At the Down-N-Out bar, they know “Crunch” for two things. One is smashing beer cans on his head. The other is his eloquently stated conviction that Global Warming is a myth.
“You wouldn’t expect those in the same person,” said Molly Keens, bartender. “He’s here every day. Grunts to order. Guzzles. Burps. Smashes the can on his forehead. I don’t think he knows too many words. Unless.”
“Well, if he overhears someone say the words ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change,’ he goes off. If there’s a news story about it on the TV, he rants for a good ten minutes.”
The first time Keens heard “Crunch” explaining why he felt Climate Change was a hoax, she was spellbound.
“I said, ‘Wow, Crunch. I had no idea you knew so much about climatology. Or all those big, fancy words. Where did you study that?’ He mumbled, ‘Crunch like beer.’ That was it.”
“Crazy, isn’t it?” Keens continued. “What are the chances? A guy who seems to have only one skill – smashing beer cans on his forehead – is also an expert in climate science? I personally don’t know the first thing about climatology. But Crunch? He’s not only confident enough to talk about it, but also to say that most scientists are wrong.”
After some negotiation, Keens agreed to an experiment. We placed our reporter on the stool next to “Crunch.” During a lull in the pub’s buzz, he said, “climate change” aloud.
“Crunch” leapt off his barstool and began pacing the floor. He spoke loudly and confidently, addressing no one. We recorded the entire rant and transcribed it.
A brief online search found a match. “Crunch” was repeating points from Fueling Our Future. The fossil-fuel industry lobbying group produces tons of online content aimed at the “low information voter” demographic.
Bartender Keens was disappointed. “I should have known something was off,” she said. “After six beers, my customers don’t usually go from zero to scientist. But he spoke so confidently. Oh well.”