For many years, the movies have assured us that what we really need to end all of fighting here on earth is to have an enemy force invade us from outer space.
Faced with a common threat to all mankind, we will forget our petty differences and band together to save humanity. That’s the plot.
As it turns out, we do face such an outer space alien. It’s called the “sun” and its rays are combining with greenhouse gasses here on earth to heat the planet to the point where civilization is threatened.
And are the peoples of the earth banding together to save humanity?
Not so much.
Two independent studies published in the past couple of weeks warn that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet – which holds 10 percent of the ice at the South Pole – is melting and that the process is now “irreversible.”
That means, no matter what we do, that ice sheet is going to melt and, as it does, sea levels will rise as much as 10 feet.
You’d think an announcement like that might catch our attention. I mean, you raise the sea 10 feet and a good part of Florida goes “glub.”
But Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said this week he’s pretty well convinced that, while he agrees the planet is warming, he doesn’t think humans have anything to do with it.
Four states have adopted legislation prohibiting teachers from presenting climate change as “fact,” even though 97 percent of climate scientists believe that it is.
The Koch Brothers. . .oh, let’s not go there. You already know what they think.
But we do have a problem – and the problem is as dangerous in Houston as it is anyplace else.
The only two groups I know of that are taking climate change seriously are the United States military and the insurance industry.
The military fears that the effects of climate change – frequent weird storms, famine, flash fires in the West, the likely absolute disappearance of some small island nations – will lead to social instability.
The insurance industry is concerned because some of the world’s priciest real estate will, one day, be buried under several feet of water. It’s hard to price insurance when the doom of the buildings is almost guaranteed.
So, the announcement is a big deal and it received headlines for a day or two, at least until the owner of a basketball franchise said something stupid.
The image of climate scientists a few years ago is that they are mysterious guys who warn us that the sky will fall if we do nothing to change the way we dump carbon in the air. We pretty much ignored them, preferring to mock Al Gore.
Now, the scientists are telling us the sky is already falling and we ought to take cover.