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Can't Stand the Heat?

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
July 23, 1998


Last week in a burst of long overdue emotion, Vice President Al Gore announced that the first half of 1998 was the warmest ever recorded in the history of Earth. Rightfully insisting that this is a result of man-made pollution and other acts of complete disregard for anything other than profit and convenience, the Vice President laid out his case for the national media. This could be considered a wake-up call, except for the fact we been hitting the snooze button since 1963.

The morning after Mr. Gore's press conference mercenary scientists such as Michael Gilan of ABC News were discrediting the findings of Federal climate officials. Picture if you will 4 million couch potatoes, myself included, tuned into the fluffy confection known as Good Morning America when between news of Bruce and Demi's split and a buyers guide to breakfast cereal the Science Elf tells us there is no conclusive evidence that global warming is any other than a natural occurrence. Now, being well read, I know that to be a load fecal matter, but what about all the others who are just looking for an excuse to continue driving their gas guzzling urban assault vehicles.


In my opinion Disney, ABC's owner, and other multinational have every reason to keep America addicted to consumption. Just think if Americans actually started to think that they were partially responsible for the sweltering heat that is killing Texans, they might think twice about driving cross country to give their kids the opportunity to see a man dressed up like a big mouse. Can't have that now, can we?

Now that I mention it global warming is going to make some people very wealthy. The hotter it gets in Texas, the more people will  flock to the coast, conveniently Disney has theme parks on both. Air Conditioners and fans use a lot of electricity. As the heat continues to rise, so will utility bills. Certain regions will no longer be able to support agriculture so produce prices will go up. Again I use Texas as an example. A whole season's worth of crops have been lost to the current heat wave, what happens when this is a yearly occurrence. In the 1930's we called it the Dust Bowl. Back then farmers from the Midwest had to come to California to escape the drought and feed their families.

If another Dust Bowl era is just around the corner, California will be of little use to those seeking sanctuary. It seems we have decided we would rather replace fertile fields with tract homes, stripmalls, and wall to wall traffic. Sorry folks there is no room at the inn, please take your starving masses elsewhere. In the 21st century the Grapes of Wrath will give way to the Big Macs of wrath. At least McDonalds is air-conditioned. Sadly, it won't be long before a crowded California is no longer able to feed itself.

It's time we faced the fact that environmental refugees are in our future. Catastrophic hurricanes, flooding, and drought will soon be followed by catastrophic overpopulation in regions unaffected by nature's revenge. Chances are that not to many people are going to want to stay in Dallas when the odds on granny making through the summer become 50/50 at best.

Not to be outdone in the "Ignore It and It Will Go Away" Department, certain Congressmen have attached a rider to an appropriations bill that would forbid government agencies from educating the public in regards to climate change. Yes ladies and gentlemen, our elected officials are trying to legislate ignorance. The bill would also prevent the administration from limiting greenhouse gases as put forth by the Kyoto Protocol.

Republicans say that limiting greenhouse gases will cripple the economy. Hello, since when has environmental collapse been good for the environment. I would like to see Newt Gingrich explain to the people in Florida how loosing their communities to ravaging fires benefits them in the long run. So not only do the homeowners loose out, taxpayers then have to foot the bill when when disaster relief is handed out.

Let me get this straight trying to protect the environment is bad for the economy, and destroying it is good. Isn't America great? Listen folks, it is clear to me we can not wait for our government to do the right thing. The Republican Congress has made it their mission to sell us all down the proverbial river. Not content with gutting the Endangered Species Act, weakening the Clean Water Act,  and bringing government to a halt by conducting prolonged witch-hunts, they now seek to declare open season on truths other than their own.

Well gang, it is up to us, we can either start to make changes in the way we live, or we can be good little dinosaurs and continue to ignore the signs as we rush blissfully along the road to nowhere with air-conditioners at full tilt.

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