I Pity The Fuel Who Pollutes

by Kris Olson

With the pending passage of the American Clean Energy Security Act by the U.S. Senate, as well as the recent Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, global warming has been a top news issue lately. I sat down with the Rambler’s environmental correspondent Michael Conning to learn more.

KO: Thanks for being with us, Michael. Can I call you Mike?

MC: How many times have you asked me that now?

KO: As long as we’ve been doing this bit.

MC: And that’s quite a while.

KO: Yes, I believe the last time was about the balloon boy hoax from last year.

MC: It’s fitting, then, that you’ve brought me in to talk about global warming, another hoax.

KO: You’re not very good at this objective journalist thing, are you?

MC: Listen, I’m sorry, but did you see the snow at Transylvania this past week? I think Bob Jones University is the only campus that looked whiter.

KO: Michael, global warming is about cumulative effects over long periods of time. It doesn’t preclude snow from ever falling again. Besides, global warming is just one of several facets of the overall effect of climate change.

MC: Did you hear me? We’re talking a blizzard here. Even that groundhog came out of his hole to call for six more weeks of winter.

KO: Surely you don’t really believe that a rodent from Pennsylvania can predict—

MC: No, I was talking about Dick Cheney. … His soul can absorb heat.

KO: It doesn’t matter, Michael. Certain broadcasters who communicate with millions of listeners have made similar irresponsible arguments. The truth is that earth’s average temperature is expected to rise between two and three degrees Celsius over the next century, and man’s emissions of gases like carbon dioxide is hastening this process.

MC: Two to three degrees? You’re kiddin’ me, right?

KO: That sounds silly, but the difference between the earth’s temperature now and during the depths of the last ice age is only five degrees Celsius.

MC: And that period led to the fantastic movie “Ice Age,” starring Ray Romano and Denis Leary. In fact, with a cast like that, no wonder this planet is heating up!

KO: What?

MC: Nothing. … My point is that you people are just doom-and-gloomers trying to scare the pants off people so they’ll vote for your agenda. I’m onto you.

KO: Bush’s old scare tactics notwithstanding, the threats of global warming are not just doom-and-gloom stuff. Drought is already affecting areas like the western U.S. Warmer ocean temperatures can lead to more frequent and stronger hurricanes, and if the major ice shelves were to melt, cities from New York to Tokyo would be under water.

MC: And what is wrong with New York and Tokyo being under water?

KO: Well, you have a point there.

MC: Thank you, I knew we could come to an agreement.

KO: Unlike, apparently, the United States Senate, which has yet to approve the House’s energy bill. Can Obama and the Democrats pass the legislation this year?

MC: If they want to kill a bunch of jobs, they will.

KO: But that mentality is almost as simpleminded as denying global warming. Because of the smaller energy bills, the incentives that polluters receive under the cap-and-trade plan, and the endless array of green jobs that would become available, the bill can only be a boost to the economy. It’s the second stimulus package we hear so much about.

MC: Sounds like you just failed a creative writing class.

KO: Or passed one. … Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up?

MC: Yes: I think the only true consequence of global warming is its effect on the Winter Olympics. Imagine a world without curling.

KO: Indeed. We’re out of time, then. Thanks again for being here. I don’t know why I keep interviewing you.


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