In a few decades, people will look back at those heat waves “and we will laugh,” said Andreas Sterl, author of a new study. “We will find (those temperatures) lovely and cool.”
Sterl is referring to the fact that, due to global warming, heat waves of the future could see temperatures of 115 degrees on some days. I assume this is supposed to be alarming news, though people in, say, Tempe, Arizona — where it is 113 degrees today — might laugh at the alarmist tone of Mr. Sterl. You can’t blame the guy, though. Alarming people with dire predictions of our future seems to be a trend, right along with causing people to panic about everything from rising rivers to rising prices.
Everybody panic. It’s our new mantra. Whether it’s killer floods brought on by the wrath of God to trampling the earth with our carbon footprints, it seems like everyone is up in arms about something. There’s no longer some lone guy standing on a street corner with a sign saying “the end is near.” There’s millions of that guy now, all holding different signs, vying for your panic, fear or guilt, because the end times they are preaching have nothing to do with some unheard-of god or freaky calendar. It’s our fault. Yours and mine. The sky is falling and we’re to blame.
Personally, I’m tired of all the media-induced panic about the environment, and I’m more tired of the people that react to it with a Chicken Little mentality. Is the world going to end? Yes, some day it will. But who’s to say how it will end? Will we be the cause of it? Will all those movies that chastise humans for trampling on the soul of the earth become reality and we’ll all die from global warming? Hell if I know. But I’m not going to worry about it. We could all die in a nuclear disaster. A plague could wipe us out. Bird flu. Aliens. Zombie infestation.
If I gave as much credence to every end times theory out there as you want me to give to the death by global warming theory, I’d be holed up in my house with a shotgun and a bottle of Xanax, afraid to even breathe.
When I try to tell people that the world is not going to self-combust due to our neglect any time soon, they point to hurricanes, floods and earthquakes as evidence that it is happening right now. The floods are getting worse, they cry. They hurricanes are getting larger. The earthquakes are more frequent. Apparently, Mother Nature is pissed off and she’s going to keep wreaking havoc on our land if we don’t all buy a Prius and install solar panels on our houses. And if it’s not Mother Nature, then it’s God, punishing us for not taking care of his world.
I just can’t work up a respectable panic about this. Unlike my neighbor who dipped into his daughter’s college education fund to turn his house into a wet dream for the green movement, I refuse to mortgage my time here on earth for someone else’s future. I’m too concerned about the here and now to worry about what the generations born hundreds of years from now will breathe.