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Stupid Global Warming Idiots!

Apparently, columnist George Will thinks most climate scientists are Stupid Global Warming Idiots. Is global warming a stupid science? Is Mr. Will a bi-polar bear ? Or is he simply writing opinions on global warming for idiots only?

Eco-Logical cartoon graphic of cube-shaped globe

Climate Change Scientists or "Stupid Global Warming Idiots"?

In May 2008, the US finally listed the polar bear as a threatened species (due to global warming). The move was a half-measure that was agreed to only after the Bush administration was sued by champions of the Arctic bears. Not one to be swayed by lovable, furry, iconic animals or mere moral correctness, picture of George Will, right-wingnut the right-wingnut columnist George F. Will found nothing to love about the listing of polar bears and vented his eco-contempt on the opinion page of The Washington Post.

While it was no surprise that the Mr. Will, a prince of plutocratic punditry, would write a piece that basically boiled down to "stupid global warming idiots!" ... the following opening passage was still a bit remarkable:

The Interior Department, bound by the Endangered Species Act, has declared polar bears a "threatened" species because they might be endangered "in the foreseeable future," meaning 45 years. (Note: 45 years ago, the now-long-forgotten global cooling menace of 35 years ago was not yet foreseen.) The bears will be threatened if the current episode of warming, if there really is one....

graphic of polar bear in arctic So, here in 2008, less than a year after the world's premier group of climate scientists (the IPCC) released a voluminous set of reports detailing the unambiguous dangers of global warming, here is a person of supposed intellect and learning still questioning the existence of the problem by invoking the ol' "global cooling trick."

Now, to be fair, a few decades ago there were some scientists warning that global cooling might be a problem. But there were also scientists who were already discussing the potential threat of global warming (yes, even back then). And as climate science advanced over the years, a clear scientific consensus emerged: the threat to today's civilization is global warming, not global cooling. Long term—assuming we manage to survive the coming episode of catastrophic warming—global cooling could indeed be a problem. But if we keep ignoring the warming problem, we won't get a chance to worry about an approaching cooling problem a thousand or so years from now.

Anyway, it's frustrating that supposedly smart people like Mr. Will are still playing fast and loose with the science of the matter and casting doubt on whether global warming is even real. Will's Post piece inspired a response from the Grinning Planet editorial department, but rather than simply blasting away at his oh-so-dumb o-pin-yuns, we invoked the method used by Doug Piranha of Monty Python fame (see sidebar) and put a humorous spin on our letter to him. Here 'tis....


Mr. Will --

I am so pleased to find you still in the camp of global warming skeptics. Just because the vast majority of the world's climate-science experts think that global climate change is a serious problem that needs immediate attention, I feel there's no need to panic. Let's wait and see how it goes. Thank you for helping the world to realize that it's usually best to let global catastrophes just work themselves out.

And, you're right about the science. First it's global cooling, then it's global warming. Maybe soon it will be global cooling again. Scientists are idiots. It's just like hundreds of years ago: First it was "the sun goes around the earth"; now everyone is so sure it's "the earth goes around the sun." Well, we'll see.

And as for environmentalists, I don't like them either. Who are they to tell the rest of us we should protect the environment, just because it supposedly sustains us? It's just like three decades ago when my mother kept trying to tell me that all my smoking and drinking would one day put me in a world of hurt. Well, it turned out she was right, but I just don't like any smarty-pants people telling me what I should do.

Cough, cough....


Ah, we feel better now.

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Publish date: 10-JUN-2008

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Six Degrees aims to distill what environmental scientists portend about the consequences of human pollution for the next hundred years. As one proceeds up the temperature-increase scale; coral reefs and glaciers will be lost; the Amazon rainforest will collapse; Greenland's ice sheet will disappear, raising ocean levels and inundating coastal areas; deserts will descend on southern Africa and the midwestern United States. A 6-degree increase would eliminate most life on Earth, including much of humanity. Six Degrees is an eye-opening warning that humanity will ignore at its peril.


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77 Essential Skills To Stop Climate Change   (by David de Rothschild)

For teens and 20-somethings.  The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook is the official companion volume to the Live Earth concerts of 2007. The book presents 77 essential skills for stopping climate change—and for living through it. The book offers equal parts factual information, practical advice, tongue-in-cheek suggestions, and ambitious ways to save the world, all presented with full-color instructional illustrations.
RELATED ITEM: Live Earth 2007 Concert DVD


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  book cover for Understanding Global Warming with Max Axiom, Super Scientist, by Agniesezka Bizkup (author), Cynthia Martin/Bill Anderson (Illustrators) , 1/1/2008

For Children 9-12.  Using solid science and a graphic-novel format, readers follow the adventures of Max Axiom, teacher and super-cool super-scientist, as he explains the science behind global warming. Winner of the 2008 Teachers' Choice Award for Children's Books. (by Agniesezka Bizkup (author), Cynthia Martin/Bill Anderson (Illustrators) )


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Doug and Dinsdale Piranha—a.k.a. "The Piranha Brothers"—were two fictional underworld thugs that appeared in a classic Monty Python sketch. Whereas Dinsdale engaged in acts of brutal, cartoonish violence (such as nailing an uncooperative person's head to the floor), Doug was even worse. As one interviewee put it, "I've seen grown men tear their own ears off rather than face ... Doug."

"What did he do?"

"He used... sarcasm."

Of course there's much more funny stuff in this oddly hilarious 9-minute long mockumentary from the masters of zany British humor. The title of the bit is "Ethel the Frog," which derives from the name of the fake BBC program that is documenting the exploits of the Piranha Brothers. options:
-- Hear clip or download MP3
-- Check out album/CD
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"Climate change is and will be a significant threat to our national security and in a larger sense to life on earth as we know it to be."

— Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, retired, former US Army chief of staff


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