s skippy the bush kangaroo: snark, served best cold

skippy the bush kangaroo



Friday, July 30, 2010

snark, served best cold

we wandered across a wonderful blog called the hunting of the snark, in which susan of texas takes on stupidity of the hardly-ever-right, with peculiar emphasis on megan "the sun will come out tomorrow" mcardle.

here susan examines one of megan's many fights w/commentors on megan's atlanticmonthly column, this one specifically about climate change, and how those words don't mean what she thinks they mean:
mcmegan: carbon concentrations in the jurassic were what, 4-5 times higher than they are today? to a first approximation, it was all in the atmosphere.

tinisoli: no, it wasn't.

mcmegan: sorry? is this incorrect? http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v411/n6835...

tinisoli: relevance of that paper?

anirprof: it's not incorrect but it doesn't say what you are claiming.

that co2 concentrations were 5x higher in the past isn't the same as saying that all the carbon currently contained in hydrocarbons in the crust were in the air then.

mcmegan: given that the 100 year projections involve carbon concentrations below 1,000 ppm, the statement that "all the stuff we're burning was in the atmosphere" is correct. was every hydrocarbon in the ground in the atmosphere? probably not. but every hydrocarbon in the ground is not recoverable, so that's not a very interesting question.

tinisoli: why don't you just clarify what you meant and then we'll see if it actually meant what you're nor pretending it did?

mcmegan: i wasn't unclear. you and anirprof decided that i must have meant something else, and proceeded to argue furiously against something i didn't say.

the estimated reserve life of the major oil reserves clocks in at under 150 years. by then, we'll have figured out something else, or the economy will collapse anyway, and we won't need to worry about greenhouse gasses.

anirprof: plus about four other commenters above and below this point who read it the same way, so i wouldn't be so quick to assert there was nothing wrong with the phrasing. given what you say you were trying to communicate, takuansoho's comment below suggests a phrasing that makes a lot more sense than the original.

mcmegan: in my experience, there are a number of issues where people stop reading about halfway through, and start arguing with the opponent in their head. this is one of them.

brian despain: that's one of the best quotes you have ever had megan. this thread is great evidence for that. [teacher's pet.]

downpuppy: and like all megan quotes, makes more sense when you realize it's about megan. nobody is claiming that global warming is a threat to all life on earth, so megan writes a post to say that everybody who claims that global warming will end life on earth is a doodyhead.

by writing it really badly & throwing in some rubbish about co2, she gets 3 more posts to respond to people who haven't noticed that she really hasn't said anything worth reading.

double win!

norman rogers: does the opponent in your head make you set fires and laugh at inappropriate moments?

syz: shorter megan: after my arguments have been thoroughly debunked, i like to switch to ad hominem attacks. also too, zosima is a snot-nosed know-nothing brat and i really should get around to banning him cause he keeps embarrassing me with his mastery of 9th grade math.
oh, snap!
posted by skippy at 12:39 PM |

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