Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan (R) said last week he believed in climate change, but he is also a Christian who believes that God would take care of us if it were to become a “real problem.” Tim and climate-change deniers generally should be informed that God is currently busy putting out the seven supernovae fires in the Arp 220 Galaxy and has turned Earth’s management over to Gaia. No friend of her chief tormentor, the goddess may be expected to use all her considerable defenses against us featherless bipeds as we continue to spew CO2 into the atmosphere. So count on more violent weather the likes of which we’ve never seen, and a hot time on the old globe tonight.
I am not a scientist, but I did go to weather school full time for six months. That was at Chanute Air Force Base, Rantoul, Illinois, back in 1951-1952, preparation for what was to be my job during the Korean War: a rawinsonde operator serving the weather needs of our combat pilots.
If I remember one thing from that six months of marching to and from school in the prairie winter cold, it was Master Sergeant Bryant, our teacher, telling us every Monday morning when class began: “Remember, don’t confuse weather with climate. Weather is local, climate is global. Weather is today. Climate is longer than you’ll live.”
That made sense to me then, as it does now. Not, apparently, to our President, most Republicans, Fox News, and the overwhelming majority of Trumpenproles—a malignant minority overall that’s fond of flaunting every surprise snowstorm in May as proof global warming is a hoax and the climate scientists are wrong.
No, they are not wrong. Let me dredge up some basics from what I remember of my Air Force education. Even then—1952—global warming was taught to us as aknown fact. The culprits were CO2, methane, unburnt hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, etc., vented into the atmosphere where it formed a canopy that trapped heat that would normally be sent back into space through terrestrial radiation. The man-made source of the pollutants mostly came from fossil fuel consumption in industrialized nations, rising steadily and dramatically ever since the Industrial Revolution began. The cumulative effect was to heat the earth itself, most importantly the oceans which retain more heat and retain it longer than land. Warm oceans evaporate, sending skyward warm air that is able to house more water vapor in the process; rising moist warm air collides with descending colder air; add to the mix the motive power provided by winds and ocean currents prompted by the earth’s rotation, not to mention orographic lift and...well, we get weather—familiarly known to us as rain, hail, snow, sleet, fog, storm, lightening, thunder, gales, twisters, cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons. If severe enough, they bring us flood or drought and more human misery.
Satellite photos show an alarming shrinking of earth’s polar ice caps, decades-old plane crashes in the high Andes are ghoulishly revealed in the melt, oceans rise, crops fail, storms increase in frequency and intensity, record floods wreak havoc on communities, and the warming permafrost waits to release its carbon stash.
How can climate change deniers ignore the visual and experiential evidence? And claim it is due to natural climate cycles, not caused by human activity? Whatever, they do, at our collective peril.
Initially, I thought climate change deniers should be prosecuted for “crimes against humanity.” Then I softened. They were probably acting out of ignorance rather than malice; their direct contribution to the problem was likely no more than the carbon dioxide they emit whenever they exhale. What they lacked was an education in the subject. But that also posed a problem. While not as daunting as quantum mechanics, meteorology could still be challenging for the science-shy among us.
Then it hit me! Why not appeal to the innate logic gifted to our species. OK. Here goes. What if, against all scientific evidence to the contrary, Representative Walberg is right and global warming is caused not by our man-made carbon canopy, but rather by God’s...uh...oversight...or his will! And Gaia is playing defense. Shouldn’t we rush to her aid out of enlightened self-interest? If we continue in our current wanton ways and add even more CO2 to God’s up-cycle dump, we’ll almost certainly pass into extinction...like the Dodo bird.
So let’s go on the attack and actively try to reduce CO2 by our own actions. Go green...if that’s what it takes. Take the initiative and compensate for others’ ruinous excessesTry to save our own hides.
Makes sense to me. How about you?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t to our reichsleiter, Herr Trump, who, after peevishly pulling us out of the Paris Accords (had to, Obama put us in), gave his go-ahead blessings to the oil and coal industries to burn on.
Utter madness! Is he playing some kind of weird, lose/lose variation of Pascal’s Wager with the laws of probability? You know, you see a guy with revolver in hand, about to play Russian Roulette and you rush over to stop him before he pulls the trigger; he waves you off, and with a superior smile says, “Don’t worry, one of the chambers is empty.”