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September 15, 2020

Consensus Watch - 9/15/2020

An ongoing series dedicated to vigorously monitoring emerging threats to The Consensus that global warming is real, caused by humans, and must be addressed at all costs. Because without consensus, scientific conclusions would remain vulnerable to new data.

AdobeStock_125738980The argument that the latest round of wildfires inundating  the United States is completely unprecedented and directly caused by global warming is complicated by the fact that they are not, and it is not.

Not to worry, this happens all the time. Since we already have a Consensus, this becomes less a tedious exercise in experimentation and data analysis, and more a matter of focusing on what’s really important in science:

Branding.

This is not new. It was discovered very early on that simply pointing out that, “boy, it’s been pretty hot this summer,” was not nearly catastrophic-sounding enough to be any help in securing tenure or being awarded lucrative research grants. No, if you were going to foment sustainable amounts of hysteria you were going to need something more powerful, something apocalyptic that would have enormous emotional appeal and help get six-figure book deals.

Originally, “Global Warming” fit the bill perfectly. It was an easy concept to understand. The globe was warming.  The entire globe!  Plus warming is a simple concept to understand. It’s still in use today in fact, as we used it just above.

Unfortunately, it ran into some trouble when the globe refused to, you know, warm.

This was the original branding challenge that The Consensus faced, but the solution was close at hand:

“Climate Change.”

With Climate Change, pretty much everything proves your point. Warming, cooling, floods, drought, as long as something changes, the theory withstands scrutiny.

Which brings us back to the wildfires.

People have been hearing about wildfires for a long time. You need to tie the wildfires directly to global warm… sorry, old habit. You need to tie the wildfires directly to climate change somehow.

Allow us to introduce you to the greatest thing since Sharknado:

Climate Fires.

It captures the imagination immediately. Climate fires! We’re causing the climate to change, the changed climate is causing fires, creating: Climate Fires!

But wait, there’s more. Your refusal to turn over control of your lives to the government makes you, wait for it:

AdobeStock_47320657A climate arsonist!

This is truly science at its best. Hyperbolic, terrifying, and vilifies your opponents.

This is a game changer people. The brand extensions are almost limitless.  We won’t have hurricanes anymore, we’ll have “ClimateCanes!” And if you insist on driving an SUV, you will be a "Climate Murderer."

Proof, as if more was needed, that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish...

With science!

J.

Support The Consensus by throwing money at us!

Unless, of course, you hate the environment. 

Click on the pics below for links to T-shirts, Mugs, posters, and all kinds of other crap you do not need.

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September 15, 2020 at 09:45 PM in Current Affairs, Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 13, 2020

Review of Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin

Our review of Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin started off in an unexpected manner when within the first four minutes of listening to the audio book (I purchased the Audible version) Rubin mentions in a totally offhanded manner that he was gay.

That shouldn’t matter, and apparently doesn’t given I had no idea.  But in our current environment with half the country embracing identity politics and intersectionality, it is, at least in a societal sense, still important and worthy of mention.

In fact, it is part of the argument Rubin makes in that as a conservative gay man, he runs counter to the entire narrative of identity politics that holds that your identity determines your politics. Given that this is the second book, however unintentionally, that I am reviewing about a gay man coming out as a conservative in as many months (Always a Soldier by Rob Smith was the first), this apparently is a thing.

The troubling ascent of the LGBT right wing

Okay, it’s definitely a thing.

And “troublesome” even.

This is, in part, what Rubin is talking about.

In the book he details the ways in which his preconceived notions about the left gave way to reality such as when he witnessed how allegedly open-minded progressives would savagely attack conservative African-Americans as “Uncle Toms,” or the time he interviewed Larry Elder and in the course of spouting standard liberal talking points that he took for granted as being true, ended up being very publicly schooled with actual facts from the always-informed Elder.

The character assassination he was witnessing up close and personal on the part of his leftist colleagues and friends, the false narratives, the growing cancel culture, and the hostility towards free speech if that speech does not fit the woke agenda, became increasingly clear. Rubin was going through this realization and ultimate transformation pretty much on screen as he hosted “The Rubin Report,” which I guiltily admit increased the entertainment value of his story immensely. (To his lasting credit, Rubin readily concedes this, a sign of a man truly comfortable in his own skin and genuinely interested in personal growth no matter how painful.)

Throughout the book he discusses this transformation, the slow realization that he was more conservative and libertarian than he was progressive, his difficult decision to “come out” as a conservative particularly given that people whom he had considered personal friends turned on him, wishing to never speak to him again.

He also goes through a number of issues, from drug legalization to gun control to women’s rights and so on detailing why he believes what he believes and suggesting that if you agree or find his arguments compelling, if only in part, you might not be the progressive you thought you were. While there is no question this book will be picked up primarily by preexisting fans with conservative and libertarian-leaning views, it clearly is also targeting people who are on the fence or who have started to question preconceived notions, and provides a detailed road map and motivation to explore such feelings further.

The entire tale is at once cautionary and inspirational, outlining the professional and personal hazards of embracing a more conservative view while providing motivation and counseling on how to do so.

Rubin self-narrates the audio book (always my preference for those competent to do so), and comes across as truly genuine, affable, open minded, and always open to being proven wrong.

Definitely worth a read. Or a listen!

J.

If you are thinking about purchasing Don’t Burn This Book, please consider using one of our many links! it costs you nothing but helps support our work here. "Work" might not be the right word. "Frustrated cries into an uncaring void," might capture it better but didn't test well with focus groups. (More about affiliate marketing links at the bottom of the right side bar.)

September 13, 2020 at 03:00 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (2)

September 11, 2020

Masks? We Ain’t Got No Masks…

The New York Times sent hard-hitting reporter Karen Gray to the Trump Rally in Michigan yesterday, no doubt for the insights that only a veteran reporter, with skills tested and honed over the years, can bring to their readers.

Her first observation of the evening was a blockbuster:

Those are the kind of reportorial instincts that separate the average journalist from the Pulitzer-Prize-caliber ones.

Sure, we were all a little bit shaken by the news. But not Karen Gray. Karen Gray was just getting started.

She understood it was essential that she follow up on such a revelation, knowing full well that many would not believe it. So, despite the personal hazard of being surrounded by people out in the fresh air with their faces unobscured, she managed to get this follow-up tweet out, together with photographic evidence:

Not many masks, indeed.

Not many masks at all.

Unfortunately, Karen Gray ended up being removed from the event…

Wait, have we been saying Karen? Sorry, that’s our mistake. Not sure where that came from. Our apologies. It’s Kathy. Kathy Gray.

Anyway, Trump officials removed her from the event due to credentialing issues or perhaps for her own safety, and we are all the poorer for it. Think of the tweets we as a country were denied.  Might have she dug further down into the lack of mask-wearing, perhaps counting the masks, or commenting on the various kinds and the relative efficacy of each?

Sadly, we’ll never know. Questions will remain unanswered, stories untold.

Things were probably said at the rally, possibly policy related. Whatever, the important thing to remember is that while Trump held a largely maskless rally, Joe Biden is “following the science.”

Or maybe that was Scientology he was following. Something like that.

J.

We will probably get cancelled for these (can’t even advertise them!), so get them while you can! Click on the images and look around, lots of items and alternatives enabling you to horrify your friends and neighbors in a variety of fashion colors!

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September 11, 2020 at 04:43 PM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4)

September 10, 2020

New Requirements For The Oscars, Or Should That Be “Oscxrs?”

In what is expected to result in an explosion of imaginative high-quality filmmaking, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has initiated a new requirement for movies wishing to be considered for an Oscar starting in 2024:

AdobeStock_308211869_Editorial_Use_OnlyTheir cast, including lead and supporting actors, must meet certain numerical racial and ethnic quotas.

As any artist can tell you, the creative process can best be allowed to flourish in an atmosphere of rigid guidelines and explicit numerical targets. Only then can the human mind be truly set free to wander uninhibited so long as it stays within the confines of precisely defined parameters.

The move was in part a response to criticism that some movies have come under in recent years such as “1917” and “The Irishman,” both of which featured predominantly white casts.

AdobeStock_46093070No doubt, you are as enraged as we are that a movie set in Europe in 1917 and a movie about an Irish gangster during the Jimmy Hoffa era would somehow fail to include adequate representation of BIPOCs and the LGBTQ+ community.

It’s almost as if they love an accurate portrayal of history more than they do diversity.

In an effort to remedy the situation, studios are going to be held to a higher standard to be considered for the coveted Oscar award.

There are four specific standards, with which a movie must comply with two.

The first standard requires studios meet one of the following:

1)  The lead or significant supporting actors consist of one of:

Asian
Hispanic/Latinx
Black/African American
Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
Middle Eastern/North African
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

2) 30% of the rest of the cast consist of:

Women
Racial or ethnic group
LGBTQ+
People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

3) The main storyline centers on:

Women
Racial or ethnic group
LGBTQ+
People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

The second standard includes similar quotas for the leadership and crew.

AdobeStock_360367782_Editorial_Use_OnlyWe know what you’re thinking, “Do aliens count? Because if aliens count Star Wars is golden. Who can even tell what gender or ethnicity they are never mind if they’re trans?”

Also, “That seems nuts.”

Not to worry, the Academy gave studios an out. The last two standards (and they only need to meet two overall) require they either toss some money at training programs, or toss some money at marketing to the same groups listed above.

Proving once again that throwing money at something can solve any social ill.

AdobeStock_67320281

Or any guilty conscience.

J.

September 10, 2020 at 11:01 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3)

September 07, 2020

Be Sure To Wear Your PPE: Political Protective Equipment

As we approach the 170th day of our national 15-day “stop the spread” lock down initiative we thought it would be a good time to review the importance of these measures and understand that we are not out of the woods yet. This is no "mask hoax," it remains absolutely essential that we continue to do everything in our power to protect the most vulnerable among us:

Politicians.

That is why wearing a mask is so important. By wearing a mask you are helping to reduce the risk of spreading unpopular ideas and embarrassing revelations by at least 60%, even more so if your mask is one of those really distracting homemade ones with a bizarre or embarrassing design from some garment you pulled out of the bottom of a closet that kind of looks like Tweety Bird on acid.

Even a regular mask can effectively filter out enough syllables so as to render your colloquy on the proper balance of power between the state and individuals ineffective at spreading to others. That’s why it’s important to keep the mask over your nose as well and to seal it up on the sides the better to muffle your voice.

And it’s not enough for you to just wear your own mask, everyone around you must be forced to as well.

AdobeStock_356839993Sure, by wearing a mask you might be protecting others from your own disapproved-of viewpoints, but the only way you can protect yourself from the ideas and opinions of others is if they are forced to wear a mask as well. This is particularly important when you are in public where other people can hear you. Generally speaking, while you may take you mask off at home, you in fact do have to wear it on Zoom meetings and other conference calls as ideas can easily spread across the internet. Plus, by covering up your face you help to dehumanize yourself even more thus making facial cues and natural human empathy that much more difficult to propagate.

Speaking of which, by wearing our masks when and where we are commanded to, we honor our front-line tech workers who are struggling day in and day out to ensure that troublesome observations, distracting opinions, and problematic research are placed in quarantine where they can do no harm (particularly to profit margins).

By doing so, this helps ensure that we protect our elected leaders from unnecessary exposure to accountability to which they are particularly susceptible.

AdobeStock_221779120Know the warning signs! Common symptoms of accountability include flushing of the face, shortness of breath, flashes of anger, a sudden drop in the polls, and eventually a complete loss of control over the ability to tell people what to do.

Social distancing also remains a critical component of this as well. By reducing the ability of people to get together in any but the smallest of groups, we can, working together, make it extremely unlikely that they will be able to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

AdobeStock_152982997Well, unless it helps to further sew panic and disruption. Then it’s perfectly okay.

AdobeStock_263743101So remember, we know it’s been a long time, but it will take just a little bit longer to ensure your obedience training is complete and our politicians will be safe to rule as they, in their infinite wisdom, see fit.

J.

Tell the world how you really feel. While you still can!  Just click on the pics:

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September 7, 2020 at 02:29 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 02, 2020

Consensus Watch – 09/2/2020

An ongoing series dedicated to vigorously monitoring emerging threats to The Consensus that global warming is real, caused by humans, and must be addressed at all costs. Because without consensus, scientific conclusions would remain vulnerable to new data.

One of the silly little complaints climate deniers like to drag out constantly is that catastrophic climate predictions never come true, acting like it's all some big global warming fraud.

Sure, global warming was supposed to have left the Arctic free of ice by 2012. Fine, it didn’t. Climate science isn’t an exact sci…

Wait, hold that thought.

And yes, another prediction claiming that the Arctic would be free of ice in 2013 also didn’t come to pass.

The climate is complicated.

The Arctic was also not free of ice in 2014 as was originally predicted.

And yes, the same thing happened in 2015.

And again in 2016.

And 2018.

And, also 2019

This might not look good at first, but you’ll note that there was no such prediction made for 2017 when the Arctic did indeed remain covered in ice.

So, we’ll just chalk that up as a victory for The Consensus.

Apology accepted.

That brings us to 2020 and we’re sure some snarky climate denier who hates polar bears so much they probably want to kill them with their bare hands is going to point out that the prediction that the Arctic would be free of ice this year also failed to materialize.

Well, we have some news for you.

An elderly man in Massachusetts is screaming things really loudly.

It's science, people.

Arctic Today (1) Future Arctic

You see, it’s extremely important that we stay focused on the fact that the Arctic is caught in an unending “vicious circle” of melting and that the area is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe creating a “deep wound” in our cryosphere and not permit ourselves to become distracted by the fact that none of that is true.

There is, after all, the Consensus.

J.

Support The Consensus by buying things and giving us money!

Because that's how science works. 

Click on the pics below for links to T-shirts, Mugs, posters, and all kinds of other crap you don't need.

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September 2, 2020 at 03:23 PM in Current Affairs, Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink | Comments (3)