Monday, July 20, 2009

Al Gore Is Still Fat

By now everyone has weighed in on Nate Silver’s challenge to global warming skeptics. So I guess it's my turn.

It just goes without saying that if there’s a week of unusually cool weather, the flat-earthers use this as proof that global warming doesn’t exist. Or, as our own Glen Dean likes to say,
You would have to be an idiot to actually believe that man has any effect on the climate.

One man, perhaps. But there are more than six billion of us right now. Personally, I think you have to be an idiot to actually believe that more than six billion human beings wouldn’t affect the climate.

Yes, it’s been a gorgeous weekend throughout pretty much the entire country. We’ve got our windows open and the A/C off in the house right now -- proof that Al Gore is fat, global warming is a hoax, and there’s a cabal of environmentalists with the gleam of one-world government in their eyes who have turned scientists around the world into their minions.

You know, as Glenn Greenwald Tweeted earlier today,

Many obituaries in my morning paper: proof that world population is decreasing


Nate Silver’s post got a lot of attention because he threw down the gauntlet, with real money involved (and as of my last look, no one has taken his bet--not even Sen. Inhofe, who has all that Big Oil money to play with.)

But the point of Silver’s post is that one cold weekend does not make for science. Folks like Hinderaker and Drudge who scream “Al Gore is fat!” every time the temperatures dip below normal are silent when we have early hot spells, like the one that hit Nashville this April. It was so hot during the Country Music Marathon this year that the women’s winner vomited several times after finishing the race, and one runner died.

But I’m not going to say that is proof of global warming’s existence any more than a cool July proves it isn’t real. For that I’m going to look at the changes in my garden over the past few years, the work of real scientists looking at global warming over the past 30 years, and some real number crunching from statisticians like Nate Silver.

And I'll repeat what I've said before, which is that even if you don't believe global warming is real, you cannot deny that:

•  air pollution is responsible for diseases like asthma;
• coal power destroys our environment and has resulted in disasters like what happened in Kingston, TN, last December;
• dependence on foreign oil has made our country vulnerable to the whims of unstable foreign regimes and forced us to compromise our moral authority as we do business with regimes like Saudi Arabia who practice intolerance.

With all that going for it, I can't imagine why anyone would stick to the old way of doing things. You know, there's a reason they call it fossil fuels. It's for dinosaurs.