As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Beavis And Butt-head Party Strikes Again

Today is the second annual Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness on the issue of climate change. At 8:30pm local time, major businesses, local and national points of interest, and individual homes will dim their lights for one hour. Already today, sites ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Egyptian Pyramids have lowered their lights in recognition, and 4,000 cities in 88 countries will participate in the event. Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour will provide, in the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, "a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message: They want action on climate change."

It will also provide a new way for conservatives to show what hardcore rebels they are.

Tomorrow is something called Earth Hour. Take the official RedState Pledge:

I do solemnly swear that I will honor Earth Hour by turning on every light in my residence at 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2009, for one hour. God said, "Let there be light." Who are we to argue?

Yeah, they want you to turn your lights off, but everybody knows darkness leads to crime.

It's amusing to see Erick Erickson so terrified of possible boogeymen infiltrating his house from 8:30 to 9:30, as well as the wingnut tendency to go after all the most important targets, like symbolic light-dimming actions. But this has now become a cliche. My local wingnut radio hosts were making the same "jokes" last night: "I'll turn on every light in the house!... I'll keep my car running for an hour!" And of course, Glenn Beck devoted an entire show to running his car in the parking lot a couple months ago.

Conservatives are allowed to show their ignorance of sound science any way they want, but they ought to at least liven it up a bit. The "I'm going to turn on every light in the house" bit is getting about as hackneyed as jokes about airline food and Gilligan's Island ("all those clothes for a three-hour tour?"). Let me introduce you to a Republican with innovative and novel thinking about climate change. It's embarrassingly wrong, but at least it's new:

We've repeatedly documented Rep. John Shimkus' ridiculous positions on climate change. During a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing earlier this week, the downstate Republican was in rare form. Speaking to British global warming denier Lord Christopher Monckton, Shimkus made a novel argument that because plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, limiting our man-made carbon dioxide emissions would actually kill the world's plants. Watch the exchange here:

SHIMKUS: It's plant food ... So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? ... So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.

I've always wanted to use this line on Steve's site, and now it's appropriate: Shimkus did not appear to be kidding.

Shimkus basically maps out a world where, prior to the Industrial Revolution, no plant life existed, because we hadn't yet set into motion mass production of their "food." In this scenario, plants actually sprung to life shortly after the invention of the Watt steam engine in the 18th century.

Now THAT'S a new one! Relentlessly stupid, sure, but new.

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