My Turn: A chilly thought on climate change

  • Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 1:10 a.m.
    UPDATED: Sunday, March 10, 2013 1:48 p.m.
Bruce La Rue
Bruce La Rue

The end of February into the beginning of March saw several consecutive days of below-average high temperatures. This clearly indicates that the Earth is cooling at an alarming rate. It is equally obvious that everyday human activity is the catalyst for this crisis which threatens life as we have known it on this fragile orb.

There will no doubt be global cooling deniers, most of whom will be driven by a political agenda and likely will be undeterred by such nuisances as empirical data and hard evidence. Instead, these round-Earth, natural -climatic-cycle zealots will encourage the rest of us to go about our lives as though the next ice age is not just around the epochal corner. With Earth in the balance, if we do not act now, there may not be future generations to blame us for our negligence and apathy.

For those who would argue that a couple of weeks do not a trend make, do we dare take the risk of inaction? Shall we ignore nature’s warning signs? Shall we turn a deaf ear to a planet screaming for help?

The absence of conclusive scientific evidence is no excuse for complacency. Rather, it should be a wake-up call to action. With no time to dilly-dally we should immediately set to work gathering as much data as possible, regardless of the cost. Can we place a dollar amount on the value of the very survival of humanity?

Again, admittedly, there is no irrefutable evidence of manmade global cooling, which is precisely the reason we need to begin recording temperatures, monitoring the health of coral reefs, and analyzing the effects of global cooling on children, the elderly, and cute, cuddly animals. (Apparently, middle-aged people and hyenas are not susceptible to global crises). The study will take at least 10 years, but if we do not act now, life on Earth may not be here in 10 years.

I, for one, refuse to stand idly by as the verdant regions of our planet are transformed into arctic wastelands, the deserts into tundras. I am prepared to leave my job and become part of the solution. I propose a 10-year, $20 million study to examine and analyze the extent of man-made global cooling, its root causes, and possible solutions. While $20 million may seem like a lot of money, it is a bargain compared to the money spent by global warming scientists during their 20 years and counting field trip. One of the ways I will keep costs down is by limiting travel expenses. Polar travel is expensive; tropical, not so much. While some on my team will do research in places like sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific (any volunteers?), I will limit the scope of my research to an area ranging from the Florida Keys to Aruba.

For those who question my qualifications as a research scientist, allow me to put your narrow minds at ease. I hold an associate’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. The degree says “associate in applied science.” Yep, science. That makes me a scientist. One of the required courses in the program is statistical process control. Having successfully completed SPC, I am eminently qualified to read a thermometer and write down the numbers. I am also a PADI certified open-water diver, which basically means I can legally rent diving equipment and have a scuba tank filled. It also means I won’t have to hire an extra person to monitor the beautiful coral reefs of the Caribbean. As an IE tech, I am also qualified to analyze the effect of manmade global cooling upon indigenous industries. For example, the Mount Gay Rum distillery in Barbados relies heavily on homegrown sugar cane. If the island becomes too cold to grow sugar cane, the rum industry is done. The same goes for Cuban tobacco, Mexican tequila and Dominican baseball players.

It is not enough that we keep track of temperatures for the next 10 years. We must legislate changes just in case global cooling is real. We must immediately accelerate deforestation of rain forests, lest they become ice forests. Bring back freon and aerosol cans before it’s too late. Call the president and your representatives and urge them to fund this program. Don’t worry, it won’t be taxpayer money. It will be government money.

Bruce La Rue is trying to avoid the big chill in Mt. Ulla.

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