In every place of knowledge, there is a statue dedicated to one of the great martyrs of science. He carefully studied the data and came to the conclusion that his people were doomed if action was not immediately taken. For this effort, he was mocked, derided, and ultimately ignored. And, as a result, millions died.
I speak, of course, of Jor-El, Superman’s father (his biological father, not the Midwestern hillbilly who adopted him). The destruction of Krypton was the tragic result of science being ignored, and every scientist keeps the lesson of Jor-El in mind whenever he finds himself mocked for warning of an impending catastrophe or questioned for launching his children into space unattended.
And history repeats itself with climate change. We tell you people of the imminent dangers from the earth warming, and what do you do? You mock us. You question our motives. People who can’t even convert Fahrenheit to Celsius try and tell us we did the science wrong. Now emails have leaked from the Climate Research Unit that apparently show that scientists were fixing the data and trying to suppress the scientific research of dissenters, and you people demand answers from us. I have one thing to say to that. How dare you!
You do not understand the first thing about climate research. Man-made global warming is settled science. Disaster is imminent. We know this. It is a fact. We don’t waste time on studies that say otherwise, the same way we don’t waste time on studies that assert that the earth is flat. We are very smart people, and when we say something is so, you should just accept it.
So you think what is in those emails is important? Well, what exactly do you know? Do you see the white lab coats we wear? That color symbolizes pure science. Were someone like you to wear one, within five minutes it would be stained with neon orange powdered cheese and wet with drool from you trying to comprehend the data sets people like me look at every day.
We are out there trying to stave off global disaster, telling you what political and economic changes you need to make in order to survive. We do the things that you find too complex or too boring to do. One would think that would engender gratitude — or maybe even awe at our abilities — yet you troglodytes cling to everything you can use to second-guess us. Every time it’s a bit cold out, you doubt us. Every time one little piece of data has to be revised, you question us. And now some emails make you think you can just throw out everything we’ve done?
Let me tell you this: If it weren’t for scientists like me, you’d still be worshiping fire as an angry god. Every convenience in your life is thanks to us, so when we tell you something, you should just nod your head like you comprehend what we’re saying and shut up. And right now I am telling you those emails are unimportant.
Oh, that’s not good enough for you. You want us to explain them. You think you’re entitled to the truth.
You can’t understand the truth!
Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to have scientific equipment on them to gather data, and that data studied by men with computers. Who’s going to do it? A layman like you? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the global warming skeptics and curse the climatologists. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that the crushing of data contrary to global warming, while tragic, probably saved grant money. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to the layman, creates scientific consensus. You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about on Twitter, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall studying those measurements you can’t even begin to comprehend.
We use phrases like “peer review,” “overwhelming consensus,” “settled science.” We use these phrases as the backbone to a life spent studying something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket made by synthetic fibers my science creates, then questions the manner in which I provide that science! I’d rather you just said, “You’re such a genius!” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a lab coat and crunch data. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!
Of course we hid dissenting data! We had to. So as not to confuse your simple minds from understanding the greater truth that man-made global warming is real! Now, excuse me; I have science to do.
There won’t be another Krypton on my watch.