by Max Brantley
Highlights from a slow Monday morning:
* ARKANSAS QUEEN TO LEAVE NORTH LITTLE ROCK: Channel 4 reports that the Arkansas Queen excursion boat docked in North Little Rock may be relocating to a point south.he'll find himself memorialized in the same way this Republican congressman from Mississippi has deservedly earned attention for being with Cotton in the handful of Republican extremists who opposed Hurricane Sandy relief bills:
Last week, two-term Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS) sparked controversy nationwide when he voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, despite representing coastal Mississippi, one of the regions hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and a top beneficiary of Katrina disaster aid.
But in addition to representing the region today, Palazzo was deeply involved in pressing for federal dollars in the fall of 2005. Then acting in his role as a local government official, Palazzo repeatedly appealed for federal funding to help rebuild his battered coastal Mississippi community in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
* WARM ENOUGH FOR YOU? I know most readers here believe more in science than faith that there's nothing extraordinary happening to the planet's climate. You know what those of blind faith say: Keep burning that coal, keep guzzling the gas, this little warming thing will pass. For the science-based, some relevant topics:
Remember climate change? The issue barely came up during the presidential campaigns, and little has been said since. But bringing climate change back into our national conversation is as much a communications challenge as it is a scientific one. Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, joins Bill Moyers to describe his efforts to do what even Hurricane Sandy couldn’t — galvanize communities over what’s arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity. Leiserowitz, who specializes in the psychology of risk perception, knows better than anyone if people are willing to change their behavior to make a difference.
“[A] pervasive sense up to now has been that climate change is distant — distant in time, and distant in space,” Leiserowitz tells Bill. “And what we’re now beginning to see is that it’s not so distant. It’s not just future generations. It’s us and it’s our own children. I have a nine-year-old son — he’s going to be my age in the year 2050. I don’t want him to live in the world that we’re currently hurtling towards.”
Then there's this positively depressing NY Times article from Canada, where communities in the northernmost reaches are having to manufacture ice (bring refrigeration to Eskimos, so to speak) to be able to play hockey.
The Canadian environmental ministry reports that the country is warming more than twice as fast as the world as a whole, with annual average temperatures in Canada up about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1948. The warming in winter is even faster, almost 6 degrees Fahrenheit over the same period, and scientists have documented a substantially shorter outdoor skating season as a result.
A study published last year by climate scientists at McGill and Concordia universities in Montreal warned that natural ice for skating could disappear from southern Alberta and British Columbia by midcentury and be significantly diminished throughout the rest of the country.
Hockey, schmockey. They can just play football like real Americans.
* ARKANSAN TO BE ADDED TO POULTRY HALL OF FAME: Got this from a family member of the honoree over the weekend, an interesting account of the story behind a soon-to-be new member of the American Poultry Hall of Fame. He's Jack England, 91, of Rison, who pioneered the brokerage hatching egg business. He'll join the likes of Don Tyson and Bo Pilgrim among the honorees. Kind of esoteric, maybe, but at its core it's the story of a small-town fellow who came up with a very good idea.