Friday, August 13, 2010

Global Warming for President

The mercury has been soaring here in Chicago just as it has in much of the nation.  The actual temperature is not unheard of for summer, but the amount of humidity is driving the heat index well into the hundreds.  Walking outside is like having someone toss a hot, wet, sticky blanket onto your shoulders.   This isn't like Vegas where walking down the strip at noon will work you up a sweat.  No, just sitting down outside will do that for you here.  We get rain every so often, but then so does a tropical forest.  Steams things up all nice and good and brings the mosquitoes out in fervor.  Only air conditioning and bug spray makes life tolerable for me here.

As I said, this goes far beyond Chicago.  Indeed it stretches around the world.  The western half of Russia was engulfed in a heat wave for the better part of July.  Now it must contend with wildfires.  China has also seen summer temperatures nearly 3 degrees above the average for the region.  The average temperature of our oceans is a full degree higher this year, the greatest rise being the waters of the Atlantic.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made it official: this is the hottest summer since records were first kept in 1880.
But Global Warming?  That's just crazy talk.  It was all made up by a pinko Commie from Tennessee so that he could win a Nobel Prize and make time with massage girls.  If you believe in Global Warming, why that's like saying you don't believe in Jesus.  You must be a liberal socialist, trying to hamper corporate industry, put people out of work, and generally destroy the capitalistic way of life.   
Yeah, that's pretty much what it's become.  The issue of climate change has ceased to be a scientific inquiry and instead has become a political argument.  To oppose environmental measures and legislation is to align yourself with economic growth and prosperity...or tunnel vision and short-sightedness, all depending upon which side the fence you happen to inhabit.  Forget that this is a global issue that affects...well, everyone. We've got to stay in/get elected to office.
I am not 100% sold on the theory of Global Warming as it stands now.  I am willing to accept that climate changes could be occurring in part from natural processes and that we don't yet have the clearest picture of why weather happens the way that it does.  Hell, anybody who has watched a local weather forecast can tell you that.  What I do find impossible to accept is that the toxins and carbon emissions we've been belching out for over a century have made no difference in the global systems of our planet.  There is more than ample evidence that it has, but saying that seems to fall on pre-programed ears as "I want to close your business down, limit your income, and replace the cross in your church with a hammer and a sickle.  Have a nice day, comrade."  Let me be clear.  I have nothing against turning a profit.  I just believe that it can be done without rendering our future landscape a dystopian, barren plain with an average temperature of 110 degrees in August.  The upside of that of course is that many folks will find themselves owning beachfront property.
So let's find out what's going on.  Preferably through an independent study not funded by Al Gore, Fox News, or an oil company.  If this rise in temperature is indeed a phenomenon that can neither be prevented nor avoided, then fine.  Let's be at peace with it.  Let's all wear more sunscreen, place air conditioning domes over our cities, and rescue as many polar bears and penguins as we can.  But if it is our doing, and I suspect that it is, then we need to act to stop it.  And act now.  There is no time for political rhetoric and cries of wages lost.
So if you've changed your lightbulbs to CFLs, great.  Now we just have to change our leaders.

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