Thursday, November 15, 2012

False Climate Change Meme Infects The President

Catch a single weather event?
The meme that will be discussed today has infected meteorologists, some climate scientists, and the President as well, but has not infected all Fifth Graders.

As will be explained in this post, but first, what is a meme?

A meme is an idea that seems to propagate itself, and a theory initially conceived by the adherents of "Memetics" (see The Mother of All Memes).

A meme exists in a meme complex, which is in a way a group, and any such meme complex tends to perpetuate the memes it is composed of, but at the same time tends to exclude memes that do not fit the criteria required to be a meme in that meme complex.

But more than that, meme complexes even tend to spread themselves.

Memetics did badly as a discipline when it sought to clone aspects of Darwinism by merely using new words, but still keeping the-already-there ideology of biotic evolution (see Death & Resurrection Of Memetics).

Today's post has to do with one specific meme that is on the edge of the climate change denier meme complex.

A meme which the President perpetuated in his news conference yesterday:
"[oft heard meme] ... no single weather event can be linked directly to ... global warming."

("President OBAMA: You know ... we can’t attribute any particular weather event to climate change.")
(see Katrina & Global Warming). Notice that according to this meme every single big weather event that makes the fossil fuel industry and government look bad (such as Hurricane-Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Katrina) "can't be linked directly to global warming."

Now who would want us to believe that?

"Why is that meme a false meme as the title of today's post indicates?" you may ask.

Since we deserve an answer, let's contemplate this problem with an exercise in deductive logic, premised on the false meme under our consideration today:
1) No single weather event can be linked directly to global warming;
2) all weather events are single weather events;
3) therefore, weather events can't be directly linked to global warming.
(see Doctors of Philosophy Make Phd. Mistakes). To see what the propagandists and/or apologists (who originally fabricated this false meme) are advancing, let's analyze this a bit further by considering a realistic meme:
1) Weather is a function of the global climate system;
2) all single weather events are parts of the global climate system;
3) the global climate system has been damaged by global warming;
4) therefore, all single weather events are part of the global climate system that has been damaged by global warming;
(see How Fifth Graders Analyze Hurricane Sandy). See the subtlety that the false meme forces, and see the bigger picture the accurate meme "global climate system" connotes?

All single weather events are systemic indicators of the global climate system which any single weather event is an integral part of.

That global climate system which has been damaged by global warming creates our local weather, including every single weather event, therefore all single weather events are part of the global climate system that has been damaged by global warming pollution.

We can only have an impact on our local weather, or on any single weather event, by fixing the global climate system that has been damaged by pollution.

Let's stop lying to ourselves so that we can get about the business of saving civilization from what we are doing to ourselves (pumping green house gases into the atmosphere) year after year, decade after decade.

Let's drop the denial, the procrastination, and the oil addiction so that we can get busy being good to the Earth, so it will in turn be good to us once again.

They who have put out the peoples eyes reproach them of their blindness.” – John Milton


  1. When an ice cap melts off to form any one ice berg, is that not directly related to global warming ...

    When any one glacier melts, is that not directly related to global warming ...

    When any one ocean level rises, is that not directly related to global warming ...


    Denial is powerful to the point of even making Presidents say strange things.

    A new study indicates that quick ocean level rise (6 feet in 100 years from when global warming began back then) is an historically reality. Link

    The current warming began about 100-150 years ago, meaning a quick rise NOW would not be an unheard of reality, in terms of what has historically happened.

  2. Lots of officials do not listen to the drumbeat of reality, and many suffer because of the ignorance of the few (New Jersey Railway Put Trains in Sandy Flood Zone Despite Warnings).

  3. One thing I've never fully understood: if we act now, how much can we reasonably do? Is the die already cast? Can the US along make a big difference?

  4. Hi Ron,

    If civilization could conceptualize one Earth rather than the U.S. Earth, the Russian Earth, the European Earth, the Chinese Earth, and the like there could be a global effort.

    It would work and there are ways to surcharge it.

    But some of it is already built in, because this greenhouse gas pollution has been known for a century.

    The last 50 years are in the bank, and what we are getting hit with now is from that deposit stream.

    If we stopped today that account would be drawn upon for 50 years, but it would subside and get back to as normal as possible.

    There is a core stupidity mixed with a vein of "we have never worked together before" and some "one world government" paranoia that holds up the progress as well.

    If we let it go to where it goes over a 2 degree global average the results will slow civilization down or take it out (ports, coastal areas) with sea rise, and agricultural areas (wheat belt, heartland, etc.) with drought, and other irregularities, to the point the incessant greenhouse gas damage may subside that way (fossil fuel industry wiped out, etc.).

    A smarter civilization is likely to arise then, albeit quite slowly.

    All I know is that we need a mobilization like never before to convert to an Earth friendly industrial approach, so that our lives will be less impacted, and the life of our descendants will be more sure and certain.

    You have an interesting blog / website Ron (Maryland Lawsuit Info).

    Hope you and yours are recovering ok.

  5. People 27 and under have never experienced a colder-than-average month. Link

  6. The carbon dioxide emissions which cause global warming increased in 2011 (Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Hit New Record in 2011, Survey Shows).

  7. Great post. Reminded me of the framing of systemic causes that George Lakoff wrote about:

    Scientists and politicians need to ditch the 'no single event' meme/framing.

  8. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

    The trees in an infected forest are like individual storms, and the forest is like the Global Climate System.

    In the west the forests are infested with Pine Beetles.

    No one asks "if a particular tree does not have the Pine Beetle yet does that mean there is no Pine Beetle infestation?" in the damaged forest.

    Similarly, scientists tell us that the Global Climate System is damaged (like a forest infected with Pine Beetle).

    They don't make that diagnosis based on a myopic view, like looking at one tree, they keep their eyes on the forest.

    Don't deny the forest because of a tree.