Friday Funny: Neanderthal Campfires

An artist's rendition of Neanderthals

An artist’s rendition of Neanderthals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Satirical Parody of AGW alarmism and Climatism

Reader Tom G tips us to this story:

by Bob Baird, PhD, PG

The scene: some 10-12,000 years ago.  It is the late Pleistocene, the end of the last ice age.  Neanderthal man is just beginning to notice that the climate is getting warmer.  At that time, the ocean shoreline on the North American west coast is about 10-25 miles farther out than now.  The east coast is even broader, generally from 30 to 100 miles farther out.  Imagine now the fear that struck the hearts of the Neanderthal people as they watched the shoreline inch forward year after year as the land they knew and loved was inexorably claimed by an unmerciful ocean.

At that time, the Neanderthal shamans and tribal chieftains proclaimed to the Neanderthal people that it was the deadly emissions of CO2 from their campfires that were causing this disaster.  On his tablet, Neanderthaldom in the Balance, the Profit Goregon lamented that the discovery of fire was the worst thing that ever happened to the planet.  Profit Goregon warned that the Neanderthals had only ten winters to act.

Upon learning this, the Neanderthals wailed and wept and threw snow on their heads and tore their hides.  They promised to do whatever the shamans and chieftains told them to do if it would stave off this impending doom.

After much deliberation and consultation, the shamans and chieftains proclaimed that the only solution was that the Neanderthal people must bring increased tithes of all their beads, berries and fish to them.  This would enable the shamans and chieftains to devote themselves fully to determining how to solve the devastating problem of campfire emissions.

With their newfound freedom from having to provide for themselves, the shamans and chieftains were able to devise a cap-and-tithe program.  Anyone lighting a campfire would be required to bring still more of their beads, berries and fish to the shamans and chieftains.  This would have two wonderful and delightful consequences:  It would cause the Neanderthal people to cut back on their use of fire, which is unnecessary in the first place and hurtful to the planet in the second, and it would generate still more revenue for the deserving shamans and chieftains and allow them to spend even more time in contemplative thought pondering on what things should be done for the good of the Neanderthal people.

In their leisure, the shamans and chieftains developed a new solar technology to replace fire.  It was discovered that certain clear quartz rocks could be used to focus the rays of the sun to a small point where much heat would be generated.  This clean and renewable energy technology would replace the antiquated and planet destroying fire.  Certainly, it would take slightly longer to cook food with a quartz rock and the quartz rocks cost ten times more beads, berries and fish than firewood, but the benefits to the planet would be more than worth it.  And the clear quartz rocks could also be used to heat other rocks that could be put in the cave to keep everyone warm during the cold, ice age nights.

As always, there were some extremists among the Neanderthals who, with no basis other than their dislike and envy of the shamans and chieftains, argued that fire was good and brought innumerable benefits to the Neanderthals.  But good Neanderthal subjects did not listen to them and called them Australopithecines because of their backwardness and their desire only to build a bridge to the past.

As we sadly now know, the words of Profit Goregon rang all too true.  The Neanderthal people did not heed his warnings early enough and were too slow in switching from campfires to quartz rocks.  The ten winters came and went and the familiar ice sheets melted and withdrew and the seas transgressed dozens of miles to where they are today.  And what of Neanderthal man?  Alas, Neanderthal man is no more.  They paid the price of being too slow to heed the warnings of Profit Goregon and the shamans and chieftains who were much, much smarter than they.

So, what can we learn from their frightful example?  We see that even the CO2 from Neanderthalian campfires was enough to end the ice age, melt the ice sheets, and raise the sea level, and that this had nothing whatsoever to do with any natural processes.  And we see where even the slightest selfish hesitancy to do what is right for the planet can lead.

Let us pray that we, in our day, do not follow in their fateful steps and let us be ever willing to trust our scientists and the politicians who fund their grants who, as the shamans and chieftains of old, are selflessly and altruistically working only for our good even if we are too Neanderthalian to recognize it!

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pokerguy

Haven’t read past the first few lines yet, but weren’t Neanderthals extinct by then?

pokerguy

Sorry. See it’s a parody. My bad. Not the point…

milodonharlani

Neanderthals died out at least 28,000 years ago, & probably much earlier, & of course there were no Neanderthals in North America. But other than that, pretty funny.
As I always say, somehow the Eemian interglacial managed to be a lot warmer than now without benefit of a Neanderthal industrial revolution.

Toto

Climate science is so simple even a caveman could do it.

Robert of Texas

Was this peer reviewed? 🙂

Ya think the Goregons were the ones that interbred with Cro Magnon, and begat our Algore?

milodonharlani

Toto says:
November 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm
It helps if you’re a cave person.

Hoser

I take another lesson from all this. If you listen to the idiot leaders, you’ll go extinct.

ShrNfr

Pokerguy, one of the reasons he used Neanderthals were that the did become extinct. Method in the madness and all…

EJ

Great satire.
I like to explain sustainability in terms of the cave men. I if the sustainability crowd won the debate, we would still be in caves.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but fire is mostly illegal for peasants these days. Unless, of course, you purchase a permit to light one, which you must then put out before sunset.
Looks like the sharmans won.

Steve from Rockwood

The Goregons interbred with Cro Magnon to produce the Gore-Mann. Or the Crogons, I’m not entirely sure. But I have a feeling 10,000 years ago with a 40 year life span humans couldn’t have distinguished a creeping shoreline from a tide.

Tagerbaek

Brilliant, thank you.

Neil Jordan

Fantastic parable. One small point: is “…the Profit Goregon…” a Freudian slip, or should it be “…the Prophet Goregon…”?

Gary Pearse

Neanderthals must have been east-west creatures rather than north- south. Had they been the latter, they would have noticed that they lost 30 – 100 miles east-west because of their fires but gained a couple of thousand miles north to south. Probably this is the cause of the ice age – interglacial cycles. Humanoids lit fires, its CO2 melting the ice. This raised sea-level putting out the fires and presenting a much bigger ocean for dissolving CO2 out of the atmosphere making it colder and a new round of ice development.

Lance

and here I thought it was because the starting walking up-right that caused the seas to rise….

OldWeirdHarold

Peaceful European Neanderthals were wiped out by genocide by invading African Sapiens colonists.

Well, as it turns out, they did have valid concern about flooding the NY subway system that they had just built. And I guess skeptics pointed out that campfires were only 0.001% of natural CO2 emissions. But sounds like they were smart enough to know that only mining and burning fossil fuels actually adds to the surface load of carbon. So no need to worry about campfires.

Jeff

It was the Mammoths. You think cows are bad.

Zeke

Tax Has Been Around for a Long Time
Cartoons by Josh
“Look, I invented a torch.”
“Now you owe me money.”

The shamans didn’t realize it was Mammoth farts causing the trouble? Or did the leaders “pay” to pin it on campfires and Neanderthal man?

Louis Hooffstetter

Jeff says:
November 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm
Thread winner!

davidmhoffer

Neanderthals played with fire and got their fingers burned. They vowed never to play with fire again. They went extinct. Humans also played with fire and got their fingers burned, but were too stupid to stop playing with it. So, they played with it in every way imaginable,inventing such things as the stove, the steam engine, internal combustion engine and the jet engine along the way.
Fortunately, it turns out that Neanderthals aren’t completely extinct. They interbred with humans, and their genes turned out to be recessive. So now, thousands of years later, the recessive genes are emerging again, and the Neanderthals are demanding that we stop playing with fire.

RockyRoad

Neil Jordan says:
November 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Fantastic parable. One small point: is “…the Profit Goregon…” a Freudian slip, or should it be “…the Prophet Goregon…”?

The term “profit” is far more applicable to Gore than “prophet”.
As a “prophet”, he’s a failure.
As a scheister, his “profit” is amazing!

the campfires make a point i have made often…..humans evolved living very close to open fires, inhaling smoke has been a natural part of our existence for 10s of thousands of years…..those claiming second hand smoke from cigarettes is harmful show remarkable ignorance of reality…..we CAN handle small exposures to smoke with NO problem.

This is another covert promotion of the stupid delusional idea that sun can heat something, disproven long time ago as highly insignificant by sophisticated global averaging, validated by climate models CP984587-A, B and C and there’s now 99.97% consensus among solar-wind scientists about it! It is something simmilar as to claim the rain can wet the clothes when it is actually the wind which dries them. We the Windpeace Intercontinental of course purely for sake of journalistic objectivity suggest the part about quartz leaved out as unscientific nonsense or at least somehow more hide this inconvenient lie (and we still want to believe passing unnoticed just due to lack of attention during the peer-review process and without sinister motivation involved) perhaps by discreet reminder it was purely religious belief of the ancient Neanderthal shamans. In any case we demand it being ballanced with the prominent mentioning of scientifically unequivocally proven fact that actually it is the wind which can cook the food.

Jeff says:
November 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm
Mad, not bad.

wayne

.Bob Baird… a true AGW believer behind a mask.
“With their newfound freedom from having to provide for themselves, the shamans and chieftains were able to devise a cap-and-tithe program. Anyone lighting a campfire would be required to bring still more of their beads, berries and fish to the shamans and chieftains. This would have two wonderful and delightful consequences: It would cause the Neanderthal people to cut back on their use of fire, which is unnecessary in the first place and hurtful to the planet …”
“As always, there were some extremists …”
And those extremists are you my friend skeptical scientists and engineers.
“Let us pray that we, in our day, do not follow in their fateful steps and let us be ever willing to trust our scientists and the politicians who fund their grants who, as the shamans and chieftains of old, are selflessly and altruistically working only for our good even if we are too Neanderthalian to recognize it!”
And many here think this is some kind of satire ?? This is a worship and bow to the prophet Al Gore and the holy climatologists piece for kids and he is not joking if you thought he was. Read it again, it is very deceptive… as usual.

Garfy

the cows farts and produce CO2

Wayne @ 7:36 you are right , we’ve been conned, again. No sarc

Lew Skannen

Nice story. Sums things up rather well.
It also made me wonder – before about 1900 did anyone ever think that the climate had changed?
Most peoples lives would have been too short to notice any long term changes and I doubt they spent much time worrying about them anyway, what with the difficult business or providing a living to get on with. I suspect that it was not until we had long term records and idle academics that anyone even bothered to pose the question.

Mike M

I sure like the idea of paying the IRS in beads, berries and fish – especially rotten fish, (though they might not notice the smell given the general stench of the area inside the beltway…)

Pippen Kool

Although this story is meant to be a comic metaphor it could be seen as ironic.

Tom G(ologist)

Wayne – you’re off your gourd, and don’t know a thing about what you are spouting. If you can read this and find a covert AGW’er I think you are being paranoid and are looking for shills in every closet Give it a rest and chill out will you?

Tom G(ologist)

Michael COmbs -to be self serving on this issue, I would also link you to http://suspectterrane.blogspot.com/2010/04/neanderthal.html

phlogiston

No need for historical accuracy to spoil a good story. The film industry gives many examples of this. For instance in Prometheus (sci-fi so they should know better) a cave painting with a star chart is found on the Shetland islands dating 20, 000 yrs ago, at which time it would have been under a mile of ice.

PaleoSapiens

Hilarious parody!
Nitpick (doesn’t make it any less true): Neandertal, note the missing ‘h,’ is the correct modern German spelling. It is also the way it should always be pronounced. “Neander” is the place/geographic name; “tal” is German for valley. Old German spelled valley as “thal” with ‘h’ being silent.
Thus, using neanderthal instead of neandertal is promoting a 160 year-plus error. It’s not a significant or even noteworthy error. However, chaos theory (e.g. the Lorentz equation) suggests it MAY lead to enormous differences in the future. 🙂

PaleoSapiens

Edit: Oops…Lorentz should be Lorenz.

Brian H

Garfy says:
November 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm
the cows farts and produce CO2

Aside from the crummy grammar, it’s mostly wrong. Belches produce the vast majority of CH4 output.

Lew Skannen said @ November 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Nice story. Sums things up rather well.
It also made me wonder – before about 1900 did anyone ever think that the climate had changed?
Most peoples lives would have been too short to notice any long term changes and I doubt they spent much time worrying about them anyway, what with the difficult business or providing a living to get on with. I suspect that it was not until we had long term records and idle academics that anyone even bothered to pose the question.

Climatology dates back at least ~2,400 years. Aristotle wrote that the earth was divided into three types of climatic zones based on their distance from the equator. Climate comes from a Greek word meaning latitude. He extrapolated that the area near the equator was too hot for habitation and named the region the Torrid Zone. He had heard from travellers that the lands adjacent to the North pole were permanently frozen. This he called this the Frigid Zone. The only areas that Aristotle believed habitable were the Temperate Zone lying between the Frigid Zones and the Torrid Zone. The Torrid Zone being too hot for human survival meant that we could never visit the southern Temperate Zone. Extrapolation from the known to a false unknown then has a venerable history 🙂
It wasn’t until the time of

“James Hutton FRSE (3 June 1726 OS (14 June 1726 NS) – 26 March 1797) [who] was a Scottish geologist, physician, chemical manufacturer, naturalist, and experimental agriculturalist”

that the idea of climate changing over time arose.

“Hutton circulated privately a printed version of the abstract of his Theory (Concerning the System of the Earth, its Duration, and Stability) which he read at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 4 July 1785; the full account of his theory as read at the 7 March 1785 and 4 April 1785 meetings did not appear in print until 1788. It was titled Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe and appeared in Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. I, Part II, pp. 209–304, plates I and II, published 1788. He put forward the view that “from what has actually been, we have data for concluding with regard to that which is to happen thereafter.” This restated the Scottish Enlightenment concept which David Hume had put in 1777 as “all inferences from experience suppose … that the future will resemble the past…”

Hutton’s book is available in a variety of electronic forms here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14179

This anthropology major is having a hard time suspending disbelief at there being Neandertals in North America…10-12k years ago…but I’m linking it on Facebook anyway. 🙂

milodonharlani says:
November 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Neanderthals died out at least 28,000 years ago, & probably much earlier, & of course there were no Neanderthals in North America.
=============
political correctness and land claim considerations prevent exploration of NA sites below 21,000 years ago. the argument being that there cannot be anyone living in the America’s before that time, so no use looking.
suppressed is the evidence for earlier people living in the Americas at least 60,000 years ago, because it contradicts the consensus belief that people from Asia were the original inhabitants, and arrived at most 20,000 years ago.
The concept of “First Nations” relies on being first. So long as no one looks for evidence of earlier peoples, that is easy enough to accomplish.

Brian H said @ November 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Garfy says:
November 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm
the cows farts and produce CO2
Aside from the crummy grammar, it’s mostly wrong. Belches produce the vast majority of CH4 output.

And the chemical composition of farts depends on diet and which particular bacteria inhabit the digestive system of the organism doing the farting. Composition of typical human flatus:
Nitrogen: 20-90%
Hydrogen: 0-50% (flammable)
Carbon dioxide: 10-30%
Oxygen: 0-10%
Methane: 0-10% (flammable)

@ Ferd
No doubt you are thinking of this story:

New Evidence Puts Man In North America 50,000 Years Ago
Nov. 18, 2004 — Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed last May along the Savannah River in Allendale County by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.
The findings are significant because they suggest that humans inhabited North America well before the last ice age more than 20,000 years ago, a potentially explosive revelation in American archaeology.
Goodyear, who has garnered international attention for his discoveries of tools that pre-date what is believed to be humans’ arrival in North America, announced the test results, which were done by the University of California at Irvine Laboratory, Wednesday (Nov .17).
“The dates could actually be older,” Goodyear says. “Fifty-thousand should be a minimum age since there may be little detectable activity left.”

Story here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041118104010.htm

RayG

Dr. Baird, was the Profit Goregon and acolyte of Zola?

DougS

@Steve from Rockwood
thanks for the laugh!
The Goregons interbred with Cro Magnon to produce the Gore-Mann. Or the Crogons, I’m not entirely sure. But I have a feeling 10,000 years ago with a 40 year life span humans couldn’t have distinguished a creeping shoreline from a tide.

Txomin

The idea is goofy but could be developed better.

There’s thought to be a tribe of Neanderthals still eking out an existence in deepest Siberia – it’s all their fault!

dudleyhorscroft

Thank you, Bob Baird, for a good tale. And even more thanks to Michael Comb for the first of your links. That was a most interesting report on up to date human geneomics (or something).
OT ___
Pleased to see that the Neanderthalers did not die out, they interbred, and live among us today. Our picture of the ancient Neanderthalers is coloured by the first found corpse – which may well be considered to be rather anomalous. Consider the not-too-old corpses depicted on NCIS (yes, I know it is fiction, but any sensible producer/director of crime stories tries to make it measonably realistic), and I think that they would not be too different from the first Neanderthaler corpse found.
So would we know if there were (a) pure bred Neanderthaler (family) families living amongst us today?