Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Climate Change for Dummies

One thing that makes me despair for my species is the appallingly chasm-like abyss of derp that you encounter whenever you say the words "climate change".
I mean, yes, it's a science. But it's not fucking rocket science.

What's the one single thing that we hairless monkeys have been doing more than anything else since the end of the Neolithic?

No, not screwing. We've been doing that forever and will continue so long as we have teensy tinsy little stupid-brains in our genitals, sort of like the ones that the big therapods had in their butts to help control their back ends. Except the genital tillermen and -women are usually busy driving us into a freaking tree in pursuit of each other instead of doing anything helpful. But that's beside the point.

No. We've been making stuff. Bronze axeheads. Iron plowshares. Steam engines. Cotton gins. Battleships. Nuclear power plants.

All this making means burning dead things. Wood. Coal. Petroleum. All that burning shoves gases and particulates into the air.

And we know what that does. We've seen it on Venus, where the gas blanket is so thick that it traps solar heating like a big ol' duvet.

So it's not some sort of wild speculation or conspiracy theory to draw the line from A to B to C; more industry = more gases = more insulation = more heat.

And it doesn't take a genius to figure out how this extra heat could be a bad thing. Hell, even my old boss the Green Machine is worried. In the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review the authors said:
"Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world.

These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence."
Note the verb. "Poses". Not "might pose" or "could pose" or "fuck NOAA, this climate change stuff is a bunch of libtard hooey..." "Poses"; pose pōz/verb
3rd person present: poses

1. present or constitute (a problem, danger, or difficulty).
"the sheer number of visitors is posing a threat to the area"
synonyms: constitute, present, create, cause, produce, be
"pollution poses a threat to health".

So. I go to my Facebook page and I find a post from a friend of mine. Great gal, Olympic athlete, mom, artist...and a pretty smart person. And she's got a link from "PragerU" talking about how climate change isn't a real - not a REALLY real - problem and, besides, "doing something" would be SOOOO expensive. "Will the enormous cost justify the gain?" is their tagline.

That's pretty much where I facepalmed. PragerFuckingU. Gah. Have you ever encountered those idiots?

SweetFuckingBabyJesusonaStick you've never seen drool-puddle-stupid until you've seen one of the videos these drooling stupids produce. They're supposed to present topics from a "conservative" point of view, "conservative" meaning, apparently, "the condition the human brain assumes when all the little brain cells have been herded onto cattle trucks and transported to extermination camps where they are dosed with ZyklonB in the brain showers..." but all they manage to do is make "conservatives" look "fucking stupid" by reducing complex topics to a word salad of conservative talking points, bad arguments, and outright lies.

Here's an article from something called The Blaze which is, so far as I can tell, some sort of wingnut website that luurves them some PragerU (Prager, BTW, is one Dennis Prager, a wingnut radio shouter before branching out into dubious "educational" schemes).

The article tries to make this "PragerU" sound full of awesomesauce but, instead, ends up making the wingut radio-shouter moron sound like...well, a wingnut radio-shouter moron. Here's the article citing the wingnut radio-shouter moron on foreign affairs;
“The people who try to make the Middle Eastern conflict complex have an agenda,” he said, giving just one example (see the condensed Middle Eastern lesson, below)."
Complex? Pshaw! Saddle up, l'il buckaroo, and let's ride through hundreds of years of migration, religious coexistence and conflict, resource allocation, consuption, and disputation, Mongol invasions, Ottoman rule, European colonial highjinks, and four Israeli-Arab wars - in just five minutes!

Yes. Somebody has an agenda here...but more'n likely it's the wingnut radio-shouter moron who thinks that you can "teach" the Middle East in five minutes.

That's "PragerU" and that's what my smart, dynamic, engaged friend thinks is a valid "take" on climate change. I've tried to expose Prager to her, I've tried to show her the science...and she won't go there. "I'm not convinced." she says. "What about "Climategate"? What about this? What about that?", throwing every wingnut talking point smokescreen out at me. She just. Won't. Budge.

And that's reeeeally depressing. Because she's a relatively "high-information" Republican sort of voter. She reflexively hates Clinton but is smart enough to recognize the passengers in the Republican clown car as three rings full of liars, fools, charlatans, and whackaloons. She's very religious but not self-righteous about it. She's usually pretty good people...but she's buying this and - I can't imagine any other reason other than - its because the wingnuts and Christopaths are yammering about it.
So this strikes me as pure tribalism. And if the Clown Clan can pull my friend into their Clubhouse of Bottomless Derp...what the hell can the rest of us do? There's enough of these people to jam things up enough, long enough, until we're all dog-paddling around Manhattan.

And then what..?

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