Monday, April 09, 2007

A Better Argument Than "197 Scientists Can't Be Wrong"

Maha writes:
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.

We might want to begin by figuring out what it is that we're trying to achieve.

If we're looking for allies to help light a fire under our elected representatives in government, I think we might have better success if, no matter how frustrating, we resist condescending and insulting them, calling them names. It only makes them defensive, they dig in their heels, which makes 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's the problem with "An Inconvenient Truth," despite the fact that it's "Global Warming for Dummies" made into a movie. It preaches to the choir, to people who already liked Al Gore, probably voted for him in 2000, and were already on board with understanding the danger that global warming posed to civilization on the planet. The people who need to see it, become convinced, and understand that changing human behavior is the solution won't go see it. They probably wouldn't have gone to see it in any case, but they certainly aren't about to put their entertainment dollars into any project that Gore or activists on the left derive profit from.

The war on global warming needs to be uncoupled 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 conservatives 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.

We need to develop better teaching models, audio-visual aids like those that appear in "An Inconvenient Truth," because explaining it through our blogs, electronic and print media, is one area where we might make the difference. 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 explain why it's not useless to try to change it (or why 37 inches of rain in one day in Mumbai isn't "typical"), who can? The debate in the blogosphere has been reduced to "Our side has 197 of the world's scientists, while your side has 2."

That's an argument for mob rule, not sound reason.

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