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Andrew Wetzler

Posted February 20, 2010

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Trying to engage with climate skeptics is kind of like being thrown into a cafeteria food fight: lots of noise, frenetic activity, and juvenile behavior.  Today’s National Review Online serves up a classic example.  Citing a Washington Post article about a study of tree growth, John Miller writes:

But What's It Doing To the Ents? 

Global warming is responsible for the tree-trunk obesity epidemic:

“Parker's data, which showed the trunks gradually fattening over time, indicated that many of the trees were growing two to four times faster than expected. That raised questions about climate change's impact on the age-old rhythms of U.S. forests.”

It's also behind the tree-trunk emaciation dilemma:

“In the tropics, however, some studies have seemed to show trees growing more slowly: It might now be too hot for some trees there.”

All in the same article!

That’s it.  There is, of course, absolutely nothing inconsistent with the two statements Miller pokes fun at.  So what’s his point? Mostly, to take something that seems inconsistent (but isn’t) and present it, without ever explicitly saying so, as a reason to doubt the reality of climate change.

Greg Pollowitz at NRO’s Planet Gore is a perennial offender.  Here he is last week:

More Tragic News for Polar Bears 

Watts Up With That:  Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent Second Highest on Record

Poor little critters are probably suffocating in their dens, what with all this global-warming-induced snow.

All of these comments are, I suppose, meant to be funny, or at least clever. Yet, as Pollowtiz should know, snow fall has precious little to do with polar bear survival.  It’s sea ice extent that matters.  And when it comes to sea ice, the picture is pretty grim.  Ha ha.

Animal House Food Fight from Food Fight App on Vimeo.

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Terry HarrisFeb 20 2010 02:31 PM

Apologies to H.L. Mencken if I don't get the quote exactly right, but: "Never argue with idiots. They bring you down to their level and beat you with their experience."

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