuous. The Somali famine is widely known. (It just hasn’t gotten the consistent coverage it deserves.) I think its shamefully exploitive to use a picture from the current tragedy to reinforce a point about climate change.

    Revkin doesn’t have to agree with me for me to think this.

    Nick (17)
    I agree that reckless attribution is stupid. It goes both ways.

    Vinny (15)

    It’s already not profitable for me to write this post! 🙂  

    But to your point, I’m not a fan of using the historical record (even if it’s right) as a metric. It’s woefully shortsighted and as I inferred in the post, it encourages us to ignore the longer drought history of the region.

  21. Marc Levy says:

    Keith, I think your instincts are right but your argument is wrong.  Your instinct is that in Somalia a) the famine would have been avoided if human agents had made different choices, and b) the region had a functioning government.  I agree.  But you try to go from this truth (take away bad choices and introduce a functioning government, and there’d be no famine) to an additional proposition — leave the human choices and social institutions as they are but take away the drought, and you’d still have famine.  That proposition is probably false, though of course we can’t know for sure.  But I’d argue at a minimum that there’s simply no evidence for it, and therefore the reasonable person will conclude that there’s a decent probability that the severe drought helps explain the famine.  

    Logically it seems that the world simply has to be this way. Vulnerable societies with very bad institutions are going to be pushed over the edge into dire circumstances when severe drought occurs.  To argue different you would need extremely powerful evidence.  

    It seems you don’t want to let the Somali warlords off the hook.  That’s fine.  But why let the drought off the hook?   

  22. Keith Kloor says:

    Marc (21):

    Thanks for stopping by. I don’t see myself letting drought off the hook. I certainly see it as a contributing factor. Ironically, I tend to be a bit of an environmental determinist and find much to agree with in Brian Fagan’s “The Great Drying.” 

    That said, the discussion becomes skewed (and oversimplified) when we inject global warming into debates over Somalia, the recent Arab uprising, catastrophic fires in the American Southwest, etc. 

    I thought some smart insight into these difficult cause & effect cases was offered by a reader when a similar debate erupted over the Egyptian revolution/food security/global warming connection was made.

    As to not letting Somali warlords off the hook, you are right about that. In fact, I ascribe most of the blame to them. It seems many Somali experts would agree, too. 

  23. Eric Adler says:

    Keith @20,
    OK.  In a newspaper, I am used to seeing the source of the photo acknowledged. 
    However the lack of a caption is not evidence of an attempt to deceive as you seemed to believe, when you made an issue of the disappearance of the hidden picture label. This is my point.
    Climate scientists and doctors believe that famine will be a problem as a result of increased severity of drought. Climate scientists believe that the severity of current drought in Texas and Somalia is likely to have been enhanced by climate change. 
    Criticism of the use of this photo because some less informed people incorrectly may attribute the Somalian tragedy entirely to climate change, is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.  There are much bigger problems out there with the state of the discussion of climate change.
     

  24. harrywr2 says:

    #21 Marc Levi

    But you try to go from this truth (take away bad choices and introduce a functioning government, and there’d be no famine) to an additional proposition “” leave the human choices and social institutions as they are but take away the drought, and you’d still have famine.  That proposition is probably false, though of course we can’t know for sure.
    No functioning government = no girls education = high fertility rates = eventual famine.
    Sorry if it sounds crude, but illiterate girls only know how to do one thing, make babies, and they are exceptionally good at it.

    The fertility rate in Somalia is the 4th highest in the world. Without a functioning government famine is inevitable.

  25. Keith Kloor says:

    Eric,

    I also made a point to say that maybe my cursor wasn’t picking up the picture’s internal caption, which turned out to be the case. But that’s not the central issue of my post.

    I also never said that I thought people may attribute the Somali famine “entirely” to climate change. And yes, there are much bigger problems out there with respect to the larger discussion, but that doesn’t preclude me from highlighting one aspect that I find troublesome (and in this case) offensive.
     
    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. 

  26. Jack Hughes says:

    This looks circular: the climate is different and the reason is something called “climate change”.

    Would it be worthwhile to establish whether the climate really was different compared to some previous  climate?

    And then look at the reason(s)? 

    Otherwise you end up saying that climate change was caused by climate change. 

  27. intrepid_wanders says:

    Maybe part warlord, definitely climate, but climate that the models are incapable of projecting a La Niña type event.

    Chris Funk who works with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network says:
    “The global climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were never intended to provide rainfall trend projections for every region. These models say that East Africa will become wetter, yet observations show substantial declines in spring rainfall in recent years. Despite this, several agencies are building long-term plans on the basis of the forecast of wetter conditions. This could lead to agricultural development and expansion in areas that will become drier. More climate science based on regional observations could be helpful in addressing these challenges.” 

    Chris goes into more detail on how bad the IPCC models (18 of 23) mis-informed the governments and aid networks with overly optimistic rainfall.

    Net result, Romm is just wrong.

  28. Tom C says:

    Mr. Kloor –

    Thank you for making the point so compellingly.

  29. Marlowe Johnson says:

    from the second link provided by #27:

    Q: Is increased drought projected for the future? Or was the future that not looked at in this study?
    A: Yes, increased drought is projected for the future. While there are many factors that influence long-rains precipitation totals on a year to year basis, meaning there will continue to be occasional very wet years and occasional very dry years, we expect that increased sea-surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean will continue to decrease the average March-June precipitation totals in Ethiopia and Kenya. In addition, increasing temperatures will increase the evaporative demand of the atmosphere because water evaporates more quickly in warm air. Reduced precipitation in combination with warming is expected to put a major strain on agricultural systems.” 

  30. Tom Scharf says:

    Cancer, aids, diabetes, heart disease, drug addiction, not an issue.

    Climate change is the “greatest threat”.   This is just another in a long line of transparently false statements that show a great disrespect for the intelligence of the public at large.

    Let’s examine the millions, thousands, hundreds, tens ones? of people already killed by climate change. So I think it it is obvious that this type of statement needs no further qualification than some doctors said it.

    Joe Romm is like the National Enquirer of Climate Change.  As long as someone said it, he will print it.  Not much critical thinking going on over there.  He just doesn’t get how much damage he does to his own cause.  

    I salute KK for calling this stuff out. 

  31. kdk33 says:

    I don’t see the need to rely on models here.  We’ve had 2 warming spells in the last 100 years – 1910 to 1940 and 1975 to 2000.  If warming causes drought, wouldn’t that be captured in the data and can’t it be emperically demonstrated?  Perhaps someone could show me where this has been done?. 

    Also, what is the theory as to why the drought would increase now after a decade or so of a significnatly reduced (maybe none, depending) warming trend, and not during the previouus warming spells?  Anyone?

  32. Alexander Harvey says:

    Every picture has a story, a subject, an origination, and ownership.
    If we wish to have visual content perhaps some thought needs to be given to the chain that supplies it.
    In this case the image appears to have been funded by IRC (follow Bob Koss’ link in #5) for it is credited to “Peter Biro/IRC and Peter Biro is a “Senior Communications Officer” for IRC.
    http://www.rescue.org/speakers_bureau/Peter_Biro
    His connection to IRC may be the totality of his income but such images are also produced by freelancers who have funded their time in country by stringing together a collection of small commisions, grants, and their own private means in lieu of future sales and book publication.
    It is insufficient to credit original content. License needs to be sought and potentially an accommodation or payment made.
    Even seemingly trivial sums of money supplement the livelihood of photo-journalists.
    The fate of the freelancer travelling to locations that are difficult but not terminally hositle may be drawing to a close. If the NGOs are there in force their in house provision can supply their needs which are understandably alligned with propaganda aims. If independent photo-journalists are marginalised to just the most hazardous of missions many will still venture but few will survive and prosper.
    Failure to find and reward those that are still independent is a growing malaise for all concerned.
    I know little of Mr Romm, and I have no idea as to his efforts made or success achieved with regard to the authorised use of the image in question. The Center for American Progress credits him with the editorship of Climate Progress, so I suspect that he knows the ropes regarding the use of images.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_American_Progress
    Circumstances do exist that support “fair use” but in the US the following provision needs consideration:
    “the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”
    this is the point I have highlighted above in the general sense that continued over exploitation of free use whether fair or not is corrosive. For the image in question, “fair use” may be available as a defense (FWIW loosing a “fair use” defense can be much more expensive than the sums involved for licensing).
    However it is not really the legal necessities that interest me but the implications for the funding of the origination of content. If journalist-bloggers and others continue to saw away at the root of the branch they perch upon they risk an obvious consequence, the loss of independently originated content and that may just be a sin not easily forgiven.
    Alex

  33. hunter says:

    The AGW movement has relied on deceptive and manipulative props and stage tricks from the beginning.
     

  34. Alexander Harvey says:

    #14
    “Thanks for providing the link. It really bothered me not having any information for this picture. I know Romm doesn’t consider himself a journalist (except when he headlines his posts “Breaking”¦”) but its incumbent on him, given the influence and sizable audience of his blog, to provide credit (and even minimal info) for photos, at the least.”
    To state the obvious. Is that an image I see above me, without an attached credit?
    Alex

  35. Keith Kloor says:

    @34
    What image are you referring to? 

  36. Alexander Harvey says:

    The image in question. Boy on a bed, the one that you think should receive a credit when published.
     
    Alex

  37. Keith Kloor says:

    Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, thanks for the nudge. I was thinking that people following this thread would now know the source. But yes, it’s a good idea to update my post with the actual link. I shouldn’t assume that everyone will read the comments, so again, thanks for the nudge.

  38. jeffn says:

    The discussion of whether climate change has a .001 or a .01 percent impact on the drought in Somalia is fun, no doubt, but it plays into Mr. Romm’s hand. He works for the Center for American Progress- a political organization first and foremost. The CAP has a political need for everyone to assume that Al Queda is merely a neo-con fearmonger political construct and that intervention is a passe quest of idiotic cowboy administrations.
    Faced with a child dying due to the undeniable fact that both CAP’s arguments are just plain wrong, CAP has Romm on hand to change the subject. Yes, yes, help the boy by increasing your taxes to buy windmills in Indiana. At some point, 100-200 years from now, that “action” will have a .00001 percent impact on an issue that is .001 percent of the drought that is .01 percent of the reason the boy is dying. 
    Or you can focus on the reason the boy is dying, confront his killers and help Somalia build a functioning nation. 
    And, please remember, the ones who choose the windmills in Indiana “solution” are the ones who angrily tell us that they advocate the only “moral” position and those us who disagree are “deniers.” Maybe this is why sentient humans now place climate change at the very bottom of their priorities.

  39. Alexander Harvey says:

    Keith #37
     
    Thanks, I had preceded the nudge with a wink (at #32). I am old fashioned in many ways.
     
    Alex

  40. Keith Kloor says:

    JeffN (38)

    Your conflation of a number of issues only fogs the debate even more. And where do you get stuff like this?

    “The CAP has a political need for everyone to assume that Al Queda is merely a neo-con fearmonger political construct and that intervention is a passe quest of idiotic cowboy administrations.”

    Are you pulling that out of a hat, or is that something you heard on the intertubes?  Even if if were true (and please show me where they demonstrate this “political need”), they surely would have a big problem with the Obama Administration, which has been using drone attacks and elite forces to assist/hunt down and kill al-Queda leaders in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

    Nothing neocon about that.


  41. Eric Adler says:

    Jack Hughes,
    @26
      Your point here sounds like a prelude to the old denier meme: Climate has changed before, we have had droughts and floods before, so who cares? Just live with it.
    Is that what you are leading up to?
     
     

  42. jeffn says:

    KK- Where did I get this crap? CAP of course. Here’s one of their more recent samplers on the subject that you seem to think they are uninterested in:
    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/islamophobia.html
    I suppose that dying boy is Islamaphobic if he thinks the local war lord is more relevant than the brand of car you drive. I don’t think progressives in general or CAP are all that happy with Obama’s stance on Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Gitmo. But that was the point I made – when confronted with reality of what’s happening in Somalia, Joe Romm is CAPs man to change the subject. Ohh no, no, no- pay no attention to those “Islamaphobes” like Keith Kloor who points to Islamic extremists in Somalia- we can solve this problem by switching to a Prius and erecting a windmill.
    It is at least as important to understand the politics of the warm as the cool. Otherwise you get the kind of success rate AGW advocates have enjoyed for the past two decades. The last time you denounced my read of politics it was to scoff at the idea that anyone was comparing Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party or enjoyed the support of Democrats. How’s that holding up?

  43. Sashka says:

    @ Eric (23)

    “Climate scientists and doctors believe that famine will be a problem as a result of increased severity of drought. Climate scientists believe that the severity of current drought in Texas and Somalia is likely to have been enhanced by climate change.”

    Doctors are not qualified to pass judgements on any of these. “Climate scientist” is a profession which is typically obtained by getting a PhD degree in one of the Earth sciences or math or physics. It’s not a license to prognosticate about the future based on nothing but flawed models.

  44. Nick says:

    @42 “Ohh no, no, no- pay no attention to those “Islamaphobes” like Keith Kloor who points to Islamic extremists in Somalia- we can solve this problem by switching to a Prius and erecting a windmill.”
    Islamaphobia: Extreme or irrational fear of all Islamic persons.  Nobody, including CAP, would characterize someone as Islamaphobic for identifying ways in which Islamic fundamentalists actually do harm people (e.g., by preventing humanitarian relief or killing 70 people in a suicide truck bomb in Mogadishu).  IRRATIONAL is the key term, here.   
    @43 “”Climate scientist” is a profession which is typically obtained by getting a PhD degree in one of the Earth sciences or math or physics. It’s not a license to prognosticate about the future based on nothing but flawed models.”
    We’re eagerly anticipating your models. 

  45. Keith Kloor says:

    Jeffn (42)

    I think your synapses are misfiring. I honestly can’t fathom what you’re getting at. But on the issue of American Islamphobia, I’ve been outspoken about that here, too. My guess is you’ll somehow connect it to my supposed embrace of windmills and priuses. 

  46. jeffn says:

    KK- It’s a straightforward point- CAP is a political advocacy group. They sees a political benefit in having people view Somalia through the lense of Climate Change versus Islamic extremism, so they push that. If using a false narrative works for progressive politics but hurts CC advocacy, they will use the false narrative. The politics is the priority.  
    What is so difficult to understand here?
    For the record, I think the vast majority of Muslims oppose Al Queda and all other terror outfits. A subset – small but well funded – does not and the term “Islamaphobe” is eagerly used as a rather too large political brush to shut down debate. Two can play the game of using a broad brush to tie the irrational to the party mainstream. If we’re to embark on that road, let’s chat about Occupy Wall Street.
     

  47. jeffn says:

    Oh for goodness sakes, I just saw the Green Heretic post. Do you really not grasp what the political fallout would be if progressive Democrats voted for  nuclear power? I guarantee Romm gets it. Think about it for a minute. For the last 40 years Progressives have made being aggressively anti-nuke a badge of honor and you think they can just say “well, that was a big mistake, never-mind” without political consequence?
    Progressives spent the last 10 years babbling that corrupt Republicans were the only hold up to action on GHGs – now you’re going to admit- “okay, busted, it was us all along, let’s just not talk about it and build the nukes.” Do you really not understand why CAP is unable to say this? Do you not grasp how this affects the legitimacy of the CC movement- ie, if you choose party over emissions, how much do you really care about emissions? Asking them to give up anti-nukes is the same as asking Grover Norquist to give up anti-tax pledges- it ain’t gonna happen. 

  48. […] Kloor and Romm are having a dust up over stuff, and if you care you can read the details or even take […]

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