OK, it’s official. Obama vs. McCain. The young, intelligent Democrat black man versus yer basic crusty old Republican white coot—and man, this guy is one white dude. So I’m in. I don’t have to read an editorial or see even one debate or town hall meeting. I’ve seen the crusty old Republican coot act for the last eight years, and I’m not impressed. Face it, Bush, although not anywhere near as crusty as McCain, Dole or Reagan, has been basically nothing more than a tool for Cheney and his Neo-Cons, and you don’t get much older or crustier than that bunch. It’s a total no-brainer—give the country to the fresh, young, charismatic guy, and see what he can do. At the very least, America will again have a president who can string together a series of complete sentences.
Recent statements in This Space about global warming netted more pissy letters than all pissy letters in the last year combined. So that’s what it takes to get you cranks cranked up, eh? OK, dandy. It was interesting to see that many of the communiqués inferred or outright accused me of being some kind of Gore sycophant. Yes, I thought Al did a good job in his movie in conveying some basic and irrefutable data. But I’m not “buying into” global warming because he says it’s so; I’m buying into it because the evidence is mountainous. Yet many in the anti-global warming crowd think that just because Gore’s pants were pulled down around his ankles by those misleading news stories about the power bills at his Tennessee mansion, well, then the phenomenon itself must be a steaming crock of environmental claptrap. Puh-leez. That’s like saying that since Reverend Jimmy Swaggart found solace in the company of working girls, we can write off Christianity as unworthy of further philosophical consideration.
Speaking of global warming, it’s looking more and more as though “warming” might just be too gentle of a word. “Heating” might be a better choice. Or maybe even “baking.” In his new book, Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, reporter Mark Lynas describes the large-scale effects that will result as the average global temperature goes up, 1 Celsius degree at a time. To summarize, a rise of 1 degree is pretty bad, but we’ll be able to deal with it. Two degrees, not so good. As in “uh-oh.” Six degrees, you don’t wanna be around. Chances are, you won’t. By the way, the latest estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international organization that reviews hundreds of climactic papers and studies a year, predicts the rise of global average temperature between now and 2100 to be from 1.1 to 6.4 degrees C. Depending a great deal on how many members of the Ostrichian Denial Party get elected to the congresses and parliaments of the planet in the immediate future.