A Change in the Climate

The top came down on our aging automobile for the first time in what seemed liked a Little Ice Age, the local Wichita State University Wheatshockers basketball team was heading into the collegiate tourney undefeated and a likely number one seed, the light of a cloudless day stretched one minute and a full hour further into the evening, and Monday on the plains seemed to promise even warmer days ahead. Back in Washington the Democrats in the United States Senate were commencing an all-night gripe about the coming catastrophe of climate change, but on such a nice day it was hard to get appropriately exercised about the idiocy of it all.
Let them rail against the weather, we decided as we settled into a gin-and-tonic and some earnest talk of the important issues of the day with an old friend at an affordable tavern on the near east side of town. After some discussion of the weather and the ‘Shockers’ continued success, which is by now a civic obligation in these parts, we moved on to the debacle in the Ukraine and its likely ramifications for the even bigger debacles in Syria and Iran and all those places that China is itching to grab, as well as the sorry state of the economy and the general decline in the culture, but at no point did we worry that world might become warmer. We would likely be outliers among at almost any tavern in the country,, but are nonetheless confident that few other patrons of Harry’s Uptown Bar & Grill or any other American establishment were much concerned with the prospect of warmer days ahead. At Harry’s the patrons seemed more transfixed by the televised image of University of Connecticut’s remarkable women’s basketball team’s dismantling of a very good University of Louisville squad, and we expect that at bars everywhere the people had similarly sensible priorities.
Like photo identification requirements for voting, the raising of the minimum wage for insolent fast-food workers, and the allegedly insidious influence of the Koch brothers, climate change is one of those issues that gets a hard-core of Democratic zealots in an envelope-stuffing and contribution-making rage but does little to motivate the average voter. We don’t worry that it will have much affect on the vast of majority of Americans. Should the Republicans emphasize the costs required by the Democrats’ cap-and-trade solutions to this fictional problem it could even be a net gain to the cause of conservatism. The debate about human-caused climate change might be settled among the faithful, but it is also settled on another side among the regular folk, and the more the left grips about the weather the more apparent it is that they’d rather not talk about the Ukraine or its ramifications in Iran and elsewhere, and certainly not the sorry state of the economy and the decline of the culture.
Even those problems are easily ignored when the sun comes out, and it remains to be seen how the politics turn out when the leaves turn to red and yellow again. That all-night gripe will be long forgotten by then, however, and it more of a worry how the Republicans will sabotage their own chances. Until then there’s always a hope that the ‘Shockers will make a good run in the tourney.

— Bud Norman