Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

The temps are going up, up, up.

Ever since Greenpeace started sending back reports on the massive melting of the ice pack during their trip to the Artic this summer, I’ve been bummed on the subject of weather, and now here’s this little item from NASA, usually an upbeat bunch, via Reuters, with the awful news that 2005 was probably the hottest year in the last million years, with no El Nino to blame it on, and more of the same coming.

In fact, the warming trend is accelerating, and with the disappearance of the Artic ice, so too the polar bears, adorable stars of Christmas-time
Coca Cola ads.

Of course, we all knew that the polar bear is doomed to extinction before the end of the century anyway. Most of us will be dead before then, so that’s no big deal to us dinosaurs -- but I think my granddaughter might be a little pissed when she grows up and finds out that her granddad’s generation of pigs helped accelerate global warming, killing off those cute bears by indulging in crap like Cadillac SUVs that are sold with ad copy featuring lines like, “Get out of the way.”

On a happier note, sort of, Ford Motor Company has announced that they have been making so many cars that nobody wants to buy that they are laying off 30,000 workers, thus keeping those thirty thousand away from the freeway commute, and thereby reducing their
contribution to global warming.

Kinda neat the way capitalism works, wouldn’t you say?

The revenge of Malthus

Still, even a little global warming isn’t shit compared to what physicist
Brandon Carter postulated back in the 1980’s is going to happen to us inside the next two hundred years: total human population crash. Yup. Extinction. Zip. Nada.

He isn’t predicting the mechanism; it could be world famine, bad weather, disease, financial markets crashing, total global war, or a combination of any or all of these things – and any of these are likely the way things are going.

His prediction of extinction is based on a rather esoteric mathematical modeling of the so-called anthropic principal. I don’t pretend to understand all of it, but it amounts to Malthus with a vengeance: too damn many people and not enough resources. Esoteric or not, he claims extinction is inevitable.

For a more cosmic view, see

In the meantime, Bora Bora is not the answer – it’s going to be under water in any case – you might want to consider the Canadian Rockies. It’s going to be hot as hell up to about 7,000 feet, but when you kick off, you’ll have a hell of a view of the stars.

State of the Union

Bush’s State of the Union speech is coming up, and it looks to be a doozy. Strap on your laugh-o-meters, Gentle Readers, it ought to be a hoot and a half. Remember last year, when he
promised a man on Mars? Sigh, if only. With all the money we’ve spent on Iraq, we could have set up a colony on the Red Planet - complete with shopping malls and swimming pools - already.

Insiders are predicting that he’s going for the old slight of hand, and will focus on our
glorious economic recovery. Tell that to the folks in Detroit. Notice when he talks about new jobs created that he’ll neglect to mention that those jobs are all in the service sector – jobs at McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

He won’t mention the
off-shoring of our high tech jobs, the automobile industry, the entire electronics industry or the telephone centers moved to India, the ruined steel industry here in the States, or the miserable failure of No Child Left Behind, or the absolute mess of his wonderful prescription drugs program – and the potential thousands of dead seniors as a result of it. Or the absolutely dead in New Orleans.

And, naturally, we will stay the course in Iraq, but what that course is exactly, he will be unable to say, because the War on Terror is

Here’s my state of the Union: perpetual war, the dollar worth spit, a unilateral executive, a supine Congress, microchips in everybody’s wallet and passport, nuclear conflagration in Iran, the rest of the world declares war on the United States, and crop failure in the Midwest.

They tell me that Norway is
stockpiling seed in their mountain forts against the certainty that Shit-For-Brains is taking the whole world down with him. Here in LA, the only thing we have to stockpile is SUVs.

God bless America.