Unplugging the Little Dutch Boy

Posted on June 28, 2012


Climate deniers have a clever plan

I caught Simple Sam, everybody’s favourite crackpot climate change denier, down by the dike the other day.  He was trying to persuade the little Dutch boy to take his finger out and go home.

‘It’s better to bail, and somebody else can do that,’ said Sam, tugging the little Dutch boy’s sleeve.  ‘It’s the latest thing.  Don’t go wasting your time and you precious life opportunities hanging around here by the levee…’

‘I said no such thing,’ says Sam.

Now, Sam, didn’t realize you were here.  Don’t get upset.  It’s a metaphor.  Your contract says I can use them.  I’m just representing what your fellow deniers and climate obfuscators have been saying lately.

‘Why would they say anything as stupid as that?’ asks Sam

I’m glad you agree that it’s stupid, Sam.  But in fact they have been saying it.

ExxonMobile says so.

Bob Carter, an ocean geologist from New Zealand (and a certified expert (?) from the notorious Heartland Institute) said it recently (May 23rd) in an op-ed in the Financial Post:

Over the last 18 months, policymakers in Canada, the U.S. and Japan have quietly abandoned the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, an alternative view has emerged regarding the most cost-effective way in which to deal with the undoubted hazards of climate change.

This view points toward setting a policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur, which is distinctly different from the former emphasis given by most Western parliaments to the mitigation of global warming by curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

Don’t try to stop climate change, Bob says.  Adapt to it.

Like they are adapting in Colorado right now, I guess.  Climate change is burning down their forests.  They are adapting by trying to put the fires out.  And in the coming decades, when climate change brings more and more wildfires to Colorado, and everywhere else there are wild places to dry up and burn, they’ll adapt even more by trying to put out those fires too.

Clever plan, Bob.

And when the oceans rise, they’ll adapt by crowding inland.

And when drought or flood or superstorm comes, they’ll adapt…somehow.

Let’s have none of this (impractical) nonsense–Bob and his friends from ExxonMobil insist–of trying to prevent the disasters in the first place by reducing our dependence on the fossil carbon which is bringing them on.

Bob says, ‘Take your finger out of the dike and bail instead.’

Breathtaking, Sam.

As in gasping for air, unable to breathe.