Archive for March 2011

Obama’s Inner Bracket

Recently, President Obama picked which teams he thought would advance in the NCAA Basketball Championship, a process known as filling out a bracket. The term “bracket” in this case comes from the shape of the round-by-round elimination chart which tracks which team won in each matchup.

That’s all very well and good, but one wonders: Don’t we all have what is essentially an “inner bracket” which delineates our personal hierarchy of priorities, beliefs, behaviors and traits? If there was a bracket which revealed the inner workings of Obama’s mind, what would it look like? And what trait would emerge dominant?

Behold: [click on image to view it in high resolution]

Zomblog post read aloud in the Senate

How often do blog posts make it into the Senate record?

I’m not sure, but we now know at least one has made it that far:

Part of a post I wrote back in 2009 was read verbatim today in the United States Senate by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) during a debate about the “global cooling” fad among scientists in the early 1970s.

As detailed succinctly by Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air, the argument started when Senator John Barrasso cited several media reports from the ’70s warning that scientists now think the planet is threatened by a looming “ice age.” Senators Barbara Boxer and Tom Udall then reply by entering into the Senate record a recent USA Today article which claims that the global cooling thesis in the ’70s never quite reached the level of complete scientific consensus.

It was at this point that Senator Inhofe shoots back a zinger, taking a page printed out from my zomblog post of September 16, 2009 entitled John Holdren in 1971: “New ice age” likely, and reading the words written by the man who is now Obama’s top “science czar,” John Holdren, warning of the perils of the coming ice age.

The reason I’m 100% positive that Inhofe was reading a page printed from zomblog is that he read not just the Holdren essay I dug up, but actually a short passage of my own introductory words before he gets to the Holdren part.

As you can see at my original post linked to above, I wrote in 2009,

Below is a direct scan from pages 76-77 in the book Global Ecology…”

…followed by a transcription of Holdren’s essay.

Reading from a printout, here’s what Inhofe said (starting at 3:15 into the video):

“What he had written was, ‘Below is a direct scan from his pages 76-77 of his book, he said…”

…followed by the same transcription.

Now, even without this telltale recitation of my own words, I would have known that the testimony would have been at least based on my post, since I was the first person to dig deep and recover Holdren’s old writing from the memory hole, and that my posts were the first exposés on the topic. But the fact that Inhofe actually read my introductory sentence confirms it conclusively: zomblog is now part of the Senate record!

Here’s the video showing the whole exchange:

Side note, for those following the global warming debate:

As to the content of the back-and-forth dispute between, on one side Senators Barrasso and Inhofe, and on the other, Senators Boxer and Udall, over the extent of the “global cooling” hysteria in the early/mid -1970s: that is beyond the scope of this short post. By this point the argument has devolved into bickering over the details: It’s beyond dispute that the popular press trumpeted the global cooling scare widely at the time. And that a certain percentage of scientists believed the Earth was indeed cooling. The question then becomes: What percentage? The media of the time said that “most” or “many” scientists were predicting it, but the study cited by the USA Today article surveyed the literature in scientific journals at the time and found that the majority of the ones surveyed were not on board with the cooling thesis.

Keep in mind that I myself never pushed the thesis that “most” scientists in the ’70s predicted a new ice age, only that “some” did, John Holdren most notably among them. Even so, the “survey” of the literature of the era cited in the USA Today article was done by a global warming partisan, and we have no evidence that his survey was thorough or even-handed.

My only point was that Obama’s own science czar, now a leading advocate of the “catastrophic global warming” thesis, formerly used to warn of the exact opposite doomsday scenario — a looming ice age.

In an orgy of self-referential self-referencing, I hereby link to my latest post at PajamasMedia, which itself links to an earlier post of mine here at zomblog:

Outside Job: Using the Oscars to legitimize a political theory

The last time I posted on this topic (over two years ago), it elicited a great deal of outrage and finger-pointing on the part of those who disagreed with me. Let the argument continue!