Cinnamon Stillwell encounters “Apocalyptic Environmentalism on the Streets of San Francisco”:
Weather used to be the only safe subject for those trying artfully to avoid the twin topics of discord: religion and politics. But, these days, merely remarking that “it’s a nice day” or “stormy weather we’ve been having lately, eh?” is enough to elicit a tidal wave of doom and gloom. And it matters not whether it’s hot or cold outside. All variations in temperature, I’m told by these self-described experts, stem from “global warming.”
Where once it was the crazy homeless guys standing on Market Street (or whatever main drag is at hand in one’s respective urban environment) with signs reading, “The End is Near,” now it’s your average, everyday citizen who, upon the slightest provocation, launches into a diatribe about how the end of the world is imminent.
Such a creature wanders my neighborhood looking for potential converts and a friend and I once had the unfortunate experience of running into her. It was Christmas Day and in the spirit of the season we wished her a “Merry Christmas” (not a “Happy Holidays,” mind you) in passing. She took this as an opening to start rambling, in a glassy-eyed manner, about how strange the weather had been lately, which soon morphed into dead polar bears, melting ice caps and, you guessed it, the end of the world.
Having lived in the Bay Area all my life and grown accustomed to the ever-changing weather (“Always wear layers,” I tell visitors), I took issue with her contention that “We haven’t had normal weather in the Bay Area in twenty years!” “What’s normal weather?” I asked her, and then proceeded to note that local weather has always varied and that certainly hadn’t changed over the past twenty years.
My companion chimed in with a few facts to contradict the global warming alarmism on display and concluded with the statement, “I’m not buying it.” Ms. Prophet of Doom looked confused and, glazed expression intact, soon wandered off in search of a more gullible audience. Undoubtedly, she’d never encountered anyone who didn’t agree with her apocalyptic scenario and cognitive dissonance set in.
The Care Bear Stare strikes again!