Persistently Ignorant


We go through this every winter. Every snow fall, every cold snap, and the Right hoots derisively that this proves global warming is a hoax.

And then scientists attempt to patiently explain why global warming actually makes cold snaps worse. Cold snaps and global warming go hand-in-hand, even. And, of course, the Right will have none of that.

It’s fascinating that the Right is so certain all those scientists sounding the alarm about global warming are only saying that because they are being paid to say it. I’m not sure who stands to gain from all this largesse. I don’t see the green tech companies having enough cash to pay off 97 plus percent of the world’s climate scientists. The fact that the petrochemical industry really does have a lot of cash and stands to lose much future income if fossil fuels are phased out doesn’t seem to get their attention.

And while I’m there — see “Dark Money” Funds Climate Change Denial Effort in Scientific American.

The denialism on the Right takes two forms. One, you’ve got the usual cretins (I’m convinced one must have a negative IQ to write for Newsbusters) who don’t look at the science at all but instead pick apart comments made by non-scientist news personalities. The other is to point to disagreements among climate scientists as to precisely how global climate change functions.

Apparently, until scientists are 100 percent in agreement about the cause and nature of a particular phenomenon, we can just ignore the science. By that logic, since scientists are still struggling to understand how gravity works, maybe we can persuade the Koch Brothers to step off a cliff.

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  1. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jan 7, 2014 @11:12 am

    I always assumed such a thing was a conscious strategy. If you want to sow doubt about science, especially with scientists who are paid by the bad guys, the first thing you should do is spread the idea that climate scientists all have something to gain by the hoax. Then, people remember that, sure, some scientists were paid by the oil and coal companies, but don’t climate scientists also have some reason to lie? Obviously, no one can tease out the truth, it’s too complicated.

    You have the right wing which will parrot any right wing talking point to stick it to the libtards, you have sensible people (always a minority), and you have the vast middle who can’t be sure who is lying to them so they are willing to disregard the issue which, face it, does seem too big to be possible. Under those circumstances, the right wing doesn’t win the battle for minds, but they do win the battle overall, because all they want is to maintain the status quo.

  2. uncledad  •  Jan 7, 2014 @11:37 am

    “The fact that the petrochemical industry really does have a lot of cash and stands to lose much future income if fossil fuels are phased out doesn’t seem to get their attention”

    Oh it gets their attention alright, I would wager that the folks at FAUX are being handsomely compensated for spewing the lies about climate change, just as most in the MSM are being paid for silence. Ignorant fools like “the Donald” jump on the low information bandwagon just to get an appearance on the TeeVee!

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 7, 2014 @11:55 am

    “By that logic, since scientists are still struggling to understand how gravity works, maybe we can persuade the Koch Brothers to step off a cliff.”

    Nah, that ain’t gonna work.

    They may be crazy Conservative ideologue’s, but they ain’t THAT stupid!

  4. maha  •  Jan 7, 2014 @12:31 pm

    They may be crazy Conservative ideologue’s, but they ain’t THAT stupid!

    OK, so let’s challenge the crew at Fox News to step off a cliff.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 7, 2014 @12:00 pm

    Conservative POV:

    Listen, you stupid Libtards, we’re freezing our nuts off, so we KNOW for a fact there’s no “Global Warming!”

    You people always need something stupid to worry about!

    If it’s not wars, occupations, torture, rendition, deregulation, racism, misogyny, vagina-rights, xenophobia, homophobia, owls, fishies, etc., and income inequality, it’s something else!

    All the GOOD hate stuff!!!

    And who cares if the Arctic and Antarctic are melting?

    That’s God’s Plan for us!

    Now, what we need to do, is beat them Godless Heathen Russkies and Ch*nks to all of the oil and precious metals!!!

    Or else there’ll be more stuff you stupid Libtards hate, like wars, occupations, torture, and rendition – and sweet, sweet deregulation, etc., and beautiful income inequality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get over yourselves, Libtards!

    Go out and freeze your nuts off today in the record COLD temperatures, helping your precious “moocher” and “taker” homeless people!

    If you’re sitting in a warm house today, or a warm workplace, that just means, as usual, that YOU’RE the REAL hypocrites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Monty  •  Jan 7, 2014 @12:07 pm

    I was particularly amused by the individual who predicted the phrase “global warming” will disappear in 2014…because of the current cold weather IN. THE. UNITED. STATES.

    These clowns really don’t understand there exists an entire world of which the United States of Stupid comprises only 2% surface area. Or the difference between hemispheres – that’s right, kids: summertime in the US is winter for countries in the southern hemispheres, so if these morons want to be consistent they should argue about the June cold snap in Austria Australia. Fucking idiots.

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 7, 2014 @12:58 pm

    If Rupe or Rog told them to, they’d jump.

    But for fun, I’d want them to see them balance beach-balls on their noses first, like the trained seals in the circus do.

  8. moonbat  •  Jan 7, 2014 @1:33 pm

    I’ve been around the block many times with wingnuts over this, and I’m always amazed (and saddened) at just how particularly entrenched their denialism is. It’s right up there with their belief in the free market fairy.

    They have several root beliefs/approaches to this.

    – the government (always the evil government) funds these scientists to lie, so the evil government can advance its agenda of 1) extracting more tax money from the wingnuts, and 2) control their lives even more, via socialist environmental laws, that would of course inconvenience or infringe upon their precious freedoms. A shorthand way of saying this, is that It’s All Part of the Socialist Agenda and You Can’t Fool Me.

    – and of course, the scientists are only in it for the money. It’s almost impossible to get a wingnut to see that other people do indeed work for reasons other than money, a depressing projection of how the wingnut themself views work and money.

    – because the wingnut views themself and their cause as blameless and victimized, they cannot/will not apply “follow the money” to those scientists working for the energy industries.

    – at the root of it is fear of change. If we were to take climate change seriously, they fear, correctly or not, it would be The End of the American Way of Life, and this the wingnut will never allow, no matter how hard they must close their eyes to reality. This is the Real Aim of the Socialist Agenda.

    – they are drawn to, and inevitably pick apart the climate models, which are abstract and are easy targets in that they are not perfect, and are always evolving as more data comes in. Anything abstract is seen by the wingnut as useless anyway, and another waste of tax money.

    – they NEVER look at real world data, such as the movement of plants and animals to different geographic zones, induced by climate change, UNLESS it’s an outlier, which supports their argument.

    There is enough variation in the data, that you can take a subset and use it as evidence against global warming. The most famous example of this is the notion that the earth has been cooling since 1998 – the “15 years of cooling” myth. 1998 was an extremely warm year, and so this claim only works if you start counting from 1998 – it falls apart if you start from any other year. But this is standard wingnut reasoning – look at outliers and not the whole picture – as applied to climate change. A huge portion of wingnuts believes the 15 year myth by itself proves that climate change is a hoax.

    – the lack of interest in real world data has a lot to do with the tiny zone of awareness or concern around the wingnut. Who cares about the arctic, or about something as big as climate, as long as I am comfortable.

    The wingnut will only care about climate change when it comes to their front door, and even then they don’t want to be inconvenienced. No amount of facts or reasoning works. Calls to action from industries like insurance and farmers who are seeing climate change affect their bottom lines, draw responses of: these people are only trying to capitalize on climate change hysteria, their calls to the government to do something are therefore bogus.

    Wingnuts generally don’t understand how science works – their simple minds demand 100% black and white agreement that climate change is real, before they would even consider it. Probabilities and levels of confidence are way beyond their little minds.

    I often like to throw this fact at them: we cannot prove with certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow, but we have a lot of evidence that suggests it might do so.

    To the wingnut “suggests” and “might” are weasel words, to be laughed at, and so they dismiss any parallel statements about climate, but this is how science works – it’s cautious and careful to not overstate a conclusion. Way beyond a wingnut.

    I’ve given up on these people. Their willful stupidity is just too strong and not worth arguing against.

  9. Stephen Stralka  •  Jan 7, 2014 @1:34 pm

    It’s certainly easier to explain winter storms in terms of global warming than severe cold. A blizzard is a huge release of energy, just the same as a hurricane, and all that energy comes from the sun. Trap more of it in the atmosphere and you get heavier storms.

    But even cold snaps aren’t that hard to explain. You just have to be capable of understanding that the climate is a complex system, and the introduction of more energy is going to cause all kinds of disruptions.

  10. moonbat  •  Jan 7, 2014 @1:47 pm

    SS – the explanation I’ve read: because the arctic is warmer, the temperature differential between the arctic and the lower latitudes is less, and this means the jet stream – which separates the two – is weaker. This allows pools of cold arctic air to more easily plunge south. I’d expect to see MORE of these vortexes in the future.

  11. DRickard  •  Jan 7, 2014 @2:28 pm

    So, we’ll reverse the wingnuts’ game; come July or August when most of the country is melting, we’ll ask if the existence of summer disproves their “global cooling” theory

  12. erinyes  •  Jan 7, 2014 @6:14 pm

    Until last night, we here in Florida have had a very warm fall and winter (thanksgiving day was also a bit chilly). The farms in plant city started picking strawberries a month early, and my blueberry bushes started blooming. We usually start getting cold fronts about a week apart beginning in mid October. This year has been different. Three years ago, we had a brutally cold winter that lasted until the last week in march. There is no doubt in my mind that we are having wild swings in our weather pattern. My main concerns are food production , more frequent tornadoes, and mega storms.

  13. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jan 7, 2014 @6:50 pm

    “By that logic, since scientists are still struggling to understand how gravity works, maybe we can persuade the Koch Brothers to step off a cliff.”

    Nah, that ain’t gonna work.

    They may be crazy Conservative ideologue’s, but they ain’t THAT stupid!

    But if they think that it would only affect the poor and minorities, they’d be glad to risk it, and, if necessary, come up with an alternate explanation for why the victims fell. “It was the downward pressing force of Big Government that made them fall!” or somesuch.

  14. Doug  •  Jan 8, 2014 @12:18 am

    The dodge I hear these days is a concession that global warming is real and a denial that it is man-made. This is usually coupled to a lot of excuses why we can’t or shouldn’t do anything. (Since they theorize it’s a natural cycle)

    Now – suppose you have a nice home, situated with a few thousand other homes and a forest fire – upwind for your home – is threatening. Do you –

    a) call out all available resources to save your town or
    b) wait until the results are in from an inquiry into the cause since

    if the blaze was caused by lightning, it’s natural and it would be wrong to interfere with nature. If it was started by a campfire, only then will you call out firefighters.

  15. Bill Arnold  •  Jan 8, 2014 @11:37 am

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