South Park creators make belated apology to Al Gore for a decade-old episode that cast him as a crank for warning about the threat of “Man Bear Pig”, a hideous monster.

Turns out, as a new episode admits, Man Bear Pig was/is real. And Matt Parker and Trey Stone have now emerged from their own Cloud of Smug.
10 years late guys, but I’m there will be big laughs all around when you explain to your grandchildren.


Al Gore is getting a bit of Pyrrhic vindication these days, what with the overt impacts of climate change further ravaging the only planet we can currently live on. Gore was an early climate change alarmist, so people starting to think about worrying about the impact humans have had on the global climate kind of takes the sting out of what he endured from skeptics over the years. You know, kind of.

Some of those notable skeptics, Matt Parker and Trey Stone of South Park, offered a very public apology earlier in November with a two-episode arc where they essentially apologized for an episode where they portrayed Gore’s alarmism as worrying and crying wolf about nothing.

The Season 10 episode about Gore hunting for a nonexistent ManBearPig essentially labeled Gore as someone worrying about nothing, and the two episodes South Park put out this year made ManBearPig very real. And Gore certainly took notice of the apparent apology.

The former vice president of the United States was asked about the South Park apology by a person in the audience of The Daily Show.

Gore essentially retold the entire story to a crowd that almost certainly already knew the tale, but he also said he was “so impressed” by how South Park and its writers handled the apology.

“So 12 years ago, they did that episode that had me hysterically warning about a nonexistent problem, this ManBearPig. And for years, I get this question,” Gore said. “So now, all of a sudden, a few weeks ago out of the blue they come out with these new episodes and the kids on South Park realize ManBearPig is real!

This obviously delighted Gore, who is probably not a huge South Park fan but definitely knows about ManBearPig and knew a question like this was coming. So how does he feel about Trey and Matt and how they treated him? Pretty good, actually.

Honestly, I was so impressed. I don’t know these guys, Matt and Trey. And I kind of thought they were nihilists of sorts. But funny nihilists. And when they come out with this new thing, and they had the kids come out and seek me out to help them. But my character forces them to apologize.

And they all say ‘Oh, we’re so sorry, Al Gore.’ ManBearPig is real! I thought it was a hell of a statement by South Park and I appreciated it a lot.

Gore has gone through a lot over the years because of his An Inconvenient Truth, and many still don’t believe that climate change is even real. But if Gore’s made who he accurately described as “funny nihilists” issue an apology and take climate change more seriously, he’s got to mark that as a bit of progress.




Above, news from SBS (Australia).


Thousands of Australian children skipped school on Friday in defiance of the prime minister to protest for greater action on climate change.

Organizers estimated around 15,000 left their classrooms in 30 locations across the country, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, carrying signs reading “procrastinating is our job not yours” and “I’ve seen smarter Cabinets at Ikea”.
Friday’s protests followed similar protests in Canberra and Hobart earlier this week.
As the children prepared for three days of protest, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament “what we want is more learning in schools and less activism.”
Two Central Victoria pupils, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old student in Sweden who staged her own climate strike outside the Swedish Parliament in September, started the “Strike 4 Climate Action.”

Harriet O’Shea Carre and Milou Albrecht, both 14, penned a call to arms asking fellow school children to join them in protest, stating: “Just going to school isn’t doing anything about climate change. And it doesn’t seem that our politicians are doing anything, or at least not enough, about climate change either.”
On Thursday Thunberg tweeted her support for the Australian schoolchildren, “Time for bed in Sweden. But in Australia it’s already morning… I stand strong Australia. We are with you.”
The Australian newspaper reported that environmental groups and parents supported the protests.
“I wake every morning in a state that is 100% drought declared,” said 17-year-old Ruby Walker, a protesting pupil from the state of New South Wales.

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Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Climate scientists missed a lot about a quarter century ago when they predicted how bad global warming would be.

They missed how bad wildfires, droughts, downpours and hurricanes would get. They missed how much ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland would melt and contribute to sea level rise. They missed much of the myriad public health problems and global security issues.

Global warming is faster, more extensive and just plain worse than they once thought it would be, scientists say now.

International negotiators meet next week in Poland to discuss how to ratchet up the fight against climate change in what’s called the Conference of Parties . The world’s understanding of global warming has changed dramatically since the first conference in March 1995. Since then the globe on average has warmed nearly three-quarters of a degree (0.41 degrees Celsius) but that’s not even half the story.

That global annual temperature increase is slightly lower than some early 1990s forecasts. Yet more than a dozen climate scientists told The Associated Press that without the data currently available and today’s improved understanding of the climate, researchers decades ago were too conservative and couldn’t come close to realizing how global warming would affect daily lives.

One scientific study this month counted up the ways — both direct and indirect — that warming has already changed Earth and society. The total was 467 .

“I don’t think any of us imagined that it would be as bad as it’s already gotten,” said University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles, a co-author of the recent U.S. National Climate Assessment . “For example, the intensity of severe weather. We didn’t know any of that back then. And those things are pretty scary.”


In the 1990s, when scientists talked about warming they focused on the average annual global temperature and sea level rise. The problem is that people don’t live all over the globe and they don’t feel average temperatures. They feel extremes — heat, rain and drought — that hit them at home on a given day or week, said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Richard Alley.

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Network and cable news programs dropped the ball in their coverage of the new National Climate Assessment – most visibly on the Sunday morning panel shows.
That’s the bad news.

The good news is, at least they know enough to be ashamed.

Above, CNN interview with Katharine Hayhoe addresses the “scientists are in it for the money” issue.

Climate scientist at play

Below, Andrew Dessler weighed in on the “rich scientist” meme –

I’ve interviewed other scientists who left Wall Street jobs for something less lucrative, but more meaningful.  The idea that someone with top-flight math and computer capabilities would go into climate science for the money is preposterous, but then, Deniers know they’re talking to an audience that believes Mexico will pay for The Wall.

As I mentioned yesterday, CNN bumped Dr. Hayhoe’s sit-down with Anderson Cooper, apparently while keeping coal shill Rick Santorum in the line up.

Daily Beast:

According to a source from CNN who did not want to go on-record, Hayhoe’s segment was bumped due to “breaking news” about Paul Manafort’s lawyer allegedly briefing President Trump on his client’s discussions with Robert Mueller, and not for the segment that included commentary from Santorum.

They also pointed out that Hayhoe’s interview with Cooper has been posted on the network’s website, something that often happens when there isn’t time for a segment to air live. Read the rest of this entry »

In response to last week’s attempted burial of the National Climate Assessment, mainstream media sprung into action with the depressing-as-usual assortment of brainless talking head climate denialists presenting “the other side..”

With some bright spots, it’s still atrocious and unbelievable that a moron like Danielle Pletka, above, an AEI shill, could get anywhere near a purportedly serious discussion of hard science.

Katharine Hayhoe twitter Thread via Threadreader:

Let me share a sad reality. @AC360 asked if I could join them tonight or talk #NationalClimateAssessment. I just arrived at @TED, and I really need to practice my talk, I replied. Please! they said, we will send a car! Ok, I said. It’s important. I will do it. (story continues..)

I get my hair and make up done, we drive across the city, I do the interview, Anderson is lovely, the whole thing takes three hours …. and they don’t air the interview. Instead, they give more airtime to Santorum, so he can to continue to spread disinformation.

I don’t get paid for any of this – but I think he does, doesn’t he? And this is not the first time this has happened. Chris Hayes’ program canceled three times, once when I was literally in a chair with that earpiece in my ear. When @MSNBC called me again this week, I said…

… I would be delighted to talk to you, but in order to be a wise steward of my time, I need a guarantee the interview will air, barring a major disaster, an assassination, or the end of the world. They did not reply.

Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not whining or complaining. I am enormously grateful for any and all media who wants to talk climate, and equally grateful for the opportunity to do so. I talk to high school newspapers, Christian podcasts, and even sports blogs!

But time is the most precious resource we have, and there is not enough to go around – so when we choose how to spend our time, it just makes sense to be sure it will be used profitably and not squandered. 

So twitverse, tell me: what wd YOU do with such requests in the future?

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I’m still recovering from Holidays. Hold on.

Disgusting display on Sunday talk shows this week as one after another troglodyte climate denier trotted out to give ‘the other side” of the catastrophic warnings from the world’s most distinguished scientists.

Still, the election this month was a watershed on the politics of climate. Video recap coming, stay tuned.

Max Boot in the Washington Post:

I admit it. I used to be a climate-change skeptic. I was one of those conservatives who thought that the science was inconclusive, that fears of global warming were as overblown as fears of a new ice age in the 1970s, that climate change was natural and cyclical, and that there was no need to incur any economic costs to deal with this speculative threat. I no longer think any of that, because the scientific consensus is so clear and convincing.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment, released Friday by the U.S. government, puts it starkly: “Observations collected around the world provide significant, clear, and compelling evidence that global average temperature is much higher, and is rising more rapidly, than anything modern civilization has experienced, with widespread and growing impacts.” The report notes that “annual average temperatures have increased by 1.8°F across the contiguous United States since the beginning of the 20th century” and that “annual median sea level along the U.S. coast . . . has increased by about 9 inches since the early 20th century as oceans have warmed and land ice has melted.”

The report attributes these changes to man-made greenhouse gases and warns: “High temperature extremes, heavy precipitation events, high tide flooding events along the U.S. coastline, ocean acidification and warming, and forest fires in the western United States and Alaska are all projected to continue to increase, while land and sea ice cover, snowpack, and surface soil moisture are expected to continue to decline in the coming decades.”

The U.S. government warnings echo the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In October, it released a report that represented the work of 91 scientists from 60 countries. It describes, in the words of the New York Times, “a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040.”

Here, a nauseating example of “I’m not a scientist” bullshit talking points. Literally nothing said here is factual. Put down hot liquids.


Boot again:

Imagine if these figures reflected a rise in terrorism — or illegal immigration. Republicans would be freaking out. Yet they are oddly blasé about this climate code red. President Trump, whose minions buried the climate change report on the day after Thanksgiving, told Axios: “Is there climate change? Yeah. Will it go back like this, I mean will it change back? Probably.” And, amid a recent cold snap, he tweeted: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” Read the rest of this entry »

NBC and Inside Climate News:

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — At the foot of the Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia lies a Naval shipyard older than the nation itself. One of the country’s first warships was built here in 1799. So was the first battleship, and decades later the first aircraft carrier.

Over the past three centuries, Norfolk Naval Shipyard has been blockaded and burnt to the ground, only to be rebuilt again and again. Today, it’s one of four Navy shipyards that maintain the nation’s nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, which enable the Pentagon to respond quickly to military and humanitarian crises across the globe.

But the shipyard now faces its greatest existential threat: rising seas and extreme weather driven by climate change.

In the past 10 years, Norfolk Naval Shipyard has suffered nine major floods that have damaged equipment used to repair ships, and the flooding is worsening, according to the Navy. In 2016, rain from Hurricane Matthew left 2 feet of water in one building, requiring nearly $1.2 million in repairs.

And that wasn’t even a direct hit — the most immediate worry, former military leaders say, is a strong storm that blows right through the area.

“It would have the potential for serious, if not catastrophic damage, and it would certainly put the shipyard out of business for some amount of time,” said Ray Mabus, who was the Navy secretary under President Barack Obama. “That has implications not just for the shipyard, but for us, for the Navy.”

Among the shipyard’s greatest vulnerabilities are its five dry docks, which are waterside basins that can be sealed and pumped dry to expose a ship’s hull for repairs. Once inside, vessels are often cut open, leaving expensive mechanical systems vulnerable to damage from storms and flooding.

The dry docks “were not designed to accommodate the threats” of rising seas and stronger storms, according to a 2017 report by the Government Accountability Office. Navy officials warned the government watchdog agency that flooding in a dry dock could cause “catastrophic damage to the ships.”

Already, high-tide flooding is contributing to extensive delays in ship repairs, the GAO said, disrupting maintenance schedules throughout the Navy’s fleet. Sea level in Norfolk has risen 1.5 feet in the past century, twice the global average, in part because the coastline is sinking.

The Navy has erected temporary flood walls and uses thousands of sandbags to protect the dry docks at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The Navy has also begun elevating some equipment, but the facility remains vulnerable, according to a Defense Department surveyon the effects of extreme weather on military bases, obtained through a public records request. In response, the Navy proposed a more permanent barrier estimated to cost more than $30 million, part of a 20-year, $21 billion plan submitted to Congress this year to modernize Norfolk as well as Navy shipyards in Maine, Washington and Hawaii.

But the new projects have yet to be approved.

The Navy said it takes extensive measures to limit damage from flooding. “These requirements ensure the safety of our personnel, our ships (nuclear and non-nuclear), and shipyard infrastructure,” William M. Couch, a Navy spokesman, said in an email.

In October, Hurricane Michael offered a glimpse of what can happen to coastal military bases in a storm’s path when it leveled much of Tyndall Air Force Base, damaging more than a dozen stealth fighters undergoing maintenance.

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Incredible in light of the most recent National Climate Assessment.
I wonder if Dr. Sagan would have believed that human’s would have let things get to this dire place.
Certainly I would not have.

Below, Sagan mentions climate change on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1978. (go to 13:10) Read the rest of this entry »