By Frank Bixler
SC Staff Writer
There has been a lot of talk in the media and academia today about the dangers of global warming. How man, by fault of his own hubris, has succeeded in speeding up the natural warming process of our planet within the short span of the last two hundred years. The fear these theories engender has seeped into pop culture, producing movies, songs and books detailing the horrible fate that awaits us when the planet can no longer sustain this warming trend. The seas will rise with terrible vengeance, crops will wither under a vicious sun, and all of us will be transformed into starving skeleton-like wraiths crawling across the earth on our hands and knees, picking little shriveled seeds from the parched soil to munch on for a brief relief from starvation.
However, the fate that awaits us from global warming has been seriously over exaggerated. That’s not to say these things won’t happen—in some places they certainly will. But what many people fail to recognize is the benefits that will come with a rapidly warming planet. For example, the polar ice caps. Data indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet is fading away at a rapid pace, and the northern ice cap is melting even faster. This will of course result in a rise in sea levels worldwide as all the water that was previously stored in the ice caps dissolves back into the oceans. But this also means new shipping lanes across the once frozen seas, allowing goods to travel from Europe to Asia without use of the Panama Canal, thus reducing the shipping costs of products which translate into discounts for consumers when they go to the store.
An Antarctica free of polar ice also opens up another possibility, new real estate. Right now Antarctica is a frozen wasteland where only a penguin would remark positively about the weather. But once that massive continent is free from the mile high ice caps that choke its pristine mountain ranges from sight, tourists and real estate developers will flock there in droves to exploit this beautiful new tourist destination.
A rise in sea level is nothing to frown about either. Sure, states such as New Jersey will be swallowed up by the rising seas. But on the other hand, states such as New Jersey will be swallowed up by the rising seas, and who would cry over that? Even people from New Jersey hate New Jersey! It’s a win-win situation. Plus, the rising sea levels will mean property that was once worthless real estate will become desirable beach front tourist destinations. Poverty stricken Appalachia will become a hot new destination as the seas begin to lap against the picturesque mountains as they are transformed from a temperate forest environment into a tropical rain forest. Such ecological changes will also enable tropical species that are currently going extinct from deforestation and land mismanagement to migrate north into new territories and thus expand their ranges, saving thousands of species from extinction. And who wouldn’t want that?
And what about the rising sea temperatures? Many scientists argue that the rise in sea temperature will result in the acidification of our oceans and thus the destruction of many of the beautiful coral reefs that stretch around the equator. But as sea temperatures rise, many of these tropical corals will migrate north into seas that were once too cold, but are now the perfect breeding ground for beautiful new coral and fish species. And as these species migrate, they are certain to interact and breed with other species of coral, fish, sea cucumbers, etc., resulting in whole new species for scuba divers to admire and scientists to study.
As the temperature rises across our nation, farmers will enjoy an increased growing season as the frosts come later and later in the winter and end earlier and earlier in the spring. This will enable farmers to plant and harvest crops two, three, and sometimes even four times a year depending on the rate of temperature increase. This will naturally mean an increased food supply for Americans. So, instead of becoming skeleton-like wraiths, picking shriveled seeds from the earth, we are more likely to resemble repeat McDonald’s customers with an unlimited supply of coupons. However, this will also inevitably mean that we will have to repave our roads to accommodate the wider vehicles necessary to carry our increased girth. But that’s okay, since we need to create more jobs anyway.
Not convinced? That’s okay. You really don’t have much of a choice in the matter. Global warming is coming, whether we like it or not. The process is too far gone now to reverse. Scientific data released by the EPA indicates that even if we reduced our carbon dioxide emissions now to pre-industrial levels, the world will continue to warm at a rapid pace due to all the carbon dioxide that has already been released into the atmosphere. And effective, large scale carbon dioxide sequestration technology is still decades away. It looks like a tropical future for Americans, so, instead of worrying about it, save your pennies to buy up some beach front property in Antarctica. In a hundred years, that useless bit of rock everyone laughed at you for purchasing today will be worth millions of dollars to eager real estate developers. And you can watch high up from your new West Virginia condo as your starving neighbors pick shriveled seeds from the soil.
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