Warmer globe could be great
MY RECENT column in which I paddled a kayak in the high-tide-flooded streets of Mapunapuna brought forth its own tide of environmental wackos (and I mean that in the most sensitive and inoffensive way).
Several readers wrote saying that the fact that Ahua Street is flooded with sea water at high tide is proof that global warming is causing the oceans to rise. With all due respect to disciples of Al "Global Warming" Gore, the reason parts of Mapunapuna floods at high tide is not because humans are destroying Earth with greenhouse gases, but because humans decided to build an industrial area on a low-lying tidal marsh.
There's an old saying in the construction industry, especially around places like New Orleans: "He who builds below sea level gets wet." When you live on an island of limited size, humans tend to build in a lot of silly places, like on reefs, in lagoons, near beaches and upon rice paddies (see: Waikiki). When disaster then strikes, it doesn't mean the globe is warming or the sky is falling, it just means people build in stupid places.
AL GORE is the Chicken Little of our time ("The Earth is warming! The Earth is warming!") Time will tell if people are destroying Earth or whether Earth is destroying people. Maybe heating up and flooding itself is just Earth's way of dealing with human infestation. (Earth conjured up the Triassic and Jurassic periods just fine without human help.)
The thing that bothers me about all the doomsayers is that they act like there's nothing good about global warming. And there just has to be.
For instance, I live on a hillside with a long steep driveway. If Earth would warm up a little faster, I might have waterfront property with my own boat ramp.
The obvious practical effect of global warming is that places would be warmer. That means less oil would be needed to heat homes in the northern latitudes, which means fewer greenhouse gases caused by burning oil. Not only would we no longer be slaves to oil owned by people who hate us in the Middle East, but with temperatures there hovering around 345 degrees, our Arab brothers would be forced to buy their ice cubes from OICEC (Organization of Ice Cube Exporting Countries) such as the United States, Canada and Greenland.
SURE, much of Hawaii would be underwater if the polar ice caps melt, but it will be COLD water. The tradewinds will be just that much cooler and soothing. Property rates will soar, and anyone left with dry land will be a zillionaire. If you are seriously worried about global warming, as your columnist, I advise you to buy land on Tantalus and several high-powered rifles.
It's also true that places like Texas and the other Southern states will either be underwater or scorched by ungodly heat. But so what? Environmentalists never liked those states anyway. They were full of rubes and hicks and people who barbecue everything they eat. The Northern states are where the really smart people are and relatively few cattle. In the new warm world order, vegetables will be grown year-round in New England and Vermont, and people will actually eat them, even broccoli.
Another great thing about global warming? Seal pups and polar bear cubs won't be killed for their fur. Eskimos will be a vast new market for fashionable sunbathing attire and Coppertone sunscreen. Of course, it might be tough to sunbathe in the Arctic with sweaty seals and moody polar bears suffering from heat rash roaming all over the place. But you can always kick back at the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve Golf and Racket Club (ANWPGRC).
Despite what Chicken Little Gore says, there's a lot to look forward to as this little planet we call home warms up a bit. The price of exotic cooling cocktails with umbrellas in them, for instance, will have to dramatically drop. Mai tais will be a bargain.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org