D’Souza must really be an embarrassment to his alma mater

We learn a great deal from this tweet.

  • Dinesh D’Souza doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate.
  • Dinesh D’Souza doesn’t understand the difference between anecdote and data.

  • Dinesh D’Souza doesn’t understand the that the planet is spherical, and the Southern hemisphere has seasons out of phase with the Northern.

Dinesh D’Souza is a goddamn idiot. But we already knew that.


  1. bachfiend says

    The very cold weather is just the Eastern States. Here in Perth on the western coast it’s very warm, and I can wear just a t-shirt.

  2. Duckbilled Platypus says

    Someone needs to remind Dinesh D’Souza that Christmas in Australia is a Summer event (which, by the way, brings considerable challenges for Santa’s usual mode of transportation, and there should be a film about that).

    Kangaroos hopping through a snowy landscape is just beautiful, by the way.

  3. PaulBC says

    Do you mean Convicted Felon Dinesh D’Souza?

    Trump granted him a pardon. In some sense, this is irrelevant and doesn’t change the fact that he broke campaign finance law and confessed to it, but it won’t stop him from getting all the mileage he can out of the pardon.

    D’Souza has been a conservative hack so long that I would imagine Dartmouth has gotten over its embarrassment by now.

  4. bachfiend says

    What is it about American (and Australian) conservatives that they deny global warming? Conservatives in other countries don’t seem to have any problems with acknowledging the reality of global warming.

  5. microraptor says

    bachfiend @7: Because American and Australian conservatives are deeply in bed with companies that are responsible for a large amount of greenhouse gas emission. Admitting that anthropological climate change is real would mean risking that laws get passed that would hurt coal and oil companies’ revenues.

    Also, they’re largely religious wingnuts who hate science.

  6. nomdeplume says

    Snow in south-eastern Australia in August? Who knew? Even for dills like D’Souza and Panahi this is gob-smackingly stupid.

  7. pilgham says

    It can snow when the temperature is 34F. Heck, snow needs moisture, moisture in the air is exacerbated by heat. More heat, more snow. (That’s why Antarctica is growing, the excess water becomes snow and falls there. Eventually the snow will change to rain.) The fact is that global warming is going to increase snowfall. Too many people have their head in the sand.

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m a dumb-dumb with a public university degree in Journalism and it only took me a second to figure out what was wrong with this Tweet. Fuck, I knew about the difference between seasons in the Northern and Southern hemispheres when I was in grade school!

    If memory serves, D’Souza was a Dartmouth alum. Is there any way they can rescind his degree on the grounds of gross stupidity? Do they really want the public embarrassment that comes with the knowledge that they matriculated this moronic creep?

  9. nomadiq says

    Looks like D’Souza has a roo loose in the top paddock.

    No no no. He isn’t crazy. Just a moron and trapped by his motivated reasoning. But he isn’t alone. I find it startling the numbers of people who are unaware how seasons work. I mean D’Souza is from Florida. Does he not have any curiosity to ask himself why temperatures are much the same throughout the year the further south you go, and fluctuate more the more north you are? Does he not wonder what happens when you just keep on going south? I mean, it gets cold again, everyone knows about Antarctica. Why does that happen? And maybe knowing why is in part be a credential you might want to have before commenting on global climate. How amazingly incurious do you have to be? And how fucking smug and self assured as well?

  10. says

    The unlovely Rita is one of Murdoch’s media whores. She applies her talents to trashing everyone from the centre down and particularkly klikes to trash talk about climate change and Muslims

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    backfield @ 7

    Speaking as a former American conservative, I feel qualified to explain. We largely denied environmental issues because we didn’t believe that ecology was important. We thought we humans were the most important animal (that is, if we were willing to admit we were animals rather than the Christian god’s special creation) on Earth. We thought that there was plenty of air, water, soil and mineral resources to go around and that we’d never run out or could possibly damage them to any dangerous degree. The World was our proverbial oyster to with as we pleased.

    Therefore, when those unkempt and unshaven environmentalist hippies came around and started telling us to stop burning fossil fuels and that the snail Carter was endangered, we KNEW it had to be for nefarious reasons. Since they looked and acted pretty leftist, they must be FILTHY COMMUNISTS who hated American capitalism and freedom! They want to take away my pick-up truck and my weekend barbrques! Next they’ll tell us how many children we should have and that we don’t need electricity! All those facts and figures they cite which I can’t understand must be made up! Global Warming. Ozone Depletion. Acid Rain. It’s all lie, cooked up my America-hating Marxistsm who want to enslave the free market’s achievers and drag us all back to a pre-industrial state rules by tie-dye-wearing Stalinists.

    At least that’s what my parents, Rush Limbaugh, and the National Review told me.

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    microraptor @ 9

    While the big wigs of conservative politics are in bed the fossil fuel industry, they 1% are nothing without the millions of uneducated, bigoted, trash who just don’t care about the world beyond their tiny, podunk, towns. Yeah, the Koch Bros. may have money and influence, but they are only to men it will only get them so far. Their power lies in the millions of men and women who believe in bootstrap capitalism and don’t give a shit about atmospheric carbon saturation and mass extinction of anything that isn’t them.

    If you want to make the world a better place, you have to find a way to neutralize the political power of the rural, redneck, denizens of Idiot America. That means the Left will need to stop making excuses for the masses and realize that a huge chunk of the 99% are no better than the 1%.

  13. PaulBC says

    Akira MacKenzie@16

    Speaking as a former American conservative, I feel qualified to explain. We largely denied environmental issues because we didn’t believe that ecology was important.

    Then maybe you can help me understand something. It occurred to me for a long time that fossil fuel advocacy was based on two premises*: (a) solar and wind are “piddle power” (I forget who uses this term but the idea is clear) that cannot possibly satisfy the vast needs of human industry (b) the environment is a bottomless cesspool that can accept our waste without limits; indeed the notion that we can change the climate is laughable.

    Note that either one of these could hypothetically be true by itself depending on quantitative observations (they’re not, but…). Also both could be false. The sun could produce abundant energy capable of replacing fossil fuel if harnessed effectively, but we could still screw up the overall environmental balance by catalyzing self-amplifying effects.

    However, both cannot be true at the same time. If the earth’s ecosystem runs on “piddle power” then it cannot simultaneously so vast as to be unaffected by human industry for which said “piddle power” is inadequate. This is a pretty simple argument that does not really require observations or quantities. It’s inferior to one that actually gets the science right, but it is simple enough to state. How do people believe these two contradictory claims?

    Actually, terrestrial solar energy might be a pretty tight match for human needs. It is, I’ve been told, about a kilowatt/m^2 under ideal conditions. You do need a lot of area to use it as a large-scale power source and a way to store it. On the other hand, the earth’s environment is without doubt fragile and easily harmed by current human activity. You don’t need a lot of data to reach this conclusion. Just read the news about species extinctions if you don’t want to talk about climate change.

    Conservatives aren’t alone in their ability to compartmentalize contradictions, but it seems like their m.o. to me. Another good one are their claims about tax cuts. (a) According to the Laffer curve, reducing taxes will actually increase government revenue. (b) Another benefit of tax cuts is that they will shrink government (as sociopath Grover Norquist puts it) to a size that can be drowned in the bathtub.

    It seems that in order to believe a lot of this, it’s necessary to have a brain in which claims never meet each other but are preserved carefully to recite unaltered, or only rephrased in clever ways to score rhetorical points (I suspect D’Souza has such a mind).

    *There are other ways to thread the needle such as (c) (I will have made my money and be dead/Jesus will return in his glory) before any of that hippie environmental crap matters. I suspect there is some of that, but it is rarely used as a talking point. (Notorious Reagan-era Interior Secretary James Watt was apparently fond of the latter.)

  14. brain says

    On this topic: is there someone here that can direct me to online resources with clear and documented rebuttals to climate denialists claims? In particular the “there is no proof that current warming is anthropogenic” and “there have been much warmer periods in the past” arguments. I need explanations but with reference to verifiable data. That’s for a discussion with a semi-denialist friend.

    Thank you to anyone who can help me.

  15. says

    For Dartmouth to have ever been embarassed by D’Souza, it would also have to have had a sense of shame. Umm, not so much.

  16. stroppy says

    brain @ 20

    Skeptical Science — getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
    a virtual encyclopedia of denialist arguments catalogued and systematically shredded

    RealClimate — Climate science from actual climate scientists, good ones
    worth a look around

    — a good key word is ‘attribution’
    — check rate of change and adaptability compared to past changes
    (and marvel at the septics so clueless that they think PhD climate scientists with decades of professional work under their belts have never heard tell of earth history)

  17. Andrew G. says

    PaulBC @ 18:

    Compartmentalization is indeed a trait on which conservatives, and more specifically RWAs, score higher than others. As always, Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians is the (free) book to read on the topic.

  18. nomdeplume says

    Charly @27 They usually say “we had a hot day like that in 1953”. Or they quote a nineteenth century Australian poet who says “I love a sunburnt country etc” so, you know, hot days don’t count, and cold days prove there is no global warming. These people are, I believe, literally insane.

  19. Matt G says

    A few years ago, Australia had to add a new color to its temperature maps. Needless to say, it wasn’t at the blue end of the spectrum….

  20. lymie says

    Dartmouth the institution never mentions the nitwit. A number of us alums have serious cringe on permanent readiness for him, Laura Ingraham, also Jake Tapper, Alex Azar……

  21. sqlrob says

    @6 PaulBC:

    Trump granted him a pardon. In some sense, this is irrelevant and doesn’t change the fact that he broke campaign finance law and confessed to it, but it won’t stop him from getting all the mileage he can out of the pardon.

    The pardon is relevant about as much as lube is to Santorum. The point is to keep it associated in Google.

  22. William George says

    The point is to keep it associated in Google.

    Are you talking about convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza? Because that seems like something convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza deserves considering convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza is a convicted felon and all of that. So from now on I shall always refer to convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza as convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza.

  23. ashley says

    And maybe Ken Ham – who is Australian and claims the climate is ‘settling down’ after Noah’s Flood approximately 4,500 years ago.

  24. brain says

    @22 Stroppy: thanks a lot! At a first glance this seems exactly what I was looking for. I’ll use this as a starting point.

    @29 FO: thanks, I already knew this chart from xkcd. The objections to it are usually “recent data are much more accurate, historical data can hide local fluctuations greater than the one we are experiencing nowadays.

  25. wanderingelf says

    Is it possible that felon D’Souza, despite being a scientifically illiterate moron, actually knows that one snowy winter day in Australia does not disprove global warming, but he also knows that most of his followers are not smart enough to figure that out?

  26. danamania says

    I live in this area of the country, and I’ve seen snow settle three times in my life. Once when I was six in 1977, then in 2015, then this year. This year we had a late, relatively warm winter. Usually in my town it’s -5 to -6C for a couple of months and often midwinter it doesn’t get above 2C in the daytime.

    The snow hit last weekend when it was -3 to -1C, with daytime temps up around 8C. The snow isn’t a cold thing – here, this snow at this time, is a humidity thing. Warmer than normal but still freezing, but with more humidity – and there’s our snow.