According to an article last October in The Seattle Times, the existence of global warming is no longer debated in the scientific community, but rather, regarded as fact. While the mainstream media lags behind, the only question on the minds of scientists is: How bad will it be? Recently, Charles Wiff and Ryan ďMossĒ Yaeger sat down to debate the causes and ramifications of this ongoing phenomenon.
Charles: Now that anyone with an ounce of sense agrees that global warming is occurring on at least some level, the debate must turn to address what the consequences of global warming will be. The effects are already apparent: Buffalo just experienced its warmest January in 56 years, the global temperature is rising steadily, and glaciers are shrinking. It is obvious that global warming will effect a worldwide change large enough to destroy life as we know it.
Moss: There you go, Mr. Wiff, following after your surname and missing the point. You donít even give a moment to consider the immense benefits global warming has to offer. Destroy life as we know it? Have you been outside lately? Itís been great to be able to venture outside and bask in those few rare instances of Buffalo sunshine and not lose an extremity to frostbite.
C: Itíll be hard to enjoy that sunlight when you have to encase your genitals in lead to protect your sperm from the fierce radiation of the sun. I refuse to let my boys die in a furious blast of gamma rays! On the plus side, when those glaciers recede do you know what will be left? Cavemen. Thatís right, cavemen on ice. Remember Encino Man? The stone age meets the rock age, baby!
M: The stoned age, you mean. Hippie.
C: As I suspected, you overlook that with a warmer Buffalo will also come a new shoreline. The great Atlantic will wash over the city of New York, submerge most of the stateís central townships, and stop somewhere at our wrinkled, melanoma-infested feet. The entire country will reduce in size with the rise in temperature, just like a red, white, and blue shrinky-dink.
M: Well, I say youíre not looking at the options! Aquatic tourism will spring up overnight with people longing to see the great city of New York as though it was some sort of Neo-Atlantis. As for loss of landmassóitís not the size; itís how you use it. With warmer climates, parts of America (North Dakota, for example), will suddenly become not only inhabitable, but desirable. And as for your ďboys,Ē by the time youíre retired, they probably will be too.
C: As your opponent, I advise you not to worry about my testicular fortitude. Whether the effects of global warming will have a negative or positive impact is unclear, but so much time is spent debating the existence of the problem that we no longer search for a solution. We should be spending our time developing an engine that emits fresh-bread scent and runs on the power of love.
M: Fresh-bread scent? Thereís a half-baked idea if ever I heard one. And besides, I think they made that back in the Ď60s. The Love Bug. Perhaps you remember it, and then remember it ran on a tank of good olí, polluting gasoline.
C: Ironically enough, one of the reasons most Americans donít realize the reality of global warming is also one of the largest contributors to the problem: oil companies. Big Oil has been funneling money into studies disputing the existence of global warming for years. They fear a realization of the problem might further entice development of alternative energy sources and reduce the use of oil. And itís workingówhere exactly are you going to refuel your hydrogen cell-powered car when youíre on the road?
M: So, theyíre pulling the same wool over my eyes that Big Tobacco has been? [Moss pauses to light a cigarette] As you can see, Iím shocked and appalled. I suppose next youíre going to tell me that cigarette smoke is also a factor in global warming. Well, Iím already addicted to smoking, and now Bush tells me Iím addicted to oil. Hook me up with the olí Petro-Patch!
C: Alright, stay with me on this. Global warming has caused the temperatures to rise nationwide. While that means better weather for the north, the summers in the southern states are becoming torturous, which is where, coincidentally, most of the troops in the U.S. armed forces are recruited. Obviously these recruits, many lacking the means to leave the south, are merely searching for free air conditioning. The increased use of A/C, however, stretched our fuel sources even thinner and necessitated a need for cheap fuel. Ergo, global warming caused the Iraq War!
M: And here I thought nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, a ruthless dictator, and a son looking to finish the work of his father were to blame. Well, if thatís the case, maybe we should just take whatís left of the oil and get the fuck outta Dodge. Blast off for Mars and hope for the best.
C: And thatís how we solved global warming!