Tag Archives: deniers

Morning in America, 2017 (part 2)

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According to my interpretation of the data, the impact of house fires is both small as well as beneficial. For example, we could be roasting marshmallows over there right now.

To get the wording of this comic just right, I Googled “climate change deniers” and found the wiki, which is chock full of mind-bogglingly specious reasoning and really has to be read to be believed. What is clear is that, for some years now, certain factions have achieved leverage in their fight against reality by accusing their opponents of doing the things they themselves are doing. For example: stating that the 97% of scientists who have studied the phenomenon are lying for their own personal profit (clearly bunkum: anyone who knows a decent sample size of scientists knows that scientists very rarely profit off of anything) when in reality, the people behind climate change denial (ahem…the fossil fuel industry) personally profit from squashing good science.

When I was a little girl, in the early ’80s, I remember reading about anthropocentric climate change for the first time. “Hmm,” thought little Dragon, “this looks like something that requires more data.” By the ’90s, data trends indicated, to me, a reasonably skeptical person, that there was something going on with greenhouse gases and the environment. By the ’00s, there existed enough information that no rational human being could dismiss the danger. But, instead of shrugging and turning away from a small percentage of irrational ostriches behaving in a dangerously self-centered, ignorant, and short-sighted fashion, we gave them a seat at table and an equal voice in a discussion that had been settled to the satisfaction of everyone who bothered applying rationality and logic to the question years earlier.

Guess what? Just because they let you talk on TV does not mean your argument possesses validity.

Admittedly, there’s a little Fox Mulder to me. I want to believe. I’d love to believe that there are aliens, fairies, and beautiful golden carp that grant wishes to those who pull them from the water but spare their lives. It would be wonderful to live in that world. I’d love to believe that, in the next 20 years, we won’t see the continued melting of the ice caps, the continued rising of the ocean, the continued trend in extreme weather, or the continued dying off of countless species (including large numbers of our own species dead as a result of climate based disaster).

I want to believe that so bad. But there’s. No. Evidence.

The house is on fire. Whether or not you believe fire exists, whether or not you believe the fire was started by bad wiring or an anomalous lightning strike or spontaneous combustion, whether or not you think there’s any point to fighting the fire, the fire will still burn.

This comic should probably link to my other comic about climate change denial and my other comic that uses a house on fire as a metaphor for people being married to their irrational beliefs.

Scientists Adjust Their Beliefs According to Evidence

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And yes, I know it’s more responsible to say “we share between 40 and 50% DNA with cabbages” but it’s much funnier to say 42. Trust me. It’s a reasonable conclusion

Today has been an angry day. There are ridiculous fools spouting untenable propositions everywhere I go on the Internet. My outrage isn’t really about people who deny science, even though they are trying. It’s just about people who think they know everything, and who honestly believe that their personal opinion must be undisputed fact, and that therefore everyone who disagrees with them must be wrong. Also, the punchline is something I like to say whenever people bring up the subject of what percentage DNA humans have in common with vegetables, and sometimes I just draw a comic because I have a joke.

I do happen to know something about science and religion, because my father holds a PhD in chemistry and strong religious views, so I was raised to read the Bible but to also apply the scientific method, and to understand the difference between spiritual truth and objective truth. My dad was a research scientist for 30 years, but he transitioned into education late in life, and now he teaches science in religious schools, where his work is not always appreciated. It’s hard for me to believe that these people really, truly exist, but they do. He had a class where kids were literally sticking their fingers in their ears so as not to hear a lesson about evolution. Sure, they’re kids, but at the same time, what an apt metaphor for the young earth creationists, the climate change deniers, the anti-vaxxers, and of course, most perplexingly, the chemtrail believers in our midst.

But, like good old Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether you believe it or not.” Your opinion that one particular book written by people whose technological advances never went beyond blacksmithing is the only legitimate reference work on the planet doesn’t changes the observations of natural phenomenon made by people who actually wanted to learn the truth about their world. Whether it’s a statement that runs counter to your religious belief or your personal view of yourself, sticking your fingers in your ears and humming loudly doesn’t change reality.

I will refrain from discussion modern physics’ take on the nature of reality.

Microclimate Change Deniers

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting of anti-vacuumers to get to.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting of anti-vacuumers to get to.

Back in elementary school, in the very early ’80s, I remember hearing about global climate change for the first time. I was probably in second grade, and our class was talking about the future. (Speculating about the year 2000 was a popular diversion in the ’80s.) My project for this unit was building a model of the moon base that we were supposed to have by 2000, and just thinking about such a distant time was very exciting.

Even back then I was a skeptic, and I recall listening to the discussion of how industrial pollution combined with the greenhouse effect could raise the temperature of the earth by a noticeable amount and thinking, “Well, I’m going to wait and see before I believe that one.”

After 30 years of observation, I’ve determined that global climate change is undeniable to me, and I don’t get how anyone who’s been alive more than 20 years can pretend that things haven’t changed. Do you know how hard it is to get 97% of scientists in a particular field to agree on any new idea? I mean, you can wave the correlation-does-not-equal-causality flag all day if it pleases you, but you have to admit that hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, earthquakes, floods, and heat waves are happening with greater frequency/intensity. You don’t even have to admit that this has anything to do with human activity, but you do have to admit that it’s happening.

And yet some people don’t.

This is baffling to me. A recent issue of National Geographic addressed what seems, in America, like a basic war on science, but the concept that a person’s religious faith or political belief could dictate their perception of observable phenomena remains perplexing. Large freighters are navigating the Northwest Passage. The entire population of an island in Papua New Guinea was forced to relocate because their home is now underwater. Sugar maple production in New England has dropped measurably.

If you honestly believe that there is no such thing as climate change, you’re hanging your laundry in the rain.