Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Don't Rush, you'll get too warm

Just when you thing Rush Limbaugh might just disappear and his insane rantings be forgotten, he comes back with some brain zapping claim or statement that just makes you want to bang your head against a wall to try and get all the stupid out. We had one of those moments the other day when he was touting a thirteen-
year-old that he claimed had 'proved global warming is a hoax'. Here's what was said on the radio:
RUSH: You mean…? Hold it just second. Alex, you’re at the health food store, and it’s cold out there. It’s March. You’re there in March, it’s cold, and two people in there are surprised that it’s cold because it’s global warming outside?

CALLER: Exactly.

RUSH: And they still concluded, “Well, we’re still in global warming”?


RUSH: But they were shocked. This is hilarious. You know, Alex, there are none so blind as those who will not see, and that’s what you’re running up against. Where did you find this evidence? How hard was it for you to research?

CALLER: It wasn’t that hard to learn it. There is pretty much a lot of evidence that you can find. I personally just went to the local library and looked up books. That’s what I did.

RUSH: You went to the library?


RUSH: You didn’t use a computer?

CALLER: No, I didn’t. Well, yeah, my mom got me one article from the computer. Yeah.

RUSH: Wow. I’m surprised you find evidence of this at the library. That’s heartening. Why did you want to do this? What made you doubt the people who believe that there’s global warming?

CALLER: Well, over the radio we listen to different things. I’ve heard lots of evidence that man-made global warming is a hoax. And since I’m doing speeches, I thought it was a very interesting topic. I want to learn more about this. I guess I just always doubted that. There’s so much evidence that global warming is not man-made.
It's ironic that Rush mentions those that the are 'none so blind as those who will not see', because that's exactly who he and this kid are.

For the one millionth time Rush, some cold weather in the Spring or Summer does not disprove climate change. Climate isn't about one isolated weather event here, and a cold day there. It is concerned with the long term trends (not a day or a week), and it is focused on world-wide averages (not one town or region). A cold day when it's usually warm no more disproves climate change than one isolated record high proves it. These data points are too small and too isolated to glean anything useful from them. When we see that no month month since April of 1985 has been below the global average, we see a trend toward warming. When you see that 12 of the hottest years on record have been in the last 15 years, you see a trend toward warming. When the ice in the Arctic is receding

Also, why is it that colder than normal weather in April somehow tells Rush that climate change is fake, yet a 60°F day in February is just dismissed as something that happens every now and then? As I've stated,
neither is a meaningful piece of data in and of themselves. But at least try to stay consistent for crying out loud!You might as well claim that rain is a hoax since it was clear and sunny today...

Then there's the strange correlation drawn that 'it's in a book, that means it's true'. I have no doubt that you can find books that dismiss climate change. Given how much money that the oil industry pumps into denial, I'm surprised there's not more. But I find it odd that Rush has equated 'it's in a book' to equal, 'there you go, it's true'. There are also books about the fact that climate change is actually happening. But since he thinks climate denial books somehow make the undeniable case that there is no global warming, what about other books?

There are books that claim that the Earth is flat. There are books that claim that the Geocentric model of the solar-system is true (yes, still...). There are books that said that the Holocaust was a good thing, There are other books that actually claim it never happened. There are diet books that say you can eat whatever you want and still lose inches in no time at all. I could go on, but I think I've illustrated the point that something being in a book does not automatically make it so.

So with all this info out there, how do we determine what is good info and what is bad info? That's actually pretty easy... We test it! And that's exactly what science does. We test and study the data and see where it takes us. When that is done in the case of climate, we see that the Earth is warming, and at a faster rate than is has in the past. A rate that just happens to coincide with the greenhouse gasses we are pumping into the air. When you actually look at the facts, rather than what you want to be true, the simple truth is that climate change is very real, and that we are certainly playing a role.

Finally it's odd that the kid is saying how easy it was to find sources against climate change. Sure, if you're looking for sources to support your pre-held stance, you're going to find them (valid or not). But if you are looking with an open mind and at all the information, the anti-warming articles would be buried under a mountain a articles that show the truth of climate change. Of peer-reviewed papers from 1991 to 2012, only 24 reject global warming. How many concluded in favor of climate change in that same period. Oh, only 13,926! That's more that just lopsided! Deniers want to claim that it's an issue that's still up in the air, and that there's still a lot of scientific debate, and far from a consensus.

However, the facts say otherwise. The data all points to climate change is real. The evidence strongly suggests we are playing a role. And the overwhelming majority of experts agree that global warming is here, and it's happening. So Rush (and 13-year-old-kid), stop making the same tired arguments that have been dispatched time and time again. Stop trying to avoid the truth that we hold at least some blame. Stop trying to avoid the responsibility and the fact that we may have to change the way we do things and live our lives to some degree. The easy way isn't always the right way after all. And stop pandering to those who will pay you off (big oil) so they can avoid change and keep profits up. This is a serious issue. Far too serious that personal agendas and profit should be allowed to come first. So I ask that everyone speak out against these ridiculous claims  that people like Rush make. And join me in trying little by little to be more kind to our planet.


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