The Ankle-Sprainer relaxes with his Puffy Ball
When last you saw Bertie, my golden retriever puppy, he was deeply immersed in his public art project. This project involved excavating my back yard, at irregular intervals, to a depth of about one foot, and festooning the resulting holes with found objects (shoes, newspapers, CDs, electric bills, checkbooks, autographed copies of “Meet the Beatles” on the Capitol label, etc) that he had personally ripped apart with his bare teeth into tiny, unrecognizable fragments. The piece is, he says, a commentary on the myth of sustainability (completion of the piece is currently on hold until his grant money comes through; Bertie now spends his free time digging holes and ripping shit up for personal pleasure).
Anyway, so my yard is fuller of holes than Blackburn Lancashire, and last night, as I was out there cavorting around (ill-advisedly, it would turn out) in the dark with the aforementioned pooch, into one of these holes went my foot. Ordinarily I would not have given this a second thought, except that the thing that appeared when I pulled the foot out again was not quite a foot, but rather a tangled, swollen mass of tendons and ligaments dangling feebly from what had once been quite a nice leg. I could not fail to notice, also, that I seemed to be prostrate on the ground, writhing and shrieking in pain, and that Bert, about whose continued existence, I confess, I was beginning to entertain grave doubts, had seized the opportunity to commence humping the crumpled master enthusiastically.
I supply you with this intelligence, not to extort your sympathy (however well-deserved it is), but to explain why I was up at 3 in the morning watching a Nova re-run (the intense pain was by way of inhibiting my beauty sleep). Why mention this Nova re-run? Because none of you smug nu-agers will cop to watching television, and my suspicion is that if this is true, and that if you don’t subscribe to professional science journals, many of you may be in the dark about the topic of last night’s show. I allude to a recently discovered and properly horrific climatological phenomenon called “global dimming,” the ghastly consequences of which are supposedly extraordinarily imminent. Like, 15 years from now imminent. Or worse.
What’s global dimming? As I understand it, it’s the evil twin of global warming. Both are the result of the same post-industrial excess. Whereas the latter is caused by greenhouse gases trapping the sun’s energy in the atmosphere, global dimming is the result of particulate matter from air pollution suspended in the atmosphere, where it keeps anywhere from 3% to 30% of the sun’s energy from reaching the earth’s surface. According to Nova, global dimming, which has the effect of lowering the earth’s temperature, has been masking the true horror of global warming, and we are all well and truly in for it. Ironically, if the sources of global dimming are addressed and removed, the full fury of global warming will be unleashed. Greenland will melt. New York and Florida will disappear into the ocean, which will be on fire. The Amazon rain forest will dry up and burn away. Then, famine and disease. Everything—trees, flowers, puppies, my cute niece—will die, because this could all conceivably happen before the middle of the century.
In other words, reducing those auto emissions will only hasten disaster!
Why are we only just now hearing about this? Because for 20 years nobody wanted to listen to the nerdy scientists who figured it out. But I mean, come on, people! Haven’t we all seen enough disaster movies to know that dire predictions from nerdy scientists always come true?