Only the top half of the sun’s red orb shown above the peaceful Gulf Of Mexico; a fat ball floating on the distant, dark-blue horizon. 6:00 A.M., the air on the shore still too cool to inhale the ocean winds on to the beach, bringing its caresses to tease the palms into a swaying dance and exciting snow-capped rolls of turquoise grandeur into crashing onto the sugar-like sand.
What a great morning to walk the beach!
Especially this beach, the sparkling emerald rush flowing over the brilliant white sand at Destin. Buoyed and exhilarated by the beauty and peace of my early morning walk, my mind exulted at the thought:
God is on his throne and I am on his beach.
I walked 4-5 hours, first to the east then back to the west toward my rented condo. I stopped and stared as the magical waters presenting a beautiful emerald spectacle sixty feet from shore, and morphing to a gorgeous turquoise as it approached the shore. My strand of white was glowing whiter now, the mainland hotter. I had seen beautiful beaches with beautiful water world-wide, but none to compare with Destin. The white-crowned turquoise waves were now pounding the hardened wet sand with the muffled sounds of distant thunder. Again and again the foaming floods challenged the mainland for dominance on its southern flank--again and again the ribbon of sand shrugged its shoulders and the persistent flood relented and rolled back, only to be marshaled by another wave for another attempt.
I knew the waves would soon win since the beach had narrowed to a ten-foot path, and knowing further that the surf would not stop until it neared the rolling dunes; only then would the land say: thus far and no more. I decided to quit the beach for the street paralleling the ocean about one-half block north.
Reaching the boulevard of striking hotel entrances, restaurants and shop fronts, I resumed my westward trek toward my condo. A block ahead my vision was drawn to a large German Shepard, relieving himself-- believe it or not --on a fireplug-- with a man filming the event. Standing less than six feet away was the tall, thin man in his late fifties or sixties, with a camera-like device to his eye, but having a cabled appendage, exotic to a camera.
When I was within ten feet of the odd scene, and since I could not think of a more appropriate question, I asked if he were making a movie of the dog?
HE: Does this look like a camera to you?
I: No, but a camera is the thing it looks most like. Anyway, why so gruff?
HE: This bloody dog will not cooperate with my experiment. The device which you relegate to a mere camera is an invention which reads the brain waves of an animal and translates their thoughts into audible English, which I hear through this headphone.
I: You sound thoroughly British…
HE: I am, but does my admission allow you to contort your face to a sneer when you posit such personal comments?
I: I am so sorry, I did not intend any discourteous face or voice-- sometime I get my sneer face confused with my strongly impressed face, I am just amazed that your device can perform as you say. What is the dog doing that upsets you?
HE: This bitch is not thinking, therefore I cannot hear information derived from those thoughts.
I: The dog is a male, not a bitch-- are you sure you have your instrument on the right setting, that is-- male German Shepard? Maybe he is thinking, and therefore speaking, in German which you just don’t understand.
HE: There is not one fragment of humor in that silly remark. Here am I, working on a project destined to aid in saving the entire world and you make stupid jokes.
I: I’m sorry it won’t happen again, but why are you so hard on the dog?
HE: Listen closely: my name is Joseph Boor--Doctor Joseph Boor. This name, no doubt means nothing to you…
I: No doubt, but it sounds appropriate for aspects of your personality…
HE: Please! Do not interrupt with your imbecilic witticisms!!! Many animals, including dogs, possess telepathic communication capacity with nature. They are close to the earth; the spirit of nature resides within their souls. They are capable of instinctively drawing upon the distant past and transferring the past to the present and using this knowledge in an attempt at making amends for humanity’s brainless mistakes. Because of global warming, the Earth under this fireplug is most likely at the hottest temperature it has been in one thousand years -- this damn bitch, uh, dog, can detect this --- meditate on it, and I can hear the thoughts spoken through my instrument. Now do you understand?
I: Yeah, uh . . . Yes, I think I’m beginning to see, uh… where you’re coming from.
HE: Good! This slovenly canine refuses to think one thought so I can confirm his statement as to the temperature near this fireplug relative to the last thousand years. It is very hard to have your work published in scientific journals unless you have new, novel and horrific information on climate change.
Mere scary scenarios simply will not suffice -- even THE NEW YORK TIMES or MSNBC will not run these redundant horrors. Each must be awful news . I asked this dog if he were urinating on this fireplug to cool it down from local record temperature and after three entreaties he thought not one word. And now, you and this stubborn animal have so upset me, and my throat is so dry that I must go to that apothecary at the corner and find a glass of water. I want to ask you if I put my device on you, could I trust you not to drop it and just do as I ask. The sight through the lens will make no sense to you, just listen for sound.
I: I would be honored.
HE: All right, I have it secured to your ears, so just point the forward probe toward the dim-witted animal and listen closely. I shall hastily return.
I: It’s all right, take your time.
I: Well, pooch, what’s going on? Just you and me now, if you don’t feel like talk . . .
DOG: I don’t like that guy; he’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in Destin. He asked me to confirm that the fireplug is at it’s highest temperature in one thousand years, and if I was urinating on it to cool it; I said nothing because this weirdo scares me -- and I didn’t want to have to bite his butt. Would you please tell this moron that nothing was here 1000 years back in the past.
I: Well, I asked about this earlier, and he said: “Of course I know the plug has only been here a few decades but it has become the focal point for heat generated by telepathic energy -- within the immediate area of earth, upon which surface we walk”
Now if he had not scared you what would you have told him?
DOG: I would have said, “Look, Mack, I’m 8 years old -- understand? I know nothing older than 8 years. I urinated on the plug because I had to pee and the plug was there and for us canines the plug has no other usage.” If you don’t mind, I think I’ll get on the beach before he gets back.
I: Have a good day -- watch for cars.
HE: I’m back, where’s the dog? Did you chase him off?
I: No, he left of his own accord -- but he left you a message.
HE: Did he? Did he? What did he say? Quickly! Tell me!
I: He said his only interest in the fireplug was as a convenient place to pee. He knew nothing of history beyond his eight years and . . .
HE: Liar! Liar! Flagrant canine liar! The whole world is corrupted by evil liars!
I: What reason would a simple German shepherd have to lie to you? We have been at peace with his country for sixty-five years . . . And why are you staring at that motel roof? Are you seeing something that I can’t see?
HE: I often see things that ordinary people cannot see -- it’s basic to my profession to see popularly invisible phenomena. How do you think we Inventive climatologists could come up with our scary headlines if we didn’t see and know things beyond common human verification? Now look, look! Look at what global warming has done to that red roof on that motel! It has so expanded from this never-before-seen heat that it has waves from right to left and left to right! It undulates, the asphalt tiles have curled up and down. Quickly! Let me find my notebook. I can make the front page on NATURE, maybe SCIENCE, also. Can you see it? “FLORIDA HEAT DESTROYING ALL ROOFTOPS.”
I: Hold on, Joe -- just wait a minute -- that roofing is terra cotta. It’s made that way by design. It . . .
HE: What do you mean, it’s made that way?? I can see, through my innate inventive perception that it was corrugated through intense global warming. My front page cannot be in error -- how can you be so committed to ruining my reputation? I’m a well-known scientific celebrity, and I’ve never even heard of a terra firma roof . . .
I: It’s terra cotta, Joe, made from a brick-like clay to . .
HE: Indeed? Made from bricks, you say. Let me get my note pad again. “FLORIDA ROOF MAKERS TURN TO BRICK TO FIGHT ROOF-DESTROYING HEAT.” I say! I like that better than the first headline -- maybe the journals will publish both.
I: Wait a minute here; doesn’t it bother you that you deceive people with this nonsense?
HE: No, not at all. You see, people tend to keenly believe the entirety of the depressing -- they eagerly disfavor information that doesn’t tingle their spines with foreboding and terror. This is very fortunate for inventive climate researchers: our chilling tales and contrived anecdotes are little more than entertainment for the obtuse masses. Speedily, they begin believing our artistic hyperbole -- just as in the fifties and sixties, because of science fiction movies, we now have otherwise sane people prating about “flying saucers,” “men from other galaxies” and other such drivel.
I: And this deceit does not offend your sense of personal integrity?
HE: Certainly not! Not now, that I have matured in my profession. As a graduate student I was a bit timid, “fudging the facts,” as we say, but you get over these periods, especially when your research sponsor desires a conclusion that “falls between the facts,” so to speak. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha -- You see, I can be funny, also, ha, ha, ha.
I: Yes, even more than you realize.
HE: I think you miss my point all together: We, the inventive elites of the climatological community, have a mission. That mission is to change the world. To change perceptions, avoiding the maddening rush to doomsday.
I: You have no compunction in manipulating the world’s citizens? In having them subjected to biased conclusions and evading the truth on world climate? Have you no respect for truth?
HE: Oh, my innocent man; we handle truth as we handle a robin noisily chirping in the field, one properly thrown stone may not strike the pesky bird-- but it will surely fly away beyond our field. The populace cannot easily scrutinize the truth if it’s ever on the wing.
I: So, you are not bothered by your unrelenting manipulation?
HE: Of course not! The very foundation of world politics is bias and manipulation.
I: Isn’t science supposed to be different from politics?
HE: Oh, you naïve, naïve boy! The two have become one-and-the-same on virtually all major environmental concerns.
I: Yes, many scientists of a contrarian view are saying so. . .
HE: Not in an unscrupulous way, of course. We are in a war for the minds of men. We researchers are the generals; subservient elected officials are our troops, so to speak. Our obsequious media friends are our trumpeters.
I: But on the anthropogenic global warming question . . .
HE: Anthropogenic global warming is not a question -- it’s an answer!!!
I: An answer to what?
HE: Virtually everything we discover in our research! Cold winters, athletes foot, warm winters, hemorrhoids, desertification, obese people, flooding, bad breath, hyper-flatulence, glacial melting, tooth decay, glacial expansions, serial murders, species extinction, divorce, species proliferation, HIV positives and a host of others.
I: Looks like you have covered all the bases -- but back to my aborted question; in regard to your man-caused global warming, how do you deal with all the historical evidence that tends to consign the slight, current warming to mere natural climate variation?
HE: We ignore it. Or we simply refer to it as “myth”, just as Dr. Mann recently discarded the anachronistic terms “Medieval Warming” and “Medieval Cooling” to the dustbin of antiquity. We have our ways. We are fond of saying that all of the world’s informed scientists think exactly as we do.
I: Why would Dr. Mann expose himself to the ridicule of thousands of expert scientists by declaring a major segment of climate history non-existent?
HE: Oh, my layman friend -- you are so deprived of any particulars of the raging climate war. With the Medieval Warming Period looking over our shoulders, and its absurd, putative “1150 AD -- three to nine degrees F warmer than today with greater increases linear with pole-ward latitudes,” Blaspheme!! How can we inventive climatologists proclaim that today’s 1.7 F degrees increase is the warmest in 1,000 years?? This mythological Medieval Warming Period droned on for 350 years -- and ours is barely 35 years-old!! And they claim all of theirs occurred with no increase in CO2 !! BULL EXCREMENT!!
And if we allow corrupt researchers to tell the masses that this warming was followed by a remarkable worldwide cooling period -- such natural variation takes the wind from the sails of our good ship Global Warming. Our cardinal doctrine is gone. Great industries like the Sierra Club, NDF, The Pew Group, The Kyoto Protocol Defenders, NRDC, and numberless others would lose credence and shut down -- with jobs lost and huge economic disruption. It has been reliably estimated that if such came to pass, 20% of the world’s lawyers would be forced to find new professions. . .
I: Incalculably tragic, what on Earth could they possibly do?
HE: Please, please stop interrupting! I cannot abide verbal competition! Further, and even worse, people such as I and Al Gore and Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Michael Moore and hundreds of Hollywood celebrities would no long be greeted with the honor of climate expert. Surely you can plainly see what a tragedy this would be.
I: You know, Dr. Boor, I must run. You have shared with me more insights than my small mind can process at one time.
HE: Oh, do not feel too inferior; I cause these feelings among common people every day. Glad to be of help. Perhaps we can have another session soon, enabling you to freely absorb more lavish wisdom from exposure to my splendid erudition.
I: Uh, yeah, that would be, uh, fantastic -- in the ultimate sense of the word.
I Oh, yes I have forgotten to mention that there has been no warming in this region at all…
HE: you mean in this small section of Destin where we now stand….
I: No I mean the region called “The Greater South East and Gulf States” -- Florida is only one of eight states where all, or major portions of all the eight states, no warming has occurred during the period of record-- and that area comes to 380,000 contiguous square miles and…
HE: PREPOSTEROUS!! OUTRAGEOUS!!! Such an area is as large as the combined area of the British Isles!
I: No Dr. Boor-- that area is slightly more than three times the area of the British Isles-- and please consult your blood brothers at the ICCP in London, they will dolefully confirm the frightful news to a compatriot, but caution you to secrecy. Cheerio, Dr. Boor.
I trotted quickly back the half block to the beach and continued west toward my temporary home. The tide, now receding, gave a new turbulent roll to the pounding, foaming surf.
I had been in Destin the year before, when a minimal hurricane came ashore. So I pretended that I was Jim Cantore. I stumbled through the 75 MPH winds, I felt the stinging rain on my face and the patter on my diving goggles and gazed at the heavy, hammering waves. for hours, searching for some tidbit of alarming camera footage.
Life and this earth, I mused, are infused with endless numbers of quasi-cyclic phenomena. They come and they go. -- and they return again. I respect the biblical proverb, “There is (really) nothing new under the sun”.
The hurricane, up close, was interesting but not pleasant -- Jim Cantore is a brave man -- and an accomplished actor.
But I enjoy Destin much more when God is on his throne and I am on his beach.