A Rose by Any Other Name

Luther Strange, Alabama’s, Attorney General — within hours of Obama’s proposed plan to lower carbon emissions — put out an e-mail that said the average annual household energy bill could rise by more than $800 a year if  Obama’s plan is  implemented.

Obama had already said that the average utility bill would probably increase slightly under his plan, but he did not attempt to read the future.  Strange felt compelled to come up with a number because most Conservatives — meaning a majority, not every single one — take things literally and must somehow arrive at a fixed number or factoid.

Always present in literal minds is a compulsion to have an “exact” figure or definition, whether it be global temperature change, a prophecy about future utility prices or an interpretation of the Bible. Such people will come up with a figure in some manner even if it means opening a Bible and putting their fingers on a verse — a form of divination called ”bibliomancy.”

Liberals are no better at prophecy than Conservatives and if they had used the term climate change rather than global warming to begin with, most of today’s debate wouldn’t be taking place.

Many conservatives believe in climate change as an act of God, and don’t want to admit the stuff we have been putting into the atmosphere since we started burning fossil fuels and raising more and more belching cattle have anything at all to do with the changes.

The year 1816 is known as the “Year Without a Summer “ when many people in the Northern hemisphere froze or starved. We now know that it was caused by a massive  eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in 1815, the largest volcanic eruption in at least 13,000 years.  Our own Benjamin Franklin was one of the first scientists to figure out what caused it.

Let me repeat; if Liberals and scientists had called it climate change to begin with, the Conservatives wouldn’t have needed to measure temperature by exact degrees in order to refute global warming and the idea that human beings had anything to  with obvious acts of God.

When change is measured over a relatively long time, the exact amount of change seems miniscule, but it doesn’t take much of a rise or fall in temperature at all to wreak havoc with climate, and then return to what it was in a relatively short time.

When the Vikings colonized Greenland around the 13th Century, it really was green. Shortly thereafter, what is sometimes called “the Little Ice Age,” hit and the seas around Greenland froze over and glaciers appeared.

Four hundred years later when Europeans were able to go back, the colony had almost died out because the animals and crops that they imported from home died out because of the drastic climate change.

Now Greenland is green again and the glaciers have retreated.

When the Romans invaded what is today Britain in the 1st Century, among the things  they wanted were the vineyards that produced superb wines. At the same time Greenland was freezing over,  British vineyards and wine became a thing of the past. But with the climate changes made that Greenland green again, the climate in Britain increased slightly and it  is once more producing vineyards.

For one last time, words are important. If had Al  Gore and others had first called it climate change instead of global warming, fewer Conservatives would have had  reason to deny the entire thing.

Literalists can be very dangerous because they don’t think logically.