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Comic Strip Politics » I Can’t Wait For Global Warming to Kick In!
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March 26, 2007

I Can’t Wait For Global Warming to Kick In!

Filed under: Family Circus, Mallard Fillmore, Non Sequitur, Prickly City — robert @ 11:18 am
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Family Circus - 3.26.07

Mallard Fillmore - 3.23.07

Prickly City - 3.23.07

Non Sequitur - 3.24.07

Global Warming seems to be the Topic of the Week, as several comics have mentioned it in just the past few days. Billy from Family Circus is even cheering on it’s arrival. Hooray for Global Warming!

It seems everyone has an opinion on Global Warming, and unfortunately, that opinion is often stoked by politicians and other blowhards in the public eye. Research shows pretty definitively that average global temperatures have risen over the past several decades. Many scientists postulate that the reason for this increase invoves man’s presence on earth, and several things we’ve created, gasses we’ve emitted, etc.

Others stand by the hypothesis that the fluctuations in temperature are simply a normal variant in temperature, and are nothing to worry about. They think that in the millions of years since earth was created, a sample size of less than a few hundred years of any data and only a century of hard data is hardly sufficient to make an accurate assessment.

The fact that just 35 years ago, scientists and the media were predicting a new Ice Age says alot about the kind of assessment that can be made with such a small sample of data. Being the shameless sensaltionalists that they are, the media will take every opportunity to blow anything out of proportion, just so they can improve their ratings.

Looking at the problem objectively, either hypothesis could be correct. It’s absolutely true that the sample size we have to work with is far too small to make any definiteve judgements. Still, we are watching the average temperature increase before our eyes, and it’s not a terrible idea to be on the alert and perhaps alter some of our human practices just in case.

The real problem in the Global Warming debate, as well as most other political hot buttons comes down to the politicians. The best way for a politician to gain support for himself or his party is to get the public riled up about a specifc issue. Scaring the America public is even more effective, and both Republicans and Democrats are using these tactics quite often to gain support.

The Republicans have scared everyone about terrorists ending the world as we know it to promote their agendas. Now, the Democrats are scaring everyone about global warming ending the world as we know it. Both of these issues are potential problems, and both are issues that Americans should be concerned about, but instead of making a concerted effort to solve the problems, politicians are doing nothing more than scaring the public, and proposing a ’solution’ that will do very little to correct the actual problem. Now, the politician looks like the good guy, when he or she has actually impeded progress towards actually solving the problem at hand.

Does this sound familiar? The Republicans did it with the war on terror, the Democrats did it with global warming. Both parties have used the same tactic on countless other issues, and the result is always the same. The public is polarized into two camps, politicans get face time on television, and the issue is never actually solved. This happens time and time again.

So what do you think? Is Global Warming a real problem? Should we be devoting all of our recources to solving it, or just try to change our act a bit to stem any potential future problems? Or should we just not worry about it at all? Do you think politicians are to blame for making it a bigger deal than it really is, or are they the only ones really working to solve the problem?

Let me know what you think.

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4 Comments »

  1. I just wanted to point out that in you (as well as these comics) are missing some facts. Our sample size is not “the past several decades,” for starters. We have data from things like tree rings and coral that give us a view of a few thousand years back. We also have ice cores from the antarctic that go back 800,000 years. Further, the fact that 35 years ago scientists warned of global cooling and a new ice age is not at all contradictory to the warnings of today. Global warming is a misnomer when used (as it often is) to describe what should be called climate change. “Global warming” could, in this usage, lead to an ice age. Global warming is simply an aspect of the greater trend of climate change.

    Can I also point out that just telling your readers to go visit a website is about the lamest and un-funny idea for a comic in the world? Because it is. What a horrible comic. Also, making an ignorant comic that relies on really bad facsimiles of Sports Illustrated covers is right up there on the list of un-funny and stupid. The other two comics weren’t funny either, mind you, but they weren’t offensively bad.

    Comment by Miles — April 9, 2007 @ 9:03 am

  2. Miles,

    Thanks for your comments. I am aware that there are methods of determining relative temperatures significantly farther back than 100 years. I was referring only to hard data, as opposed to inferred data. I am not, however, questioning the validity of the inferred data.

    As far as global cooling, all of the data I have seen from those telling us we should be concerned about global warming is that the earth’s average temperature is increasing, the ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, etc. I realize that any sort of major climate change like this could cause all sorts of problems including harsh storms year round and larger extremes in temperature, but if there is still recent data that indicates that the earth going into a cooling trend, I haven’t seen it.

    The main point of my article was not to judge who is correct in the global warming debate, but simply to point out that political parties and the media commonly sensationalize hot topics like this to achieve their own goals (winning elections and gaining ratings respectively). As such, the “facts” they present on any issue shouldn’t be taken as gospel. It’s simply too easy to come up with statistics that without proper context, can support a completely faulty position. The average citizen may want to do some unbiased research of their own before becoming an advocate for a particular position.

    I don’t know if you read Mallard Fillmore very often, but it’s not funny very often. It often mentions political topics, which makes it a good starting point for my posts, but funny - not so much.

    Comment by robert — April 10, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

  3. I don’t mind the rest (although I don’t find any of them funny in the least), but I am taking issue with the “Prickly City” comic. That is probably the most hypocritical comic I have seen in my life. Did Scott think that maybe then the funnies should stick to being funny?

    Furthermore, I sincerely doubt he actually read the issue. The global warming information was virtually exclusively about its effect on “you know…sports.”(In fact it seemed quite cold-hearted to me.) Is he saying magazines should only cover what their title is and not anything else even if one has a great effect on the other? Should Runners World not cover new breakthroughs in energy drinks because it should stick to covering running, and drinks are not running? Should “AutoWeek” not written about the CAFE laws and the 55-mile per hour speed limit because it should stick to autos and laws are not autos? That is ridiculous!

    Comment by Michael — April 21, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  4. I appreciate your open mindedness and attempt at rational logical approaches to pressing problems. I believe ‘global warming’ is not what it seems and in it’s real form as we live today is not a problem nor is it in some run away state. History and modern records all prove many more die from cold than heat. The theory of AGW says the poles should warm much faster than tropics hence less of a temp difference to fuel storms lending to the real statistics (that the media wont touch) that there are less severe storms from warming….The tropics are the tropics because of the SUN, there wouldn’t be otherwise.

    This is a scientific issue and needs to stay that way until we’ve been allowed to see all sides, a theory should hold water and welcome skeptisim to strengthen that theory not shun any confounding science, that is dogma, its a belief all this current nonsense of catastrophe beyond any other it isn’t real science period!

    Comment by climate controlled 4U — January 1, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

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