Creationists get knickers in a bunch over JFK and Carnival Cruise Lines advert

It’s that special time of the year. The Super Bowl is over, we are still reeling (or happy, if you’re into that sort of thing) over the Worst Play Call In History, and wingnuts have now had a couple days to decide which of the commercials were the evilest and demonic-est of them all.

Ken Ham, that creationist nutbag who debated Bill Nye The Science Guy last year, and who is pretty sure that all nonexistent aliens burn in hell, has made his decision, and the winner of this year’s post-Super Bowl Two Minutes Hate will be Carnival Cruise Lines, who had the utter gall to make a commercial that featured a nice quote from John F. Kennedy, about how we all love the ocean because we used to live there before we lost our gills during Evil-lution. Here is that Kennedy quote, for your handy reference:

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea — and it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.”

Uh, sorry, John F. Kennedy and fancy boat company, but Ken Ham…responded on his Answers In Genesis website:

Don’t you just feel this “personal connection?” After all, your ancestor came out of the sea and evolved by natural processes to produce you. Blah, blah, blah. RTFA if you think you’re missing anything. They quote whole chunks of this crap and even include the attack upon Neil Degrasse Tyson, to round it up.

So, of course, because Fundamentalist Christian dinguses are all convinced that everyone secretly believes as they do, and because they think they represent the mainstream of their own religion, a few of them took to the Twitter (also created by God, duh) to express their displeasure at the newfound atheism of Carnival Cruise Lines. If you watched the ad above and listened to those words from JFK and you’re not getting how any of that implies that Carnival Cruise lines is an atheist god-hater, that’s because you are not a dumb creationist jackhole like this guy…

Anyway, so John F. Kennedy and a fleet of unsaved boats are the devil, Goddidit, the end.

Once again, fundamentalist True Believers prove to be funnier than most of the commercials on Super Bowl Sunday.

Oh, and BTW, the commercial got it wrong because JFK got it wrong, We’re 0.9% salt, the ocean is 3.5%…

Climate change, responsible investing and divestment

Around the world, institutional investors – including pension funds, insurance companies, philanthropic endowments, and universities – are grappling with the question of whether to divest from oil, gas, and coal companies. The reason, of course, is climate change: unless fossil-fuel consumption is cut sharply – and phased out entirely by around 2070, in favor of zero-carbon energy such as solar power – the world will suffer unacceptable risks from human-induced global warming. How should responsible investors behave in the face of these unprecedented risks?

Divestment is indeed one answer, for several reasons. One is simple self-interest: the fossil-fuel industry will be a bad investment in a world that is shifting decisively to renewables. (Though there will be exceptions; for example, fossil-fuel development in the poorest countries will continue even after cutbacks are demanded in the rich countries, in order to advance poverty reduction.)

Moreover, divestment would help accelerate that shift, by starving the industry of investment capital – or at least raising the cost of capital to firms that are carrying out irresponsible oil, gas, and coal exploration and development, despite the urgent need to cut back. Though no single institutional investor can make a significant difference, hundreds of large investors holding trillions of dollars of assets certainly can.

Indeed, divestment by leading investors sends a powerful message to the world that climate change is far too dangerous to accept further delays in the transition to a low-carbon future. Divestment is not the only way to send such a message, but it is a potentially powerful one.

Finally, investors may divest for moral reasons. Many investors do not want to be associated with an industry responsible for potential global calamity, and especially with companies that throw their money and influence against meaningful action to combat climate change. For similar reasons, many investors do not want handgun manufacturers or tobacco companies in their portfolios…

Of course, the need for climate action does not stop with investors; sustainable consumption and production practices by businesses and individuals must be part of the solution as well. The transition to a safe, low-carbon future requires all parts of society to act responsibly and with foresight. As leaders in education, research, and problem solving, universities have a unique responsibility and opportunity to lead, including as responsible and ethical investors.

RTFA for alternatives suitable to the somewhat-ethically-challenged. Plus – a historical comparison to a blast from the past from the tobacco industry. An example of profits and dividends from an investment with no socially-redeeming value whatsoever.

Disco Clams – an underwater light show

The so-called “disco clam” is one eye-catching mollusk—nestled in coral reefs off Indonesia, the animal generates brilliant flashes of light that earned it its festive name.

Though fascinating, this flamboyant bivalve (Ctenoides ales) is still poorly understood, something Lindsey Dougherty, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley is trying to change. Earlier this year, Dougherty shed light on how the clam’s flashing works—by reflecting light through tiny bits of silica near the edge of its shell, and not through bioluminescence like other species…

Dougherty and her team tested three hypotheses for the clam’s brilliance: attracting a mate to spawn eggs, catching the attention of light-seeking plankton, or sending a warning to potential predators.

And two outta three ain’t bad, eh?