Saturday, December 12, 2009

How not to argue against climate change. . . .

I hardly ever read the column of David Warren which appears with frightening regularity in the Ottawa Citizen, because frankly he is so ignorant, ill-informed, and offensively racist and sexist that just knowing that someone like this gets paid to write a column makes me doubt the possibility of a benevolent force in the universe and certainly makes me wonder about the future of our race. However, once in a while I read the column out of some sort of morbid curiosity the way one might gawk at a gruesome sight such as a automobile accident. You don't want to look but somehow you just can't seem to avert your eyes. 

Today Warren's column was entitled "The Myth of Global Warming" and was, of course, pure drivel. He claims that Global Warming (not just the human contribution to climate change) is some kind of historically huge fraud and he compares it to a Ponzi scheme. As is almost always the case, however, with Climate Change deniers, Mr. Warren actually provides his reader with no evidence for his position, just a lot of rhetoric designed to feed people's paranoia and make them angry or suspicious. The only vaguely scientific thing Mr. Warren offers in the entire article is this little gem:

"The very premise is ludicrous: demonizing carbon dioxide as a 'pollutant,' when it is a vital part of the Earth's atmosphere, absolutely essential not only to plant life but everything that depends on plants." 

REALLY????!!!!! That is the best that Mr. Warren can do??? I wonder if even his deranged and intellectually disabled readers were able to pass this paragraph without shaking their heads and wondering if they had entered the twilight zone? Is Mr. Warren really so ignorant of almost everything that he imagines that this constitutes some kind of argument?? Even if one is just vaguely familiar with chemistry one knows just how stupid and absurd this is! Surely even he knows that a chemical property can be essential to a system, but in the wrong amounts it can also become hazardous to the system itself. I am sure Mr. Warren's doctor has told him at one time or another to cut down on the salt. Of course sodium is essential to his continued good health, but too much of it will kill him. How about if Mr. Warren took a few million tones of salt and dropped it into the nearest small lake? Does he think just because that water has some sodium in it that any amount will suffice to maintain the eco-system? Someone close to me is suffering from renal failure. Too much potassium will kill him. But yet he and all of us need it to survive. And the irony here is that anyone who is skeptical about climate change is just seeing the legitimacy of their augments systematically undermined by this kind of ignorance. If I can see through the science, you know it is bad! 

This article has brought a new level of embarrassing ignorance to the Ottawa Citizen (and any other newspaper that Mr. Warren's column appears in). What is next? A column by Andrew Lloyd Weber on structural engineering? Wow, it really is amazing. If this is the level to which Canadian newspapers are striving, no wonder the business model is broken. 

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