Coal Miner's Laughter

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Memo to Brandon Smith and cohorts: MOVE TO THE COASTS.

So, recently, the Heartland Institute held a conference for "climate skeptics", because "greedy idiots who will doom us all" would have been too on-the-nose. I presume they had a conference for the reason most people have conferences - to grant their bullshit legitimacy by putting it on heavy stock agendas and saying it from behind podiums with wireless microphones.

Anyway, at this conference, a new, or at least new to me, rationale for denying climate change was put forth. I'm not sure why they need more, when they can just stick their fingers in their ears and shout LA LA LA LA SUNSPOTS BENGHAZI LA LA LA all day long, but what the hell. It's not like they'd spend that time learning things.

This new theory was put forth by Kentucky state senator and coal miner Brandon Smith, who, in accordance with the rules governing all climate-change-denying-theories, got it spectacularly wrong in a way that's easy for other people who don't know shit about shit to repeat. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I don't want to get into the debate about climate change. But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I'm aware of."

What's great about this is that the only thing he gets right is the only thing he hedges his bets on - there are no factories on Mars. Everything else is spectacularly wrong, starting with the fact that he does want to get into the debate about climate change, that's why he's speaking at a conference of climate change skeptics. If he were there just because they got Subway to cater it, you'd be at the back table scarfing down cheap sandwiches, not running your mouth about the red planet.

Also, he's not in academia. He's in the two things farthest removed from it - coal mining and state legislating. And of course, Mars and Earth aren't the same temperature, they're not the same average temperature, and even if they were it wouldn't mean a damn thing because it's the change in average temperature that matters. Which, of course, is what his spokesman said he meant all along.

"The reference to Mars and Earth was to point out that both their temperatures are experiencing change. He simply left out the word change.”

Let's pretend that's true. That we somehow have centuries of climate data on Mars the way we do here, and that right now, the change in temperature on Mars is the same as it is here. That doesn't mean shit. What little atmosphere Mars has is almost entirely carbon dioxide. So, you know, pick one of the dozen ways this fails to jibe with what you said, dickweed.

I've said it before, but if climate change deniers want me to take them seriously, they have to do two things. First, prove the courage of your denial convictions by finding a place that we say is gonna be underwater first, and build a house there and live there. And second, prove the courage of your libertarian convictions by pledging to refuse all government help once you're treading water in your attic.

Until then, nobody's allowed to believe you.

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