A dire new climate forecast is coming out in a few weeks, and everybody’s temperature is going to go up again.
The scariest thing in this report by the United Nations is the possibility that sea levels could rise as much as three feet by 2100. That’s 36 inches, a full yard, the head-to-toe height of a typical pre-school kid.
That much additional ocean would end most August vacations at the beach — or bring them a lot closer to home, like the shores of the Potomac River in Washington. The Tidal Basin would finally live up to its name, and Georgetown could be the departure point for deep sea fishing charters.
So this report, one of a series by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will undoubtedly kick up a storm because it’s considered one of the most sober and responsible assessments around. It’s updated every six years or so by several hundred scientists from around the world. This one was leaked to The New York Times a few days ago, probably by somebody who owns real estate on high ground in Montgomery County.
I’m here to say, however, that this whole climate change thing is overblown. While there does seem to be some sea level rise, some ice melt, some increase in air pollution, it’s not because we’re fouling the air with unnecessary trips to the mall. I’ve done a lot of research, and found that the real reasons are as follows:
Rising ocean levels are being caused by the increasing numbers of huge boats chugging back and forth around the globe hauling widgets, woblets and wooters from one place to another. Since the advent of shipping containers back in the 1970s, thousands and thousands of big cargo vessels have shoved off from China, Japan and South Korea to deliver stuff people just can’t live without.
The result? Rising seas.
It’s obvious. Put a concrete block in the bathtub, and what happens? The water level goes up. Same thing with oceans. Put thousands of container ships in the water, and what do you get? Higher sea levels.
I had an idea that this was going on but no clue as to the depth of it until I heard an interview recently on the NPR “Fresh Air” program. A British writer named Rose George has come out with a book called “Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car and Food on Your Plate.”
She told host Terry Gross that more than 100,000 container ships “carry a vast amount of stuff … drugs, pharmaceuticals, batteries, airbags, anything. And at every port across the world they are taking on thousands of tons of cargo and discharging thousands of tons of cargo … .”
Well, the solution to this is obvious: Buy fewer drugs and airbags, etc., at least ones made by foreigners. Make our own stuff, melt the cargo ships into license plates for our cars and sea levels will recede. Ocean City and its boardwalk will be saved.
Another thing: this claim that Arctic and Antarctic ice is melting because of increasing levels of carbon dioxide from riding mowers, weekend motorcycle outlaws and I-270 commuters is completely bogus. The real reason, one that’s just now becoming apparent, is the clouds of gases from thousands of rotting pig carcasses that the Chinese dump in their rivers.
It seems that the recent incident of piggy pollution in the Huangpu (“p-u” is right) River flowing through Shanghai is just the tip of the iceberg, if you will. If one group of Chinese farmers can dump 6,600 dead hogs in the water, do you think the idea hasn’t occurred to others with sick swine? News reports I’ve read say the practice may be widespread but officially unacknowledged.
Finally, the idea that climate-changing air pollution is getting so bad that you can’t see stars at night in many parts of the world is just poppycock. The scientists who say this aren’t reading their own magazines.
The astrophysicists’ latest theories about the Universe say it’s expanding, and at an alarmingly fast rate. Common sense tells you that we can’t see the stars as well as we used to simply because they’re getting farther and farther away.
If you really want something to worry about, consider this: The Universe will double in size in 11.4 billion years, and our night sky will be completely black, except maybe for the bits of rock in our own solar system — if our sun doesn’t fizzle out first.
So leave me alone with this global warming stuff. I’ve got more important things to worry about. I’m trying to find a place to take pictures of the Big Dipper, just in case.