Global Fantastic Nonsense!

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Tue Oct 30 22:52:16 MDT 2007

VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: The real cure for global warming


         There are some who, lacking the ecstatic 
thrill of any other faith-based religion, wish to 
believe that the Earth is in the early stages of 
an unprecedented climatic change which will see 
temperatures soar, the polar ice caps melt, 
rising sea levels flood our coastal cities -- 
general devastation on the biblical model -- all 
because we insist on driving petroleum-fueled 
private automobiles and using electricity generated by burning coal.

         Burning that stuff releases into the 
atmosphere large amounts of carbon dioxide, you 
see, a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to the ongoing warming of the planet.

         Now, this is almost entirely fantastic 
nonsense. The planet is currently warming at a 
rate of perhaps one degree a century, part of an 
ongoing cycle of global warming and cooling which 
(ice cores and other fossil records tell us) has 
been ongoing for millions of years. This is 
caused not primarily by CO2 levels -- changes in 
atmospheric CO2 loading actually trail 
temperature shifts by decades or even centuries 
-- but rather by fluctuating solar activity. Even 
if CO2 were a factor, most of the CO2 in the 
atmosphere comes from volcanoes and the natural 
processes of the oceans, not from man-made sources.

         Since wiping out mankind would have a 
minimal impact on climate, what good do you think 
a few rich folk switching to "hybrids" will do?

         If warming continues at the present 
rate, the most significant impact is likely to be 
a small increase in the amount of previously 
frozen ground on which people could grow wheat.

         The global warming hysteria will be 
remembered as one of those episodes of "the 
madness of crowds" which saw bands of flagellants 
wandering Europe urging folks to finish work on 
those cathedrals real soon because the world was 
going to come to an end at the millennium, in 
1,000 A.D., and the minor panic of Oct. 30, 1938, 
when numerous radio listeners were taken in by 
the realistic Orson Welles broadcast of "The War of the Worlds."

         The difference from those earlier 
episodes of mass folly, however, is that there is 
a group of folks with an ulterior motive beating 
the drums for this one. These are jealous 
socialists who want America to be a lot more like 
Europe, punishing "rich people" for the gall of 
freely driving where they want, when they want, 
in their "wasteful" private automobiles. This 
gang wants prohibitive taxes on cars and 
gasoline, with the money to be shifted into mass 
transit boondoggles that will require us all to 
enjoy much more togetherness, singing "Kumbaya" 
in three-part harmony as we live in quaint urban 
walk-ups and ride around packed into little tin 
trolley cars in a neater, tidier world a lot more 
like Sweden, or possibly the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour."

         These people still say they're fighting 
"to protect the environment." But they've pulled 
off a massive shift, largely unnoticed, in the meaning of that word.

         It used to be that we said we wanted to 
improve man's life by cleaning up man's 
environment. We wanted to reduce sulfuric fumes 
in the air and toxic crap in the water, the same 
way we'd try to train a particularly slow-witted 
kitty-cat not to poop in his own food bowl.

         By "the environment" we meant "mankind's 
environment" -- the fresh air and clean water and 
green trees that make our human lives healthier and more pleasant.

         Last weekend, however, the 
Review-Journal ran an editorial ridiculing the 
radical greens for fighting a pipeline needed to 
transport drinking water to Las Vegas from east 
central Nevada by using their usual cat's paw -- 
insisting the plan would damage some obscure minnow in some pond in Utah.

         "It appears that the R-J editorials have 
hit a new low," wrote one of these characters. 
"The childish, blind-eye editorial in Sunday's 
paper was pathetic. Apparently whoever wrote (and 
approved it) feels that man is the only thing on 
earth worth saving ... and damn the environment if it gets in their way!"

         So now "the environment," as used by 
these zealots, no longer means "the environs of 
mankind, which make mankind's life healthier and 
more enjoyable" -- presumably including plenty of 
clean drinking water. Rather, the term has been 
skinned and cured, turned into sheep's clothing 
and draped over a lurking wolf. The term is now 
used to mean "pristine nature, a beautiful thing 
which is endangered by the ongoing prosperity and 
procreation of human beings, a foul invasive 
enemy whose numbers need to be reduced through 
thirst and other means to protect each weed and bug."

         That's a big change, worth remembering 
the next time you're tempted to say, "Of course 
we all consider ourselves environmentalists ..."

         But, all that said, let's pretend for a 
moment we agree that Earth is heating up, as 
punishment from the Goddess Gaia for our hubris 
in daring to tame the wilderness, putting in 
stand-alone houses and sewage lines and Wendy's drive-through windows.

         If these Chicken Littles really believed 
this, what would they be doing? They'd be looking 
for proven ways to really cool things down, of course.

         How about examining the historical 
record for the approximately 200 years for which 
we have reliable weather data? Look to see if 
there was a period when the weather cooled down, 
all of a sudden, and what caused it.

         Google "Year Without a Summer." From 
April 5 to 15, 1815, Mount Tambora on the island 
of Sumbawa in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day 
Indonesia) blew up, ejecting 40 cubic kilometers 
of volcanic ash (more than twice as much as the 
1883 explosion of Krakatoa) into the upper atmosphere.

         Other volcanoes -- La Soufrière on Saint 
Vincent in the Caribbean in 1812 and Mayon in the 
Philippines in 1814 -- had already built up a 
substantial amount of atmospheric dust.

         That stuff stayed up there, in the jet 
stream, for more than a year. Sunlight was 
reflected off that orbiting cloud of crap and had 
trouble getting through. The "Year Without a 
Summer," known colloquially as "Eighteen hundred 
and froze to death," was 1816, in which severe 
summer climate abnormalities destroyed crops in 
Northern Europe, the American Northeast, eastern Canada and even China.

         In May, frost killed off most of the 
crops that had been planted. In June, two large 
snowstorms in eastern Canada and New England 
resulted in many human deaths. In July and 
August, lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania.

         In Europe, food riots broke out and 
grain warehouses were looted. A recent BBC 
documentary tallied up 200,000 deaths.

         Clearly, if anyone believes Earth is 
warming catastrophically and that we need to do 
something, the only proven solution is to start 
throwing as much crap into the atmosphere as we possibly can, right now.

         Clean nuclear and natural-gas-fired 
power plants must be shut down and immediately 
replaced with coal plants burning the softest, 
dirtiest coal -- peat would be better -- that can 
be found. "Smog inspections" will take on a new 
meaning as our cars will be checked regularly to 
make sure each is pouring out the densest 
possible cloud of carbon particulates and lifesaving black soot.

         Since every little bit counts, we may 
also have to make tobacco smoking mandatory for everyone above the age of 10.

         Now is not a time to hesitate, to refuse 
to make the minor sacrifice of breathing some 
slightly less healthful air. Global warming is a 
crisis, baby! It's time we all set aside our 
selfish desire to keep our yard furniture free of 
drifting soot and share the sacrifice! Think 
globally; act locally. Do your part!

         Pollution -- massive, smoky pollution -- is the only answer!

P.S. -- This is actually going to happen, whether 
we like it or not. The explosion of the 
Yellowstone caldera, already overdue, will make 
Tambora look like a kid's sparkler. The real 
ecological challenge of the coming age will be global cooling.

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page 
editor of the Review-Journal and author of the 
novel "The Black Arrow." See

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