Fear, the True Philosopher's Stone, Will Save Us All

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.