Not too long ago, U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter was asked his opinion about global warming. He responded that he didn’t believe in global warming caused by human beings. McCotter didn’t justify his rejection of global warming on the basis of scientific data. Instead, McCotter explained his opinion with a little parable about the Ice Age over his home state of Michigan three thousand years ago.
“Remember, the people who talk about the melting of the glaciers and others — imagine if you were in a peninsula around 1,000 B.C. or so or earlier, and your name was Thor and you were out hunting mastodon. And you didn’t notice that the glaciers were melting and leaving the devastating flooding in its wake that became the Great Lakes in the state of Michigan. So what I think that what we have to do is go back in history and look at this and realize that the Earth has been here a long time. To take selective periods of time and say that somehow this proves that there’s a manmade global warming occurring is absolutely wrong.”
The scientifically literate among our readers will have taken note of a few things in this passage. First of all, there was no Ice Age in Michigan, or anywhere in North America, in 1,000 B.C. Not anywhere close to it. There were no people named Thor either, as Thor is the name of a Germanic god, believed in by ancients in Europe, not in North America. There once were mastodons, elephant-like creatures native to North America, living in Michigan, but they died out long before three thousand years ago. The Great Lakes were not created three thousand years ago. They are, as well, much older than Thaddeus McCotter claims.
In short, all the prehistorical details of Thaddeus McCotter’s parable about how global warming couldn’t possibly be true are wrong – “absolutely wrong”, as McCotter would put it.
McCotter is also wrong to assume that models of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming are based on temperature data from just a short period of time that has been arbitrarily selected. In fact, climatologists have come to their conclusions by looking at data from an extremely long period of time using multiple methods of calculating past climate conditions. One recent study concludes that the current rate of carbon emissions is likely to be greater than at any other time on the history of the Earth, directly contradicting McCotter’s assertion that the climate change taking place right now is typical and natural.
It’s bad enough that Thaddeus McCotter’s ignorance, both of science and of the history of his home state of Michigan, has been allowed to influence his policy decisions in the United States Congress. Tomorrow, McCotter will announce that he wants to take his ignorance to an even higher level: To the White House. McCotter will begin his 2012 presidential election tomorrow.
Those Americans who believe that their leaders should be well-informed, and not merely depend upon fanciful fables they come up with in their own minds, have a responsibility to take a stand and oppose the presidential campaign of Thaddeus McCotter. This bumper sticker is designed to help people do just that, reminding McCotter’s supporters that global warming is for real – and McCotter’s fables are not.