"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Species That Ought to Go Extinct

Today was the first day of the "Global Warming Is a Myth" conference, the preliminary arrangements for which I blogged about way back here.

A few observations from sitting at the registration booth today:
  • Climate skeptics are overwhelmingly old, white, and male. 
  • Their zealotry is at least as strong as their skepticism.
  • At least some of them have Ph.D.s, and it is important for everyone to know it via their nametags. And to refer to them as "Dr. This" and "Dr. That" even if they do not hold an academic position and/or are not attending the conference as "expert" speakers. 
  • Whereas, of course, there are no recent Ph.D.s in the registration booth! Noooononono! Not even a remote possibility. I become just one of "the girls" handing out badges and programs. All of us "girls" are in our 30s, have college educations at a minimum, and, with one exception, are persons of color.
  • The speakers and attendees assume us "girls" share their beliefs. Not one of us does. We mock them, mostly behind their backs. Sometimes to their faces, but the tone of voice never registers. We are invisible performers. It never occurs to them that we "just work here."
And the polar bears?

Well, their plight is real, but to Climate Skeptics and Global-Warming-Is-a-Myth-Super-Science-Radical-Experts, polar bears merely perform as Endangered Animals. Just another category of losers in the Grand Narrative of Man's Dominance (except, don't forget that "Man" isn't responsible for Global Warming -- only God could manage that!).

Talk about dinosaurs! It's easy to embrace the extinction of others when you -- through some bizarre maneuver of cognitive dissonance, an internalized and never-questioned capacity for mansplanation -- remove yourself categorically from all potentially vulnerable species.


  1. Do you believe global warming is a reality or myth?

  2. That should be pretty obvious from the post. I think it's not really a question of belief but of evidence. Within in the scientific community, there is general consensus that overwhelming evidence supports the reality of global warming. These people who think global warming is a myth are a tiny minority with very loud voices, very little evidence, and frequently ulterior motives. They actively distort legitimate research that does not support their position because they don't have enough real evidence to make their case convincingly. This is something I've witnessed firsthand at my job, something I resent having to be a part of, and something I posted about here http://afteracademe.blogspot.com/2011/08/disowning-your-writing.html

    What do you think? Is global warming a myth or a reality?