Jun 27, 2010

Bill Maher: there just AREN'T always two equal sides to a discussion!

Al Gore must come out with a sequel to his movie about climate change and call it, "An Inconvenient Truth 2: What the F**k is Wrong with You People?" I say this because a bunch of depressing new surveys reveal that people in droves are starting to believe that global warming is a hoax. And this time, it's not just us. You know, people are always accusing me of hating America and calling it stupid, so tonight I'd like to take a few moments to hate England and call it stupid.

Because now the Brits don't believe in global warming either. I thought they were smarter than that. This is the home of Newton and Darwin. I can't believe we let these people build our exploding oil platforms. And, even scarier is why people have stopped thinking global warming is real. One major reason, pollsters say, is "we had a very cold, snowy winter." Which is like saying the sun might not be real because last night it got dark. And my car is not real because I can't find my keys.

And that's the problem with our obsession to always see two sides of every issue equally, especially when one side has a lot of money. It means we have to pretend there are always two truths, and the side that doesn't know anything has something to say. On this side of the debate, every scientist in the world; on the other, Mr. Potato Head.

There is no debate here. It's just scientists versus non-scientists. And since the topic is science, the non-scientists don't get a vote. We shouldn't decide everything by polling the masses. This is the fallacy called argumentum ad numerum, the idea that something is true because great numbers believe it. As in, "Eat s**t: 20 trillion flies can't be wrong."

Or take this recent headline: "TV Weathercasters Divided on Global Warming." Who gives a s**t? My TV weathercaster is a bimbo with big tits who used to be on a soap opera on Telemundo. Mainstream media, could you please stop pitting the ignorant versus the educated and framing it as a debate?

The other day...I saw a professor from the Union of Concerned Scientists face off against a distinguished expert on "tea partying" whose brilliant analysis, recently published in the New England Journal of Grasping at Straws was that we shouldn't teach climate science in schools because kids find it scary. As they should. I hope they're peeing in their pants.

Because the last decade, year and month are all the hottest on record. And then there's the floods, the killing of the oceans, category 5 hurricanes, giant wildfires, the vanishing water supply...you know, the little things. And yet, deniers say, it's just a theory. As is gravity. You know, for progress to happen, certain things have to become not an issue anymore, so we can go on to the next issue.

Evolution was an issue until overwhelming consensus among scientists made it not an issue. When I was six years old, it was an issue how babies were born. There were conflicting theories. There was no consensus. Some thought a stork brought babies. Others contended you bought them at the hospital. The Catholic boys said the Holy Ghost brought them. And one kid said that girls had sort of a - as he described it - "flap" in front, and that men put their penises into it. This seemed the least likely.

And yet, by the time we had all reached age eleven, even though we still none of us had actually seen the flap, the consensus of opinion was overwhelming for the penis-vagina theory. It was no longer an issue.

-- Bill Maher

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