Once upon a time, in a far off land, alchemists strove day and night to discover the philosopher’s stone. They believed that it would convert base metals into gold and perhaps even confer immortality.
The enlightened sages of today know better. A real philosopher’s stone had to be found to convert hot air and carbon emissions into gold, thereby eliminating the perceived threat of climate change.
The need became quite pressing, because popular fears of global warming were unfortunately decreasing due to record cold winters in some places and even record cold summers (generally in Republican places), and suggestions that opening of the Northwest Passage for year-round transit due to the melting of sea ice might not be a done deal.
Sadly, some were lulled into complacency by cancellation of global warming events due to record cold temperatures and snow. Some miscreants even had the audacity not to believe that the seas would rise many feet and make ocean front property available in Kentucky — even though sales of such property were needed for the economic stimulus it was hoped they would provide. Alas, search for the philosopher’s stone still seemed futile.
This was not due to a lack of study; far from it. Indeed, members of Congress had long been diligently researching global warming, now more generally referred to as climate change to smooth over unfounded concerns of the scientifically illiterate that there was no global warming. There has to be climate change, one way or the other; every one can figure that out.
Over New Year’s Eve, while the rest of us sluggards were getting drunk, wearing silly hats, and polluting the planet with carbon dioxide, Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and a few others sacrificed their personal comfort and safety to travel to the far off South Pole. Those who suggest that they went south for warm weather are wrong. Among other important fact-finding efforts, they visited a penguin rookery to see the “threats to the wildlife.” It has not been reported whether they made campaign speeches to the penguins or solicited their advice on global warming climate change:
Lawmakers say the trip offered them a valuable chance to learn about global warming and to monitor how federal funds are spent. “The trip we made was more valuable than 100 hearings,” said Rep. Baird, its leader.
Baird is certainly correct about the value of congressional hearings, and perhaps about monitoring the use of federal funds as well. How better to monitor them than to use them? Doesn’t a good chef sample the culinary delights he prepares? The more than $500,000 cost of that one trip was clearly a small price to pay for the insights gained — some of those insights provided by the long-suffering but loyal spouses who sacrificed themselves to accompany them. Such “insight and perspective” greatly amplifies “the educational benefit … gained as a lawmaker,” a spokesperson for one of the brave participants in the fact-finding mission explained. Perhaps the spouses shared their enhanced empathy as well.
I am delighted to announce that despite fitful starts and stops and many valiant but unsuccessful efforts, the real philosopher’s stone has at last been found! It was reported on August 8 in the New York Times, upon which all right thinking people rely, that:
The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.
These horrific consequences will topple governments, feed terrorist movements, and destabilize entire regions. Fear is the true philosopher’s stone, and it’s discovery will finally lead us to the Promised Land.
The horrible and scary consequences of not promptly enacting can and trade are too mind boggling to ignore, and unless cap and trade is promptly enacted we are doomed. Even the perversely obstructionist Republicans think highly of national security, or at least say that they do. They will now have no alternative: they must either support cap and trade or be considered unpatriotic! Finally, a way to uncork the bottle in which cap and trade has until now languished has been found.
Never mind that some small minds lacking adequate scientific knowledge haven’t noticed climate change or even decided whether it is getting hotter or colder. That doesn’t matter. The experts have spoken and they know best. National security is at stake! It is said: “Lawmakers leading the debate before Congress are only now beginning to make the national security argument for approving the legislation.” It’s about time!
You may say: “Whoa there! What do carbon emissions have to do with this?” How about flatulent cows, which emit methane? Well, nothing, maybe; but the ancient Inca priests did alright by sacrificing animals and even people to propitiate their multiple gods. White llamas kept the Sun God happy, brown llamas appeased the Creator God, and spotted llamas persuaded the Thunder God to bring adequate — but not too much — rain for the crops. There were also sacrifices each year of a baby boy and a baby girl just to be sure that all would be well. When a new chief (Sapa) Inca was installed, 200 pure, unmarked boys and girls were ritually killed and then buried with objects of gold and silver. It was believed that this was necessary to ensure a long reign and good health for the Sapa Inca, plentiful crops, and victory and peace for the empire. Had the people now in charge read history, perhaps they could have done the same thing at Sapa Obama’s inaugural ceremonies this year. Maybe next time.
There is absolutely no basis for any rumor that the mass killing of camels in Australia by shooting them from helicopters is a ploy to ward off climate change. We are far more civilized and humane now, and a new religion has displaced that of the Incas. It is the Church of Global Warming. There is only One True God, and Her name is Gas (pronounced G’ ass), although sometimes She is referred to as Capntrade. She must be propitiated by the purchase and sale of carbon credits. Her chief priest, St. Al the Gored, has spoken and his word is the Truth. Not only will the sale and purchase of carbon credits be no less beneficial than llama and human sacrifice, they will be even more useful than further congressional hearings! It’s a small price to pay, really, when the alternatives are considered.
Well, maybe the price is not really all that small. True, the cost of just about everything will rise, but we consume far too much anyway and much of it is the wrong, unhealthy stuff. It is also true that not all climate change will stop: only the bad climate changes will stop. As excessive warming and cooling both decrease, we will need to spend less to cool off in the summer and less to warm up in the winter. Fewer people will take expensive vacations, since they will be preoccupied with looking for employment.
These are all minor considerations, however. The big deal is that there will be no more violent storms, droughts, mass migrations, and pandemics. Governments will cease to be toppled, terrorist movements will no longer exist, and regions will cease to be destabilized. No price is too high to pay for these miraculous benefits or for the wise sages we must bless for bringing them to us. Like Moses, President Obama in conjunction with St. Al the Gored will part the seas and lead us safely to the Holy Land!
Now go buy a car or something.