Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weather Update: Still Weird

This morning I had to take a circuitous route to work that involved heading way up north, then looping through the NE Heights, and into my office Uptown. On the way, I saw three bank marquees displaying the temperature. At 8:20 at Menaul and Carlisle it was 71 degrees; 8:40 at Wyoming and Comanche it was 52; and by 8:43 at Wyoming and Indian School it was 62. I have little doubt that these readouts were accurate.

On my 10-mile journey, I passed through three (likely more) climate zones. I want to remind all the folks back home that all of Albuquerque could fit inside the San Fernando Valley one and a half times.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No Earl Grey at these Tea Parties

I stumbled upon David Weigel's blog for the Washington Post and have been reading up on his notes from the inside of the Conservative movement. This one and the stories it links to caught my eye in a special way. What is the deal with the Tea Party Movement (how I hate to even validate it by calling it so!), anyway? Is it racially driven? Who are these people? Are they as stupid as their signs suggest they are?

This Gallup poll gives us the figures. About 79% of Tea Party members are white, 6% black, and 15% other. Given that the total US population is 11% black, it seems to me that blacks are only half as likely to be tea partiers as people in other races. In addition to being whiter than average, they are more likely to be wealthier than average, less likely to hold an advanced degree, more likely to be a man, and more likely to be a homemaker. Though, your average tea partier is probably not those last two things at the same time. But hey - wealthy, undereducated white men directing their anger at a black politician and his don't say.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Economist and Me: Climate Change

I'm not saying the editors of the Economist read this blog, but I'd like to thank them anyway for expanding part of my climate change post into a well-structured, fiscally-focused piece for their March 18th edition.

On December 8, 2009, I wrote "...who can argue about scientific findings concerning an issue as big and as old as the planet itself? Just about everybody."

On March 18th, the Economist backed me up by writing,  "if records of temperature across the past 1,000 years are not reliable, it matters little to the overall story" and "the problem lies not with the science itself, but with the way the science has been used by politicians to imply certainty when, as often with science, no certainty exists."

There are some difference of approach, sure. Whereas I implicate the Right's haggling over climate change specifics, the Economist points fingers primarily at the Left for having sold it as such a sure thing to begin with.  I focus on the environmentalism of it, and they on the good financial sense of investing in our protection against something uncertain, but potentially catastrophic and very costly.

Seems fair. Both sides are to blame, and I'm not much more a fan of the Democrats than I am of the Republicans. Thanks Economist!

But, seriously, next time cite me! Please? Oh, fine. Phooey.