Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Climate change explained!
April 24, 2007 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Connie Meskimen of Hot Springs, Arkansas has a down-to-earth explanation for climate change! What the scientists and the Fifth Column environmentalists bent on wrecking American industry hope that you'll overlook!
posted by Mayor Curley (103 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The mind boggles...
posted by davehat at 10:16 AM on April 24, 2007


Thank you for this. Restored my faith in humanity just when I needed it most.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:18 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


lollercopter
posted by boo_radley at 10:19 AM on April 24, 2007


I wonder if there's a secret cabal of "liberal" prankster editorial letter writers that mail pieces like this in, trying to add additional discredit to anti-environmentalists, and to get some kicks in the process.

On the other hand, I wonder what percentage of Americans, when presented with that letter could find the logical error in it.
posted by drezdn at 10:20 AM on April 24, 2007


Unfortunately, my hope that someone will prove this fake does not exceed my certainty that no one will.
posted by Prospero at 10:20 AM on April 24, 2007


By God, Connie's right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:21 AM on April 24, 2007


An outstanding example of Malgnorance.
posted by The World Famous at 10:21 AM on April 24, 2007


lollercopter
posted by boo_radley at 1:19 PM on April 24


I just shot down your lollercopter with a shoulder-launched WTF.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:23 AM on April 24, 2007 [8 favorites]


I didn't realise Congress regulated the rotation of the earth.

No wonder we're called a "superpower".
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:23 AM on April 24, 2007


I'm sure congress can make amends by passing a law that prohibits global warming.
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:24 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


"another plot by a liberal Congress"? The word "liberal" really is quite the pejorative in parts of this country.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2007


Not sure if you guys caught this or not, but the headline says "Daylight Exacerbates Warning." Shouldn't that be "Warming" or am I missing something?
posted by chinese_fashion at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2007


"Daylight exacerbates warning"?
posted by DakotaPaul at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2007


You have to be kidding ! Right? You're kidding.
posted by nola at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2007


doh!
posted by DakotaPaul at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2007


Notice that there's a typo in the headline.

LOL AR
posted by oncogenesis at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2007


I didn't realise Congress regulated the rotation of the earth.

At last! An explanation for the wobble. They couldn't even spin a globe properly.
posted by srboisvert at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Pastabagel, I really think liberal is gaining the same level of derision that communist once had.
posted by drezdn at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2007


Sir! I have a plan!
posted by pruner at 10:32 AM on April 24, 2007


(depressing)

If google is to believed, she's a lawyer.
posted by drezdn at 10:33 AM on April 24, 2007


This has to be a prank? Right? If not... wow.
posted by dead_ at 10:33 AM on April 24, 2007


You have to be kidding ! Right? You're kidding.

Make your own newspaper clipping.
posted by MikeMc at 10:34 AM on April 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


The liberal congress needs an extra hour of light to power the solar panels on their geodesic dome-houses.

Pinko hippes.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:34 AM on April 24, 2007


And also, if this isn't the most scathing indictment of our so-called "education system" in the US, I don't know what is.
posted by dead_ at 10:34 AM on April 24, 2007


I eagerly await next week's letters expressing outrage that a family newspaper would print the word "exacerbate".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:35 AM on April 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


Next: The secret conspiracy of evolution- when and how did water evolve?
posted by yeloson at 10:35 AM on April 24, 2007


People! According to a recent study by the Institute for Factology, we can drastically reduce the levels of harmful greenouse gasses if we just set our clocks back five minutes.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 10:36 AM on April 24, 2007


Connie seems to be real.

I'm surprised. I thought she was a scam too.
posted by imperium at 10:38 AM on April 24, 2007


She's a lawyer? Suddenly everything that doesn't make sense in my country makes sense now.
posted by yeloson at 10:41 AM on April 24, 2007


Now that's old-school trolling.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:41 AM on April 24, 2007


Pinko hippes.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:34 AM on April 24 [+][!]

Pinky Hippos!
posted by geos at 10:42 AM on April 24, 2007


I just called the Arkansas Democrat-Gazzette and verified that the article was published. I also called Connie (which is a he) at *phone number removed by editor*. He seemed annoyed and agitated. He would not verify that he had written the letter, and asked that I call back and leave a message.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:44 AM on April 24, 2007


Another source for Connie's letter to the editor.
posted by jperkins at 10:45 AM on April 24, 2007


(depressing)

If google is to believed, she's a lawyer.
posted by drezdn at 1:33 PM on April 24


She's malpractice-grade stupid.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:46 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't realise Congress regulated the rotation of the earth.

They didn't, silly, 'cause the earth is flat and the sun goes around IT.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:48 AM on April 24, 2007


I'd have thought it was a tongue-in-cheek parody letter -- if it weren't for all the people coming to my "Demote Pluto" site who think that the IAU decision has meant the literal destruction of Pluto or ejection from the solar system.
posted by brownpau at 10:50 AM on April 24, 2007


Connie,

I am afraid I have to have you killed. The ninjas have been dispatched. I assure you there is no where to run or hide. If it is any cold comfort your end will be as swift as it is unstoppable.

In the intervening minutes before you meet your inevitable end let me at least congratulate you on your discovery. You aslo deserve to know the truth— little good it will do you.

In the three centuries since our cabal seized power not one of you unwitting sheeple have noticed our ability to halt and slow the rotation of the earth. As you may have suspected we can also move the sun and thus it gives us complete control over the weather. Also, as a convenient by product, the combined effect has allowed us to alter the effects of gravity thus we manipulate volcanic action, erosion, and sedimentary rock to make the earth appear much older than it's true 8,000 year age.

The fossil record is also one of our great frauds, "ape people" remains are a simple matter to construct with newspaper, glue and chalk. Yes. Dinosaurs and man did indeed live parallel to each other until your meddlesome god drown the noble beasts in his dastardly flood.

Rest assured our plan will continue and your efforts to warn the world will amount to nothing. Now, if you'll forgive me I must cut this short as my polar Condo project demands my attention and I have a meeting with the Illuminatis Jew Bankers to discuss further polar land deals. Which, as always, requires our lengthy fetus eating and homosexual sex ritual before the meeting can start.

I bid you adieu, clever Connie.

Yours,

Bill Clinton (AKA Satan - yes I bet you always knew)

PS. Hahahahaha (obligatory evil laugh, etc)
posted by tkchrist at 10:53 AM on April 24, 2007 [19 favorites]


He's only a moral-bankruptcy lawyer.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:56 AM on April 24, 2007 [9 favorites]


moral-bankruptcy lawyer

Fucking brilliant!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:58 AM on April 24, 2007


"Perhaps this is another plot by a liberal Congress..."

Errmm -- in August 2005, Congress passed the energy bill which included the 2007 extension of Daylight Savings Time. At that time Congress was under a Repulican majority.
posted by ericb at 10:58 AM on April 24, 2007


I'd have thought it was a tongue-in-cheek parody letter...

A quick perusal of other online discussions about this letter indicates that many think this was meant as satire. I'm leaning that way. If it does indeed turn out to be real and not satirical, then, I, um, um, um...
posted by ericb at 11:01 AM on April 24, 2007


A letter in response to Connie was published by the paper this week. (third from bottom)
posted by CaptApollo at 11:02 AM on April 24, 2007


I must believe this is a fake, because otherwise I have no idea how someone that stupid could manage to spell all those words, or even string comprehensible sentences together. It seems impossible that someone could have a reasonable grasp of the English language, yet such a poor grasp on logic.

Perhaps I grasp at straws...
posted by crackingdes at 11:02 AM on April 24, 2007


Straight out of the Onion...
posted by Rhomboid at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2007


Given the alternative that we're damaging the planet to the degree that it will eventually be impossible for us to live on it, I'm all for Connie's take on events.

It was the responsibility of many ancient cultures' leadership to ensure that the sun rises and falls at certain times. Congress and the White House must do the same. I have been pouring over some of the old almanac-setting committee votes for the past five years, and can conclude that this unseasonably warm weather Connie has been experiencing this year in Arkansas is largely the Democrats’ fault.

You see, when the Democrats regained their majority in Congress this year, they simply cast out the President’s Interim Sunrise/Sunset Appointments. While I admit that the President’s proposed “4 Hours of Dim Sunlight, Tops” Plan was just as short-sighted as his Moleman Overlords, it did have a lot off good science-themed lobbying behind it. Designed to help jump-start the American economy by 1) increasing the amount of electricity used to light our homes and cities*, 2) increasing Prime Time Television from 8pm-11pm to 3pm-12am to help increase American ad revenue, and 3) allowing for increased Moleman surface tourism, the 4HoDST Plan would also increase America’s border security by making terrorists and illegal immigrants think nobody is home and try next door in Canada.

The Democrats, no doubt spurned on by the twin desires to punish the old Republican guard and obey their powerful tree-hugging, plants-need-light-to-grow, anti-Moleman base, simply did away with the plan in a secret House floor vote**. It was a rider attached by Rep. Jim Hutchens of Florida that increased daylight savings time. He hoped to create a sort of sunlight “lock-box” for use by Americans once the sun finally burns out and becomes a dead, cold lump of material at the center of our solar system. His reasoning was the same as retirement planning: that a little savings now would eventually compound into big returns later. The fact that Florida, the sunshine state, needs sunlight to power its vast spring break engine no doubt weighed heavily on his mind.

Of course, being a Democrat, Rep. Hutchens couldn’t plan his way out of a paper bag, thus the unexpected side effects on the general temperature of the south. The representative has apologized for his actions and is now working with a team of science-themed lobbyists from the Giant Space Umbrella industry to find an equitable solution.

* The “Monty Burns Effect”

** The House has control over sunrises and sunsets, while the Senate controls the length of seasons and phases of the moon. The President must content himself with control over the direction of winds and storms, a responsibility he has been loathe to execute ever since he moved Hurricane Katrina aside in order to keep things clear for his break-out country music performance.

posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2007 [7 favorites]


I vote for satire. Here are a few more of Mr. Meskimen's letter to editors.
posted by box at 11:06 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I say, I mean 'letters to editors,' that is.
posted by box at 11:07 AM on April 24, 2007


Reality is a satire.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:09 AM on April 24, 2007


Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that much (though of course I also wondered if it was a fake)—there's a lot of stupidosity out there. I still remember a Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Independent article from a few decades back announcing that scientists had successfully bred a dog and a cat. This was a news story, on the front page.

Preemptive: No ragging on Arkansas, please. Stupidosity is everywhere, and my daddy was from Arkansas and didn't raise no morons.
posted by languagehat at 11:09 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, I wonder what percentage of Americans, when presented with that letter could find the logical error in it.

&

And also, if this isn't the most scathing indictment of our so-called "education system" in the US, I don't know what is.


I submit this.
posted by dobbs at 11:11 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


How sure are we this is not a very elaborate joke?
posted by MarshallPoe at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2007


On non-preview:

Here are a few more of Mr. Meskimen's letter to editors.


Oh, OK then. Not sure why you'd want to make yourself look like a drooling moron to the 99.9% of the readership who isn't familiar with your output, but whatever gives you a chuckle, Mr. Meskimen—carry on!
posted by languagehat at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2007


Clearly, this warrants some kind of space mission to go to the Sun and curtail those two extra hours of sunlight. We could land on it's surface and...

...what?...

...Oh. Well, we could go at night.

(ba-dump-bump)
posted by PlusDistance at 11:17 AM on April 24, 2007


This explanation is every bit as scientific as anything else I have ever read that tried to convince me of global warming.
posted by tadellin at 11:23 AM on April 24, 2007


Connie is a man's name?
posted by peep at 11:37 AM on April 24, 2007


The guy interviewed here has an even better one. It's really worth watching.
posted by Firas at 11:37 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


She is payed for writing this????

FUCK I SUCK
posted by zouhair at 11:38 AM on April 24, 2007


Metafilter: FUCK I SUCK.
posted by Firas at 11:39 AM on April 24, 2007


tadellin writes "This explanation is every bit as scientific as anything else I have ever read that tried to convince me of global warming."

You've gotta read something other than Reader's Digest, man.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:42 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I smell a new internet fad.

*me excitedly waits for the YTMND mixes*
posted by patr1ck at 11:44 AM on April 24, 2007


I'm gonna go with satire on this one. Or at least "trying to slip one past the editors." Letters like this are the only reason I ever read editorials.
posted by davejay at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2007


That we even had to consider that there are people out there who might believe this is the real tragedy.
posted by quin at 11:56 AM on April 24, 2007


So... it was a soft lob to any reader with even the most tenuous grip on reality, and the best response anyone could come up with was:

Anyone with even a basic understanding of reality knows that the number of hours of daylight we have on any given day isn’t altered by simply resetting a clock. We also know that this simple shift of time can help reduce the consumption of energy by delaying the increased need and use of electricity after sundown. Perhaps Meskimen can find an elementary school student to explain it to her.

Sheesh. Such wasted effort.

On a related note, I need to get back to writing letters to the editor. It's all the fun of writing angry diatribes, without all the needless work of "citation" and "cohesion of ideas." Just write the first sentence about the topic at hand disparagingly, then launch into a whirlwind of strawmen and ad hominems against whatever unlucky soul wrote an equally uninformed piece in last week's edition. It's like Fark, but you get your name in the newsprint!
posted by Mayor West at 11:59 AM on April 24, 2007


I'm also gonna go with satire here - this guy sounds like an uncle of mine who would slip these kinds of things into company e-mails just for kicks. It's good enough to make us all think that someone actually thought those thoughts...which is the best kind of satire to some.
posted by piedrasyluz at 12:05 PM on April 24, 2007


Connie can be short for Cornelius. It's an unusual name for a boy, but hey, you've all heard of Connie Mack, right?
posted by konolia at 12:07 PM on April 24, 2007


Or Constantine. I forgot.
posted by konolia at 12:08 PM on April 24, 2007


Or Conrad.
posted by LionIndex at 12:10 PM on April 24, 2007


CaptApollo's link actually has TWO responses to this letter, and the second one is better.

"What I am confused about is, no matter whether our clocks are set forward one hour or back one hour, don’t we continue to have the same amount of daylight hours every day ?"

The innocence in the reply is perfect. No flames, no screaming, not even a smug superiority, yet right to the point.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:18 PM on April 24, 2007


Or Constantine. I forgot.

That's my name! But my parents pre-emptively nicknamed me "Dean" specifically to avoid the possibility of people deciding to call me "Connie."

/offtopic
posted by deanc at 12:28 PM on April 24, 2007


Or konolia.
posted by taliaferro at 12:29 PM on April 24, 2007


LOLCONNIEMESKIMENZ
posted by Mister_A at 12:38 PM on April 24, 2007


Great post! I hope someone FPPs some YouTube clips of Jay Leno reading typos from the Wichita Herald Classified section next!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:41 PM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


This explanation is every bit as scientific as anything else I have ever read that tried to convince me of global warming.
Well, you know, this one did have an awful lot of words with the pictures.
posted by scrump at 12:43 PM on April 24, 2007


This explanation is every bit as scientific as anything else I have ever read that tried to convince me of global warming.

Are you a real conservative but without the attention span to actually argue or discuss, or are you some kind of lefty who tosses out right-wing talking points so they can be swatted down publickly?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:46 PM on April 24, 2007


AWESOME.

I can't believe he hasn't already scored a science advisory position with this administration. Stay by the phone, Connie.
posted by dreamsign at 12:49 PM on April 24, 2007


Well, I'd assume its a joke, except that I have personally spoken with, indeed argued with, a woman who really was convinced that daylight savings time somehow increased the amount of daylight we got.

The woman I spoke with never did specifiy how she thought that changing our clocks actually increased the amount of sunlight, but she was certain that it did and absolutely nothing I could say would change her mind.

So, yeah, I'm not at all surprised that a lawyer is capiable of making the same mistake.
posted by sotonohito at 12:50 PM on April 24, 2007


dobbs -- no Canada? Now I'm curious.
posted by dreamsign at 12:53 PM on April 24, 2007


PlusDistance writes "...Oh. Well, we could go at night."

Are you crazy? The sun is still hot then, it's just lighting the other side of the world. You'd still be vaporized.

You have to go in the winter, when it's cold.
posted by mullingitover at 12:53 PM on April 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


tadellin-maybe you should try and read some peer reviewed journals? Or you could give the IPCC executive summary a try. It's quite clear and concise. Look on the front page for 'Working Group 1 Report-The Physical Science Basis' and then click on 'Summary for Policy Makers.'

I am being charitable and assuming you actually have an interest in examining the issue on its merits. Given your reply, I'm not really convinced of that, but there you go.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 1:03 PM on April 24, 2007


> Great post! I hope someone FPPs some YouTube clips of Jay Leno reading typos from the Wichita Herald Classified section next!

Thanks Alvy. I'm not exactly sure why it took so long for someone to point that out.

A single-link post to some crackpot editorial comment in some random newspaper somewhere? How is this FPP still around? I've stayed my hand at making these types of comments before, but this post is nothing in the remote neighborhood of best of the web.
posted by Brak at 1:18 PM on April 24, 2007


tadellin, you're funny.

A friend emailed me a link to Connie's letter last week. I laughed so hard that, had I been drinking milk, it would have come out of my nose.

Then I was dismayed.

At least y'all can make me chuckle about it again. Thanks!
posted by rtha at 1:27 PM on April 24, 2007


I don't know. It entertained me as much as kittens with captions.

Well almost as much.
posted by dreamsign at 1:27 PM on April 24, 2007


Another vote for satire. What would be your reaction if it had been signed by a known comedian? Why not a local one.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 1:57 PM on April 24, 2007


but this post is nothing in the remote neighborhood of best of the web.

It is indeed a remote neighborhood. Takes forever to get there.
posted by quite unimportant at 1:58 PM on April 24, 2007


Plusdistance: "...Oh. Well, we could go at night."

mullingitover: You have to go in the winter, when it's cold.

You liberals are both wrong. The sun still provides warmth in the wintertime, ever think about the Southern Hemishpere?!!?! You'd have to wait until there's a solar eclipse.
posted by sleevener at 2:04 PM on April 24, 2007


I live in Little Rock and I'll give you some context.... this particular newspaper swings pretty far to the right and regularly publishes letters that demonstrate weapons grade ignorance. Something like this letter does not look out of place to the regular readers of the Demizette. My vote is with the others who believe it to be a masterfull mesozoic era troll though.
posted by hatchetjack at 2:13 PM on April 24, 2007


For what it's worth, even if Mr. Meskimen is unable to spell properly, the editors of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette are kind enough to correct spelling and grammatical errors in the letters to the editor. ;)
posted by wierdo at 2:23 PM on April 24, 2007


A few months ago a letter to the Raleigh N & O stated that obviously evolution was a myth because "Have you ever seen a mother give birth to a baby that looked different?"

I could not even muster up a sad little smile.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:57 PM on April 24, 2007


HighTechUnderpants : I am being charitable and assuming you actually have an interest in examining the issue on its merits.

That's your mistake right there. Check the posting history. tadellin has never demonstrated any kind of effort at advancing the discussion.

The trick is to ignore and move on.
posted by quin at 3:25 PM on April 24, 2007


Did you know that in some parts of the English-speaking world, Americans are sometimes considered to be incapable of appreciating dry humour?
posted by thparkth at 3:29 PM on April 24, 2007


She would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for them pesky kids!
posted by Dizzy at 3:40 PM on April 24, 2007


Even during an eclipse, the sun is busy frying the ass end of the moon!

It doesn't really matter when you go. But you have to use a lot of sunblock and wear dark glasses. And drink lots of fluids. If you drink lots of non-fluids, there's no telling what will happen.
posted by hexatron at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2007


If I put my Percocet in a blender and add Ketel, it is technically a fluid, yes?
Please advise before I black out or
posted by Dizzy at 3:54 PM on April 24, 2007


... get Dizzy?
posted by ericb at 4:38 PM on April 24, 2007


What great, gentle satire. Reminds me of Mark Twain. A lost American artform.
posted by atchafalaya at 5:56 PM on April 24, 2007


FWIW, when this was on Fark yesterday someone claimed to know the person who wrote the letter and that it is indeed satire. (ctrl+f for 05:49:38 PM in the thread)
posted by AV at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2007


As box discovered a while back, it's satire, for sure. In Mr. (or Ms.) Meskimen's usual efforts, it's more obvious. His subtleness, this time, has earned him considerable scorn in blogdom. But this also proves bloggers are not journalists. Any self-respecting journalist would have done the research box did and discovered the Meskimen just likes to pull our chain.
posted by beagle at 6:41 PM on April 24, 2007


I live in LR also and agree with hatchetjack that this is satire. The paper this was printed in is a right wing rag. But I'm pretty sure the editors got the joke. They have been printing more letters critical of our dear leader lately which would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago. And I agree with Connie on his assessments of Philip Martin. That guy is a dick.
posted by Justin Case at 7:28 PM on April 24, 2007


Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that much (though of course I also wondered if it was a fake)—there's a lot of stupidosity out there.

My response over IM to the co-worker who directed me to it was "that must be fake," but I meant it in the sense of "someone made a fake clipping." It never occurred to me that newspaper editors would publish a letter that was facetious, or that someone might write a sarcastic letter that was so believable to folks not acquainted with his oeuvre.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:22 PM on April 24, 2007


Scopes
posted by Rhomboid at 6:25 AM on April 25, 2007


Satire is dead.
posted by billypilgrim at 8:51 AM on May 1, 2007


He must have been, like a hundred years old!
Those French guys live forever; must be the red wine.
posted by Dizzy at 10:22 AM on May 1, 2007


Glenn Beck on Al Gore.
posted by homunculus at 1:26 AM on May 3, 2007


« Older Mummenschanz on the Muppets...  |  Elizabeth Drew analyzes the cu... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments