And I do! Oh how I love it. And irony too. Oh, and while we’re at it, I enjoy laughing. A lot.
Which is why I like this article titled “A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never!“.
Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this weekâ€™s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesnâ€™t mean a thing.
It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas â€” fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than theyâ€™ve ever been â€” the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if theyâ€™re somehow connected.
If you did wonder, you see, you would also have to wonder about whether this yearâ€™s record snowfalls and rainfalls across the Midwest â€” resulting in record flooding along the Mississippi â€” could somehow be related. And then you might find your thoughts wandering to, oh, global warming, and to the fact that climatologists have been predicting for years that as we flood the atmosphere with carbon we will also start both drying and flooding the planet, since warm air holds more water vapor than cold air.
Itâ€™s very important to stay calm. If you got upset about any of this, you might forget how important it is not to disrupt the record profits of our fossil fuel companies. If worst ever did come to worst, itâ€™s reassuring to remember what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the Environmental Protection Agency in a recent filing: that thereâ€™s no need to worry because â€œpopulations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations.â€ Iâ€™m pretty sure thatâ€™s what residents are telling themselves in Joplin today.
So yeah, I laughed. But I also wanted to cry. I think often about just what kind of world we are leaving for the kids. While we have professions in “social media”, they’ll have professions in “global clean up” and “how to make rafts out of credit cards”.
I personally know several people who go absolutely frothing at the mouth at the very notion of “global warming”. Each time we got yet another snow storm or the temps stayed below freezing for the second week, there they’d go ranting and raving about how if it is a “global warming”, why is it snowing outside?”. Heavy sigh.
Which reminds me of a joke/parable.
There’s this place that has flood watch out. Neighbors say do you need anything? Guy says no, God will provide.
Then it is a flood warning and they’re told to evacuate. Neighbors say come with us and guy says no, God will provide.
Water is lapping at his porch and the local police, along with the Nat’l Guard, offer him a ride in their Hummer. No, the guy says, God will provide.
Water is now up to the second floor and a rescue boat comes by but, that’s right, the guy says God will provide.
The flood is now up to his roof and the guy clings to the chimney. Helicopter lowers a rescuer but, nope, God will provide.
The guy drowns and he’s standing in Heaven and he says God, why didn’t you provide?
God says “I did, you idiot! I sent your neighbors twice then a Hummer, a boat, and a helicopter!”
So Gaia and God have been trying to tell us we’re about to drown (metaphorically speaking. maybe) yet, we just ignore them.