Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What do you say to THAT, Mr. Gore?
January 16, 2009 6:54 AM   Subscribe

If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?
posted by flatluigi (140 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Words fail.
posted by Mister_A at 7:02 AM on January 16, 2009


This is like saying that if my house is cold, my neighbor's house is cold too.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:03 AM on January 16, 2009


Because it's winter.
posted by furtive at 7:04 AM on January 16, 2009 [55 favorites]


yet again, cartoons have trumped science.
posted by camdan at 7:04 AM on January 16, 2009


USA! USA! USA!
posted by bardic at 7:04 AM on January 16, 2009


Growing up, I recall that people would routinely say mean things about the local weatherman, as if the guy was always wrong. It made them feel superior to science.
posted by Brian B. at 7:06 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Now THIS is what Al Gore invented the internet for.
posted by yhbc at 7:07 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


The only one to give me even a small chuckle was "We Are Expecting Another 8-12 Inches Of Global Warming Today".
posted by mannequito at 7:07 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hmmm. Guy writes series of cartoons with one basic premise (and about two jokes). That premise is fundamentally stupid.

Best of what, again?
posted by Brockles at 7:07 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow.
posted by delmoi at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2009


So that Matt Drudge will have a reason to bust out the scary colored text.
posted by Poolio at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


People that ask this question in all seriousness always amuse me. It's no surprise that there seems to be confluence of creationists and global warming skeptics as neither can conceive of things in terms greater than a couple of thousand years.

It's the chronological equivalent of Tommy Cooper's gag about demographics:

"Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu. But I think it's Colin."
posted by MuffinMan at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2009 [61 favorites]


Hmmm. Guy writes series of cartoons with one basic premise (and about two jokes). That premise is fundamentally stupid.

I don't think the same person wrote all of those...
posted by delmoi at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think global warming has upset the entire weather system of the world, making it erratic and extreme, thus causing freezing cold snaps. See, witches float!
posted by hephaist0s at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2009


If gravity is real, then why do helium balloons float?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:09 AM on January 16, 2009 [22 favorites]


It was 85 to 90 degrees here in Orange County for a few days earlier this week. Is that warm enough?
posted by Brocktoon at 7:10 AM on January 16, 2009


Wow...now that I've seen all those cartoons back-to-back-to-back, I'm never making that joke again.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 7:10 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Another great resource for "It's cold! Global warming debunked!" political cartoons and other assorted right-wing nonsense is the Something Awful thread currently called "Chuck Asay you shithead."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:10 AM on January 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


Global warming to bring heavier rains, snow

Global warming doesn't abolish snow. In fact, we get worse snowstorms, because rising ocean temperatures make it harder for the climate to achieve equilibrium.
posted by jonp72 at 7:12 AM on January 16, 2009


If Cheney is such a bad president, why is Hitler still dead?
posted by Mister_A at 7:12 AM on January 16, 2009 [21 favorites]


No Steve Bell?* What can we do to redeem this pointless thread? Perhaps a discussion of our preferred desserts?
To help separate out the difference between human-induced and natural factors, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) uses the term 'climate change' to refer to changes that can be attributed to human activity that has changed the composition of the atmosphere and, thereby, the functioning of the earth's climate system. The UNFCCC uses the term 'climate variability' to refer to natural alterations in the earth's climate.

Global warming (which is not considered a technical term) refers to an increase in the average temperature at the surface of the earth, or the lower part of the atmosphere. Most climatologists consider that the global warming that we are now experiencing is mainly the result of human actions changing the composition of the atmosphere. However, global warming and cooling have occurred naturally throughout the history of the earth, as a result of natural climate variability. Such changes in the past were usually much slower than the rate of warming that has occurred in the last few decades.
Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Library

*No, because he is not a feckless hack.
posted by asok at 7:13 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Lewis Black has some things to say about weathermen and the cold in particular.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:14 AM on January 16, 2009


Hmmm. Guy writes series of cartoons with one basic premise (and about two jokes). That premise is fundamentally stupid.

Best of what, again?
posted by Brockles at 7:07 AM on January 16


I don't know a response to this that won't get me banned.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:15 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?

It's winter.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:17 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone know who did this one? I like the artwork.
posted by davebush at 7:18 AM on January 16, 2009


Thanks for this. I'd been looking for a good link to add to my blogroll at artisticskillisnotproofofevenbasicliteracy.blogspot.com, and this is perfect.
posted by gompa at 7:20 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


i can't look at a local story about the weather without a couple of hacks commenting about "so much for global warming" - yeah, yeah, it's down to - 5 and snowing like crazy

that it would have been minus -21 30 or 40 years ago hasn't occurred to them

they say this is a "cold" winter - no, this is a normal winter, it just seems cold compared to the mild ones we've been having

Global warming doesn't abolish snow.

no kidding - in fact, the lakes are warmer at this time now, so we get MORE snow than usual
posted by pyramid termite at 7:26 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Reading all that stupidity all at once made my tummy hurt.

I'm not cut out for this internet thing.
posted by rokusan at 7:28 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Have you ever noticed that all conservative cartoonists draw Al Gore in the same way? He's always got big jowls, piggy little eyes, and a big, hooked nose. It reminds me of the cartoons from a different place and time.

The question that I have for conservative cartoonists is this: Why do you always draw Al Gore as Der Ewige Juden?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:28 AM on January 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


Mallard Fillmore begs to differ! NSFL!!!!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:29 AM on January 16, 2009


I'd been looking for a good link to add to my blogroll at artisticskillisnotproofofevenbasicliteracy.blogspot.com

I'm kind of sad you were kidding, because I would have subscribed.
posted by Adam_S at 7:30 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nerd... rage... risingFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

A few Junes ago I happened to hear Paul Harvey mention in one of his little broadcasts that there was a cold snap in several US states. Temperatures at 50F and below.

"So much for global warming," he pronounced. It wasn't a joke, it wasn't a rib-nudger, it was a Proclamation.

This kind of stubborn gun-sticking just baffles me, especially when the arguments get weaker and weaker and weaker. What's everybody afraid of? I mean, I know that Paul Harvey has every reason to fear global warming being conclusively proven once and for all, because when it does I'll be the first one to knock on his door and go "HA HA!" when he answers, but everybody else? What's to fear?
posted by Spatch at 7:30 AM on January 16, 2009


When this comes up in real conversations I usually take the opportunity to introduce the more appropriate term Global Climate Change.
posted by odinsdream at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is why we need to talk about climate change which includes both warming and cooling.

And, of course, local climate != global climate. Climate is not uniform, linear, or smooth.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Davebush, that's Michael Ramirez, run by Investor's Business Daily and others.
posted by rokusan at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2009


That's why they call it CLIMATE CHANGE instead of Global Warming.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:32 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anyone know who did this one? I like the artwork.
posted by davebush at 7:18 AM on January 16


Michael Ramirez. He's great! He recently compared Iranians to cockroaches; you know, vermin. He has two Pulitzers for this kind of excellence.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:33 AM on January 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


Brockles: "Guy writes series of cartoons with one basic premise (and about two jokes). That premise is fundamentally stupid."

In case the other responses have been too oblique: This isn't a guy writing a bunch of cartoons. This is a guy collecting a bunch of cartoons, demonstrating that 1) there are too many political cartoonists and not enough single-frame-able political jokes, and 2) global warming doubt causes logic failure.
posted by Plutor at 7:34 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow...now that I've seen all those cartoons back-to-back-to-back, I'm never making that joke again.

That's what I'm wondering: Is the intention of this blogger to show how the climate can't be warming because it's so cold, or is it to spotlight the ignorance and cliche among political cartoonists? I'm thinking it's the latter. I'm hoping it's the latter.
posted by fungible at 7:35 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hilarious how they got that jab in at Obama- he's smoking a cigarette! Hah! Take that you silly black smoking environmentalist socialist.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:35 AM on January 16, 2009


Hilarious how they got that jab in at Obama- he's smoking a cigarette! Hah! Take that you silly black smoking environmentalist socialist.

The all-time best Fox News headline is still "WILL AMERICA VOTE FOR A SMOKER?"

It's like c'mon, you wanna say the word. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Just do it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:37 AM on January 16, 2009 [15 favorites]


And, of course, local climate != global climate. Climate is not uniform, linear, or smooth.

Yup. And weather !=climate, either, which doofuses like these seem to not understand.

Today, in my city, it's supposed to be in the low 70s. The nation's capital, on the other side of the country, is going to be in the 20s. So, there's global warming in San Francisco (where let me tell you 75 degrees is a heat wave!), but not in DC. I guess.

Sigh.
posted by rtha at 7:38 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


b1tr0t writes "This is why we need to talk about climate change which includes both warming and cooling."

Yeah. that's the technically accurate term, climate change. But "global warming" stuck, even though it only describes part of the effect.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:43 AM on January 16, 2009


People are talking this too seriously. The real problem is that hardly any of them are funny. The Ramirez one is gorgeous, though.
posted by bhr at 7:43 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah but if I say peak oil, there are still people who go, "Then why is gas so cheap, huh?" so the stupid, it comes from all corners. People have a hard time looking beyond just a day or two. In two weeks, when it's 60 degrees in Green Bay, these same people will simply shrug and thank their lucky stars that it's so warm. C'est la vie. I mean, what have you done today to reduce your global footprint? Personally, I've refrained from googling like, eight phrases, which probably saved a rainforest or two.
posted by billysumday at 7:44 AM on January 16, 2009


We're having a mild La Niña this year, and that plus a combination of factors has led to some short-term cooling, just enough to break the long-term warming trend for a few years, thus producing a brief uptick in LaRouchie/Libertarian "SEE IT'S COLD NOW SO GLOBAL WARMING IS A LIE" bleatage. Like climate change itself, the denialism declines on an inversely proportional line, on a general trend so gradual as to be impercetible unless observed over the course of decades.
posted by brownpau at 7:46 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


rokusan - thanks. Much appreciated.
posted by davebush at 7:46 AM on January 16, 2009


Man, Mallard Fillmore may be the ne plus ultra of the non-sequitur-and-straw-man-with-a-twist-of-get-off-my-lawn moron cocktail.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:48 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Here is another one for his collection; in fact, I think the right-wing local paper here manages to recycle this theme at least once a winter, as do all the conservatives that I know around here.
posted by TedW at 7:50 AM on January 16, 2009


I think the simple counter-answer is that weather is not the same as climate.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:50 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:51 AM on January 16, 2009 [37 favorites]


Wow...now that I've seen all those cartoons back-to-back-to-back, I'm never making that joke again.

You were still making it? Why?
posted by kingbenny at 7:52 AM on January 16, 2009


Optimus Chyme wrote "Another great resource [...] is the Something Awful thread"

Wow those are bad. But somehow they've gotten the Ted Rall comics mixed in with the "Hall of Shame" ones... why is that? I think they misunderstand.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:52 AM on January 16, 2009


Oz "rebel politician" Barnaby Joyce has recently become infamous for regularly crossing the floor. This is a highly frowned upon practice of voting against party policy.

The trouble[?] is, that in particularly close government, party-numbers wise, a rebel and an independent or two can wield a tremendous amount of power.

It's always hard to tell if these guys are doing it because they are attention whores or because they've got their constituents at heart. Of course, they always say the latter.

Er, anyway, my point.

Two or three days ago he came out on the sceptics' side. This when important legislation is currently being debated.

To add to the laffs, he's used terms such as "eco Nazi" and the "goosestepping" parade of supporters.

When a retraction and apology was demanded he stood firm and noted [if I can be so bold as to paraphrase]: You started it all with emotive terms such as "climate change denier" which is nothing more than a thinly veiled comparison to a "Holocaust denier" so you can jam an apology up your ass. It ain't gonna happen.

Calmer heads are asking: why are we debating name calling? Shouldn't we be debating the issues? Interesting times here in Australia.

/it was ~108 degrees in Perth today.
//just sayin'!!! ;)

posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:53 AM on January 16, 2009


If this keeps up, they're going to take the Internet away from us.
posted by tommasz at 7:54 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it's so global warm, then why are weathermen still picking up cats? Answer me that, Mr. Allan Gore.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:55 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


80 degrees in Oakland, CA two days ago. If there is no global warming then why is it so hot?
posted by pianomover at 7:56 AM on January 16, 2009


If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?

Oh, wait, scratch that...
posted by Pollomacho at 7:57 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember being in New York in March or April visiting and it was snowing. Some dude was really, really annoyed by it and ranting loudly. "And they say we have global warming! Look at this snow!" Dude didn't even seem to think that the weather being so fucked up was a sign of something going wrong. They just shouldn't have put the word "warming" in the description of the trend.
posted by piratebowling at 7:57 AM on January 16, 2009


bhr: People are talking this too seriously. The real problem is that hardly any of them are funny. The Ramirez one is gorgeous, though.

The problem is none of them are funny and all of them are wrong.

Also:
Another "But it's cold outside!" by Ramirez from 12/29.
And here's Obama, with a nice picture of a Muslim family on his desk.
posted by flatluigi at 7:57 AM on January 16, 2009


If math is real, how come I'm writing with letters instead of numbers?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:58 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?

Because there's a difference between global and local. See, that's how adjectives work.

Words fail.

No no, words are working just fine, thank you. The issue is getting people to hear them.
posted by Herodios at 7:58 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Global Warming can never be true as long as Al Gore says it is. That's how this became a partisan issue ?

The right wing will deny facts if they hear them from a person they don't like.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:02 AM on January 16, 2009


Wouldn't this question be better for AskMeFi?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:04 AM on January 16, 2009


Climate != Weather
posted by Vindaloo at 8:04 AM on January 16, 2009


Al Gore just fell off his industrial cherry picker laughing. Also, it was icy and he slipped.
posted by hellbient at 8:04 AM on January 16, 2009


Astro Zombie: "If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?"

Thank you AZ, that's perfect.
posted by octothorpe at 8:10 AM on January 16, 2009


From what I can tell, this is pretty much all that global warming deniers have. "But it gets cold sometimes!" You see it so much because once they start looking at the big picture, they either have to convert or shut up.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:12 AM on January 16, 2009


Wow those are bad. But somehow they've gotten the Ted Rall comics mixed in with the "Hall of Shame" ones... why is that? I think they misunderstand.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:52 AM on January 16


Because Ted Rall is awful: he can't draw for shit, he loves that idiot Stephanie McMillan (who longs for a world without roads and medicine), and he got genius playboy Tim Kreider kicked off of a discussion panel because Rall looks like a 'spergin basement troll next to Kreider.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:13 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?

Because global climate change is weak sauce compared to rampant stupidity.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:14 AM on January 16, 2009


I actually have a Facebook "friend" who has this joke as her status today. I'm tempted to leave a comment with this link, but she's a republican and I'm worried she'd take it as sincere/correct.

(Sometimes I think I should drop such "friends," but then I think it'd be more fun to continue torturing them back with my statuses in support of marriage equality).

Also, seriously. Just a few years ago it was this cold almost every day in the winter. That this is some amazing coldest-day-in-years type of day is kind of scary.
posted by lampoil at 8:19 AM on January 16, 2009


Matthew Yglesias sums it up nicely.
posted by billysumday at 8:29 AM on January 16, 2009


If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?

Because you're doing it wrong?
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?"

Because you're not doing it right?
posted by rokusan at 8:37 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeesh, rtha.
posted by rokusan at 8:37 AM on January 16, 2009


If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?

Lack of commitment, you pussy.
posted by Mister_A at 8:40 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


If it takes a week to walk a fortnight, how many onions are there in a month of Sundays?
posted by kcds at 8:42 AM on January 16, 2009


Not counting the wind chill, it is currently -14° outside. One of my coworkers made a comment like "Boy, so this is global warming, huh?"

After the fire went out, I gestured to his charred remains and explained to the horrified onlookers that it was possible for localized conditions one might be experiencing to not be indicative of of the greater whole, much like a single person trying futility to extinguish themselves might find it excessively hot whereas the rest of us were still shivering in the biting cold.

I'm not sure my lesson was fully understood though; I feel like the metaphor is solid, I just don't know that the people watching can hear the finer points I'm making over all the screaming. I guess I'll keep trying and hope they finally see the logic in what I'm doing.
posted by quin at 8:44 AM on January 16, 2009 [53 favorites]


We have set up a PayPal account and I encourage all of you who are shocked to see the sheer number of cartoons like the ones presented in the main link to come on by and donate a few bucks.

Your contributions will go to a worthy cause. We will use this grassroots fund raising campaign to start an educational campaign of our own targeted towards one of America's most overlooked and underthinking communities, Political Cartoonists. We feel that our unique approach will more successful than previous attempts at explaining simple concepts to these often confused people.

You see, after studying political cartoons for years, our scientists have discovered that simple reasoning is not an effective means of communication with political cartoonists as a simple punch in the face. Given the number of times boxing matches and knockouts occur in modern political cartooning, it is pretty clear that this is one of their prime modes of communication.

Every dollar you spend will go straight towards financing a group of Outreach Educators (ex-Golden Gloves boxers) who will go around the countryside punching political cartoonists in the face. Each boxer will wear a white T-shirt with the name of the group, concept, or natural force that the cartoonist lacks understanding of printed on it.

I'm pleased to announce that out Winter 09 Campaign has already begun. Just this morning I waved goodbye to a dozen Outreach Educators as they donned shirts reading 'GLOBAL WARMING' and marched off to help our great nation by providing the swift, direct understanding so many of our political cartoonists so desperately require.

Please donate today.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:47 AM on January 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


And yes, seriously now, I used to go ice-skating on a lake in North Jersey every year. The ice would be safe by New Year's Day, but sometimes before Christmas, and would last into March. I remember a string of about 20 days of single-digit temperatures (in New Jersey, not Chicago), including a few below-zero excursions. It doesn't get that cold anymore. The ice is never safe before Christmas, and often not until mid-January.

This is all anecdote, of course, but a brief cold snap against the death of "serious" cold on the east coast just doesn't hold water for me. And I'm not some incredible super-genius, I'm just the normal sort of genius, so other people, even people that "oppose" climate change, realize that things are different. They just don't care! They get that it's not as cold as it used to be, but they don't care. They won't care until something catastrophic happens to them personally. They don't care about Hurricane Katrina as a (possible) portent of storms to come, and they won't care until their windshield-sized TVs die a watery death.
posted by Mister_A at 8:47 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because our days are long, but our years are short.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:48 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?

Because you're doing it wrong?
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on January 16


"If I am an alcoholic, why am I not drunk right now?"

Because you're not doing it right?
posted by rokusan at 8:37 AM on January 16


Great minds think alkie.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:00 AM on January 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also these remind of the fantastic Onion parody by Kelly.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:01 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jinx, you owe me a double scotch, rokusan.
posted by rtha at 9:10 AM on January 16, 2009


If it's so cold outside, why am I sweating?

Oh, right, because the thermastat in this office is set at 78. Because I'm the only Texan who wears warm clothes when it's cold outside and these idiots are all in short sleeves.

Morons.
posted by threeturtles at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


This Mallard Fillmore cracked me up. I should hang my
Pinko Commie Eco-Feminazi head in shame and go sit
in a corner ... once I stop laughing.
posted by liza at 9:14 AM on January 16, 2009


It's a tired joke, but T. McCracken is really stretching it when she uses an almost identical caption in both of her cartoons. First she's got a construction guy wishing for global warming, and a few strips later, now she's got a couple at a bus stop also wishing for global warming. You know, in case you didn't get it the first time.

Even better, a quick visit to McHumor.com shows that she has a THIRD comic with a variation of "Where is global warming when you really want it?" although this time the guy is riding a moped down an icy highway, which makes it funny and new again.
posted by Zaximus at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2009


If it is physically impossible for a person to be able to speak and move around when someone has removed the top part of their brain with a melon baller then what are all these fucking climate change deniers doing all over the place?
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:19 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


At first, I was hoping this link would go to a well-written, well-cited blog to which I could refer anyone that asks that question. The problem isn't all creationists and die-hard conservatives. I've had college educated atheist libertarians express the same viewpoint. I think fundamentally, the problem is the vast majority of people see this as a culture issue, not as a science issue. From a cultural standpoint, suspicion of authority and anyone who 'might be trying to sell you something' are strong drives.

But you know what? I'm going to refer those people to this site, anyway. I think when you stack all these cartoons together, it's easier to see the real joke. In fact, this blog is going to be my facebook status for the rest of the day.

Also, Astro Zombie wins the thread, as usual
posted by heathkit at 9:28 AM on January 16, 2009


liza, if there's a "dearth of Asian-Americans in the NBA," why is Yao Ming playing?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:42 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


*cringe*
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:45 AM on January 16, 2009


The problem with political comics is that they are not independently wealthy, so they have to be paid for their work. And papers need to sell to pay the comic artist, so papers don't always come out and say the most scathing things about the world.

Comic artists might have pages of really scathing commentary, but they self-censor to get their work published, or they are asked to be less edgy by editors. And they need comics to go out daily (or weekly), so they often fall back on a caricature of what everyone is saying. (This insight came from a news post years back on Penny Arcade. Mike wrote about visiting a guy who wrote political comics for syndication, who showed Mike his personal favorite comic, which never got published.)

People mock weather forecasters because they don't always get it right, and they are always so jolly on TV. People mock them for being wrong, yet still so happy. There is some science in prediction of weather, but it's not 100% accurate.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM on January 16, 2009


robocop, I was just about to make a generous contribution when it occurred to me your admirable charity's focus is too narrow. To truly make an impact, it simply must include pundits guilty of the same crimes.

I submit, for the edification of non-Canadian readers and the solicitation of donations for the first robust pundit facepunching, the latest in a stream of similarly themed columns from certified Canadian media institution Rex Murphy.

Mr. Murphy, for the uninitiated, is widely regarded as Newfoundland's greatest living public intellectual, which is simultaneously a misnomer, an insult to the real genius of that singular and lovely province, and (in some circles) a punchline. Mr. Murphy has earned this title by appearing regularly on both the CBC-TV National News and CBC Radio and writing a weekly column for the Globe & Mail (this is roughly akin to simultaneously having a column in the Times, a talk show on NPR and a co-anchor spot on the CBS News, and it is the best case in point extant to illustrate the middlebrow mediocrity-celebrating groupthink prevalent among the old guard of Toronto's media elite).

Mr. Murphy pontificates in a singular style roughly akin to Bob Novak trying to mimic Christopher Hitchens while passing a kidney stone, complete with a seemingly congenital cocked eye meant to convey either implacable skepticism or advanced sinility, and he uses all his various soapboxes to whinge mightilty against the purported outrages of our day - particularly federal politicians, environmentalists and Madonna.

His reputation as a formidable intellect rests almost entirely on the byzantine structure of his sentences and his propensity for $5 words - note the use of "hierophant" in the linked sample, which you have to admit is an impressive way to say "zealot" and a nifty distraction from the content of the column, which again demonstrates that Mr. Murphy's comprehension of climatology is roughly akin to your average KKK Grand Wizard's understanding of genetics (i.e. just enough to be potentially dangerous but otherwise criminally stupid).

Were Mr. Murphy to speak so frequently with such profound ignorance on any other established field of science - if, for example, he mounted repeated blustering defenses of creationism - this would have led to his demotion from the top ranks of the Canadian punditocracy years ago. For some reason, though, the otherwise mostly literate Canadian media has a blindspot on climate change denial. This is the real danger of Mr. Murphy: he is disguised as a voice of the reasonable middle. It is this oversight that Cartoonistpunchreach.org must expand to address.

Please hope us, Punchreach.
posted by gompa at 10:14 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


oops, I thought this was an article about sunspot cycles.
posted by johannahdeschanel at 10:17 AM on January 16, 2009


Mr. Murphy pontificates in a singular style roughly akin to Bob Novak trying to mimic Christopher Hitchens while passing a kidney stone, complete with a seemingly congenital cocked eye meant to convey either implacable skepticism or advanced senility.

You could have just said "he's William Kristol."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:31 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


re: "climate change" versus "global warming":

it seems there's a lot of the kool-aid going around -- the phenomenon we're experiencing is, in fact, global warming, not the generic (and less-dangerous sounding "climate change") but the reason there is this confusion can be at least in part explained by our dear friend frank luntz (who singlehandedly changed the perception of inheritance taxes by exhorting conservatives to call it the "death tax"), who back in 2003 wrote this policy memo encouraging the use of the formulation "climate change".
posted by Hat Maui at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Have you ever noticed that all conservative cartoonists draw Al Gore in the same way? He's always got big jowls, piggy little eyes, and a big, hooked nose. It reminds me of the cartoons from a different place and time.

My personal favorite comic was the one with the words "AL GORE" written on his shirt. I tried this once in grade school, only I drew a stick figure and wrote "JIMY CARRTUR" next to it. Who needs to draw when you can label?

it seems there's a lot of the kool-aid going around

Here's where I should have stopped reading.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:50 AM on January 16, 2009


On second reading, that is one fantastic article, Hat Maui. Thanks for that. I shouldn't have let my kool-aid reflex color my opinion.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:53 AM on January 16, 2009


the phenomenon we're experiencing is, in fact, global warming, not the generic (and less-dangerous sounding "climate change")

Global Warming is the cause, Global Climate Change is the effect. Simple as that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:54 AM on January 16, 2009


gompa, I understand your concerns, however our charity wishes to remain focused on punching political cartoonists in the face for the time being. We are a small organization and are concerned about diluting our message by punching too many people in the face at once.

Perhaps you could found a sister organization? To be honest, we here at Punchreach do not know much about Canadian punditry. In fact, we were surprised to learn that you have pundits up north at all (pundits not being the smartest of creatures, we would imagine they would simply freeze to death during the winter or in the absence of political news), let alone any actual currency to spend. When you went to donate to Punchreach, did you intend on donating delicious maple syrup or bad haircuts? I only ask because as an American charity, we are not set up to accept the strange dead birds ('loons'),folksy wisdom, or stand up comedians you people use as currency.

Anyways, if you would like to set up a Canadian organization whose charge is to punch idiots in the face, we would certainly be happy to help you. I could go into more detail here, but my doorbell is ringing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:54 AM on January 16, 2009


HOLY CRAP SOME DUDE DRESSED AS A MOUNTIE JUST PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE!

Well played, gompa, well played.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:55 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?

If you Google Ron Paul a few times, apparently this will help warm up a nice cup of tea.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


HAHAHA -- THAT ONE ABOUT CALIFORNIA IS FUNNY BECAUSE ITS SO TRUE.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2009


TAKE THAT AL GORE AND YOU"RE SO-CALLED 'SCIENCE!"
posted by mazola at 12:17 PM on January 16, 2009


If you Google Ron Paul a few times, apparently this will help warm up a nice cup of tea.

FUN FACT: If you enter "Google" on the site search of ronpaul.com, your computer reboots.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:23 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw, jeez, this reminds me of a long and pointless discussion I once had with someone who, in all seriousness, said - "How can they possibly say the Earth will get warmer in the future when they can't even get tomorrow's weather forecast right?".

I tried every analogy I could think of, even gave him a brief overview of how weather forecasting and climate prediction work, and he just didn't get it. Couldn't make the mental leap. He was so fixated on what he perceived in the flaws with the micro that he couldn't possibly see how the macro could be any more accurate.

So I killed him. On the spot. In the long run, I figured it was the kindest thing to do, really.
posted by kcds at 12:37 PM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!

I love this site. It's like a silent, stone-faced accusation staring down all the idiot cartoonists recycling the same garbage to meet arbitrary deadlines. It's as if collecting all of these things in one place is its own judgement on the collective lack of merit held within.
posted by Eideteker at 12:38 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


okay, MStPT, I tried it.

You're a liar.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:02 PM on January 16, 2009


I meant ronpaul.org - sorry about that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:04 PM on January 16, 2009


me: Mr. Murphy pontificates in a singular style roughly akin to Bob Novak trying to mimic Christopher Hitchens while passing a kidney stone, complete with a seemingly congenital cocked eye meant to convey either implacable skepticism or advanced senility.

OC: You could have just said "he's William Kristol."

I can see how you made that mistake, Optimus, but you missed the "passing a kidney stone" part. Kristol always comes across as if just roused from his favourite club chair and tickled by the substantial fetidness of his own steaming piles. Rex Murphy, though, all but writhes in agony as he launches into each new sentence, as if the mere act of having to pontificate on what should be self-evident truths (politicians are self-serving, environmentalism is a rabid delusional cult, Madonna is not an Important Artist) is causing him potentially fatal discomfort. Can't we see how our own ignorance hurts him? Won't we for the last time understand the immutability of his truth?

And by the by, robocop, that wasn't my mountie and I'll be paying you in marginally talented overemoting songstresses, 3 shanias to the celine, just like they did during the War of 1812.
posted by gompa at 1:05 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


duuuuuude, Yao Ming is, like, the freak of nature that proves the rule.
posted by liza at 1:19 PM on January 16, 2009


There are (or have been) several Turkish players in the NBA. Turkey is in Asia (mostly). You fucking racists.
posted by Mister_A at 1:31 PM on January 16, 2009


it seems there's a lot of the kool-aid going around -- the phenomenon we're experiencing is, in fact, global warming, not the generic (and less-dangerous sounding "climate change") but the reason there is this confusion can be at least in part explained by our dear friend frank luntz (who singlehandedly changed the perception of inheritance taxes by exhorting conservatives to call it the "death tax"), who back in 2003 wrote this policy memo encouraging the use of the formulation "climate change".
I've been well aware that "climate change" is a Luntzism, and I have to give him credit for it. Unlike "death tax", I think his new phraseology actually improves the meaning.

To my mind, most people hear global warming and think a rather harmless "oh, it'll be very slightly warmer this time next year". I think "climate change" conveys the notion that "next year, all these farms and forests will be in the wrong place", which to me is a much more alarming, and more accurate interpretation.
posted by heathkit at 3:18 PM on January 16, 2009


I love this site. It's like a silent, stone-faced accusation staring down all the idiot cartoonists recycling the same garbage to meet arbitrary deadlines. It's as if collecting all of these things in one place is its own judgement on the collective lack of merit held within.

What's amazing is that hacks like this guy can get away repeating the same cartoon over and over and over and over ... how can any newspaper justify paying him for that crap? None of his cartoons are remotely funny. I guess that's one of the reasons why the industry is dying...
posted by mrgrimm at 3:27 PM on January 16, 2009


It was 52F or so up in Anchorage a few hours ago..
posted by xorry at 3:53 PM on January 16, 2009


Global Warming is the cause, Global Climate Change is the effect. Simple as that.

we are talking about the problem, which is correctly called "global warming." global warming has certain well-understood consequences. you could call those consequences "global climate change" but that doesn't actually convey any information, and the real impetus behind calling the problem "climate change" is that it makes it sound like less of a problem.

I think "climate change" conveys the notion that "next year, all these farms and forests will be in the wrong place

huh? what causes the farms and forests to be in the wrong place in a year?
posted by Hat Maui at 6:13 PM on January 16, 2009


New Term: Global Climate Whipsawing

We're going to see a lot more weather extremes, and we're going to see the change from extreme to extreme happening one helluva lot quicker.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:19 PM on January 16, 2009


You can lead our fellow citizens to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

In my more cynical moments, I think it's about time for 80% of the human population to be wiped out.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:33 PM on January 16, 2009


Adding energy to the system increases extremes. Trust me, it's hotter somewhere.
posted by anser at 9:25 PM on January 16, 2009


If she's really a cop, why does she look like a hooker?
posted by Smedleyman at 9:28 PM on January 16, 2009


and the real impetus behind calling the problem "climate change" is that it makes it sound like less of a problem.

No, the reason for the change in nomenclature is because stupid fuckheads ask questions like "If we gots the global warmin's, whycome it still be cold?" The shift to "Global Climate Change" accomplishes that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:25 PM on January 16, 2009


...and we're going to see the change from extreme to extreme happening one helluva lot quicker...

That is exactly the forecast for the southern US this winter: periods of extreme cold followed by periods of unseasonable warmth. A week ago we had a high of 68 degrees F here in GA; right now it is 21 degrees according to The Weather Channel (my thermometer says 18).

Trust me, it's hotter somewhere.

Also according to The Weather Channel (and NOAA, just because I can't believe it) it is 41 degrees in Anchorage right now.
posted by TedW at 4:59 AM on January 17, 2009


According to Hansen, the warming rate is 0.15 C per decade. Assuming that's correct - and many would argue that it overstates the warming - it's not really all that much. It's not enough for the average person to notice in a human timescale.

When it's -21 C outside, like it is where I am right now, the question of whether it's 0.15 C warmer than it would have been ten years ago is pretty unimportant. The average person isn't going to notice the effects even over their lifetime.

But this goes both ways. It's not just those who deny that warming is happening who need to understand how subtle an effect it is; it also goes for the miserablists who insist and seem to want to believe that climate change is an urgent catastrophe that soon "destroy the planet."

Those people have a problem, namely that the average person isn't entirely stupid. They read one day that global warming is slowing down the Earth's rotation and they may be worried. Then they read that in fact global warming is actually speeding up the Earth's rotation and they are confused. Then read that the Earth is already past the "point of no return" and so it's far too late anyway. Then they look out of the window and notice that it's just as cold this winter as it was last year - or even colder! - and they conclude that the whole thing isn't worth worrying about go back to watching TV.

Environmentalists - at least, the more political, less scientific ones - are selling the world on a crisis. But there isn't going to be a crisis, not in the lifetime of anyone alive today, because climate change just isn't happening that quickly.

And people's attention spans are short. In ten years time - with the climate not noticeably changed from that of today - being green might not be as fashionable as it is now, particularly if we have a few years of hard recession and hard choices between now and then. And in fifty years time - with the climate still doing fine as far as ordinary people can tell - our current climate hysteria may seem as old-fashioned, quaint, and ultimately pointless as the idea of prohibiting alcohol in the 1920s seems to us today.
posted by standbythree at 6:00 AM on January 17, 2009


it is 41 degrees in Anchorage right now.

as usual, when they warm up, we get cold - it was -10 last night in kalamazoo
posted by pyramid termite at 6:06 AM on January 17, 2009


Environmentalists - at least, the more political, less scientific ones - are selling the world on a crisis. But there isn't going to be a crisis, not in the lifetime of anyone alive today, because climate change just isn't happening that quickly.

And people's attention spans are short. In ten years time - with the climate not noticeably changed from that of today - being green might not be as fashionable as it is now, particularly if we have a few years of hard recession and hard choices between now and then. And in fifty years time - with the climate still doing fine as far as ordinary people can tell - our current climate hysteria may seem as old-fashioned, quaint, and ultimately pointless as the idea of prohibiting alcohol in the 1920s seems to us today.


I think that sort of rosy optimism is old-fashioned, quaint, and ultimately pointless, to be honest. It's also ironic that you would talk about the "less scientific" environmentalists in a comment that cites Hansen, and essentially saying "Hell, it's cold out, +0.15C per decade doesn't sound that bad."

Hansen actually puts the warming trend at +0.2C per decade, and adds "global warming of another 1°C could result in more significant climate change impacts, including rapid sea level rise, wide-spread biodiversity loss, and an increased intensity of El Niño events."

With all due respect for seeing environmentalism as "fashionable", I honestly don't see the harm in that. If it also becomes fashionable to donate 5% of your salary to charity, does it matter if the benefits we reap from this come from people devoted to charity in the depths of their hearts or from bandwagoners?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:11 AM on January 17, 2009


Chris Allie, Jan 17
posted by flatluigi at 10:27 AM on January 17, 2009


Sorry, that's Eric Allie.
posted by flatluigi at 10:27 AM on January 17, 2009


Marisa,

Hansen now (Jan 2009) estimates mean warming rate as 0.15 C per decade.

I think if you try to read my comment again, this time putting a little more effort into comprehension and a little less into snark, you'll realise that I did not express the notion that you claim I am "essentially saying."
posted by standbythree at 10:36 AM on January 17, 2009


Hansen now (Jan 2009) estimates mean warming rate as 0.15 C per decade.

Doesn't seem he's retracted what impact a temperature rise of 1C would have though.

I think if you try to read my comment again, this time putting a little more effort into comprehension and a little less into snark, you'll realise that I did not express the notion that you claim I am "essentially saying."

When you very glibly omit the impact a slight temperature rise would have and equate environmentalism with Prohibition, your point - provided there was one - tends to get lost.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:50 AM on January 17, 2009


The earth's climate changes from one extreme to the other with astonishing speed. The last ice age did not come on slowly. There was a brief hot flash, followed by a massive cooling-off: the transition is measured in tens of decades, not millennia. Fast enough that a long-lived human might witness it.

The tumble from normal temperatures to advancing glaciers was so fast that non-migratory animals were unable to adapt quickly enough to survive the change. There they were, thinking that the winter was particularly long, when it turned out that winter would never be over for them. Oopsy.

Within the lifetimes of those of us reading MeFi, we are going to see temperatures shoot up as the methane trapped in Canada and Russia's permafrost is released; a few years or decades later, the oceans will have then warmed up enough that the massive quantities of hydrate slush on the seabeds are released.

What we're seeing with climate instability is piddling in comparison to what we will be seeing in the near future.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:48 AM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's interesting to me, which fff mentions the bits of but doesn't name explicitly, is the snowballing effect. We might be able to deal with a bit of warming, but that bit of warming causes another bit, which causes another bit and so on.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:29 PM on January 17, 2009


That's entirely what I mean. When the slightest temperature rise can greatly increase storm strength, speed up the release of methane, increase temperatures further and so on, taking the slight, initial temperature rise totally out of the chain of cause and effect doesn't do a lot of good.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:38 PM on January 17, 2009


Metafilter: roughly akin to Bob Novak trying to mimic Christopher Hitchens while passing a kidney stone
posted by crataegus at 3:08 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think "snowballing" really captures the severe change we'll be seeing within the next five years. There is a helluva lot of methane trapped in the permafrost. It began seeping out last year. Some of the arctic lakes were literally bubbling with methane.

Unless there is a surprising change in direction, we are going to see a complete release of arctic methane reserves this year or next. The consequence will be, pardon the pun, explosive. We will see changes in temperature that dwarf the changes we've seen so far.

And then we are going to see temperatures swing to the other extreme, suddenly and severely. Our next ice age will be upon us, and we are going to be very surprised at how quickly glaciation occurs. It would not surprise me the least were Canada's north to be under ice within my lifetime, and all of Canada and the North USA under ice by the end of the next generation's life.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:41 PM on January 17, 2009


The shift to "Global Climate Change" accomplishes that.

damned if i can make any sense of this whatsoever.
posted by Hat Maui at 7:45 PM on January 17, 2009




standbythree writes "When it's -21 C outside, like it is where I am right now, the question of whether it's 0.15 C warmer than it would have been ten years ago is pretty unimportant. The average person isn't going to notice the effects even over their lifetime."

My daughter is five, that's closing in on a couple degrees in her lifetime. Which means, even if locally we adhere strictly to the average rise and the trend doesn't change both of which is unlikely, 4-6 weeks of +37 degree weather in the summer instead of the week and a half we get now. It also means frost free days per year increasing by at least a couple weeks. The change will be bloody obvious. People in the higher parts of the city will be able to grow peppers. It'll probably kill the business of the local ski resort as snow won't come early enough for the critical Xmas season. People are going to notice the change.
posted by Mitheral at 6:52 AM on January 18, 2009


Warming in Antarctica Looks Certain
posted by rtha at 2:05 PM on January 21, 2009


damned if i can make any sense of this whatsoever.

I've gone back and looked at it several times, and honestly I don't think the problem is on any end but yours.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:22 PM on January 21, 2009


well we'll have to agree to disagree. but "global climate change" is, in a lot of cases, used intentionally to obfuscate. sure, the "climate" is "changing" but the change it is undergoing is that it's getting warmer very quickly, not cooling. so why not call a spade a spade?
posted by Hat Maui at 5:03 PM on January 23, 2009


It is preferable to use the term "global climate change" because it helps eliminate the opportunity for the idiots to claim "but it's so cold here, global warming must be a myth!"

The deniers aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. They don't understand that localized extreme cold can be the result of an overall increase in global temperatures. "Climate change" speaks a lot more to them than "warming," simply because it accomodates local weather extremes.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:12 PM on January 23, 2009


« Older Painter Andrew Wyeth has died at the age of 91. Th...  |  Apparently some members of the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments