Monday, September 2, 2013

A Climate Change Parable

I was reading some silliness about Global Cooling or Global Warming or  Climate Change on The Guardian's website, and came upon this little parable by someone named CloutPerson.  It beautifully captures why there are so many skeptics and denialists remaining in the reality-based community.

(Another reason for our skepticism is that we all own thermometers.  Read the article in the link.  The author is distressed and bothered because the thermometers aren't agreeing with the theories.) 

Enjoy.  I've changed a few of CloutPerson's obscure British references to equally obscure Texas references, and I've thrown in some helpful pics at the end. 

Here's Mr. CloutPerson's parable.   

I was engaged in my favourite hobby of jumping up and down the other day, when a fellow up-and-down jumper sidled up alongside me and said "Do you realise that jumping up and down will cause the ground to collapse? If we don't stop jumping up and down we'll all fall into an enormous chasm and be killed."

"Really?" I answered. "In that case why are you still jumping up and down?"

"Didn't you hear what I said?" he hissed. "It's known as ground-collapse theory - GCT for short!"

"I heard you very well," I answered. "But you haven't answered my question. I'm still curious as to why you keep jumping up and down if it is going to cause the ground to collapse."

"You fool!" he spluttered. "Don't you realise that 95% of scientists are convinced that GCT is real!"

He pointed. "Look!" I followed his finger, and saw a large group of people. By their appearance you could tell that they were all eminent scientists.  They were wearing white lab coats and were jumping up and down with thick academic studies that proved that jumping up and down was going to cause the ground to collapse.  And yet all of them were jumping up and down with varying degrees of vigor.

"You still haven't answered my question," I said. "Surely if all these eminent scientists are convinced that GCT is real, they would stop jumping up and down."

"Idiot!" he spat out the word. "Stupid, blinkered, denialist!"

"Actually, you still haven't answered my question," I responded mildly. "If I was as convinced of the reality of GCT as you seem to be, and I wanted everybody to stop jumping up and down, then I'd probably stop jumping up and down myself first. Otherwise my argument might seem rather less than compelling -"

"SHUT UP!" he interrupted me with an apoplectic scream, his face contorted with rage and hatred. "It should be a CRIMINAL OFFENCE to deny the reality of Ground Collapse Theory! You're worse than a MURDERER! You should be in JAIL along with all the other RACIST SWIVEL-EYED DAILY HEIL READING NAZI UKIP FACISTS!"

(UKIP is the United Kingdom Independence Party - Libertarian, non-racist, limited government - all the usual insults.  I think the Daily Heil is a reference to London's Daily Mail.  Somebody on that side of the pond, please help us out in the comment field....) 

And with these final words he took his leave, frothing and purple.

"But why are you still jumping up and down?" I called after his disappearing form....

Good stuff, right? 
Earlier this weekend, our Secretary Of State, John Kerry, put on one of his longest of long faces and declared that Climate Change "science" is clear.

"It is irrefutable and it is alarming," Kerry told a climate conference in Majuro in the Marshall Islands in a video address from Washington.
"If we continue down our current path, the impacts of climate change will only get worse."

Here are pics of John Kerry's houses, getaways, beach cottages, mansions, townhouses, and cabins.  If John Kerry wants anyone to believe his bullshit, he needs to stop jumping up and down.
Most of the pics came from here. 

This is the Kerry Karbon Footprint in Beacon Hill. 

Here's Kerry's small, sensible, ecologically sensible Georgetown residence

Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.  A carbon footprint big enough to negate all the recycling you'll do for the rest of your life. 

The little beach cottage in Nantucket

The Ketchum, Idaho ski getaway

If you believe Kerry's Chicken Little-ism, or Al Gore's, by all means send them money.  Pay for factories to reconfigure to reduce emissions.  Give Gore and Kleiner-Perkins money to plant trees to offset your carbon footprint. I respect your right to be gullible. 
But please don't tell anyone that these guys believe a word they're saying.  In a world of people who are now afraid that the ground is going to collapse, they're the ones jumping up and down the hardest.  


Jack Savage said...

Amusingly...or do I mean tellingly...the comment you refer to seems to have been removed by the "moderators" of the Guardian piece.
The truth hurts, it would seem.

Lee Alley said...

Nice one! And very apt :)

I would only say that UKIP here in the UK are about as libertarian as fundamentalist Baptists (that I grew up with) are libertarian: "lots of liberty for doing the things they like to do; less so for the activities of people they disagree with."

Keep up the good work!