I can't say for sure if global warming is real, in the same way I don't know if the North Pole is cold. I've never been to the North Pole. I'm afraid to go someplace void of civilization. That's why I don't vacation in Florida anymore. But I can't say for sure that the North Pole is cold.
I know for a fact, through empirical evidence, that you'll burn your finger if you touch the inside of a hot stove. I know that running makes my heart beat faster. I know that it stings to get shampoo in my eye. I know that watching Entertainment Tonight makes me nauseous. I can prove these statements.
I can't prove global warming, though. But it makes sense. The planet remained in a natural state for millions of years. And then, a couple of years ago, human beings took over and they polluted the air and water and ground with chemicals, toxic waste, filth, smoke, radiation, and the NFL preseason. Logically, it seems like all that crap would have a negative effect on the environment.
The Earth is sort of like your high school classmate's beautiful suburban house, clean and pure. And then one weekend his parents went away, and he invited ten friends over... and they invited ten friends and they invited ten friends and next thing you know it's the party of the century. That's a lot of people in one place doing a lot of bad things with no regard for their surroundings. It seems reasonable to think this will have an effect, like maybe it will cause the temperature to rise, especially since someone set Pete's parents' couch on fire. "Climate change" is sort of like trashing a house, but on a global scale. It was a great party, but now nobody is sticking around to help clean up the mess.
But while I can't say for certain that global warming is real, I trust the scientists. Scientists are the best. Unlike everyone else, scientists seem to know what they're talking about. Politicians don't know what they're doing. Most parents are pretty incompetent. And who the heck designed Julia Roberts' Golden Globe Awards dress? Ughh. That was a fashion don't. But scientists are really on the ball. So when scientists talk about science, it's prudent to listen.
Oh, scientists don't always get it right. I mean, there is no way, within the laws of physics, that Maury Povich is still on the air. But when it comes to the environment, scientists are the experts. If your doctor says you need surgery, you might seek a second opinion... from another doctor. If your doctor says you need surgery, would you ask Rush Limbaugh for his expertise? Global warming is a debate that scientists should have amongst themselves. We should not be part of this debate. We're not knowledgeable enough to participate in this debate. It's like arguing with 12-year-old girls about which is Justin Bieber's best song. (answer: "One Less Lonely Girl") And the scientists had the debate. And they decided that global warming is real. I've seen these dudes on TV. They're convincing.
Global warming is real. As non-scientists, our role is to make decisions based on this information. If you think we shouldn't do anything about global warming, that's fine. That's your opinion. Honestly, considering the possibility that they'll come out with another Transformers movie, letting the planet die first might be a better option. But global warming is real. (Okay, I guess I can say for certain that it's real.)
Some conservatives deny global warming because Al Gore -- who is politically liberal and who worked with actual scientists on his environmental studies -- thinks global warming is bad. If Al Gore says we shouldn't throw Pepsi cans on the side of the road, Fox News will bring in their pseudo-scientist clowns to explain why throwing trash out your car window is just part of the Earth's natural cycle of assholes throwing their trash out the car window. And polar bears are losing weight because they're on Jenny Craig.
I don't think the global warming "debate" is really about global warming, anyway. It's really about environmental protection. And environmental protection contradicts the profit-making goal of big business, run by persons seeking to become so rich, that when global warming destroys the planet, they will be able to afford to live in a giant luxury space center outside of the Earth's orbit. It'll be called "Trump Elysium."
But okay. Here's how you respond to your conservative Republican relatives who are confident that global warming isn't a threat, based on what is happening out the window, right now at this moment. ("I just took a walk outside. I didn't see no damn climate change.")
Ready? Here it is...
The real myth, the real hoax, is not global warming. It's the debt.
My Republican friends and relatives tell me to be frightened of the debt. The debt is going to bring our nation to its knees, they say. The debt will create mass economic chaos. There will be rioting in the streets. Republican politicians and media pundits tell me that we need to cut social programs in order to chip away at the debt. If we don't do something about the debt, the United States of America is doomed.
So... when is this going to happen? When does the doom start?
Since childhood, I've been hearing about the national debt. I've been hearing that this is a catastrophic national problem. Okay. Fine. But when is all the bad stuff gonna happen? I got my gold, my guns, and my underground bunker. And... I'm still waiting. Where is the debt Armageddon?
The debt is the great right wing hoax. It's the Tea Party's Greatest Hits CD, along with "Well, if global warming is real, then how come it's cold outside today?" and a never-before-released live performance of Ted Cruz being smug.
No? Then prove me wrong. I don't want to hear the analysis. I want to see the evidence. Show me the national debt sinking America into ruins. The stock market is doing well. Unemployment is going down. Even my old Star Wars action figures are increasing in collectable value. I mean, they would be increasing in value if my mother didn't throw them out years ago while I was away at college. Thanks, Mom.
Debt analysis? From who? The financial experts? The economic strategists? Now see, here is the problem. We're supposed to listen to the financial experts about the debt -- but not the scientists about global warming? Because so far, the scientists have been pretty accurate: gravity, the theory of relativity, Bill Nye the Science Guy doing stuff with bubbles, etc. But the economic talking heads are a who's who of bad prognosis, flip-flopping analysis, self-interest disguised as objective reporting, and a general societal cluelessness.
Do you want to play a fun drinking game? Watch Larry Kudlow on CNBC's The Kudlow Report, and take a shot each time he makes an anti-Obama financial prediction that quickly turns out to be wrong. You'll be drunker than Charlie Sheen at the opening night of a Las Vegas strip club.
So next time you have to defend the reality of global warming to your Republican relative, who got a C in high school chemistry, don't get frustrated. Instead, change the subject and bring up the debt. Your conservative uncle will love it. He loves talking about the economy. And simply ask, "If the debt is bad, how come it hasn't destroyed America yet?"
Yes, the debt has ballooned to 17 trillion dollars. But look out the window. No riots. I see a lot of ugly teenagers. But no riots. I guess we're okay at 17 trillion. So what is the real number? When is the government really going to implode? When the debt hits 20 trillion? Will it have to hit 30 trillion? (Coincidentally, that's how much money 47 Ronin lost at the box office.)
Unless you're driving your DeLorean 88 mph, the future hasn't happened yet. And so to your Republican friend, ask these questions. Why do you think the debt is worse than global warming? Where are you getting your information? Where is your proof? After all, the ice caps aren't melting because we owe money.