Republican Mad Science! Mad, I Tell You!

“I’m not a scientist” is what Republicans use as an excuse to be stupid about science they don’t like for political reasons only, and this ad ridiculing them is absolutely perfect. You must watch.

Of course, the only time they use that excuse is to deny climate change or evolution. When it comes to abortion and the question of when life begins, not one of them ever refuses to take a position there, claiming they are “not a scientist.”

Cudos to the Clinton campaign for this ad.

Are there hats? (A poll)

One in four Americans are skeptical on climate change. “Who gives a shit?” John Oliver says. “That doesn’t matter. You don’t need people’s opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking, ‘Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?’ Or, ‘Do owls exist?’ Or, ‘Are there hats?’”

So take our poll and give us your opinion.


Australian heat wave counters American snow

Australia is now suffering one of the worst heat waves in history.

Yes, it’s summer there. And it’s tremendously hot.Australia But you’d never know that from climate changes deniers here in the northern part of the globe, who apparently think that the entire planet is experiencing the record cold and snow we’re getting. “Can’t be global warming with all this snow!” say people who have no background whatsoever in climatology.

This is exactly what climate change scientists predicted years ago, though. An increase in temperature on the planet leads to extreme weather of all kinds. Among those who study climate, this is no surprise whatsoever.

Most of the people who object to climate change are doing so for political reasons anyway. They don’t like Al Gore so therefore they have to object to science. I mean, you never hear of these people objecting to the theory of gravity or arguing that math isn’t real. They’re like creationists who object to evolution because it violates their pre-conceived notions.

I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why the vast majority of scientists from around the world would become part of a grand conspiracy, working together in secret, to promote a scientific theory which would give them absolutely no benefit whatsoever. It’s certainly much more believable that the small percentage of scientists who get grants from major oil companies to “prove” that climate change is not real are part of a conspiracy, isn’t it? After all, they profit from such a conclusion.

It’s like the deniers are expecting all the climatologists to suddenly say, with an evil laugh, “Now that you agree there is climate change, you are under our control! Muahahahaha!” and then demand nothing because it’s not like they can solve it.

Distrust of science is killing us

Some people distrust science to the point where they destroy their kid’s economic futures.   By not encouraging their kids to learn science but actively teaching them non-science (creationism, for instance), we end up with adults who do not understand logic, proof, evidence, and the scientific theory and can’t compete with those who are actually educated.

But this hatred of science hurts us in other ways, too.  For instance, denying climate change means we are doing nothing about it — leading to deadly storms, mudslides, fires, and devastation.  vaccine

And this isn’t limited to conservatives (as I have pointed out before).  There are liberals who laugh at those who deny evolution while they refuse to vaccinate their kids because of some internet rumor they read somewhere.

This is killing us.

You can’t pick and choose what science to believe.  Science doesn’t care what you believe, anyway — the fact that you don’t believe in science doesn’t make it not true.

But for some reason, people listen to non-scientists when they make up their minds.  Donald Trump is one of those idiots who tweets about vaccinations while his New York city suffers from record-breaking measels and mumps outbreaks.  Washington state has a whooping cough epidemic.  There’s even a worry that polio could come back.  Polio!

Somehow, there is a complete independent streak in America that is so strong that we refuse to listen to experts and “elitists” who know things, and almost always to our detriment.  As Isaac Asimov once said, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”


Anti-science hypocrites

“Conservatives hate science!  Look at how they deny evolution and climate change!”

Well, while that is true, you can’t smugly say that while consulting your astrology charts and using your crystals for positive energy.  You can’t say that we should listen to the scientists when they talk about global warming and we should ignore them when they talk about vaccines.  science

Mind you, there is a big difference — liberals who believe in superstition and non-science aren’t trying to force their views on everybody else, like the fundamentalists who want to ban Darwin from the classroom.  But still, I don’t see how you can criticize them for ignoring science if you are doing the same, even in smaller amounts.

Science is not good or bad — it just is.  Conservatives deny science when it contradicts their religious or economic views, but otherwise have no problem with it.  (They’ll scream that evolution is just a “theory” yet never complain about the “theory” of gravity, for instance).  Liberals tend to use generalizations too often with science, by claiming that all genetically-modified foods are bad or that nuclear power is evil without acknowledging that there are huge gray areas.   (And of course, both sides have their share of believers in psuedo-science like fortune-telling, faith healing, ghosts, and scientology.)

So look at your beliefs and make sure you aren’t being hypocritical for pointing a finger at non-believers in science if you too are picking and choosing which science to believe.

Editorial cartoon: Blinded me with science

Pundits and weathermen

The thing about being a political commentator and being a TV weather reporter is that both can be wrong 50% of the time and yet still keep their jobs.

The difference is that the weather people are trying to be as accurate as possible. al_roker Political reporters don’t always care.

Mostly this is because some political reporters are in reality propagandists.  They have no interest in the truth; getting people to agree with their already decided-upon conclusions outweighs any desire for accuracy or even honesty.  The ends justifies the means.

Rush Limbaugh is the Poster Boy for this.  Like many of his pals in the right-wing media collective, he has no qualifications for the position whatsoever other than a loud mouth and a desire to never do any research.  His latest lie is that the “Polar Vortex” is another one of them there liberal conspiracies out to convince people of climate change.

So it’s nice to see Al Roker — someone who, unlike Limbaugh, is actually qualified to talk about climate — aim for facts.  (You remember facts?  They used to help convince people of the truth.)

On the Today show, he literally told Limbaugh and all the doubters to “stuff it.” Roker pulled out his old college textbook ‘The AMS Glossary of Meteorology’ from 1959 which used the term.  “Rush Limbaugh claims the Polar Vortex is a creation of a left-wing, liberal media conspiracy,” he tweeted. “It’s Meteorology 101. No political agenda.”

And that’s the silly thing — that this is a political issue at all.  It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be, any more than evolution should be a political issue.

“The good thing about science,” says Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “is that it’s true whether you believe it or not.”

Editorial cartoon of the day: Global warming baloney

Can’t be global warming with all this snow, amiright?

Here we go again.

Let’s try to simplify this.   

If the planet’s temperature goes up a few degrees, that means more water evaporates from the ocean.  The ocean covers 3/4ths of our world, so that’s a lot of water.  When there is a storm then, it is often gigantic.  Hurricanes can be much worse than before, and snow storms can be huge. underpants-gnomes

Will this happen every single time?  Of course not.  But when you look at enough numbers, the answer is clear.

It’s like tossing a coin.  If it comes up heads 90% of the time, it’s probably a trick coin or something is unbalanced.  You don’t look at the 10% of the time it comes up tails and say “Aha! Look, it came up tails. That proves you’re wrong. The coin is balanced.”

We’ve had record heat the last few years, with summers pushing the temperatures to record levels.   In fact, it was just a few weeks ago that we had record warm December days, remember?  Further, in Australia, where it’s summer now, they are experiencing record heat waves.  Despite all this, at no time has a climate change denier said, “Wow, I guess I was wrong.”  But have a cold spell and suddenly they’re all saying, “See?  There’s no global warming!”

Ridiculous.  If you bring up the record heat, they say “Well, that’s one example;  it doesn’t prove climate change.”  Then they turn around and use one example to try to deny it.

Sorry, guys, but I’m going to believe the vast majority of climate scientists as opposed to a bunch of people who have no experience in it and who claim that all the scientists are part of some huge conspiracy.  Apparently, they believe that the scientists are operating under Underpants Gnome logic:

Step One:  Make up data to make people think there is climate change.

Step Two:  ????

Step Three:  Profit!!!

It snowed yesterday so clearly there is no global warming

“It’s snowing so therefore there is no global warming” is like saying “I know a guy who smoked for years and never got cancer so clearly scientists are wrong and cigarettes aren’t bad for you.”

It’s pretty simple to disprove climate change. Submit your research to peer review and if it is conclusive, science will acknowledge it. That’s how it works.

Every time someone says to me “climate change has been proven wrong” they point me to some internet article, usually by someone who is not a climate scientist, denying what 99% of all scientists say. It’s a conclusion that isn’t peer reviewed and usually is backed by industries that want to deny climate change because they are afraid of government conservation policies.

Now, it’s good to be cynical and skeptical.  That’s what science is all about.  But when the vast majority of people whose job it is to know these things say it’s true, why should I, who have no experience in these things, not believe them? dr-evil

It always amazes me how people only deny science when it contradicts their already held political or religious views. They never seem to challenge the theory of relativity or the theory of gravity.  Evolution?  Can’t be true because God told me so.  Climate change?  Can’t be true because Fox News told me so.

Do you really think that scientists, whose livelihood relies upon being correct, would lie about this?  That there is a vast conspiracy of scientists who have made up the research from every country on earth and are working together for the purpose of … what?  What exactly is their benefit?

What possible reason would they have to make this all up?  I can’t think of anything, unless you want to believe in some sort of cliched organization of evil scientists who evilly laugh about the evil they are evilly performing solely for the purpose of being evil.

I can’t wait for them to make their demands.  “We will solve this problem for a milllllllion dollars!”