164: Playing Devil's Advocate to Win
|Playing Devil's Advocate to Win|
Title text: There are so many well-meaning conservatives around here who just assume global warming is only presented as a moral issue for political reasons.
Global warming is the rise of the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation. Scientists are more than 90% sure that it's caused by an increase in greenhouse gases caused by humanity's industrialization and activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Losses of human food security and habitat, melting of glaciers leading to a rise in sea temperatures, and more frequent heat waves, droughts and species extinctions are just some of the many likely effects of global warming.
Yet despite the unequivocal nature of climate change, it's a hot-button political topic in the United States, with many conservatives denying its existence, arguing that it has natural causes, or claiming that global warming could be a good thing. Liberals counter by saying that conservatives are claiming these things because they're in bed with the oil companies, and by denying the existence of global warming, they're saved from having to do anything about it. It's such a controversial topic in the U.S. that, in this comic, Cueball says he's decided to keep his mouth shut about the whole thing. He's withdrawn from the debate because it doesn't matter if he wins the debate or not — science doesn't care about who got the last word. If humanity reaches the tipping point and one day can't do anything to stop global warming, Cueball will find it interesting to watch exactly what happens. And if it turns out the scientists are wrong, he won't feel embarrassed that he's been making a big deal about it this whole time.
In the title text, he touches on the political side of global warming, saying that there are many well-meaning conservatives out here who honestly believe that global warming doesn't happen, and that liberals only bring it up to have a moral issue to attack conservatives with.
- Cueball: Yes, from the evidence it looks pretty likely to me that we're causing global warming on a horrific scale. But with science you don't need to argue. It doesn't matter who wins the debate — it's about reality. By just waiting a little longer, we'll get to see who was right. It feels unethical but I find myself wanting to keep quiet about the science just to know for sure. As terrible as it sounds, the state of the world isn't really my responsibility. I'm just thrilled to get to watch. If the scientists are right — and if we keep people from understanding just a little longer — we'll enjoy quite a ride. And pragmatically, on the outside chance that they're all wrong, I get saved the embarrassment of having spoken up.