Confessions of a Condor

Yes, Chipster, there is a Climate Claus

By Judge Mark J.Plawecki

On April 6, the GOP House defeated, by a 240-184 margin, Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman’s amendment to a bill stating, “Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.”

The proposed resolution’s language was taken almost verbatim from that adopted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. NAS, created by legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, is an organization whose 2,100 members include nearly 200 Nobel Prize winners, a sort of Hall of Fame for the highest achieving living individuals of their fields. It is one of 32 national academies in the world, from Canada to Great Britain to Germany to China to Australia, that has gone on record supporting the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 assessment that global warming is unequivocally real, very likely (meaning a 90 to 99 percent probability) due to man, and a threat to civilization. The number of science academies neutral to or opposing the assessment: zero.

Since then, Condor received a query (of sorts) from good friend and conscientious attorney Chip Kleinbrook, worried (still) about liberal institutions like science academies and their nefarious plot to alarm people. I paraphrase:

DEAR CONDOR: I was very recently (forty) nine years old. Some (all) of my liberal friends say there is no Climate Claus. The most extreme of them say, “If you see it in Condor it’s so.” Please tell me the truth; is there a Climate Claus?

Chip Kleinbrook
Tea Party Enthusiast


Chipster, your little-faithed friends are wrong. They have been affected by the unfortunate use of physics and chemistry. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their Maddow-infested minds.

Yes, Chipster, there is a Climate Claus. He exists as certainly as do the cerebellums of Limbaugh and O’Reilly. Alas! How dreary would life be if there were no Climate Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Chipsters. When you and your friends see that 2010 was the warmest year on record (that means since 1880), and that 12 of the 14 warmest years have happened since 1997, and that 2010 was also the wettest year on record (wait ‘til this year’s data are compiled), and that Pakistan’s July flood covered an unprecedented 20 percent of the country, and that Russia’s warmest summer ever caused record wildfires, and that Australia in December and January suffered its worst flooding ever, and that Texas wildfires this year alone have burned over 2.5 million acres and its drought is worse than the 1930s Dust Bowl, and that the Amazon rainforest experienced its second “once in a century” drought in five years, and that the accelerating rate of decline in Arctic ice continues, which will in turn melt the permafrost, release frozen methane, and thus greatly increase warming further yet, well, Climate Claus understands why your faith may be a bit shaken.

Troubling, too, is that the IPCC, which received input from nearly every important climatologist on earth, predicted more then a decade ago that because warm air holds more water vapor than does cold, evaporation in dry areas and deluge in wet ones (rain and snow) will increase; in other words, precisely what has been taking place across the globe. Climate Claus feels your angst.

But fear not, Chip! Climate Claus, who admittedly gives us these periodic unsettling events can, when he so chooses, magically isolate from each other all of the aforementioned occurrences, and thus return peace of mind and climate tranquility to those who, say, wonder why this April saw more tornadoes than any in U.S. history, or why the Mississippi is flooding like it hasn’t since the year Babe Ruth hit 60 Yankee homers.

Also, with the help of the unbiased media, which reports all the mounting (and mountainous) evidence of global warming with “not so fast” responses from fossil fuel industry funded institutes, we can keep folks as well informed as we did during the Oswald Acted Alone, Smoking Causes Cancer, and Man Went to the Moon frauds.

Not believe in Climate Claus? You might as well not believe in Sean Hannity! Did you ever see Sean breakdancing on your lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof he’s not there.

You may tear apart Glen Beck’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside (Glen: “Bill McKibben’s is a communist conspiracy”), but there is a veil covering the unseen world which no one can tear apart. Is it real? Ah, Chipster, there is nothing else real and abiding like Senator Inhofe’s belief that “the threat of catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

No Climate Clause? Thank (our rightwing) God he lives, and he lives forever. A year from now, Chip, nay, ten times ten years from now, he will, with the Koch brothers’ billions and their descendants’ minimally taxed trust funds, continue to make glad, and of course, warm, the heart of the political party in America that has chosen to deny reality.
Mark J. Plawecki is a district court judge in Dearborn Heights. Confessions of a Condor offers a dissenting opinion on the current American status quo.