Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ice Salad from Ice Sheets

The reason human beings, as a species, will never out live the cockroach is because they just can't put two and two together. The old saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, is seldom followed. I have never liked that saying, my personal saying is that when life gives you limes, go out and find some tequila and salt and make some margaritas. Once you drink enough of those you will not care if life gives you lemons, or limes or any other cirtus that you can imagine.

But returning to the lemonade expression, the vulgar version of that is that, when life gives you chicken shit, make chicken salad out of it. I never thought that this expression was to be taken literally. I mean, even the most optimistic person could not possibly like chicken salad made from chicken shit, even after a few margaritas. So we can all agree that the expression is really a metaphor, urging us to find the advantages in any problem. Sort of a cousin to the dark cloud/silver lining metaphor, but requiring a good deal more initiative and work on the part of the finder of chicken shit than the spotter of a dark clouds.Which is why it is seldom invoked. Most people would rather just hang out and hope to spot a silver lining.

Some months ago I wrote of our Canadian neighbors losing an ice shelf,one the size of central Texas, and not noticing it for well over a year.Since that time I have been carefully atuned to anything involving iceshelves, and I've got to say that there has not been a lot of action. Well let's say, not a lot of reported action, the Canadians are not real quick on the uptake when it comes to losing ice shelves. But now there is a new buzz about ice sheets melting in Greenland. What is an ice sheet ? Well it is an enormous piece of ice, at least 50,000 km. sq., which covers terraine. They only exist in Greenland and Antarctica, although in the last ice age, they were everywhere. The ice shelves I wrote about actually come from ice breaking off these ice sheets and floating away.

The bad news for today is that the Greenland iceshelf is melting away at a pace which, by the year 2100 (when I am 148), will raise sea levels three feeet, flooding such low lying places as Shanghi and New York (arguably the two most important cities in the world). The question is how do we make ice salad out of the ice sheets that nature is giving us ? The answer is staring us right in the face, if we happen to be staring at a glass of water.

For weeks, all I have been hearing about is this disasterous drought in Georgia. Some cities there, perhaps major cities like Atlanta, may have only three months of water left and there is no rain in sight. I'm sure you see where I'm going . Which makes you smarter than our scientists and government officials.Why has no one suggested that we haul some big oil tankers up to Greenland, catch the run off of melting ice sheets and fill up the lakes and streams of Georgia is just beyond me. People will drink the water or use it in other productive ways, such as agriculture. It will not melt into the ocean, it will not raise the world sea level and, voila, I have broken Georgia's drought and saved the cities of Shanghi and New York, all in one master stroke ,by making ice salad out of ice sheet.Hey, listen, Gore got a Nobel Peace Prize for a lot less original thinking than this.

There are still a few kinks in the plan, like what to do with the run off after Georgia has all the water it needs. Well duh, we can make the deserts of the world bloom. Sub-Sahara Africa will be just one big Phoenix, golf course as far as the eye can see. Economic development of this type will save the continent of Africa and there will still be enough water left to share between Isreal and Palestine to get those two peoples to stop fighting and start building a bright future for the middle east. In short, my plan probably saves the world from the threat of a third world war.

Now someone start building the boats and whip up some chicken salad. My work is done.See you in Oslo.


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