..but we totally told you so.  Sometimes, the super agro and confrontational environmentalist can be, well, a little off-putting.

Shocking, right?  But now, at long last, the science is there to back it up.  And no one can argue with SCIENCE, right?  Arguing with science just because it didn’t agree with your status-quo mode of operation would be silly.

The science in short.To be honest, I just wanted to find a way to include a cute picture of a cat.  Thats how the internet works, right??

The science in long form.

“[t]his is the latest in a string of studies that suggest fear-based messages can backfire if they clash with people’s underlying beliefs.”

Which, I admit, can be tricky when underlying beliefs are fed by a ever larger and more focal set of head-in-the-sand types aggressively working to put out contradictory and misleading information.  Still, telling people that the global warming is about to shave their dog, rape their daughter and sprinkle salt in the petunia patch is getting to be the congressional equivalent of calling your opponent Hitler.  Even if you think you’ve got a pretty good case, it sort of cuts off the conversation, ya know?

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The crazy folks at TPM are all going hippy-dippy about the same point that we made on this site a few days back.  The whole “BP might have changed their tune on the amount of oil that was spilled and the resulting tune changing has adversely affected the response to the spill to date” thing.  They, however, put more time into it, and actually made a pretty picture.  As always, a picture is worth somewhere between 960 and 1,027 words, so we’ll count this as a long post for the tabulating of word counts in this week’s LtAG competition.

To note: the top end estimate is now greater then 60,000 barrels, which is once AGAIN a change (and significant mark up) on what we wrote last week.

Check it out:

This is a to-scale image of what is now drawn on the back of BPs CEO Tony Hayward

This is a to-scale image of what is now drawn on the back of BP's CEO Tony Hayward

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On hearing the news that the best and brightest minds on the case of the gulf oil spill have decided to double the estimate of how much oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico since this thing started, we have an important question.  At this point, it seems like a complete toss up: is this the best PR way to play this thing, or the worst?  Our heartless money driven corporate overlords started us out slow, gentle even.  But there regularly scheduled upgrades to the estimate of how much is leaking keep making things feel worse and worse.  Every time we look back there are a new number of barrels being accredited to the same picture of gushing brown stuff.  How much is a barrel, again?  (more…)

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You know, BP really just got unlucky.  Could have happened to any of the giant oil-drilling behemoths that are also not doing a very careful job of checking their machinery in a desperate attempt to drive the bottom line even higher.  You almost feel bad for them, don’t you?

Yeah, neither do I. This is brilliant though:

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I would add some snark to this, but it’s basically the prefect BP message.

Poor multi-national corporation.  They are closing in on a perfect 10.0 on the evil/inept scale.

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Suck it, Exxon.  BP just straight up passed you.

Exxon Valdeze: #2 in our hearts.

Exxon Valdez: #2 in our hearts.

As the battle for who can us the phrase “Top Kill” the most times in a 24 hour news cycle rages on, Exxon has moved to #2 in the all time Oil Spill rankings.  That’s right: no matter what oil metric you are using, Deepwater has passed the Valdez for the worst oil spill in American history.

But with the plug procedure that is seemingly going well right now, our nation is gearing up to start the blame game.  Aw Shucks Jindal and James the Raging Cajun are pretty sure it’s that egghead Barry’s fault, either because he let it happen or because he’s not down there cleaning up oil right now.  Both takes seem fair to us.

On the other hand, the people we shouldn’t be blaming are the Government watchdog group Minerals Management Service.  Do you know how hard they work?  How much they do every day to steward the national mineral wealth this nation holds for our collective common good?  They should be allowed to take a few days off every so often, and blow of some steam, but because of those crazy government rules they end up having to blow off steam at work.    And by “blow off steam”, we mean “watch porn and do meth”, which basically just sounds like an average Wednesday afternoon board meeting to us.

Perhaps more damming then the porn and the drugs (more damning?  Really?  Did we just write that??) is this:

“Her biggest concern is the ease with which minerals agency employees move between industry and government, Kendall said. While no specifics were included in the report, “we discovered that the individuals involved in the fraternizing and gift exchange — both government and industry — have often known one another since childhood,” Kendall said.”

That don’t sound at all like the thing that Obamistan ran on the platform of not allowing at all to happen, does it?

As amazing as all that is this video might be even more amazing.  This is where BP really moves past Exxon in the hearts and minds of the public — in the disturbing and horrifying images that, before this week, the Valdez spill still had on lock.  Well, watch this and then tell us: Who’s Number One now, Bitches?

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When it comes to cheaply made, gauze-colored, overpriced furniture, Raymour and Flanigan has got the market cornered.  Their musical ditty, too, is one for the ages, and was first made famous by none other than President Howard Taft: “I can’t get this f***ing jingle out of my head!”  But now the ottoman oligarchy is trying a new selling tactic- I call it the “bouncing ball of flubber” greenwashing attempt.  Check it out:

This is certainly the oddest greenwashing commercial I’ve hit upon yet.  Specifically, I single out this text:

Cardboard becomes something like books or paper products.  Plastic and styrofoam turns into things like toys and every day useful items.  Now that’s truly beautiful.

Whoever wrote this dialogue is not really sure (a) what recycling is for, or (b) how exactly it works.  Apparently, in the R & F recylcing plant:  leftover boxes and plastic tarps have a parade, then start a conga line, and finish by dropping acid and following green balls of flubber into recycling machines.  Instantly, teddy bears and books appear, whirling around in a reefer haze, making the world greener with every bouncy step.  Ah, the magical world of recycling.  I’d like to take a tour of this factory.

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Oh GOD!  Why is HE here??  Read below the break to find out!

Oh GOD! Why is HE here?? Is he BACK?? Who would want to listen to HIM?

Today, that bastion of Liberal NewsSpeak, the New York Times, ran a story about how even the crazy conservationists were saying that, you know, maybe this whole oil spill thing might actually be able totally overblown and hey, maybe we can get this thing cleaned up after all!

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation, basically in the same tree-hugging love fest as GreenPeace, had this to say, as quoted in the NYT:

“The sky is not falling. We’ve certainly stepped in a hole and we’re going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn’t the end of the Gulf of Mexico.”

A realistic, but positive take on the whole kerfuffle!

The Times didn’t bother to mention that the group in question was directly connected to the offshore drilling industry, including the people who made the rig that caught on fire and started pouring out oil.  But, since Transocean, the company that owns the Deepwater Horizon rig (which rents the rigs to BP), is the paragon of virtue, we can only assume that their people are on point and that the Times was right to take them exactly at their word and not disclose anything more about them then that they were a “conservation organization”.  That is what we are assuming.  Settle down, you wild eyed Talking Points Memo hand-wringers(more…)

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I’ve compiled a unique list of what you can do this Earth Day to help save the humans from inevitable destruction via environmental catastrophe:

1. Try to exhale as little as possible today.  I know it’s tough, but puffing out all that unwanted CO2 is really a downer.

2. Ever thought about how much toilet paper you use in a year?  It’s widely determined to be about 30-40,000 sheets, which means that every time you do your deed, you’re foreclosing on the homes of hundreds of squirrels, birdies, and squatters.  Stop using that paper stuff today, and try this LtAG-endorsed ultramodern bamboo solution on for size.

3.  Old kitchen appliances are huge energy wasters- use today as an excuse to rip out your entire kitchen and revamp your eating space.  You’ll feel like a Jetson, AND can finally have room for all those magnetic poetry sets. (Hint: be sure to complete this before your significant other gets home.)

Simba finally gets the thanks he deserves.

Simba finally gets the thanks he deserves.

4. Do you drink your 8 glasses of water a day?  Stop using all those plastic water bottles, and switch to drinking out of one of these instead.  It may be a little harder to pack in your bag, but it’s refillable and will keep you going all day.

5. When was the last time you thanked a forest creature?  Despite what Hallmark may have you believe, you don’t need a reason to say “thank you” to a member of the animal kingdom.  So go up to your neighborhood deer, emu, or tiger today and thank them for all they do to help sustain our ecosystem.

6. Lightbulbs are so 1854.  Forego the lightswitch today, and convince your office to hold a candle-lit seance.  When you meet the ghosts of coworkers past, you’ll be able to tell them how environmentally responsible you are!

7. Trade in your gas guzzler for this European solution.  Car pooling may be a bit harder than before, but after driving this puppy, there’s no chance you’ll be watching Hawaii 5-0 by yourself this weekend.

8. Tired of seeing all that wasted food in restaurants?  Eat for free this Earth Day: pick a diner of your choice and booth hop, snagging leftovers as you go.  Who said there’s no such thing as free lunch?

9. You can surf the net and go green- dark green- at the same time.  Just be sure to never visit a page with a light-colored background, and you’ll help save precious “watt hours” for the children.

10.  Now that you’ve completed steps 1-9, you’re due for a celebration.  Take a big old swig of green beer, and rejoice in the knowledge that you’ve done 9 completely ridiculous things that may or may not have any impact on the environment.

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starbuckscupTomorrow, April 14, is “Big Picture” day at Starbucks.  Now, don’t get all excited- they’re not giving away free giant photographs of coffee beans and barista tools- I know, it’s very disappointing.  But, according to the coffee cult’’s website, if you bring a reusable mug into any Starbucks tomorrow, they’ll fill it with coffee for free.  Why?  They want to encourage customers to think of the big picture by considering the life span of each thing they throw away.  Starbucks’ goal? To encourage more people to begin using reusable coffee cups daily, resulting in more trees and less disposable cups in landfills.  They’ve got an online pledge you can take, and the numbers fuel the site’s calculator which shows  “how many trees” people are predicted to save by using their own cups.

Dutiful readers, well aware of my usual attacks when it comes to company “greening” efforts, may be suprised at my reaction to this campaign.   I actually like this one!   It’s rare for a company to discuss customer’s habits, and motivate for positive change.  And this free coffee bit, followed by Starbucks’ unending promise of 10 cents off any drink when using a reusable cup, are pretty convincing perks.  Bribery works, and I’m interested to see just how many people Starbucks can get to take one step forward in reducing their daily waste.

Starbucks, no doubt, benefits widely from this plan: they get a lot of positive PR, a flood of customers tomorrow,  and reduced costs from not providing cups, sleeves, and lids to a large percentage of customers.  Still, though, I think the net positive outweighs the gain by Starbucks big wigs.  So dig out that coffee mug and get to drinking the pep juice- your environment needs you!

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