The Best Satire Ever

A few days ago we covered analogies, and Dan Olner pointed me to a great one that has sparked this post.

It was written as an April Fools’ on RealClimate, and reads in part:

A “consensus view” amongst climate scientists holds that the Northern Hemisphere will be warming this month, as spring is coming. This is thought to be due to the Earth’s orbit around the sun and the inclination of the Earth’s axis, tilting the Northern Hemisphere progressively towards the sun throughout March and April and increasing the amount of solar radiation received at northern latitudes.

In a new novel, State of Euphoria, bestselling author Michael Crikey uncovers major flaws in this theory and warns against false hopes for the arrival of spring.

This is not merely fiction: Crikey underpins his thesis with numerous scientific diagrams. He presents measurements from over a dozen weather stations in the Northern Hemisphere where temperatures show a cooling trend in March. He further cites scientific results which show that in some places, snow and ice have increased in the past weeks, counter to climatologists’ claims that they should be melting away in the spring sun. He further argues that even the average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere has not increased steadily; during one week of March, it showed a slight cooling despite the increase in solar radiation.

“This casts a grave shadow of doubt on the theory of the seasons”, says Crikey. “Consensus science is not good science.” He says we should not trust computer models projecting that June will be much warmer than March in most of the Northern Hemisphere. “These models cannot even predict the weather in two weeks time – why should we believe what they say about temperatures in two months?” He also says that only six months ago, scientists were predicting a cooling.

This wasn’t the only time that RC wrote a satirical post for April Fools’ Day. One of their most popular posts is the Sheep Albedo Feedback:

The hypothesis begins with the simple observation that most sheep are white, and therefore have a higher albedo than the land on which they typically graze. This effect is confirmed by the recent Sheep Radiation Budget Experiment. The next step in the chain of logic is to note that the sheep population of New Zealand has plummeted in recent years. The resulting decrease in albedo leads to an increase in absorbed Solar radiation, thus warming the planet…..There is in fact an important destabilizing feedback in the system: as climate gets warmer, there is less demand for wool sweaters and wooly underwear. Hence the sheep population tends to drop, leading to even more warming. In an extreme form, this can lead to a “runaway sheep-albedo feedback.”

The Christian Science Monitor did an April Fools’ article of its own, which never fails to cheer me up, unless I make the mistake of reading the comments below it. Anyway, it begins:

In an unprecedented move Wednesday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee rescinded the Peace Prize it awarded in 2007 to former US vice president Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, amid overwhelming evidence that global warming is an elaborate hoax cooked up by Mr. Gore.

A press release from the committee quotes a chagrined Rajendra Pachauri, the UN climate panel’s chair, who claims that he was the victim of a “cunning deception spanning decades”:

“I am deeply ashamed for having unwittingly perpetuated such a massive fraud on the governments of the world,” said Mr. Pachauri.

“It turns out that all that data from satellites and radiosondes, surface temperature readings, borehole analysis, measurements of rising sea levels, melting glaciers and permafrost, phenological data, and proxy reconstructions of paleoclimatic conditions were all fabricated out of thin air by my former friend, Al Gore. Now that I think about it, I suppose that we should have instituted some sort of peer-review process before publishing such alarming conclusions. Once again, I’m very sorry.”

If we’re going to talk about satire, we can’t forget DenialDepot, a great example of Poe’s Law. The “About” tab on the home page reads:

I believe that one day all science will be done on blogs because we bloggers are natural skeptics, disbelieving the mainstream and accepting the possibility of any alternative idea.

We stand unimpressed by “textbooks”, “peer review journals” and so-called “facts”. There are no facts, just dissenting opinion. We are infinitely small compared to nature and can’t grasp anything as certain as a fact.

Nothing is settled and we should question everything. The debate is NOT over Gore! When so-called “experts” in their “peer reviewed journals” say one thing, we dare the impossible and find imaginative ways to believe something else entirely.

Be sure to check out the posts on snowstorms, exponentials, the Oregon Petition, and the new theory of climate.

Anything I’ve left out? Share your favourite climate change satire in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “The Best Satire Ever

  1. If you haven’t seen it, check out Bart’s comment (53) in the RC post. He has a link to something he’s written on his site. It is a good analogy with some satire included.

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