Can You Parody This?

You may find it hard to believe, but this image is not satire:

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Skeptical Science posted it to help support the global warming cause. I think it might be beyond parody. So are some other images they posted. Let’s look at a few.

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According to this image, global warming is the only fundamental fact of science which has a political dimension. Everyone knows the evolution debate has had political dimensions for ages. Therefore, Skeptical Science is promoting the idea evolution is not a fundamental fact of science.

It’s not surprising they’d post cartoons denying basic science once you look at another image they posted:

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One column is labeled scientific theorists, the other conspiracy theorists. False dichotomy aside, the columns make no sense. The first column lists things like Darwin and Einstein. Those are to be taken as scientific theorists. The second column lists things like “evolution is bunk” and “global warming is a hoax.” Those are to be taken as conspiracy theorists…?

I get these are just silly cartoons, but their purpose is to convey a message. That means they should have some sort of rational interpretation. I’m not sure what this image’s one would be:

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This cartoon shows a guy claiming there’s a specific, verifiable problem in a climate model. He apparently does this while drinking a beer with a guy at a pub. You can’t get that level of detail in a discussion of climate science from climate scientists when they’re promoting their work. I guess the point is the conversation topic bores the guy’s companion. In other words, “climate change deniers” are bad people because it’s boring to talk about specific points at dispute…?

I don’t know. I stopped putting much effort into figuring these images out when I came across this one:

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I have no idea what this image is supposed to convey. I get it’s supposed to be a reference to ocean acidification and acid trips (hallucinations) but… what’s the connection? What’s the point? Is it saying Mother Nature is toking up in the bathroom? (Judging by how they portray her, maybe that is the point.)

But these images aren’t all silly and incomprehensible. Sometimes they’re just disturbing. For example, I have no idea who thought this was a good idea:

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I don’t think it was. I’m pretty sure creating a visual suggestion global warming will cause people’s towns to burn down is wrong. It’s the visual equivalent of saying, “If you don’t do what we say, you’ll die in a fire.”

Or get hit by a tornado(?), as in this next cartoon:

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That cartoon shows Skeptical Science’s “opponents” in embarrassing situations caused by their beliefs. In other words, if you don’t agree with Skeptical Science, you’ll suffer and look like a fool.

I concluded with that last one for a reason. It’s not the most interesting, disturbing or powerful image I came across. It’s not even that bad. It’s only distinguishing feature is what was said about it. A user commented on the image, saying:

I mean this in the kindest way. You really have no idea how ridiculous cartoons like this make your website look. Adults don’t communicated like this to other adults, much less adults who profess to be scientifically minded. Posting this stuff honestly detracts from your site.

Which takes the words right out of my mouth. I think Skeptical Science is beyond parody.

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8 comments

  1. Skepticalscience is on autopilot – run by hardened Keystone XL climate activist John Hartz. The images reflect his taste. Main contributors Cook and Nuccitelli have long flown the nest, having ‘used’ the website’s reputation and back-end community members to further their careers.

  2. I think AGW is true. But some of these posters are very strange.

    I can’t even begin to guess what the first one is supposed to make me do.

    The second poster is odd because E=mc^2 was proclaimed by the guy whose comment on quantum mechanics was “As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world.” This suggests Einstein himself thought some scientific theories controversial.

    The third poster, even aside from the mismatch with one side listing names of people and the other side listing theories, what’s it supposed to tell us? That all theorists are correct? We could put all sorts of disdained theorists on the left: Velokovky, Lamark, Johann Joachim Becher (of phlogiston). The first was thought a crackpot in his time, but the other two weren’t!

    Moreover, Newton who made breakthroughs in science, also appears to have believed in alchemy– experimenting to find the philosophers stone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton%27s_occult_studies ). So even though he had many useful well accepted breakthroughs, it’s hardly the case that everyone is required to embrace everything Newton thought useful during his own lifetime.

    In reality, lots of theories we now know to be either mostly or entirely wrong were either thought correct or at least relatively respectable in their day. Science is self correcting, but it doesn’t mean it’s instantly ‘right’.

    The parody of the tornado cartoon ought to involve the photos taken in the late 1800– possibly showing early greens worrying these were caused by global warming (or maybe with a caption with a ‘friendly helpful green’ coming around consoling those in devasted houses that “At least these tornadoes aren’t Anthropogenic”.
    For pictures http://www.wunderground.com/news/worlds-earliest-tornado-photos-20130609

    I realize everyone has a right to think anything they like humorous or entertaining. I’m just not sure what clear messages these cartoons are supposed to tell us. That they exist doesn’t bother me. Everyone gets to have their own cartoons. But they are odd!

  3. Nothing is beyond parody. You just have to have talent and get your snark engine revved up.

  4. This week’s SKS toon threatens high priced almond M&M’s due to the drought on the west coast of the U.S.

    There’s no denying that there’s a terrible drought in the central valley of California where the vast majority of the world’s almonds are grown. Due unusually warm weather this year’s bloom was among the earliest in memory and the harvest will likely begin early – as early as next week according to some reports.

    That said, the forecast of this year’s crop is 4.6% greater than last year’s yield.

    http://www.almondboard.com/Outlook2/Pages/Post.aspx?pid=612

    So not to worry, you won’t be seeing $150 almond M&Ms at the store this year.

  5. The generalized Poe’s Law says that the answer to the titular question is No. Or more precisely — Yes, one can make a parody, but any such parody will not be distinguishable from something which SkS *would* post.

    Remember Alene Composta.

  6. The 4th one… with the knuckledragging unshaven beer drinking climate change deniers… they should change the conversation to…

    “So when I saw the forecast vs observed plot, I spotted the error in their climate models”

  7. Those theorists are correct while those conspiracy feelies are wrong. They don’t contribute anythinv to science or advance humanity.

    Thanks for the pictures, they are spot on, and so is the writing on this post on the idiocy of the climate deniers.

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