Educating the Obvious

click for comic

The inspiration for this strip is this recent court ruling. That article features some great quotes from the teacher in question, James Corbett, such as “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.”

But unlike Corbett, I’m not actually anti-religion, just anti-know-nothings whose faith crumbles at the mere thought of anything beyond a literal interpretation of their ancient book of choice. And they’re bringing this country down into a stupid-hole we’ll never escape from. To see how far we’ve already fallen, check out this informative graph from Tony Piro.

And the latest Krugman op-ed details the terrifying reality of the Republicans being the anti-facts party, from science, to economics, to pretty much any fact a nerd has saw fit to put on Wikipedia.

14 thoughts on “Educating the Obvious”

  1. You created a mushy conflation with the climate change frame. Of course climate changes, and of course from the butterfly effect it would follow that humans effect the climate as everything does. But, there are many people like the climate scientists who wrote the open letter to Moon-yi in 2009
    Who stated, “Climate change science is in a period of negative discovery.”
    in June 2011 Scientific American had an article about Richard A. Muller

    who in Sci-Am was quoted, “….Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (is) a pack of half-truths and asserted that measurements of global temperature rises are deeply flawed…..And right now I believe the public is in a state of confusion because people have learned that some of the issues raised by legitimate skeptics are valid.”

    And SciAm Oct. 2010 Judith Curry wrote a thoughtful article about the flaws in present day climate science and the misdeeds of the IPCC. (read them)

    So the science is as the scientists wrote in the open letter in a period of negative discovery. So true scientific thinking is nuanced, and treating anyone who disagrees with the poorly drawn twit in the fourth frame ( including over a hundred world class and thoughtful climatologists and Scientific American) as if they are pedophiles means that you , Brian, in this case, are the narrow-minded propagandist. I guess we should burn SciAm. Yes?

    A couple of other frames also display the same ignorant propagandist conflation, but hell, one crisis at a time.

  2. No, if even one scientist is making thoughtful, reasoned scientific argument, he is not the moral equivalent of a pedophile (as Brian implies). And covering your ears and shouting, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you!!” is more characteristic of the creationists. Galileo started out alone.

    I have noticed that the IPCC apologists, when the catchy “Global Warming” tag started to spring some leaks, morphed it into “Climate Change”. I mean, is there anyone that can’t see the the climate changing? (like it has for a few billion years)

    What has been happening, in climate science, if you have actually been paying attention to the science, is that it has been shown that the science has not demonstrated sufficient predictive accuracy. And, gradually scientists individually and in groups have begun distancing themselves from the pronouncements and goals of the IPCC.

    It is no small event when SciAm starts giving cameo appearances to scientists with variant views from the IPCC and, in the text, refers to “legitimate skeptics”. What this does is provide a platform for other climatologists expressing their doubts with less fear of losing funding or position. Imagine the courage of the first 250 astrologers “worldwide” that joined Galileo.

    Now, I know that if you just want to obfuscate that you can ridicule the Galileo comparison, but my point is that 250 scientists or one scientist is either making sense or not. Science is not a focus group or a popularity contest. And, you or Brian shouting “no” and running away, has no logical weight at all, and adds nothing to the discussion, which is, in fact, going on whether you like it or not.

    The political goals of the IPCC and the incredible power that would arise out of the designation of the world as the victim of humans has had a corrupting influence on climate science. There are thoughtful people who are actually trying to help, and your and Brian’s clumping them with creationists is elitist bullshit, and whether consciously or unconsciously, is driven by your political views.
    You are the ones who mirror the creationists in your arguments and strategies, in this case.

  3. Don,

    Why do you equate pedophilia with saying “No!” and running to tell your parents about it? My parents always taught me to do that if someone offered me marijuana. It worked for a while. Then I went to college and learned to enjoy smoking pot. What is your fascination with child molestation?

  4. I tried to drop out of this segment but get a load of Krugman. In this Op-ed he states- “I could point out that Mr. Perry is buying into a truly crazy conspiracy theory, which asserts that thousands of scientists all around the world are on the take, with not one willing to break the code of silence.”
    Now I think that Perry is an ideologue, and a twit. But, it would be nice if he Krugman were not a liar. He said “not one willing to break the code of silence.” I pointed out a group of only 200 or so climatologists who had the gravitas necessary to not fear loss if position or funding who were not silent. I also pointed out a couple of articles in SciAm a very sober, mainstream scientific publication that was also not silent.
    I didn’t say that IPCC’s take on climate change was wrong, I just said the statement by both Krugman and Brian that there was no rational scientific counterpoint to the IPCC’s agenda was an example of a code of silence not from the scientific community ( that is, in fact, not silent) but from a wing of the media that has a particular political goal. For Christ’s sake if you want to win over the raggety assed masses in this debate, it might be helpful to try telling the truth. Try it instead of the elitist, snobby dismissal of anyone who doesn’t rush to agreement with your ill founded conclusions.

  5. Ketchup and other food products are classified for different purposes by different agencies under a wide variety of federal programs. The classification in this case was by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its subsidized school lunch program. Then as now, local school districts could receive reimbursement for each lunch served provided it met minimum standards. In mid-1981, only a few months after Reagan took office, Congress cut $1 billion from child-nutrition funding and gave the USDA 90 days–the blink of an eye, for the federal bureaucracy–to come up with new standards that would enable school districts to economize, in theory without compromising nutrition.

    The USDA convened a panel of nutritionists and food service directors to ponder what to do. One option on the table–no one later would admit to putting it there–was to “accept catsup as a fruit/vegetable when used as an ingredient.” Some panel members seized on this as an opportunity to discuss whether to count ketchup even if used as a condiment. From what I can tell, the motive wasn’t so much penuriousness as trying to face facts about what kids would actually eat. USDA standards at the time required that a reimbursable lunch consist of five items: meat, milk, bread, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. Many kids refused to eat the veggies and the stuff wound up as “plate waste.” Would-be realists on the panel reasoned that if they could count ketchup as a vegetable they could meet federal standards without having to throw away so many lima beans, thereby saving money while having no impact on the kids. Looked at in a certain light, it made sense. Ketchup wasn’t the only newly permissible substitute: pickle relish and conceivably other condiments could also count as vegetables (precise interpretation was left to state officials); protein sources like tofu or cottage cheese could replace meat; and corn chips, pretzels, and other snacks could replace bread. Minimum portion sizes were also reduced, purportedly another effort to reduce waste.

    Mid-level Reaganauts at the USDA saw all this as a matter of giving the states more latitude; wiser heads might have realized that the rest of the world would see it as taking food away from children. Unfortunately for Reagan, the 90-day deadline allowed no time for higher review. When the proposed new rules were released for comment in September 1981, food activists went ballistic. Democratic politicians staged photo ops where they feasted on skimpy-looking meals that conformed to the new standards. The mortified administration withdrew the proposal and the USDA official in charge of the program was transferred, a move widely interpreted as a firing.

  6. in the above instance it was a Democratic Congress that cut the funding for the school lunch program. So go frump yourself!

  7. Next supply side economics. Somehow Brian sees a sort of blank eyed monotone stepford style rendition of the left wing talking points as a substitute for wisdom

  8. I can see in “Happy Climate Change Season!” that you were impacted by Mr. Curry because of your misuse of the word conflate. But, I’m afraid you were too slow to get his point. The idea is that when the scientific process is hijacked for political ends, both the scientific and the political process suffer.Your misrepresenting science to forward a political agenda creates the same kind of distortion as the creationists. But, unlike the creationism, there is a gargantuan economic and political payoff of the designation of the globe being the victim of humanity that has a corrupting influence on the science.

    Your claim that the stench of burning tires somehow informs the climate science debate is as silly as you pointing out that science can be corrupted by the wealth of the oil companies and not the influence of the IPCC and the massive related global political and economic interests.

    Mr. Curry made no claims about anything other than your ignorance and bias, but merely reported on the current state of climate science, What his threat was that he interrupted your political agenda, and you shut him down. At least you’re not like the creationists

    So.let’s look directly at the IPCC core advocacy for the Climate Change agenda.

    Phil Jones is director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the database for climate research for the IPCC, at the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has been a the centre of the row over hacked e-mails, known as “climategate”.
    In an interview with BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin there was a focus is on the data that the hacking uncovered.

    (Keep in mind in reading the answers below that Jones is a very intelligent scientist attempting to preserve his reputation and the integrity of his research unit, and this is the best he could do. The BBC interviewer also has an impeccable British politeness in his insistence. I would suggest that when there is a questionable response or obfuscation it cuts mainly against Jones and the EAU research.):

    “A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?”
    After much talking Jones says,”…. the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other”

    B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?
    “Yes, but only just.”
    (This is reflected in the way that the marching slogan of “Global Warming” segued into the marching slogan “Climate Change”)

    C – Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?
    “The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.”

    I guess you might say the evidence is robust, overwhelming, and convincing though insignificant in both warming and cooling. And it also is an almost exact paraphrasing of the open letter by climatologists to Moon-Yi at the UN in 2009.
    “Variations in global climate changes in the last hundred years are (not) outside the natural range experienced in previous centuries.”

    N – When scientists say “the debate on climate change is over”, what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?
    Jones answers “……I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties.”

    So, Brian, who in the real core of the science agrees with you? I wonder why it is so misrepresented in the media.

    This means that when you talk about the almost universal consensus in climate science about global warming, you are propagandizing to forward your personal political goals.

    And I also believe that you will continue to misrepresent the science because you have political goals that you hold more dear than the truth.

    I guess since Milton Friedman neither talked about Ketchup or Climate Change that his similarity to Mr Curry was that he was logical.

    Don’t bother to block me as I won’t be back.


Comments are closed.