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.

3 comments:

Sandi said...

Have you ever studied this man's work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Wallace_Smith_Broecker

It's fascinating. And what this article doesn't tell you is that he recently created a "carbon catcher," a fan that converts CO2 to slow the effects of global warming.

Not that any of us REALLY knows whether we're destroying our planet. But still, it's compelling research, by a brilliant man.

(I put an extra return in that link so you could cut and paste it into your browser ... Still learning how to embed links in the comments)

A. Boyd C. said...

I did see that! It was in the Boing Boing Blog a couple weeks ago. If not a fix for the global problem, a machine like that could make a really big difference for "smog locked" cities like L.A. or Hong Kong.

I also have to wonder if a device like this couldn't be combined with windmill farms so that it produces energy as it cleans.

Deanna said...

Could you let Al Gore know? He thinks he knows!