On Monday's Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert covered a good deal of recent climate change news during a segment of "The Word." Media failures in climate change reporting didn't escape his notice, either, as Colbert rips CNN's Erick Erickson for recent on-air comments.
Citing growing evidence of global warming, Colbert explains that Australia has suffered simultaneously in January with typhoons, wildfires, and record heat, leading to their Bureau of Meteorology adding two new colors to the country's weather maps -- an incandescent purple and magenta -- so the maps can faithfully represent temperatures like 125°F.
"Yes, new map colors," Colbert exclaims, "I believe the temperature color wheel goes: orange, red, purple, magenta, fever blister, and Satan's taint. But what's really disturbing about this continent on fire is that it's got people wanting to do something about global warming, and that brings us to tonight's Wørd: The New Abnormal."
Covering other recent news on the climage change front, Colbert quips about Obama's inauguration pledge to "respond to the threat of climate change," and more:
"But I was shocked when I recently saw a new poll that found "78% of respondents believe the planet had warmed over the past 100 years". The other 22% burst into flames."
"Even Koch brothers-funded climate change skeptic and hairbrush denier Richard Muller has done a 180, now stating global warming is real, and "humans are almost entirely the cause"."
As Colbert serves up Erickson on the media fail platter, he begins with "...perhaps no one offers more nothing than CNN conservative commentator and inertial lump Erick Erickson."
ERICK ERICKSON (1/23/2013): Really, the biggest problem is that what does it matter? ... We could shut down production of everything tomorrow that causes greenhouse gases. And China and India aren't. And even if everyone did, the effects wouldn't take effect until about 100 years from now.
"Yeah. What's the point of going to all that trouble if me and Erick Erickson won't be around to enjoy it? Sure, our grandkids will, but I don't want to be one of those grandpas who spoils the grandkids with a habitable planet."
"It's the same reason I will not buy life insurance. I get hit by a bus, and my family gets rich? Sorry, I don't want anybody happy at my funeral."
"But folks, that wasn't Erickson's only non-solution. He dug down deep, and helped even less."
ERICK ERICKSON (1/23/2013): Seems like it's a problem we probably have to get used to, as opposed to something we can cure.
"Yes, we just need to get used to it. Erickson has finally hit the fifth stage of conservative climate change grief: denial, denial, denial, denial, and acceptance."
"So it's high time we stop trying to solve the problem, and resign ourselves to each day getting worse," Colbert explains. "Because ladies and gentlemen, when Erick Erickson says "get used to it", he means get used to city-swallowing storms, mass extinctions, deadly heat waves, crippling floods, and droughts that make a desert out of Oklahoma."
"And, that's just how it is now," declared Colbert. "Our problems are just too big to cure. So join me and Erick. Give up. Crawl into bed with a cheesecake and wait for death. And now, sure, the only thing worse than global warming itself might be knowing you're destroying the planet, and doing nothing, but if guys like me and Erick have our way, you'd better get used to it."