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ImperatorFish: A Plea To Jim Hopkins

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 pm, December 21st, 2011 - 14 comments
Categories: climate change, making shit up, newspapers, spin - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here


A Plea To Jim Hopkins

Dear Jim

I was thrilled to read your latest column in the NZ Herald. I’m a big fan of your work and I always enjoy reading your unique spin on the issues of the day.

On Friday I was delighted to discover you had stepped in to help all of humanity, by abolishing global warming. You wrote: “Global warming has left the building.”

I never suspected you had it in you. I don’t know how you did it, but I reckon it must be something to do with those craaaaaaaazy red-rimmed glasses you wear. Whatever they’re paying you at the Herald, they ought to double it!

So how did you do it? Please, please tell me, because I’ve been trying to fathom how only the day before global warming was recognised by the vast majority of climate scientists as a very real danger, and now it’s no longer even a threat.

Your astonishing intervention has left me racking my brains to find a scientific theory to explain this profound environmental change. Only after a pleasant lunch involving astounding volumes of vodka did I manage to come up with any sort of theory at all, though you’ll probably tell me I’m wrong once you hear it.

My theory is this: you have rescued us from environmental Armageddon by selflessly sucking up all the excess heat from the atmosphere, utilising the highly advanced technologies built into your spectacles. Thanks to your efforts we should soon expect a reduction in global temperatures.

If I’m right, then you really must be suffering. It can’t be comfortable with all that heat inside you, and I’m surprised you haven’t just burnt up. It’s no wonder you’ve releasing so much hot air through various orifices, because if you held on to all of it your head would eventually blow off. What astounds me is your continuing dedication to the wellbeing of humanity, even with all of that going on inside of you. You didn’t have to give us advance warning of your gas release events, but thanks to your scheduling we know to expect a blast of hot air every Friday. I appreciate the warning, and have decided to work four days a week from now on so I can stay at home on Fridays with my doors and windows closed.

If this isn’t how you did it, and if it wasn’t those craaaaaaaazy red-rimmed glasses combined with the awesome hot-air capacity of your lungs and posterior region, then the only other solution I can come up with is magic. I’m not a big believer in witchcraft and paranormal events, because to believe in something I usually need actual evidence. But in this situation there really isn’t any other explanation for how you could just decide one day that one of the world’s most intractable problems has vanished.

I’m not generally inclined towards religion, but this whole situation has left me questioning what is real and what isn’t, and wondering whether greater powers may be at play. I’ve even wondered if you might be Jesus, but you don’t much look like the pictures of the Messiah I’ve seen, which usually depict a man in robes and a beard, who generally isn’t wearing craaaaaaaazy red-rimmed glasses. Could you be some sort of minor god or other deity? You must be.

No doubt you’ll be too busy to read this letter, and I expect you’re already planning your next humanitarian effort. Your global warming trick did catch me off guard, so I don’t really want to speculate on what you may have planned next, although I expect it to be something big, like ending hunger or abolishing all crime. But if you do have a bit of spare time to exert some godly powers, may I put in my own modest request? I’ve attached to my letter a list of names of various people I know. I really am sorry that it’s such a long list, but I seem to know such an awful lot of people. If you get a chance, would you be so kind as to give them all a good smiting?

14 comments on “ImperatorFish: A Plea To Jim Hopkins ”

  1. Macro 1

    I really can’t understand why anyone bothers to pay any attention to the village idiot, the man is simply a fool.
    Ironically his diatribe of rubbish was published the on the day when AGW made itself felt not an hours flight from his doorstep.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Hopkins truly jumps the shark with this one. The only encouraging thing is how the comments thread by an large eviscerates him.

    Most people understand that there is a problem here; they know that the science consensus is telling them that business as usual isn’t sustainable. Yet the only courses of action open to most of us involve the kind of change and personal sacrifice… that would be acceptable if everyone else around us were in the loop as well, but makes us uncomfortable and exposed if we are the only ones we know making the effort.

    Most people prefer being pretty much ‘in the pack’. It’s for fairly good reason that we don’t usually enjoy sticking our necks out. That’s why as individuals most of us feel completely disempowered to respond to climate change, because until there is the collective political leadership that makes individual change safe, or at the very least respectable… we are not going to act.

    And it’s that gap between knowing we should act, but lacking the will to which creates unease and not a little guilt. Hopkins is merely pressing the ‘ease the guilt’ button with a lazy, cheap hack of a column. It would be directly analogous to a column telling that child abuse is not a problem in this country, because well… it’s ok to ignore the screams and howls from the kids next door, CYPS is useless, if you do report it there’ll be strife with the neighbours… so it’s best to do nothing about it. There, there never mind.

    And shame on the Herald for publishing it.

  3. jaymam 3

    The claim is often made that 97% of scientists say man-made climate change is real.
    The correct figure from the actual survey should be: fewer than 1%.
    The 97% figure comes from a survey of 10,257 earth scientists, of whom 77 bothered to reply. 75 of those thought that humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that is of course a complete lie.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      I always thought the “97%” figure was a bit of a red herring. I mean, what sort of knuckle-dragging moron believes that science is some sort of opinion poll, or that the veracity of an opinion poll has the slightest relevance to peer-reviewed research? It might play with the feeble minded, but if you want to understand some climatology you actually have to read the science, do a few sums, stuff like that.

    • Ari 3.2

      Who cares about the survey?

      Both claims postulating climate destabilisation and climate skeptic claims go through scientific journals if they want to be taken seriously. There, ANY scientist can challenge or verify those claims with their own experiments or models. If a reasonable number of scientists verifies a claim and the objections of any skeptics are addressed, it’s considered peer-reviewed and becomes a theory, which is the highest formal level a scientific hypothesis can reach. (“Laws” are just theories that are informally considered to have been verified so solidly and been around for so long that the core of the theory is unlikely to be disproved)

      Thus far, no skeptical claim has been verified that contradicted the core hypothesis of global climate destabilisation and temperature rise, and in fact, scientists increasing come to agreement over studies that suggest to increasing degrees that it’s going to be worse than they predicted in the past.

      It doesn’t matter what scientists THINK. That’s a gormless appeal to authority. It matters what methods they use, what data they can provide, and what they can attempt to prove with it, and the consensus of those three things is that climate destabilisation is not only here, but that it’ll get worse, and we’re too late to prevent it altogether.

  4. Roy 4

    If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing (Anatole France). If, on the other hand, a small number of highly trained people say AGW is real and have the facts and figures to support their claim, they’re probably right. As it happens, they do indeed have the facts and figures to support their claim.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      “The facts and figures” – let’s be specific – we have the original observations and theory proposed by Svante Arrhenius (1896) and the back-up confirmation from a quantum-mechanical perspective (Callendar 1938). These two papers pretty much take care of the Physics and Chemistry.
      We have the mathematical models, such as those used by Arrhenius to predict various effects – winter warming more than summer, nights warming more than days, Arctic warming more than Antarctic etc.
      Then we have the real-world observations that validate the theories and models. Nights really are warming more than days, winter more than summer, etc, just as Arrhenius said they would.
      We have the global temperature reconstructions and real-world measurements, piecing multiple lines of evidence together to arrive at the same conclusion.

      And the other “side” – well actually they can’t even agree on which part to deny.

  5. Jum 5

    How many people in 2050 – about 9 billion people.

    Where do they live – in clusters.

    With all the climate change deniers under the neo-conservative governments the coal and oil and pollution lovers will expand their industries.

    There will be a pollution roof on the earth – it’s called smog.

    With the the people in their clusters warming up their environments without anywhere for it to escape – warming will occur. Remember the windowless room? One person will probably feel chilly in winter. 100 people in that room will feel hot. 9 billion people in clusters in a finite space = climate change and warming.

    Whatever people think about natural climate change it is obvious to all but idiots that people cause added climate change by the very nature of their selfish greed through use of finite and pollutant resources and their style of living in clusters.

  6. Hammer 6

    From an experienced geologist and scientist:
    1 Throughout geological time there have been regular ice-ages with several warm periods (interglacials) within them, often warmer than present.
    2 Around 1500AD the temperature of Britain was higher than now, as was the Neolithic period.
    3 In 19th century there was the “little Ice Age”. Climate change data often starts at this low point so recent rebound warming appears dramatic.
    4 If Arctic sea ice melted the sea level would not alter because it is covering water. Melting ice from land has raised sea levels for the last 10000 yrs since the end of the last phase of ice. The North Sea was land then.
    5 CO2 has only recently risen from 33ppm to38ppm. It has been higher over geological time, nearly 2000ppm.

    Many factors probably play a part in the regular cycles of climate change. Focusing on one by picking evidence to fit is bad science and stops serious debate.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      From an experienced geologist and scientist:

      Obviously you are not.

      2 Around 1500AD the temperature of Britain was higher than now, as was the Neolithic period.

      So what. Just tells us climate is sensitive…. not a cause for complacency.

      4 If Arctic sea ice melted the sea level would not alter because it is covering water.

      Nobody, but nobody has suggested Artic sea ice melting would change sea level. It is the Greenland Ice cap, and the two Antarctic Ice Sheets that are the real potential contributors to change in sea level. As they have in the past by some 80-100m or so… as any ‘experienced geologist’ would know.

      CO2 has only recently risen from 33ppm to38ppm.

      Well you are out by a factor of ten. The actual current level is 392 ppm. And increasing by about 2ppm per year. Still an ‘experienced scientist’ would know this no?

      It has been higher over geological time, nearly 2000ppm.

      Not anytime in many, many millions of years, and certainly not anytime during human evolution. Are you suggesting that we could raise the CO2 level to that amount and have no effect? Or that the climate and the entire eco-system and agricultural systems which critically support us would survive in such a condition? I’m all ears if you are.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Current cycle of global warming is 74% attributable to human activities, according to a new study which uses an interesting energy balance methodology.


      5 CO2 has only recently risen from 33ppm to38ppm. It has been higher over geological time, nearly 2000ppm.

      Note that for long periods of that ‘geological time’ the Earth could not support modern human civilisation as we see it today.

      Further for the last few hundred thousand years i.e. the time that human civilisation did evolve and develop, CO2 concentration stayed beneath 300ppm. Since 1950’s however we have seen it spike quickly and massively from an initially recorded 315ppm to now over 390ppm.

    • lprent 6.3

      Evidentially this mythical geologist did not say those things. Because as RL pointed out, he would have to had made so many errors that he’d need to change his name to doddering senile fool of a geologist. I have a earth sciences degree – I can’t imagine a geologist saying any of that claptrap unless they were well paid and uncaring of their professional reputation.

      I cannot believe that there is a denier as stupid as you are still left. Talking about natural variations in climate as if this would surprise anyone who has ever read a geology primer for year 9 NCEA science. Followed by ignoring the onland ice that matters for sealevel. Then fucking up the order of magnitude of CO2 levels. And ignoring the rise from about 290ppm in preindustrial times..

      I think that your 2000ppm (assuming you haven’t screwed that magnitudes up on that – which looks likely) was probably from Precambrian times when the earth had a reducing atmosphere and before life was much more than bacteria, and before photosynthesis got prevelant. More than a billion years ago. But if you care to devolve back to your natural state as a anerobic slime mould to cope with that level of CO2, then be my guest. It would improve the average intelligence of humans.

      Basically you have got to be the sorriest fuckwit denier that I have seen since umm Jim Hopkins and his red rimmed eyes of ignorance…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      The North Sea was land then.

      Not according to this map.

      Generally, everything you’ve written there just proves your ignorance.

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