Quick Takes: Climate Change Nonsense in the Tribune, More Sleaze from the NRA


Among the most frustrating strategies used by those who question the science of climate change is folksy wisdom about the limits of human understanding. Today in the Great Falls Tribune, conservative columnist Gregg Smith argues that we shouldn’t implement solutions to climate change today because our little human brains and computers just can’t be sure. Referencing a story from fiction author Michael Chrichton, who said people in 1900 would have assumed more pollution meant horse manure, Smith writes:

Yet climate change enthusiasts, based on their computer models, predict impending disaster 100 years hence. Do we, in the year 2015, think we really have a greater understanding of what the year 2100 will hold than the horse-and-buggy set knew about the year 2000?

That may not be manure, but it sure is bullshit. As has often been repeated to no avail to the anti-science crowd, 97% of the studies on climate change in peer-reviewed scientific journals that take a position on the issue say human activity is at the center of climate change. And we don’t need to wait until 2100 to see the impacts. We’re already seeing growing seasons change, islands begin to sink into the sea, and animal life become more endangered.

If the Tribune is willing to print non-scientific, unresearched claims about climate change, what’s to prevent them from printing an opinion piece questioning the efficacy of vaccines? After all, some people say they don’t work—and do actual damage. Maybe next fall, just as kids are heading back into class, would be a nice time for it.

While we’re on the subject of irrational behavior, let’s turn to the NRA, which continues to flirt with becoming a terrorist organization. Upset that two members of New York Legislature had the gall to propose legislation in their state, the NRA posted an image of the photographs of the two women on a table beside four bullets.

One can’t expect anything approaching reason or decency from an organization that holds gun shows and political rallies in communities shortly after mass shootings, but this seems to cross a new line. It’s really difficult to keep track of all the gun killings in the US, but surely someone at the NRA remembers the shooting in Arizona that wounded Congresswoman Gabby Gifford and killed six. They remembered it in March when they mocked the Congresswomen when she testified before Congress, after all.

When I think of the gun owners I know—and living here in Montana I know a lot of them—I have a hard time imagining that most of them want to be represented by an organization as despicable as the NRA. It would certainly improve the political discourse in this country about guns if more of them have their money to organizations other than this one.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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Big Swede
Big Swede

Always ask the question, “Why”? “I can think of only two explanations for the Democrats’ gun obsession. The first is that they perceive a danger of losing their base, and therefore are pushing an issue that their base believes in, even though it alienates most voters in the middle. If that’s right, it is a sign of desperation. The second is that their agenda is so exhausted that they literally can’t think of anything better to talk about. I think that might be it: what are Obama and Clinton going to give speeches about to fire up the troops, Obamacare?… Read more »


Pogie, given your Democrat-colored-lenses, through which you see all things, I will ask you a simple question. The last Ice Age started about 110,000 years ago, and ended 12,000 years ago. At one time, there was ice a mile thick over the Great Lakes. The question is; What ended the last Ice Age? And the answer is; Global Warming. It wasn’t the exhaust from my pickup that warmed the Earth, nor Al Gore’s private jet, it was unstoppable global warming. I can say with some certainty that man didn’t cause the ice to melt. The campfires in ancient Mesopotamia didn’t… Read more »

Big Swede
Big Swede

You’re terribly naive Don. You’d have to be hidden under some rock not to know about the Hockey Stick Graph. Does “Hide the Decline” ring any bells? Anyway Mark Steyn called him a liar and now they’re embroiled in lawsuit. I find the lack of support from the other 97% interesting. From Steyn’s blog months ago. “Oh, well. For all that, I’ve never felt more optimistic about how this case is going. If there is a “97 per cent consensus” on the science, all 97 per cent decided to steer well clear of Michael E Mann: Last fall, not a… Read more »

Big Swede
Big Swede

More Steyn. Meanwhile, Mann himself is now saying the satellite temperature record (which just whirrs away in space “unadjusted” ) is, like, totally unreliable. As Josh points out in the cartoon above, if you want a reliable temperature record, Mann’s method is to use a single tree in Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula that can tell you the precise temperature for the northern hemisphere – for New York, London, Cairo, Moscow, Beijing, the works – for an entire quarter-century at a time. Only deniers use mumbo-jumbo like “satellites”; a real scientist simply rubs his magic tree until it produces the desired treemometer… Read more »

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