I’m Now A Devout Fatatarian

      210 Comments on I’m Now A Devout Fatatarian

I’m considering starting a new religion call Fatatarianism. If I do, you’re all invited to join. I promise I won’t collect any dues, with the possible exception of a cover charge for our annual pilgrimage to a farm, where I’ll wave my hand over a pig that will be later be transubstantiated into a delicious meal.

I realize joining another religion could be problematic for those of you who are already religious. I apologize for the inconvenience, but my only other options were to form a new ethnic group called Fatians or an entirely new culture called … actually, I don’t know what I’d call the culture. Maybe Fatian would work for that too.

Anyway, given that the thousands of members of the Fat Head Facebook group come in all shapes and colors, it’s highly unlikely we could pass ourselves off as an ethic group. “You Fatians all look alike to me” would just never fly … although given enough time, I’m sure people would start writing Fatian jokes.

How do you drown a Fatian submarine crew?  Tap on the hatch with a sausage.

I kind of like the idea of starting a culture, but I have no idea how to go about it. (A girlfriend once accused me starting a culture in my shower, but she was referring to something that had sprouted in a corner of the stall.) I’m reasonably sure starting a separate culture would require developing a lot of original music, dances, clothing styles, myths, mating rituals and perhaps even a small crime syndicate. Oh, and at least one restaurant in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. We don’t have that kind of time.

So religion it is. If nothing else, there’s far less paperwork involved.

I should probably explain what’s motivating a secular guy like me to consider starting a religion. It’s all about ensuring that Chareva and I can still decide what to put in our girls’ lunchboxes if Tennessee is ever taken over nanny-statists.

You may recall the incident last year in which a school-lunch inspector took away a girl’s home-packed lunch. Here’s a quote from the newspaper article I linked in my post:

A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs – including in-home day care centers – to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home. When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

This wasn’t an isolated incident. A reader I’ve met in person told me about a similar incident involving his niece, and a school district in Chicago has already banned lunches brought from home.

And now just to prove that American officials aren’t uniquely stupid, some politicians across the pond are proposing the same stupidity. Here are some quotes from an article in the U.K. Guardian:

Packed lunches could be banned and pupils barred from leaving school during breaks to buy junk food under a government plan to increase the take-up of school meals, which is to be announced on Friday.

The plan, drawn up by John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby, the founders of the food company Leon, aims to tackle the poor public image of school meals.

Okay, somebody in the U.K. please tell me: are Vincent and Dimbleby proposing rules that would require more kids to eat the foods produced by their company? I’m not familiar with Leon.

And why do stupid government proposals always seem to spread around the globe?  Is there an annual convention where officials from around the world all get together at a resort, drink cocktails with umbrellas, get taxpayer-funded massages and exchange stupid ideas?

Anyway …

The report, which suggests a link between nutrition and academic performance, highlights that parents currently spend almost £1bn on packed lunches but only 1% of them meet nutritional standards. In contrast, scientific studies show most school meals are a healthier option.

Those “scientific” studies are of course based on the unscientific assumption that government nutrition guidelines are correct.

The report suggests a range of measures for headteachers to increase take-up of school meals. They include banning unhealthy packed lunches full of sugary drinks, crisps and sweets, or even a total ban on all packed lunches.

So what does all this have to do with me starting a religion? I’m getting to that. First, let’s look at part of a follow-up story to the incident in North Carolina:

After a national outcry over lunch inspections at a pre-K program in Hoke County, the North Carolina Childcare Commission got the message. The commission reinstated a rule allowing homemade lunches to be exempt from nutrition guidelines.

The new rule means if parents pack a lunch for their child, the preferences of the parents would trump the established nutrition guidelines.

The change can be credited to a story that triggered national attention.

Yes, it’s good that the government food fascists backed off, but before we all do a victory dance, let’s stop and consider why they backed off: they were embarrassed by the national outcry. It didn’t suddenly occur to them that they’re supposed to be public servants, not the public’s masters. Take away the national attention and the embarrassment, and they would have happily continued telling parents what they can put in their own children’s lunchboxes.

How do I know that? Because an earlier article about the same commission’s proceedings (before the national attention and embarrassment) tells us so:

The staff of the Division of Child Development and Early Education drew up some nutrition rules in May 2011 for the NC Child Care Commission to consider. The commission discussed the proposed rules at a September 27, 2011 meeting. The minutes of that meeting show the commission members talked about allowing parents to make a “personal preference” for the food their children eat at school, including what they bring from home. According to the minutes, the commission’s attorney, Alexi Gruber from the Department of Justice, advised the members such preferences should supersede any nutrition rule.

The panel went against that advice, however, and deleted the word “personal” from the recommendation. The only exception left was for ethnic, religious or cultural reasons. The new rule cited a vegetarian diet as an example of the exception.

See if you can spot the glaring contradiction in the commission’s (ahem) thinking. Go ahead, I’ll wait …

Got it? Yup … the commission chose not to allow exceptions based on a parent’s “personal” preferences, but they were willing to make an exception for a vegetarian diet. Excuse me?  Weren’t the exceptions supposed to be for ethnic, religious or cultural reasons?

Yes, some religions specify a vegetarian diet, but vegetarianism itself is not a religion. It’s a personal preference. But since many vegetarians cite moral reasons for their personal preference, the goofballs on the commission were willing to treat vegetarianism like a religion and offer vegetarians an exemption from their rules.

That’s why I’m considering starting the Fatatarian religion. You can argue the health benefits of meat vs. wheat with government officials until you’re blue in the face, and they won’t budge. But play the religion card, and they fold. So I figure to ensure that our daughters (and millions of other kids) are allowed to bring Fat Head lunches from home in the future, we need to make this a religious-freedom issue. Imagine how much fun it would be.

“Yes, Mr. Naughton, we called you in today because your daughter’s lunch didn’t include any grain products and was very high in saturated fat. I’m afraid that violates USDA rules.”

“Well, sorry, but you’ll have to make an exception. We’re strict Fatatarians.”

“Which means …?”

“It means our religion requires us to eat a diet high in fat.”

“So that you can go to heaven?”

“No, so that we can enjoy our time on earth.”

“Uh, but … well, there’s also the issue of you not including any grains in their –”

“No can do. Fatatarins consider eating wheat immoral.”

“How can eating wheat be immoral? You’re not killing anything.”

“Have you taken a peek at the diabetes rates lately?”

“Yes, but I still don’t see how eating wheat is a moral issue.”

“Simple. When kids end up with cavities and diabetes and asthma and food allergies and behavioral problems and beer bellies just so the USDA officials currently on sabbatical from their real jobs at Monsanto can force their parents to buy Monsanto’s grains for their kids’ lunches, that’s immoral.”

“But –”

“And I’m quoting directly from the Book of Dietoronomy, verse twenty-seven.”

“But—”

“Now, I don’t want to have to turn this into a First Amendment issue, but if you’re going to insist I violate my religion, I’ll have to call my law—”

“No, no, that won’t be necessary. I’m sure we can work out an exception.”

“Great. And by the way, on the third Friday of every month, my girls are required to walk around all day with a live chicken. I’ll expect you to accommodate them.”


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210 thoughts on “I’m Now A Devout Fatatarian

  1. Waldo

    Another masterpiece Tom. Thank you. I’ll join. A golden hog could be our idol. However you, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore and many others are already mine.

    Let’s name it The High Holy Hog.

  2. neal matheson

    Chin up I believe some forms of Taoists wouldn’t eat grains, just be a Taoist if they push it. I also wouldn’t worry about the compulsory school lunches in the UK, many schools don’t have canteens anymore, like alot of ideas floated around by governments it isn’t at all practicable they just like saying things, anything no matter what as long as you are looking at them. The idea (in the UK) runs smack into the problem that the state is relenquishing as much control over the public school system as it possibly can so by their own agenda wouldn’t be able to do it even if they wanted.

  3. Eleanor

    Ha! Great idea.

    For starters, how about if we abbreviate “saturated fat” as “St. Fat”. ;D

    Love it. There should also be a St. Fat’s day with parades.

    1. Lori

      We’ll co-opt Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). We can co-opt antlers from Paganism for our symbol–can’t think of an existing religion that forbids venison.

      Horn hats. Yeah, that would work.

      1. Cameron Baum

        In my bathroom, I have a pair of antlers hanging up, with a Guy Fawkes mask strapped to the front. Maybe this is the holy face of St. Fat? The mask from V For Vendetta with horns coming out the top?

        I just started this religion and you have already have a shrine.

        1. Cameron Baum

          I had a vision from St Fat, telling me how to do it. Said the answer would be revealed in time.

          As for a religious symbol, how about a pig in sunglasses giving the thumbs up?

          Not bad, but I’d prefer something you can draw on a person’s forehead using nothing but ashes.

          1. Sandi

            I was thinking that an infinity symbol made of bacon would be an awesome symbol.

            Also, who did I see about getting ordained in our new religion? I’d like to see a baptism in bacon grease 🙂

            Submersion would take a lot of bacon grease. How about anointing the head with a bit of the stuff?

      2. Marilyn

        I think I’ll pass on horn hats. I don’t want to look like a Wagnerian soprano. 🙂

        Tell people you’re a Vikings fan.

  4. Marilyn

    I’ve been a member for years.

    Will you also welcome vegans and vegetarians who don’t believe in animal sacrifice, but do believe in fat — coconut and palm oil (vegans) and butter, cream and cheese (vegetarians)?

    I’m with you on the “paleo” thing. So much silliness, and so little good useful new information.

    We welcome anyone who believes in fat — as long as he/she doesn’t raise a ruckus about the annual animal sacrifice.

    1. Pierson

      For what it’s worth, is the sacrifice of the innocent pig really necessary? I mean, can’t it be replaced by cheese-making, or a sacrifice of not-misled members of CSPI, or those who run Monsanto? Really, at least they knowingly hurt people!

      Since I eat bacon, it would be hypocritical of me to oppose sacrificing a pig (assuming we eat it afterwards). However, I’m willing to use pigs who are guilty of something if we can find a supplier.

  5. Tom Merhart

    I’m thinking Taubesians. If L. Ron Hubbard can start a religion based on a book then I think Gary Taubes can too!

    I’d be concerned about naming my religion after a person. What if Gary is caught in some compromising situation a year from now?

    1. Cameron Baum

      Good point… It’d be awkward if he was caught eating a tofu birger, and demanding seconds…

  6. Daci

    Hi Tom.
    I wanna be a Fatatarian! I trust you accept atheists,no?
    Can I have my own pet chickens for joining? If so,I want a buff silky bantam and a Serama bantam. 🙂
    Funny blog,for real!

    We accept atheists and the faithful alike.

  7. George @ the High Fat hep C Di

    If you get disillusioned with the rate of change your legally sanctioned Fatatarianism produces, come underground Brother, the SFLA (Saturated Fat Liberation Army) has room in its cells for you.

    Shhh … I may already be in a sleeper cell, and I don’t want the NSA to get wind of it.

  8. Ulfric Douglas

    I’m sure if I wander into the school after they banned my boy’s packed lunch and confront them eye-to-eye about WHO is really in charge of what he eats … they’ll come round to my way of thinking.
    More folk need to grow some balls.
    Fatatarianism IS fuuny, and a good idea, but having to pretend some flavour of “imaginary friend” in order to prevent the government from poisoning us … this is not as developed as it should be in 2013!

    Yes, but if you lose your sense of humor, they win.

  9. Debbie

    I’ll join! Perhaps some bumper stickers and t-shirts can be created to inform the public about this new religious movement?

    Or we could go door-to-door an offer people bacon if they let us in to talk.

    1. Firebird

      Great idea…Jehovah’s witnesses tend to show up when people are eating. So, we’ll show up with dinner.

      We’d be less likely to have the door slammed in our faces.

  10. Kyth

    Can we have Five-Fingers shoes or Luna sandals be the official footwear for our Monks? That way I can wear them at work.

    As long as I don’t have to wear them, I’m down with that.

  11. Jess McKinnon

    I look forward to the First Annual Fatitarian Cruise next May.

    Services to be held every night at dinner.

  12. J

    One of your best posts yet lol.

    The idea of home schooling is starting to sound more and more reasonable.

    Fatia-ism and facism sound similar, but one is good and the other is evil.

    Are there plans to build a place of worship..a fathedral?

    Perhaps if we can put pews in a barn.

  13. Don in Arkansas

    I’m in. Send me my membership credentials ASAP. I would also like to be ordained as a minister and perform weddings at the local barbeques.

    I’m still working out the details of what’s required to be a minister. A vow of poverty won’t be required, but may happen spontaneously to ministers who do all their shopping at Whole Foods.

  14. neal matheson

    Chin up I believe some forms of Taoists wouldn’t eat grains, just be a Taoist if they push it. I also wouldn’t worry about the compulsory school lunches in the UK, many schools don’t have canteens anymore, like alot of ideas floated around by governments it isn’t at all practicable they just like saying things, anything no matter what as long as you are looking at them. The idea (in the UK) runs smack into the problem that the state is relenquishing as much control over the public school system as it possibly can so by their own agenda wouldn’t be able to do it even if they wanted.

    1. eddie watts

      “like alot of ideas floated around by governments it isn’t at all practicable”

      just because this is the case does not mean they won’t try it anyway!

      Of course not. They’ll impose an unworkable plan, and when it doesn’t work, they’ll hold it up as evidence that the plan wasn’t big enough.

  15. Marilyn

    I’ve been a member for years.

    Will you also welcome vegans and vegetarians who don’t believe in animal sacrifice, but do believe in fat — coconut and palm oil (vegans) and butter, cream and cheese (vegetarians)?

    I’m with you on the “paleo” thing. So much silliness, and so little good useful new information.

    We welcome anyone who believes in fat — as long as he/she doesn’t raise a ruckus about the annual animal sacrifice.

    1. Pierson

      For what it’s worth, is the sacrifice of the innocent pig really necessary? I mean, can’t it be replaced by cheese-making, or a sacrifice of not-misled members of CSPI, or those who run Monsanto? Really, at least they knowingly hurt people!

      Since I eat bacon, it would be hypocritical of me to oppose sacrificing a pig (assuming we eat it afterwards). However, I’m willing to use pigs who are guilty of something if we can find a supplier.

  16. Daci

    Hi Tom.
    I wanna be a Fatatarian! I trust you accept atheists,no?
    Can I have my own pet chickens for joining? If so,I want a buff silky bantam and a Serama bantam. 🙂
    Funny blog,for real!

    We accept atheists and the faithful alike.

  17. George @ the High Fat hep C Diet

    If you get disillusioned with the rate of change your legally sanctioned Fatatarianism produces, come underground Brother, the SFLA (Saturated Fat Liberation Army) has room in its cells for you.

    Shhh … I may already be in a sleeper cell, and I don’t want the NSA to get wind of it.

  18. Ulfric Douglas

    I’m sure if I wander into the school after they banned my boy’s packed lunch and confront them eye-to-eye about WHO is really in charge of what he eats … they’ll come round to my way of thinking.
    More folk need to grow some balls.
    Fatatarianism IS fuuny, and a good idea, but having to pretend some flavour of “imaginary friend” in order to prevent the government from poisoning us … this is not as developed as it should be in 2013!

    Yes, but if you lose your sense of humor, they win.

  19. Kyth

    Can we have Five-Fingers shoes or Luna sandals be the official footwear for our Monks? That way I can wear them at work.

    As long as I don’t have to wear them, I’m down with that.

  20. Jess McKinnon

    I look forward to the First Annual Fatitarian Cruise next May.

    Services to be held every night at dinner.

  21. J

    One of your best posts yet lol.

    The idea of home schooling is starting to sound more and more reasonable.

    Fatia-ism and facism sound similar, but one is good and the other is evil.

    Are there plans to build a place of worship..a fathedral?

    Perhaps if we can put pews in a barn.

  22. Nads

    The comments are as fun as your blog Tom! Sounds like the whole thing is sorted.

    I’m in, big time. But we will be a fairly placid bunch. No hangry people here!

    Pass the communion jerky!

    The comments are what makes this blog fun for me.

  23. Nads

    The comments are as fun as your blog Tom! Sounds like the whole thing is sorted.

    I’m in, big time. But we will be a fairly placid bunch. No hangry people here!

    Pass the communion jerky!

    The comments are what makes this blog fun for me.

  24. Anonymous

    Heh, guess I’m glad I don’t live in the US. I wonder if your government would recognize dual-religionship though?

    They may not, but as head of the religion, I will.

  25. Megan

    My kids eat the (soon to be compulsory?) school lunches because I find it convenient and they make reasonable choices where they can. they prefer water to juice or fizzy drinks, they will eat the ham not he bread and they choose vegetables and fruit. there are plenty of other options available – but we have taught them what is better. its not perfect but it is OK.

    My opinion is that they eat well for the other two meals of their day and for their snacks. Their lunch time food is but a small part and represents less than a third of their calories. if they make bad choices sometimes – i am not concerned.

    I have tried packed lunches and to be honest it costs twice as much to give them no carb foods – in the UK meat, nuts, cheese etc is very expensive. So i have had to compromise. They are both very slim and healthy and hopefully choosing good fod in the long term too.

  26. sharon v

    I was briefly part of a food cult in college. ‘Love and good food’ was our greeting, and at every meeting we had bowls of holy soup.

    I was a member of the Zimbabwian Liberation Army. It was four guys who met in a bar and claimed responsibility for any bad thing that happened in the world. Oddly, the media never took us seriously.

  27. Cathy

    Oh, this is so much fun to read. Tom, your blog is just my favorite. Making a point using humor and inviting people to join in is just brilliant. I love the comments, and there are some super-funny people here who come to play. Makes my day.

    P.S. – your girls are just adorable and very creative.

    I love the comments too. Apparently the Wisdom of Crowds includes the Humor of Crowds.

  28. Chad G

    We can just get our rituals from the Flintstones, Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo’s
    “All Hail Tom, Grand Pu bah …Ak Ak A Dak”

    I wouldn’t mind a to-go order of ribs like the one that toppled Fred’s car.

  29. Anonymous

    Heh, guess I’m glad I don’t live in the US. I wonder if your government would recognize dual-religionship though?

    They may not, but as head of the religion, I will.

  30. The Older Brother

    As a religion, we could also demand that schools have a “Meat-Only Tuesday” menu. You know, to teach tolerance and open-mindedness towards other groups, just like our betters are always forcing on us.

  31. Megan

    My kids eat the (soon to be compulsory?) school lunches because I find it convenient and they make reasonable choices where they can. they prefer water to juice or fizzy drinks, they will eat the ham not he bread and they choose vegetables and fruit. there are plenty of other options available – but we have taught them what is better. its not perfect but it is OK.

    My opinion is that they eat well for the other two meals of their day and for their snacks. Their lunch time food is but a small part and represents less than a third of their calories. if they make bad choices sometimes – i am not concerned.

    I have tried packed lunches and to be honest it costs twice as much to give them no carb foods – in the UK meat, nuts, cheese etc is very expensive. So i have had to compromise. They are both very slim and healthy and hopefully choosing good fod in the long term too.

  32. Ineskiste

    Mmh.

    I do not know. Every religion is there to control people into the “right” way of thinking. Starting with a good intent, it always derails into something dogmatic – and less face it – often stupid or plainly dangerous.

    And most religion used to be the form of government before the government as we know it today existed. Even the catholic governmental order is based on the “old Rome” Ceasarian way of running an empire.

    I would hate to be aligned with any type of religious thinking: pretend or not.
    I am all for “let people make their own choices” and let people be responsibile for their own actions. This is in today’s world another way of population control.

    Sometimes I am reading these posts and am wondering how seemingly intelligent people can be dogmatic climate change deniers despite the scientific data evidence, but then at the same time claim the read the scientific on food and believe in low carb. If you know how to read scientific papers the same logic applies to both. You cannot pick and choose. Yes, it is easier to believe LCHF as you can test the evidence on yourself and see results within a reasonable short time, but trusting only the self-experimentation and anecdotal sample size is not really scientific…

    I personally would subscribe to a group subscribed to logic and reason… Away from any kind of dogma or prescribed worshipping ritual. And where you can have open discussions about your findings readings, experiences, and seen evidences… And then I would like to work with that same group to build up a mathematical calculation model to explain and simulate the world. Just for fun. I am nerdy like this.

    I have read books on the science of climate change, and that’s why I’m a skeptic. The dogmatic people are are the climate hysterics. I liked this professor’s book in particular (his lecture is embedded in the post):

    http://www.tomnaughton.com/?p=180

    As he mentions in the lecture, all good scientists are SUPPOSED to be skeptics.

    1. Ines

      Well, there is skepticism based on research and data, and there is skepticism only based on dogma or most popular opinion. I am always scared if people rely on one side. I personally am afraid that there are people out there who pick and choose their arguments based on a very limited set of data.

      For example this summer was horribly cold in Europe so far. Is this any evidence for or against climate change? It is not. It is just a piece of data completely meaningless without context.

      Can we compare this summer to a summer 100 years ago? Probably not as it is just a comparison without context and likely the scientific measures and possibilities varied to a point that it is more like comparing apples to bananas.

      Did we experience climate changes in the past?
      Yes, there were ice ages and such. So yes, climate is not a constant and subject to change. Independent of human involvement. But why is it so difficult to explore human involvement in a changing climate without offending any ideology?

      I am generally an environmentalist as I like to take care of where and how I live. I like the idea of thinking before I spent or use resources. And I believe that a lot of man made conveniences have a negative effect on the environment.

      What I do not know is what is contributing to change and what piece of the puzzle is driver and what only enabler. But generally I do not believe that keeping up with our consumption of natural resources is clever. I also think that overpopulation is huge. I cannot imagine that breathing or cow herding alone is changing our weather. But I believe that monoagriculturism is bad and that GMOs are nothing what I want in my plate nor my food garden.

      And I believe that the deforestation of the rain forest is not good for anyone.

      But what I think is worse is overreaction and installing fast measures with more negative consequences or other open loop processes where nobody picks up the pieces at the end; like the recyclable plastics or toxic light bulbs.

      The real question is like the god proof:
      “What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” Unfortunately, there is evidence for climate change that makes it a valid theory until disproven otherwise. So far, other than anecdotal comments or insufficient data points I have not seen enough for me to discard this theory. And will continue the discussion to find out more and develop my knowledge in the gaps that still exist. Will I change my mind? Surely, if find convincing arguments. I change my opinion with new pieces of information all the time…

      In contrast I have not seen any real proof that God exists, so I declare him absent.

      The good thing about humans and this world is that there is so much to learn and discover! The bad thing is that there are so many people only looking for an easy way out… 🙁

      I know it’s a waste of time trying to point out the flaws in global-warming hysteria to people who are already wedded to the theory, so I’ll just make three quick points:

      1. In real science, we don’t adopt an unproven theory and hold it to be true until disproven.

      2. Skepticism isn’t about about a few anecdotes. Watch the lecture embedded in the post I linked to previously. Professor Carter isn’t citing mere anecdotes. Perhaps you personally haven’t seen enough evidence to discard the theory, but I also doubt you’ve looked for it. If you want a nice layperson-level (and skeptical) look at the science, read “Air Con.” If you want something deeper, read “Global Warming: The Counter-Consensus.” If you’re not interested in analyses of the science written by skeptics, that’s your choice … but please don’t toss around the label “denier” because I have read those analyses and found them persuasive.

      3. To believe climate scientists can tell accurately predict what the climate will be like in 50 years, I’d have to believe that they’ve not only identified all the variables involved in climate, but also precisely calculated how those variables interact with each other. I don’t believe they’ve done either, especially since their computer models didn’t accurately predict the previous decade.

      1. Ines

        You seem to forget that I am a scientist. A real one. With a degree. And a thesis written that is peer reviewed and published. I think I am qualified to talk about what I know and have researched and I can derive my own conclusion without being accused of cherry picking. And no, I was not sponsered by Al Gore. And yes, I work in automotive. And I love working in automotive as I think change, advancement and innovations are all based on identifiying challenges, looking at what is real, and taking risks. Surprised? We can now talk again about my qualifications to have a conversation.

        1. I never said I was vetted. Au contraire. I admitted to not knowing all, but leaning in one direction based on what I read. And I would appreciate honest analysis, conclusions, and such. I like debating and arguing. I do that for a living. My job is developing and arguing change.
        2. Some people are easily convinced. Others require more. I am not bought into “everything will get warmer… blablabla”, but I am bought into that we need to change our habits. I think the difference between us is that I have enough evidence to action (avoid monoagriculture, invest in innovation, avoid garbage, free range animals and organic farming … hey I have come to your blog for a reason).
        3. Plainly stupid argument that I read in boulevard magazines before. You can do better.

        I appreciate any good conversations around this topic, because it is dear to my heart since I started working in the science field in the late 1980s exactly because I had read about global warming indications as a teenager. I have changed my ways from being a Green Peace activist to being a manager in one of the Fortune 50 companies. And I can respectfully say, I know what I am talking about. I think there is a lot of things to learn from each other. So, I hate taking sides in this debate without putting all cards on the table, why not just talk and compare notes?

        🙂

        For me to forget you’re a scientist, you’d first have to tell me you’re a scientist. You didn’t, unless I missed it. But surely you’re not going to play the “I’m a scientist, so I know what’s true and what isn’t” card on this blog. Scientists are often wrong, and of course scientists often disagree with each other.

        What’s plainly stupid about #3? I don’t believe climate scientists have come anywhere close to identifying all the variables involved in climate, much less calculated their interactions. That’s why their computer models aren’t accurate. (You are, I assume, aware that a programmer left comments in one of the programs complaining that he couldn’t make the model produce the results the ClimateGate scientists wanted. Scientists aren’t supposed to want particular results when on a supposed quest for knowledge.)

        I didn’t say you aren’t qualified to have a conversation, but 1) it’s not going to be much of conversation when you start by tossing out “denier” as a label for someone with a healthy degree of skepticism, 2) it would no doubt be a long and pointless debate and 3) it’s not a topic for this blog.

        We agree on the need to change the habits you mentioned, but for me it’s not about preventing global warming. It’s about avoiding ruining the planet in other ways.

        1. Ines

          And just one more note, what does “unproven theory” even mean? Unless there is a clue or a case against the theory, they are just that a “scientific theory” and some might be superior over others, but still wrong. What you are thinking of is “hypothesis” and I agree we do not necessarily believe those without further investigation. Or would you debate that the theory of gravity is anything but that “a theory”? Unproven, but well researched. Because other than in mathematics we do not have a 100% proof in real life science, just theories.
          QED

          “Unfortunately, there is evidence for climate change that makes it a valid theory until disproven otherwise.”

          I called it a theory because you called it a theory. I’m aware of the definition of “hypothesis.”

        2. Marilyn

          On the tangent of “global warming,” I was reading an alarmist piece that said the wildfires have been getting worse and worse — they’re the worst they’ve been in 40 years. To me that says that wildfires were at least as bad 40 years ago. Forty years ago. I have a vague recollection that about 40 years ago, everybody was wringing their hands about global cooling.

          When I was in high school, we were told the world was heading into a new ice age. At the time, there’d been a cooling cycle lasting about 40 years … which had followed a warming cycle lasting about 35 years … which followed a cooling cycle lasting about 40 years … etc. In “Air Con,” the author points out that if you dig up old newspapers and magazines going back 100 years (which he did), you’ll find alternating periods of media warnings about global warming and global cooling. In the 1970s, Newsweek ran an article about the horrors of the coming ice age and even suggested (wait for it …) nuking the polar ice caps to prevent it.

        3. Ines

          It would be a conversation if you actually read what I said. Yes, I call most people denying climate change deniers because I have yet to see and listen to anyone that bases the argument on reasonable scepticism. So yes, if you just repeat what others are saying.

          I do not care how you define climate change. Whether it is warming, cooling, tsunamis, increased rain, changes to atmosphere, or simply changing the composition of air. Some are happening and can be easily measured. Others not.

          But why on earth are you asking for all variables to be defined and proven out to start thinking about this as a theory. Based on that nothing would evervcount as a theory. Not even the theory of gravity. Do not put unfulfillable requirements on one definition just because you are leaning towards one answer. That is not scepticism. That is a clever form of denial. I give you that: you are clever and well read, but please do not hide behind canned arguments.

          I called climate change a theory, because there is enough valid evidence and reviews conducted that makes it one. There are counter-theories as well. Nobody knows how things will shake, but please give credit to those who worked their asses off to investigate observations. Whether you think they have have concluded correctly or not.

          Okay, I agree with you: the climate is changing. It always has and always will. As for whether or not humans are causing climate change and scientists can accurately predict what those changes will be, we will agree to disagree. Like I said, I’m not interested in a long and pointless debate on a subject not germane to to this blog.

      2. KC

        How mu of the climate concerns are based on simply bad data for example aging weather stations give higher day time temp readings if they haven’t been properly maintained. This is due to the white paint on the outside of the weather station fading over time and thus absorbing more of the sun’s heat and thus leading to a higher temp reading than a properly maintained station. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/29/aging-weather-stations-contribute-to-high-temperature-records/

        There is also the issue of weather monitoring stations being poorly placed, ie near asphalt parking lots, next to building that reflect sunlight or even neat the exhaust vent of air conditioning units. See the bottom of the page at http://surfacestations.org for a photo of a very poorly placed monitoring station vs one that is properly placed.

        Bad data will always lead to bad conclusions.

        Professor Carter wrote about that in his book as well.

    2. Bob

      What does the Church of Global Warming(tm) have to do with the Fatatarian Society? I hate to feed the trolls but I’m tired and am feeling punchy. Here is my problem with the current state of Climate, “Science”

      http://gigaom.com/2013/05/16/black-box-software-a-problem-for-science-that-extends-to-big-data-2/

      TL;DR Scientists aren’t code monkeys and we can’t trust their predictions (especially when they are wrong year after year)

      I’m reasonably sure Fatatarianism has nothing to do with global warming … er, I mean “climate change,” since global warming apparently now causes warm temperatures, but also record cold temperatures, and it causes droughts, but also heavy rains and floods … oh, and higher-than-average numbers of tornadoes and hurricanes … except in the recent years where we had lower-than-average numbers of tornadoes and hurricanes despite the predictions … but, uh, those were just temporary anomalies.

  33. Jo

    I don’t think they will be successful in banning packed lunches in the UK. When one school tried to introduce Jamie Oliver’s healthy school dinners and locked the gates to stop the kids going down the chippie, the mums went down to the school and handed packets of fish and chips to the children through the fence. Although not many would have agreed with their food choices, many would agree with the sentiment of feeding your own kids.

    Exactly. We shouldn’t be forced to adhere to anyone’s definition of a “correct” diet, even if that means a low carb/paleo diet.

  34. sharon v

    I was briefly part of a food cult in college. ‘Love and good food’ was our greeting, and at every meeting we had bowls of holy soup.

    I was a member of the Zimbabwian Liberation Army. It was four guys who met in a bar and claimed responsibility for any bad thing that happened in the world. Oddly, the media never took us seriously.

  35. Cathy

    Oh, this is so much fun to read. Tom, your blog is just my favorite. Making a point using humor and inviting people to join in is just brilliant. I love the comments, and there are some super-funny people here who come to play. Makes my day.

    P.S. – your girls are just adorable and very creative.

    I love the comments too. Apparently the Wisdom of Crowds includes the Humor of Crowds.

    1. Jill

      If you can get an official Fat-size Hummer of Crowds we can all hitch a ride to Sacrifice Day! Big wheels turnin’…

  36. Chad G

    We can just get our rituals from the Flintstones, Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo’s
    “All Hail Tom, Grand Pu bah …Ak Ak A Dak”

    I wouldn’t mind a to-go order of ribs like the one that toppled Fred’s car.

  37. The Older Brother

    As a religion, we could also demand that schools have a “Meat-Only Tuesday” menu. You know, to teach tolerance and open-mindedness towards other groups, just like our betters are always forcing on us.

  38. Ineskiste

    Mmh.

    I do not know. Every religion is there to control people into the “right” way of thinking. Starting with a good intent, it always derails into something dogmatic – and less face it – often stupid or plainly dangerous.

    And most religion used to be the form of government before the government as we know it today existed. Even the catholic governmental order is based on the “old Rome” Ceasarian way of running an empire.

    I would hate to be aligned with any type of religious thinking: pretend or not.
    I am all for “let people make their own choices” and let people be responsibile for their own actions. This is in today’s world another way of population control.

    Sometimes I am reading these posts and am wondering how seemingly intelligent people can be dogmatic climate change deniers despite the scientific data evidence, but then at the same time claim the read the scientific on food and believe in low carb. If you know how to read scientific papers the same logic applies to both. You cannot pick and choose. Yes, it is easier to believe LCHF as you can test the evidence on yourself and see results within a reasonable short time, but trusting only the self-experimentation and anecdotal sample size is not really scientific…

    I personally would subscribe to a group subscribed to logic and reason… Away from any kind of dogma or prescribed worshipping ritual. And where you can have open discussions about your findings readings, experiences, and seen evidences… And then I would like to work with that same group to build up a mathematical calculation model to explain and simulate the world. Just for fun. I am nerdy like this.

    I have read books on the science of climate change, and that’s why I’m a skeptic. The dogmatic people are are the climate hysterics. I liked this professor’s book in particular (his lecture is embedded in the post):

    http://www.tomnaughton.com/?p=180

    As he mentions in the lecture, all good scientists are SUPPOSED to be skeptics.

    1. Ines

      Well, there is skepticism based on research and data, and there is skepticism only based on dogma or most popular opinion. I am always scared if people rely on one side. I personally am afraid that there are people out there who pick and choose their arguments based on a very limited set of data.

      For example this summer was horribly cold in Europe so far. Is this any evidence for or against climate change? It is not. It is just a piece of data completely meaningless without context.

      Can we compare this summer to a summer 100 years ago? Probably not as it is just a comparison without context and likely the scientific measures and possibilities varied to a point that it is more like comparing apples to bananas.

      Did we experience climate changes in the past?
      Yes, there were ice ages and such. So yes, climate is not a constant and subject to change. Independent of human involvement. But why is it so difficult to explore human involvement in a changing climate without offending any ideology?

      I am generally an environmentalist as I like to take care of where and how I live. I like the idea of thinking before I spent or use resources. And I believe that a lot of man made conveniences have a negative effect on the environment.

      What I do not know is what is contributing to change and what piece of the puzzle is driver and what only enabler. But generally I do not believe that keeping up with our consumption of natural resources is clever. I also think that overpopulation is huge. I cannot imagine that breathing or cow herding alone is changing our weather. But I believe that monoagriculturism is bad and that GMOs are nothing what I want in my plate nor my food garden.

      And I believe that the deforestation of the rain forest is not good for anyone.

      But what I think is worse is overreaction and installing fast measures with more negative consequences or other open loop processes where nobody picks up the pieces at the end; like the recyclable plastics or toxic light bulbs.

      The real question is like the god proof:
      “What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” Unfortunately, there is evidence for climate change that makes it a valid theory until disproven otherwise. So far, other than anecdotal comments or insufficient data points I have not seen enough for me to discard this theory. And will continue the discussion to find out more and develop my knowledge in the gaps that still exist. Will I change my mind? Surely, if find convincing arguments. I change my opinion with new pieces of information all the time…

      In contrast I have not seen any real proof that God exists, so I declare him absent.

      The good thing about humans and this world is that there is so much to learn and discover! The bad thing is that there are so many people only looking for an easy way out… 🙁

      I know it’s a waste of time trying to point out the flaws in global-warming hysteria to people who are already wedded to the theory, so I’ll just make three quick points:

      1. In real science, we don’t adopt an unproven theory and hold it to be true until disproven.

      2. Skepticism isn’t about about a few anecdotes. Watch the lecture embedded in the post I linked to previously. Professor Carter isn’t citing mere anecdotes. Perhaps you personally haven’t seen enough evidence to discard the theory, but I also doubt you’ve looked for it. If you want a nice layperson-level (and skeptical) look at the science, read “Air Con.” If you want something deeper, read “Global Warming: The Counter-Consensus.” If you’re not interested in analyses of the science written by skeptics, that’s your choice … but please don’t toss around the label “denier” because I have read those analyses and found them persuasive.

      3. To believe climate scientists can tell accurately predict what the climate will be like in 50 years, I’d have to believe that they’ve not only identified all the variables involved in climate, but also precisely calculated how those variables interact with each other. I don’t believe they’ve done either, especially since their computer models didn’t accurately predict the previous decade.

      1. Ines

        You seem to forget that I am a scientist. A real one. With a degree. And a thesis written that is peer reviewed and published. I think I am qualified to talk about what I know and have researched and I can derive my own conclusion without being accused of cherry picking. And no, I was not sponsered by Al Gore. And yes, I work in automotive. And I love working in automotive as I think change, advancement and innovations are all based on identifiying challenges, looking at what is real, and taking risks. Surprised? We can now talk again about my qualifications to have a conversation.

        1. I never said I was vetted. Au contraire. I admitted to not knowing all, but leaning in one direction based on what I read. And I would appreciate honest analysis, conclusions, and such. I like debating and arguing. I do that for a living. My job is developing and arguing change.
        2. Some people are easily convinced. Others require more. I am not bought into “everything will get warmer… blablabla”, but I am bought into that we need to change our habits. I think the difference between us is that I have enough evidence to action (avoid monoagriculture, invest in innovation, avoid garbage, free range animals and organic farming … hey I have come to your blog for a reason).
        3. Plainly stupid argument that I read in boulevard magazines before. You can do better.

        I appreciate any good conversations around this topic, because it is dear to my heart since I started working in the science field in the late 1980s exactly because I had read about global warming indications as a teenager. I have changed my ways from being a Green Peace activist to being a manager in one of the Fortune 50 companies. And I can respectfully say, I know what I am talking about. I think there is a lot of things to learn from each other. So, I hate taking sides in this debate without putting all cards on the table, why not just talk and compare notes?

        🙂

        For me to forget you’re a scientist, you’d first have to tell me you’re a scientist. You didn’t, unless I missed it. But surely you’re not going to play the “I’m a scientist, so I know what’s true and what isn’t” card on this blog. Scientists are often wrong, and of course scientists often disagree with each other.

        What’s plainly stupid about #3? I don’t believe climate scientists have come anywhere close to identifying all the variables involved in climate, much less calculated their interactions. That’s why their computer models aren’t accurate. (You are, I assume, aware that a programmer left comments in one of the programs complaining that he couldn’t make the model produce the results the ClimateGate scientists wanted. Scientists aren’t supposed to want particular results when on a supposed quest for knowledge.)

        I didn’t say you aren’t qualified to have a conversation, but 1) it’s not going to be much of conversation when you start by tossing out “denier” as a label for someone with a healthy degree of skepticism, 2) it would no doubt be a long and pointless debate and 3) it’s not a topic for this blog.

        We agree on the need to change the habits you mentioned, but for me it’s not about preventing global warming. It’s about avoiding ruining the planet in other ways.

        1. Ines

          And just one more note, what does “unproven theory” even mean? Unless there is a clue or a case against the theory, they are just that a “scientific theory” and some might be superior over others, but still wrong. What you are thinking of is “hypothesis” and I agree we do not necessarily believe those without further investigation. Or would you debate that the theory of gravity is anything but that “a theory”? Unproven, but well researched. Because other than in mathematics we do not have a 100% proof in real life science, just theories.
          QED

          “Unfortunately, there is evidence for climate change that makes it a valid theory until disproven otherwise.”

          I called it a theory because you called it a theory. I’m aware of the definition of “hypothesis.”

        2. Marilyn

          On the tangent of “global warming,” I was reading an alarmist piece that said the wildfires have been getting worse and worse — they’re the worst they’ve been in 40 years. To me that says that wildfires were at least as bad 40 years ago. Forty years ago. I have a vague recollection that about 40 years ago, everybody was wringing their hands about global cooling.

          When I was in high school, we were told the world was heading into a new ice age. At the time, there’d been a cooling cycle lasting about 40 years … which had followed a warming cycle lasting about 35 years … which followed a cooling cycle lasting about 40 years … etc. In “Air Con,” the author points out that if you dig up old newspapers and magazines going back 100 years (which he did), you’ll find alternating periods of media warnings about global warming and global cooling. In the 1970s, Newsweek ran an article about the horrors of the coming ice age and even suggested (wait for it …) nuking the polar ice caps to prevent it.

          1. Ines

            Here is by the way a book I loved reading:
            The Sceptical Environmentalist by born Lomborg

            I haven’t read it, but I’ve seen him speak and was impressed.

        3. Ines

          It would be a conversation if you actually read what I said. Yes, I call most people denying climate change deniers because I have yet to see and listen to anyone that bases the argument on reasonable scepticism. So yes, if you just repeat what others are saying.

          I do not care how you define climate change. Whether it is warming, cooling, tsunamis, increased rain, changes to atmosphere, or simply changing the composition of air. Some are happening and can be easily measured. Others not.

          But why on earth are you asking for all variables to be defined and proven out to start thinking about this as a theory. Based on that nothing would evervcount as a theory. Not even the theory of gravity. Do not put unfulfillable requirements on one definition just because you are leaning towards one answer. That is not scepticism. That is a clever form of denial. I give you that: you are clever and well read, but please do not hide behind canned arguments.

          I called climate change a theory, because there is enough valid evidence and reviews conducted that makes it one. There are counter-theories as well. Nobody knows how things will shake, but please give credit to those who worked their asses off to investigate observations. Whether you think they have have concluded correctly or not.

          Okay, I agree with you: the climate is changing. It always has and always will. As for whether or not humans are causing climate change and scientists can accurately predict what those changes will be, we will agree to disagree. Like I said, I’m not interested in a long and pointless debate on a subject not germane to to this blog.

          1. cave horse

            Ines won’t be satisfied until you say even one atom of religious belief is too much and makes everything evil.

      2. KC

        How mu of the climate concerns are based on simply bad data for example aging weather stations give higher day time temp readings if they haven’t been properly maintained. This is due to the white paint on the outside of the weather station fading over time and thus absorbing more of the sun’s heat and thus leading to a higher temp reading than a properly maintained station. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/29/aging-weather-stations-contribute-to-high-temperature-records/

        There is also the issue of weather monitoring stations being poorly placed, ie near asphalt parking lots, next to building that reflect sunlight or even neat the exhaust vent of air conditioning units. See the bottom of the page at http://surfacestations.org for a photo of a very poorly placed monitoring station vs one that is properly placed.

        Bad data will always lead to bad conclusions.

        Professor Carter wrote about that in his book as well.

    2. Bob

      What does the Church of Global Warming(tm) have to do with the Fatatarian Society? I hate to feed the trolls but I’m tired and am feeling punchy. Here is my problem with the current state of Climate, “Science”

      http://gigaom.com/2013/05/16/black-box-software-a-problem-for-science-that-extends-to-big-data-2/

      TL;DR Scientists aren’t code monkeys and we can’t trust their predictions (especially when they are wrong year after year)

      I’m reasonably sure Fatatarianism has nothing to do with global warming … er, I mean “climate change,” since global warming apparently now causes warm temperatures, but also record cold temperatures, and it causes droughts, but also heavy rains and floods … oh, and higher-than-average numbers of tornadoes and hurricanes … except in the recent years where we had lower-than-average numbers of tornadoes and hurricanes despite the predictions … but, uh, those were just temporary anomalies.

  39. Jo

    I don’t think they will be successful in banning packed lunches in the UK. When one school tried to introduce Jamie Oliver’s healthy school dinners and locked the gates to stop the kids going down the chippie, the mums went down to the school and handed packets of fish and chips to the children through the fence. Although not many would have agreed with their food choices, many would agree with the sentiment of feeding your own kids.

    Exactly. We shouldn’t be forced to adhere to anyone’s definition of a “correct” diet, even if that means a low carb/paleo diet.

  40. Kristin

    I always have fun with the comments on this blog but you folks are really a hoot this time. Coming from a Masonic background I throw in my two cents that you must have funny hats. And as a neoPagan I’m just fine with joining another religion when the tenants suit me. Heck neoPagans love Gods, Goddesses and great ritual. We collect the whole set.

    How about a hat with bacon tassels?

    1. Firebird

      It would soon become a hat without tassels.

      We’d have to keep a big supply of replacements on hand.

    2. Janet

      Is that something like the stupid hats with tea bags dangling in front of closed eyes.

      I believe so, yes.

  41. Bob

    Tom

    As the leader of this new religion, we are looking to you for guidance. What is your first Fat-wa, oh Grand Exalted PooBah?

    I’d prefer to issue something like papal bulls. I’ll stand on a rock and declare this or that to be an absolute truth, and everyone in the assembled crowd can yell, “Bull! Bull! Bull!”

    Additional syllables are optional.

  42. Mike P

    Love the idea. Communion with bacon…?

    In all seriousness, when my wife or I hear stories of school boards or health commissions or some other appointed body trying to inflict the power and control like in the articles you have above, it usually is followed by the ‘what would we do in that situation’ type of discussion. Thankfully, my wife [who is currently a stay-at-home mom] was once a teacher and would fully embrace home schooling if we decided to go that route. It’s not surprising home schooling is growing by leaps and bounds.

    Grok On

    Grok on, indeed. I’m pretty sure Grok wouldn’t let some authority figure tell him what to feed his kids.

  43. Kristin

    I always have fun with the comments on this blog but you folks are really a hoot this time. Coming from a Masonic background I throw in my two cents that you must have funny hats. And as a neoPagan I’m just fine with joining another religion when the tenants suit me. Heck neoPagans love Gods, Goddesses and great ritual. We collect the whole set.

    How about a hat with bacon tassels?

    1. Firebird

      It would soon become a hat without tassels.

      We’d have to keep a big supply of replacements on hand.

    2. Janet

      Is that something like the stupid hats with tea bags dangling in front of closed eyes.

      I believe so, yes.

  44. Bob

    Tom

    As the leader of this new religion, we are looking to you for guidance. What is your first Fat-wa, oh Grand Exalted PooBah?

    I’d prefer to issue something like papal bulls. I’ll stand on a rock and declare this or that to be an absolute truth, and everyone in the assembled crowd can yell, “Bull! Bull! Bull!”

    Additional syllables are optional.

  45. Mike P

    Love the idea. Communion with bacon…?

    In all seriousness, when my wife or I hear stories of school boards or health commissions or some other appointed body trying to inflict the power and control like in the articles you have above, it usually is followed by the ‘what would we do in that situation’ type of discussion. Thankfully, my wife [who is currently a stay-at-home mom] was once a teacher and would fully embrace home schooling if we decided to go that route. It’s not surprising home schooling is growing by leaps and bounds.

    Grok On

    Grok on, indeed. I’m pretty sure Grok wouldn’t let some authority figure tell him what to feed his kids.

  46. Marilyn

    “…and even suggested (wait for it …) nuking the polar ice caps to prevent it.”

    Yeh, that’s the part I worry about. Someone doing something stupid to “fix” it. They’re talking about things like blowing soot into the air to cover the sun. I guess none of them has ever read about 1816 when one lousy volcano on the other side of the globe plunged much of the earth into non-stop winter that year.

    The Year Without a Summer, I believe it was called.

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