The existence of climate change is indisputable; NASA has weighed in, NOAA has weighed in, and basic chemistry has weighed in. It’s happening. And yet, the deniers — heavily invested in the same tactics used by Big Tobacco — still work to spread disinformation.
A recent example of this comes from prominent climate change denier, Marc Morano, who compared Pope Francis’ call to protect the environment to the human sacrifices carried out by the Aztecs at a recent Koch-sponsored event.
Global Warming science
The science behind global warming is not that complicated. The details are, but the overall science requires no more than a cursory understanding of several interdisciplinary sciences. I often use planetary science as a way to explain, as I’ll do here.
On Earth, there are three major culprits for global warming: water vapor is the primary warming agent on Earth, with CO2 and methane (CH4) right behind. Carbon on Earth is consumed in the carbon cycle; an excess of CO2 unbalances the cycle, and more CO2 remains in the atmosphere, trapping more heat.
For an example of the warming power of CO2, look to Earth’s nearest neighbor in the solar system, Venus. Roughly 96% of the atmosphere is CO2, and the result is a surface temperature hot enough to create standing pools of lead and zinc. While Earth is not in any danger of undergoing the sort of runaway climate change that Venus underwent as the sun warmed (not for a few billion years, anyway), Venus is a testament to the warming power of CO2.
The other molecule, methane, is such a potent warming agent that it’s responsible for the global warming on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Titan, the second largest moon in the solar system, receives 1% the sunlight that the Earth does, but the methane keeps it warmer than thermal equilibrium equations would normally show despite being 10x the distance from the sun that the Earth is.
Global warming science is settled. But it takes more than two celestial bodies worth of evidence to dislodge big money, especially when the big money is Koch money.
During the event in Rome, hosted by the Heartland Institute last month, Morano compared calls to protect the environment to pagan human sacrifices, saying, “Aztec priests encouraged people to sacrifice blood to the gods to end severe drought.”
The event’s purpose was to convince the Pope to drop his support for the United Nations’ action on the environment, but the only thing it’s capable of convincing people of is that the Koch brothers and their anti-environment, anti-Earth agenda are getting desperate.
“Today we are told we need a fundamental transformation of our lives in order to end bad weather,” Moreno said. “We are told we need EPA regulations and UN treaties in order to spare us from more hurricanes and floods and droughts and all this bad weather.”
Morano described climate change as a “deadly cult” at the event, quoting Australian cardinal George Pell when he said:
In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in CO2 emissions.
He observed that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon walked away from a meeting with the pope saying that science and religion aren’t opposed on the issue of climate change, and snidely added,
If science and religion are united, what are they united on? Well, actually, the new climate commissioners gave us a clue. It’s not about science. Even if the science is wrong, the policy is right.
According to Morano, the people who discuss climate change aren’t worried about the environment, they’re only using the issue to push for “socialist policies,” and added that climate change was like “astrology” because, “no matter what climate event is, it is always exactly what the models predicted.”
He quoted Pope Innocent VIII, who claimed that witches caused hailstorms, saying, “There was 99 percent consensus in the middle ages that witches caused bad weather and now we are told there is a 99 percent consensus that every storm and every bad weather is [linked to climate change].”
He brought his rant to a close, imploring Pope Francis “to listen to science, listen to logic, don’t let science and religion become united.”
Its’s some funny projection coming from someone who’s arguing for human sacrifices to placate the angry gods of Capitalism.
Watch Marc Morano compare climate change science to human sacrifice below:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8UKWLAVEjE]
Featured image via video screen capture