That moment when Pandora interrupts the punk station with an ad for BMWs.
All those Republicans in Congress who tell you that government can't run health insurance?

Have health insurance provided by the government.

(Also, they're all rich)
Articles and blog posts often have comment sections now. Which is a good thing, because it allows and inspires conversation, feedback, and interaction. Those in turn can make people more interested, learn things more, point out flaws, ask questions, etc.

And sometimes it reveals how completely people can miss the point. In this case? Comments I've seen on articles about global warming. One strain of argument I've seen occasionally is "Scientists are wrong sometimes, how do we know they're not now?" Which would be a fair enough question. The poster could learn about the process of science, repeatability, peer review, fake think tanks, astroturf campaigns, and lots of other stuff. Usually, they're not interested in actually finding out how scientists decide what's true, they're trying to discredit science and scientists.

But what makes some of these comments so unintentionally ironic, and reveal the poster's ignorance? I've seen a bunch saying "Yeah, but what about the ozone hole? Science said that'd kill us!" or even "What about how the Y2K bug was supposed to kill us?"

What makes those two in particular really terrible examples for the "global warming's not humans' fault and we can't do anything about it anyway and why should we bother it'd cost too much and China!" crowd?

Because both ozone depletion and the Y2K bug are examples of how reducing CO2 emissions could work. Scientists and engineers identified a problem, and showed how it could hurt us, government and industries took action on a global scale to address it, and it WORKED. Thanks to treaties and monitoring, CFCs were mostly phased out, and are rarely used any more and are fairly well contained. For Y2K, millions of man-hours were invested in checking and fixing code, old programmers were brought out of retirement because nobody else spoke FORTRAN, and after a lot of work, the fixes WORKED.

Y2K and the ozone layer are both examples of how large-scale major changes and fixes can actually work, and even work so well that people can look back and laugh at how scared we were of the problem. I don't think that's the point the "It's not our fault and it's too hard to fix anyway!" crowd quite intends to make.

The Mail

Aug. 12th, 2006 07:34 pm
There is a good bit of irony in getting junk mail from environmental groups.



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