You really can’t make this stuff up. Here’s one of the GOP’s wise old men and self-described “amateur paleontologist” (underscore “amateur”) discussing the Earth’s climate during the age of the dinosaurs.
“The age of the dinosaurs was dramatically warmer than this is right now and it didn’t cook the planet,” he said on CNN’s “Crossfire,” as recorded by the Huffington Post. “In fact, life was fine.”
That loud slapping noise you just heard outside was the sound of the world’s climate scientists and professional paleontologists engaging in a collective face-palm.
First, life — as in human life? If so, I’ve always thought Gingrich was a poseur-intellectual, but if he’s part of the Jesus-Rode-A-Dinosaur crowd, can someone please just smack him in his huge pumpkin-sized noggin and tell him to wise up?
However, if he’s talking about dinosaur life, he might do well to check out the differences between dinosaur physiology and the physiology of human beings. There are massive, massive differences. Furthermore, dinosaurs adapted and flourished in that climate, but as soon as the climate rapidly changed, they couldn’t adapt quickly enough and most species became extinct.
Second, and more importantly, Gingrich is marketing in a common denialist fallacy: to suggest that the climate crisis is about saving the planet. It’s not. Ultimately, the planet will be just fine. Preventing global warming is about saving ourselves from worldwide drought, floods, starvation, violent weather patterns and mass deaths. If every last human being was killed during a global catastrophe (unlikely for now, but follow along), the Earth would survive and prosper. Ultimately, global warming won’t permanently transform the planet into a barren wasteland. It will recover from whatever is we do it. But without us around anymore to screw it up.