Stupid White Men

Okay so I lied in my last post, but one of the implications of the Bush election that slipped my fading memory is the effect on climate change. The previous and present regime will have no truck with the notion of global-warming and presumably that will continue.

Their tactic is to deny, or at least question the science, the main aim of which appears to be to allow US industry to carry on gobbling up fossil fuels unfettered and to ensure that the American people access to cheap fuel that they are positively encouraged to use. (One trans-pond analyst I heard last night said that buying the heaviest car you can is actually ‘incentivised’ as they say in their noun-to-verb crunching way.)

I’ve said before that I’m not totally sold on the received wisdom of global-warming. You can’t base a theory on one hot, cold, wet or dry spell which the media is keen to do.

Admittedly, my scepticism is based on a conversation with an American climatologist who stayed with us a few years ago (a long story, not for now.) He was over for a stint with our Meteorological Office and he told me that he had hundreds of satellites taking tens of thousands of temperature readings across the globe every day. Yes, there are localised temperature changes, but, for the most part, they balance each other out.

Perhaps he was a Bush plant? The name-games are endless!

But while my in-head jury is still out on the issue, it doesn’t take a Nobel prize winner to work out that fossil fuel is finite. One day it WILL run out. They oil wells will stop gushing; the petrol pumps will run dry; the lights in the coal and gas fuelled power stations will go out.

So why are we not actively pursuing the obvious alternative, namely nuclear power? Okay, so it has a bad press, ironically among environmentalists. But is there another? Windmills? Wavepower? Solar power? I don’t think so.

If George W is to achieve one thing in the next four years it must be to make nuclear power acceptable, safe and available. But I’m not holding my breath.

The title of this post has nothing to do with GWB though, just me I’m afraid. I am THAT stupid white man.

The scene: Me at Morrison’s at an ATM to draw my ‘spends.’ Machine swallows card and spews chit saying that card has been retained. Mutter, grumble etc and home to Mrs Parrot, mistress of the intricacies of ‘sorting things out.’

Phone call to helpdesk. Musak and long delay. Person answers in a reassuring Scots accent. Endless questions to guarantee our bona fides. Silence again as operator confers with the ‘card division.’

Several minutes later she returns. “It seems that the card was retained because it has expired.”

CLANG! (Sound of big penny dropping.) My new card arrived weeks ago, so many weeks that I had completely forgotten that the new one was tucked in a back section of my wallet.

“I feel such a fool.”

“No, no, really sir, it happens all the time.” I am not convinced. Just another stupid white man.

But back to my original theme, lighter end-note number two: What does a nuclear scientist have for his lunch? Fission chips! (Only UK sniggerers need apply.)

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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