How about this weather, huh? For the past couple of weeks, Chicago has been enjoying some incredibly nice weather. Some years we’d still be having snow and -10 temperatures around this time, and most years it’d be consistently miserable between now and May. Not this year; we’ve come off one of the warmest Chicago winters in history, and according to my friend the warmest Oct. 1st – Mar. 1st in Chicago’s history. It was above freezing more often than not, or at least it felt like it, and we never got anything resembling a normal Chicago winter (many, many weeks of -30F with wind chill).
The lines between seasons have always been somewhat blurred here, with “Spring” and “Fall” really just being periods of palsied fluctuation between blazing hot and bitter cold, and such periods never abiding by the three-month periods convention has set aside for them. But even this, what we’ve been having recently, is abnormal. Weather nationwide has been erratic for the past couple years, with Tornado Alley moving further South and East, the Northeast experiencing Midwest-style ice storms and blizzards, and the Pacific Northwest starting to get actual snow. It’s climactic change on a grand scale, no doubt about it.
No self-respecting scientist can say that the climate isn’t changing. Some scientists say it can’t be proven whether mankind is causing it, even if the evidence suggests it is. Well, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, you can’t prove that a fart on a crowded elevator is caused by mankind either. Most people are going to assume the culprit is an inconsiderate fellow passenger. Said passenger will never admit to it of course; that passenger would most likely be the one to bring up alternative theories (“Could be a mechanical problem with the elevator”), or to sow mistrust and blame the other passengers (“It could have been any of us!”), or even to pay hush money to the passengers behind them (the most directly affected) to avoid public ridicule. Or maybe said passenger is in an astronomically higher socio-economic strata than the other passengers, possibly being their boss, and thus doesn’t give a damn about them or their discomfort and unabashedly lets rip at every opportunity. We can call that last one “Bad Passenger,” or “BP” for short.
Replace “elevator” with “world,” and the culprit with a polluting industry and, well, you get the idea. The politics behind the Global Warming “debate” don’t really get any more advanced or mature than that, at least from what I can see. People are probably going to waste time with the “debate” until our coasts flood and our crops wither, at which time the parties/corporations most heavily in denial will magically (hopefully) have on hand the products and technology we need to save our asses, for a price we can’t afford not to pay. Until then, though, I’ll at least be able to enjoy the mild winters up here on the Chicago Riviera; there’ll be less frozen beards, less claiming my shoveled-out parking space with lawn chairs, and maybe less potholes in the summer. There’s always a silver lining, eh?