A few months ago, Candace Owens appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, and about 2 hours into their conversation, they started talking about climate change. It became immediately apparent that Candace is stunningly uninformed about the subject.
"Ehh, Anton, that podcast was months ago! You're just now getting around to making a video on it?"
Yeah, I'm just now getting around to making a video on it. You know what? Where's your timely video on the subject? Yeah, that's what I thought.
During the conversation, Candace argues that websites which end in dot-com are untrustworthy. She talks about how she spent a single night researching climate change—yet feels strongly enough to disregard the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists. She argues that climate scientists can't be trusted—yet is incapable of providing even the tiniest scrap of evidence to support this claim. She also makes clear that she doesn't understand the most elementary concepts in the field like the distinction between climate and weather.
In this video, I'm going to carefully examine, debunk, and frankly just laugh at these, and other, arguments that she made. There is zero depth to her understanding of any facet of the climate change issue, and every time she opens her mouth on the subject, she doesn't just put her foot in her mouth; she puts her entire leg in her mouth. I can only think to describe her performance in this exchange as a clinic on how to publicly embarrass yourself—and how anybody considers Candace Owens to be a serious thinker worth listening to is a baffling mystery to me.
Near the start of the exchange, Joe Rogan brings up the climate science consensus:
Joe (reading article excerpt): "In 2014, the vast majority (87%) of scientists said that human activity is driving global warming, yet only half the American public ascribe to that view."
Candace: "Well, what website is this."
Jamie: "Scientific American."
Candace: "Yeah, dot-com, though? Like, 'cause that means it's making money. I don't trust that. If it was a dot-org, I would probably take that. But this is just a random website."
Joe: "Well, Scientific American is not necessarily a random website."
Candace: "Yeah, I don't believe this, like, at all. Just so you know."
Joe: "You don't believe this, 'like,' at all?" [Ooh, nice little jab there from Joe! Look at him visibly cringing as he says this. I feel your pain Joe! I feel your pain.]
Scientific American—It's just some random website! You know, the longest continuously publishing magazine in the United States, one of the most widely read and respected scientific websites on the internet—also known as "just a random website." Talking about Scientific American in this way is a pretty clear indication of how little she reads about science.
I don't trust a dot-com website's information on climate change "because it's making money"? Where to even begin?
If you wanted to seriously refute what's being stated in this article, you'd have to be like: "Well, I'm familiar with this survey, and here are some of the methodological drawbacks that cast doubt upon their findings." Obviously Candace does nothing of the sort; she just carelessly and thoughtlessly dismisses it by saying: "Mmm, ends in dot-com—I don't buy it."
I should also point out that "dot-com" doesn't necessarily mean they make money off the site. Yes, in the case of Scientific American, they are making money, but so what? Just because a website is making money from their content doesn't mean the information is therefore inaccurate or suspect. If a website wrote an article explaining that the earth is spherical, the fact that they make advertising revenue from this article doesn't mean that the earth is flat.
Candace Owens is the communications director for Turning Point USA—which I find hilarious, because this woman uses the filler word "like" probably three times per sentence, and they're like "Yup, put her in charge of communications." "Oh my gawd, I'm, like, so excited to like have the opportunity to like work for you guys!" A person with the communication skills of a ditzy high-school girl is the director of communcations. Might as well select the drunkest member of your friend group to be the designated driver for the night!
Here's the reason I bring this up: number one, I think it's hilarious, and number two, the website address of the organization that she works for is TPUSA.com. By her own logic, anything on this website is therefore untrustworthy simply because of the "dot-com" at the end of the web address. Donald Trump's campaign website? DonaldJTrump.com—can't trust it because it ends in "dot-com." I have a sneaking suspicion that not a lot of thought went into this argument of hers.
"I don't trust that. If it was a dot-org, I would probably take that."
Oh! That is teriffic news. Way to keep a weirdly open mind, Candace. Obviously this is a ridiculous standard to have. That said, the website of Pew Research does end in dot-org, so presumably—by her standards—these survey results actually are trustworthy.
Jamie pulls up another article on the climate science consensus where the domain address ended in dot-org. Presumably now Candace will accept this information, right? If she was consistent, this might be the case, but when you're just talking out of your ass and making shit up on the fly, anything goes, apparently—and her claim that "if it was a dot-org, I would probably take that" gets tossed out of the window and she seems to forget that she ever said that just two minutes ago.
Here is how she responds when she's presented with the results of 7 studies on the climate science consensus—supplied to her via her specially-ordered dot-org website.
Candace: "Just my recall on a lot of things that I read, and this was a while ago, so this is when I first formed my opinion on not believing this. I read a shit-ton of articles. Can't recall the data, 'cause, like I said, this was something I was super passionate about. It was like, somebody posted something and then I went on like a tear reading about it. But it was essentially just noting that, in a lot of these studies, like, when you go and you, if we had time to sit down and really pull this up, they're polling, ya know, 10,000 scientists that are within a community that is, like... these dot-orgs, do you believe in everything that MediaMatters.org puts out, for statistics? Right? That's a political arm of the Democratic Party."
Joe: "You're talking about a different subject. Politics versus science."
Candace: "But this has been politicized! That's the thing. . . . Global warming in particular has been politicized. 100% it has been politicized! That's the whole reason I fell down this dark hole one night reading about it.
. . . I didn't do a deep dive on all of this because I read about it because it was at a forefront of a discussion, so I read about it all night and my conclusion was that, they started pulling up all of these studies . . . and they started showing how, like, these communities of scientists were, in fact, somewhere behind that dot-org, someone that was being funded. So to me the issue got too politicized for me to believe that global warming was something that was going to wipe out the world."
Let's be clear on what, exactly, we just witnessed: She's presented with the results of 7 studies that examine the publications or opinions of climate scientists who have spent their entire adult lives studying this subject. Her response is that this one night, she read some articles on the subject—and therefore that apparently qualifies her to discount the opinions of the experts in the field.
"Sure, you guys might have carefully studied this subject and published research for decades—but I reject your opinions because I read a 'shit-ton' of articles on the subject on one particular evening." Just imagine the audacity that it takes to make a statement like this. Imagine her showing up at a climate-science conference and saying something like this in front of the audience. You think they'd be like: "Oh, that's very interesting! Maybe we should, uh, reconsider?" No, she would literally be laughed out of the room.
And I love that all of a sudden, she has a problem with dot-orgs, as well. Earlier she told us that "If it was a dot-org, I would probably take it." Now, dot-orgs are suddenly untrustworthy—because MediaMatters is a dot-org. And how is the Union of Concerned Scientists comparable to MediaMatters.org? These are completely different organizations that focus on completely different subjects.
She's like: "Well, one website that ends in dot-org has an agenda", therefore, what, all of them do? What is her point here?
"No, dude, the Union of Concerned Scientists is, like, totally biased." Ah, yes, perhaps we should balance things out by taking a look at what the Union of Unconcerned Scientists, or the Union of Apathetic Scientists, have to say about the subject?
So now dot-coms and dot orgs are unacceptable? What websites on the internet can we get our information from? Dot-edus? "Pfft, like I trust those liberal universities!" Ok, how about dot-govs? "Yeah, as if the government ever gets anything right!" Maybe dot-nets; how 'bout that? If it's not a dot-net, I don't wanna fuckin' hear about it.
It should be pretty clear to you that it's not the organizational structures of these websites that Candace has any valid grievances against. It's not the domain address which is a problem for her; it's the information which contradicts her worldview. Pretending like an entire category of websites are—by definition—untrustworthy, is just a pathetic attempt to dismiss this uncomfortable information.
I should also note that all they're doing on this website is relaying to you the results of studies that were conducted elsewhere. It's not like this particular website conducted all 7 studies, so what does it matter what their domain address is?
As I noted earlier, if you wanted to seriously respond to these numbers, you'd do so by pointing out specific flaws in these studies that call into question their findings. Of course Candace doesn't do this, and I would be shocked to learn that during her one night of researching the subject, she so much as glanced at the contents of even one of these studies.
"Oh yeah? Well I bet you haven't read them either, Mr. 'A Skeptical Human'!"
Yay! An opportunity for me to brag on the internet and feel smart! Listen here, non-existent person who I'm responding to so that I can toot my own horn and self-promote another video of mine: I've actually read all 7 of these studies very closely, and I posted an hour-long video where I talk about how the data was collected, what conclusions we can reach about the global warming consensus, and why the arguments made on this subject by deniers should be rejected. If you're looking for a change of pace from the ignorant rantings of Candace Owens, check it out.
Let me try to summarize Candace's laughable attempt to cast doubt upon these consensus studies. This is basically what she argues: During my one night of researching the subject, this unnamed person started pulling up some unnamed studies and showed how some unnamed scientists who are behind some unnamed website were, in some way, being provided with funding of an unspecifed amount from an unspecified source which had an unspecified effect on their unspecified findings.
What can you even say in response to something like this? All I can think to say is that the lack of any details or specificity makes clear that she doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about. She just has this vague, amorphous idea that these scientists and their findings are untrustworthy—but she can't provide any data to back this up because she doesn't know anything about the subject. She just makes a bunch of empty assertions without a shred of evidence to support them. She just has a feeling that these studies are untrustworthy. "Facts don't care about your feelings," Candace.
She also claims that climate change has been politicized. Yeah, it's been politicized by conservatives. Conservatives don't reject climate change for sound, scientific reasons; they reject it because their political team rejects it, and all of the right-wing media outlets and commentators that they listen to pollute their head with pseudoscientific, unsound arguments about the subject.
I know I'm going to trigger a lot of you right-wing snowflakes when I say this, but the simple fact of the matter is that the people who agree with the climate science consensus on the subject are correct about the subject. It's amazing to me that this is a controversial statement. Conservative deniers are simply on the wrong side of the scientific debate and the scientific consensus—just as they're on the wrong side of the debate whenever they reject evolution in favor of young-earth creationism.
That's another issue where they might say: "Oh, the science has become politicized!" Yeah, it's become politicized in the sense that a large portion of the right rejects the science on the issue. Whenever you hear a conservative say something like "The science has become politicized," translate that in your head to "conservatives reject the scientific findings and the scientific consensus on this subject"—because, whether they realize it or not, that is what they really mean when they say this. They're complaining about something that they're responsible for.
I'm digressing a little bit, but I can already hear the predictable conservative response to this point: "Yeah, liberals are all about science, like when they say there are more than two genders—despite the fact that any biology textbook will tell you differently!" Yeah, as if you've ever read a biology textbook before!
"Oh yeah? Well the scientific consensus has been wrong before!" Correct, but it's not the 1700s anymore—and when it comes to subjects like climate change and evolution, the data—at least on the large points—is in.
At another point in the conversation, Candace continues to showcase to the world how little she knows about the subject by making the elementary mistake of conflating climate with weather:
Joe: "Well let's be clear: Global warming, global climate change, is definitely real. It's happening."
Candace: "Well, but it's always happened. . . . Does the climate change? Yes, the climate changes. It was different weather yesterday than it was today. The climate is forever changing. Like, that's the problem is that people are making it seem like that's something weird. It's not unique."
"Yes, the climate changes. It was different weather yesterday than it was today." Climate describes long-term trends, whereas weather describes short-term changes. If you can't separate these two things in your mind, if you don't understand the difference between climate and weather, clearly you don't know the first thing about the subject. This would be like a person trying to challenge consensus viewpoints in chemistry when they don't even understand the difference between atoms and molecules. Could you imagine anything more absurd?
Yes, climate has changed throughout Earth's history. Brilliant observation, Candace. I find it hilarious that climate-change deniers point this out as if people who understand climate change don't already know this, as if it's some sort of revelation to us, as if it's some sort of original discovery that they're responsible for making.
Who is it that told you that climate has changed throughout Earth's history? Climate scientists—the very same climate scientists who are also telling you that it's currently changing as a result of human emissions. By your own logic, if these climate scientists are untrustworthy, shouldn't we also not believe them when they tell us that climate has changed in the past as well? Candace only takes for granted and considers valid the climate-science conclusions that agree with her preconceived views on the subject.
And here's the thing about climate: There are reasons that it changes. Specific things happen within the atmosphere or solar system that cause climate to change; it's not like climate just randomly and mysteriously drifts around with no apparent cause.
You could point to one point in earth's history and say the climate changed here because of heavy volcanic activity. At other times it might be the result of increased or decreased solar output. And, in the present day, it's changing because of a sharp increase in manmade greenhouse gas emissions.
Candace frames it here as if there are no causes behind climate change; in her view, apparently it's the intrinsic nature of climate to change for no apparent reason. This would be like seeing that a genocide is going on and saying: "Look, people die! People have died in the past, they'll continue to die in the future. I don't see what the big deal is!"
Yes, people do die, and sometimes, it's from heart attacks; other times, from cancer. But if there's a deliberate genocide going on, where people are intentionally killing large numbers of other people, what kind of useless commentary would it be to say: "Look, people die! That's just the way it is!" Yes, people die—and they die as a result of specific things. We should try to prevent these deaths whenever possible, and when human behavior is the cause these deaths, we should seek to modify this behavior.
Climate change is "not unique," she says. Contemporary climate change is unique when it's compared against past climate change for the simple reason that this time, human activity is responsible. It's also happening at a very rapid pace, which means that many organisms will not be able to adapt quickly enough and will be driven to extinction.
We see another impressive display of ignorance when Candace seems to indicate that ideas about manmade global warming originate not from the actual scientists that study the subject, but from the right-wing boogeyman Al Gore:
Candace: "I personally think that this was just the next... the fact that it was presented to us by Al Gore and, it's just... [cut off by Joe]"
Climate change isn't the brain-child of Al Gore; Gore, in his documentary, was simply relaying to the public the conclusions and concerns of climate scientists. It's not like this is just some hare-brained idea that he personally thought up one day and everybody's just going along with it now. Climate scientists are like: "Well, Al Gore said this, so it must be true." Please, get serious, Candace. Try to do a second night of research on the subject, if you can get around to it.
At every turn of this conversation, you encounter breathtaking ignorance from Candace. Standard climate-change denier arguments are ridiculous enough, but this is just next-level nonsense that we're dealing with here.
By the way, what do you get when you cross Al Gore and George Soros? Your worst fucking nightmare: Al Goros.
Hilariously enough, I was recently accused of being a paid George Soros operative. In a comment on one of my videos, Zachary Asbill said:
"I'd argue that this guy is probably one of the ones running around dressed in black, getting paid to riot by Soros."
Are there seriously people who think that I am being influenced by George Soros? Let me take this opportunity to categorically deny these accusations.
*knock at door*
God damnit, someone's at the door. Hang on a sec guys.
*me, in distance, barely audible on microphone* George! What are you doing here! I thought you weren't bringing the check 'till tomorrow?... Oh, that is terrific. Well hey! Just like we agreed, I'll keep up the leftist propaganda... No, trust me: they don't suspect a thing... Alright, well take care, George. Hail Satan to you as well!
*returns to microphone* Alright, sorry about that guys. I just, uh, ordered a pizza, and that was the delivery driver. So anyway, what was I talking about?
Candace goes on to discuss her political transformation from left to right, and she also gives a very nuanced explanation of her views on the environment:
Candace: "I'm still floored, like, as I'm traveling the world, and seeing different pieces of the country, I'm learning how ignorant I was. ["Was"?]. . . I fell victim to the idea that, like, it was progress, it was progress, it was progress, we have to care about the environment, it was progress, and it's like, no, we've been losing, America has been losing, and Donald Trump understood that in a way that I didnt."
Joe: "You don't think that we have to care about the environment?"
Candace: "No, not even a little bit."
Joe: "Not even a little bit?"
Candace: "No. OK, let me clarify this. I don't throw trash on the ground. Like, I'm not saying like we need to like, you know, trash the environment. But do I believe in climate change? No."
"You don't think that we have to care about the environment?", and then she giggles like a schoolgirl and says "No, not even a little bit." Can you believe that this is a serious conversation between two adults right here?
"But aha!", you might say, "She goes on to clarify what she means!" Ah, yes: she doesn't throw trash on the ground, and she doesn't endrose actively attempting to trash the environment. Wow! What a reasonable, middle-ground position that you've established for yourself, Candace! I am impressed by your nuance.
It feels a bit silly to even analyze such low-hanging, verbal diarrhea, but I have to call your attention to Contradiction #10,000 from this podcast: If you say that we shouldn't trash the environment, clearly that means that we should care about the environment—to a certain degree. "I don't think that we should care about the environment—not even a little bit," and then she goes on in the next sentence to make clear that we should care about the environment—at least a little bit.
Candace: "I'm not going on college campuses talking about global warming. I don't do that. . . . If you said that, Candace, you went onto 10,000 college campuses and you said that global warming wasn't real, then we'd have a problem. You and I are just having a conversation! . . . Look, if I was a person that was putting forth policy on climate change, or if I was a person that put out my opinion publicly on climate change, I would do all of that. I'm just not!"
"I don't go around publicly speaking about climate change," she says. What are you doing right now, Candace, if not publicly speaking about climate change? Not only are you publicly speaking about the issue, but you're doing it in front of the largest audience that you've ever had before.
YouTube user Dan McDonald points out that she seems to have no sense of proportionality. Candace is like: "Well, if I was going to college campuses and saying these things—where, at the very most, I'd have an audience of a couple hundred people—then we'd have a problem. But if I make these arguments and over a million people are listening? That's perfectly acceptable."
The many comments I saw praising Candace for her stellar performance during the climate change debate make me lose hope for the future of humanity. Some of the comments are downright creepy: YouTube user MrLuckyMuffin said "I'd fuck her face so hard bruh." "Anything to shut her up" was my reply.
As we've seen in this video, Candace Owens is incredibly uninformed about climate science and appears incapable of making a single, logical, evidence-backed argument on the subject.
She doesn't trust dot-com websites—and apparently also doesn't trust dot-orgs. She claims that the subject has been politicized, yet fails to realize that she is politicizing the subject by rejecting the scientific conclusions. And finally, she rejects the scientific consensus on climate change on the basis of a single night's worth of research—which she can't recall a single specific detail from.
In closing, I can think to ask only one question: After a performance like this, why would anybody want to give this woman another opportunity to share her empty ideas with the world?