Given the wretchedly cold, wet weather of late I must ask: global warming, where are you now that we need you? Go ahead you environmentalists, toss your brickbats, but I’m here to tell you this winter testifies that maybe the hype – and the dire threats – over the impending catastrophe of global warming ain’t necessarily so.
It’s wretched all over the world. My oldest son, in Germany, calls to tell me that he’s bombarded by sleet and hail. My youngest daughter, a student at Laval University in Quebec, sends me photos of her 5’ 8” frame dwarfed by snowdrifts, and she says her campus is a sheet of ice.
A friend returning from Florida has his plane held in a holding pattern above Sea-Tac. He tells me, “The pilot announced that ‘the weather in Seattle has deteriorated rapidly. Boeing Field is reporting snow and freezing rain…’ In LATE MARCH.”
We’ve had two successive winters like this. In 2006-07, didn’t many of us go days without power because of the Hanukkah Eve Windstorm? This past winter – the winter that won’t die – weren’t we subjected to deluges of a near Biblical nature such that only Noah in his Ark could travel portions of Interstate-5?
Yet we can’t pick up a newspaper or watch TV but what we’re not inundated with dire pronouncements of calamity: the sky is falling, the sky is falling and it’s the fault of our size 15EEE carbon footprint.
Media mogul Ted Turner’s hometown newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reported that a, “Failure to address global warming will have us all dead or eating each other by mid-century.” Hannibal Lecter will be thrilled.
Turner’s solution? Drastically limit the number of children a family can have. That doesn’t sit well with me; my five-kids are none of his business. Again he proves worthy of his unofficial title, “Mouth of the South.”
Then there’s former Vice President Al Gore. After his film “Inconvenient Truth” and recent Nobel Peace Prize, one of the dullest presidential candidates ever is accorded adulation reserved for titans of sports and rock stars. That he’s now won an Oscar for his documentary nails his invitation to the better Hollywood parties.
According to Gore, we’re to blame for global warming, and anyone who disputes either its existence or us as its cause is akin to denying the earth is round or that man landed on the moon. That some, albeit a minority, reputable scientific types disagree gets them dismissed out of hand. If you can’t argue the facts, disparage your opponent.
Locally, one columnist for a certain Seattle daily is worse: He equated global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. That there is an eight-lane-wide distinction between denying a historic reality — the existence of which is supported by massive evidence of events in the past — and doubting that something will happen in the future as a result of something happening today eludes him.
We’ve been here before. In the late 1960s, it was tres chic on college campuses to subscribe to theories espoused by Paul Ehrlich’s book, “The Population Bomb.” He contended, “in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death,” because of food shortages and overpopulation. Been to the mall lately and checked out the line at Cinnabon? Government mandated birth control and massive penalties for having too many children were under consideration then. Aren’t we glad Ehrlich’s population bomb was a dud?
Hysteria from self-serving politicos and pundits may sell books and movie tickets, but it’s a lousy basis from which to formulate good public policy.
Scott St. Clair plays his bagpipe and looks at the world from his Kirkland home. Learn about him at www.scottstclair.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.