Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Curriculum Vitae

Hello? University of Minnesota? Remember me?

Of course you don't. Allow me to tell you a little about myself.

I graduated from your fine institution in 1996. After briefly toying with the idea of going to J School there, I made the correct decision and opted instead for a liberal arts course of study, majoring in Anthropology (with an emphasis in archaeology). I immersed myself in the whole spectrum of liberal arts, taking courses in medieval history, criminology, English linguistics, biology, to name a few. And of course, I enrolled in a generous smattering of courses within my major like Physical Anthro, Cultural Anthro and a host of regional and "method and theory" Archaeology courses. I completed the required coursework to earn a Bachelor of Arts, and you bestowed upon me a sheepskin memorializing that fact.

I should also mention that some of the other courses I took were geology (a/k/a "rocks for jocks," though I doubt any of those jocks got an A in it as I did), oceanography, and my senior thesis topic had to do with the paleoethnobotany and animal husbandry (impressive, huh?) of an obscure prehistoric site in South America.

OK, stop yawning. I'll get to the point.

Those courses in general, and the paleoethnobotany thang in particular, taught me a great deal about historical (and prehistorical) climate change. How the data is gathered from a number of sources, the relative strengths and weaknesses of those sources, how to interpret that data and how to pick out clues of adaptations to the climate from the material culture left behind as found in archaeological excavations.

In other words, I have a certain amount of cred when I talk about such things. Now, I'm not saying that I'm special or anything. There are many who majored in, took more coursework in, or have an advanced degree in atmospheric or earth science who know way way more than I do. I may not be up to their level of understanding, but I do possess a level of cred several degrees above (excuse the pun) your typical lefty douchebag blogger who forms his own opinion on the matter based solely on the uncritical reading of sources coming solely from a single side of the issue to which he is sympathetic, and who simply won't shut up about it. I possess enough cred to be able to point out that some of the evidence offered by the man-made global warming crowd doesn't prove what they think it proves (as is the case with whoever wrote the global warming entry on wikipedia and included this chart.)

On the other hand, there's a guy running around the country who received a BA in Journalism, and dropped out of graduate programs in law and divinity. Knowing what I know about the curriculum for J School and law school, and what I can safely assume about divinity school, I am doubtful that this shmuck has anything approaching the background I have regarding climate science, let alone the thousands who have much much much more. He basically flies around the country shooting more carbon gases into the atmosphere in a day than I do in a year, lectures about the Coming Catastrophe based on nothing more than what he gleans from the most hysterical "scientists" that have his ear and computer models - some of which are already being proved wrong within a geological nanosecond from their conception. Oh yeah, and he starred in a movie which featured an animation of an artist's conception of a polar bear drowning after the ice floe it's standing on melts from underneath him. As if that is "proof" of anything.

And you want to give this jerk an honorary doctorate? He didn't even attend the U of M.

But I did.

So I will humbly accept an honorary doctorate in the name of those who are being compared to Holocaust Deniers because they stubbornly insist on applying actual scientific methods, have a geologically historic (and prehistoric) perspective, and who do not accept computer models prophesying doom as proof.

(Unless you are just doing this to make Al Gore feel better about not having earned as many advanced degrees as I have. If that's the case, I suppose I could let it slide. I can handle it. I'm an adult.)

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