I was encouraged and surprised that Al Gore was so effusive in his praise of President Obama's recently released climate plan. For a while I've suspected that if I kidnapped Al and pumped him full of truth serum (purely an illustrative hypothetical, Secret Service!) he'd confess that the Earth's climate is a lost cause, an out-of-control blast furnace, and any day he's going to announce his Move to the Moon Initiative.
Sure, it wasn't all happy talk:
...country's hottest year...record melting of arctic ice cap...disruption of Northern Hemisphere jet stream and storm track...crippling drought...hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage from climate-related extreme weather events...
Still, when Al Gore says to keep fighting and doesn't sound the call to the lifeboats, I'm down to keep fighting.
I was promptly sent back to my fainting couch by Jeff Goodell's recent piece in Rolling Stone, "Goodbye, Miami." The opulent city carved from the swamp may return to a state of Nature in the not-too-distant future.
"Miami, as we know it today, is doomed," says Harold Wanless, the chairman of the department of geological sciences at the University of Miami. "It's not a question of if. It's a question of when."
You're saying, but won't the encroaching waters be slowed by Miami's sheer quantity of adult diapers? Only temporarily.
At least global warming will solve the seemingly insoluble problem of what to do about the horribly-run Miami Marlins.
Of course, it's not just South Florida that's tied to the climate train tracks. NOAA says Earth's oceans could rise six feet by the end of this century... climate seer James Hansen says maybe 16 feet... "Ohio State glaciologist Jason Box has said he believes we already have 70 feet of sea-level rise baked into the system." Yes, 70 feet is mind-boggling, but worse than that is the fact that we're describing the future using cooking terms.
So, there it is. No need for kidnap, it's obvious that Al Gore is simply trying to keep us from panicked rioting, sedating us with busy-work. We may as well face it: It's time to divert our technological and scientific focus from limiting greenhouse gas emissions to devising new and better ways to apologize to our children and grandchildren.