Just say no to “duhhhh I don’t know!”

I really don’t understand why The Post chose to run this meandering, uninteresting, ignorance-celebrating piece on Monday. At least with the global warming nay-sayers you get clear statements about what consequences of regulation they fear. I might or might not think they have a point, but at least they have one. Instead we get here a column from Emily Yoffe, who has told us in the past how she tests out at a first-grade level with regards to math skills. I don’t think I’m going on on a limb here in thinking that someone who didn’t make it up to percentages doesn’t have a great grasp of the scientific method, much less a finger on the pulse of the scientific community and a grasp of what’s knowable or not.

I can only hope that once she takes a rudimentary class on addition she’ll take a few minutes to read David Brin’s piece over here about global warming matters. He was writing in response to naysayers rather than know-nothing-ers, but he is going out of his way not to get into a battle of facts and instead talks about what we know and why, cutting right the vaguely heart-like-thing of the second-half-ish-part of Yoffe’s article. Perhaps it’ll convince Ms Yoffe that even though she might be willfully ignorant about science that doesn’t mean everyone is, though I get the sense that she’ll turn up her nose at anyone who actually studied science. What could they know?

If Brin uses too many scientific words like “emissions” and “ecosystems” for Ms Yoffe then maybe she can consider this instead: if you’re going to go around stating that you won’t trust a weather projection for 2080 because “no one can offer me one for August 2008” then I’d like you to similarly refuse to trust a projection about the economy because nobody can tell you exactly how many loaves of bread will be sold at your corner store next week. Macro studies are different than Micro studies.

4 Comments so far

  1. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 11:33 pm

    What a happily ignorant jerk.

    There is some research that shows the ineffectiveness of scaring people into doing the right thing – in this case, not being a dildo and driving a Hummer (among other things) – but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t know the truth. Why shouldn’t we scare children? They have to grow up knowing how to behave and whose future they are fucking up if they don’t. Fear gets kids’ attention. It is effective.

    I don’t understand folks like that author, happy to be ignorant. She is a fool to think that way.


  2. danny bee (unregistered) on June 28th, 2007 @ 12:25 am

    Polar cities in the far distant future to house remnants of humankind
    who survive the apocalypse of devastating global warming? The casual
    reader might think I am an alarmist or a mere scare-monger, but I am
    neither. I am a visionary.

    Polar cities are proposed sustainable polar retreats designed to house
    human beings in the future, in the event that global warming causes
    the central and middle regions of the Earth to become uninhabitable
    for a long period of time. Although they have not been built yet, some
    futurists have been giving considerable thought to the concepts
    involved.

    I know, I know, the very thought of “polar cities” sounds like some
    science-fiction movie you don’t want to see. But it might be
    instructive to think about such sustainable Artic and Antartic
    communities for the future of humankind. If worse come to worse, and
    things fall apart, perhaps by the year 2500 or the year 3000, we must
    might need polar cities. And perhaps the time to start thinking about
    them, and designing and planning them (and maybe even building, or
    pre-building them), is now.

    Here is more food for thought, from an entry in Wikipedia:
    “High-population-density cities, to be built in the polar regions,
    with sustainable energy and transportation infrastructures, will
    require substantial nearby agriculture. Boreal soils are largely poor
    in key nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, but nitrogen-fixing
    plants (such as the various alders in the Artic region) with the
    proper symbiotic microbes and mycorrhizal fungi can likely remedy such
    poverty without the need for petroleum-derived fertilizers. Regional
    probiotic soil improvement should perhaps rank high on any polar
    cities priority list. James Lovelock’s notion of a widely distributed
    almanac of science knowledge and post-industrial survival skills also
    appears to have value.”

    Oh, I know it’s fashionable to mock global warming alarmists and doom
    and gloom futurists with no credentials except a keyboard and a blog,
    but there’s a method to the madness of thinking about polar cities.
    Maybe, just maybe, if enough people hear about the concept of polar
    cities and realize how serious such a possibility is, maybe, just
    maybe, they will get off their tuches and start thinking hard and fast
    about how we humans are causing climate change by our lifestyles and
    inventions and gadgets and need for cars and airplanes and trains and
    ships and factories and coal-burning plants across the globe — and
    then maybe it won’t be fashionable to mock global warming alarmists
    anymore.

    The future does not look good. But we can do something now. No, not
    building polar cities now. That’s for the future to decide. What we
    can do now is stop what we are doing now and start planning in a more
    sane way for the future of the species. If we even care. I do. We must
    stop all human acitivity that is responsible for emitting carbon
    dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. Now. It’s getting later earlier
    and earlier, I tell you.


  3. Wayan (unregistered) on June 28th, 2007 @ 9:03 am

    Polar cities? Sounds damn cool. I’d love to be chilling by a pole (I’ll take the South), ice-cold beer in hand.


  4. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 28th, 2007 @ 9:08 am

    Wayan – as long as there’s a dancer on the pole, I will be there as well.



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