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July 28, 2008


Incorruptably True

this fan observes: people will for sure pay attention as well as money to get lied to if it is done in an amusing enough way; hence you have a lucrative career as prolific illusionists


Hey Teller, long time fan from Massachusetts who still plays with his food.

I think you guys missed it on this episode by blending subjects. Yes, there are papers going (or have gone) through peer review that question statistical analysis of temp readings. Even climatologists who have come to the conclusion that there is a high percentage of chance that man contributes to warming site the various needs for study areas.

What I think is Bullshit is to use John Coleman, who has never had a peer review and latest "peer" audience was the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, as the example of a skeptic. Why not use Al Roker or Willard? Why not ask Coleman if he is welcome over at the Weather Channel? Better still, why not use actual climatologists on the 2 sides of the argument who would show a willingness to debate the actual science with peer reviewed charts that show how natural forcings are being considered and where the variables exist? What's Bullshit is not to acknowledge that 100% is as rare in science as it is with the hope an act of illusion will execute as planned.

What I also think is Bullshit is that in the late 90s ExxonMobile issued an internal memo that called for organizing skeptics outside of the climatologist circle to create a sense in the press and public that there is doubt, or that the Oregon Petition had any scientific basis, or that there is a need to pay $10,000 for each paper that casts doubt on the theory, or that the cooling theory in the 70s that the press jumped on was not backed by a consensus outside of a few. There's lots of bullshit to step into after the green show.

There's a skeptic in Russia who's telling people to stock up on fur coats because an ice age is coming due to solar activity reductions. Will further study on this topic negate the studies of CO2 as bullshit, or will it be viewed as further information to add to the mix? Perhaps a better picture regarding Bullshit in this debate are the slew of bets being thrown around by actual scientists. Its Bullshit that skeptics want 50 to 1 odds to reduce payouts (how convincing is that argument) or that Gore won't jump in. Its not Bullshit that there is one for $10,000 on where temps will be in 10 years with the Russians betting on a cooler world. Covering betting for science would have been good entertainment.

Good call on Gore's business interest. The case could be made that he has stated that to embellish science is OK if it changes public opinion. Politics is always bullshit. Putting Inhofe up on the Bullshitometer would have given balance to the Bullshit scales.

Or why not expose Monckton on the other side for offering no science for peer review until only this month when the skeptics announced that the APS had reversed their position on climate change when they hadn't? There's lot's of Bullshit going around but the fact is there's a long list of scientific organizations that side on the case of man's contribution to climate change and that the use of "considerable reason" and "many sources suggest" is Bullshit in itself. The epa has an FAQ page on the subject and accurately lists the probability of each topic. The consensus is not set at 100%. It's set on the best understanding at this time by science and the scientific community is willing to honestly debate the science behind it. To say anything else is Bullshit.

The libertarian in me enjoyed the part of the show regarding carbon credits as a political solution, whacky private enterprise examples, and the reality that the average person doesn't know the difference between Bullshit and cow farts. You are right on target that the change over to renewable energy solutions should be left in the hands of private enterprise and outside of a call for more taxes. Pickens is an example of someone out to make a load of money on a shift away from oil. Like him or not, that's no Bullshit.


The whole Global Warming thing--led by cultists whom I call "Warmists"--is not so much a scam as it is a mania. Let me explain. For the last thirty years the world has been in deep flux, it's changing with unprecedented speed, and the rise of the Internet has created instant communication in which reactions to that flux and change reaches pandemic proportions. Negativity is viral. As JD Loudermilk sang, "Bad news travels like wildfire, good news travels slow."

Sooooo, what we see in the past and now is a rise of religious fundamentalism, especially with Christians and Muslims. We all know the fundamentalists: prophets of doom on the street corners saying "REPENT! The end is near." Fundamentalism is a human reaction to change and uncertainty. Uncertainty makes people afraid, and fundamentalism gives them certainty.

But....what if you're not religious? You're still human with the same reaction to uncertainty. But what if you have no Bible or Koran to thump? What will be your Apocalypse? Enter Global Warming.

Warmists are secular fundamentalists. Whereas Christians and Muslims see moral sin, Warmists see technical sin. Whereas Christians and Muslims see the wrath of God, Warmists see the wrath of nature. It's all the same. Jesus? Mohammed? Aimee Semple McPherson? Reverand Moon? Pat Robertson? Al Gore???? Yep, all the same: fundamentalist preachers shouting on the street corners that "The End Is Near! The End Is Near! Repent!"

That's all it is, folks. Warmists are just plain ol' secular humans, scared of change, running around like Chicken Littles. And just like the rest of the religious prophets of doom, they think they know the reason why things are "so bad," and it's always YOU. They're scared and YOU are to blame. And you know what? It's BULLSHIT!


Thanks ptbs! I'm on the iphone so I can't be too verbose. Nor have I read any of the other posts. I've never bought into the whole gw story. The weatherman confirmed all my suspicions. I drive a corolla and recycle because I try to limit my mess to my own house. If you've ever been in denver during an inversion you'd drive a toyota too (and I'm a heathen smoker). Love the show.


just wanted to say thanks for the naked men! hooray for naked guys!


which sources say our contributions are smaller than volcanoes?

hint, not usgs...

"Emissions of CO2 by human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring, amount to about 27 billion tonnes per year (30 billion tons) [ ( Marland, et al., 2006) - The reference gives the amount of released carbon (C), rather than CO2, through 2003.]. Human activities release more than 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes--the equivalent of more than 8,000 additional volcanoes like Kilauea (Kilauea emits about 3.3 million tonnes/year)! (Gerlach et. al., 2002)"

Krystal C.

okay, just want to vent to people who can't stand bullshit! So what's up with the postoffice?! I get a not in my mail box saying it was too full, I go to the post office to pick it up and there is about half a box full of junk mail and about 10 envolopes addressed to myself, I ask if I can stop getting this junk mail they tell me that the post office actually gets PAID to mail out junk mail to everyone and if I want it to stop I would personally have to spend my own money on stamps and mail every single one telling them to stop mailing me all their ads trying to get me to spend money WHAT THE FUCK?! So either way the people putting out all the "saver" ads make money off consumers or the post office has a win win and make money from these "saver" ads and makes money off us spending money on stamps to stop. Shit I just want to be lazy and not check my mail for a few weeks, can't an American just wait to get the mail? tell me that penn and teller!

Dennis Murphy

I suppose the comedy and entertainment value of your show is more important than accuracy. To be fair, "Truthiness" always plays better. It's what Rush and O'Reilly use to entertain their followers. When you used the 1970's Time Magazine article about a paper by two scientists suggesting that the planet was cooling off, and conflated it as equal to the consensus of more than a thousand climate scientists who say that humans are causing today's warming, that's bullshit. It makes what ever follows on your show suspect. The volcano and forest fire thing is also wrong. Particulate matter causes temperatures to drop. Think of an umbrella or a gauzy scrim and you'll get the idea. Also, among other things, volcanoes emit sulfur, which also causes temperatures to drop along with creating acid rain. For shits and grins, China's coal-fired power plants have a mitigating effect on temperature rise as well. When they finally clean-up the air in Beijing, warming will actually accelerate.
I must say that, even with the bullshit, your show is very funny. Plus, you managed to do what Frank Luntz did for W in 2000. He created doubt about climate change by merely questioning it.

Penn &Teller, funny comedians you are; scientists you are not.


I think the episode could have used a few more sources. I feel that with a few hours' more research they could have produced quite a bit more than some old weatherman for the purpose of thoroughly discrediting AGW. And discredited it is, if you look past all the BS and environmentalist hype. Even worse than their poor support of the correct side was that bit at they end where they went all wishy-washy and "Oh, maybe it is, maybe it isn't, nobody knows."
Dude, plenty of people KNOW. The problem is that they are out-shouted by people whose revenue depends entirely on an endless stream of doom predictions and guilting the public out of more money.

But all in all, a fun show. Anyone who has the balls to point out Al Gore for the hypocritical ass that he is cannot be said to have failed completely.
For anyone wondering where *my* sources are, a lot of them are linked from this guy's bulletin board: http://www.jamesphogan.com


What the fuck? I am not a Rocket Scientest, Goligist, or any thing close to that. I am a everyday Joe and still for the life of me cant figure out this global warming bullshit? 1 the sun is burning 100s of pounds of fuel every minute right? 2 the earth is held in orbit by this massive fireball right? 3 if the sun is burning, that means its getting smaller right? 4 if is getting smaller arent we drifting into space further which means the heat from the sun takes longer to get here and is less intensive right?.... please feel free to correct any of these ideas.... I must be a moron. If I get further away from the oven it doesnt get hotter? Huh?


I'm addicted to your show. I enjoy the questioning of subject matter from aspects not presented by other outlets. I have no idea what the answer to global warming is. I only hope that some jackass invents a can of "clean up spray", that I may purchase for a few bucks. Thats not to say; I don't care or I'm not guilty of being a jackass - only that - I'm lazy and someone can make a buck off me.

Keep it up! See... a couple jackasses making a buck off me by giving my lazy ass something to do...(think). Now someone get to work on my spray can.



The sun is not getting smaller, and we are not getting farther away. Our sun takes two hydrogen molecules, and fuses them into one helium molecule, but for the most part that helium stays in the sun. It's not burning in the same way you would think of a fire on earth.

Also, we are actually getting closer to the sun, just extremely slowly. As we are in it's orbit, we we'll eventually crash into it, unless something massive hits us and pushes us out the way first. It which, the sun would be the least of our worries. The only reason Earth hasn't crashed into the sun yet is our momentum. Think of a man with a parachute. Due to gravity, he'll hit the ground eventually, the parachute just slows down his inevitable landing. Well, the Earth's momentum is our parachute.


what's the worst that could happen:


why not be rational. didn't you ever think it's better to be safe than sorry, since it's such a big maybe.

Rod Jones

You got it wrong on the Prius performance. I own one and consistangly get, with the 10 gallon tank 495 miles.
You also are not fit to lick Al Gore's ass; and by the way,
get a fucking taylor.


Love the show. I'm generally pro-green but not religious about it and really just want facts. So, I was curious and wanted to hear the evidence that global warming was BS. I enjoyed the shitting on the new-agers, but I was disappointed at how little real science and the lack of any real experts. A weatherman? That's the best you could find?
The fact that Al Gore uses more electricity than the rest of us? I'm not surprised that he would, but it's not relevant to the question.
Even Pacific Gas and Electric has decided that it's for real. (The CEO or President, I forget which... but I'm not doing a show on the subject.)
A BULLSHIT show could be done on this episode I'm afraid.
Ending by admitting you don't know doesn't get you off the hook. If you just stuck to the new age nonsense and energy credit guilt, you would have had a good show but instead it was pretty hack.


I just saw part of the show for the first time tonight. I loved it! It's funny and closer to the truth then anything that comes out of Al Gores mouth.


Sparlum NJ

Great program! My street is about 1 mile & contains about 20 homes. Our town has seperate recycle trucks for different objects plus it is a bizzar process. One full size garbage truck which gets 5 miles per gallon, starts & stops all the way down the rd. while two drivers plus a person picking up about 5 cents worth of cardboard or cans. The cost of operating & insuring all the equipment plus the employees, plus the administrators must be wild. The town probably uses $2000 just to go down the street to pick up $3 woth of recycle material. Also, we have been told we have a limit of six cans trash per week. I come from a family of 4 & all my time growing up I never remember more than 2 cans per week. I live in an area where the environment is a priority. Funny how those who are the most wasteful & produce the most amount of trash make such a big effort to feel rightious by recycling.


Hey I totally agree with your answer. I've done about 5 minutes of research (wikipedia), if it can be trusted, and it seems to me like many scientist think the earth is coming out of or is in some sort of, interglacial period. So naturally would the earth not be getting warmer? What does that have to with carbon credits? Global warming IS natural, and yes we maybe be accelerating it, slightly, but not enough to significantly change the earth's natural cycles of warming and cooling. Therefore fuck carbon credits, burn all the fossil fuels you want. If you want to help global warming, burn more fossil fuels till we start majorly accelerating global warming, to the point that the earth can't get any warmer. Then it will have to cool down, and everyone can quit their bitching about global warming, and start figuring what they're going to do about the global cooling and the impending ice age, 20,000 years away.


What the fuck? I am not a Rocket Scientest, Goligist, or any thing close to that. I am a everyday Joe and still for the life of me cant figure out this global warming bullshit? 1 the sun is burning 100s of pounds of fuel every minute right? 2 the earth is held in orbit by this massive fireball right? 3 if the sun is burning, that means its getting smaller right? 4 if is getting smaller arent we drifting into space further which means the heat from the sun takes longer to get here and is less intensive right?.... please feel free to correct any of these ideas.... I must be a moron. If I get further away from the oven it doesnt get hotter? Huh? - - originally posted by josh on august 4th 2008

you are a moron. if you knew anything about the sun and the universe then you would know that the sun is in fact getting bigger and we are getting closer to it everyday. by the time the sun burns out it will have engulfed the first four planets in our solar system

Temporary medical insurance

Human pollution may be insignificant compared to natural disasters but it's the pollution we can reduce. We also try to minimize forest fires and control them when they happen. We can't completely control carbon. We can only work on our individual actions.

Mark D

Even the stuff about Gore was one-sided and didn't bother to do much in the way of fact-checking (or ignored them). The letter from Gore's aide was truly smarmy, yes. But glossed over was that one of the reasons for the large electricity use at Gore's home is that it doubles as an office building, where many people work. I think it's understandable that an office uses much more electricity than just a private home.

The other thing I don't get is the bitching about Gore making a living--even a very good one--off of his passion for the environment. Given his long history with the subject, I don't see how anyone can doubt he's sincere. Who wouldn't want to be able to make their living while engaging in a subject about which they are passionate? We should all be so fortunate.

Gore also didn't just make this stuff up--his viewpoint is the mainstream scientific viewpoint of the climatologist community right now. Given how much P&T ridicule people (rightly so) for engaging in anti-scientific arguments, it's pretty startling that they don't bother to talk to actual scientists who are the true experts on climate change issues. They didn't do this in their earlier episode on global warming, either.

Well, it's entertainment, not science, I suppose.

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