William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

160 Eco Prize Winners Take Out New York Times Ad, Beg Money: UN Climate Summit. Update: Fake Winners

boo

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the slickest money grubbing stunt since Al Sharpton met Tawana Brawley. 160 secular self-ordained priests of the Environment have taken out an ad in the far-left New York Times which—

—Nay! Nothing so humble as a mere advertisement. No, sir! This is a declaration, a noble document, a moral plea on par with anything John Hancock put his pen to.

So shattering are the words that we must take them in pieces lest we be destroyed. First, the glamorous headline!

An appeal to the world’s foundations and philanthropists by the world’s environmental prize winners.

Prize winners? We have everybody from Ibrahim Abouleish, 2003 laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, i.e. the “alternate Nobel”, to Ellen Zimmerman, who snagged the 2006 Yves Rocher International Foundation Terre de Femmes (literally, woman covered in dirt).

Aghast that the Earth is heading for 4 to 6 degrees Celsius of global warming, given current policies on the burning of coal, oil and gas;

Aghast!

Terrified that we will lose our ability to feed ourselves, run out of potable water, increase the scope for war, and cause the very fabric of civilization to crash as a consequence of the climate change that global overheating will bring about;

Terrified!

But, say, who cares about potable water when the very fabric of civilization will crash!

Devastated that our governments have not succeeded in slowing, much less stopping, the flow of greenhouse gases into our thin atmosphere, in the full knowledge of these risks, despite a quarter century of trying;

Devastated!

Wait, did they just imply they want to stop all greenhouse gases? Dude.

Aware that the UN Climate Summit in Paris in December 2015 may be the last chance to agree to a treaty capable of saving civilization;

Aware!

This is it! This is the end. Unless we act now. So how should we act?

Believing that the world’s philanthropic foundations, given the scale of their endowments, hold the power to trigger a survival reflex in society, so greatly helping those negotiating the climate treaty;

Money!

Listen up, rich people. We have Tomorrow, and if you want to see her alive, you’d better give it up. Details to follow.

Recognizing that all the good works of philanthropy, in all their varied forms, will be devalued or even destroyed in a world en route to 6 degrees of global warming or more, and that endowments that could have saved the day will end up effectively as stranded assets;

Now, see, this is the danger of writing documents by committee. Above we were threatened with 4 to 6 degrees of warming, but here it’s morphed into 6 degrees “or more”. If they were trying to scare the bejeebers out of the wealthy, they should have agreed on something truly apocalyptic. Why not 13 degrees? Hot and unlucky!

We, 160 winners of the world’s environmental prizes, call on foundations and philanthropists everywhere to deploy their endowments urgently in the effort to save civilization.

If this works, I’m trying it. I mean, if these prize winners are able to shame rich folk into ponying up lest they be destroyed, them I’m having a go, too. Why not? Only question is, what sort of frightener (yes, frightener) should I use?

How’s Send me money or I shall blog again? Or If I don’t see the cash, every channel on every TV will show nothing but The View twenty-four hours a day? Or If you don’t deploy your resources my way, you’re going to feel awfully bad? Maybe, The world might end unless you create a sinecure for me?

That last is a logically true statement, incidentally. I mean, it is true the world might end unless I’m given employment, but only because all contingent propositions with “might” in them are true. That means it’s also true that the world might end in heat death by 2040 unless philanthropists open the taps.

Problem is, I can’t construct a plausible end-of-the-world story with a “might” that doesn’t sound like the plot from a bad Hollywood movie, and doesn’t cause me to blush and worry about the status of my soul.

Maybe you guys have ideas?

Update More Dubious Eco Laureates. “Green energy lobbyists pretending to be eco prize winners have signed a climate change declaration. Its real purpose is to secure more green energy funding.”

14 Comments

  1. I admit it—I laughed my eyeballs out over the title! Now that I have located and reinserted the eyeballs, I can once again type!

    I hope no philantropists can actually read since the IPCC downgraded the apolcalyse for now. If I recall correctly, it’s around 2 degrees, not 6, so let’s hope Bill Gates doesn’t do any checking before sending a donation.

    While I can probably come up with scenarios for the end of the world if we don’t _____________________, I most certainly cannot deliver them with a straight face. We’ll need to hire DiCapprio or someone like that who can deliver the message most sincerely as long as we pay him well.

    Thanks for the laugh!!

  2. Nothing but The View 24/7 if funds aren’t forthcoming? Well, OK then. Here’s my $0.02 worth.

  3. “I, William Briggs, terror-stricken at the stupefying reality that grotesque misuse of p-values will cause a skyrocketing 18,609% increase in the current rate of autism in the solar system, beg that you rush me some wads of cold, hard cash!”

    How’s that for a heart-string tugging plea?

  4. @Sheri,

    “Now that I have located and reinserted the eyeballs, I can once again type!”

    I hope you handled them carefully. They are delicate and minor damage that isn’t immediately apparent could cause a catastrophic failure down the road. Also, a slight misalignment could also cause permanent damage in the future.

    🙂

  5. These guys must be aiming for the Elmer Gantry award.

  6. Of course the asserted urgency by the top global warming alarmists is being asserted as more urgent than ever — if something isn’t done, and dangerous warming keeps on not happening as and when they said it would, they’ll be discredited.

    SO, something MUST be done so it looks like that something forestalled the outcome that was coming out anyway: They can claim the warming that wasn’t coming actually never came due to their correct prophesies & activism in influencing society to self-impose proper penance (that being smaller “carbon footprints”).

    Of course, for the True Believers, even when their prophesied end-of-world date comes & goes with things proceeding as chilly as usual, chances are they’ll still believe their false prophecies even more. For why, check this first: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails (a similar emotional response results with various advertising — such as effects of smoking portrayed by gruesome imagery of black & cancerous lungs…actually inducing many smokers to keep it up & even smoke more. This behavioral response has been studied & marketers, at least, have it figured out. Marketers–the motive to make a buck by exploiting human subconscious psychological weaknesses is a dominant, maybe the dominant motive for such behavioral study).

    For understanding cults & cult behavior, Steven Hassan’s classic is still the classic: http://www.amazon.com/Combatting-Cult-Mind-Control-Best-selling/dp/0892813113 Many of the alarmist groups exhibit the telltale signs of cult-mindset/indoctrination, right down to what is colloquially called “chanting.”

    To understand what drives fanatical groups (many global warming groups fit this, as do Islamist terrorists) Eric Hoffer’s, The True Believer; Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, is profoundly insightful (President Eisenhower advocated it when first published): http://www.amazon.com/The-True-Believer-Movements-Perennial/dp/0060505915

  7. Since it’s a full-page ad, one wonders if they paid extra to have it printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, in certified organic non-GMO soy ink.

  8. It’s hard to parody something that already seems to be a parody.

    But hey, if they want to spend private sector money instead of my tax money on it, that is great! I’ll have to find out if they still want money from the public sector too…

    It’s hard to look at this thing and not think “they are really getting desperate”, and not because of the coming climate apocalypse. Possibly they really foresee a credibility apocalypse in the near future.

    Maybe, maybe, if they try to scare people more it will reach a tipping point. I wonder if they have considered this tactic yet?

    Seriously this type of propaganda is going to influence nobody. Been there, done that. For twenty years. NYT says world ending and all investments will be stranded, yawn, honey, what’s for dinner?

    It’s cute to see that somebody still believes in the UN treaty process.

  9. Brandon: Good one!

  10. I read all of Eric Hoffer’s books and suggest you do likewise. Here’s a good article on Hoffer.
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell062003.asp

  11. Sheri, Now you’ve done it. I neglected to mention: locally-grown soy processed in solar-powered ink factories with no chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, natch.

  12. So, how to sc are the uber rich ?

    Give me cash or:

    1 – I’ll start a movement to teach students math and physics in the sure and certain knowledge that those who learn will want you out of the public sphere.

    2 – I will organize a series of pot sales as fundraisers and use the money to buy a democrat to endlessly recite P values on the senate floor.

    3 – I will buy 160 remote control toy cars, name each one for an environmental prize winner, control them from an overhead drone, and launch them (live blogging on you tube etc) down I-90 from Boston’s 1A interchange toward Seattle. Eventually, I’ll give CNN et al, arch looks and make it plain that Of Course they understand the symbolism.

    Eventually, I’ll write a book about media reactions to all this – channeling Kurt Vonnegut.

  13. Paul—count me in on#2!

  14. Stranded assets? Isn’t that a medical condition? As in “I had stranded assets but the doc gave me some cream to rub on it and now I’m feeling a lot better.”

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