Show Your Work

« May 2008 »

Memo to the Star-Tribune and Mike Fairbourne: YOU ARE DUMB.

Two new rul... er, Fresh Directives. Maher is on hiatus, his lawyers probably aren't:

DIRECTIVE THE FIRST: If you want to speak with authority on a topic, you have to show your goddamned work. You don't get to jump to a conclusion and let everyone assume that you put thought and research into it.

DIRECTIVE THE SECOND: If the first quote in your article invalidates your article, don't publish the fucking article. Scrap it and write something else.

Our topic today is global warming, and the denying thereof. Global warming deniers fall into three basic categories. People with a vested financial interest in continued American consumption (oil, coal companies); people with a vested personal interest in continued American consumption (Hummer drivers, owners of gas-powered leaf blowers), and assholes who disbelieve anything liberals believe on the grounds that liberals believe it. I don't know which of these three WCCO weatherdouche Mike Fairbourne is, but I know he's one of them. Why? Because he doesn't show his work.

Fairbourne spoke recently to the Strib because his name was one of 31,000 scientists claiming that we need to reject Kyoto, that carbon dioxide might be good for us, and the usual hooey. I can only assume that very few of the scientists are actually climate scientists, because the last list like this with climate scientists on it only had about 500 names on it, and most of those dudes weren't told they "signed" it and demanded to be taken off it when they found out. No, they're "scientists" like Fairbourne, who shows the depth of his ignorance when he says things like this. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"[In the 1970's,] we were screaming about global cooling. It makes me nervous when we pin a few warm years on squishy science." Did you spot the two words that tell you Fairbourne got his science from a cursory reading of Powerline? Yes, that's "global cooling", a handy phrase that lets you know anyone using it in all seriousness is an idiot. You see, back in the 70's, there was one speculative article in Newsweek that contemplated global cooling. No scientific consensus. No Al Gore equivalent going on a lecture tour in bellbottoms warning us that we were all going to freeze. Just a Newsweek article dipshits trot out as one of their many false equivalencies.

You don't even have to read further, where Fairborne says "They're doing it for a lot of reasons; some may be scientific, but most of them are political", but that's another Official Talking Point, learned by rote and regurgitated like a methane-laced cow burp.

So why did Fairbourne get column-inches in the Strib? I have a theory. You see, the Strib is suffering from what scientists call a low financial "temperature". In order to raise that temperature, they need a reliable source of hot air and flame. Whenever the Strib runs a controversial story on its website, hundreds and hundreds of local idiots comment on it, spewing hot air and shit-gas, and coincidentally viewing plenty of online ads along the way. Because not only did Fairbourne get an article, but a day later, they ran a follow-up article recounting how all the local meteorologists feel about global warming. An article that began with a few introductory paragraphs and then this quote:

"'Broadcast meteorologists tend to avoid deep discussions on long term climate changes as that is really not our field of expertise,' Claire Martin, chief meteorologist with CBC News in Canada and chairwoman of the International Association of Broadcast Meteorologists, said in an e-mail."

In other words, they essentially e-mailed the QUEEN OF THE WEATHERPEOPLE, and she told them that weatherpeople know fuck-all about global warming. And so they went on to tell us what the local meteorologists think about global warming. You don't need a weatherman to know that this blows.

So if you want to deny global warming, I want to see your studies. Your references. Your citations. Al Gore had fucking PowerPoint slides and footnotes. You've got the equivalent of an online petition to bring back Firefly to the Sci-Fi channel. In a sane world, that would mean you'd lose.