The Inevitable Doom & Gloom of Global Warming
I write this article with extreme trepidation given the flamethrower rhetoric witnessed in this blog and elsewhere regarding the reality-versus-fiction debate surrounding the issue of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW). I am a Ph.D. scientist/meteorologist with an indisputable record of professing that all weather and climate forecasts, projections and/or analyses are characterized by some degree of uncertainty.
After intense introspection, however, I've decided that it's finally time to admit that I am a closet determinist -- I believe that regardless of any evidence to the contrary, AGW is a fact, period. Moreover, I am an unabashed, unrepentant fear-monger, unreservedly convinced that even the most apocalyptic consequences of AGW are unstoppable. The cautious approach of covering one's you know what with a mishmash of qualifiers -- might, could, possibly, maybe, etc. -- is off the table. I don't wish to silence dissent, but the fact of the mater is that this AGW thing is a done deal, and there's no scientifically defensible way to deny it.
I've made up my mind, so don't bother me with facts and the need for critical thinking -- I believe what I believe. And, please don't pester me to explain the reasons behind my heartfelt opinions. At my age it's hard enough just to remember them, let alone also remembering my reasons for them!
I'm fully aware I'll be the target of blogosphere tirades from so-called AGW skeptics, who no doubt will conjure visions of my being hung in effigy (and worse). There is also no doubt that I'll be ridiculed and proclaimed a wing nut even by those who agree with the mainstream scientific consensus that global warming is largely the fault of mankind.
Nevertheless, I'm totally confident that even the most vehement critics of gloom-and-doom scenarios will, inevitably, accept them as self-evident. When that inevitability becomes reality, I promise not to raise myself on a pedestal and shout, "I told ya so." Though a statue on the National Mall in honor of my righteousness would be nice.
So what's in store for us as a result of AGW? Here's a sampling of some of the more bleak impacts...
* As northern countries warm, disease-carrying insects will migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them -- buy your mosquito curtain before it's too late.
*AGW will cause an increase in smog pollution and will intensify pollen allergies and asthma -- oy vey, better stock up on inhalers.
*As ocean temperatures rise, so will the occurrence of more frequent and stronger hurricanes -- at least I won't need a wind tunnel to experience hurricane-force winds.
*Some areas of Earth will become wetter due to AGW; other areas will suffer devastating droughts and heat waves -- time to get a boat; or stockpile bottled water.
*The oceans will turn to acid -- so much for seafood.
*Hotter temperatures will mean larger and more devastating wildfires -- wanted: more Smokey Bears.
*AGW will lead to destruction of agricultural production, depleted water supplies, and the displacement of large segments of Earth's population -- mind your manners along evacuation routes, please.
*The destabilizing effects of AGW on international stability and national security will be comparable to those of nuclear war -- anyone know a good place to duck and cover?... maybe not since an ice-free Antarctica is likely to be the only inhabitable continent by the end of this century.
Is there any way to escape the inevitability of AGW's gloom and doom? Apparently -- and this is for real -- the answer could be birth control. Here, I firmly break the mold of preaching certitude in all things AGW and, for obvious reasons, choose not to go down that road. Talk about throwing gasoline in to the firestorm!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here -- with tongue firmly embedded in cheek -- are my own and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.
| October 1, 2009; 10:45 AM ET
Categories: Climate Change, Humor, Tracton
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