25. November 2009 · 7 comments · Categories: humour

(with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

The night Mike wore his lab coat,
and made scientific discoveries of one kind and another,
the denialists called him a fraudster
and Mike said: “I’ll prove you wrong!”
So they sent his emails to the media without any context.
That very night on his blog,
a jungle of obfuscating comments grew,
and grew,
until the discussions became enflamed,
and spilled out into the internet all around.
And an ocean of journalists tumbled by,
with a high public profile for Mike,
and he argued away through night and day,
and in and out of weeks,
and almost over a year,
everywhere the denialists are.
And whenever he came to a place where the denialists are,
they talked their terrible talking points,
and quoted their terrible quotes,
and showed their terrible cherry picking,
and demonstrated their terrible ignorance.
Until Mike said “Be still!”
and tamed them with his Nature trick
of showing them actual data sets without blinking once.
And they were baffled, and called him the biggest denialist of all,
and declared him king of the denialists.
“And now”, said Mike, “let the data speak for itself.”
And he sent the denialists off to look at the evidence without their talking points.
Then Mike, the king of all denialists said,
“I’m lonely”,
and wanted to be where someone actually appreciated rational discussion.
Then all around, from far away, across the world
He saw evidence of good solid scientific work.
So he said “I’ll give up arguing with the denialists”
But the denialists cried
“Oh please don’t stop – we’ll eat you up, we need you so”.
And Mike said “No!”
And the denialists talked their terrible talking points,
and quoted their terrible quotes,
and showed their terrible cherry picking,
and demonstrated their terrible ignorance.
But Mike stepped back into his research, and waved goodbye.
And worked on, almost over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day,
in the sanity of his very own lab.
Where he found his peer-reviewed papers waiting for him.
And they were all accepted.

(PS, if you’ve no idea what this is referring to, trust me, you’re better off not knowing)

Update: I should have added a link to an even better humorous response! And this one too!


  1. Looks like we need some kind of silent revolution and simply start changing without pointing to the green aspect. In fact I just read an very interesting article about the inability of humans to actually grasps catastrophic events that are about to happen, just like we are unable to grasps death.
    here the article, sorry its in German thus the Google translate link http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stern.de%2Fwissen%2Fmensch%2Fkopfwelten-warum-katastrophengeschrei-keiner-glaubt-1524375.html%23utm_source%3Dstandard%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3Dalle&sl=de&tl=en

  2. The hockey stick! Come on! A 10 year old paper! The hockey stick! Even though the same thing appears and is confirmed 5 years later in another paper! Anyways lets go back 10 years and keep picking on this hockey stick! Sure I don’t know what PCA means or any of that, nor do I understand the difference between instrumental records and tree ring records but I know what a hockey stick is!

    Please excuse me while I fill your blog with aggressive comments.

    [lol - steve]

  3. A poke or 2…:

    Re “PS, if you’ve no idea what this is referring to, trust me, you’re better off not knowing” – hmmm. Would that be because the info overload is so huuugely tremendous? Or is it a(n unintended – 1 would hope?) subversion of Hist&Phil of Science? I thought we were locally only getting rid of Hist&Phil of Education – just like Harvard? Cf. http://savethehumanitiesoise.wordpress.com/

    PS BTW, congrats on the 1st Serendipity post ever in the “Humour” category! Admirable serious-SE fortitude until after the 100th post. (yep, there’s a pun in here)

    [Ahh, the information overload reason. The whole affair should be an essential case study in history and philosophy of science courses. Thx for the pointer to the HPE issue - without knowing more about it, that sound like a very bad decision -- Steve]

  4. an update, eh? this would be a good one to pull off during a potentially de-constructive peer review. Quite pull-able, too – what with online review-support applications – cf. OJS

    I’ll be generous and say: link much appreciated, same as link to “Stop the numbers game” by David Lorge Parnas a month ago http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1297797.1297815 Author tellingly affiliated to Uni of *Limerick*. SS since I do not LOL.

  5. Pingback: Open Climate Science or Denial of Service attacks? | Serendipity

  6. Pingback: Carbon Fixated » Blog Archive » CRU email theft perspectives

  7. I’d tend to agree, Italics-in-#3, VERY. Tx for noticing the link.
    [for any curious visitor=FB member - there's a FB group SHAP on the subject]

    If H&P of *** (courses teach to) theorize about “consequences” of commercialization, incl. w.r.t. education, they’d be sadly out of tune with items holding pride of place in UT’s *Toward 2030* Financial Model (cf. b) & Strategic Qs, bottom of pg)

    Especially if any biz orientation is essentialized as either + or -, per familiar problematic binarism, which may be as devastating(!) in real life as it appears to be handy(?)/justified(?) in theorizing/modelling. Cf. H&PSci.

  8. I really like this poem/post. It’s cute and makes an important point. I feel like it could be used as an introductory allegory to a case study on sharing.

Join the discussion: