Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Pereene said

Yesterday morning while flipping channels, I performed an experiment -- completely subjective in value, but revealing to some extent nonetheless.

I thought, "Let's see how long I can watch FoxNews and see how long it takes for some crazy person to say something completely batshit crazy?".

So I turned to FoxNews knowing it was Fox & Friends figuring, "five minutes including commercials tops".

But Glenn Beck was on and I knew it would be a miracle if it was half that -- c'mon Beck, Doucy, Kilmeade, Carlson those are the Four-Morons of the Retardocalypse (I apologize to Sarah Palin in advance). Let's just say when it comes to CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY Glenn Beck never underperforms.

Six seconds in, SIX-FUCKING-SECONDS, he completes the statement "so here you have a leading scientist saying Global Warming is a LIE!".

I believe he managed to utter this without tears, so it was a bit of a surprise in that at least.

But what of this, alleged scandal...well, it's about what you'd figure, as Pereene says (quoted at length):

Over in Britain, their papers have been going nuts over the revelation of errors in the last report form the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There were two legitimate (but fairly inconsequential) errors in the report that were promptly corrected. The errors did not have anything to do with the question of whether or not climate change is real and human-driven. But, whatever! Cry "scandal" and let slip the "-gate" suffix!

When it comes to the question of climate science, I trust climatologists a lot more than British journalists. Have you ever met a British journalist? First of all, they're all alcoholics [Ed. CHRIS HITCHENS PLEASE TRY TO STAND UP!!]. Secondly, and more importantly, journalists the world over don't understand science. {Ed. JOHN TIERNEY & GREG EASTERBROOK LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!] I don't understand science! I rely on scientists for that. But journalists do understand scandal very well. They are experts in scandal.

So what you have here are basically conservative bloggers relying on the scientific illiteracy of journalists to trump up errors (real and wholly imagined) in a report that is a summary of established science, which reliably turns into stories asserting that the evidence behind climate change is "in doubt."

And now the same British people who are all getting the measles again because they're scared of autism don't believe in global warming anymore, because it snowed.

One of this British publisher's examples of supposed major threats that turned out to have been overhyped (by the generalist media, keep in mind, and not usually by those cursed "experts") is "acid rain." The funny thing about that particular overhyped threat is that it went away because it was combated by determined government action. Our government-hating Libertarian friends at Reason magazine actually just named acid rain reduction as one of their five reasons Libertarians shouldn't hate Big Government!

And this was the best comment on Glenn Beck and his followers:


This is the same population that would burn atheists at the stake for being "skeptical" of their imaginary friend in the sky.

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