Friday, December 26, 2008

Hey, global warming was great for the Vikings! So why should we worry?

Jeez. I cannot believe some people can be so obtuse. And this isn’t in some fifth tier conservative blog. This opinion column was in the LA Times!

Via the Denialism blog.

The vikings clawed their way back into the national conversation recently, and for those of us who believe they have never gotten their historical due, it was not a moment too soon. Last heard from when they unexpectedly popped up on horseback in last winter’s anachronistic, factually suspect action film “Pathfinder” – a rip-roaring affair that sadly found only a negligible audience – the Vikings often go whole decades without being talked about in any meaningful way on these shores.

All that changed a few weeks back when the Wall Street Journal published an essay on the subject of global warming by environmental sciences expert Daniel B. Botkin. Throwing down the gauntlet in the wake of the Nobel committee’s surprise decision to award Al Gore its coveted Peace Prize, Botkin kicked off his piece with this plucky assertion: “Global warming doesn’t matter except to the extent that it will affect life – ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.”

To buttress this admittedly controversial theory, Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara, cited studies proving that global warming would not result in huge numbers of species disappearing, would not result in an epidemic of tropical diseases and would not result in a catastrophic change in the way humans lead their lives. While not denying the reality of global warming, Botkin said that its effects have been vastly exaggerated, and that people should worry more about species disappearing forever because of deforestation in the rain forest rather than global warming in the Arctic.

But the real haymaker, coming right out of left field, was his contention that global warming would not necessarily be a disaster for humanity. Citing Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’s “Times of Feast, Times of Famine: A History of Climate Since the Year 1000,” one of those books that we all have on our nightstands but never seem to find the time to read, Botkin pointed out that it was the warming that occurred between 750 and 1230 that encouraged the Vikings to break out of their harsh climate and sail west. Particularly impressive were Erik the Red’s voyages, resulting in the colonization of the previously inaccessible and inhospitable Iceland and Greenland. Chortled Botkin: “Good thing that Erik the Red didn’t have Al Gore or his climatologists as his advisors.”

Those of us who adore Viking lore, those of us who never cease to marvel at their daring exploits, those of us who resent the way the first Europeans to set foot in North America have been completely upstaged by Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Ponce de Leon and the rest of those over-praised Johnny-come-latelies cannot help feeling a frisson of glee – nay, vindication – now that Botkin has gone where no Op-Ed page contributor, not even in the Journal, has gone before and singled out the voyages of the Vikings as a reason to stop being obsessed with global warming. Never in our wildest dreams did any of us seriously expect the Vikings to enter the global warming debate, not only because they have not been heard from for almost 1,000 years but because of their behavior.

Ah, yes. That’s a great argument. Vikings were the first people to discover North America, but were later upstaged by Columbus. That proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that global warming isn’t harmful.

Um, I’m searching for a word here… It’s on the tip of my tongue. Oh, yeah. Dumbass. That’s it.

Well, at least many people have stopped denying that the phenomenon of global warming is real. However, the lame excuses about why it doesn’t matter are even more bizarre than the rationale for the non-existence of global warming. And boy, if someone can get in a shot about Al Gore, or even two, then that REALLY proves their point!

I swear, if Al Gore and a bunch of liberals ran in to one of these people’s house, yelling at them that they need to get out because their house was on fire, they would sit there in their jammies, arguing with them and pointing out that Al Gore is fat.

You know, I am beginning to doubt evolution. Strict Darwinism should mean that all these idiots died out long ago.

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