Jan 16, 2010

You no doubt have run into a sticky door or two in your lifetime. You know, the kind where you have to pull and pull and just when you think you've pulled your hardest, it breaks free? What you probably never thought about is the energy that is released at the moment the door comes loose. If you are lucky, you don't hit yourself in the face with it. If you examine the door edge and the door jam, you can see where the door and the frame have rubbed. The force of opening the stuck door is akin to the forces that caused Haiti's devastating earthquake this week. Tectonic plates sliding past one another catch sometimes and when the pressure to break free is sufficient, they pop loose. The energy is released as waves of destructive force. As we all know, when the ground beneath you moves, bad stuff often follows. So that is the Merle Wayne Sneed explanation of earthquakes, based upon an introduction to geology class I took in college. Semi-accurate and semi-informed, take it for what it's worth. So, now I move from tectonics to human behavior, another subject I may or may not actually know anything about. Students of history may recall that William J. Clinton was President of the United States during the latter part of the last century. Or as we hipsters say, back in the day. Mr. Clinton is a likable sort, in a roguish way. He gets himself into trouble, but it is hard not to pull for him as he tries to extricate himself from the latest. As we all know, part of getting out of a really bad jam is making some shit up to 'splain it away. Mr. Clinton told lies so often that even he believed them. Or at least he did before he retired and became a senior statesman. But don't get me wrong, this post isn't about bashing President Clinton, it is about people who think that what they say must be true, since they said it. Too often, these folks have surrounded themselves with people who won't tell them when they are wrong or full of crap. It is like the character Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock. He keeps a posse around him simply to tell him he is right, no matter how outlandish he gets. So what does this have to do with earthquakes and Bill Clinton? Nothing, it has to do with Danny Glover, the actor. Mr. Glover, speaking on Fox News, says the the Haitian earthquake is the result of the failure of the Copenhagen Global Warming Summit. His actual quote follows. "What happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming," Glover said. "When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I'm sayin'?" Global warming may cause a lot of problems, but I'm confident that no reputable or even disreputable scientist has linked it to earthquakes. And no amount of discussion, agreements or disagreements at Copenhagen could have stopped the destruction of Haiti. Mr. Glover is no dummy. After all he is a college graduate, a distinguished actor and leader in the modern civil rights movement. I don't know if an undergraduate degree in economics makes him super smart, but I know it at least shows that he is not super dumb. Some on the interwebs refer to Mr. Glover as moronic for his remarks about this earthquake and his linking it to global warming. I prefer to think that Mr. Glover is so used to being told that he is super duper, that he merely confused his pronouncement with actual facts. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

The Bug said...

We had a door like that. My husband applied some sandpaper & then we kept almost hitting ourselves in the head because it was so EASY to open.

I agree that public figures can come across as dumb when they make pronouncements about things and don't have actual knowledge to back them up. I guess I'd call them ignorant.

But it's so natural to try to come up with a REASON for things - if there's a REASON then maybe we can fix it instead of watching Haiti get pounded by disaster every time we turn around...

Megan said...

What a dingbat.

Mr. Glover, I mean. Not you.

Pauline said...

It would appear that Mr. Glover read or was told about an article in the Chalko (2008) NU Journal of Discovery that made references to global warming and increased earthquake activity. The story has been pulled by news agencies but apparently the idea has taken root. In places where glaciers are melting, increased earthquake activity may occur (www.livescience.com/environment/070830_gw_quakes.html AND www.csmonitor.com› Sci/Tech› Environment)but a connection between melting glaciers and the earthquake in Haiti has not been found.

Anonymous said...
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Reya Mellicker said...

Three things are blamed for every ill these days: weight, smoking, and global warming.

As a species we prefer simple answers to complicated questions.

Apparently.

Kurt said...

I agree with anonymous. This was a great enter!

Alan Smithee said...

Glover was great in To Sleep with Anger (1990).

Annie Ha said...

This made me think of that scene in Bull Durham when Kevin Costner is giving Tim Robbins all the one-liners for the press.

Anonymous said...

You have such a good way with words, and a wonderful mind to process them. I like reading what you write.