Heat Wave: Is This Weep-Silently-Apologize-To-Your-Children-And-Throw-Yourself-Out-A-Window Depressing?
300 scouts collapse in the heat waiting for President
James Bone, The Times (London, UK), July 29, 2005
Note this from James Wolcott:
Note to Wolcott:
Bush Comforts Thousands at Scout Jamboree
Deb Riechmann, Associated Press, Sunday, July 31, 2005
Third time is charm, and one suspect his political advisors knew this was looking real bad. So he showed up and said the appropriate things. The guy gets enough grief for seeming contemptuous of others and an arrogant, uncaring frat-boy prankster.
The visited fixed all that? Hardly. I'm not sure you get points for showing up (late) - and for mouthing platitudes. But he did get around to it.
But what is Wolcott getting at with this dig at those who say global warming has not been proven? What is this about denial?
Wolcott links to the most recent news (July 29) of what he calls "The Great Arctic Sea Ice Melt-Off" - the source is this - scientists from our own government saying this is pretty ominous. (Will they keep their jobs?) This summer's melt is way out of line, and some of these science guys "are wondering if the melting of the sea ice has already gone beyond a critical threshold from which it can't recover."
Well, this has been the hottest June-July ever recorded in several eastern cities, according to data compiled by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. See this - and CNN here says it's the whole country.
Maybe a very cold winter will even things out, to a nice average.
Is something up? The Caribbean got warmer earlier this year, the kind of warm that provides the energy to turn minor storms into hurricanes, and this item quotes James McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University, saying that as the world warms, we expect more and more intense tropical hurricanes and cyclones. Of course. That's logical.
One wonders - or some may wonder - if something is up. Of course it doesn't help that HBO in it current rotation is running the recent disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow (2004) five or six times a week. In the movie, curiously, global warming causes serious melting of the ice caps, and then all the fresh water in the ocean shifts the North Atlantic Current's salinity so it now runs cold, and then the climate patterns go all screwy - massive storms (Los Angeles is wiped out by tornados, one of which wipes out the Hollywood sign itself - and the Columbia Records building down the street!) - all followed by three new gigantic storms in the now much colder northern hemisphere, resulting in a sudden new ice age with most of the United States and all of Europe just sheets of ice, and the US government forced into exile in - get this! - Mexico. In the movie no one in the government would heed the warnings of the scientist-hero, especially the arrogant Vice President, who looked a lot like Dick Cheney, and sounded like him too. An oil man. Yeah, yeah.
Wolcott is on it. He quotes Ross Gelbspan who writes books on energy policy and global warming. Oil production will peak out in 2006 and then decline. And the climate is changing. And it may be too late now to do anything about any of it anyway. "Events are now set to run their course."
Well, Wolcott is a tad upset that we're all in such denial, and that such denial led is to this situation where there really is no way to fix any of this. The oil supply is finite - and will peter out. And even if we stop burning fossil fuels and do all the green things, "it probably wouldn't make much difference even were it to occur."
We're screwed. Assess all the blame you want. What difference does that make?
Actually, if this is so - and the evidence points to it being so - then denial seems somehow appropriate. Fly in and say pleasant nothings to the sweating crowds of Boy Scouts. What's the difference?