Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 8, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

CAGE MATCH....If you're looking for some amusement today, this is pretty funny. What's sad, on the other hand, is that literally every single person on the comment thread really does appear to believe, like James Inhofe, that global warming is just a gigantic hoax perpetrated by the scientific-industrial complex. Amazing.

Kevin Drum 12:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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On this Easter Sunday, you can find yet more amusement in Tom Delay's admonition to "let people see Christ through me."

Posted by: AngryOne on April 8, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Huh? I tried to read that thread.

It left me as mystified as pantomimes.

I seem to have arrived in the middle of a joke already well in progress.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 8, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Quite a few people can see through DeLay by now, but what they're seeing isn't exactly Christ.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on April 8, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

When we can't even agree on what the facts are, how can we ever agree on matters of opinion? These people are insane. There is truly no hope for humanity...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 8, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, it is a hoax, because all those scientist are getting rich - rich, I tell you! - from trying to warn us we are in big trouble.

Honestly, the mind boggles.

Posted by: craigie on April 8, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'm kind of amazed that global warming has turned into a right vs. left kind of thing. Rush Limbaugh sees it as some sort of commie plot by liberals to make people give up their God given right to drive cars.

When Jonah Goldberg was ranting about Rosie thinking that fire won't melt steel the other day on the Corner, I wrote to him pointing out that he and his NRO buddies were just as bad about ignoring science when it came to Global Warming. He wrote back whining that everyone on the NRO was a firm believer in global warming! Really, what explains "Planet Gore" then Jonah?

Posted by: Teresa on April 8, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

He wrote back? Who knew Jonah could write?

Posted by: craigie on April 8, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sure as fuck can't tell it from his *ahem* columns *ahem* - can ya?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

For those who want a geeky and correct answer to the central point: the six-year-old boy is correct. As measured by amount of energy produced per unit CO2 released into the atmosphere, natural gas is almost twice as efficient as coal. A few commenters at Tim Blair crowd at least mentioned the point, but as pointed out on Deltoid's Scienceblog, they either made a hash out of it or got it backwards.

For more, see Redefining Progress. For the fundamental chemical principles see this tutorial.

Posted by: mindgeek on April 8, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

"a gigantic hoax perpetrated by the scientific-industrial complex"

ding, ding, ding, ding, ding -- Kevin has finally gotten something right. Global warming is a multimillion dollar industry that relies on a false scientific consensus that scientists already understand everything and no longer need money to research the subject. It's all about the nerds getting girls and raking in the dough.

Posted by: Egdert on April 8, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

On Pi Day I Did the Math - it was an indictment of my juvenile-offender of a governor and his out-state pedantic bride who turned her schnoz up at the Governors mansion so he does a 6-Suburban caravan 280 miles a day, but the math and science are no less sound:

First of all, lets talk about what happens when something is combusted. The mass does not go away, it is merely transformed into vapor, and while some chemical bonds are broken, others are created. When something burns, the atoms that are freed from their bonds form new bonds with Oxygen diatoms. This makes for a molecular byproduct (CO2) with heavier molecular weight than the carbon-based fuel.
When Carbon (atomic weight 12) is released from gasoline during combustion, it quickly bonds with two Oxygens, each with an atomic weight of 16. So one molecule of CO2 has a molecular weight of 44 amu., or roughly triple the weight of the petrol.
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry - forgot the mind bending part - one gallon of gasoline, which weighs, on average, 6.25 pounds (temperature affects this), but produces about 20 pounds of CO2.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming is a multimillion dollar industry that relies on a false scientific consensus that scientists already understand everything and no longer need money to research the subject.

Excellent trollery. So the scam is that they are getting millions by claiming they don't need any money? Fantastic!

Posted by: craigie on April 8, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Egdert on April 8, 2007 at 1:24 PM

Parody Alert!

Note the d in the handle.

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

So one molecule of CO2 has a molecular weight of 44 amu., or roughly triple the weight of the petrol.

Global once again falls for that typical liberal bullshit that molecular weight and total mass are interchangeable.

one gallon of gasoline, which weighs, on average, 6.25 pounds

I was wondering how much energy we could get out of a hobo? Say a 200 pound hobo is 70% water. Burning the 30% should yield ~ 80,000 Kilo calories while driving off the water would take about 40,000. Therefore a good sized hobo is equivalent to about one gallon of gas and dry hobo is worth about two. In a modern hybrid one should expect to get about 50 miles per hobo (mph) or 100 miles per dry hobo. The net effect on the global CO2 budget should be neutral. Somebody better check my math.

Posted by: Egdert on April 8, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well that would at least be part of the biological carbon cycle, instead of the geologic - which is where the real difficulty is coming from.

And how very Swiftian! That makes it, like, a double parody, doncha know!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Science (like facts and reality) has a well-known liberal bias...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Good to see that the common sense of the people is still in full force, not allowing them to fall for the gloabal warming hocus pocus.

Here's a quick quiz: What do we breathe out? Answer: CO2! Whoops, I guess we're all polluters. We'll have to kill oursevles.

Such is the logic of your average socialist global warmer lib.

Posted by: egbert on April 8, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Great news! The floodtide of librul cash fueling the Great Global Warming Industry[TM] has been stemmed by

1) A $500 million BP "partnership" with UC which places *their* scientists and employees in the university's research institute.

2) $225 million from an Exxon Mobil consortium to fund Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project.

Put aside any notion that the herds of scientists chasing the big bux that only scientists can command will be distracted from tapping into the energy industry's coffers. The industry can outspend literally anyone. And are.

Posted by: Trollhattan on April 8, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

What do we breathe out? Answer: CO2!

There it is, everybody. The debate is finished. Egbert wins!

Us socialist libs are just gonna have to get to work on our next gigantic hoax.

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yet had he looked two posts north, he would see that I already distinguished the difference between the fairly well balanced biological carbon cycle and the geologic. Proving once more that scrambled egbert is a sniveling douchebag.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

James Inhofe does not believe, and has never stated that global warming is a hoax. This is just an ill-informed partisan blogger pandering to his credulous, intellectually lazy audience.

Inhofe has stated that the stories about *catastrophic* global warming are a hoax. That is a quite different thing, and in that he is correct.

Posted by: am on April 8, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Inhofe has stated that the stories about *catastrophic* global warming are a hoax.

Really? Wonder what the polar bears think of that.

Posted by: craigie on April 8, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

AM asserts: James Inhofe does not believe, and has never stated that global warming is a hoax.

I point to:

Not content with calling the notion of human-caused global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" (as he did in a July 2003 Senate floor speech), last week James Inhofe returned with an "update" on climate-change science. In his latest speech, timed to coincide with the final steps toward implementation of the Kyoto Protocol (which the United States won't be joining), Inhofe asserted that "put simply, man-induced global warming is an article of religious faith." Clearly, he hasn't changed his tune.

Next?

Posted by: fishbane on April 8, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Inhofe has stated that the stories about *catastrophic* global warming are a hoax. That is a quite different thing, and in that he is correct.

That's very slick, am.

Now we can all argue over the meaning of *catastrophic*.

For the next few decades or so.

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Suggest that it may be somewhat more difficult to rouse the mass rabble that global warming is a threat while they're wearing their winter coats for Easter.

Posted by: pencarrow on April 8, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl,
I saw pictures of Baby Guv's wife at the Inaugural Ball, so I know pedantic can't mean snappy dresser. I know zip about fashion but I know hideous when I see it. She looked like she was wearing a tent.

Posted by: FitterDon on April 8, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Pencarrow: climate, weather - not the same thing.

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Err...

Maybe we should tell the mass rabble :)

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Well in fairness, FitterDon, she was pregnant at the time - but that doesn't do much to absolve the hideousness of her attire.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

sked... ...climate, weather - not the same thing.
Err...Maybe we should tell the mass rabble :)

And pls copy the Drudgereport when you tell them as well!!

Posted by: pencarrow on April 8, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

That hobo-burning is probably not fuel-cycle efficient. The energy content of the food that went into the hobo (over time) is much larger than the energy content of the hobo. Another great idea, pooh-poohed by the scientific-industrial complex.

A question, as yet unanswered, popped into my head recently. All this foo-into-ethanol stuff, is intended to produce liquid fuel for our crappy cars. I know that power plants get variously rejiggered to burn coal, or oil, or coal dust, or natural gas. Is it feasible to build a power plant that just burns hay, whether it comes from switchgrass, hemp, or whatever useful weed happens to grow nearby? I've seen a wood-burning home furnace, though I must admit it looks like a bit of a pain to maintain (compared to fuel oil).

Posted by: dr2chase on April 8, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Given the state of my yard, I think research into a dandelion-fueled economy would be worthwhile.

Posted by: biggerbox on April 8, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Some people use a wood burning stove as a space heater in New England.
If a house is made adequately tight, very little heating is necessary. One house had its north side dug into a hill and its south side insulated by an abutting greenhouse. They only needed one cord of wood for a New Hampshire winter.

Posted by: peggy on April 8, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

I am so mystified. What industry has sprung up around global warming to make millions of dollars? If it is such a hoax, why do thousands of scientists buy into it? How many scientists get tons of money for fighting with their governments about the reality of global warming? Isn't it more true that those scientists (shall we say so called?) that toe the pollution industry's line get the megabucks? What industry is there to fund this fight against global warming? Aren't industries, on the contrary, throwing millions of dollars into advertising to cast doubt on global warming?

How do those wingnuts keep getting the podium?

Posted by: Carol on April 8, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

I have believed for a few years now that Republicans are becoming parodies of themselves. This thread provides the perfect example. Someone parodies egbert and writes something completely silly. And then the real Egbert shows up, and he writes something so assinine that the parody seems more thoughtful. Are the Republicans just willfully ignorant, or are they finally getting better drugs than us?

Posted by: fostert on April 8, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

You can use any sort of organic material as a fuel. The problem is that something like hay would not produce a very hot fire without a lot of processing and low temperature fires are not efficient for making electricity. Also, the more handling required or processing a fuel requires the less net energy you get out. This is the blessing (or curse) of oil. It has a much higher energy density than almost any other fuel except uranium.

I can understand why industry is against the concept of global warming. The current winners in the economy stand to lose a lot if we dramatically change how we use energy. Over all it is not so clear. If we drastically change our economy to reduce CO2 and methane generation there will be winners and losers. The winners aren't here yet so they don't have money to lobby for their side.

It is harder to understand why the evangelicals are against the concept of GW. Perhaps they don't like the idea of man being able to modify God's creation. Perhaps their leaders have been bought off. I read somewhere that Dobson sees it as a distraction from the big money makers of abortion and gay marriage.

Posted by: JohnK on April 8, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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