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Let It Snow

October 20, 2009

“You know what they say: if you don’t like the weather in Massachusetts, wait five minutes.” A freakishly early snowfall on Sunday left many New Englanders plugging their ears so as to not be forced to listen to Massachusettsians everywhere utter this Massholian phrase in their typical Massholian tone. Meanwhile, meteorologists everywhere joined together to ask Nature just what the hell was going on. I was just happy I didn’t have to shovel.

Yes, on October 18, long before the leaves began to fall from the trees, snow began to fall from the sky. It felt a tad premature; similar to that one kid in elementary school who had a full beard, even though you were still in 6th grade. Naturally, it brings to the forefront the burning question about the validity of the global warming theory. That’s right, I called it a theory. Just like evolution, gravity, and whether or not the world is actually round, many individuals believe global warming to be the same kind of liberal whining that kept George Bush from winning the Presidency in 2008.

The Earth in 10 years

The Earth in 10 years

It’s an interesting notion; that perhaps the science on global warming is not in fact all that solid, especially since most scientists don’t really understand our planet on a microcosmic level, let alone the temperature fluctuations over the last 100,000 years. The EPA, in fact, notes that there are dozens of factors which influence the global temperature, ranging from volcanic eruptions and ocean currents to the Sun’s intensity and changes in the Earth’s orbit. Basically, a lot of scientists who were definitive in their belief that the Earth was heating up are, deciding, in the last few months, that they aren’t so sure anymore.

Also the Earth in 10 years

Also the Earth in 10 years

At this point it seems equally likely that we could all be living in a giant ice cube by 2020 as it is that we could be trying to survive on a massive charcoal briquette. But I suppose that’s fair, because as we all know, Science isn’t an exact science.

Remember the Duke University study in 2002 that claimed coffee has major toxic effects on the body and amplified stress in people who drank it everyday? Neither did I, that’s why I had to Google it. Many individuals took this study as proof that coffee was bad for you, at least until a 2004 Harvard University study stated that long-term consumption of coffee helped decrease the risk for type-2 diabetes.  Wait, what? So science firmly states that coffee can either kill you or keep you from getting diabetes? Yeah, pretty much.

All I’m saying is that maybe, before everyone decides whether or not humanity is going to be destroyed by giant slabs of possibly flaming ice, we place this issue in a broader spectrum than just “humans are causing the global temperature to rise.” Yes, fear gets things done. Nobody would be trying to decrease carbon emissions if politicians and scientists were claiming that the Earth could, possibly, though not definitely, in all likelihood, maybe, be warming due, in large part but not entirely, to the Industrial Revolution. Has there been a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the last 150 years? Absolutely. There no reason to not at least try to minimize the garbage humanity is throwing into the ozone layer. But it’s a little egotistical of us to think that it’s the only reason the Earth is getting warmer.

I know, I know; if you think Global Warming is a hoax then you must be a conservative-crazed, polar bear-hating, seal-clubbing, Republican industrialist. Meanwhile, if you believe Global Warming is true then you must be a liberal-

And I bet you think puppies are cute too

And I bet you think puppies are cute too

loving, granola-eating, dolphin-humping, Democrat environmentalist. It’s really just not that simple. I love a good dolphin humping just as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean Global Warming is hard science. And it’s true, I hate polar bears (look at those vicious little cretins), but that doesn’t mean Global Warming is total garbage. There has to be a middle ground.

Think about it a different way: humanity has already survived major climate change. Throughout the last ice age, known as the Pleistocene epoch, Homo sapiens were thriving. In fact, we did so well that we beat out the competition of Homo neanderthalensis and began creating complex civilizations around the world. Around 10,000 years ago, as the world was beginning to warm up again during the Holocene era,

The guy who probably wrote the Bible

The guy who probably wrote the Bible

civilizations around the world created their creation stories, virtually all of which center around a major flood episode. So it’s a fair bet that there was, in fact, a major flood. It leaves a bit of a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths – since it’s very likely a caveman probably gave rise to religion – but it doesn’t make it any less likely.

Humanity is an incredibly adaptable species, and the Earth is even more adaptable than we are. I realize we’re all freaked out by the fact that the world is changing around us, and that half of us may drown in the next 20 years, but trust me, both humanity and the world are going to be fine. Just because the turkeys for Thanksgiving will be frozen this year, whether hunted or store-bought, doesn’t mean there’s any reason to freak out. Besides, even if the Earth floods, like a poorly-plumbed toilet after someone eats Mexican food, and all of humanity is wiped out completely, I highly doubt the polar bears are going to miss us.

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