The Idiots Guide to Skeptics

"Musings of a Malcontent" is a weekly op-ed by GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Carlyle Coash

Musings of a Malcontent: Environmental Irony in an Imperfect (but humorous?) World

Well it is about time.

The collective experts have spoken.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a 2007 Nobel Prize winning group of climate scientists, are releasing a report that basically says that the bad weather is just getting started. All of the crazy storms, flooding and general mayhem of the last several months will become a regular occurrence. The fun, one might say, is just beginning. More wet and more dry – creating a world of extremes. We must prepare for nature to continue to hand us our proverbial asses for many years to come.

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming.

Of course it comes at a perfect time with the recent statement from the Department of Energy saying that greenhouse gas levels have actually surpassed the worst-case scenario set by climate experts four years ago.

(Actually the same Nobel Prize winning experts from the above paragraph who were called “over-reactive” for their predictions. Pesky Nobel Prize winners!)

I love it when the good guys are proven right every so often, although that may not be a victory that is particularly sweet. Yeah – no one listened to us and now the world is actually worse off than we predicted. Go Team! We rock! Three cheers for being invisible! Gooooo irrelevance!

The world produced about 564 million more tons of carbon in 2010 than it did in 2009. It was an increase of about 6%. The research showed that coal emissions, the biggest source of carbon worldwide, jumped 8% last year. India and China still remain top users and with their populations growing this is a big concern. Better yet, China and the US emissions account for more than half of the increase last year.

Nice going everyone!

Way to Represent! Way to not be told what to do! We’re burnin' it carbon style – showing the world we mean bizniss. Heck, right now I’m blazing up a nice big chunk of red, white and blue coal to show my patriotic allegiance to this bitchin’ cool country of ours. Peace out!

Sorry it just comes over me sometimes.

What did impress me this week was that a well-established naysayer actually came out in favor of the science suggesting that the earth is getting warmer. Richard Muller, a physicist and global warming skeptic, spent the last two years examining the science behind climate chance predictions and data. Although a skeptic, he did what every good scientist should always do - challenge their assumptions. When he did he saw that in fact the planet was heating up, utilizing data going back over two hundred years – including readings taken by Benjamin Franklin. Thank you Bennie!

Richard's conclusions match what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA have concluded already, backing up what scientists have been saying for years. Makes you a little crazy, I know, but I am glad he actually did it and is speaking out. Even better is the fact that he is being partially funded by the Charles Koch Foundation – ya know – of climate denier Tea Party fame?

Irony really knows how to make me smile sometimes.

It does make me wonder what he was doing before when he was a skeptic. Not checking facts? Just disagreeing without any real understanding? He makes a point of saying how important it is to be skeptical and that the skeptics raised good points two years ago. How about being skeptical after you have some data to back you up rather than pissing all over the work someone did to demonstrate their point. They did the research and made predictions, which by the way are coming true with a vengeance. You on the other hand just publicly said it was wrong and then spent two years disproving yourself.

Great! Thanks for that.

(Although I am glad he fessed up)

The whole thing reveals the inherent weakness of skepticism based on bias or political views. Al Gore supports it? It has to be wrong. Liberals agree with it? It has to be wrong. The oil industry contributes to it? It is definitely wrong. I have no proof it is wrong, I just do not like that they are saying bad things about my friends. I am sad now and must cry. Waaaaa!

As a result we have made little change to a situation that we may not be able to catch up to. We have let our ability to discern truth get weak and scared, so much so that we back down when anyone yells their opinion at us. It is a perfect tactic. They are yelling, so they must be right. A simple equation – and one that we will regret having calculated all this time in their favor. Now it will be time for us to cry.

The future looks good though. Kids getting Black Lung at age 5. 100-degree weather in North Dakota in January. Smoking recommended by doctors as a cure for cancer. By then the naysayers won’t care because they will all be dead. Not their problem anymore, being dead and all. Plus their children will have escaped to their private naysayer islands with the atmospheric force fields protecting them from the reality of their ignorance. They will watch us on CNN as we choke and burn to death in the streets - far away from their tropical paradise.

So all in all it works out. Right?
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Image source: The Alopecian Muse

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