How to Boil a Frog


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Friday, March 30, 2007

Meet God

Frogs don't know much about religion. When you start out as a pollywog, and then grow arms and legs, pretty much everything feels like a miracle, and we tend to believe that all blessings flow from the Pond, which seems to be a lot like what I've heard about Heaven. Plenty of mosquitoes, a nice lily pad, cool fresh water -- that's pretty much how you guys see it, right?

So anyway, that got me thinking about what this God person I've heard about must be like. As I understand it, He (is it a he? We frogs tend to be ambisexual so the whole gender thing is confusing too) anyway He is powerful, is there for you as you go through your day, and is somebody that you have to keep your faith in, even when disbelievers or unpleasant circumstances might be trying to get you to give up on Him. Well, in the interest of bringing people closer to their Creator, I've arranged a personal meeting. Meet God.

I guess he's in Heaven. He seems to be floating.

Based on my research, I see that God goes by many names – Yukon, Explorer, Forester, Expedition, Mountaineer – apparently you humans really associate God with Nature, which I think is great. And according to the New York Times, you guys are really sticking with him even though gasoline prices have topped $3 US per gallon.

In fact, you're driving more than ever, which just goes to show that when people's faith is tested, you really see their true colors (I favor green). Fortunately, as urban sprawl continues to spread, there will be more and more suburban churches (often accommodating 2 or even 3 Gods – those people are really religious!) where believers will be able to gather with their families for no less than 11 daily services on the average – to the market, to school, to work, to the video store, and so on.

And how will all that worship affect the Pond from which all our frog blessings flow? Well, I don't quite understand it. But I guess God knows.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why Global Warming is Not a Problem

This is Fritz.

He is driving to your place, screaming obscenties about your loved ones, at 90 miles an hour. And he's going to disembowl your kitten.

This is what our minds register as a "problem". It has a face, it violates our moral sensibilities, it's happening RIGHT NOW, and it's happening QUICKLY. That's how human brains are wired.

If Fritz were about to eviscerate your kitten with global warming, instead of his big knife, global warming would be a problem.

But the truth is, global warming has no face, it's happening gradually, the news about what it's doing to the planet RIGHT NOW (as opposed to 30 or 50 or 100 years from now) goes ignored or unreported, and we're not really that concerned about the millions of people already suffering and dying from its effects because our moral sensibilities are dulled by distance, disaster fatigue, worry about how to pay the Visa bill, and the fact that we don't know them personally. And they're gonna die anyway, so, whatever.

This suggests that global warming really ISN'T a problem. The way our brains are wired is the problem. So I'm willing to meet the problem halfway.

Meet George, the new Face of Global Warming.

He's on his way to your place. Fear him.

Friday, March 16, 2007

They're Blinding Us With Science

Stop the presses! A new report has just come in from MIT, that bastion of scientific knowledge:

"My calculations are complete!"

Their report is called "The Future of Coal" and discusses the subject that has everyone buzzing at cocktail parties and backyard barbeques: carbon capture and storage. For those who haven't been making the social rounds, CCS is a fancy name for grabbing carbon dioxide on its way up the smokestack and somehow shoving it into a hole in the ground. The conclusion of the bright minds at MIT: Massive coal use in the future is inevitable, but it won't be bad for climate change if the US government gets on board, invents real CCS technology, and makes everybody use it.

Thanks for that, learned ones! It sounds great, except for a few missing bits of the big picture: a) coal is bad for the environment on every level, from mining to pollutants to global warming, regardless of CCS; b) resources that go into developing CCS won't go into developing a future free of fossil fuels; c) CCS is at least decades away, and may never work; d) the US government isn't anywhere near to requiring it, to put it mildly; e) it isn't clear where we would get the money or resources to build the massive nation-wide system for moving liquid CO2 from wherever it's captured to wherever it's buried; f) it'll mostly be used to push more oil out of existing oil fields, making global warming worse; and g) adoption by the US wouldn't guarantee buy-in by China, India, or any of the other big coal-users. Other than that, we're saved!

Will the last scientist to submerge under rising sea levels, still arguing about the latest technological fantasy that will solve all our problems, please turn out the lights? No skin off my little green nose -- I'll be floating on a lily pad.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Bottom of the 9th & 2 outs

This week Sports Illustrated decided to go trendy!

Mar. 12, 2007 - As global warming changes the planet, it is changing the sports world too. Already, surprising and innovative ideas are helping sports to adapt.

Of course, mostly what the article talks about is how the various sports can adapt to climate change – Scuba ball! More fishing shows! – and nothing at all about what fans can do to cut down on their CO2 output (starting with fewer beer belches?) Nonetheless, the morning after the issue came out, they got 400 angry emails from readers with the message: "Stick to sports!"

What's really Illustrated here is not that sports fans like their news pure, but that people are starting to feel surrounded by global warming like a bunch of unlucky pioneers in Apache territory, and they just want to sit around the campfire and eat their beans in peace without so many damn ARROWS flying in all the time! What in the world is it going to TAKE for the media to stop bringing up these disaster stories all the time? What do they want us to do? CHANGE?

There must be some other alternative. Pass the chips. Urp.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Buzz

Bees aren't usually part of my diet (that yellow fuzzy stuff on the outside makes me sneeze), but they have been on my mind lately. Some of you may know that my cousin Frank, a Monteverde Harlequin tree frog, was the first creature to go extinct as a result of global warming. And now the bees are disappearing, billions of them, all across America.

queen bee clipart

And they're not going out for a drink of pollen and a cigarette, either – they're leaving the hives full of larvae, pollen and honey, lights on, doors unlocked – they're not even leaving behind any little dead bee bodies. They're just vanishing. Of course, it may turn out that they've all gone to some kind of Burning Bee Festival in Nevada, and will come home with hangovers and sunburn in a couple of weeks, but on the other hand, what if they don't? I mean, you don't need to pollinate a fly, so I'll be all right, but you humans get about a third of your food from the work that bees do, one way or another. I don't know if global warming's involved here, but if I were you, I'd be out there on bee patrol, trying to figure out what's going on. Better to bee safe, than bee sorry!