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Friday Finds: SpongeBob's Global Warming Conspiracy

FOX News attacks climate change believing sponge

FOX News attacks climate change believing sponge
A sea sponge is the latest target of the FOX News climate denial-sphere, reports ThinkProgress. In a recent episode of FOX and Friends, the hosts rip into the popular kids’ cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants for its segment on climate change, which points to humans as the source of Earth's carbon woes. Fox personality Gretchen Carlson and others chastise the cartoon for looking at only “one point of view”—that is, humans are the primary cause of global warming by releasing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air. Though this view is held by 97 percent of climate scientists, the browbeating does make for a nice segue into FOX’s other favorite past time—criticizing publicly funded agencies like the Department of Education for pushing anti-American agendas like global warming. The DOE’s latest transgression? Handing out Nickelodeon books at an event that pushes “unproven science” about climate change onto children.

New York stops foragers in their food finding tracks
Foraging for food in outdoor spaces like Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park is on the uptick, and it’s riling New York City park officials, reports the New York Times. As the latest foodie trend picks up steam, public parks are taking a hit in the form of lost plants, trees and even animals, whose loss negatively impacts the overall ecosystem. “I have caught [foragers] leaving the park with coolers full of fish and turtles,” says Beverly McDermott, director of Friends of Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens. But as long as NYC foragers show some restraint, they shouldn't fret too much. Though foraging is technically illegal in NYC's parks, it seems more likely that they'd suffer the wrath of a poisonous mushroom than being thrown behind bars anytime soon.

ALEC sponsors take greenwashing to the extreme
A number of corporate giants that have publicly touted their carbon-cutting abilities are secretly funding a right-wing group that denies the threat of climate change, reports ThinkProgress Green. Walmart, UPS, Bayer and AT&T are just some of the corporations that have publicly acknowledged the threat of climate change while funding the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, which not only denies the threat of global warming, but goes so far as to suggest that “substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States.” Corporate entities like Kraft and Spectra Energy go even further with their greenwashing  by being members of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a global climate change reporting system, while giving large sums of money to a supposedly nonpartisan organization that seeks to eliminate any regulations that would actually decrease carbon emissions.

Obama keeps on truckin’ to increase vehicle fuel efficiency
Truckers nationwide are getting an energy efficiency boost, reports the Los Angeles Times. This week, President Obama announced the first efficiency standards for long-haul rigs, work trucks and heavy-duty vehicles that will cut fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions nine to 23 percent by 2018, depending on the vehicle. That’s no small potatoes considering that trucks, which make up less than 5 percent of the domestic vehicle fleet, use about 20 percent of all vehicle fuel. As the Times points out, though many Republicans and corporate lobbyists are quick to label environmental regulations like fuel efficiency standards as “job-killers,” the auto industry is arguing that these new rules could actually both cut carbon emissions and create jobs—meaning that Americans can have green and go green all at the same time.