Time for some more insult-throwing. And Morgan Griffith is a deserving recipient of just about any insult you might care to throw. As the youtube video is so correctly titled: Climate Zombie Morgan Griffith: Vikings, Mars, And Global Cooling (uploaded by climatebrad, which leads off to the Wonkroom). And indeed, there he is, brain entirely dead, reading out a list of “questions” he has been supplied by some lobbyist, all of which have been answered long ago.

The bit I like is at about 2:00 in, where he says that when he was taught in high school, his text book told him that increasing GHG’s was going to lead to a new ice age. Has he got a ref for this? Is it true? Very dubious. Even if it was true, would it be of the slightest relevance? No.

Just to prove that he is a real idiot, he goes on to talk about global warming on Mars. I only wish our politicians were competent, so I could pour scorn on you colonial types in general for electing such fools.

Refs

* The Climate Zombie Caucus Of The 112th Congress
* tossers on site:http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/

Comments

  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    2011/05/11

    > Virginia

    The 21st Century power system plan for Virginia.

    1) Set Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave
    2) ????
    3) Power!

  2. #2 Rattus Norvegicus
    2011/05/11

    Hey, Sommerville cited your paper!

    [Clearly a man o discernment -W]

  3. #3 Elf Eye
    2011/05/11

    I live in the 9th Congressional District. In November, the voters, in a fit of tea party petulance, threw out a longstanding and effective representative and replaced him with Griffith, who lived in another district, except for a strip of yard that fell in the 9th District. This guy is not just a carpetbagger; he’s a rolling suitcase.

  4. #4 Same Ordinary Fool
    2011/05/11

    Kudos to skepticalscience.com for their 161 Arguments that debunk individual denier arguments.

    But it was always inevitable that some day deniers would look to this same list, for suggestions on how to contest AGW to their own audiences.

  5. #5 Paul Kelly
    2011/05/11

    It would be interesting to see what written responses were made by the panel’s scientists. Griffith says he is a thinking skeptic seeking accurate information.

    [You mean he isn't prepared to admit what he is, which is to say a lying toad? Griffith is not a thinking skeptic. He is an undead zombie parroting material he barely understands. If he were actually interested in answers to his questions, he (or one of his staffers) could find them trivially on the web -W]

    His questions may have been answered long ago, but apparently not to this Congressional committee or in a way that the answers have become common knowledge.

    [Twaddle. Have you not been paying attention? All his questions (or at least, those that I had the patience to listen to; they were so silly I got bored early) have answers that are trivially available. I'm all for extending help to people genuinely in search of information, but Griffith is not in this category -W]

    That the opportunity to provide the answers arises here should please those who would promulgate the science.

    His questions sounded more kitchen table than lobbyist written. Hasn’t the march of civilization occurred mostly during warming periods? Is there an ideal global temperature? Does the discovery of forest and settlement beneath the melting Greenland glaciers have an impact on how dangerous the melting might be?

    [Oh good grief. Why are you recycling this nonsense? "Is there an ideal temperature"? No of course there isn't. Have you really never run across this question before? I'm not-really-sorry if I sound impatient here: no-one should have any patience for people spouting nonsense like Griffith -W]

  6. #6 greenfyre
    2011/05/11

    Yup, “empty headed animal food trough wiper” pretty much captures it.

  7. #7 Mike G
    2011/05/11

    Ah yes, my family and I often have unprompted dinnertime discussions of “the great optimum” in Mesopotamia. You’re really suggesting that he’s intelligent enough to formulate questions about subjects as specific as temperatures in ancient Mesopotamia and on Mars, but he doesn’t know how to spend the 2 minutes (being generous) on Google that it would take to find the answers to his questions?

  8. #8 herky stubby
    2011/05/11

    Mike G. Hhahaha. Funny.

  9. #9 Rob Dekker
    2011/05/12

    What’s up with these guys in Virginia ?
    First we had Cuccinelli, who attempted to obtain Michael Mann’s email box from the past 10 years via the court system. That was a waste of tax payer’s money, and did not go anywhere. Now we have this idiot Griffith parroting Marc Morano / James Delingpole propaganda as if he has never read a single scientific paper on climate change.

    Is Virginia going back to the middle ages, when belief systems overruled reason and rational thought ?

  10. #10 Martin Vermeer
    2011/05/12

    Mike G yes, my wife is positively bored with me bringing up the Mesopotamian Optimum at any occasion suitable and unsuitable, and mortified if I do it before guests… I really should seek counseling.

  11. #11 toby
    2011/05/12

    Paul Kelly

    “forests and settlement discovered beneath the melting Greenland glaciers”

    Well, Jesus Christ Almighty.

    Monckton used to claim Viking graves in the permafrost (made-up), but this is new.

    A reference, please.

  12. #12 stripey_cat
    2011/05/12

    There’s an awful lot of misunderstanding about Norse settlement in Greenland. For starters, the first major excavation was in the 1920s, so hardly evidence for modern glacial retreat. Also, the settlement sites are all on the coastal margin in the southwest, so glaciation isn’t an issue (and if you want to argue that there may be more habitation under the ice, you’re going to look stupid: period sources mention the icecap, and also give a total population at one point of 300 households and 16 churches – we’ve found about 600 domestic buildings and 20-odd ecclesiastic sites, which allowing for settlements shifting over time seems quite plausible). Note that this is not an enormous population density: probably no more than four figures total at any point, supported by very labour-intensive subsistence farming and (later on) hunting over a large area of land.

    As for why the population failed, it’s complicated. Pollen analyses show deforestation (well, de-scrubbing – it’s mostly birch IIRC) picking up well before the Little Ice Age got going. Surviving arctic winters without fuel will have been fun. There seemed to be an abandonment of arable farming too (possibly due to soil erosion – the plant communities suggest a degraded environment), and a shift to goats and sheep over cattle and pigs, which will have had further (bad) effects on the plant community. Later on, as the climate cools noticeably, you start to see reindeer turning up in middens, and skeletons show far more sea-food in the diet (and widespread malnutrition). At the same time, the Thule-culture Inuit were spreading down the coast: later folk-tales tell of raiding in both directions. When temperate-climate farmers and arctic-hunting specialists clash hunting in the Arctic, it’s pretty obvious who’ll win. Interestingly, at the time of the Danish early-modern missions, there were Inuit stories of European raids on the Norse settlements too. There were also political changes going on in Europe that affected the trade-patterns and increased the isolation (the last known contacts are all ships blown off course, rather than deliberate contact). Climate change is going to have been a factor too, in making any attempt to reintroduce timber that much harder, and in shortening the growing season for pasture as well as for arable crops, but it wasn’t the be-all-and-end-all: the settlements were already in a lot of trouble when it hit.

    (Disclaimer: I’m not a medieval Norse specialist, and I really only know about this incidentally to my hobby-interest in medieval textiles – if I’m wrong or oversimplifying, I’d love to know.)

  13. #13 dhogaza
    2011/05/12

    “forests and settlement discovered beneath the melting Greenland glaciers”

    Well, Jesus Christ Almighty.

    Monckton used to claim Viking graves in the permafrost (made-up), but this is new.

    A reference, please.

    It’s rather hard to square with denialist claims that glaciers in Greenland aren’t melting, ain’t it? :)

    Paul Kelley needs to adopt a more skeptical mindset …

  14. #14 Steve Bloom
    2011/05/12

    [Ahem. Avoid commenting on other commentators, please -W]

  15. #15 Steve Bloom
    2011/05/12

    Drat, should’ve waited until past your bedtime. :) But I suppose he already got spanked hard enough.

    Actually it would be an interesting project to trace the exact provenance of some of these things. IIRC Oreskes and Conway didn’t quite do that in their book.

    An aspect of the global cooling meme that I find especially interesting is the commonly-coupled claim that it’s a matter of personal memory. Of course that’s just an escalation to make it a matter of challenging their personal integrity, but taken on its own terms it’s kind of amusing since these are not the sort of people one would normally imagine to have been paying close attention in science class.

  16. #16 Paul Kelly
    2011/05/13

    Wanted to get back here sooner; have been busy moving my computer onto the kitchen table. My previous comment was not to endorse Grffith, but to offer an alternative to the lying, brain dead, lobbyist’s puppet description.

    He says he spends a lot of time thinking about it. Why not just take him at his word even if his thinking is wrong? After all, studies show that sceptic/deniers rate themselves well informed on climate issues. Those that think the kinds of questions Griffith asked don’t come up in regular folk’s conversations need to get out more.

    I think this also reflects on the larger issues of the effectiveness of climate communication and the information deficit model.

  17. #17 Mike G
    2011/05/13

    Why not take him at his word? Because his word is implausible. He’s not saying general things like “it was warmer in the past” or “other planets are warming”- things he might have remembered from casual conversations. His questions include very specific claims such as a climate optimum leading to the rise of Mesopotamian culture and that temperature will increase by 0.5 degrees by 2020 due to sunspots. He even indicates that he read these things in a NASA report, National Geographic, and some unspecified paper. That level of specificity indicates that he is either completely ignorant of what he’s asking about and has been fed the questions by someone else or that he has read these claims somewhere and accepted them at face value rather than making any attempt to find answers to his questions. The specificity of his claims also makes them that much more easy to look up the answers to if he was really interesting in finding them. If these questions were really keeping him up at night as he claims, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t taken the minimal effort it would take to find the answers so that he can sleep soundly.

    For example, if you type the question “how warm was the great optimum of Mesopotamia?” into Google, the first result you get is a transcript of Griffith’s question. The very next result is a Wikipedia article on ancient Sumer, which discusses the rise of Mesopotamian culture in the Holocene Climate Optimum. The relevant part even shows up in the summary for that search result! If you click on the words “Holocene Climate Optimum” in that article, it links you to another Wikipedia entry, which tells how warm the HCO was relative to today and how much warming occurred. Question answered with 1 Google search, 2 links, and 0 lost sleep.