Wow Orac, you found a real winner

Does Tim Slagle strike anyone else as being a crank?

I feel like we should lend Orac a hand. He’s had to deal with the anti-global warming denialism from this guy all on his own. Let’s do a take down of this wise man’s approach to global warming science.

Let’s start with this genius article ” Every Breath You Take”

We have the exaggeration of GW alarmism:

Despite the anticlimactic leaks that have been circulated for the past month or so, I’d like to wager a guess: The Earth is going to warm, the oceans are going to rise, and humanity will be destroyed as plague famine and pestilence sweeps around the globe. Chiefly responsible for this Apocalypse is the United States, and unless our wealth is shared with the rest of the world, this dire scenario is inevitable. Americans will hang their heads in shame and wish they didn’t live in a nation that as no regard for the rest of the world, before they fire up the SUV and take the kids to soccer practice.

Nice, very good. Classic crank response to GW, sounds like DaveScot already. Them we get the very scholarly challenge to the IPCC:

Is it really scientific? The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), one of the founding members of the IPCC actually disputes the report.

Wow, an author dissents! Because, you know, once one person disagrees we can throw the rest of the science out the window, but let’s continue:

The report claims that there will be an increase in hurricane activity, and the WMO states there is no science behind that claim. Who more than weathermen would know that you can’t make an accurate 100 year weather forecast, like these IPCC eggheads claim to do. Heck, most forecasters couldn’t give you an accurate 7 day outlook if their life depended on it. I’m certain that this little point of contention will be completely ignored, as journalists digest the report for us simple folk, and tell us that more storms like Katrina are inevitable.

Ah yes, Slagle is a true crank climate expert as he has made the most elementary and embarrassing mistake in assessing climate science – that is confusing climate and weather. Climate is not weather!

But back to being a crank. I don’t think he did a thorough enough job with the “environmentalists want us to live in quonset huts” attack. Oh wait, here we go:

Meanwhile, the proposed solutions to Global Warming will be completely ignored. The UN, a power hungry gaggle of tyrants and dictators, will ask for the ability to regulate all CO2 emissions. The IPCC is generating fear, hoping that we give up our right to electricity Which means that they would have the power to regulate anything that causes those emissions. Which is essentially everything that humans do. It is astounding to me, that people who accuse President Bush, of using fear to coax Americans into sacrificing their rights, do not recognize that this report, is doing the same thing.

That’s right, the IPCC report tells us to turn off all electricity generation, right now, forever.

What should be noticed, is that if the IPCC gets their way, the Eiffel Tower would probably have to remain dark round the clock. And shut off those elevators. Because the only real solution to CO2 emissions, is to stop burning carbon. Since Carbon is necessary for close to 66% of our current electricity requirements, we would have to cut our electric usage by two thirds. You can forget electric cars.

Actually, forget about going anywhere. Since cars, trucks planes trains and boats all produce CO2. transportation would probably be completely shut down, and any form of travel forbidden. Home-heating, streetlights, and everything that makes America safe and comfortable would come under their scrutiny. Anybody who disputes this, ignores the propensity towards evil, common in dictators and tyrants. Would a tyrant who ordered a segment of his population to be chopped apart with machetes, think twice about banning American clothes dryers?

Oooh, now the IPCC is like the Interahamwe, hacking apart non-environmentalists with machetes. This guy isn’t a hysterical crank at all. Beautiful argument ad hitlerum. I can’t believe Orac didn’t resurrect the Hitler Zombie for it.

But how bad are the environmentalists in Slagle’s mind? They’re so evil they don’t want us to ride bikes, or breathe!

Even a bicycle emits CO2. Gasoline is essentially a carbohydrate, and produces the same amount of CO2 per calorie burned as sugar. Since the laws of thermodynamics are inflexible, riding a bicycle ten miles will produce the same amount of CO2 as driving a light moped. Animals also emit CO2 even when they’re stationary, so if we give the UN the authority to regulate CO2, they then have the authority to regulate our every breath; and eventually the UN will be given authority over population growth.

That’s right, the CO2 produced by riding a bike or breathing is exactly the same as the fossilized CO2 that is freed by burning coal and fossil fuels. And bicycle riding uses the same amount of energy as a moped! Because biological organisms are efficient just like fossil-fuel burning motors! You’ve found a real winner there Orac.

But wait, there’s more. Slagle then attacks Orac for pointing out the horrible holes in his logic in attacking GW, which largely consisted of calling Al Gore fat, and bringing up the tired canard that the IPCC says one thing while Al Gore said another (Orac’s coverage showed the flaw – the IPCC doesn’t use predictions based on loss of ice sheets and says so, very clearly). What is the new evidence from this stunning intellect that GW science is all off, and this stand up comedian has figured it all out? Well, he links some classic denialist sources and repeats a lot of the classic bogeymen of AGW nonsense. Like, “we can’t do anything without China!” or, “regulations will make us all go bankrupt!”. He challenges the fact that paleontological studies of sea level have shown them as much higher when the Greenland and Antarctic sheets weren’t present and suggests it would take some amazing act of god make this happen again, rather than something simple like, say, rising temperatures. You know, the usual crap. But then he makes the mistake of citing a real scientific paper (cited by this article) – and cherry-picking it. He writes:

But according to an article released just last week in Science, DNA samples indicate that Greenland did not melt 125,000 years ago. In fact: “The new discoveries suggest that southern Greenland has been ice-covered for at least four times longer than previously thought.”
And what about Antarctica you say? It’s been getting colder. And the ice is getting thicker.

By the way, anyone want to take a guess where he’s getting all these classic BS arguments and recycling them as his own? These are the classic examples of cherry-picking and basic climate ignorance that are appealing to people who want to believe AGW is false, but don’t really know anything about climate science. Grist has the responses here, and here to the antarctic canards. As far as the science paper, one only has to finish the sentence the moron cherry-picks. It reads in full, “The study also implies that Greenland’s ice sheet did not melt as much as computer models have predicted during a period 125,000 years ago, when Earth’s sea level rose dramatically.” Beautiful example of a cherry pick, and you have to wonder about a guy who thinks that the ice sheets melting is some impossible feat at one moment, and then cites a paper in which they’re finding DNA from organisms under that ice sheet the next!

Now if anyone needs help arguing with a global warming denialist in the future (and if you denialists would like to find an argument we haven’t heard and debunked a thousand times before) I can recommend both Grists and AFTIC’s how to talk to a sceptic. Good starting point for anyone who meets a crank like this, because they have nothing original, and nothing correct to say.

And some advice for Slagle. Cranks aren’t funny, they’re pathetic.


  1. Anonymous

    …if the IPCC gets their way, the Eiffel Tower would probably have to remain dark round the clock.

    ‘Scuse me, mister dimwit. A little gratuitoous France bashing here just shows your ignorance. France gets most of its power frim nuclear energy, so the Eiffel Tower wold remain lit, unless, of course France decided to sell that energy to someone else.

    Even a bicycle emits CO2. Gasoline is essentially a carbohydrate, and produces the same amount of CO2 per calorie burned as sugar.

    Doesn’t this dimwit ever think first? Oh, that’s right, he’s a “comedian” so his mouth runs faster than his brain. The bicycle doesn’t emit anything [except during manufacture], the rider does.
    And burning gasoline produces ~43 kJ/g, while glucose produces ~17 kJ/g, ethanol produces ~27 kJ/g and palmitic acid produces ~37 kJ/g.

  2. If you go to his blog, read his “About me” section. Very amusing. “You haven’t heard of me because the man is keeping me down! I should be famous, dammit!”


  3. Apocalyptic hyperbole is the stock-in-trade of the crank, right alongside partisan screeching and utter, steaming confusion regarding science on the whole.

    I think this guy is actually at least as wacko when it comes to climate change as Slagle, although he’s more a garden-variety dipshit than a crank. It is no small feat to blare on and on as confidently as Gribbit does while consistently reinforcing the fact that he canot perform basic arithmetic. Agnosognosia breeds a queer sort confidence.

  4. Yeah, Slagle is a real gem. A regular intellectual heavyweight. As I read his post I started to think that this guy must be a right winger or libertarian. I checked wikipedia and here’s what it said:

    “Slagle describes himself as right-wing, although the Libertarian Party claims him as their own. His politics seem right in line with the Libertarian platform, and although he occasionally appears at Republican political functions, he has never disowned his affiliation with the Libertarians.”

    Shocker. Not really. The real shocker would be if he didn’t hold these views. Typically right wing scumbag. Good catch Mark.

  5. If you go to the comments section of the “Every Breath You Take” post, you’ll see that I did the real math for the bicycle vs. moped argument to show how wrong his statement was. In Tim’s defense, he did acknowledge his ignorance in that case and said he was wrong. Does admitting you’re wrong lower you slightly on the crank scale?

  6. many of the scientists who the un lists as contributors to the ipcc report have asked to have thier names removed from said report because they don’t agree with it’s findings. some scientists actually refute the ipcc findings. just because someone can think for themselves doesn’t mean there a right winger both the right and the left run on the fear platform. the right is fear of the bad people the left is that we are the bad people we need to fear do some research yourself don’t just look at articles that have authors you agree with look at all of the science and you’ll find that things are changing but the how and for how long are much different than you think start by looking up reid bryson the father of climatology so you can be tought the basics of how the climate works and you’ll find out al gore a polotician is full of hot air and the first step in fighting agw is by keeping his mouth shut

  7. jd,
    name the scientists that have removed their names from the report and then justify that it is “many”.

    Second, learn grammar, I can’t even respond to the rest. It’s incomprehensible.

  8. Slagle’s a liar.

    1. WMO doesn’t dispute the general conclusions of the IPCC report. I”m not aware of WMO confirming them, either, but it may well have.

    2. WMO doesn’t say there’s “no science” behind the suggested warming-hurricane link.

    3. The IPCC doesn’t say warming “will” cause more hurricanes.

    3. WMO DOES say the science behind the warming-hurricane link is inconclusive, very much not the same as “no science.”

    4. The IPCC says more likely than not that warming will cause hurricanes, which is not a statement anywhere near certain nor conclusive.

    5. The IPCC and WMO reports don’t conflict.

    6. I suspect Slagle knows this, assuming he actually read the reports he links to.

    Therefore, Slagle’s a liar.

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