For more than a decade I’ve poked fun at those who have told us Climate Change is a Big Problem. I’ve mocked their fears that Earth was becoming a giant sauna, and that unless humankind Woke Up And Did Something we would all shortly end up in a real-life remake of Kevin Costner’s ‘Waterworld,’ which would still be a disaster, even without Costner in it. I’ve been a pain, basically.
Well, I have to say I now agree with all the major climate research centers in the world. This is a recent change, brought about during the past month or so, because new data has been verified concerning the state of the planet. I won’t be complaining about the Chicken Littles anymore, unless something changes drastically again (it will).
For the record, there isn’t going to be any of that ‘I told you so’ business. I intend to be more magnanimous than that. The scientists have finally come around, and that’s good enough for me. No need to rub their credentials in it. Being right is reward enough.
The Big Guys now agree that Earth is not getting warmer, and hasn’t been since 1997. Things have leveled off, heat-wise, panic-wise, and disaster-wise. Which is good news for most of us, but it may cause a glut of unemployed scientists to hit the job market in the near future, as the grant money dries up. The big mystery, for me, at least, is why it took so long for the geniuses to figure this out.
They can’t ignore the situation any longer, though, because of the Arctic Ice Cap Thing. You remember the Arctic Ice Cap – that sheet of ice that freezes solid over the Arctic Ocean every winter, and then partially melts every summer? Yeah, well, scientists have been worried about that for a good while, now. They’ve been saying it was getting smaller every year, and would eventually disappear altogether. Bummer.
Except it hasn’t. And not only hasn’t it disappeared, it’s gotten bigger lately. A lot bigger. According to NASA photographs and evaluations of the data, the Arctic Ice Cap was 29% larger in August 2013 than it was in August 2012. And we’re talking about the August 2013 that just passed a few months ago. That August 2013. The same August 2013 the BBC claimed would be the August 2013 the Arctic Ice Cap melted completely.
That BBC claim was made in 2007, based on the scientific predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other major climate research centers, all of which are populated by a lot of people with thinning hair and plenty of letters after their names. Unfortunately, those people don’t seem to get out much. They were wrong.
But a lot of folks believed them. It’s easy to believe people who have letters after their names, I guess. The trouble is that – and I’ve said this before – Pocket protectors are nice, but they don’t necessarily raise your IQ. Go figure.
Some folks put so much trust in the IPCC’s claims of an ice-free Northwest Passage they decided to sail their yachts through there this past summer. Why not? If I had a yacht I might’ve decided to do the same thing. Think of the scenery: water, and ice, and, uh, more water and ice. Except there wasn’t supposed to be all that much ice. Lots of nice water, though.
Only it turns out there’s more ice than water up there at the top of the world. So much ice, in fact, that more than 20 of the yacht people have managed to get themselves, and their fancy dancy boats, stranded for the foreseeable future when the ice closed them in. Bummer.
The thing to do, in such a situation, is to wait till the ice melts, maybe next summer, and then get you a big batch of gone. The problem with that plan is that a lot of eminent scientists are now saying the planet is at the beginning of a cooling trend that may last until the middle of the current century. So unless those yachts have a lot of canned food and toilet paper aboard, those folks may be in for a rough few decades, give or take.
Every six or seven years the IPCC publishes an Assessment Report, and the Fifth One was due to hit a newsstand near you in October 2013. That hasn’t happened. The geniuses have decided to hold off on that, and were planning to have a summit meeting in late September. I think they’re looking at doing damage control. I think they’ll come out in the next month or so with a big announcement that, well, sure, it’s colder, and there’s more ice up north, but that doesn’t mean they were wrong. And, by the way, they still need lots of your money to figure out what’s going on.
This is all a little embarrassing, as I anticipate a lot of calls and letters from the world’s leading climate specialists, apologizing for not listening to me, and asking for advice. I plan to be friendly and gracious to them, but they do have a lot of explaining to do. Maybe a Time Out would be in order.
Except for AlGore. When AlGore calls I plan to be rude. After all, his whining and hand wringing caused a lot of this mess. I think, as punishment, AlGore should be handed an ice pick and sent to the Arctic to get those yachts out of there . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who knows you still believe in Global Warming, and doesn’t really care. Write to him to complain at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org