The Cognitive Dissonance of Global Warming

Last night Hardball host Chris Matthews had Tom DeLay, that wonderful man who upholds such conservative moral values as conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws and money laundering, live from the Conservative Political Action Conference (i.e. the 2008 Texas Honky Festival) to ask about negative statements he and other Republicans made about John McCain. Turns out people like DeLay and conservative talk radio hosts would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than McCain. They haven’t said if they would vote for Obama or not. Probably because a show full of hate speech against Obama won’t rake in nearly as many listeners. I don’t mean to imply that conservative talk radio would put their ratings above the good of the nation, just that they’d put their pocket books above the good of the people.

Of course, in DeLay’s case he hates McCain because he had the gall to actually insinuate activities like DeLay participated in are detrimental to our democracy and should be outlawed. Now the “Straight Talk Express” may be showing the former House Majority Leader what it’s like to run naked backwards through a corn field. The nerve!

Well, DeLay brought up a laundry list of things he didn’t like about McCain, including finance, immigration, and global warming. Global warming kind of came out nowhere, so Chris Matthews said he had to take the opportunity to ask what the Republican’s official position on climate change is.

He said man could not be causing climate change. Evidently, there’s no scientific evidence supporting such a claim. Because crooked politicians know more about scientific evidence then, um, scientists.

Chris Matthews then asked him, rather pointedly, what he would call the “latest report from the Rocky Mountains that the snowpack is disappearing” and humans are causing the problem, if not scientific evidence.

The response? “It is arrogance to suggest that man can affect climate change.”

That’s not a scientific response. It’s a philosophical response, and rather absurd one at that.

Being that the environment is something I’m passionate about (the same kind of passion I have for admittedly abstract things such as life, breathing, drinkable water, and an inhabitable planet for my grandchildren), I have had arguments with people about the effects of climate change, and whether or not people cause it. I don’t recommend it. It’s like arguing that Saddam Hussein did not have ties with al Qaida; it’s already been proven and the only people who don’t believe it are those who already decided it must be true, regardless of what actual facts may say. They are in a text-book state of cognitive dissonance. However, if you ever have the desire to actually ask someone what evidence they have it doesn’t exist, you will find the following:

People who argue against man-caused climate change don’t have any grasp on the scientific evidence at all. In fact, if you really start dissecting their arguments with them, they will invariable admit that, not only do they not know what the evidence is in either direction, but they don’t care. Just like Mr. DeLay. Knowing that it is, in fact, a question of science, they find it necessary to back up their opinion with the claim that no scientific evidence supports that climate change. But when confronted the volumes of scientific evidence that does say climate change is occurring and humans are a major component of it, or the fact that even agencies W. Bush has established to comment on climate change say it is occurring and that economic measures need to be taken to combat it, suddenly the argument shifts from science to philosophy. The reason is very obvious; since all physical data shows that it’s obviously true, they are trying to think the truthiness out of it. Kind of like, if you think really, really hard that you didn’t break the law, they can’t arrest you for campaign finance fraud. Too bad it doesn’t work.

It’s not a philosophical argument at all. It’s a scientific one. And they must understand that or they wouldn’t start with the line that science does not back up the claim, even when they don’t know whether or not that’s true or just lying through their teeth.

And why do they try that line, anyway? Do they just assume because they don’t really have a clue nobody else does, either? Or are they trying to bluff their way into an argument they know is completely unwinnable?

The fact is that people give “scientific evidence” to show that smoking does not cause cancer (according the linked article, it only contributes to a lung cancer rate that’s 8 times higher than those who don’t smoke. Also, the hard data does say that “only 3%” of people in the U.S. die of lung cancer, an obviously small percentage that equates to a remarkably low death total of only 9 million deaths per year. If you really think about it, that means only slightly less than 1,000 people died of lung cancer in 2001 in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. So obviously there’s an unscientific, anti-smoker liberal bias here.). But that doesn’t actually mean that the scientific evidence supports the claim. If you have 99 scientists working at colleges and labs and public health agencies saying one thing, and you have one scientist working for Black Gold Texas Tea saying another, who are you going to believe?

I guess that depends upon two things. First, how much money you stand to. Secondly, whether or not you actually think for yourself, do some basic research, or just copy and paste arguments you hear from a hillbilly heroin addicted college dropout. The latter are not worth the headaches and lowered IQ caused by talking with them.

Though if anybody actually knows of any credible scientific evidence that shows climate change does not exist or humans aren’t causing it, I’m all ears. I doubt anybody will even attempt to take me up on the offer.

Finally tonight, I’d like to share some news for you in a new segment I like to call “You Don’t Know Dick (About Cheney): The Great Geno Edition.” Turns out Mr. V.P. had a presidential motorcade, “including Secret Service, motorcycles, and limousines” drive his labrador retriever to the vet, per Chris Matthews. (Limousines? How many limousines do you need to take a dog to the vet, honestly?) Of course, these motorcades are run on the public’s money. So let’s summarize here: it’s fiscally responsible to use tax-payer’s money to send a dog to the hospital, but not a lower-class child. I would say Cheney and Bush have their own little spot in Hell, but I’m afraid we may already be in it.

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4 Comments

Filed under environment, politics

4 responses to “The Cognitive Dissonance of Global Warming

  1. It took how long for the USA to sign that kyoto agreement… and then the wanted the rest of the world to submit to there demands which would have taken longer to acheive the goals of the agreement.

    What a farce.. Bush certainly does have his own spot in hell (check out my website). I hope he rots there for so much for other than this..

  2. thegreatgeno

    Great point. One of the sticking points for the Kyoto Treaty was that countries currently developing, such as China and India, would be given grace periods to build their economy before being required to curb emissions. I guess it was unfair that countries whom had not yet developed to our level be given the same leniences we took when we were developing.

    Or maybe they aren’t supposed to develop to our level? The thought of an even playing field does seem a little scary . . .

    Check out this link from the Daily Show regarding Bush’s 2008 State of the Union address. Relevant comments at about the four minute mark. I laughed heartily.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=149036&title=state-of-the-union

    Thank you for the comment.

  3. thegreatgeno

    Note: The article I linked about the smoking said that 8% of smokers will die of lung cancer, compared to 1% of the population. That is a rate of 8x; I originally posted it as 800 times.

    A big difference, that’s for sure.

    I changed it, and apologize for the mistake. However, the point remains valid. If a dose-response curve (http://www.graphpad.com/curvefit/introduction89.htm) shows an increase in response as exposure increases, than it’s a good bet the dose causes the response.

  4. Very interesting and useful post.
    Thx, your blog in my RSS reader now ;)

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