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Obama Makes a Dangerous Enemy

During his vastly overhyped speech last week about climate change, President Obama took a funny potshot at wingnuts, saying that he has little patience with global warming deniers because, “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” Oh, snap. You knew the Flat Earth Society wasn’t going to take that lying down:

As it turns out, there is a real Flat Earth Society and its president thinks that anthropogenic climate change is real. In an email to Salon, president Daniel Shenton said that while he “can’t speak for the Society as a whole regarding climate change,” he personally thinks the evidence suggests fossil fuel usage is contributing to global warming.

“I accept that climate change is a process which has been ongoing since beginning of detectable history, but there seems to be a definite correlation between the recent increase in world-wide temperatures and man’s entry into the industrial age,” he said. “If it’s a coincidence, it’s quite a remarkable one. We may have experienced a temperature increase even without our use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, but I doubt it would be as dramatic as what we’re seeing now.”…

“It’s unfortunate that Flat Earth Theory is what some people (President Obama, for instance) choose to reference when they need an example of something absurd,” he added.

He also demanded an apology, saying that he and the group’s other members will chase Obama to the ends of the earth if they don’t get one.

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    He also demanded an apology, saying that he and the group’s other members will chase Obama to the ends of the earth if they don’t get one.

    Tee-Hee! I see what you did there!

  2. John Pieret says

    “It’s unfortunate that Flat Earth Theory is what some people (President Obama, for instance) choose to reference when they need an example of something absurd,” he added.

    What’s absurd is that climate change denialists are no more aware of how absurd they are than these flat-Earthers.*

    ———————————————-

    * Allowing for the possibility that the Flat Earth Society is an elaborate joke. If only the climate change denialists were!

  3. raven says

    The Flat Earthers are divided by the usual, religion.

    Most are actually Moslems these days. Boko Harum, the terrorist group in Nigeria, are Flat Earthers and also reject the cloud theory of rain. Because both are contradicted by the Koran.

  4. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    Daniel Shenton said that while he “can’t speak for the Society as a whole regarding climate change,” he personally thinks the evidence suggests fossil fuel usage is contributing to global warming.

    Well, it can’t be global warming if you believe in a flat earth, can it? Maybe he meant to say “planar warming”.

  5. lldayo says

    Obama should take up bull fighting. Then he can stand at the edge of the Earth with his red cape and shout ole as flat earthers jump off the edge trying to tackle him.

  6. pacal says

    The Flat Earthers are divided by the usual, religion.

    Most are actually Moslems these days. Boko Harum, the terrorist group in Nigeria, are Flat Earthers and also reject the cloud theory of rain. Because both are contradicted by the Koran.

    headcase!
    headcase!!
    headcase!!!

  7. says

    Look, Ed, we have to fight global warming. And also we need to burn coal. And also get that tar sands crude. We’re gonna fight it with irony.

  8. matty1 says

    When I get around to making that easy listening album it will be called The Cloud Theory of Rain.

  9. raven says

    I’ve been following the CO2 rise and global warming since the 1980’s.

    It’s happening as predicted that long ago. Global warming isn’t a future event any more. It’s here now.

    The emerging consensus of climatologists is:

    1. We aren’t going to do much if anything to stop it. The latest achievement of the USA is to invent fracking so we can get at new sources of hydrocarbons.

    It’s not obvious that we could do anything. Our entire modern civilization is built on burning fossil fuels.

    2. This is a global problem that requires a global solution. Even if one or a few countries reduce CO2 emissions, so what? Other countries will just keep on increasing them.

    The new paradigm is adaptation. It’s estimated that the US will have to spend 1/2 to 1 trillion USD to adapt. This isn’t voluntary, we will have to spend it or else. I suspect it will end up being more. Already NYC is planning on spending $20 billion to handle storm surges. They admit that is just a down payment.

  10. bmiller says

    I thought the Flat Earth Society was a POE or a joke. Sorta like Pastafarians?

    Did not know about Boko Harum. religion does indeed ruin everything.

  11. w00dview says

    If people who think the Earth is actually flat have a better understanding of the science behind AGW than you, it might be time to consider being skeptical of climate change skepticism.

    Not that it actually is skepticism, mind you. Skepticism implies changing your mind when confronted by the evidence. Clinging onto zombie talking points even after they have been refuted a gazillion times just turns your skepticism into a security blanket that you hug ever more tightly when reality has the temerity to disagree with you.

  12. says

    raven: got a cite about the Muslim flat-earthers? (Also, I think the name of that terrorist group is “Boko Haram.”)

    I notice our resident AGW-denialist Lance — who’s normally so quick with the libertardian blather-points every time the subject comes up here — is strangely absent this time.

  13. mjmiller says

    Re: “Boko Harum, the terrorist group”

    I don’t know thier reputation lately, but “Whiter Shade of Pale” was a classic, man.

  14. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton

    I find it hard to believe in a day and age when we have sent rockets into space and sent probes to other planets, and every single image shows us that planets are round, that some people still insist the Earth is flat. I guess some people will always deny reality, no matter how overwhelming the evidence against their position is.

  15. Atheist Monument says

    In other news, a spokesperson for the NSA
    told reporters to ‘stop staring at me.’

  16. raven says

    wikipedia Mohammed Yusuf (Boko Haram):

    Beliefs[edit]

    According to the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Paul Lubeck, Yusuf received instruction in Salafism and was strongly influenced by Ibn Taymiyyah.[5] In a 2009 BBC interview,

    <b.Yusuf stated his belief that the concept of a spherical Earth is contrary to Islamic teaching and should be rejected, along with Darwinian evolution and the concept of rain originating from water evaporated by the sun.[4]

    Boko Haram are also creationists. No surprise there, most Moslems are.

    They reject all western science. And drive cars, use cell phones, and kill people with modern weapons.

  17. criticaldragon1177 says

    #18 Raven

    Someone should take Yusuf and other flat Earthers into space and ask them what they see when looks down at the spherical object called the Earth.

  18. raven says

    wikipedia Boko Haram:

    Since its founding in 2001, the jihadists have been responsible for roughly 10,000 deaths.[17]

    and

    Nigerian academic Hussain Zakaria told BBC News that the controversial cleric had a graduate education, spoke proficient English, lived a lavish lifestyle and drove a Mercedes-Benz.[34]

    You have to watch out for the Flat Earthers.

    This group in Nigeria is estimated to have killed 10,000 people, most of them civilians especially if they are xians.

  19. mjmiller says

    criticaldragon1177 @19

    Every flat Earther knows that even when viewed from space, the earth is still not a sphere. It’s a disk.

  20. jonhendry says

    Boko Haram may be flat-earthers, but they aren’t members of the Flat Earth Society, which is an actual semi-formal thing with membership etc.

    In fact, when the Flat Earth Society was restarted about ten years ago, the first membership was given to musician Thomas Dolby, who has an album called The Flat Earth.

    I kinda doubt that Thomas Dolby is a *real* *sincere* flat earthier. I don’t know about the rest, however. I’m inclined to think the head of the Flat Earth Society is operating with tongue in cheek.

  21. blf says

    There really was a Flat Earth Society, based in the central valley of California (I used to know which town but now cannot recall (Modesto?)). The leader was a genuine flat-earther. I recall one interview with him I read where he claimed President Nixon(? Ford? Carter? (feck, cannot recall now)) was about to declare the earth is flat. I don’t recall what his explanation for the Moon, satellites, the “Earthrise” photograph, etc., was now.

    At its height the society had something like 15000 members — but I’ve always suspected a high percentage of those were in it for the giggles. The membership fee was something like all of 5USD, and for that you got a rather nice-looking certificate. Quite a number of my friends at University had them. (I didn’t, but was sorely tempted.)

    There was a fire a few years before the leader died which destroyed the gentleman’s trailer home. Since that was also the headquarters of the society, essentially all the records were lost. I don’t think the society ever recovered from the fire, and the leader died sometimes afterwards. I have no idea what happened to the society.

    (Apologies for the lack of references here, the above is all from my recollections, and so is perhaps mistaken on several points.)

  22. davem says

    When I was at school, the local Flat Earth Society man was going to come round and lecture to us. Then Apollo landed,and showed the Earth from the Moon. The lecture was cancelled.
    I accept that climate change is a process which has been ongoing since beginning of detectable history
    I wonder how he explains the Coriolis effect.

  23. sailor1031 says

    Well just because the earth (and the moon) is flat doesn’t mean it’s also square! When you get up high what you see is obviously a round flat disk. You just can’t see that when you’re on the ground because it’s a very big sort of disk. If you put a stick vertical in the ground at the equator it casts only a vertical shadow. If you then go 50 miles north or south and put another vertical stick in the ground it will cast a noticeable shadow. It is obvious from this that the earth is flat and the sun, contrary to what astronomers say, is quite small and not very far away.

    As for fossil fuels we need to burn them all as fast as we can before we run out of them and have no more energy. We’ll have plenty of time to worry about wind, solar and other regenerables when we’re sitting idly freezing in the dark with a driveway full of rusting non-functioning automobiles.

  24. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @raven
    My hopes are on conventional nuclear fission reactors, and newer breeder fission reactors. Plenty of fuel to last thousands if not millions of years. Far less polluting than all known alternatives, including solar and wind. Safer than all known alternatives too. (In the history of nuclear power plants, less than a few dozen have ever died from radiation poisoning.)

  25. M can help you with that. says

    blf @ 23 —

    There really was a Flat Earth Society, based in the central valley of California (I used to know which town but now cannot recall (Modesto?)).

    Antelope Valley, not Central Valley; the FES was based in Lancaster, CA. It’s actually part of Los Angeles County.

  26. Robert B. says

    There’s a Jeff Foxworthy joke in here somewhere.

    “If the president of the Flat Earth Society thinks you’re not paying attention to the evidence… you might be a wingnut.”

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