Hundreds of United Nations global warming scientists just met in France via Earth-destroying air travel, ironically at a time of unseasonably cool temperatures across France, to once again justify their funding. Apparently the overall temperature of Earth is set to maybe rise 4 degrees Fahrenheit within the next hundred years. And you can bet that when climate scientists get together to discuss "solutions" to these hypothetical "problems," they're going to come up with ways to make humans suffer for being jerks to the planet.
According to the website for the group -- known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- its newest assessment report is focused on "risk management and the framing of a response through both adaptation and mitigation." It's a modified focus compared with previous reports. A sign, perhaps, that the IPCC has given up on stopping livestock from passing flatulence -- the primary source of climate change gas -- and accepted our pending doom at the hands of our farting overlords.
I'd like to make a contribution to the cause with my own recommendations of how we can all better contend with an apparently devastating temperature rise of probably less than one degree over our lifetimes.
Because it's hard to justify doing anything differently for something so logically insignificant, I'll pretend, as climate scientists do, that I'll lose my funding and livelihood if I can't make something out of nothing. So I'll be exaggerating a bit and pretending that a one-degree rise is really more like a hundred. Let's start in Europe, where this lunacy always catches on easiest before spreading like a plague to North America.
First, if it's going to heat up, we all need to have access to glacial air-conditioning. I'm looking at you, France, where old folks die in summer heat waves because for whatever reason people can't embrace technology-bestowed climate management. The 2007 French decree recommending that no interior with a temperature under 80 degrees Fahrenheit ever be air-conditioned is already outdated. Humans need refuge somewhere from this apparently imminent spontaneous combustion.
Preferably everything everywhere should be air-conditioned between now and the day we're set to spontaneously combust. If we could somehow manage to air-condition the sidewalks as well, then maybe we could eliminate noticing the problem altogether.
Another adaptation I'd like to suggest is better hygiene. If we're going to be increasingly hot and sweaty in the future, we should start making laws curtailing olfactory assault. Specifically, these laws should target people who don't wash either themselves or their clothes often enough in hot weather. Encouraging greater use of water, deodorant and washing/drying machines would go a long way in making us all more comfortable during this inevitable slide into inferno. I suggest imposing stink-fines, and building stink-prisons for the worst offenders.
Oh, and drink lots of water. Guzzle it like we have oceans full of it -- which we do. And we'll have more when the glaciers melt, right?
That's all I've got -- simple and people-centric -- because no one's paying me U.N. money to come up with impractical nonsense. Now let's see what the French environment minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (NKM), has come up with. Wow, it looks like she has 230 ideas, at an estimated total cost of 550 million Euros -- none of which will require a popular vote in French parliament. I bet my suggestion of air-conditioning all the sidewalks would cost less than that.
NKM claims to want to reduce water consumption by 20 percent by 2020 (I'm already thirsty), recycle used water (gross), "diversify the genetic resources of trees" to better adapt parks to forest fires (yay for trees), and adapt things like "trains and roads" to produce less carbon dioxide (yay for trains, bad for plants, which use CO2 as food). What about the humans? Who will represent the interest of non-bureaucrats and non-profiteers in the global-warming debate?
Reducing water consumption and increasing the use of recycled used water seem to be the most sadistic measures that could possibly be adopted to combat a rise in temperature -- especially when the theoretically melting glaciers should be giving us more water than we could ever need. Hopefully we'll still be allowed to make beer when the temperature goes up a couple of degrees, so we can drink and bathe in that as the last bastion of human refreshment.