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Pat Sajak: Gl_b_l W_rm_ng D_n_ _ r ( _ssh_l_!)

June 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Well, the man who needs aditzy blond to help him spell words has come out of the woodworks.

Pat Sajak is a strong-worded Global Warming Skeptic.

Sadly, Wheel of Fortune’s host probably has a greater voice than the thousands of IPCC scientists with a segment of the American public … hopefully that segment isn’t highly represented in the voting public.

But, while Sajak’s denier attitude might be worth rejection, he raises an ethical and moral challenge that should make us all restless at night.

NOTE / UPDATE:  Sajak’s Global Warming science denialism reared its ugly head in mid-May 2014.  See Greg Laden (source of image to right), CNN, The Weather Network, Daily Kos, and Mother Jones.

Who would’ve thunk it …

Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune fame (or infamy) is a blogger … and he’s blogged two doozies about Global Warming:

Now, when it comes to the substance of Sajak’s rejection of basic science and the realities of Global Warming, Sajak himself provides the starting point for ignoring his ignorant views:

Now, I’m not a scientist–and I don’t even play one on TV

Of course, not being qualified enough to wear a lab coat in a daytime soap opera, of course, doesn’t disqualify him from being a White House science advisor or a testifier at a Congressional committee (that is, if Inhofe were still a committee chair). The shallowness of Sajak’s Global Warming Denier is provided well enough by Grist’s slapdown … and thousands of other discussions and documents and scientific reports and, well, reality.

But, the second challenge, while a “harangue” as described by Steve Caratzas, raises issues that are meriting of discussion and consideration.

Imagine being absolutely certain we are the verge of a man-made catastrophe and not doing everything within your power to help reverse it. Anyone who truly believes it and still uses anything more than the lowest-wattage single bulb or drives one mile more than absolutely necessary is nothing short of a monster! A skeptic’s actions can be blamed on ignorance; a believer’s can only be chalked up to a shocking disregard for his children’s futures.

Okay, we must simply excuse Pat his McSUV, his energy inefficent life-style, his outdoor heating of his terrace, etc, he just doesn’t know better … he is simply “ignorant”. (With that, of course, I agree …) The ignorant are innocent, evidently, in Pat’s Weltanschauung. (Boy, what percentage of George W’s base does that give a “Get Out of Jail Free” card?)

But, as for the rest of us, the 47% of Americans who believe humans are primarily responsible for Global Warming (or at least the portion of those who view this as a serious issue), what does this say to us?

What does our driving a car say about our concern for our own and other’s children?  Boarding a plane?  Having an energy-inefficent home? A fossil-fuel based lifestyle?

Sajak rudely states:

Imagine being absolutely certain we are the verge of a man-made catastrophe and not doing everything within your power to help reverse it. Anyone who truly believes it and still uses anything more than the lowest-wattage single bulb or drives one mile more than absolutely necessary is nothing short of a monster! A skeptic’s actions can be blamed on ignorance; a believer’s can only be chalked up to a shocking disregard for his children’s futures.

At YearlyKos 2006, I opened the section on Energize America 2020’s principles as follows:  ”I am A Siegel. I am a Petro-holic. It has been 75 hours since my last fill-up and I am feeling withdrawal.”  I could have highlighted that I had taken a plane to Las Vegas. Or, that I had used hot water for my shower that morning. That I’d use the lights in that bathroom. Taken the elevator down from my room. That …

Truth is, I am troubled by my energy use and its implications for the world that we live in and that we and my/your/our children will experience.  I am working to reduce my footprint, but I still live with far too great an impression on the planet.  I am working to help others, both from my personal life to my community to my/our society (and all societies) develop better approaches to energy usage. (See my first Daily Kos diary: Making Energy CENTS — From the Home to the Globe.) For my part, I am continuing to work to make my home more energy efficient. I strive to combine trips and walk to the store.  My family is energy conscious. I help friends with ‘pseudo’ energy audits. When I go to a dinner party, there is a bottle of wine in one hand and energy-saving devices (generally a CFL bulb) in the other. I seek to communicate with others. (I write LTEs. I blog. I …)  I am on the board of non-profit working to change the dialogue on energy issues. I participate in The Climate Project.  And, I am striving to Re-Energize Energize America for a sustainable and prosperous future.

Yet, knowing that I am working to make these changes, I know that this is not enough, that there is more that I can and should be doing both in my personal life and otherwise to move toward a fossil-free life.  There is always more to be done.  And, my concerns over Global Warming (and Peak Oil) implications for me, you, my, and your children, for all of us (US) today and tomorrow impassion me to drive toward ever more activity to turn us (US) toward a better path.

For Sajak,

I can be accused of being blind; however, anyone who is convinced of the impending disaster and is not doing everything humanly possible to adjust his or her life to that “reality” is not only a callous human being, but the worst kind of hypocrite.

Well, Sajak is not bland — he is arrogantly malicious.  And, Sajak is wrong that “not doing everything humanly possible” makes one “the worst kind of hypocrite”.

Sajak is partially right … anyone who believes in Global Warming and is not seeking to change themselves and society is a dangerous hypocrite.  But, changing paths and working for a better tomorrow does not require limiting ourselves to using “[no]thing more than the lowest-wattage single bulb”, as Sajak suggests. This points to part of Sajak’s danger. Hidden in this approach is that the only answer to Global Warming is deprivation — that there are not sustainable paths forward that allow one to have more than a dim bulb on once the sun has set.

We must be working for holistic approaches for a better tomorrow, that account for energy efficiency, usage pattern changes (conservation), and moves to renewable (and other non-GHG) power sources.  We must be making changes today, investing in the backlog of magnificent options (smart growth, energy efficiency (even better insulation), smart building, renewable energy) even while investing in research to find even better options for tomorrow.  We must change our paths as individuals and as a society (and as societies).

And, we must help the Pat Sajak’s of the world get past their spelling challenges to recognize the realities of the problems and the realities of positive options for change … or we must increasingly marginalize them from an ability to influence the way forward.

In any event, for Pat, I have the phrase:  B _ _ _ S _ _ _! Does anyone really need to buy a vowel?

NOTEs:

NOTEs:  Originally posted in February 2007.

fight global warming

Giving credit where credit is due.  I lifted this great title from Steve Caratzas over at Ecotality Blog.  Kudos Steve — Truly, plagiarism is intended as the highest compliment…

Tags: James Inhofe · global warming deniers · green · jim hansen · journalism · skeptic · truthiness

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Wheel of Fortune #Fail UPDATED TWICE – Greg Laden's Blog // May 21, 2014 at 6:49 am

    [...] Sajak is well known (to everyone but me, until just now, apparently) as a science denialist. Get Energy Smart has some coverage of this, including references to blog posts Sajak has written about climate change. For example (see [...]

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