First off, I am not necessarily a climate change denier. I believe the earth is probably getting warmer, and doing so at a rate not unlike what it’s done for thousands of years. I don’t believe that human-made carbon emissions are the root of this rise, but I understand why eco-freaks dispense their doomsday theories. They’re simply starting high by exaggerating potential outcomes in their negotiations to achieve their real desired policy changes. Fine.
However, on the other hand, I think it unwise to write all-encompassing economic policy with too many unknown variables based off of computer models that predict what MIGHT happen given a complex set of events. Anthropogenic emissions leading to catastrophic climate change remains a theory. It’s not fact, it’s one of about 100 outcomes depending on advances in technology, rate of worldwide development, the off-chance of a worldwide plague, and the infinitesimal chance that the Messiah comes back to Earth (or for the first time, if you’re Jewish).
Just because trumpeting conservation, weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels, and reducing our overall global footprint makes for good policy, doesn’t mean we’re unequivocally doomed if we don’t do it at the rate environmental extremists would like. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do these things, I’m saying we should. But I don’t advocate doing so at the expense of collapsing our economy while the rest of the world continues business-as-usual.
I’m not afraid of catastrophic climate change. I’m also not really afraid of the hideous economic quagmire that would result from overblown global warming corrective measures. These things tend to work themselves out. What scares me most is the prospect of listening to unfunny assholes crack wise ‘til the end of time about it. Whenever the weather does something weird, every hack comedian you meet on the street has a joke ready for you.
“Jesus H. Testicles, it’s cold today!”
“Yeah, so much for that global warming, eh? HAAAAWWWWR~!!!”
“Fuck me, it’s hot. Shoulda put deodorant on my balls before I left the house.”
“Yeah, global warming, huh? Hahaha!” (This joke is usually followed with a pointy elbow in the ribs from the jagoff who told it.)
These have become the most trite jokes on the planet and now stand as my least favorite jokes ever, just edging out when people say, “Why don’t you tell me how you really feel?” after an angry diatribe.
I personally blame Al Gore and “An Inconvenient Truth” for putting global warming in the front of everyone’s consciousness and unintentionally spawning this uninspired, unfunny twaddle. It’s the easiest joke ever created, therefore inherently not funny.
Debate the merits of Gore’s claims all you want – whatever your beliefs, you’re probably not entirely wrong – but one thing can’t be denied: Al Gore has given unfunny people another way to be unfunny.
If someone around you makes this joke, get a stick and hit them. Then say, “No!” like they’re a little dog and they’ve just pee-peed on the carpet.
It’s not funny. You’re not clever. Stop making this joke.
If not for me, do it for the children.
22 May 2008 E Dagger