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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

That damned Evidence

What's Mallard raving about today?

Global Warming, Dinosaurs.

If by "primitive SUVs" you mean a massive series of volcanic eruptions...

It's hilarious to me that Mallard feels evidence of Global Climate change at other periods of the Earth's history is proof that the current Global Warming is not being caused or exacerbated by human activity.

The level of intelligence demonstrated by this type of sophomoric thinking helps one understand why Mallard can't stand science, in general.

33 comments:

dragoknight14 said...

The issue is that human impact on the environment does exist. While some might argue that it's larger or smaller than the current accepted norm we still do affect it. And yes, there are natural climate pattern changes in the past, however if the climate starts rising faster than normal and there seem to be several correlating factors that don't have any natural parallel, then maybe there might be something to it.

Rivers also flood naturally, but human action or inaction can cause them to flood too. Algae forms naturally in ponds but thermal pollution can cause greater amounts of it than is healthy for that body of water.

12xuser said...

I think this is one of his better ones, playing as it does on the dumb "Environmentalists just hate SUVs" meme. I was a little thrown off by the fact that three days ago the dinosaurs were supposed to be Early Liberals, but maybe Tinsley just likes to draw dinosaurs.

Rootbeer said...

Who else likes to draw dinosaurs?

Five-year-old boys.

Chyron HR said...

So volcanos killed the dinosaurs, but monitoring volcanos is a waste of money.

Makes perfect sense to me!

exanonymous said...

Mallard assumes that readers will not check the source?

Sounds about right.

dlauthor said...

Ah, the fartings of a bitter duck on Earth Day. We could cut down CO2 emissions slightly if Tinshley just stopped exhaling. Also the comics pages would improve in about three weeks.

Word verification: ashipl n. 1. how Bruce Tinsley pronounces "officer" when he's pulled over again at 2 am.

Jazzbumpa said...

Tinkley provides that oh-so-refreshing combination of straw man (straw dinosaur?) false analogy, willful ignorance, and obstinate denial that has made modern conservatism such an intellectually stimulating triumph.

rewinn said...

Props to all - you covered the bases pretty well.

All I can add is: Tinkley's line of attack was tested in November '06, where it lost, and November '08, where it lost bigger. (...and there's evidence that Alberto Gonzales used blackmail to sway the '04 election ... but I digress ...)

Let's hope Tinkley never changes: if nothing succeeds like success, then surely nothing fails like failure!

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least he's not a young earth creationist on top of it.

GeoX said...

For fux sake, even if you assume that global warming is entirely non-anthropogenic, how does that mean we should therefore do nothing about it? I picture the last neoconservative going under, shouting "NOT OUR FAULT!" as the floodwaters cover him completely. In the words of A. Trollope, He knew he was right!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure such "sophomoric" thinkers as Professor Freeman Dyson of Princeton and Nobel Prize Winner Professor Ivar Giaever of RPI will also feel chastened by your remarks, coming, as they do, from such a qualified expert as a guy who blogs about a cartoon every day. You sure set them straight!

Chyron HR said...

Shorter GOP: We hate Nobel Prize winners, except for when we love them.

GeoX said...

That's right--the opinions of a couple of physicists now trump the empirical evidence provided by ninety-nine percent of climatologists. If only we'd gone to Wingnut U like Tinznonymous, we would understand these things.

12xuser said...

Yeah, "sophomoric" would totally be the wrong word to use to describe those thinkers, all right. Maybe that's why nobody did, until you quoted them, out of thin air.

DaveyK said...

Professor Dyson believes increased CO2 levels might be a good thing because it helps plants grow and is manageable using carbon-eating trees.

Professor Giaever is an admitted skeptic about Global Warming.

They are not the only two scientists with divergent opinions on the matter.

That said, Mallard's thought process (and the target of my criticism) is: "Global Warming has occurred before in the Earth's History; therefore: Global Warming is not man-made."

The failure of Anonymous (and Mallard) to grasp this rather simple distinction is the best evidence I can imagine of sophomoric intellectual capacity.

So, thank you for making my point.

rewinn said...

Dyson is intellectually brilliant man and emotionally cavalier about the impact of engineering our planet. While it is certainly "possible" in an abstract sense to re-forest our planet sufficiently to resorb the ancient carbon from our atmosphere, the impact on our food supply et cetera would be not exactly trivial unless we all learn how to eat wood pulp.

Reforestation is a good idea for many reasons but it is only a small part of the answer.

Meanwhile ... DeanBooth has another great mash-up featuring our favorite Duck-In-Denial over here

Michael said...

Dinosaurs didn't have sweat glands!

NLC said...

Unlike others here, I hesitate to put words in the mouth of Dr Dyson.

But, that said: While Dr Dyson may ultimately be coming to something similar to the conclusion implied by Tinsley's strip (although that's not really clear), I can't help but feel he would be outraged at the suggestion that the reasoning that he used to come to such a conclusion is as on a par with Tinsley's.

In short, yes, Tinsley's rant is clearly sophomoric. That says nothing about Dr Dyson's conclusions (right or wrong).

exanonymous said...

The wonderful thing about real science? You don't have to be right. It's the data gathering/theory creating process that becomes as important as the results.

There needs to be scientists who disagree. Scientists know this. Cosmic rays wouldn't have been ruled out as a GW cause if someone hadn't thought that perhaps it was, and did the research.

Real scientists approach any problem aware that they could be wrong. They wouldn't need to do the research if they knew the answers after all.

GW does have a consensus. Which means until that consensus can be overturned with science counter to the science already done to reach the consensus (not petitions or rhetoric) it remains the most reasonable assumption.

rewinn said...

My comments on Dyson, who (or whom) I freely admit is smarter than I am, is based on articles such as this recent profile. As others have said, he doesn't deny anthropogenic global warming; his thoughts on what to do about it are seriously open to question by other people also smarter than I.

The evidence suggests either AnonymousCoward doesn't actually know anything about Dyson but his name which he invokes ad terrorem but to no effect. For, as exo said, "The wonderful thing about real science? You don't have to be right." The Argument From Authority just doesn't impress non-authoritarians.

As to whether people on blogs are allowed to have thoughts, I don't mind being put in the company of David Brin or Dwight Sullivan (yet more "smarter than I"s) although, prior to the input of AnonymousCoward, I was unaware that we were chastening anyone but Tinkley.

Horrible thought: is Mallard ACTUALLY just a daily doodle by Freeman Dyson?

Anonymous said...

Al Gore did not invent the internet, but he did invent the Global Warming scam.

MartyRotten said...

Bruce Tinsley was probably one of those jocks that beat up science majors when he was in school.

NLC said...

Al Gore did not invent the internet, but he did invent the Global Warming scam.My Sweet Lord: The man is more devious than I could ever have conceived! Imagine a mind so powerfully criminal that it can implant concepts and thoughts decades into the past!!

dlauthor said...

Oh, pish tosh. Tinshley was too busy doodling badly in the corner to beat up on anyone. He probably drew a bitter cartoon for his school paper, in which a giant talking nose* mocked both the people who were smarter than him** and the people who were more physically capable***. Also, he was drunk.

This is why Anonycoward defends his honor so vehemently; he's found a kindred spirit.

* Look it up.
** Most of the school.
*** Ibid.

Anonymous said...

How Al Gores Movie Inconvenient Truth is full of crap.

Anonymous said...

Wait... you get your facts from GLEN BECK?

GeoX said...

Useful tip: when trying to discredit ideas you don't like, it's probably not a good idea to link to batshit lunatics like Glenn Beck. That sorta tends to make normal people point and laugh at you rather than demonstrating whatever point you thought you were making. Just for future reference.

GeoX said...

Two minds, single thought.

exanonymous said...

Al Gore did not invent Global Warming. He promoted it, but most of the scientists, particularly those in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia operate independently of all the political nonsense we have here that we mix in with our science.

Kyle said...

What is the point of denying global warming? You enact use of things like solar and wind power, it eliminates reliance on oil, which is finite (and to appeal to our right wing friends "we don't have to borrow from countries that don't like us too much").

You recycle and it decreases the amount of trash in landfills and uses up less resources.

You drive a more efficient automobile and it costs YOU less, and is the same effect with oil as the renewable energy sources.

So really, even if global warming doesn't exist, why the frothy-mouthed resistance? Cut off your nose to spite your face.

wavydavy said...

Cutting off the nose does seem to be among the preferred methods for these pinheads.

Remember the huge mockfest because Obama suggested that we could save oil/money by properly inflating our tires? In an early precursor of the teabag movement, the wingnut brigade thought it was clever to wave tire gauges at the camera -- even though, as Kyle says, they themselves would directly benefit by properly inflating their tires. Even when folks at NASCAR said it was a good idea, they were opposed.

So, if Obama (or Al Gore, or any non-wingnut) says that money is a good thing, they will then -- of course -- have to take the position that money is bad.

Given how much they worship at the altar of the almighty dollar, this would undoubtedly cause heads to explode from coast-to-coast from the cognitive dissonance.

I look forward to the day.

rewinn said...

"....Cutting off the nose..." ... brings us back to Tinkley's first idea for a political "comic".

The circle is complete!

Marion Delgado said...

9:25 AM Tinsley:

Dyson's not even close to the scientific consensus on AGW, but also not a denialist. He would not endorse this cartoon, because of the volcanoes.

Since his expertise is not in climate science, but theoretical physics, his not accepting the severity of the problem is not an issue for those of us involved in fighting anti-science paid denialism and its ideological byproducts.

Dyson is probably wrong, but at least he's not being a MF jerk about it. Moreover, what he sees as the correct path (gee-whiz sci-fi technofixes down the line instead of sound policy now) is very typical of Dyson's historical approach to any number of problems. At the other end, what do Tinsley clones think of James Lovelock?