“A climate change scientist and a climate change denier walk into a bar. The scientist takes a seat at the bar and orders a glass of their finest scotch. The bar tender brings him his scotch and the climate change denier asks, “What’s the percentage?” The bartender turns to the denier and says, “90 proof.” The climate change denier then slams his hand down on the table, throws down his drink and storms out of the bar. The climate change scientist then turns to the bartender and says: “Damn deniers! Even when you show ‘em the proof, they still don’t believe it!”
My informant first heard this joke on NPR (National Public Radio) a few years ago and thinking that it was pretty comical, he decided to share the joke. Although a fairly recent topic, the joke may have been adapted from previous global warming jokes. The issue and the term “global warming” has gradually received more media coverage since its first mention and prediction in Wally Broecker’s 1975 paper and when Jim Hansen’s famous stated in 1988 that “global warming is here” (Real Climate). The debate over global warming is ongoing and is even a debate topic in the 2012 presidential race. The joke, of course, takes the side of global warming scientists who have presented multiple scientific studies to confirm the presence of global warming, but despite the evidence in favor of the phenomenon, some skeptics continue to deny its existence. The joke illustrates some critics’ denial and defensive attitudes toward global warming. Since it is a joke, it depends on lumping all skeptics into a single category of ignorant defiance. Over decades, a great deal of scientific reports has been published in favor of global warming and yet it is still a sensitive subject. While the global warming debate has not been fully confirmed, the joke on global warming confirms the fact that folklore is adaptable and integrates social issues and other subject matter that apply to the modern age.
“Happy 35th Birthday, Global Warming!” RealClimate: Climate Science from Climate Scientists. WordPress, 28 July 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/happy-35th-birthday-global-warming/>.