Monday, July 27, 2009

Global Cooling Could Have Dire Consequences

Super President Barack Obama already has many triumphs to his credit. He saved the economy. He ran the lobbyists out of Washington. He vanquished Somali pirates. He made Americans popular in Europe again.

And now, according to this piece in the Chicago Tribune, he has reversed global warming in the Windy City. Obama also has brought record cool temperatures to Indianapolis. Louisville is feeling the effects, as is Ohio and Georgia. Obama's blessings haven't been bestowed equally; a few parts of the country are still suffering the ravages of global warming. But most of the nation is feeling cooler and Obama's only been in office six months!

Perhaps he ought to slow things down a bit: If he's not careful, the super president could dial the temperatures back so fast he could plunge us into a mini-Ice Age. And there's a downside to this situation many of us didn't anticipate.

Urban gardeners and "localvores" are having a miserable time trying to keep their dinner tables brimming with home grown, pesticide- and chemical-free veggies. Obama's successes with climate change have hurt seasonal tourism and slowed crop production, reports the Associated Press. Air conditioning use is down, according to USA Today, and shirts aren't sticking to our sweat-soaked bodies like they should; that hurts profit margins for energy companies and dry cleaners. People aren't visiting local pools as much as they were when global warming was going full throttle, hurting concession stand sales. "Fewer families mean less lemonade and nachos sold at the concession stand," reports

Obama's amazing talent for turning down the heat, although a boon to polar bears, is doing harm to an already fragile economy, threatening to undermine the stimulus plan and put pool concession staff out of work. Tens of thousands of climate researchers, professional environmental activists, government regulators and alternative energy company executives -- virtually the entire eco-industrial complex! -- also stand to lose if climate change goes away as an issue. An end to weekly climate change conferences will hurt air carriers, hotels and the event planning business. And let's not even think about what it would do to hybrid vehicle sales.

Global warming had it's dangers, but the cooler climate Obama is bringing carries potentially greater risks. A blue ribbon panel should be empowered by Congress to determine the ideal temperature for the United States; something that won't endanger polar bears yet still protects jobs in global warming-dependent industries. The great one should then use his powers to maintain that optimum temperature, allowing for federally-approved seasonal fluctuations only.

It's wonderful having a super president in the White House. But his extraordinary powers should be kept in check, and applied responsibly, lest the demise of the global warming craze lead to a global cooling crash. If we're not careful, and don't manage this carefully, a perfectly good crisis could go to waste.

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