Over the past few months, with the government grudgingly admitting that something probably ought to be done about the ecosystem-demolishing effects of human-initiated global warming, I have heard hands-over-the-ears rhetoric that actually tops some of the rhetoric of the current administration.
The problem is this: some politicians insist that global warming is a hoax, and that there is little or no evidence to support it. I’ll put aside the enormously sinister political ties between many of these politicians and the actual sources of global warming, and go straight to the ridiculousness of their claim.
Since I was a little boy, I’ve noticed that something is the matter with the world. When I was young, in the early nineties, winters got very cold, and summers got quite warm. It usually snowed every winter, and usually rained fairly often during the summer. But somewhere in the intervening decade, something’s gone peculiar. Now, the winters are warm, and the summers are deathly hot. The presence of snow in any given winter is something of a crapshoot. Rain is so rare in the summers that I’m surprised I don’t see more people jumping up and down in the streets, arms turned skyward, when it finally does rain. The part of the country in which I live has been under drought conditions for several years.
So I ask you, politicians, how on Earth can global warming possibly be denied? You can only blame El Niño for so long. Now, before I’m written of as some sort of partisan extremist, I do understand where the less prickly among them are coming from. For some time, it did indeed seem that some sort of unusual weather system, or a natural variation in the Earth’s climate, may have been to blame for the peculiar warming. And, there was a time when the scientific evidence wasn’t extraordinarily clear. Unfortunately, we are living in neither of those times. It has now become evident that we and we alone are to blame for the gradual death of our world.
And, as promised, allow me to address some of the issues which are causing this death:
- SUV’s: I have never, ever seen the use of such vehicles. The only stories I have ever heard of them are of their rolling over, catching fire, and costing exorbitant amounts of money at the fuel pump. Who the hell needs so many cubic feet of cargo space? Soccer moms and soccer dads should stick to minivans, and the young people should stick to junkers that don’t hold up long enough for their fuel economy to be a problem.
- Big Oil: I have the same problem with Big Oil that I have with Big Pharma: They are both corrupt, money-grubbing, evil, and sinister organizations. Big Oil encourages tax breaks for those who purchase Hummers. They close refineries to drive up their prices. They use their congressional sock puppets to keep fuel-economy standards the lowest in the gasoline-consuming world. They suppress efficient electric vehicles. They promote the use of ethanol and hydrogen fuels, the former of which they could take over when gasoline is no longer viable, and the latter of which promises decreased environmental impact without ever actually becoming practical. They encourage auto-makers to continue pushing fuel-wasting trucks and SUVs that are an embarrassment to the rest of the world. This hardly seems practical in a country that is sponsoring a contest to design a 100-mile-per-gallon vehicle.
- Sock Puppets: I’m not talking about the children’s variety (which are quite fun, and good company if you’re lonely). I’m talking about the aforementioned congressional puppets, who have the hands of industry driven firmly into their posteriors (which is probably the invisible hand that Adam Smith was talking about; no wonder some of our congresspeople have such funny expressions on their faces all the time). They block environmentally-sound legislation, and practically scream “Na na na na na!!! I can’t hear you!!!” at all of those who oppose them.
- The Citizens: That’s right, I’m not letting the people off the hook either. People buy SUVs and pickup trucks and Hummers. People buy outdated incandescent light bulbs which could be easily replaced by the more attractive and energy-efficient natural spectrum fluorescents. People believe that hydrogen cars are just another couple of years down the road, and that ethanol will somehow solve the carbon-emissions problem, despite being a carbon-based fuel itself. People listen to car advertisements, and believe that Mister Government and Big Oil have their best interests in mind. People buy into the rhetoric that eliminating polluting fuels will be bad for the economy. Well, you know what’s even worse for the economy? GLOBAL CROP DEATH, FAMINE, AND DISASTERS BROUGHT ON BY CHANGES IN THE CLIMATE.
- The Term “Climate Change”: If ever there were a soft way for talking about a hard issue, this is it. Most people seem quite unsure what the climate actually is, and “change” could be beneficial. In fact, in our culture, change is often seen as a good thing. Let’s not deceive ourselves.
That about sums up my worldview. But I leave you with this: when a vile and disgusting germ invades the human body and begins emitting a slew of toxic byproducts, the body’s response is to increase the temperature until it becomes inhospitable for the invaders. Think about it.