Another “We Are Scientists” video that’s not by We Are Scientists, but by Scientists.
It’s more amateurish than I’m A Climate Scientist, but it’s still fun. Oh man, that beard…
I hope you all noted down the titles of those books? Some fine reading in there.
Image via Wikipedia
Today was rich in incident. The sun shone, gilding the faded, autumnal sky. Terry Pratchett’s latest novel turned up in my letterbox. Oh joy, a Vimes adventure to be savoured on a sun-kissed verandah, with a cigar and a non-alcoholic drink to hand.
Customer service from my phone company was revealed to be even more dickish than originally feared. Not so good, that one.
Orac slapped down some of the more deadly nonsense being spouted by Robert Eau Young (the magical alkaline water merchant). Things are getting better.
The branch of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that felt impelled to occupy the financial centre of Brisbane was revealed to be gloriously inept on all fronts. They set up a webcam live stream, which was almost immediately hogged by an anti-vaccine nutter, with added birther and truther lunacy for those stubborn traces of reality that just won’t brainwash out.
Image via Wikipedia
The Chemistry department of the University of Nottingham has done it again. Since this particular subject is important, as it affects our lives and health, just as it will affect our children, I’ve promoted it to Video of the Day.
Professor Martyn Poliakof and his hair talk about how the ozone layer protects us, how the hole is formed, and why ozone closer to the ground is A Bad Thing. Amazingly, he manages to do this while wearing city clothes on a busy beach, surrounded by bikini babes, and never once losing his concentration. Outstanding, sir.
Featured on The Guardian‘s environmental blog, this useful site provides lots of information about climate science and, above all, debunks the weird and wonderful statements that the climate change denial lobby come out with. If you search for the tag “climate” here on WordPress.com you can already find a few.
Possibly the most annoying trait of reality deniers – of any type – is that many cling to their strange beliefs, asserting them loudly as fact, until even you (who may be an expert in the field) begin to wonder if you didn’t misremember something. It’s happened to me on several occasions, to the extent that I have probably become a trivia nerd. Certainly I no longer allow modesty to get the better of me. I’m good at what I do, I know my frigging job. That probably makes me an insufferable, stuck-up arsehole to some, but there you go. I’d rather be that than a dangerous fool any day.
Yet the big problem of deniers, or skeptics as the site calls them, is that their fantasies can be dangerous. Treating serious illness with sugar pills and faith is dangerous. Not vaccinating against potentially fatal or incapacitating infectious diseases is dangerous. Considering that the Highway Code and speed limits are only there for other people is dangerous (very widespread one, that).
In answer to at least one of the major areas where denial is dangerous – we’re talking about the survival of a large number of species, including our own – we have Skeptical Science, attacking the myths in circulation about climate change, and naming the most virulent supporters of this fantasy world: those going far beyond the already reprehensible “I’m alright, Jack” attitude of the average lazy bastard. Who lurks inside us all, let’s face it.
Some years back, I had an argument with a friend over rap and hip-hop. He contended that it was a load of rubbish (he’s a jazz/blues musician); I contended that it was a potentially powerful poetic medium which had yet to reach maturity, all the while loathing rap almost as much as he. It took Rage Against The Machine to actually make me buy a rap CD. OK, rap/metal. Shut up. I had a Vision. Just squirrel that information away for a bit will you?
I’m not a [noun], but [statement]. Now there’s a formula that usually manifests in the form of ignorant bullshit. It’s always hilarious (well, I find it funny) when a specialist in the appropriated field is present and can shoot the canard down with devastating accuracy. In this particular case, the statement is “I’m not a climate scientist, but [insert debunked denialist claim]“.
Funnily enough, there are real climate scientists and they are not happy. They wish people to know this. More importantly, they wish people to know the truth, not what egoistic, myopic big money wants them to believe.