Addison Gardner: Always Right |

Addison Gardner: Always Right

Addison Gardner
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

It’s Inauguration Day, and Obama’s processional to Washington (astride a Democrat donkey, amid pulsing palm fronds) has about it the air of unfolding prophecy.

Last summer’s Obam-oration, “This was the moment when the rise of oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” is already being realized, retroactively, by the recovery of Arctic Sea ice and the rescue of bobbing polar bears.

The University of Illinois Arctic Climate Research Center has tracked the ebb and flow of Arctic ice since the baseline year of 1979. During the last quarter of 2008 ” pretty much concurrent with the Obama ordination ” Arctic Sea ice made a miraculous recovery.

According to the December University of Illinois publication, the mean ice anomaly, (difference between 1979 Arctic Sea ice levels and today’s) now stands at just under zero, “a value identical to the one recorded at the end of 1979, the year satellite record-keeping began.”

Cynics may dismiss this as scientific aberration ” attributing it to shifting winds or changing ocean currents ” but the faithful know the truth, and the truth is that Obama-induced planetary healing is well under way.

But (pay close attention here) the recovery of Arctic ice -” and the inconvenient arrival of freakishly cold winters ” is proof that global warming is accelerating, not abating. I’m unsure how this works, but my Aspen friends ” citing apres-ski research in the Hotel Jerome Library Bar ” assure me that mounting global snow and spring flooding presage planetary desertification.

They speak slowly and add emphasis to aid my comprehension: “This is the global ‘climate change’ part of global warming.”

Last week’s reports from frigid American cities shattered temperature records set in the late 1800s. Pollock, South Dakota hit 47 below zero, and gas station employee, Todd Moser, told an AP reporter, “It just hurts to breathe. It took ten minutes just to get the gas pumps working.”

In St. Louis, temperatures normally tempered by the Mississippi plunged to zero. Records fell in Chicago and Detroit. Flint, Michigan broke a 95-year-old mark at 19 below. In northern Maine, it didn’t rise above zero for a week. Canada’s Saskatoon recorded 24 consecutive days when the mercury didn’t rise above minus 25 degrees Celsius ” the coldest streak since record keeping began in 1892.

We are also revisiting last winter’s record cold in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and all across Central Europe and Asia. London recorded temperatures lower than Antarctica. In India, the destitute poor warmed themselves by burning books, and more than 400 people died from exposure to the cold.

If there is a silver lining to this roof-collapsing winter of cold and death, it’s that Google references to global warming have dropped even faster than world temperatures. Three years ago there were over 50,000 ” but just under 20,000 this past year.

Al Gore ” who, in 2007, popped out from behind a door to accept a golden statuette or medal each time the hour struck ” has been locked in his cuckoo clock until climate models can be remodeled.

But frigid weather shouldn’t cast a pall over Inauguration Day; President Obama simply needs to fine-tune his tweaking of the planetary thermostat to keep sea levels in check, without turning his flock into popsicles, first.

In other news, last week, Obama made the cover of Time Magazine for the 13th time in 12 months, and reporters at The Washington Post gave him a standing ovation when he dropped by the newsroom for a shoeshine.

My Aspen pals explain that this apparent infatuation with Obama is even more deceptive than global climate change; what may appear to be fawning ingratiation is actually a sign that the heat is about to be turned up.

Especially now ” during this Obama-enunciated “Worst financial crisis since the Great Depression!” ” press denunciation of inaugural excesses will be scathing. We know this, because Obama’s inaugural could run as high as $150 million (almost four times the $40 million spent on President Bush’s ’05 inaugural) and we remember the press’s outrage when those costs were publicized.

Four years ago, apoplectic AP writer Will Lester fumed about Bush’s “lavish” celebration; Lester reminded us that American soldiers were doing without armored Humvees in Iraq; tsunami victims lacked medical aid; and the U.S. national debt was mushrooming out of control.

Today’s excited media stories about the road, bridge, business, and school closings in the tri-state periphery of Epicenter Obama avoid this miserly tone. The Bush descriptive, “expensive,” has been replaced by the Obama honorific: “Historic.”

President Bush declared a State of Emergency in order to fling wide the spending floodgates and provide security for 2 million inaugural attendees, 5,000 port-a-potties and a brand new Obama Cadillac limousine capable of withstanding chemical attacks, rocket-propelled grenades and barrages of roses from nearby reporters.

President Bush’s limo ” designed to protect the most reviled president in recent history ” isn’t safe enough to protect our most beloved.

As Hollywood stars party-hearty with Democrat pols, lawyers, and union officials ” in the same season that millions of Americans are receiving their workplace pink slips ” there has been little criticism in the press.

When one intrepid AP reporter finally posed the indelicate question: Asked whether this wasn’t a tin-ear display in the midst of taxpayer pain, Obama’s Inaugural Committee spokeswoman, Linda Douglass, responded, “It is not a celebration of an election. It is a celebration of our common values.”

Climate science will continue to be hotly debated, but political science is clear: The icy tone of media antipathy has melted, overnight, in Washington, D.C.

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