It’s that time of year again when temperatures around one half of the globe begin to climb downward. You and I call it the seasons of autumn and winter, but every year some cockamamie conservative political cartoonist decides to call this seasonal change a refutation of global warming. Last year, astonished that it got cold in winter, half-cocked cartoonists John Cole and Lisa Benson (among many others) penned comics for the newspapers in which they declared global warming to be debunked, debunked, debunked! Why, you had to be a loopy hippy to believe in global warming, they declared: time to burn the Al Gore books for heat! Hardy har har.
Thing was, last winter was actually the second warmest winter on record.
I’m not going to call John Cole or Lisa Benson stupid. No, I’m pretty sure they know that it gets cold in winter and that last winter was pretty warm. I’d actually call John Cole and Lisa Benson smart, if amoral. They have a job to do, and they’re good at their job. Their job is to sell papers and satisfy their corporate bosses, not tell the truth. If they can sell papers and/or satisfy their corporate bosses with counterfactual cartoons making fun of hippies and scientists, they’ll do it, truth be damned.
That’s why I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that this year, we’ll see the same sort of political cartoons all over again in the newspapers’ op-ed pages. As it gets colder during winter (shocking!), we’ll see some political cartoonist declaring yet again, contrary to the facts, that global warming is debunked, disproven, a sham, a hoax.
Let’s make it a contest: the first person to post a link to a new “winter is cold, so global warming is a myth” political cartoon appearing in a newspaper wins a free button — this “Global Warming is Real, GOP Denial is Fake” pin. Be on the lookout, and when you see the first one, let me know!