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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 06/29/2012

Friday rant; Apocrypha Now! edition

The supposed Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times,” is apocryphal, if not apocalyptic. It’s probably not Chinese, but it’s turning out to be true enough in meaning. What makes it a good curse is that it doesn’t sound much like one, until you think about it, which you apparently haven’t. We are creating interesting times for ourselves.

This is apparently the best we can do. Give us a choice between interesting and smart, and well, you know how we usually do on that particular multiple choice test. Take your pick of stories about yet MORE wildfires due to epic dryness and heat, and read. Here’s just one. No, I’m not going to get into the argument about whether THIS particular fire was the specific result of THAT particular CO2 molecule, and if you want to start that argument up again, you still haven’t learned a thing. Just read the story as a taste of what A WARMING CLIMATE WILL DELIVER, even if it isn’t already, which by the way, it is. Is this the world you want to gamble on? Look at it. Look hard. It’s not a debating game anymore. This is precisely the gamble we have been running. And this is precisely the kind of disaster we’re asking for. And it’s only going to get worse. Likely far worse.

You can spend your time instead filling the public discourse with a chaff storm of factoid apocrypha, a smoke screen as dense and choking as the black air in Colorado. Yes, you can do that if you choose. But even in the face of every contrary bit of data and speculation you can find on those “contrarian” websites, the fact remains: there is STILL a growing body of evidence that we are heating the climate. There is simply no way to argue that risk down to zero. So then why would you prescribe a response calibrated to zero? Because it would be interesting?

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 06/29/2012

 
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