Laughter is a grand thing, especially when it arrives unexpectedly. A solid, explosive belly-laugh is not only enjoyable but is supposed to be good for one's health, too. That being the case, I owe National Public Radio a debt of gratitude for the great, spontaneous "HAW!" I enjoyed this morning. It's a mercy I wasn't drinking anything.
The "HAW!" was, I'm afraid, at the expense of some of the news professionals there at NPR. I know they probably work hard and hold some impressive credentials, and I do fear that laughing at their work may be a sin against charity, but I couldn't help myself. As I said, the laugh was quite spontaneous.
The confusion and perplexity of others is often the raw material of humor, and so it was nearly impossible to maintain my composure in the face of a headline such as this;
Keep in mind, also, that I was driving and listening to the story, rather than reading, which made the situation that much more entertaining.
The story concerns... well, I'll let you read it in their own words;
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.
Now, as I suspect you know, this is what strikes me as funny... note that there are only two (2) possibilities in the NPR universe; either Global Warming has "taken a breather" (whatever that means) OR there is something screwy with the data. Period. The third possibility - that Global Warming may not, in fact, be occurring - is apparently too horrible a prospect for them to wrap their brains around.
If you listen to NPR with any regularity, you know that Global Warming is no theory to their editorial staff. It is a fact, it is happening every day - right now! - and it is responsible for, oh, all kinds of things. Wildfires in California (never mind that Johnny Carson joked about them when I was a kid), a proliferation of deadly hurricanes (or a mysteriously average hurricane season), record snowfalls (or lack of adequate snowfall). There is no narrative into which Global Warming can not be made to fit, either as cause or effect.
So it is with deeply profound puzzlement that they receive data that does not fit the narrative. My, what are we to make of this? Obviously, Global Warming is - er - taking a break. Perhaps it is in the restroom, or on the phone. It is happening, though... that has been determined, and is not to be questioned, even if our robot drones are sending back confusing messages like "There has been a very slight cooling" of the oceans.
I'm not even arguing here whether Global Warming might or might not be taking place, I'm talking about turning the scientific method on its ear. Sifting and re-sifting the data to find support for a predetermined conclusion. I'm just asking; if (stay with me, now) Global Warming is not happening, how long would it take for these folks to see it, given their obvious bias?
There has been a spate of silly public-service ads lately, warning; "Ignoring Global Warming won't make it go away". I would ad, "Fantasizing about Global Warming won't make it real".