Earth to America
Before I go off on my rant I want to make one thing very clear. It does not bother me at all that this huge batch of celebrities were trying to raise awareness of global warming. For one, I don’t expect celebrities to know science anyway, and for seconds, they are funny and talented artists that I enjoy in that capacity.
There are some who just ticked me off though.
Let’s start with Bill Maher, shall we? The most glaringly false thing this moron went off on was the oxygen content of the atmosphere. He said “once the atmosphere was made up of 19% oxygen, now it is only 9% oxygen.” He, of course, blamed humanity in general, and Republicans and President Bush specifically for this tragedy. Sounds bad too, don’t it? There’s just one problem. If this were actually true we would all be dead right now. Very few aerobic life forms can survive prolonged exposure to such a tiny level of oxygen. Man starts to experience distress at 16% oxygen, and dies before 9% is reached. The real fact is that the Oxygen levels are stable at 18%-20% just like they have been since the dinosaurs walked the Earth.
He went on to waste our depleted oxygen blabbing on about how it’s all the evil corporation’s faults and how evil Republicans don’t care enough to do anything about it. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
This being a show about global warming Bobby Kennedy Jr. just HAD to be featured so he could spout off on his brand of eco-lunacy. You may remember him as the guy who said Hurricane Katrina was President Bush’s fault because he pulled the US out of the Kyoto Protocol.
His bit was a fake interview with Martin Short playing a nervous, deceitful, and environmentally bigoted attorney for the oil industry. I shall summarize the gist of his whole argument for you thusly: YOU EVIL BASTARDS! YOU ARE SINGLE-HANDEDLY KILLING US ALL! As you can see, he is quite the communicator. He blames the oil industry for forcing the world to be dependent on them and stifling innovation that would make cars more fuel efficient. The end result in his estimation is a global warming trend that is sure to be the end of the world.
These people obviously have no paloegeography in their education portfolios. I do however, so allow me to insert some horribly evil science into all of this lunacy.
There are periods in the Earth’s history where there were no polar ice caps, the arctic tundra was warm enough for temperate plant species to grow, Antarctica was a temperate paradise, and the US was a fetid jungle. As you can imagine, the world was quite warm, and shockingly, all life was not wiped out, and the world didn’t come to an end. At the same time there have been periods when the polar ice caps extended as far south as Ohio, and as far north as Peru. Surprisingly enough, the world didn’t end then either.
Climate change is constant, as is proven by micro-paleontology and Antarctic ice cores. There are fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and fluctuations in temperature that do not always coincide with what the carbon dioxide levels said it should be. The only thing that is certain is that the climate is changing, and will continue to change no matter what we do to try and stop it.
Finally, not all change is bad. People are having this knee-jerk reaction to 6,000 year long global warming trend as if it were something new, and are scurrying around like rats trying to stop this natural process. It’s a futile battle, and they are scaring people and wasting money by fighting it.
This is not to say that better fuel economy isn’t something we should strive for. And it definitely isn’t to say that clean energy research should stop, or that cleaner manufacturing technologies shouldn’t be created. I’m all for them, but for the sake of conserving limited resources and keeping actual poisons out of the air and water as much as possible. I’m far more concerned about high mercury levels in the fish that I eat than I am about global warming.
This is to say that we need to toss out the junk science and propaganda lies that are being used to convince people we’re all gonna die if we don’t do something RIGHT NOW! This crap is doing us all a disservice.