An absolutely true news item: EPA chief Scott Pruitt told an interviewer that climate change might not be a bad thing, saying: “We know humans have most flourished during times of, what, warming trends. …Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100?”
Other muddled, unscientific thoughts that one can easily imagine Scott Pruitt saying someday:
“You always hear these climate-change nerds squawk about drought like it’s really, really bad. For instance, down in Cape Town, South Africa, they’re all boo-hoo just because they haven’t had hardly any rain for three years, and now they’re running short of tap water.
“I still believe it’s simply a recurring coincidence that droughts happen when the weather stays unusually hot and dry, just like it’s a coincidence that the Earth has gotten hotter as the ozone lawyer has gotten thinner.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
“But let’s say a lake dries up — or even a river — and there’s no more water for drinking or crop irrigation. Instead of whining, why not take all that dusty dead land and convert it to a great big ATV park, where folks can race around doing donuts on their three-wheelers? You could charge like twenty bucks for an all-day pass.
“My point is that a drought doesn’t always have to be a total downer. And, seriously, do we really know the ideal amount of fresh water that should be on this planet in the year 2100? As long as there’s enough left over for fracking, we’ll be just fine.”
“I’m sick of all this doomsday chatter about the huge wildfires they’ve been experiencing out west and around the country. It’s more than a little possible that global warming has made the land hotter and drier, but that’s no reason to freak out just because 8 million measly acres burned up last year.
“Let’s not forget that the human race wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for fire. Check out ‘The Flintstones,’ if you don’t believe me. A nifty little invention called the barbecue?
“So don’t panic, people. Do we really know what the ideal amount of non-scorched Earth should be in the year 2100? Heck, most of us could be living on Mars by then, anyway.”
On polar ice caps
“Don’t get me started about ‘shrinking’ glaciers and the poor old polar bears. From what I’m told, the ice sheet up there is melting slowly enough to give the bears plenty of time to jump off and swim away.
“Let’s say they all end up in Canada. Is that so terrible? Can a wolverine possibly taste worse than a seal? Come on, guys, suck it up.
“Guess who ought to be thrilled that the polar ice caps are warming — those boat crews on ‘The Deadliest Catch.’ No more icicles on the deck, no more freezing their butts off while they’re pulling their crab traps.
“If you had to pick between sunburn and frostbite, which would you choose? Exactly.
“And, honestly, do we really know what the ideal number of polar bears should be in the year 2100? Maybe six or seven is plenty. Canada, that’s your call.”
On rising sea levels
“It’s always same old tune from the know-it-all climate scientists, warning everyone that the oceans are rising as global temperatures heat up. And, sure, we’ve all seen those pictures of Miami Beach streets underwater at high tide.
“But to the good folks of Florida and all other coastal states, I would say: You can either wring your hands in wimpy despair, or seize the opportunity to do something bold and creative with your submerging shorelines.
“One day your beaches might be gone, but you can’t just give up on tourism — look at Venice, Italy, where they’ve been dealing with high water for centuries.
Now, just imagine poling a gondola down Ocean Drive, or skim-boarding through the lobby of the Delano.
“That’s what I meant by saying humans always ‘flourish’ when the climate turns warmer. And although we don’t know what the ideal surface temperature will be in the year 2100, my advice is to buy yourself some thick-soled desert boots or a lightweight inflatable raft, depending on where you live.
“Also: Sunblock. Future flourishers will need a brand with zinc oxide.”