“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ~ George Bernard Shaw 1903Galileo Galilei was an unreasonable man. He was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who died in 1642, and is still dead. But before he died, Galileo (Leo, to his friends) was generally thought to be, in scientific terms, a loon.You are aware, if you paid attention during Coach Jimmy Lange’s eighth grade science class during 1974, as I did, that Galileo went around telling everyone the earth was round. Of course, everyone knew the earth was flat, because they had proof. It looked flat. But Galileo was insistent to the point that people quit inviting him to parties and stuff. It got so his mistress, Marina Gamba, pouted all the time.We know now that Galileo was wrong, because the earth is shaped kind of like a basketball with Michael Moore sitting on it, but he was a lot less wrong than everyone else at the time.What you may not remember from science class, because I had to take some rabies shots and missed a couple of weeks of school during eighth grade, is that Galileo also went around telling people the sun was the center of our solar system. This was a big deal, because Romans knew it was ‘all about them.’ They thought everything revolved around Rome, and therefore earth.Matter of fact, the Roman Inquisition hauled Galileo into ‘court’ in 1615 over this wild claim. A recently discovered trial document records that he was found to be ‘vehemently suspect of heresy’ and ‘wears brown socks with black loafers.’ So Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest, where he wouldn’t offend anyone with his poor fashion sense.Which brings us, obviously, to Algore, who invented the internet in 1615, and again in 1974. Algore also, according to my friend, Mike Innis, invented global warming, which everyone knows is happening, because it’s hot. Well, not now, but during the summer. Of course, it’s always been hot during the summer, but before Algore invented global warming we didn’t know why. And we didn’t know it was getting hotter every summer than it was the summer before.Except that, actually, it isn’t. Not since 1997, anyway. According to some new figures released in January, based on readings from 30,000 measuring stations all over the world, the planet hasn’t warmed up any during the past 15 years. In fact the latest data suggests we may be headed for a ‘mini ice age,’ like the one during the 1600s. Bummer.When asked about this new evidence that he’s been lying like a Chicago politician, Algore resonded, “That’s inconvenient.”The good news is that, despite indications of a coming cooling trend that have been surfacing for the past decade or so, Algore and his prevaricators have managed to come up with a way to explain any inconsistencies in their story. Global cooling is caused, according to one spokesman, by ‘global warming.’ That didn’t convince everyone, so now the whole crowd has decided to drop global warming like an irritated badger. It’s now ‘climate change,’ which can go either way, I guess. But they still need money to keep us all alive.The reason they need all our money is because of the evil CO2 greenhouse gas we persist in emitting into our atmosphere. Now, humans don’t actually emit all that much CO2, but if you knew that you wouldn’t dump your wallet into an envelope addressed to Algore, so he won’t tell you that. And he also won’t tell you about the thing with the oceans, because that would just confuse you. Plus it’s true, and Algore hates that.The thing with the oceans is that there are 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and according to many climatologists, these cycles are largely responsible for the world’s temperature. But since people don’t cause the cycles, and Algore can’t manipulate them, there’s no use sending him money for that.Both oceans were cold from 1940 to 1970, which cooled earth’s climate. They’ve both been warm since 1970, until the Pacific flipped back to cold in 2008. The Atlantic is thought by scientists to flip back to cold during the next few years. Better dig out that long underwear.Anyway, the new data comes from the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. Those are the guys, you’ll recall, who were caught lying about the facts to make things sound apocalyptic, so they’re saying these new figures don’t really mean global warming has stopped, just because it hasn’t gotten any hotter during the past 15 years. Nothing to see here, folks, just move along.What set me off on this subject, this time, was a picture on Facebook of two Time magazine covers side by side, one from 1977, predicting an ice age, and one from 2006, predicting severe sun stroke. But despite the fact, which came from the Chicken Littles, that the planet has not warmed during the past decade and a half, even though CO2 levels have continued to rise, Algore will not abdicate.At least, I hope he doesn’t. It’s very hard to ridicule someone with facts when they’re right . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who always carried sun screen and a coat, just in case. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org