Archives for posts with tag: warming

So, how about we arrange for a climate scientist to perform surgery on GOPee Rep. Benishek? Perhaps a vasectomy, gall bladder resection, or a colostomy? Dan Benishek, you see, thinks that since he is a surgeon, that makes him a “scientist”. He says so:

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) says his medical background qualifies him to reject the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that emissions from human activity are causing the planet to heat up. Pressed to address scientific findings to the contrary, Benishek claimed that no peer-reviewed climate change studies have been able “to prove that there’s man-made catastrophic global warming.”

As of 2013, 97 percent of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers have concluded that human activity over the last century has contributed to global warming. Nearly 200 scientific organizations worldwide, including the American Medical Association, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences also endorse the consensus position.

“Well, I am a scientist,” said Benishek, who worked as a general surgeon for nearly 30 years before running for Congress in 2011. “You know, I believe in peer-reviewed science. But, I don’t see any peer-reviewed science that proves there is man-made catastrophic climate change.”

So, “studying the sciences” makes you a scientist, eh, boyo? That makes this writer a scientist, one supposes. Wow, who knew a couple of college classes (in between drinking bouts) made the Cranky One a scientist? Dang, the lucrative career opportunities that were foregone, because of the silly belief that one had to spend time and effort over a period of years in a specialty before declaring one’s self the master thereof.

And by the same token, if a surgeon is somehow automatically imbued with the ability to do all sciences of all types after graduating medical school, surely the same applies to anyone who has “studied the sciences”, yes? So, chemists should be performing brain transplants, physicists could easily do organ transplants, and astronomers could whip out heart bypasses without breaking a sweat. Right, Danny Boy?

If the distinguished gentleman really thinks that his medical education and time in the O.R. is truly the equivalent of advanced degrees and years of work in climatology and related disciplines, then let him show it. Volunteer to go under the knife as oceanographers and geologists demostrate their “scientific studies” on his internal organs. Put some skin in the game, if you’ll pardon the pun.

After all, the risk is much smaller: only Benishek would be at risk in this fantasy scenario. But the whole f***ing planet is at risk if we accept his “scientific” judgment on the all-too-real phenomenon of global climate change.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

There remain some fringe lunatics who deny that global climate change exists, some of whom occupy positions of power and authority within our governmental, industrial, and financial institutions. However, they are slowly losing influence behind the scenes as a key fact emerges: it makes good business sense to accept the reality of our changing climate.

This writer first got wind of this trend a few years ago, when shopping for real estate in a warmer climate – coastal real estate, someplace with palm trees and such (hey, he’s getting older, so warm and sunny works for sore and creaky/Blunt and Cranky). When looking into insurance for many locations, he was informed that the rates would be very high, and in some cases coverage could not be purchased at any price. Why?

Because the profit-motivated actuaries and accounting whizbangs who assess risk for insurance companies have determined that sea levels are rising; and any coastal properties that aren’t going to be submerged in the next 20 – 60 years will have to deal with increasingly frequent  and severe weather events. They can’t make money insuring properties that are pretty much guaranteed to become fish habitat in the near future.

This is far from an isolated situation: insurance against crop damage, flood damage, tornado damage, etc., all are getting pricier and/or harder to obtain. Commodity markets are adjusting, supply-chains are having links added and removed, manufacturers are making changes, homebuilders and remodelers are changing  materials: all to deal with the world that the right-wing loons pretend isn’t real.

If you want to know what risks are worth planning for, you don’t ask someone with fluffy-bunny ideas, or someone who “lives in the world but is not of it”: they will refuse to see the danger, because they think that some sort of divine intervention or positive visualization will magically fix the problem. This in spite of the fact that we haven’t seen such miraculous works on a global scale in at least several thousand years.

No, you ask some flinty-hearted, inhumane, profit-loving, Dickensian creature what he’s doing with his money.  He’ll be making the conservative, prudent choice, based on hard data and facts. For example, the World Bank says “Holy cow, peeps, this s***’s getting expensive”:

The smart money says global climate change is real. And if you’re not smart, you’re stupid. This humble blogger will be consulting climate models before purchasing the next chateau de Blunt and Cranky, thank you very much.

Mr. B & C