Agree to Disagree
Debate in a non-hostile environment
Solving Global Warming is easy
Warning – this story is meant to be funny, and a bit silly. I am a big Monty Python fan. I never really wanted to write this story. I wanted to be a lumberjack. Leaping from tree to tree, as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia…
I recently read an article, which claimed that the whole human race would be dead or dying, because of global warming, by the year 2045. That is the year, when the article predicted that we would exceed the +1.5 degrees Celsius temperature limit. The article must be correct, because it was calculated using a linear regression.
I think that we should be Open Minded about this. If people want to write articles that terrify children so much, that they can’t sleep at night, then they should at least get the facts correct.
Try this quick exercise. Find out the average temperature, of the city that you live in. Now add 2.0 to that average temperature, to find out what your cities global warming average temperature will be. Now look to see how many cities around the world, already have a temperature that is that high, or higher. I am willing to bet, that you will find dozens, if not hundreds, of cities around the world, which already have a temperature that is greater that your city’s global warming temperature. The important question to ask is, are the people who live in these hundreds of cities, already dead, or dying? I think that you know what the answer is.
This story was written, to make fun of the people who write articles to scare children. Although it is written in a light-hearted way, there is a serious message hidden in the story (at least there was, the last time I checked). Is global warming really going to be as bad as the merchants of doom, claim?
I will finish this introduction, with some wise words from Monty Python’s Galaxy Song (just the last 2 lines).
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.
I find it very upsetting, to see large numbers of people in distress. People worrying about what global warming is going to mean, for the future. The disaster that global warming will bring to them, their children, animals, plants, humanity in general, and the entire earth.
Please people, show some pity. Get these people to move somewhere else, so that I don’t have to see them.
You may think that I am a callous person. But I believe that sitting around moaning, and expecting other people to solve the problem of global warming, is NOT going to work. I have made my own Plan B, to save humanity, and the earth, should the Paris Accord, and our politicians, fail us.
And the bonus is, my plan is lot cheaper than all of the current plans. A few statues of me, in major cities. A few honourary degrees (I have always wanted a PhD in Global Warming Contour Maps). And the proceeds from auctioning the names of popular cities (more on that, later).
My plan is so cunning, that (as my friend Baldrick would say), you could put a tail on it, and call it a weasel.
I started, by considering the current range of temperatures, on earth. Using very round figures, they vary from −30 at the poles, to +30 at the equator (all temperatures are given in degrees Celsius). And humanity, that adaptable little creature, can survive in most of these temperatures.
Then I considered the normal daily range of temperatures, over land. It is about 10 degrees Celsius. It is pretty obvious, that humanity is never going to survive a +1.5 or +2.0 degrees Celsius increase in temperature, on top of the daily burden, of 10 degrees Celsius. People die EVERY day, and I blame it on the extreme 10 degree Celsius fluctuations that we face, EVERY day (sorry, my left index finger keeps getting stuck on the left shift key, EVERY time I type the word EVERY).
People think that I am a pessimist. But really, I am a realist. And what could be “realer”, than the seasons. Winter (lovely cold temperatures), summer (horrible hot temperatures), and insipid autumn and spring. Whoever invented “seasons”, has got a lot to answer for. Murder for one thing. Many nice people are murdered every summer, by high temperatures. It can be 20 or 30 degrees Celsius hotter in summer, than it is in winter. Winter is a lovely time of year. Very few people die from high temperatures in winter.
To impose a +1.5 or +2.0 degrees Celsius increase in temperature, on top of the already inhuman 20 or 30 degrees Celsius of summer, is, well…, inhuman. Drastic measures are needed.
My original Plan B, was to have a nuclear war, and cause a nuclear winter. But then I realised, that I was being silly. Who would be able to see the statues of me, in major cities, if the whole world was radioactive. I sensibly renamed this “Plan B”, to “Plan C”.
But what was I to do? People needed my help. I promised myself, that I would not let them down.
Desperate times, call for desperate measures. So I went down to the local orchard, and had a nap, under an apple tree. Nothing happened for a long time. Then suddenly, something hit me on the head. I looked down, and saw a red apple, rolling away from me, on the ground. I had been hit on the head by an apple. When I touched my head, where it had been hit by the apple, my head felt slightly warmer than normal. Eureka! Now I knew. Global warming was caused by gravity. As pieces of fruit fell from trees, their velocity increases due to gravity. That meant that their momentum also increases (p=mv, I was always good at Physics at school). When the pieces of fruit hit the ground, the energy due to the momentum, is converted into heat energy (he=mf^2, where “he” is the heat energy, m is the fruits mass (or momentum), and f^2 is the fruits velocity (or speed) squared).
For some reason, this all seemed familiar. I quickly calculated how many pieces of fruit, would fall off trees, all over the earth, over a year. There must be millions, possibly billions. And each one, was increasing the temperature of the earth, by a very small amount. I have never liked grapefruit. To me, they seem to be too smug. And now I knew, being heavier than most other fruits, grapefruits were responsible for most of the increase in the earth’s temperature. I stood up, and looked around, to count the number of fallen apples. It was important that I was scientific about this. I didn’t want other scientists to laugh at me, when I told them my theory. I needed scientific evidence. And there it was. The Thompson twins, the little b*****ds. They had thrown the apple at me. Global warming wasn’t caused by gravity.
You can see, how frustrating being a scientist is. I had a Nobel prize (or perhaps, 1/2 a Nobel prize, plus a statue in a major city), almost within my reach, and the Thompson twins had ruined it all. I would have to be even more scientific (if that was possible), to solve the problem of global warming. I picked up a big stick, and started chasing the Thompson twins, through the orchard. My science skills told me that they were too fast for me to catch. So I decided to cut across the orchard, to ambush them where the orchard meets the road.
I wasn’t watching where I was putting my feet, and I tripped over a soccor ball (the bl***y Thompson twins again), which had been left sitting in my path. I crashed into a large lemon tree, and collapsed into an undignified heap on the ground. I was feeling a bit woozy, which is strange, because I don’t even know what the word “woozy” means.
I looked up at the lemon tree, and a large unripe lemon fell from the tree, and hit me right between the eyes. In a daze, I remembered hearing somebody say, in the past, that if life gives you lemons, then you should make lemonade. When I had originally heard this, I remember thinking that, because I don’t like lemonade, I was going to have to pay for a couple of oranges, so that I could make orange-ade.
Suddenly, I had it. A plan so simple, that it could have been called a “moron” (I was still a bit dizzy from the lemon hitting me).
If life gives you global warming, then you should make global-warming-ade.
The problem of global warming, is “all in people’s minds”. If we could get rid of peoples minds, then there wouldn’t be a problem. Hold on, I didn’t say that correctly. Give me a minute, for my head to clear.
What if we looked at global warming, as a gift, rather than a problem.
A bit like saying that the glass is half full, rather than half empty.
What if global warming led to cooperation between all countries, and world peace.
An earth, where all citizens worked towards living in harmony with nature. No more plastic bags. Weekends spent saving stranded whales. Endless forests of wind turbines, chopping birds into tiny pieces. Huge expanses of solar cells covering the landscape, so that nothing natural can survive.
My head finally cleared. My plan had just been an empty vision, brought on by lemon induced concussion.
But wait. There was something at the back of my mind, trying to get my attention. It was on the tip of my tongue. I reached up, and found that there was an angry wasp, on the tip of my tongue. I suddenly realised, that the thing at the back of my mind, that was trying to get my attention, was a whole nest full of angry wasps, enraged because the back of my head had made a new entrance into their nest.
I quickly withdrew from the situation, and cursed my rotten luck. I thought about the Thompson twins, and how, if I caught them, I would turn then into, …………..… , postal workers!
Postal workers! That was it. Postal workers have had to adapt to a world full of emails. Nobody sent letters any more, unless they wanted money from you. Everybody else used email. Why hadn’t postal workers gone extinct, at the end of the last ice age.
My mind raced. I was finally getting somewhere. Maybe postal workers had adapted, by offering people other services, to fill the gap left by the drop in the number of letters. Perhaps they had started walking dogs, or had learned how to repair crashed drones (one of the fastest growing business opportunities, in the 21st century).
I could hear a buzzing in my head. Were the wasps coming back? My mind was spinning. Global warming, lemons, glasses half full, postal workers, walking dogs, delivering letters while walking dogs, delivering letters using drones, delivering letters to addresses, addresses in cities, cities getting hotter, global warming, … Stop!!! That was it. The solution to global warming. It was so simple. Why hadn’t I seen it sooner.
I rushed home to use my computer. Luckily, I am a computer programmer, so I knew to switch it on at the wall, first. I quickly googled average temperatures in American cities. I would try out my plan on America first, and if it worked, I would apply it to the rest of the world.
I sorted all of the cities, so that they went from the lowest average temperature, to the highest averge temperature. Now, I had to estimate, how bad global warming was going to be. Should I use +1.5 degrees Celsius as the limit. I laughed to myself, maybe global warming will make elephants shrink, until they are the size of mice. Hold on a minute, I thought, elephants have been living in Africa, one of the hottest places on the planet, for many millions of years. Why haven’t they shrunk to the size of mice already. Elephants are the biggest land animal in the world (ha, ha, you thought that I was going to make a mistake, because blue whales are the biggest animal in the world. But I said “land”, so there).
If scientists had been so wrong about global warming causing shrinking animals, then I couldn’t rely on them being right about the +1.5 degrees Celsius limit. I would have to use the +2.0 degrees Celsius limit. Secretly, I was glad, because I didn’t really like fractions. I don’t trust them. They are too in-betweeny. I much preferred whole numbers, or, as us mathematicians call them, integers.
Anyway, there wasn’t time to waste on complex subjects like fractions. I had a world, to save. People were relying on me. Even if they didn’t know it. Perhaps I should have some sort of a costume, and a cool sounding name. Like Batman, or Superman. When they made statues of me, for all of the major cities, would the statue be wearing my costume? I had to keep a cool head. I would talk to the statue makers later.
First. I had some cities to save.
Minneapolis, average temperature 8 degrees Celsius.
Denver, average temperature 10 degrees Celsius
The average temperature of Minneapolis, would obviously increase to 10 degrees Celsius, with global warming.
How would the people cope. Hold on, what if we changed the name of Minneapolis, and called it Denver. Then people would expect the average temperature to be 10 degrees Celsius.
Everybody would be happy.
You see, managing global warming, is all about managing peoples expectations.
I did a quick survey in Minneapolis, and 11 percent of the people who live there, would rather live in Denver anyway. These people will get to live where they want to, without any moving costs.
That is not the only interesting result. A further 17 percent of the people who live in Minneapolis, don’t like living there. These people will get the opportunity to live somewhere else, simply by changing the name of the city.
I know what you are thinking. What about the poor people who live in the real Denver?
Well, the average temperature in Denver, is going to increase to 12 degrees Celsius.
It just so happens, that Cincinnati currently has an average temperature of 12 degrees Celsius.
If we changed the name of Denver, to be Cincinnati, then everybody would be happy.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “where does this guy get his good ideas from”. I put it down to genetics, and clean living.
Anyway, to save time, here is the chain of name changes.
Minneapolis becomes Denver
Denver becomes Cincinnati
Cincinnati becomes Kansas City
Kansas City becomes Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City becomes Memphis
Memphis becomes Jacksonville
Jacksonville becomes Houston
Houston becomes Phoenix
I have to be honest with you. There is still one problem that I haven’t solved. Miami.
The average temperature of Miami, is 25 degrees Celsius. Global warming will increase Miami’s average temperature to 27 degrees Celsius. There are currently no cities in America, which have an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. So we can’t just change Miami’s name.
There is well known saying, “Think globally, act locally”. I decided that I could use this saying, to solve this last problem.
We will change the name of Miami, to be “Think globally, act locally”.
The people in Miami, would spend so much time complaining about the new name, that they wouldn’t notice the temperature increase from global warming.
Just kidding. You should see your face. You really thought that I was going to do that.
What we are really going to do, is change the name of Miami, to be “Think locally, act globally”.
Got you again. You have to really be “on your toes”, when “Wily Walker” is around.
Anyway, there is a simple solution, to the problem of Miami.
Miami can keep its name. But to solve the problem of global warming in Miami, we simply make it part of Mexico. This simple move, changes Miami from being the warmest city in America, to being the coldest city in Mexico.
Everybody is happy.
This international solution, has a number of other benefits. California can also become part of Mexico. From what I have heard, half of the people that live in California, are Mexican anyway. Not only that, there is a huge cost saving, for the American tax-payer. They won’t need to pay for a wall to be built between Mexico and America.
Sometimes even I wonder how I come up with such great solutions.
There is one last problem. With all of these cities changing their names, how will letters get delivered to the correct addresses. I am way ahead of you here. Remember all those postal workers who don’t have enough work to keep them busy? Bazinga. By the way, Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, stole that from me. You can’t trust anyone nowadays.
Wait. Wait. Where are you going? Wait. I have another good idea. We could create a new unit of temperature, called the “Sheldon”. A “Sheldon” is the same as a “Celsius”, but it is 2 less than the temperature in degrees Celsius. People will feel “cooler”, knowing that the temperature is 35 degrees Sheldon, rather that 37 degrees Celsius. People will hear the same temperature numbers, that they used to hear, before global warming. It’s a win-win situation. Come back.
Alright then, ignore my brilliant ideas. You will soon come crawling back, when the temperatures get warm, next summer. Then it will be, “Oh, help us, Sheldon. We were foolish to ignore you, Sheldon. You can have as many statues in major cities , as you want, Sheldon”. But it will be too late. I will have retired by then, to Miami, Florida. The coldest city in Mexico.