Friday, January 29, 2010

Global Warming 101

I did some substitute teaching today. The subject? Global warming (freshman biology). Today, my impressionable young students were forced to watch the NOVA special "Dimming the Sun", a particularly devious addition to the global warming orthodoxy. Filled with the usual ominous voice-overs, foreboding music and visuals of melting icebergs and hurricanes, the program begins by pointing to falling evaporation rates. Does this mean we will be treated to an informed discussion of the cyclical nature of solar activity and its effect on climate? Of course not. Instead, we are told, "the culprit had to be somewhere here on Earth."

It's such a mystery, you see, because we would expect temperatures to be going down instead of up in the past ten years. No kidding. I think I've got that one solved already (CRU email scandal perhaps?). According to this program the 1984 Ethiopian famine was the result of Western pollution altering rainfall patterns over Africa. I'm pretty sure it's a bit more complicated than that. Finally, the good folks at NOVA end up with a down-right apocalyptic interview with the famed (and corrupt) James Hansen of NASA. He claims that global dimming is masking the irrefutably-proven effects of global warming and warns that, if we foolishly continue to decrease pollution, we will unleash super-warming to the tune of +18ºF, killing all the trees on the planet. I'm not making this up.

I had to show it again for my last bell. I put it on and then let them talk and socialize. You're welcome, concerned parents.


Anonymous said...

"Teachers |" ) explains how teachers are made. Your post especially reminded me of steps 9 and 10:

"9. The students (when they show up) are high, and ignore any pathetic attempts by you at meaningful dialogue.

10. You resign yourself to your role as a glorified babysitter to drunks, stoners, jocks, sluts, gangstas, and emo kids."

Philip said...

As usual, Cracked is surprisingly accurate. :)