Global Idiots

Will someone please explain to these scientifically illiterate twits that the phenomenon of global warming doesn’t mean the planet is getting warmer in a uniform way. My understanding is that climate changes are causing shifts in long-established patterns of air circulation around the planet as well as disrupting ocean current patterns like the Gulf Stream. These changes are causing some places to get colder because air is moving more directly from the poles to those places that it used to. But it’s the warming of the oceans, among other things, that is causing the changes in wind and current patterns. Hence, global warming is causing some parts of the planet to be cooler. Some scientists argue that we ought to be talking about “global climate change” rather than “global warming” to avoid confusion.

Every time I see some dimbulb rightie hoot because there’s a cold snap in his neighborhood (hence, global warming is a myth) I feel embarrassed for our species.

Update: The same scientifically illiterate twits turn out to be economically illiterate twits as well.

As Atrios would say … the stupid! It burns!

13 thoughts on “Global Idiots

  1. Notice how there’s a huge overlap between those who deny evolution and those who deny global warming/climate change (or climate collapse as it should probably be called). I wonder when denial of climate change became part of right-wing fundamentalist dogma. Maybe they think it’s blasphemous to imagine that humans could alter God’s earth, or to worry about the next generation when the rapture is going to happen Any Day Now.

  2. The best way to put it is that there is a difference between weather and climate.

    Obviously, one local weather event is less than a speck against the backdrop of the overall climate.

    You can find this answer and other answers to the various urban myths circulating around the wingnutosphere here:

  3. nice guy, i think you’re on the money. i observe that many fundamentalist christrians dogmatically and reflexively see any scientifically described threat to the earth or civilization not outlined in Revelation as a heretical departure from their scriptures, and therefore some kind of lefty farce. These are the same folks who attack evolution while unable to provide a scientifically acceptable definition of what evolution even is. Guys like Surber probably don’t the difference between global warming and the hole in the ozone layer, either.

    And since i mentioned the ozone layer, might it make sense to use this as an example of sound environmental policy to contrast the rightie head-in-sand approach? My understanding is that the hole in the ozone layer is significantly smaller than 10 years ago due mainly to (gasp!) strict government regulation of the culprit chemical byproducts, over the predictable objections of most rightleaning policy makers. I’m not an earth scientist, maybe someone can elaborate on this or let me know if i’m mistaken.

  4. A quick answer simple enough to be understood by these folks might go like this: “global warming” causes greater swings in local temperatures during seasonal changes.

    A longer answer for a minimally technical audience might talk about how the global temperatures are constantly changing, as heat dumped in the tropics and temperate zones migrates toward the poles and escapes. Now, imagine making that heat travel further north (or south) in order to escape. But this is in a closed system, so more hot air that goes north has to be balanced by more cold air from the north coming south somewhere else. Result: bigger temperature swings.

    “Global warming” is, of course, a dreadful term. It’s only the lower troposphere that’s really likely to heat up. Sadly, that’s where most of us live and where almost all our food comes from.

    Even the right-wing’s favored euphemism, “global climate change” is inaccurate: does anybody think the middle of the Sahara is going to be profoundly affected? How would they tell? And the Gobi desert isn’t going to get wetter — and can’t really get much drier. As we’re seeing — in real time — the majority of the direct effects will be felt at high latitudes. Mid latitudes will only have the odd pestilence, crop failures, and killing heat waves. Hey, 3 out 4 of the 4 horsement ain’t bad.

    Eplaining anything, let alone something as complex as climatology, to folks who have an innate mistrust of science is not something I’d care to spend my time on, but I’ll hold your hat while you try.

  5. Global warming = more energy introduced into the weather system = more “excitement” in a non-fun way. To put it succinctly.

    ‘nuf said.

  6. It should also be noted that the overall trend is warmer temperatures everywhere, and one cold spell doesn’t negate the trend at all. (Al Gore has some neat-o graphs in An Inconvenient Truth that show the data.) Based on what I’ve read, the tangible effects of global warming are seen in warmer ocean temperatures and not air temperatures necessarily; it’s the warmer ocean temperatures that are causing Katrina-level hurricanes and tsunamis worldwide, just as one example.

  7. Nice summing up.

    There’s certainly some warming due to that burning stupidity you cite.

    Where’s Inhofe and his icicles when ya need him? ;-0

  8. While global warming is self-descriptively accurate, a more useful, and equally valid conclusion is that the free energy in the atmosphere is increasing. If you sit in a swing and rock gently back and forth, the swing will start to oscillate. Dig in and really start to pump your legs and back . . . get the picture? Besides the really bad effects have little to do with temperature per se. Rising sea levels (not likely to be a smooth process by the way — ice sheets fail catastrophically) will render many coastal cities uninhabitable. Persistent drought in North Western India and northern China will put a tenth of the world’s population in a zone of ecological collapse comparable to that currently experienced in the Sahael. Moderate winters will allow northward migration of pest species (e.g. kudzu, fire ants, Aedes generic mosquitos) that had currently been range-limited by frost kill. I could go on, but others have done so better than I.

  9. Will someone please explain to these scientifically illiterate twits that the phenomenon of global warming doesn’t mean the planet is getting warmer in a uniform way.

    We might want to begin by not condescending and insulting them by calling them “scientifically challenged twits,” no matter how true it is or how frustrating talking with them is proving to be. That is, of course, if what we’re trying to achieve is gaining them as allies who can help light a fire under our elected representatives in government. Calling them names only makes them defensive, they dig in their heels, which seems to make convincing them of the urgency of taking their heads out of their anuses all the more difficult.

    If we really believe that global warming is the single greatest threat to “our way of life” (I do), as well as it being the single greatest threat to civilization continuing on the planet (I do), and that drastic measures are necessary (I do), and that even waiting for Bush-Cheney to leave office is too long if we’re to try to mitigate the devastation ahead (I do), then we’re going to have to rethink how we’ve been going about this problem. Shouting didn’t make Annie Sullivan any more understandable to Helen Keller.

    Are Al Gore and the Global Warming Crisis Inextricably Linked?

    Al Gore has been doing all of the heavy lifting. While I admire his efforts, his dedication, and how he teaches, Gore and global warming have become synonymous. This issue is more than Al Gore, the 2000 election, Bush stealing elections, and with him as the poster boy for this climate changing catastrophe, they both become too easy to dismiss.

    It’s really a tragedy what has been done to that man, but done, he is. He’s beyond having ‘baggage’: He is a lightning rod chained to steamer trunks stuffed with IEDS. If, when you hear some celebrity’s name and a punchline pops into your head, even if you cringe and don’t think it’s funny but you know everyone else in the room is having the same thought, then that celebrity’s public life is over.

    That said, I took “An Inconvenient Truth” and edited it down to Gore just explaining the science of global warming: Of how he became convinced, how scientists know, what they had projected in their past measurements and how right they’ve been.

    I edited out the sub-plot – Why him?, Why global warming?, Why now? I eliminated all that was personal, human, subjective, editorial, and left just the meat. [It’s not as raw or choppy as I’d expected it to be. Had I more time, I’d have put it through IMovie and smoothed over the cuts, but we are, after all, in a race to save civilization. Towards the end, the video started breaking up (a software problem), but the audio is fine. I’ll redo it soon.]

    It’s a step in de-identifying global warming with Gore. You shouldn’t have to like Gore before you can sign on to believing there is a crisis and committing to doing something about it, but that’s the way they are. (These are people who have and will cut off their noses to spite their faces. Even if they came to like or respect Gore, they’d sooner die than admit they were might have been wrong.)

    It’s here, in various edited clips.

    I don’t expect it to win over the dyed-in-red-wool trolls. It may, however, help us to develop better teaching models, because teaching it through our blogs, electronic and print media, is one area where we might want to focus our efforts. If we who write for a living (or past-time/passion) become frustrated and can’t explain why what’s happening isn’t “part of a natural cycle” (or that it’s useless to try to change it, or worse, we can’t explain to those in denial why 37 inches of rain in one day in Mumbai isn’t “typical”), who can? The dialogue on so many “mixed” blogs has been reduced to “Our side has most of the world’s scientists (exactly how many is that?), while your side has 19.” That’s an argument for mob rule, not sound reason.

  10. We might want to begin by not condescending and insulting them by calling them “scientifically challenged twits,

    That’s fine, but I wasn’t talking to them. I was pleading for someone else to do it. And frankly, having dealt with these creeps for years, I doubt anyone could do it. If they were to experience so much as a flickering moment of realization that maybe there’s something to this global warming thing, their heads would explode.

  11. How about some evidence to support your claim, rather than insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with you?

    All you have said is “they are stupid. so there!” Yeah… you sure showed me.

  12. How about some evidence to support your claim, rather than insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with you?

    Also, most people who read this blog are bright enough to know something about science. I don’t have to explain everything to them. However, if you had a brain you’d have noticed there are LINKS, airhead.

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