S&P Downgrades Planet Earth!!!

By Chris Mooney | August 16, 2011 8:56 am

Over the weekend, I wrote,

I’m also still waiting for the Onion headline: “S&P Downgrades Earth; Cites Unbalanced Carbon Budget.”

But the Onion was too slow, and so I took it on myself to write the piece, over at DeSmogBlog. It starts like this:

Washington, D.C.—In a move that came as a shock both in this city and throughout the planet on which it is located, Standard & Poor’s late Monday downgraded Earth from its unique HHH rating—the only one in the galaxy—to HH+.

The coveted HHH rating—meaning, “extremely habitable”—has become indefensible, the ratings agency said, due to continuing failures to balance the atmospheric carbon budget and an increasingly toxic political debate that renders better policies unlikely any time soon.

“Atmospheric carbon inputs continue to outweigh carbon outputs (or sinks), leading to a growing and unsustainable carbon ‘surplus,’” wrote S&P. “Unlike fiscal surpluses, this surplus is very dangerous and is already triggering rising temperatures, heat waves, droughts, and extreme weather patterns.”

Under the new HH+ rating, the Earth is still considered “highly habitable” for humans. However, S&P also changed the planet’s outlook to “negative,” suggesting the possibility of further downgrades.

Critics Cite Dearth of Spaceships

Criticism came fast and furious….

You can read on here. Enjoy.

P.S.: Joe Romm reposts the spoof, and adds an additional ratings downgrade for humanity.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Economy, Global Warming, Humor

Comments (3)

  1. bad Jim

    “Carbon budget deniers” is pretty clever.

  2. Brian Too

    I like it!

    Might I humbly suggest a (distantly) related press release:

    Standard & Poor’s today abruptly downgraded Venus from a HHH rating to DDD (Deadly, Dangerous and Damaging). When questioned about the drastic change, S&P representatives said “who cares about Venus? We thought no one was paying attention!”


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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