Dr. Research pwns George Will

After Blogenfreude reminded us of our Favorite Forgotten Science Films, we’ve been watching others in the series, the rest of which unfortunately do not feature Eddie Albert (nor Eva or Arnold, for that matter).

The four films were originally produced (and frequently directed) by Frank Capra for AT&T, and broadcast by CBS. They’re available on DVD, and in much better condition than your average 16mm classroom copy.

If you weren’t paying attention in third grade, here’s a fascinating tidbit from “The Unchained Goddess,” about the weather. It does nothing less than change our understanding of history: global warming was in the public eye as early as 1958.

George Will makes up facts in his column denying global warming [Think Progress, Feb. 16]

The inland sea described in the film would have wiped out much of where the sources of anti-global warming are. Like the HQ of Texaco, Exxon/Mobile and many of the wingnuts. Ah irony.

A RW acquaintance of mine used to send me articles from an anti-Skienze site about how quantitative medical studies (which helped ID smoking as a cause of lung cancer) and global warming are “ebil” (sic). That was till I got sick of deleting this bull from my inbox, took a big shit on the site and pointed out its general uselessness like quoting Rush Limbaugh as an expert (in anything short of viagra) is usually a good sign that skienze sucks. I further insulted him by saying political science (which was his degree) isn’t a real science thuse it doesn’t make you qualified to even judge it so shut the fuck up.

@ManchuCandidate: Most people simply cannot or will not understand the idea that statistics can prove causation. Even if we can prove beyond cavil that 30% of people who smoke, will get cancer, this will never be believed by the stupid, because to them, the fact that science cannot predict exactly who will be in the 30% is a fatal flaw. The worldview of the stupid is very centered on their self, they only understand things in terms of the impact on themselves. So because science cannot tell them specifically that if they smoke, they will get cancer, they think the statistical evidence is just bullshit.

The more sophisticated will also point out that even if they didn’t smoke, they might still get cancer, and they will smirk after pointing it out, as if they just refuted all epdiemiological research, the whole field, because they are so fucking brilliant.

Has anyone ever noticed that “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Werewolves of London” are based on exactly the same riff? Why did that take me 30 years? 35?

The riffs are close. Very close. Hard to tell unless one isolates the tracks as I only did a comparison via Youtube.

It’s a binary way of thinking, really.

Well I guess that answers the question “Who would have seen that coming?”

@CheapBoy: It’s an amazing artifact, just like the clip Bloggie ran about the world running out of energy unless we find alternative sources.

What’s amazing is not just that both clips hail from the 1950s, but the nature of their production and presentation. This isn’t Al Gore making a politically charged argument — the four episodes of the Capra series reflect the consensus science of their time, vetted by Distinguished Researchers and underwritten by Ma Bell, which was still the American telephone monopoly.

Throw in original broadcast by CBS and later distribution to a generation of American schoolchildren, and you have something as mainstream as it gets.

@ManchuCandidate: On the other hand, if the Deep South goes underwater first, maybe there is a God.

OK so yeah… whatever… but dear God, could no one work out the eyelines properly?! Who are these people talking to? The reverse shots don’t match, the camera seems to be on the wrong side and it’s all very peculiar.

I thought it was pretty much an accepted fact that the world was getting warmer from the early 60s on. Perhaps I just made that up?

Global warming is not a fact just because a time traveling activist says so. Dang hippies.

@Benedick: They’re talking to the Wall of Imagination on one side, and film presented by an offscreen engineer (“Roll 6”) on the other. Everybody knows that.

And your memory might be better than mine. I usually date broad public awareness to the late ’80s, when SNL did a sketch called “The Global Warming Christmas Special”. That was probably around the time NASA’s James Hansen started raising a fuss about it, but I can’t be certain.

@Promnight: I always got confused between the start of “Baker Street” and “Walk on the wild side”.

I was young, and foolish and still putting knives in toasters, so that may explain it.

Netflix delivered “Our Mr. Sun” on Friday, and I watched it then and there. I hadn’t remembered how many references there were to the Sky God, but otherwise it was spot on. If only we’d pursued solar energy as the film urged.

@Promnight: I much prefer “little ole lady got mutilated late last night” to “Southern man don’t need him round anyhow”.

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