April 1, 2012

April Fools

In a rare moment of national unity, the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, along with the major candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, together with the President of the United States, appeared in a joint press conference on the Rose Garden. The President read from a statement signed by all the leaders. The text of the statement dealt with the clear and present danger posed by climate change forced by man-made global warming.

Well, there is no point in going on. You know and I know this will never happen. It doesn't matter what the topic is. We could have Martians dropping out of the sky breathing death-ray flames of doom, and you would never see the above scene unfold. It sure as Hell isn't going to happen over global warming.

Global warming--the problem the politicians should have been dealing with for the last decade--has, up until now, lacked that in-your-face urgency that breeds the kind of desperation measures we will likely need to have any kind of hope of slowing down the rate in increase of carbon dioxide in our one and only atmosphere. Part of the problem has always been that climate is so blessed complex and subject to so many different forces and influences, that scientists have been reluctant to point to any specific weather events and say "Yup, that's global arming in action."

That may be changing, as the level of alarm being raised by scientists seems to have passed a tipping point.  The two predictions most commonly made--average global temperatures will increase along with the rate of extreme weather events--have been evidenced so strongly over such a long period of time that climate scientists are finally dispensing with the caveats and coming right out and saying it: Decades of ever-increasing emissions of carbon into the atmosphere has caused a profound change in the Earth's climate that can be directly linked to specific weather events.

Denying the reality of human-induced climate change is increasingly the exclusive province of the obdurately ignorant and the vested interests who want to preserve their status quo for as long as possible, no matter what the cost to the rest of us. That's one hell of an April Fool's joke on our children and grandchildren.

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