— Item #1 —
I don’t know why, but a question I’ve been asked a lot lately is, “Joe! If you were the President, what would you do about Iran’s threat to build a nuclear arsenal?”
Like I could do anything about it. I don’t know. There must have been something out there in the zeitgeist, or else this mustache and goatee of mine make me look like I would be an expert in that particular field.
So I don’t know why I’ve been asked this question so much lately. But I know what my answer has consistently been, ever since Ahmadinejad started rattling the plutonium saber: “Nothing. Israel will take care of it.”
And sure enough… the balloon hasn’t gone up yet, but it’s certainly being inflated.
Hmmm. Maybe I should join Predictify after all.
— Item #2 —
When I wrote about Carbon Recapture and Sequestration, one of the things I hinted at was the fact that the environmental movement found global warming such a scary thing that nuclear power was actually starting to look pretty tame by comparison.
Enviros may not be ready to drink from the uranium cup yet, but the Scare crowd is due to take a long, hard look at the world they’re going to create if they get their way.
I’m not talking about the goofy, dystopic world I described in the aforementioned post. I’m talking about a world where the real solutions to the global warming question are not necessarily the ones that environmentalists want. Specifically:
- Nuclear reactors are the most green producers of electricity, putting out a fraction of what the next-cleanest source does.
- It takes more carbon to produce a hybrid car than it does a regular car. And if you buy an old gas guzzler, it has already paid for its own carbon footprint.
- It’s greener to run your air conditioning than it is to heat your home. Florida, here I come!
- Old growth forest? Not green! A tree is a massive carbon sucker-upper for about 55 years. Then it sits around waiting to rot or get burned up, at which time all of that carbon goes… where? (Maybe we should bury dead trees, too.)
- It takes far more carbon to raise up organic beef and dairy products than their mass-produced brothers and sisters. PETA take note – you now have Sophie’s Choice when it comes to saving the planet.
- City living? Green. Think about it. All those people stacked on one another in apartments, walking and bicycling and taking mass trans to work.
- Carbon Credit Trading = Spit in the Ocean. There’s no guarantee the traders will live up to their end of the bargain and grow those trees for 55 years, and if they did… they’d only buy us another 6-1/2 days.
Now here’s the kicker. It’s not just me, the “Global Warming Is Made of People” skeptic. All of these inconvenient truths – and a few more guaranteed to make greeners squirm – were put forth in the latest issue of Wired Magazine. Read, and prepare to change your thinking.
Meantime, I know what my answer to the Global Warming question is, too. “Wait a while and we’ll all be worrying about glaciers again.”
But nobody asks me about that.
I Crashed An International Symposium on Global Warming and All I Got Was This Stupid Hole in the Ground
I’m not going to go into detail lest I endanger the job of the concierge who let me slip in the door (or, rather, fell for the line I fed him), but I really did. I slipped through the doors of the conference center and hung out for a day with a host of brilliant minds as they tackled what they see as the sticky problem of global warming.1
I learned a number of interesting and important things:
- Nothing makes you feel stupid faster than hanging around a bunch of brilliant people.
- Nothing makes you realize how much in life you haven’t accomplished by hanging around a bunch of hyperdriven Type A personalities.
- A high IQ does not always mean a well-designed PowerPoint presentation.
- Or for that matter, a scintillating manner of public speaking. Or even something above a soporific monotone.
- Persons who have inadequate English As A Second Langauge skills become riveting speakers in the light of items 3 and 4. And most importantly,
- Hang out with brilliant people long enough and you begin to question their brilliance – if not their sanity.
The reason I am questioning their sanity right now is because I learned what their solution to the problem is. They are going to take the infamous greenhouse gas carbon dioxide out of the air, mostly at the source of production (such as a refinery or coal fired power plant), inject it into naturally occurring saline water, and then…
Are you sitting down?
They shoot this fizzy slush down into the ground where it can’t escape.2 Then it will turn into harmless minerals like the stuff we put on our roads in the winter… over geological time.3
I took a couple of things away from this symposium after learning that news.
First, does this strike anyone as sounding ridiculous? Or am I the only one? The most brilliant minds in the world got together and decide to save the world by taking the scary stuff and burying it in a hole in the ground.
Hmmm. Sound familiar? No, I’m not talking about that time in third grade when you buried those Math tests you got an “F” on and then the family dog dug them up and you spent the entire summer washing your dad’s car. I’m talking about how CO2 now has the same status as nuclear waste. The ironic thing is that nuclear power is now starting to look pretty good by comparison to the eyes of these brilliant minds.
Now for irony squared: while burying nuclear waste (which also is rendered safe over geological time) is an unacceptable solution to many, they have no problem with burying CO2.
Second, why the big panic about all this Carbon stuff anyway? This stuff is called fossil fuel, right? Meaning it came from fossils, which were once living things. Living things made of carbon. Where did they get the carbon from? According to the laws of conservation of matter and energy, it just didn’t show up in their bodies. It had to have come from somewhere.
Yeah, that’s right. The carbon we’re worried about putting into the air was already there at one time in the past.
Third. Since all of this carbon is there, isn’t it kind of dumb to put it back in the ground for millions of years? Shouldn’t we figure out how to recycle it back into more fossil fuels and get the price of gas back down to $0.26 a gallon?
Fourth. I’m sure the people of the year 1,000,048 will be really, really grateful for all of the calcium carbonate we will have left them. I think their comments will translate into something that sounds like this: “What were they thinking?”
Finally, isn’t it the epitome of arrogance to think that we can save the world by taxing ourselves into oblivion to suck out insubstantial amounts of a gas that is produced by nature in mind-boggling amounts? And that nature has done a great job taking care of in equally mind-boggling proportions?
Okay, let me wipe the foam off of my lips. It’s time to do a little speculation. See, this symposium also stoked some coal into the furnace of my writer’s imagination,4 and I began to foresee future events if all of this stick-it-in-a-hole-in-the-ground nonsense comes to pass:
- A future megadisaster brought about by seismic and/or volcanic activity which in turn triggers a climatological catastrophe – called by survivors “The Great Cosmic Burp.”
- A really heavy tax on soda pop and beer.
- Alka Selter? Illegal.
- A 40% increase in our utility bills. No, wait. That’s the reality of this program.
- A Brazil-like world where our automobiles carry huge tanks on their roofs that are collectors for Carbon Dioxide, which have to be taken to special garages to be bled off so the stuff can be buried. Whatever you do, please don’t tell Al Gore about this one.
- And speaking of, I also foresee a time when people have rebelled against all of this nonsense. The lasting legacy of this time of ecological madness we’re spinning into will be what future psychologists will call “Al Gore’s Syndrome” – wherin someone becomes so embittered by a catastrophic loss (let’s say, oh… the loss of a presidential election) that the sufferer goes to Machiavellian lengths to prove their continued relevance.
- Once everyone is taxed into poverty to do this, they decide to tackle the natural production of Carbon Dioxide. They put huge domes over volcanoes and Yellowstone Park, with giant tubes leading up into the sky where the evil stuff bleeds out into space. But wait, Carbon Dio is heavier than air, so we’ll need giant fans to draw it all out before these places turn into Venus. So before long everybody’s tax rate is 110%. When everybody runs out of money, then someone gets the bright idea to file a class action lawsuit against God.
- With the Earth finally restored to pristine greenness, cluttered only by the mud huts we now live in because we can’t afford anything else, we now turn our eyes to hunting down all of those automobiles and factories on Mars. A massive armada of (wind powered) space craft are built so we can go explore and save Mars! After all, it’s warming up at the same rate that we are, and, well… it sure ain’t doing it by itself. There must be some form of intelligent life there that is destroying the planet.
Scary stuff? If it is, keep in mind, it’s only fiction.
- It’s only sticky if you believe that we’re causing the problem. I for one don’t buy for a minute that we are.
- By the way, potentially toxic gasses do not “escape.” They “migrate.” The brightest minds in the world taught me that, too.
- Translation: bazillions of years.
- How’s that for a green metaphor?
I’m posting this at the left-handed behest of a friend of mine. It’s a dream I had, but it was no doubt triggered by a dream he had about me, in which I was married to Nicole Kidman1. He told me that Ms. Kidman was much nicer than he expected, and I told him of course she was – she was married to me after having had Tom Cruise, after all.
Anyway, no doubt filled with confidence because of my celebrity marriage, I somehow got up on the stage at the Al Gore Awareness Concert Live Earth and interrupted Mr. Gore while he was speechifying. I told him I wanted to ask him my Three Questions that I want every Global Warming Alarmist to answer.
To my surprise, he agreed. But as I asked the first question, he started dodging the answers, which only made me think of more questions. So the end result was like Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition sketch2: “Okay, now I have SIX questions.”
Incidentally, I really do have Three Questions for the Alarmists to answer. They are:
1) If man and modern technology are causing Global Warming, then what caused the temperature rise through the 14th century that made England warm enough to cultivate grapes?
2) If man and modern technology are causing the Earth to warm up, what is causing Mars to warm up at roughly the same rate?
3) If man-made Global Warming is scientifically verifiable, why are growing numbers of its supporters calling for censure or punishment for their peers who are skeptical of our guilt ( e.g., the Weather Channel exec who wants to revoke the AMS Certification of doubters, or RFK Jr.’s statement that skepics are traitors)?
In the dream they were funnier. So were Gore’s answers.
Listening: “Torch” – Soft Cell (Memorabilia – The Singles)
- I certainly do get around in other people’s dreams. Early in our marriage, my wife dreamed that I ran off with Elizabeth Taylor. Not to mention the one I had about Meg Ryan.
- Quite possibly the funniest piece of sketch comedy ever written. I laugh every time I see it. For another piece of Python genius that always gets me, here’s their World Hide and Seek Championship sketch. And here’s a bit of brilliance from SCTV that you literally will not see on TV due to music licensing issues.