The Madness Chronicles – Episode 39

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In our 39th episode of the Madness Chronicles, we’ll look at the madness of climate change. Remember, madness is a state of being mentally ill, severely, extremely foolish behavior, and a form of frenzied or chaotic activity. Let’s take a look at the madness of believing what these folks predict.

We approach the time of a new President in the United States who miraculously won an improbable election, reopening us to the excellent climate debate once again. Already the United Nations is suddenly calling for every nation on earth to declare a ‘climate emergency.’ A reasonable person might ask, ‘based on what?’ The answer is always ‘look at the science.’

Okay, science comes from scientists, so what have they had to say? The Los Angeles Times reported in 1967, a warning from renowned Stanford University scientist Paul Ehrlich. He warned that it was already too late to prevent a disastrous famine that would happen by 1975. Based on current obesity statistics in the country, we must have dodged a bullet? Ehrlich, a population biologist, predicted in 1969 that by 1989 everyone on earth would disappear in a cloud of blue smoke. I guess he dodged the bullet this time when we all had to quit smoking.

Moving along, in 1970, we had a couple more beauties to worry us sick. The New York Times reported that pollution expert James P. Lodge Jr. said that a new ice age would be upon us in the next five to ten years. Backing up Lodge was NASA’s S. I. Rasool, who predicted the massive decrease in temperatures would be so severe as to trigger an ice age. We could use some of that ‘ice’ here in 2020, according to experts anyway.

Since I was alive back then, I can attest I didn’t get any colder than usual. Yet, Brown University scientists wrote President Nixon in 1972. After looking at data on the ocean’s floor, they told the President the coming global cooling would be an order of magnitude greater than anything the world had ever seen. That sounds like a lot of ice, and Nixon had his own problems to deal with, so he ignored them.

Things still weren’t cooling down, but in 1974 the London Guardian pushed the ice age with an article proclaiming ‘the ice age is coming fast.’ The New York times bounced back in 1976, reviewing a book by Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Schneider warned that there were insufficient food reserves to offset the coming famines. While Schneider didn’t say this, I can only surmise the famines will be caused by the ice age? And my assumption must be right because two years later, in 1978, the Associated Press reported no end in sight for the ice age.

With no ice showing up, the predictions disappeared until a voice was heard from the Maldives. The always reliable Lansing State Journal warned people to prepare for ‘long hot summers’. They then reported that Hussein Shihab, no relation to Saddam, the Environmental Affairs Director for the Maldives, claimed the island nation would be underwater by 2018. While it’s not confirmed, it’s believed reporters were scrambling to figure out where the hell the Maldives were and what would put them underwater. Melting ice, maybe.

In 1989 the Associated Press once again warned Americans. They reported that New York City’s West Side Highway would be totally underwater by 2019. Yet, in another Festivus miracle, I believe it is still there and not even wet unless it rains. Search as I might, even with the mighty Google, I could not find an AP retraction of that ‘no end to the ice age’ article of eleven years earlier.

Then we have Al Gore’s colossal stack of predictions that went nowhere. We’d forgive Al because he’s not a scientist, but he ripped us off and became a billionaire. Of late, we have the irascible Alexandria Ocasio-Communist who is sure we will all be toast, literally, in ten years max. But, she could have heard that down at the bar, who knows?

I don’t know about you but call me a climate skeptic because this, my friends, is the kind of ‘science’ I might have done way back in high school. Then again, I skipped fifty-five days of school my senior year; that couldn’t have been me.

May we wake from this madness before it’s too late. I wish you good health, and until next time, have fun, enjoy life, and watch out for the madness amongst us. It’s 2020, look around; it’s outrageous.

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