January 28, 2013 — Michael Shellenberger

The Colbert Report episode guideEPISODE NUMBER: 9051 (January 28, 2013)
GUESTS: Michael Shellenberger
SEGMENTS: Intro – 1/28/13 | Rapiscan Scanners | The Word – The New Abnormal | The Axis of Evil of the Week – North Korea | Michael Shellenberger | Sign Off – Goodnight
SUIT REPORT: Black Suit | White Shirt | Patterned Red Tie
VIDEOS: Monday, January 28, 2013

A swan song to Rapiscan, a Word describing the right’s complacency about Climate Change, and a brilliant “I’m not that into you”-style monologue about North Korea were the topics of this fine ep. Mr. Shellenberger showed a remarkable level of focus, even when confronted with the Stephen. What do you think about embracing “Frankenstein” and trying to improve our existing energy sources so as to facilitate cleaner air?

Sound off in the comments, we’ll have lots more.

Rapiscan Scanners

  • President Obama’s second term is only week old, and already we are one week closer to dying.
  • A generic outline of the body? How can I show the TSA my penis now? I used to write them little messages in lead based paint. Like “good morning,” or “all evidence to the contrary, I do not wish to have a kosher meal.” Or, on a particularly chilly day, “hi!”
  • Oh please! What is invasive about a technology called, and I think I am pronouncing this correctly – “Rapiscan.”
  • Now we will never complete our database of naughty Islamic naughty parts. We had already established a profile: young, and leaning to the right.

Without these scanners I have no reason to stay in shape anymore. Sure exercise will make me look better, and feel better, and be more attractive, but if a government employee getting paid $10/hr doesn’t see how many inches I’ve shaved off my muffin top, why should I even fly anymore? I might as well take the bus, where you don’t need some fancy scanner to flash people your junk.

Stephen Colbert on Australian weatherThe evidence is growing. Look no further than Australia, which was just simultaneously battered by typhoons, wildfires, and record heat. And that’s in January – imagine what it’s like there in the summer time.

Satan's TaintBut Australia did not take this lying down, they struck back with new technologies. Yes, new map colors! I believe the temperature color wheel goes orange, red, purple, magenta, fever blister, and ‘Satan’s taint.’

The Word – The New Abnormal

ScreenThe Word - The New Abnormal

  • Folks, last week President Obama cynically used The Inaugural Address to push his radical, pro-survival agenda.
  • I didn’t think any part of his speech would get any traction, because there is no national consensus on climate change. It’s like if JFK announced the Apollo program, but half the country denies the moon exists. [Cow jumped over the soundstage.]
  • Now the only thing receding faster is Dr. Muller’s funding [And Stephen’s hairline.]
  • Given this dangerous level of consensus, I believe it takes courage to say (dismissively), “what can you do about it?”
  • Thanks for literally nothing, guys. [It’s the thoughtless that counts.]
  • But as little as that attitude helps, perhaps no one offers more nothing than CNN conservative commentator and inertial lump Erick Erickson.
  • Yeah, what’s the point of going through all that trouble if me and Erick Erickson won’t be around to enjoy it? Sure our grandkids will, but I don’t want to be one of those grandpas who spoils the grandkids with a habitable planet. [Could live “moon,” if there was one.]

Because when Erick Erickson says “get used to it,” he means city-swallowing storms, mass extinctions, deadly heat waves, crippling floods, and droughts that make a desert out of Oklahoma (bullet: Where the Wind Comes Flaming Down the Plain!”) That’s just how it is now. Our problems are just too big to cure. So join me and Erick, give up! Crawl into bed with a cheesecake and wait for death (bullet: Or Carson Daly.) Sure, the only thing worse than Global Warming itself might be knowing that you’re destroying the planet and doing nothing, but if guys like me and Erick have our way, you’d better get used to it. (bullet: The New Abnormal.)

The Axis of Evil of the Week – North Korea

Whoa, archenemies? This is a serious escalation, and I cannot sit idly by while they make these threats. So I want to say something right now, directly to North Korea.

Stephen Colbert on North KoreaHey. Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. We need to talk, um, look, uh, we’re flattered that you think of us as “archenemies,” but that’s kind of taking our relationship to a whole new level, it’s kind of a big commitment and I am not sure we are ready for that. I mean, we just got out of a 50 year archenemy thing with the Soviets, and that was really special, you’re lucky if you hate someone like that once in a lifetime! And since then we thought we would play the field, you know, try some quickies with Iraq and Afghanistan, but, it’s just dragging on, the Taliban will not stop calling us. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you’re terrible and we hate you! But “archenemies”? Why would you want to take a chance and ruin what we already have? Right now we’re foes with benefits, and that’s great. You launch some rockets, we impose some sanctions, and there’s no pressure to sleep over at each other’s countries. Honestly, North Korea, can I just say something to you, nemesis to nemesis? Have you thought about that neighbor of yours, South Korea? You two have so much in common, there’s history there, and I know for a fact that they really, really don’t like you. You know, maybe the one you’re supposed to hate has been under your demilitarized zone this whole time? Guess what we’re trying to say is, we loathe you, we just not in loathe with you.

Pyong Yank MeInterview – Michael Shellenberger

Michael Shellenberger Colbert Report interview

Michael: We spent 20 years on Global Warming trying to make fossil fuels more expensive … and that’s not worked. There is an important shift that has to be made, from making fossil fuels more expensive, to making clean energy cheap.
Stephen: What’s your idea of “clean,” do you mean “clean coal”? Clean coal, you’re on board with clean coal?
Michael: If they can figure out a way to cheaply capture the carbon from coal plants –
Stephen: They put the word “clean” on the front, it acts as a filter. They are thinking about adding the word “very” in front of “clean.”

Michael: … [referring to an essay in a book by a French thinker] we’ve misunderstood Frankenstein. The lesson is not that we shouldn’t try to create new technologies or create life even, the lesson is that we should never abandon our creation. That’s what Dr. Frankenstein did, he abandoned the creation, it wasn’t like he expected it … and that’s what turned his creature into a monster.
Stephen: That’s what nuclear energy became for us in the seventies, like Three Mile Island. It was Frankenstein, we abandoned it when it really just needed love.

  • Gratefull

    LOL, loved that Fangirl Stand at the beginning and his quick *tuck and sit* to start the week. He did push Mr. Shellenberg to the wall getting him to sound approving of Frakking though I have to agree, we have made our bed with technology and now we have to lay in it. Why not use technology to help rather than just be chased by it down the road of climate warming. Great WORD by the way, just marvelous!

  • lockhart43

    That. Word. Oh my, that Word. By saying that since we can’t do anything about global warming, we should just accept it, “Stephen” was able to admit that global warming exists and then hide that reveal behind the larger point and go on without claiming any responsibility for his acceptance, like Erickson essentially did. And that was just brilliant. The second act was just as good. The “I’m just not that into you” idea for North Korea’s “arch-enemy” comment was very funny and unique, and Stephen’s delivery was so great.

  • llama

    If the right wing’s mission is to get liberals to do headdesks and facepalms all the time, mission accomplished. Erick Erickson takes the cake. As a fangirl, I was quite interested in the words that Stephen can fit…or on a cold day, just say hi. 😉
    Nice job on the guide, too by the way.