Roger Marolt: Roger This |

Roger Marolt: Roger This

Roger Marolt
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

From this day forward I don’t give a cow’s fart about global warming. Forgive me for not keeping this resolution under my pointed party hat, but I have better things to do in the New Year than worry about saving the planet by joining a debate about what the international thermostat should be set at.

It has devolved into a circus act. For all I care, install a couple of new zone valves and send in the clowns because I’ll be watching college football on the first day of 2010.

In case nobody noticed as the snow softly fell from the super-heated sky, there is plenty of suffering going on right now, so it seems a waste to worry about what my great-great-great-grandchildren may have to endure if the polar ice caps melt. They say that there are about 800 million people starving on the giant blue shooter this very minute. I think I’ll concentrate on saving “them” now rather than “us” a few centuries down the road. Call me selfish, but I want to see results. I hear we already have a cure for hunger, although the process of producing it would substantially increase our carbon footprint.

If it is true that this life is all about making a difference, then I don’t have time to worry about an overheated planet blowing a gasket before its six and a half billion-year warranty runs out while I’m circling the block in my hybrid vehicle looking for a free parking space in front of The Gap. Now seems like a good time to put the age-old advice of living for today to the test, because tomorrow may not come and, if you listen to all of the proclamations that the environmental catastrophe is already worse than anyone cared to believe, we are probably better off if it doesn’t.

If you guessed that my foul mood has anything to do with technology geeks hacking into the computers of leading climatologists and disseminating incriminating and embarrassing e-mails that suggest some of the greatest minds in environmental science have purposefully misled us on the path to the promised land where the rivers flow with milk and honey (which is apparently what happens when the ambient temperature is always perfect), then you are especially perceptive at the moment and should seize the opportunity to write out all of your most personal Christmas cards this afternoon next to a genuine log-burning fire.

The Climategate imbroglio has not changed scientific facts one iota. Arguments about allegations of scientists selectively choosing data to base conclusions on do not affect our climate. Lies, fabrications and misrepresentations by trusted academics do not alter the reality of what is taking place in our atmosphere.

Our planet is either warming, or it isn’t. The rate of change is either cause for concern, or it is not. Changes to our atmosphere are due to our presence, or not; or maybe it is a matter of degrees, if you will pardon the pun.

The problem is that we don’t know what the truth is, and there is nobody trustworthy that can grab a spotlight to tell us. The scientists say the purloined e-mails were all a big misunderstanding over terminology and that everything with their work still jibes. But people are resigning from high-paying positions in a tight job market over this so I don’t exactly believe them that all is cool in the lab.

Equally suspect are the hackers. If they really found what they thought were the goods, why didn’t they give the evidence to academics to put through the rigors of review instead of to the press? Plus, sustenance on the produce of thieves is a little unsatisfying to begin with.

What we are not recognizing is the obvious: Because something as ridiculous as Climategate has caused such a popular ruckus, we now know that normal people on both sides of the fight (it hasn’t been a debate for a long time now) have more of a political opinion about global warming than an academic one, and know a lot less about the actual science than even the most biased Ph.D. This doesn’t make the masses more dangerous than a scholar or computer nerd on a mission; it simply points out how much focus we have lost on the issue and how wastefully inefficient we have become in the process of trying to get a grip on it.

It’s mostly fancy window dressing now intended to make us buy. Kyoto was nothing more than a sale to clear shelf space for this year’s gigantic day-after-Copenhagen blowout.

As quickly as a warm breeze rises, the debate has shifted from experts assessing the science of global climate change to coffee-klatch debating about who is making the snazziest presentation for or against the cause. We are now entrusting the discussion about the health of our planet to spin doctors, political orators, and bartenders. They, in turn, provide information to the people least qualified to understand it – us! We’re supposed to decide this thing? Ha! Based on what?

I do not want to participate in the farce any longer. I know what I don’t know, so I’m checking out. It’s the only decent thing left to do. Ironically, life is suddenly too short for this. So, adios. Au revoir. Arrivederci. Oh, great third planet from the Sun, it’s your problem now. Take care of it.

While you are figuring it out, I’ll simply live my life. After all, living modestly and without waste are not new concepts. I don’t need the cause de jour for an excuse to embrace them. The wise have exhorted this therapy since the beginning of mankind, and never has it been about saving the planet.

It’s always been about saving our souls … and now maybe our sanity, too.

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