It absolutely baffles me that there are still supposedly intelligent people out there who think that global warming is a conspiracy theory. I just shake my head whenever I hear comments such as: “Snow in April? Some global warming.” “It hasn’t hit 90 degrees all summer! Yeah right global warming.” If you’ve made comments like this recently, I’m sorry you’ve yet to realize how foolish you sound to the majority of the population. The famous Fürtwangler Glacier atop Kilimanjaro is getting smaller. Greenland’s ice is melting. The polar ice caps are melting. And the weather systems are shifting. The monster hurricanes are no more God trying to wipe out the non-believers in the Gulf Region than the tornados in the Midwest are Allah telling the Bible Belt to convert to Islam. The climate IS shifting. Ask a farmer.
The climate is ALWAYS shifting. Most natural things move in cycles. The seasons. The tides. The waxing and waning of the moon. Those creepy, red eyed, louder than lawn mowers, flying cockroach on steroids, 17 year Cicadas. Climate is not immune to the cyclical nature of being. The earth has gone from periods of being largely covered in ice to periods where it had no ice and back again. Even within an ice age there are cycles of warming and cooling (referred to as interglacials and glacials). We are currently in an interglacial period of the Quaternary Glaciation, which translates to a warming period during the current ice age! (Are you bored already? Come on! Weather is fun!)
What remains uncertain, is whether or not our frivolous, disposable-dinnerware loving culture is hastening the warming. I don’t know the answer to that. Although, when I think about just how much Aqua Net and hairspray was and continues to be unleashed by the Hair and Metal bands of America, I can hazard a guess. And I’m certain that if you got on the Internet you could find scientific evidence supporting either side of the argument. How a scientific query has become a political issue is what really baffles me. We all know that most politicians are lying, cheating, power/fame hungry tools too busy boinking their interns to be reading up on anything as dry as climatology. They don’t even read half the bills they pass. And they’re not the brightest bulbs in the bunch either. Al Gore definitely didn’t invent the Internet (or global warming) and G W Bush thinks that nuclear is spelled with two “u”s.
Let’s face it, even if Captain Planet were elected president it wouldn’t change the fact that people would rather use Chinette than wash dishes, are too lazy to turn off the light or TV when they leave a room, or just don’t give a shit that they’ve hucked the trash from their car onto your lawn. (Nor would it change the fact that China’s growing carbon emissions negate all of the conservation in CO2 production done by the Kyoto Protocol MANY times over.) We have become a culture of convenience, waste, and entitlement. Take my neighbor up the street, for example. At any given moment there are between 3 and 6 cars/SUVs, some of which don’t run, abandoned on his lawn. He has founded the New England chapter of Groundhog Club Med (disguised cleverly as a large freight like storage container). And for all we know he could be cooking drugs in his basement. I don’t care what your political leaning is, we could all stand to be a little more mindful of the waste we produce and the effect that EVERYTHING we do has on other people. Am I still going to use plastic cutlery? Hell yes.
Now if you really want something Mother Nature related to worry about, I give you Yellowstone Park. The whole park is sitting right on top of an active super volcano. The last time it erupted was 640,000 years ago. It’s about due to go again. When it explodes, it could cover three quarters of the North American continent in ash. LOTS of it. Volcanic ash of this magnitude causes suffocation, roof collapse, plane engine destruction, felled power lines, contaminated water, dead livestock and other delightful things. It can also mix with rain creating mudflows that would kill thousands. The sulfur particles the volcano shoots out would form sulfuric acid when they hit the stratosphere. The sun wouldn’t be able to get through the aerosols so well resulting in a volcanic winter. Just a 12 degree temperature drop could cause 2 to 3 years of snow ALL YEAR LONG. It could cause the end of monsoons in Asia leading to mass starvation due to a loss of food production. Or so the Science Channel tells me. Wouldn’t you love to see FEMA try and clean up that mess? Mother Nature may save us from Snooki’s baby after all.