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

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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.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we\'d certainly appreciate it.

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.

16 Comments

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  • 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? Immigration? The Iran deal? Unpopular as it is, gun control may be as good as they’ve got.”-John Hinderaker.

    • Democrats are obsessed with guns? I’d argue that the people who rush out to buy another gun every time Obama sneezes might have a deeper level of obsession. Or the people who post photos of legislators surrounded by bullets.

      The reasons I care about guns is pretty simple. One is that the will of the people is being ignored by reactionaries in Congress. The other is a death toll unlike anywhere in the rest of the world.

      • Tonight we will have an empty chair symbolizing the victims of gun violence. Lately Hillary has been proposing even stricter legislation than Obama’s EO’s on her campaign trail. Nationally, there is an obsession.

        I wonder if the people being polled were aware that in 2010 there was 80,000 prohibited people who committed a felony in the process of buying a gun. Just 44 of the 80,000 were prosecuted for it. Knowing that would Americans expand this failed system? I doubt it.

        • You should probably cite Wayne when you quote him.

          So let’s enforce the laws. I wonder who would start hollering about TYRANNY when the people who try to buy guns are arrested?

          • You’re thinking I didn’t consider quoting Wayne verbatim? Doesn’t change the facts tho, does it?

            We’ve gone around on this one before, would you support stop and frisk in high crime areas were illegal ownership of guns is common?

            • Don’t fret Don, I’ll answer.

              Based on our pervious conversation you wouldn’t approve intruding on people’s freedoms in high crime areas even when the results lessens crimes and finds illegal guns.

              And yet your (and others) priorities are “stopping and frisking” legal gun owners with governmental forms and approval when it comes to private sales and gifts to relatives.

              Which in the end enforces the notion that this is not about reducing crime. Is it Don?

  • 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 do it.

    I started compiling a list of climate predictions that have failed to come true, and there are many. When I googled it up, I started with this article from The Daily Caller that makes a lot odf sense;

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/04/25-years-of-predicting-the-global-warming-tipping-point/

    • You’re probably right. Why would I trust 97% of the world’s climatologists when I have your insight to rely on? Or the good people at the Daily Caller?

      Scientists. What do they know?

          • Sounds like a challenge.

            Science and Environmental Policy Project:

            “Based US government reports, SEPP calculated that from Fiscal Year (FY) 1993 to FY 2013 total US expenditures on climate change amount to more than $165 Billion. More than $35 Billion is identified as climate science. The White House reported that in FY 2013 the US spent $22.5 Billion on climate change. About $2 Billion went to US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The principal function of the USGCRP is to provide to Congress a National Climate Assessment (NCA). The latest report uses global climate models, which are not validated, therefor speculative, to speculate about regional influences from global warming.

            Much of the remaining 89% of funding goes to goes to government agencies and industries claiming they are preventing global warming/climate change, even though they do not understand the natural causes of climate change and, likely, far overestimate the influence of CO2. These entities have a vested interest in promoting the fear of global warming/climate change.
            It is time for the government to stop funding irrational fear of global warming/climate change based on a concept of climate that is not substantiated by the physical evidence. If we are to progress in our understanding of climate change, the paradigm must be changed from one that earth’s temperatures are largely controlled by atmospheric CO2, to one which recognizes that climate change is normal and predominately natural. Human CO2 emissions have little, if any, influence on temperatures and other climate trends.”-SEPP

  • 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 single amicus brief was filed on his behalf, not one. He claims he’s “taking a stand for science”, but evidently science is disinclined to take a stand for him.”

    Here the whole post if your interested. http://www.steynonline.com/6910/mann-vs-steyn-the-state-of-play

    • 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 reading.

      — Mark Steyn

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