There are some great moments inAn Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's slide show about global warming. There are even some moments where you won't feel like killing yourself. (Those would be the moments when we're not hearing about new tropical diseases flourishing because mosquitoes are invading human populations that settled at high elevations that were previously too cold for the little bloodsuckers, the flooding of Florida and Singapore and a whole lot of India, the carbon they can measure for hundreds of thousands of years in the past not being "cyclical," as the scientists in DanaRohrabacher's office are so fond of saying, but off any kind of conceivable chart, the US suing California for mandating that auto makers up their mileage standards when even China's cars get 45 mpg, and the loss of Lake Chad, Glacier National Park and Kilimanjaro.)
But one of the funniest—and yes, Al Gore is funny, and yes, he's intentionally so—is when Al Gore talks about a study of global warming studies. Doing an analysis of peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change that have been published in the past decade, Gore finds that of 924, fully zero percent question the fact of global warming. But when you look at newspaper articles on climate change? The percent that casts doubt on global warming is a mighty 53. Oh, the mainstream media is hilarious.
Welcome, my friends, to the Wonderland that is The Orange County Register,where sometimes they believe six impossible things before breakfast. But if it's peer-reviewed by people with letters after their names, then it's so much academic hoohah.
Take F. Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel Prize-winning UC Irvine professor of chemistry who writes papers with titles like "Stratospheric Sink for Chlorofluoromethanes: Chlorine Atomic Catalyzed Destruction of Ozone." Now, when he says that CFCs lead to depletion of the ozone layer, the Register can't really outscience him, right? But they can airily brand him an "alarmist." Which I'm sure is sweet comfort to the kids in Tierra del Fuego who have to walk around in, like, beekeeper suits if they leave the house, lest their skin fall right off their bodies. And when he bitches about climate change?
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"Our conclusion was that the man-made effect was a very important factor in the fact that the temperature is going up," Rowland told my colleague Jim Washburn a few years back, vis--vis a report he'd authored for the Bush White House. "They seemed to appreciate that, and I thought their position was, 'We accept that global warming will occur, and we are going to prepare a response to it.' But their talk about 'uncertainties' spread to being 'maybe there isn't any global warming' or that maybe it was all a natural effect."
So who's The Orange County Register's rebuttal to every scientist in the entire world who isn't actually employed by the oil industry? Not to mention Rowland, one of the world's premier chemists, who says, "Climate change in the next 50 to 100 years is probably going to have a mixture of things that are inconvenient all the way up to catastrophic"?
How about syndicated conservative columnist Mark Steyn? The hip wingers love him because he's "funny," with the pop culture references to Scarlett Johansson and such, and he says scientists used to call global warming "global cooling" because they thought we were on the cusp of another Ice Age. But Mark Steyn's a scientist as much as I am, or as much as Matt Drudge is when he sneered that Gore was giving his presentation on global warming at a time when the East Coast was having a terrible blizzard. And since Steyn clearly hasn't seen the movie: global warming can lead to an Ice Age, in Europe, by diverting the Jet Stream. It's what happened in The Day After Tomorrow, which seemed pretty silly at the time—except actual scientists say that could actually happen in a time frame as small as 10 years.
Steyn's other scientific argument was that being an environmentalist is "explicitly at odds with Christianity. God sent His son to Earth as a man, not as a three-toed tree sloth or an Antarctic krill."
That's true, at least. The Bible says God did give Adam dominion over all the fish and fowl and krill and whatnots. And when I make someone a "steward" of my house like the Bible says God made Adam, I'm hoping to come home and find my cat and dog slaughtered and the house burnt to the ground.
The Register? Here's our favorite muckraker, Upton Sinclair: It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
And Mark Steyn? There's no other explanation: Mark Steyn is a cunt.
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But of course there are so many cunts, and so little time. I was out at Henry's in Garden Grove with JJ from Azteca, playing 87 games of pool and getting licked on each one. The place was a clean little 'billy roadhouse, pretty empty since Garden Grove's 50th anniversary the day before had tuckered everybody out. But the fat girls sitting at the bar who played David Allan Coe on the jukebox? The song with the lyrics, "Trying like the devil to find the Lord/Working like a nigger for my room and board"? You're cunts. Oh, yes. You are. I don't care how red your neck is, it ain't funny, and it ain't cute. I won't be back: I'm afraid you might sit on me.
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Is there anyone I do like this week? Yes! I like the crazy tweaky lady I walked past on Election Night as I made my way to Santa Ana's Performing Arts Pavilion for Tom Umberg's party. (He was unsuccessful in his bid for the 34th Senate District nomination.) "Hey, Lisa!" She yelled at me. "Where you going? Where you going?" When I didn't answer, because my name isn't Lisa? She showered me with a gentle, "You Mexican piece of shit!"
That lady was awesome.
And rock photog Jeanne Rice, who was so late to her own opening at Memphis (showing big, beautiful concert photos of Iggy Pop, Bonoand David Bowie, and some smashing portraits of locals like Lit) that I didn't even get to see her? I like her too, if only because I got to chat with Steve the Drummer from Burnin' Groove for the first time in probably years, and he's still dreamy even though he's married.
And Al Gore? Him? I'm having his baby.
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