A  tremendous amount of controversy has been generated about the issue of global warming. The proponents of that argument say that the argument is over, and anybody who disagrees “just doesn’t understand.” In my case, they are right; I don’t understand the lack of reasoning or understanding of the basic science that I’m expected to swallow.

Before we expend our labor or treasure on fixing this problem, we need to wade through the preliminary factors involved.

 1. Does global warming actually exist? Since the temperature actually has declined for the past few years and we only have been able to accurately measure temperature for about 150 years, there is strong doubt among the scientific community that this change, if any, is actually occurring over a long term.

2. Did humans cause it? Fossil evidence shows that the temperature of the earth has experienced cyclic variations, long before the advent of the Hummer. Strangely enough, there is evidence of temperature variation on other planets, such as Mars, a planet that doesn’t even have any roads, let alone Hummers.

3. Would the effects of global warming be good or bad? This is a subjective question. It depends on whom you asked. A slight increase in temperature certainly would help a lot of farmers. Extending the productive latitudes northward would provide food and profit for a lot of people. On the other hand, people who built houses on low-lying barrier islands might have to grow webbed feet. An increase in temperature would stimulate plant growth to the detriment of glaciers. I like ice in my drinks as well as anybody, but I like fried okra, too.

4. Can we fix it? This is the crux of the matter, but the previous questions must be answered first. A few people can start a truck rolling down hill, but they can’t stop it. And if we can fix it, at what cost? Is it worth it to cripple the economy in the middle of a recession, while allowing our two biggest competitors in the world economy to operate with impunity? It is penultimate hubris to think that we can effect change, at any cost.

 If we don’t answer these questions, in order, there is no possibility of reasonable solution. This conundrum seems to have left the scientific community and entered the political arena. One thing I’ve learned about politics: Follow the money.

The very same people who insist the sky is falling when it comes to global warming seem to be the same people who thought that communism was the best form of government in the world until the Soviet Union, and most of its satellites collapsed. They needed a new cause – especially one that was scary and confusing and designed for people who don’t bother to do any research, but who do vote. They tried it in the 1970s with the global cooling thing, but it didn’t catch on too well because that wasn’t happening, either. Oh well, this particular chapter of the Flat Earth Society wasn’t as concerned about facts as it was about money and power.

The money started rolling in from people who felt guilty about their extravagant lifestyles, but weren’t willing to give them up. Some of them live on Cape Cod. In true not-in-my-backyard style, they refused to even consider a wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard; it would ruin the view. They donated to green initiatives, and generally decried the evils of CO2 while expelling vast quantities of same. Pretty soon, they ginned up enough votes to propose such things as the Cap and Tax bill.

Now it turns out that this boondoggle only will cost you money if you use electricity or buy gasoline. I guess if I ride a mule and burn a whale-oil lamp, I’m exempt. I have a suggestion: Let’s Cap and Trade Congress in 2010. I can’t see any difference between the two major parties. One party wants to feed us strychnine, and the other recommends cyanide. What a choice! I have only one question for a candidate: Are you in office now?

Now that this misguided minority has control of GM and Chrysler, they have decided to mandate cars that get the same mileage as my bicycle. Since there are only so many BTUs of energy in any given fuel and even at 100-percent efficiency, it’s not going to produce any spectacular gains; the only thing to do is make cars smaller and lighter – but not cheaper. All this striving for the impossible will drive the cost of transportation through the roof. Solution: Let the free market decide what kind of cars it wants to drive.

When you consider the unintended consequences of the green movement, consider this: They are not unintended. This is a power grab that will be carved in stone soon if we don’t think, learn, research and vote. Actually proving global warming may take hundreds, or perhaps, thousands of years.

Another interesting side note. Have you noticed that the environmental crowd no longer likes to use the term “global warming?” They now say “climate change.” That’s a Trojan-style, one-size-fits-all concept. What change? Hotter? Colder? Wetter? Drier? It doesn’t make any difference – we have to do something now. Like march, lemming-like, off the cliff – after emptying our wallets and ruining our economy.

If you want to understand the most probable cause of climate change, go outside and look up at that big bright light in the sky. The sun made our climate possible, and minor changes in the output of it make major changes. Think of the Ice Ages. The sun helps feed us, and makes our planet a habitable place. I almost can understand the sun-worshipers. I doubt that such a small, insignificant johnny-come-lately as humankind can do anything but ride along and hope Ol’ Sol continues in a benevolent manner.  ND