Be careful today and tonight, billions may die

Be careful today and tonight, billions may die” (2011-12-31). Anthony Watts makes a fart joke! Somehow a rather sensational 2007 article about methane clathrates, on a left-wing political website called The Canadian, has exposed all those climate scientists as lily-livered Chicken Little worrywarts. The article said 4.5 billion people would could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012, and they didn’t! Well, not yet. Hah! Thus ending Global Warming once and for all.

Then Anthony makes the witty fart joke:

If it happens, it will be the gaia fart heard round the world.

What’s actually funny is that “pesky” methane clathrates have been a legitimate scientific concern for years (see Real Climate in 2005, 2010, and 2012 and the IPCC website) but the denialist response has largely been to try to dismiss it with witty fart jokes.

If the Arctic clathrates did outgas abruptly I don’t think it would be comparable to a harmless frat house prank as Anthony tries to imply. I predict that Anthony, dripping with empathy, would offer up “My bad! I never dreamed this could really happen” and switch to arguing about how the secret world government controls survival shelter funding.

Update on Jan 8th, 2012: More RealClimate wild methane alarmism on January 7th! Read this with denialist disgust:

But the methane worst case does not suddenly spell the extinction of human life on Earth. It does not lead to a runaway greenhouse. The worst-case methane scenario stands comparable to what CO2 can do. What CO2 will do, under business-as-usual, not in a wild blow-the-doors-off unpleasant surprise, but just in the absence of any pleasant surprises (like emission controls). At worst comparable to CO2 except that CO2 lasts essentially forever.

12 thoughts on “Be careful today and tonight, billions may die

  1. Good post but should that read; “on a RIGHT-wing political website called The Canadian”?

    [As best as I can make out The Canadian is a weird mishmash of left-wing politics, conspiracy theories, and extraterrestrials. And this is what Anthony pretends represents mainstream media! – Ben]

    • Yes I think you may be right. I apologise. More articles about ‘Green Scams’ tend to be form the Conservative side but the one I have found at The Canadian actually suggests a scam to allow business to continue polluting.

  2. Since the begining of time, all the climate has ever done has changed. Now we’re going to attempt to prevent climate change.

    How come then the conversation seems to focus soley on CO2, a trace element in the atmoshphere. Water vapor is a huge component of the atmosphere but I guess it wouldn’t be any fun to bash water vapor. Too tough to link it to human activity. Can’t bash big auto and big industry with water vapor.
    How come solar activity and the “wobble” of the earth on it’s access aren’t part of the conversation.
    If most people understood what a miniscule part of the atmoshpere is comprised of CO2, the game would be up for the global warming lemmings.
    How could it be that “the debate is over” as proclaimed by Al Gore? There are actually scientists willing and anxious to debate the subject with Al Gore, but Al is a no show. Only appears in front of global warming friendly crowds.
    What about the Oregon Petition Project which opposes the Kyoto protocal and debunks the notion of “scientific concesus” on the subject of global warming? The petition has over 30,000 signatories including over 9,000 PHD’s. Seems like they are willing to debate global warming. Have you contacted them? By the way, when exactly did “consensus” replace “truth” as the goal of science. And since when does true science squelch dissenting opinion?

    Just curious.

    [Are you playing a drinking game? That’s got to be a contender for the most stupid debunked denialist talking points in a single comment. You even touted the Oregon Petition! That’s so cute. – Ben]

    • “If most people understood what a miniscule part of the atmoshpere is comprised of CO2, the game would be up for the global warming lemmings.”

      While you’re making that argument, consider what a “miniscule” dose of mercury or arsenic can do to your health if ingested into your body on a regular basis.

      • But CO2 is plant food, it is not a toxic chemical. The fact is that the previous IPCC predictions of Global Warming have *not* occurred. But now you want us to have faith in the latest set of predictions… and when they don’t come to fruition? Well, then you will ask us to have faith in the next set of predictions. Look, the whole thing is daft. Really, really, daft.

        [“Plant food”? You actually tried the “plant food” line with a straight face? Oh, that’s rich. Writing the IPCC as “daft” is equally amusing. – Ben]

    • They say a picture is worth a thousand words!! Warming_Indicators_1024.jpg

      “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” Abraham Lincoln

      • Wow – the earth is warming. Who knew? (Other than the geology professor at the major Canadian university I attended in the 80’s who claimed that where I sit was under 2 km of ice just a few years ago (in geologic time scale at least)

        Did you have that professor Ben?

        Oh wait – it was my grade 5 teacher who mentioned it first.

        [Yes, yes; Grade 5 is when the denialist intellect peaks. It sounds like you’re trying to imply that ALL climate change has to be man-made if Global Warming is true. Only people trying to misrepresent science try that argument. – Ben]

    • GWISAJOKE,

      Your objections have of course all been previously addressed at skepticalscience.com in its list of Skeptic Arguments.
      The numbers shown are from the (non-changing) ‘Fixed Number‘ listing.

      To go beyond the Basic level article, look for an ‘Intermediate’ tab.

      changed: #2 “Climate’s changed before”

      water vapor: #24 “Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas”

      solar activity: #1 “It’s the sun”

      wobble: #136 “It’s a natural cycle” (and ‘Milankavitch cycles’, Wikipedia)

      miniscule parts: #127 “CO2 is just a trace gas”

      debate is over: #73 “The science isn’t settled”

      Oregon Petition Project: #94 “Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project”

      consensus: #3 “There is no consensus” (also #81 and #108)

      [Thanks SOF! I debated pulling some Skeptical Science links together too. – Ben]

      • Wow, SkepticalScience, that unbiased, independent, peer-reviewed, high-quality science site has debunked the argument. We can all sleep easy now!

        [Skeptical Science has exposed the deceit, but the bald-faced denialists simply hope no-one notices. – Ben]

  3. Inquiring minds want to know what Anthony thinks of current articles from the same site.

    “NATO, Russia, China pursue World War to solve Financial Crisis”
    ___Posted by Lyndon Larouche

    “UFO sighting caught on NASA video”
    ___”…I estimate that if you watch the (NASA live cam on the International Space System) for 24 hours, you will catch 1-3 UFOs per 3 hour period.”

    “Fukushima to Elin Cube: Extraterristial War of 1930’s masked Time Travel for Religious Prophecy”
    ___”…Mr. Collier is a self-described contactee of Ethical Extraterrestials. He indicates that based on his contactee insights, Manipulative Extraterrestials invaded earth in the 1930’s.”

  4. Everything about Anthony Watts, his blog and his adoring fan club, screams ‘fringe’.

    [Don’t forget “resentful” and “angry”. – Ben]

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