The truth only bullies liars


Gah. SE Cupp. She is the worst: a right-wing atheist who fully supports the dishonesty of the Fox News types, and who has no regard for reality. Atheists who bury themselves in a new set of delusions sicken me.

She got into an argument with Bill Nye — that’s a bad sign, since the last loon he had to put down was Ken Ham. She was really peeved that those “science guys” keep confronting climate change denialists with facts. Science bullies her ideological cronies!

“Isn’t it a problem when science guys attempt to bully other people?” Cupp asked Nye. “Nick here had to say, ‘I’m not a denier.’ He had to get it out: ‘I’m not a denier.’ Because really, the science group has tried to shame anyone who dares question this, and the point I’m trying to make is, it’s not working with the public.”

This was after she threw up some statistics, that only 36% of the American public think global warming is a serious threat to their way of life. I’d have two replies to that: 1) polling data on what a deluded public thinks is not a measure of the truth, and 2) the problem here isn’t scientists explaining the science, it’s propagandists like Cupp using dishonest media like Fox News or Heritage Foundation tracts to cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt over the evidence.

Watch the encounter and see Cupp hopelessly outclassed.

Best part of the interview? This exchange:

nyenamite

Comments

  1. Francisco Bacopa says

    I fucking live in a Zone Two evacuation area near Galveston Bay. A few feet more sea level rise and I will be in Zone One.

    By that time Galveston might likely be GONE. An Ike level storm with a few more feet of sea level will undo all the efforts to jack up the whole island 17feet between 1901 and 1905, and will wash over the 1905 Seawall.

    I think Galveston will hold out longer than Miami and New Orleans.

  2. V S says

    It’s really sad seeing assholes try to (mis)use social justice concepts — we’re “shaming” and “bullying” deniers by stating basic science facts? It’s like Cupp just learned that bullying is bad, but doesn’t know what it is or why it’s bad, and is now trying to apply the term to anything she doesn’t like willy-nilly.

  3. says

    Atheists who bury themselves in a new set of delusions sicken me.

    It’s a behavioral pattern of the unlucky, ignorant, or willfully stupid. Like some people getting away from bad or sub-optimal behaviors who turn to religion in a big way. These are the atheists who just happen to think deities are a silly idea. Some bit of the dictionary atheist set. The somewhat-thinking atheists who choose to defend bad social behaviors as not bad are another group that makes me want to barf.

  4. says

    Heh.

    (/… and now, Ms. Cupp, I’d like you to look me in the eye and tell me in good conscience you feel that went well for you.)

  5. says

    It’s a really minor point, but vis a vis home gardening, we here in northwest Ohio were for the longest time considered “Zone 6″ and now we’re a “Zone 5″ by most accounts…meaning we get to plant earlier in the season because it’s warmer. That has to count for something. And S.E. Cupp is a worthless waste of space, had to get that in there. She still wants facts to be dictated by public opinion, not science. If we suddenly found that an asteroid or comet as big as Zimbabwe was hurtling toward Earth on a collision course, would she still ask “what’s the best way to convince the public that an extinction-level event is nigh? Shouldn’t you be less confrontational?”

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Marcus Ranum @ # 2: His expression in that frame is incredibly sincere.

    Yabbut you can see he didn’t look her in the eye, so that doesn’t count!

  7. says

    Where the hell did Nicolas Loris study economics, as he should have a way better grasp of modelling and what uncertainty means?

    Evolution is a pretty old theory with a mass of evidence to support it, but 150 years on and in some countries there is debate about whether to even teach it in the classroom. Does evolution provide us with a model for predicting how theories with a mound of evidence can still be refuted regardless of what is true?

    Is it realistic to think that over the next 150 years the debate on climate change will have moved any further along than that of evolution?

    Of course evolution is accepted on mass but in terms of those in the position of making and influencing policy, evolution is still up for debate.

  8. raven says

    “Isn’t it a problem when science guys attempt to bully other people?”

    SE Cupp is being dumb here.

    The science guys are just messengers. They don’t make reality, they report it.

    What is bullying SE Cupp’s science denialists is…reality itself. You can call reality names all you want. It simply doesn’t care.

  9. raven says

    Hard to say how much of a problem global warming is.

    Estimates are that the USA will spend $1/2 trillion adapting in the 21st century, world $15 trillion. Those estimates are very uncertain though. It could well be more.

    The IPCC has backed off on sea level rise. Now it is less than a meter, 3 feet with a wide range. We are really doing a world size experiment here without knowing what is going to happen.

    Some places are getting hit now and hard. The Nile delta has sea water moving up it and AFAICT, the Egyptian plan is to just abandon it. California is in a record drought with 38 million people. Sandy and NY/NJ.

    One place that will be in trouble is Miami, Florida. A recent article said it is only 4 feet above sea level. But is far inland. However, the rock is like Swiss cheese and water travels easily in it making sea walls useless. A few more feet of sea level, a high tide, and a storm surge and it will flood from below.

  10. Michael says

    I love how when Bill tries to step in at the beginning, it’s “No, let me finish my question!”, but whenever Bill tries to finish a sentence its interruption after interruption.

  11. unclefrogy says

    the nice thing about the climate change debate as compared to evolution is the fact it is happening much faster then evolution though the mass die-off we are going through at present is the first part of a change in the make-up of the biosphere going forward. We are cleaning the land and making space for new species to expand.
    there is no way we will be able to continue doing things the same way we have been doing them we will run out of fossil fuel before long anyway
    it will almost be fun seeing these jerks try and explain away the effects of climate change and say they new it was the governments fault all along, almost but not quite
    uncle frogy

  12. satanaugustine says

    Yes, Secupp, fuck science. Because everyone knows that truth is determined by looking someone in the eye and telling them in good conscience what is true. Screw science. Screw the legal system. A wo(man)’s word while staring you in the face cuts through all of this red tape. Now, if only I could meet Miss Cupp in person, look her in the eye and tell her that she needs to rigorously apply logic, reason, and evidence before forming a conclusion, her show would be much more worthwhile……of course it would get her kicked off Fox News. But they’d be doing her a favor.

  13. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”

  14. Ichthyic says

    Hard to say how much of a problem global warming is.

    actually, it’s not at all hard to say how much of a problem it is going to be, so long as you look beyond direct human impacts.

    it’s already fucking devastating if you know anything about ecology. It’s ALREADY had huge and measurable impacts on oceanic food chains and coral reefs, for example.

    …and it’s just going to get worse.

    stagnant oceans a reasonable possibility based on paleontological data. that, ALONE, is pretty fucking problematic. All that frozen methane in the arctic and in deep water? all of that is likely to be released in our lifetimes. methane is an even worse greenhouse gas than CO2 is.

    this has all happened before, but not so unimaginably quick like it is now. before, it took 10s of thousands of years of volcanic activity to pull it off.

    So, just stop with the wishful thinking, people, we are on the cusp of repeating the goddamn Permian Extinction event within the next 100 years, if not sooner.

    deal with the reality of it. the only thing to decide is whether you want to spend energy trying to stem the tide a bit, or ignore it and live your life to the max while you still can.

    those are your only two rational choices. everything else is nothing but denial.

  15. chigau (違う) says

    I really like those screen-shots in the OP.

    I find the ignorant, illiterate use of “on mass” when en masse is intended to be …
    probably a lost battle…

  16. futurechemist says

    It seems to me a lot of the resistance to climate change / global warming comes from people not understanding the difference between weather and climate, or between local and global effects.

    1 of the arguments from the presenter in the video clip was basically “We didn’t have many hurricanes last year, therefore climate change might not be real”. Which isn’t so different than the argument a few months ago “The polar vortex is really, really cold, therefore there’s no global warming”.

    I also think Bill Nye’s strategy of referencing individual storms like Hurricane Sandy is tricky. There’s the risk of people making a false equivalency. Something like “Hmm, if Bill Nye is saying that Hurricane Sandy or a tornado outbreak in Oklahoma is evidence for global warming, why can’t I say the Atlanta ice-storm is evidence against global warming?” So I think we should be focusing on longer trends rather than referencing specific events. Or if Bill Nye was trying to argue that Hurricane Sandy is just 1 example of uncharacteristic recent weather, he needs to do a better job of making his point crystal clear.

    We’re facing an uphill battle in that we need to get the public to stop focusing on what’s happening now in their backyard, which is exactly what people tend to instinctively do. Until we educate the public that 1 bad month doesn’t prove a long-term trend, and that data isn’t the plural of anecdote, I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere with the debate.

    (It occurs to this mindset of recent local events counting more than global data is a lot like what the anti-vaccine people say. “My nephew got vaccinated, then he got diagnosed with autism, that means vaccines cause autism and if the CDC says otherwise that’s a government conspiracy!”)

  17. militantagnostic says

    we will run out of fossil fuel before long anyway

    Not soon enough thanks to the tarsands and thanks to Packers Plus figuring out how to frac horizontal wells.

    In a larger sense, conservatives aren’t going to abandon their discomfort with empiricism, because it’s so destabilizing to their political authority. – Amanda Marcotte

    Here in Southern Alberta we have had a mild winter that has gone on forever due to weakening of the polar vortex affecting the jet stream. Last year flooding in the Bow Valley cut the Trans Canada for days. Now a backhoe and a pair of big off-road dump trucks are stationed at every creek crossing on the Trans Canada and the 1A (a parallel 2 lane road on the North side of the Bow Valley) in preparation for the third 30 year flood in a decade. Neither the provincial government nor reality cares what a majority of people think.

  18. militantagnostic says

    @futurechemist

    “The polar vortex is really, really cold, therefore there’s no global warming”.

    As I understand it, since the arctic is warming much faster than the temperate zone or the tropics, the polar vortex is weakening causing large stable loops in jet stream and allowing arctic air to spill southwards. Here this has resulted in more snow and much fewer chinooks. If we are lucky this is a negative feedback, but I suspect this is a fairly local phenomenon.

  19. says

    Kurtdoles@5:

    It’s a really minor point, but vis a vis home gardening, we here in northwest Ohio were for the longest time considered “Zone 6″ and now we’re a “Zone 5″ by most accounts…meaning we get to plant earlier in the season because it’s warmer.

    I think you mean the opposite. Zone 5 has an average last freeze date afterZone 6. The lower the zone numbers, the later the average last freeze. Here in my balmy Zone 8a, average last freeze is 4/15. Also, I’m curious, how do you know this? I haven’t seen an updated hardiness zone map … ever.

  20. Holms says

    “I want you to look me in the eye and tell me in good conscience that climate change is our most urgent, number one priority right now.”
    “Climate change is our most urgent, number one priority right now.”

    Just what the hell did she think he was going to say?

    “Oh uhhh mumblemumbleurgentpriority…”
    *shifty eyes* <__>
    “mumblenumberone…”
    *sweat trickling down his face*
    “Oh god I can’t say with a straight face, you got me!”
    *Cupp declares victory*

    I find the ignorant, illiterate use of “on mass” when en masse is intended to be …
    probably a lost battle…

    A losing battle, and also pointless.

  21. says

    chigau,

    that sort of calque or ‘pop. ety.’ isn’t really bad. Not like the rest of their nonsense. It’s a quite natural process and has been going on for a very long time. Back in the C17 the rather attractive expression ‘forlorn hope’ was quite popular. It was the same process applied to the Dutch ‘Verloren Hoop’ which is probably best translated as ‘suicide squad’ :-)

  22. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I think one of the factors that motivates Cupp and many other denialists is simple cowardice. They cannot face the truth of what lies in store for our progeny, so they deny.

  23. unclefrogy says

    well world wide oil consumption was 87million barrels a day in 2011 how long really can we keep that rate up for, it is not an infinite substance after all tar sands or not
    uncle frogy

  24. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    Gah, indeed. I can’t stand S.E. Cupp, whether she’s claiming to be an atheist or not. And arguing with/being “bullied” by Bill Nye just exposes her right wing sycophancy like nearly every other thinking person seems to be able to do.

    My guess for why she’s still around on TV is she’s a go-to conservative who’s easy on the eyes, if not the brain, without being a Fox News blonde (probably why she’s not on their network anymore) and is the perfect token atheist for right-wingers. She claims with a straight face to not believe in god but simultaneously thinks religion–or at least Christianity–in America is under attack by the mainstream media.

  25. mig06 says

    When I was a kid, I used to go camping by the sea in my native country Portugal. The camping park was about 50 yards from the beach, and the beach had another good 50 yards of sand between the camping exit and the ocean. This was 20 odd years ago. Today, the beach has no sand left, and the camping park had to be moved 100 yards further inland because the sea invaded the grounds. This is but one of many examples that I know of.

  26. Compuholic says

    Climate change is out most urgent, number one priority right now

    I’m not sure I completely agree. Climate change happens slowly and things have continually been growing worse for a long time. So it won’t really matter if we started taking things seriously right now or a few months from now.

    Of course the original question is dishonest. Until we are standing in water up to our necks there will always be some things that require more imminent action. But this is not the kind of problem that will simply go away over time. If you continue to delay action a somewhat managable problem will grow into a huge and potentially unmanageable problem.

    But such nuances simply escape Cupp. She asked a stupid question and got a stupid answer.

  27. Snoof says

    When I was a kid, I used to go camping by the sea in my native country Portugal. The camping park was about 50 yards from the beach, and the beach had another good 50 yards of sand between the camping exit and the ocean. This was 20 odd years ago. Today, the beach has no sand left, and the camping park had to be moved 100 yards further inland because the sea invaded the grounds. This is but one of many examples that I know of.

    I’m not familiar with the situation in Portugal, but something similar is happening along the southeast coast of Australia as well, with beaches vanishing. It’s not sea level rise for us, but coastal erosion which is exacerbated by development all along the foredunes and loss of river systems.

    Not global warming, but it’s an example of how human activity can drastically alter landscapes very rapidly (geologically speaking).

  28. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    …only 36% of the American public think global warming is a serious threat to their way of life.

    What Cupp just said is akin to declaring “Only 36% of Americans believe 2+2=4!”. And what? You think the fact that some people are ideologically opposed to reality somehow affects reality? It doesn’t. The other 64% are wrong. It’s very simple. This isn’t up for debate; it’s not a matter of opinion. It’s a fact. You don’t get to debate reality.

  29. hexidecima says

    Bill shows how all liars should be confronted. Constantly and without flinching, no matter how much they whine.

  30. says

    Futurechemist

    I think you may have missed the point that Bill Nye was making when he brought up hurricane sandy.

    He was not using it as evidence for global warming but using the damage it caused as an example of the cost that extreme weather events can result in. The guy from the right wing think tank was saying that the cost of tackling global warming was not worth it. And Bill countered withe the sandy example to show that preventing similar events happening more often is certainly worth it on financial terms alone. So no. Bill does not need to be more careful.

  31. Gregory Greenwood says

    Cupp is just another shill for the hard Right and the petrochemical industry (and whoever else is prepared to pay enough for lies-to-order). Her schtick is that she is an atheist, which creates the illusion that she stands apart from the majority of her fellow shills, who mostly trumpet their religiosity from the rooftops. But it is only an illusion; not only is she much more interested in attacking other atheists than in expressing the intellectual underpinnings of her own supposed godlessness, but it is obvious that she has her nose in the self same corporate trough as all the rest of the bought and paid for professional obfusticators. She is just like the pet ‘liberals’ that Fox News keeps on the payroll, and she serves the same purpose – to dress up partisan rightwing propaganda as a ‘fair and balanced’ debate.

    If I may be forgiven for the religious analogy, she took her thirty pieces of silver long ago.

  32. Gregory Greenwood says

    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened @ 31;

    What Cupp just said is akin to declaring “Only 36% of Americans believe 2+2=4!”. And what? You think the fact that some people are ideologically opposed to reality somehow affects reality? It doesn’t. The other 64% are wrong. It’s very simple. This isn’t up for debate; it’s not a matter of opinion. It’s a fact. You don’t get to debate reality.

    QFT. Unforunatley, the religious Right – and their apologsts like Cupp – labour under the delusion that reality is subject to ratification by popular opinion (shaped by the opinion formers who do and say exactly what the wealthy elite tell them to, naturally), and are prepared to make policy based upon that (staggeringly ignorant and short sighted) assumption whenever they have the opportunity to do. Reality cares not a whit for what idiocy fulminates in their brains, but that won’t help us very much when we all suffer the consequences of their inability to accept that reality cannot be coerced into conforming to their delusions.

  33. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ichthyic @ 16;

    deal with the reality of it. the only thing to decide is whether you want to spend energy trying to stem the tide a bit, or ignore it and live your life to the max while you still can.

    those are your only two rational choices. everything else is nothing but denial.

    Absolutely true. Unfortunately (and however much it may sometimes seem otherwise), not all those who throw their lot in with the denialist camp are delusional. A lot of them are entirely rational people who have looked at the situation, calculated that they will almost certainly not live long enough to be personally effected by the worst extremes of AGW, and have callously decided to throw the rest of humanity under the bus in order to amass as much wealth and power to themselves as they can in their own lifetimes, and damn the consequences. As they see it, future generations will just have to deal with the fallout, as they try to convince themselves they had to struggle to ‘earn’ what they have now.

    Denialism is not simply a case of anything so benign as a mix of ignorance and self-delusion; there is an awful lot of greed, indifference to the human suffering of others, and outright evil involved.

  34. says

    “Nick here had to say, ‘I’m not a denier.’ He had to get it out: ‘I’m not a denier.’ Because really, the science group has tried to shame anyone who dares question this

    Total non-sequitur. He didn’t say “I’m not a denier” for fear of being bullied or shamed… he said it because it’s a common tactic of people who know they’re about to say stupid things to pre-qualify them with proclamations that seemingly contradict the position they’re about to take, to somehow make it seem more poignant or truth-y.

    For example, “I’m not a racist, but let me tell you something I know about the negro…”

  35. nnoxks says

    raven @11:

    What you said was not true. The IPCC has not backed off on sea level rise. In fact, quite the opposite:

    To those who remember the much-discussed sea-level range of 18-59 cm from the 4th IPCC report, it is clear that the new numbers are far higher, both at the low and the high end. . . . We see that the new estimate is about 60% higher than the old standard estimate, and also a lot higher than the AR4 attempt at including rapid ice sheet discharge. – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/sea-level-in-the-5th-ipcc-report/#sthash.4k2DcSrO.dpuf

    In addition, most experts think even the new “far higher” estimate of sea level rise in IPPC AR5 is too low:

    “According to the more likely higher emission scenario, the results are 0.7–1.2 meters (2.3–3.9 feet) by 2100 and 2.0–3.0 meters (6.5–9.8 feet) by 2300. These are significantly larger than the predictions set forth in the recently published IPCC AR5 report. They reflect what my colleagues, particularly scientists at NOAA, have been telling me for about three years.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/dec/04/experts-ipcc-underestimated-sea-level-rise

  36. Kevin Kehres says

    The facts don’t care whether you believe in them or not. Not even if only 36% of the American public believes in them.

    Won’t affect me that much more than it already has (and it has). But if Cupp has kids and those kids have kids, those grandkids will spit on her grave.

  37. raven says

    realclimate .org:

    For high emissions IPCC now predicts a global rise by 52-98 cm by the year 2100, which would threaten the survival of coastal cities and entire island nations. But even with aggressive emissions reductions, a rise by 28-61 cm is predicted.

    Well OK. IPCC is predicting 52-98 cm sea level rise by 2100. For high emissions. I think we can discount the low emission estimates.

    There is no evidence that we will curtail CO2 emissions. The latest US achievement along those lines was to invent mass fracking so we can get out more hydrocarbons.

    The IPCC estimates are lower than others, which were predicting 1 to 2 meters.

    The fact that these estimates are all over the place shows just how little we really know about what is going to happen. We know the basic facts, global warming is happening and sea levels are rising. The details remain unknown. Some examples.

    1. The slowing of the polar vortex. Some models say colder northern hemisphere winters will be the new normal. Others not. One climatologist said, “We only have one data point. We need at least a decades worth of data.” Probably correct but who wants to wait 10 years to find out an important and interesting new fact?

    2. Slowing of the gulf stream. Some studies have seen this. Some haven’t. No one knows which is right.

    3. The severe droughts in California and the Southwest. Most climate models predict the rain belts will shift north. It may already be happening. Then again, it could rain more the next three years and reverse all that. We just have to wait.

    It’s all just one world size experiment and we are all the guinea pigs.

  38. nnoxks says

    I don’t disagree with any of that. But you did make it sound like the IPCC had lowered its sea level rise estimate, rather than raised it, and you seemed to use that “pulling back” as an example that we just don’t know how bad climate change will be. Which is true, of course, but wrong example.

  39. raven says

    But you did make it sound like the IPCC had lowered its sea level rise estimate, rather than raised it, …

    I just said I was wrong. I mixed up the 4th IPCC report with other estimates.

    I guess it wasn’t clear. I was wrong!!! I was wrong!!! I WAS WRONG!!!

    Feel better now?

  40. Gregory Greenwood says

    markkernes @ 46;

    Employing the patriarchal tropes of the misogynistic sexual objectification of women as a weapon against anyone, whether we happen to agree with their politics or not, is frowned upon here. Photoshopped, sexualised images of women used as a cudgel against them is never acceptable behaviour.

    This is probably going to be the politest expression of revulsion for your position you are going to encounter here. My fellow Pharyngulites will probably be rather more… direct. You may want to prepare yourself for that.

  41. says

    @MrFancyPants
    Whups, I think I flipped my zone numbers. Thanks for the correction. I was told this by the gardeners at our local nursery.

  42. zmidponk says

    markernes:

    Thought y’all might be interested in this (definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK) article I wrote a couple of years ago on S.E. Cupp: http://business.avn.com/articles/legal/S-E-Cupp-Dick-in-Mouth-Image-Brings-Left-Right-Together-476330.html

    If you wrote that article, I would call you an arsehole, but that’s an insult to arseholes, as they, at least, perform an essential function. You, going by that article, do not, not least because you seem oblivious to the difference between someone giving consent to publishing pictures of them posing provocatively and/or committing sexual acts and using Photoshop to sexualise a picture of someone and printing it without their permission. The latter is utterly wrong, regardless of any disclaimers that it’s fake, even if it’s a woman who talks utter shit in public, as the video above clearly shows.

  43. twas brillig (stevem) says

    This was after she threw up some statistics, that only 36% of the American public think global warming is a serious threat to their way of life.

    So is she saying, based on that statistic, that climate change ain’t happening, or is she using to scare us into educating the 64% who think it isn’t a problem? What was the argument debate about, whether climate change is realz, or, too expensive to do anything about? Or was she just focused on a single word: “threat”. That, “Since the climate-scientists say sea levels will rise over the next 50 years, what is the “threat?” And was the use of “bully”; over different uses of the word “threat”? She only considers “threat” to be “short-term, immediate, danger” while Nye, and scientists, consider threats to include long-term dangers? Is she arguing over “the words they use” [tone trolling], XOR the reality of climate change (she saying scientists are bullying people by yelling ‘climate change’, while she knows climate change is just a small variation of the weather)? Being the “debate” was on FauxNoise CNN, I gotta doubt everything about it… ;-( [CNN has lost its old reputation. thanks, Malaysia 370 coverage]

  44. chrisdevries says

    mclarenm23 #9:

    Evolution is a pretty old theory with a mass of evidence to support it, but 150 years on and in some countries there is debate about whether to even teach it in the classroom.

    You mean, in the US, there is debate about whether to teach it in the classroom. And various Muslim theocracies.

    Sane Western countries with less febrile political cultures and significantly less public and politically-endorsed religiosity seem to have no problem teaching all established scientific facts, even those that conflict with a very narrow and selective interpretation of a religion.

    Let us also not forget that the vast majority of the anti-intellectual conservative Christian movement is only in favour of a very select few Bible-derived laws being imposed on society, typically those which their religious and political leaders have identified as likely to appeal to their flock, i.e. laws governing behavior they’re already against. This is putting the cart before the horse: people are finding religious rationalisation for ideas they already support. Despite what our political allies may fear, most Republican voters would balk at stoning their new bride on her father’s doorstep if they discovered she was not a virgin after the wedding. And most conservative parents love their children too much to consider killing them for disobedience. There is a small minority amongst the deluded who would go this far, but they are kooks and are mostly recognised as kooks even within the religious right. And I challenge you to find a Republican who has followed Jesus’s example and given up all their worldly possessions because it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Thus those who treat the Bible as both unerring rule book for living a good life, and history textbook are almost never legitimately trying to model their lives and opinions on what the Bible says (not least because the Bible is so unbelievably self-contradictory that such a task is actually impossible). The main reason why nearly half of American adults insist the world is less than 10,000 years old is simple: they are following what their pastor told them. These people are great sheep.

    And Republican leaders are able to take advantage of the sheepish nature of these people, using religion to energise them, to get them to turn out to the voting booth; the average ignorant fundamentalist Christian has never learned how to think for him/herself or to question authority, so they will go along with what their pastor tells them, and politicians who support what their pastor has told them. And don’t think for one second that these types of churches adhere to their non-profit requirement of not endorsing political candidates. Everyone knows who you’re supposed to vote for if you want Jesus to love you and forgive your sins. It is sickening, and a symptom of an educational abyss created by people who wanted to keep people sheepish.

    So with climate change it’s the same problem: Republican partisans will never acknowledge the existence of climate change until the Republican party does, and then they will follow, like good little sheep. The only way to break the cycle is to make sure we find ways to educate people to think critically, even people who are bombarded with demands that they do what their religious leaders say and believe what they are told to believe, regardless of their own feelings. This is getting both easier and harder. Easier because the internet is a vast resource and those who want real facts can easily find them. Harder because the mainstream media has split into Left and Right camps, and “good little soldiers” who don’t question authority and always make sure they’re reading the “right” information, will never have a chance to be exposed to reality. There must be a kernel of doubt the size of a mustard seed to get these sheep to eventually seek out the truth; many will never feel this doubt, secure in the community that gives their life meaning.

  45. anteprepro says

    markkernes, you are sleazy, misogynistic fuck and your sexist article is not welcome here. No, “it’s just about sex” does not justify consistently, selectively, and exclusively sexualizing female public figures. And insinuating that people offended by that shit are just prudes? Fuck right off.

  46. chrisdevries says

    mclarenm23 #9

    Is it realistic to think that over the next 150 years the debate on climate change will have moved any further along than that of evolution?

    This question is kind of silly. It assumes that America (the only place where climate change is controversial now) will have the same kind of political culture it does now in 150 years. It also assumes that America will exist as a country in 150 years. And that somehow the human species has managed to overcome the problems we create today for future generations to deal with (climate change, species loss, deforestation, contamination of essential resources like air and water), and hasn’t been reduced to several thousand (globally) small tribes of people condemned to a life of scraping by on the remnants of a technological civilization and the plants and animals that survive this extinction event.

    The truth is that if America exists in its current form, with similar or greater levels of development and mean quality of life in 150 years it will be because people took climate change (and the other environmental issues that threaten our survival) seriously. Major policy changes could ensure we both stopped exacerbating the problems and devoted our resources to mitigating their impacts. In the absence of such policy, I fear for our descendents.

  47. lesherb says

    I grew up on Long Island, NY, the east end just south of Peconic Bay (the bay in between the north & south forks of the island). I lived a block & a half from the bay. The street was about 150-200 feet from the shore depending on the tide. This was the 60s & 70s. The last time I was at this beach was about 10 years ago. The water now laps up at the edge of the street. There’s no place to spread out a blanket on the sand anymore. It’s heartbreaking. I feel badly for the children growing up in my childhood neighborhood. They’ll never know the joy of packing a lunch and walking to the beach on a sunny, summer day. The only good thing about being over 50 is knowing I’ll miss the worst of global warming…my kids and theirs to follow won’t be so lucky. Oh wait, one child is a conservative. He won’t be bothered….after all, it’s just a liberal hoax. ;-(

  48. blf says

    It seems to me a lot of the resistance to climate change / global warming comes from people not understanding the difference between weather and climate, or between local and global effects.

    Perhaps. But there are other reasons for denial. Ignoring the more fruitloopy ones (elitists, socialism!, Obama!!, &tc), the one that really Really gets my goat has the general form I don’t like / don’t want to do / can’t afford to do X, therefore AGW isn’t happening.

    X might be something as simple as using CFL or LED lightbulbs, or not-driving a “gas guzzler”, or riding a bicycle more; Or something more complicated like not building the Keystone XL pipeline or installing a windfarm or using sails to assist ships; Or something conceptual like who you vote for. Absolutely none of which can possibly lead, by any non-wingnuttery logic, to the “conclusion” therefore AGW isn’t happening. Yet you see that form of “argument” again and again.

  49. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Actually, I find it fun to try and spot the formal logical fallacy behind the denialist argument. The one blf cites is Argument from Consequences–a popular one among the denialati. Also popular is Argumentum ad Hominem (But Al Gore is fat…”). I’ve thought about making up a denialist formal fallacy bingo card.

  50. ck says

    There’s so many variants of ad hominem that are used regularly. Tu quoque is especially common (“but Al Gore flies around the country in planes”). The slippery slope is also very, very popular.