Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How to be a Condescending Prick

Lesson 1

The subject: global warming

The players:
Bill Gray: professor at Colorado State University who’s studied tropical meteorology for more than 40 years.

Roger Pielke: Jr., director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado

The scenario:
Bill and Roger both agree that global warming is happening, but Bill has made the mistake of asserting that human beings are not the cause – GASP!

Bill: “I think we’re coming out of the little ice age, and warming is due to changes to ocean circulation patterns due to salinity variations,” Gray said. “I’m sure that’s it.”

Roger: “Bill Gray is a widely respected senior scientist who has a view that is out of step with a lot of his colleagues’,” [Roger] Pielke said. But challenging widely held views is “good for science because it forces people to make their case and advances understanding.”

“We should always listen to the minority,” said Pielke, who spoke from his office in Boulder. “But it’s prudent to take actions that both minimize human effect on the climate and also make ourselves much more resilient.”


Let us look closely at some of the key words and phrases of Roger’s response, what he said and what it really means:

“widely respected senior scientist” – Bill is an old man who is only here because of tenure. Until last semester he insisted the world was flat.

“out of step with a lot of his colleagues” – He’s not one of us. In fact his inferiority is on display every time he opens his mouth. We don’t invite him to happy hour anymore.

"it[challenging widely held views] forces people to make their case and advances understanding.” – It advances our understanding that there are some who refuse to be reeducated and we must do what we can to marginalize them and make sure they are painted as lunatics or crazy old coots.

“We should always listen to the minority,” – Like you do a child, patting them on the head and telling them to run along.

“But it’s prudent to take actions that both minimize human effect on the climate and also make ourselves much more resilient.” – Then laugh at them behind their backs and go about our business writing our grants requests to government so we can stay employed.

Based on his reaction to Bill Gray’s statements Roger Pielke has been named today’s Condescending Prick.

Congratulations to Roger

1 comment:

fawcems said...

I am in total agreement with Bill Gray and I'm astounded that so many "scientists" have been taken in by this "sky is falling" manmade global warming issue. History shows clearly that in prehistoric times, the Earth was much warmer and greener than it is now. History also is clear that we are emerging from an ice age that covered most of North America with glaciers. I suppose pollution and manmade CO2 do play a roll in this warming, but so what? What is the big catastrophe if the Earth gets warmer and greener? Too much food for everyone? lower fuel bills, more leisure time, more clean, fresh water everywhere? What is the harm in this? I submit that it has a lot more to do with people creating something to worry about in order to have high paying jobs than it does with real danger...