Further to last night's parenthetical note on James Cameron and Michael E Mann's el stinko floppo big-budget climate bomb...
Multi-million Dollar Global Warming Disaster Epic 'Years of Living Dangerously' Beaten in TV Ratings by 'Bob's Burgers' Reruns
...our friend Ed Driscoll notes this eerily complementary headline:
Hamburgers Are the Hummers of Food in Global Warming: Scientists
In this instance, the scientists are playing catch-up to my late colleague Auberon Waugh, with whom I shared the pages of the Telegraph and Spectator for many years. He was on to this before anyone:
AMONG the many reasons for mourning the passing of Auberon Waugh is that he will not be here to witness the final obliteration of hunting by the Labour Party. Waugh had many targets for his mockery. There was Lymeswold cheese, and hamburger gases which he linked, with uncanny prescience, to global warming.
Indeed, he did. And there were no end of victims:
President 'Bill' and Mrs Clinton gave a terrible Inauguration Ball for ordinary people at which no one was allowed to smoke, adorned by their 12-year-old daughter, Chelsea, thought to be a victim of hamburger gases.
But these are tough times for a satirist. The gap between whimsical jest and planet-threatening settled science is about a decade and a half:
CHICAGO - When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists say.
Simply switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car at home a couple days a week.
That's because beef is such an incredibly inefficient food to produce and cows release so much harmful methane into the atmosphere, said Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada.
Somehow it all comes back to bovine flatulence. If only James Cameron and Jessica Alba had replaced Michael E Mann with a flatulent Holstein they might be competitive with a three-in-the-morning "Golden Girls" rerun dubbed into Hmong on Channel 723.
~Ed also has some nice things to say about the new, expanded eBook edition of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, which is just as well, as we only did it because he demanded it. Ed says:
Ezra Levant of Canada's Sun News calls it "a riveting collection of stories chronicling the lives of the men and women who helped shape the 20th century," and he's right. For a perfect snapshot of what life was like among the overculture â€“ in the media, in pop culture, and in politics in the last and first decade of the new and old millennium, simply read the profiles Steyn has crafted for his Passing Parade.
Ed also observes that Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen" is used as a mournful leitmotif for the decline of Vegas, from Evel Knievel to Tupac Shakur. For an extensive list of where to download Passing Parade around the world, see below.
~Speaking of self-garlanded Nobel Laureate Michael E Mann, as we were up above, my old boss Conrad Black writes about the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century in the new issue of The American Spectator:
Mann became one of the stars of the global warming movement by advocating this so-called "hockey stick" graph, which claims that the world's average temperature remained more or less flat over the past thousand years until it suddenly shot upward around 1900â€”like a hockey stick laid on the ground, the blade shooting up from the shaft. It was a simple image that caught on, but the reliability of the data on which it is based has been called into question by many in the scientific community, including proponents of anthropogenic climate change such as Hans von Storch of the University of Hamburg, who has called the stick model quatsch, or "nonsense."
In the fifteen years since Mann stepped onto the rink with his stick in hand, data suggests that there has been no change in world temperature. Over the last seventy years, temperatures have risen by about one degree centigrade. But the alarmists, who have embarrassed themselves with their "end is nigh" scenarios, are unrepentant. Unsurprisingly a great deal of scorn has been heaped upon the whole global warming fraternity (and I for one have not entirely succeeded in resisting the temptation to join in the fun). But these jabs are generally endured as fair comment, especially in the United States. Mann's lawsuit, then, is (to continue the sports analogy) something of a last stand by a group of struggling players at the crease in front of their goalie...
But anyone who thinks that facts and the First Amendment trump all here is unfamiliar with the American legal system...
Which Conrad most certainly is. Over at Popehat, Ken White takes a more benign view of the system, and indeed of the procedural morass in which this case has been beached for almost two years. After the usual pro-forma warning that what he's about to explain will render the reader comatose (not true in my case: being the mere pretext for this fascinating jurisprudential exercise, I find attempted justifications for the system have the same effect on me as telling Bruce Banner you can't park there), Mr White writes of the present appeal (not by me) to the Court of Appeal to determine whether the appellants have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeal:
My point is this: procedural issues can be dry, obscure, difficult to understand, annoying, and completely transformative of the way the court system works for real people. A win on this procedural issue for the defendants is a very important victory for all defendants in DC seeking to vindicate their free speech rights, because it gives a defendant two bites of the apple under the anti-SLAPP statute.
If you say so. I would be surprised, he remarks mordantly, if anything that clear-sighted emerged from this courthouse. But my point's a cruder one: DC's law (like so many others) was ill-drafted and not ready for primetime. To modify Nancy Pelosi, they had to appeal the law to find out what was in it. Which is tough if you're on the receiving end, and would like to get on with your life. At any rate, I'm hopeful this pause will not last quite as long as the current 17-year global-warming "pause", and we intend to use the time to mount a forensic investigation of Dr Mann. If you'd like to help support that pushback, I'd be awfully grateful.
~I always enjoy filling in for Rush, and we'd kept tomorrow open, because, as HR and Snerdley like to say, they've been playing it by ear in case he needs another day off. But I was delighted to hear the man himself return to the airwaves a couple of hours ago, and in sparkling form after his surgery. He turned off the Dittocam, because he says he looks like Claude Rains in The Invisible Man, and the bandages won't be coming off till after today's show. But it's great to have him back.
As for me, I'll be talking to Hugh Hewitt on the radio, live coast to coast later today at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.
~Finally, if you're interested in reading what Ed Driscoll and Ezra Levant are raving about, here's how to pick up Mark Steyn's Passing Parade. In the US, you can get it in Kindle format at Amazon, and in Nook at Barnes & Noble. In Canada, you can get it at Indigo-Chapters, and for those other corners of the Commonwealth in which Kobo is boffo you can also find it here.
Passing Parade is also available at Amazon worldwide. Click below for your nearest branch office:
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