Saturday, July 5, 2008
Penn Jillette Doesn't Know About The Weather
The earth is dying and we're killing it. Any reasonable person knows this.
Never mind that scientists can't make an accurate 24-hour weather forecast.
Never mind that anyone who saw the 2000 presidential debates knows that Al Gore is bat-shit crazy.
The logical path is laid out for us, and if we don't follow that path, then we're all gonna die!
At the most recent skeptics convention hosted by The Amazing Randi, Penn Jillette was asked about global warming--to which he replied: "I don't know". It took him about a thousand words to say "I don't know". If you've ever seen his act then you know a thousand words is conservative for Jillette. His normally silent partner's response was maybe five hundred words.
Penn & Teller are among America's greatest thinkers. I say this because I agree with them about half the time. They have a great program on television called "Bullshit" where they expand on just how insane and illogical most of us are.
After the skeptics conference, Newsweek's Sharon Begley wrote an article dismissing Jillette's comments on climate change (in her best Post hoc ergo propter hoc manner) because he dislikes Al Gore. You can read her article here.
In his reply to Begley, Jillette was again terse (only about a thousand words).
The deal is: we don't know as much as we think we know about climate change. We suspect many things, and a lot of them may be accurate, but a lot of it we just can't posit as a scientific fact yet.
Jillette's response was reasonable. He doesn't know. I don't know either. Begley is pretty sure she knows but she doesn't. As a race, we will do our best to rectify the climate change problem, but that doesn't mean we should be sanctimonious about it all, because quite frankly, we don't know.