William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Finally! Global Warming, The Musical

Our beneficent government gave $700,000 dollars to a theatre troup to create the musical The Great Immensity.

Maybe you didn’t catch that. Our most giving righteous wise government, through its National Science Foundation, gave seven-hundred-thousand dollars to a group to put on a play about global warming. Seven. Hundred. Thousand. Dollars. American tax dollars. Science.

Our friend Luboš Motl writes all about it; Daily Caller has a few tidbits, too. The plot of the play:

Through her search, Phyllis uncovers a mysterious plot surrounding the upcoming international climate summit in Auckland. As the days count down to the Auckland Summit, Phyllis must decipher the plan and possibly stop it in time. With arresting projected film and video and a wide-ranging score of songs, The Great Immensity is a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: how can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?

Right out of the Protocols of the Elders of Oil. The only reason everybody hasn’t rushed to link arms and cease exhaling carbon dioxide is because they have been hoodwinked. The ignorant fools!

Well just wait until the public gets a lot of the hit song from The Great Immensity “Margin of Error”, perhaps the first instance in recorded history in which an opinion poll is set to music. $700,000. Science.

Margin of Error from Polly on Vimeo.

The polls show
Fifty-seven per-cent
of Americans think something’s happening
to the Climate.

Now Yours Truly fancies himself a bit of a playwright. His Dinner with Atheists was performed on Broadway (the author read it aloud while walking down that very street). And his Sandra Fluke Mows The Lawn was considered by him for various nominations of actual awards, such as the Tony.

So it is with some authority I speak on this topic. You therefore know you can trust me when I say I want to get in on this. Seven-hundred-thousand dollars is a lot of money and I deserve it. Gimme.

My global warming musical will be called It’s the End of the World and it’s All Your Fault. Plot thus far:

Young scientist Nigel is watching Fox News when he has an epiphany. The reason his grants aren’t funded is that he hasn’t yet admitted the world is about to end. He converts and finds success! Join him on his one-man quest to find love and to never quite solve the problem of Global Warming (if it were solved, then no more grants). [I'm still trying to work in a sword fight. Everybody loves sword fights.]

I preview for you today fragments of the soon-to-be hit songs.

Wither the Weather?

The weather
   She’s a changin’
You’d betta
   Cry like a little girl

The storms
   Gettin’ stronger
Summer squalls
   Causing people minor inconveniences.

The hot heat
   She’s a risin’
Ever hotter
   Almost a whole tenth of degree more in the next fifty years.

Baby, It’s Hot Outside

Take off that coat, baby
   It’s hot outside.
No need for that scarf, baby
   It’s hot outside.

The thermometer is readin’ lower
   You know it’s hot outside
But the models say it’s higher
   That’s why it’s hot outside.

The icicles on your nose
   Confirm it’s hot outside
The endless winter weather
   Mean global warming’s on its way.
Oh baby! It’s so hot outside!

Denier!

I met a man on the street this day
Who tried to tell me that
Global warming was no threat to me
That cooling was where it’s at.

So I shouted Denier!
And shot him in the head.
The judge,
who was an Obama appointee,
let me go Scott Free.

Justice!

Get Me That Grant

Get me that grant, oh!
   Get me that grant
Get me that grant, oh!
   Get me that grant

Oh, Get me that grant
   A really big grant
Oh, Get me that grant
   A whopping big grant

Gimme that grant now
   How else can we learn?
I want it real bad now
   Else the world will burn!

And now for brilliance. Let’s make this a collaborative effort. Everybody join in and provide your own songs. But the time we’re finished even the fishes in the sea will be humming our tunes and then the world will be a better place!

23 Comments

  1. Dear William, it’s excellent. I contacted my contact at the Department of Energy and she agreed it’s wonderful, so they approved a $1.4 million DOE grant. You will have to return $100,000 if the musical ends up without music, however.

  2. Briggs

    1 April 2014 at 8:25 am

    Luboš,

    It’s a deal!

  3. Don’t fret. $700K will be worth only 47 cents at the end of the century when our descendents all boiling. Not a bad investment from that perspective.

    As for your song, well, it ain’t the Beatles.

    “Rain”

    If the rain comes they run and hide their heads
    They might as well be dead
    If the rain comes, if the rain comes

    When the sun shines they slip into the shade
    (When the sun shines down)
    And drink their lemonade
    (When the sun shines down)
    When the sun shines, when the sun shines

    Rain, I don’t mind
    Shine, the weather’s fine

    I can show you that when it starts to rain
    (When the rain comes down)
    Everything’s the same
    (When the rain comes down)
    I can show you, I can show you

    Rain, I don’t mind
    Shine, the weather’s fine

    Can you hear me, that when it rains and shines
    (When it rains and shines)
    It’s just a state of mind?
    (When it rains and shines)
    Can you hear me, can you hear me?

    Sdaeh rieht edih dna nur yeht semoc niar eht fI
    (Rain)
    (Rain)

  4. In the chilly hours and minutes
    Of uncertainty
    I want to be
    In the warm place where the models run.

    To hear them all around me
    And to get the grants
    To meet my wants,
    Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

    When rising heat pales the sky
    I want to share the cash
    In that great stash,
    And everywhere I’d look, the proof I’d find.

    For the greatest cause
    All deeds are fair,
    Truth or right, I don’t care,
    Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

  5. Dr. Briggs,
    I think you would have a better chance asking the Koch brothers for money. I am always hearing about how they fund climate deniers.

  6. Oh the weather outside is frightful,
    poor deniers sad and spiteful.
    Since they’ve no place to go -
    Come embrace status quo, status quo.

    This is harder than it should be…

  7. “UN Climate Panel Says That According To Their Figures, You Drowned Last Thursday. And Don’t Try To Deny It”

  8. It’s nine o’clock on the day before,
    The IPCC report is due
    There’s an old man, sitting next to me
    Reviewing MBH98 through and through

    He says son, can you run me a computer model
    not really sure how it goes,
    but it’s easy
    just “derive” some parameters,
    and they only read abstracts anyway

    Bring us a prediction, you’re the Michael Mann
    Bring us a prediction tonight
    Well we’re all in the mood for a research grant
    And there’s evil deniers to fight

  9. I was going to write some more verses about CRU emails and lawsuits, but rhyming becomes tedious.

  10. “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    In accents most forlorn,
    Outside the church, ere Mass began,
    One frosty Sunday morn.

    http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/obrienj/poetry/hanrahan.html

  11. Come on dude it’s hot hot hot
    Nobody here says its cool
    So stick your nose out of your crib
    And chill yourself ’round the pool

    Round the pool
    Round the pool
    Yo gotta be cool round the pool

    When the climate man says you run run run
    You might think he’s not so fun
    You better believe he is seriously serious
    He come get you with his gun

    He’s got the gun
    He’s got the gun
    This ain’t goin’ to be no fun

    When skeptics say its cold cold cold
    And you got ice-cycles on your nose
    Just go with the climate man’s warning of woe
    Let the others be so bold

    You’re not bold
    You’re not bold
    You’re going to live ‘cause you ain’t bold

  12. Sword fights are so 20th century, this is the 20th century and all you need is a dog, preferably a talking one.

  13. argh, got my century wrong again.

  14. La Longue Carabine

    1 April 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Join him on his one-man quest to find love and to never quite solve the problem of Global Warming (if it were solved, then no more grants).

    http://www.despair.com/consulting.html

    Sword fight? How about dueling slide rulers.

    You see, to cut back on warming the electric power is only on an hour before dawn and an hour after twilight. But, engineers and scientist (and statisticians) must continue to compute.

    Cue the solo about the beauty of the instrument, partial solutions sliding back and forth…never mind.

  15. Addicted to Earl

    Al Gore came home
    To the wife and family
    After flying here and there and back to here.
    And the oil that he used
    Had drained all the reserves
    And left some carbon in the atmosphere.
    But the mansions eased the pain,
    And the servants with champagne,
    They took away his worries that so vexed
    With a dump truck full of carbon offset checks.

    There’s a hole in Al Gore’s jet where all the oil goes,
    Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
    Little voters have big ears,
    Don’t stop hyping the fears,
    Global warmin’s coming soon, let’s cap and trade.

    Al Gore’s welcome home
    Didn’t last too long.
    The sea’s that didn’t rise up copped his ‘tude,
    And soon he took to stealing
    When he got that empty feeling
    To feed his billion dollar jones for Saudi crude.
    And the oil roared through his veins
    Like a thousand dirty coal trains,
    And eased his mind in the hours that he chose,
    While poor folk ran ’round begging food and clothes.

    There’s a hole in Al Gore’s jet where all the oil goes,
    Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
    Little voters have big ears,
    Don’t stop hyping the fears,
    Global warmin’s coming soon, let’s cap and trade.

    Al Gore was feeling swell
    When BP lost that oil well,
    Trading futures while sitting on a throne.
    Well he played his last big hoax,
    And the laughter at the joke
    Floated like a sweetheart no-pay loan.
    But life had lost it’s fun,
    There was nothing to be done,
    But trade the house he bought in Tipper’s name,
    For a grand estate in Persian Gulf Bahrain.

    There’s a hole in Al Gore’s jet where all the oil goes,
    Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
    Little voters have big ears,
    Don’t stop hyping the fears,
    Global warmin’s coming soon, let’s cap and trade.

  16. That’s just for starters. I have more. In fact, I could score the entire musical for a modest upfront fee and a cut of the residuals…

  17. Sucking on cough drops,
    Watching the temps drop,
    See the flamingos covered in snow.
    Strumming my six-string,
    Stuck in my kitchen,
    Smell the heating coils,
    They’re beginning to glow.

    Shoveling the driveway again,
    Eight inch of climate change.
    Clear the walk and throw down some salt.
    Some people claim carbon emmisions can’t be blamed,
    Doncha know this snow is Al Gore’s fault.

    Snow is the reason,
    Been housebound all season.
    Nothing to show but this hockey stick tattoo.
    It’s a real beauty, a Mannian cutie,
    And I’ll find the numbers which make it come true.

    Shoveling the driveway again,
    Eight inch of climate change.
    Clear the walk and throw down some salt.
    Some people claim carbon emmisions can’t be blamed,
    But now I think, this snow has to be global warming’s fault.

    Crust broke made a posthole,
    Got snow in my (pause) ice hole.
    Frostbitten toes had to trudge on back home.
    Put coffee beans in the blender,
    And they soon they will render,
    The steaming concoction that helps me go on.

    Shoveling the driveway again,
    Eight inch of climate change.
    Clear the walk and throw down some salt.
    Some people claim carbon emissions can’t be blamed,
    But I know, that somehow warming’s at fault,
    Yes, some people claim carbon emissions can’t be blamed,
    But all this snow, has to be global warming’s fault.

  18. I am still planning to complete a Brand New operetta, modelled (an ensemble of course) on Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance”. I had intended to title it “The Prophets of Doom”, but in a gin-soaked haze wrote down “The Profits of Doom”. On reflection, I realised that the expression “in vino veritas” carries some weight, and decided that serendipity had produced a more apposite title.

    The first ditty is based, rather more than loosely, on “The Modern Major-General”. (original lyrics on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major-General's_Song)

    I am the very model of a modern climatologist,
    I’m smart and brash and canny, and not a whit apologist.
    I know my greenhouse science from Keeling and Arrhenius,
    My hero is Pachauri, a prognosticating genius.
    My arguments are fashioned from proxies picked and polished,
    So hockey-sticks of various hues see history demolished.
    Concerning greenhouse warming, I’m up there with the best,
    My graphical analysis survives the chi-square test.
    Radiation science is meat and drink to me –
    The facts are at my fingertips, it’s plain for all to see.

    I’m smart and brash and canny, and not a whit apologist.
    I am the very model of a modern climatologist,
    Not for me the blogosphere, the endless tittle-tattle,
    Scientific studies are my weapons for the battle.
    I know the mainstream journals, and I quote the studies actual,
    With peer-review, old-pals-act too, they needn’t be so factual.

    I’m smart and brash and canny, and not a whit apologist.
    I am the very model of a modern climatologist,
    I’m very good at bluster, hype, and statements categorical,
    Don’t fence with me, for as you’ll see, my logic is canonical.
    Obfuscation is my stock-in-trade, and devious my tactics,
    Debating not, I write a lot, so routing all the sceptics.

    I’m smart and brash and canny, and not a whit apologist.
    I am the very model of a modern climatologist,
    My enemies are mindless jerks, I’ll see them FOI-led again,
    I delete my emails daily, and watch them hunt in vain.
    Deniers all, their star will fall, the IPCC resplendent,
    Will win the day, you all will pay, the EPA’s ascendent.

    I’m smart and brash and canny, and not a whit apologist.
    I am the very model of a modern climatologist,
    From climate models numerous, and data-sets adjusted,
    And linear regressions, come forecasts to be trusted.
    Mankind is doomed, I’m sad to say, of that there’s little doubt.
    The earth will burn, though rising seas will put the fires out.
    The media are all agog, and keep the airwaves humming,
    For bad news sells, attention dwells, just keep the funding coming.
    I’m smart and brash and canny, and not a whit apologist.
    I am the very model of a modern climatologist.

    Someone mentioned Mike “Chainsaw” Mann earlier. I couldn’t possibly comment further – any possible parallels are pure conjecture, like the apocalyptic projections of the latest Ill-informed Panel on Climate Chaos report.

  19. Sung to the tune of Hello Dolly, with apologies to, well everyone.

    Well hello Michael, this is Steve, Michael
    Please make your data public where it belongs
    It would be swell Michael, if I could tell, Michael
    Exactly where you happened to go wrong
    Show us your tree ring data, Michael
    Show us everything, Michael
    And Michael please don’t hide the decline
    And Michael please don’t hide the decline
    Again

  20. “Our beneficent government gave $700,000 dollars to a theatre troup to create the musical The Great Immensity.”

    I’m with Menken here:

    “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

  21. Finally, an effective alternative to water boarding!

  22. More apologies due to Gilbert & Sullivan, for this slight modification of ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrQx43TDGFU):

    When a Climatist’s not engaged in his employment
    Or maturing his felonious little plan
    His capacity for innocent enjoyment
    Is just as great as any honest man
    Our feelings we with difficulty smother
    When statisticulary duty’s to be done
    Taking one consideration with another
    A statistician’s lot is not a happy one
    When statisticulary duty’s to be done, to be done
    A statistician’s lot is not a happy one

    When the ruthless geographer’s not alarming
    When the programmer isn’t occupied in crime
    He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
    And listen to the merry village chime
    When the paleo’s finished jumping on his mother
    He loves to lie a-basking in the sun
    Taking one consideration with another
    A statistician’s lot is not a happy one
    When statisticulary duty’s to be done, to be done
    A statistician’s lot is not a happy one

    When the journo stops ignoring how the stink went
    He nobly bids all patronage farewell
    When the nasty Dr Hansen to the clink went
    He hung his mother’s picture in his cell
    When Gleick has finished stealing from his brother
    He buys a rattle for his little son
    Taking one consideration with another
    A statistician’s lot is not a happy one
    When statisticulary duty’s to be done, to be done
    A statistician’s lot is not a happy one

  23. The AWG version of King Arthur’s song in Camelot
    (with apologies to Lerner and Loewe):

    It’s true! It’s true! Al Gore has made it clear.
    The world is warming more and more each year.

    We started burning too much fossil fuel here.
    July and August now are much too hot.
    For soon there will be no more snow here
    In Warmalot.

    The winters now arrive way past December;
    It says so on the data plot.
    Torrid summers linger through September
    In Warmalot.

    Warmalot! Warmalot!
    Although it sounds a bit bizarre,
    But in Warmalot, Warmalot
    That’s how conditions are.

    Predictions say we’re in for lots of trouble.
    However, federal grants will soon appear.
    The CO2 has got
    To a convenient spot
    For happ’ly modeling climate here
    In Warmalot.

    Warmalot! Warmalot!
    We humans sadly are the cause,
    But in Warmalot, Warmalot
    We’ll make up lots of laws.
    At last consensus says the issue’s settled
    So science facts will never interfere.

    Deniers then cannot
    Find inconvenient spot
    For happ’ly trading carbon credits here
    In Warmalot.

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