A Climate Change Scientist and a Skeptic Walk Into a Pub...

A climate change scientist and a climate change skeptic walked into an Oxford pub and immediately got into a heated discussion over one of the largest issues of our day--climate change.

"You and your gang are full of it," said skeptic. "You make the data fit whatever you want to fit."

"And you," said the scientist, "don't understand science."

The two argued like this for some time before the bartender told them to quiet down.

Chagrined that there were making so much noise, they spoke to each other quietly for a few minutes and called the bartender over.

"We're having a bit of an argument," the scientist said. "Can we tell you our main points and then have you decide who has the better case?"

The bartender, who was a student of law at Oxford, immediately agreed since it was a slow night. "I'll give whoever I think has the best argument the best drink in the house on me."

The scientist went first. He described long-term climate monitoring and the scientific link between greenhouse gases and global temperature change. He reviewed the chemistry of the atmosphere and discussed how the atmosphere impacts global temperature and weather. He reviewed everything from ocean acidification to carbon cycling.

The skeptic then gave his argument. He stated that the world's temperature was always in flux. He noted that there is no significant change in the world's weather and that there is no link between greenhouse gases and climate change. He emphasized that climate change scientists are making up the problem to try to get more funding from the government.

After listening to the two, the bartender asked them to counter the other's argument. He was working on a rebuttal statement for one of his classes, so he wanted to hear what they had to say.

Each tried to demolish the case of the other. After they made their points, they asked the bartender who won.

"I'll show you," the bartender said.

He then proceeded to make the most extravagant drink either had ever seen. First, he juiced half of an orange and measured it into a glass. He then added pineapple and passion fruit juice along with some coconut milk and simple syrup. Finally, he added a healthy pour of the best rum in the bar.

He topped it all off with a dramatic garnish of pineapple and cherries. It was beautiful in all of its tropical pinkness.

The bartender then grabbed a glass from a drying rack above the bar and poured a pint of ale from the tap.

Both the scientist and the skeptic were wondering who was going to get the drink and who was going to get the beer.

When the bartender had both drinks ready, he put the beer in front of the scientist and the fancy cocktail in front of the skeptic.

"Aha!" said the skeptic. "I see my argument won the day!"

"Not so fast," said the bartender. "Your mate had the best argument by far."

"What do you mean? I got the cocktail," the skeptic said.

"Yes, but everyone knows that the best drink in a British pub is a pint of ale," said the bartender.

"But what did you give me?" asked the skeptic.

"A hurricane without ice."