Stop Global Warming—Hold Your Breath

One“News”Now is like the Cheese Shop.

It’s certainly uncontaminated by facts.

I came across one sentence today. One simple sentence in a OneNeuronNow article that so perfectly exemplifies all that is wrong with that site and the so-called “news” that they’re pushing.

It’s the lead sentence in a global-warming denialism article titled “Cap-and-Trade—’Largest Tax Increase of All Time’”. I want you to gaze upon its elegance and simplicity. Marvel in awe at how it manages to pack everything that is wrong with far-right propaganda into just ten words. Here is that amazing sentence:

Is the carbon dioxide that humans exhale a public danger?

Brilliance!
Perfection!
Retarditude!

Of course, they wouldn’t ask the question if they didn’t have an answer already built out of slanted letters:

Yes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency….

In a master stroke of misdirection, the diabolical puppet masters at ONN pull on the strings controlling the opinions of everybody stupid enough to read that site and think it’s news.

By casting the issue in those terms, they are implying that the EPA and everybody else worried about the climate crisis are just crazy folks. We can’t help breathing! Those crazy libruls think that taking a deep breath is causing the polar ice caps to melt!

This amazing bit of misdirection completely derails any attempts by those of us with facts to try to educate the uninformed on this issue. Breathing is so basic to all animals that global warming comes across as completely groundless. I’ll bet the science haters at the Discovery Institute are staring at that article in stunned amazement, with their jaws hanging open. The best misdirection the creationists can come up with is “strengths and weaknesses”.

Breathing causes global warming.

So to set the record straight, let’s go over the facts of the matter.

The carbon in the CO2 you exhale is part of a closed system. Plants pull the carbon out of the air. Herbivores pull the carbon they need out of the plants they eat. Omnivores (e.g., us) pull the carbon they need out of the plants and animals they eat. All of that carbon originally came from the air, and it goes back into the air when we exhale. It’s a closed loop.

So now let’s look at OneNeuronNow’s question again:

Is the carbon dioxide that humans exhale a public danger?

No!! None of the carbon dioxide humans exhale contributes to global warming!

Global warming is caused by extracting from the ground carbon that was removed from the atmosphere millions of years ago and locked away where it can do no harm. Now we’re putting that carbon back into the atmosphere. That is the carbon dioxide that is the public danger.

The other public danger is fake news sites that spread misinformation, so those who are profiting from despoiling the planet can continue to do so.

20 Responses to “Stop Global Warming—Hold Your Breath”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Brilliantly put, Ron. The “closed system” argument is very hard for fundies to comprehend, from my experience. They frequently whip out the second law of thermodynamics to “disprove” evolution. Same scenario. They can’t comprehend how different systems interact with each other. They can’t see how certain systems form closed loops and others are not closed at all.

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    On the thermodynamics issue, you reminded me of one of my all-time favorite fundie quotes (memorialized on the Top-100 page at Fundies Say the Darndest Things):

    One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn’t possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it. [emphasis added]

  3. Parrotlover77 Says:

    That level of stupid is a work of art.

  4. sue blue Says:

    What about farts? What about all that methane coming out of billions of butts? Do they ever wonder about that? As for me, it’s hard to tell which end the hot air is coming out of when it’s coming from these pinnacles of pinheadedness.

    I’ve tried to explain to come climate-change-denying friends of mine that Cretaceous carbon hasn’t been in the atmosphere since, well, the Cretaceous period; I was just wasting my C02-laden breath.

  5. The Watcher Says:

    Ron,

    I see why you’d say the above quote is at the peak of fundie absurdity found on One-Sided News Now. But for me, as a lawyer, I have to go with this gem, found in the comments section of an article about a post office in a church:

    What school did these judges attend to obtain their law degrees? There IS NO establishment clause anywhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. I challenge anybody to show it to me.

    For those of you who may have forgotten their high school civics, this is the first half of the first sentence of the First Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…

    OOPS!

  6. Parrotlover77 Says:

    What about farts? What about all that methane coming out of billions of butts? Do they ever wonder about that?

    Ironically, the methane produced from animal farms could be a significant source of fuel if it was collected. Not only do plants more readily absorb -er- farts compared to fossil fuels, but it’s all a part of a closed loop carbon system. Well, not really, since the farm factory itself runs on fossil fuels, but if you started powering them by the resultant animal methane, it would be. Then farms would be net carbon neutral.

    But I digress. Since fundies and conservatives like to laugh at anything that sounds funny no matter how scientifically useful it may be (ZOMG they are MONITORING VOLCANOS? That’s so wasteful! it’s not like volcanos have any negative consequences that we need to keep track of. TAX AND SPEND TAX AND SPEND), collecting and powering things from cow farts would just seem absolutely ridiculous, no matter how useful (and possibly cheaper) it may be.

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    Watcher:

    You’re right. That quote is certainly in the same class of monumental ignorance. In some ways it’s worse. Most fundies just repeat what they’ve been told without understanding it. That guy supposedly went to law school, where he should have learned about the Constitution.

  8. OtherRob Says:

    Ironically, the methane produced from animal farms could be a significant source of fuel if it was collected.

    But who would want the job of collecting the “product”??? :)

  9. sue blue Says:

    If we could power the country on stupid, we’d be carbon-zero in no time. But no, unfortunately these people are completely useless, not to mention lovin’ ‘em their oil – oil that God obviously squeezed out of them dinosaurs just so ignorant hicks could drive around in Hummers a hundred million years later.

  10. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Sue, don’t be silly; oil doesn’t come from dinosaurs. They all died in the flood, five thousand years ago; there hasn’t been enough time. God very graciously put the oil in the ground for us to find it.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    But who would want the job of collecting the “product”???

    Robots, silly!

    Wait… maybe that’s not a good idea. Maybe that’s why they turned us into batteries in the Matrix…

  12. Brian Says:

    God very graciously put the oil in the ground for us to find it.

    Hilariously, He in His infinite wisdom placed it below people who hate us. That God, what a dick!

  13. sue blue Says:

    Yeah, God knew us Amerkans would get hooked on “Texas Tea”. I imagine he was just laaaughin’ up the old sleeve whilst he was endowing the land of sand and camels with the lion’s share of black gold. Plus, he didn’t bother to tell Abraham or Moses or even Jesus that the stuff was right under their feet. I imagine Mary would have appreciated a ride to Bethlehem in an air-conditioned limo, rather than on the back of a donkey.

    Anyway, I know why these global-warming deniers can’t seem to understand the carbon cycle. Their God is supposedly a never-ending fount of blessings – thus the oil can never run out, the atmosphere will continuously be renewed by his holy hand, and humans can do whatever they want without any responsibility whatsoever, ’cause Big Daddy’s in charge.

  14. Ron Britton Says:

    humans can do whatever they want without any responsibility whatsoever, ’cause Big Daddy’s in charge.

    Even though the whole lesson of the Garden of Eden and the Fall, as the fundies keep reminding us, is having to pay the consequences of our behavior.

  15. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I’d add that for a lot of them, the attitude is, “What difference does it make what we do with this earth? He’s coming back soon to give us a brand new one.”

    Also, environmentalism is connected, in their minds, to paganism, Wicca, etc. – in other words, devil-worship. And, in any case, it’s all them libruls who push the whole global warming thing to begin with – and you can’t trust them, nohow.

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Jeff – I think really it’s the liberal thing more than paganism. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but I can’t say I’ve heard it before personally. However, I have heard that it’s “liberal hype” and “Al Gore Is Fat (TM)”, so well…

  17. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Oh, and my favorite, “but but but scientists were saying it was global COOLING 40 years ago, so you can’t believe anything they say ever.”

  18. sue blue Says:

    Yeah, the fundiest members of my family really believe that everything – literally everything, from pathogenic microbes, dinosaur fossils and supernovae, to earthquakes, carnivorous animals, and bad breath – is a consequence of “the Fall” in the Garden of Eden. Thus, bad things are bound to happen, we just can’t help it, and we might as well not fight it. If we just pray real hard and give a lot of time and money to a church, Jesus will come back and fix everything right up again. They really don’t see the point in caring about our “sinful” environment.

  19. Emily Says:

    Isn’t the “closed system” taught in fifth grade science classes? Or were these people all home schooled Fundie-science?

  20. dvsrat Says:

    Emily,

    There really is a hodge-podge of people in this type of community. Some were raised in environments where they were home schooled with a minimal amount real information. On the opposite end — the cynics. Those who know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. And, of course, all those in-between.