Monday, April 16, 2007

Mars May Need Al Gore

Tibor R. Machan

Yes, Virginia, the red planet is getting warmer. As Science News magazine reports in its April 7, 2007, issue, “Modeling conditions on Mars using albedo [the percentage of light reflected form its surface] data form the Mars Global Surveyor, the team [of Paul E. Geissler, planetary geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, AZ and his colleagues] calculated an average air temperature at the planet’s surface about 0.65oC higher than in comparable simulations using the Viking-era data. In some areas, particularly those over the planet’s southern ice cap, air temperatures might have increased as much as 4oC, the researchers report in the April 5 Nature.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but it is my very strong impression that Mars is not teaming with gasoline powered traffic just now. Exactly what the folks up there are using for fuel I do not know but I have heard on good authority that none of what they use is causing the warming of the planet. Indeed, I have heard rumors that there is no one up there using any fuel combustion for anything, not a soul. The warming seems to be happening quite without the influence of Martians, let alone human beings.

But of course, Mars hasn’t had the benefit of Al Gore’s wisdom concerning its recent remarkable warming. Soon, perhaps, the former Vice President and his team of climate scientists will be invited to make a movie there. This is what happens when you get an Oscar here on earth—everyone wants to give you scripts to film and those concerned with Mars’s warming trends are no exception.

Rumor has it that there is a script making the rounds already, tentatively called, “A Very Inconvenient Truth, One Only Mr. Gore Could Prove.” And it will demonstrate, with the wide consensus of the universe’s climate scientists—and with the soon to be expanded United Nation’s bureaucratic community in tow—that, yes, the warming of the climate on Mars is caused by, well, human beings who have been secretly sending up the CO2 from earth, in the hopes that this would show they have no hand in earth’s global warming. In the new movie, however, Mr. Gore will demonstrate that these sneaky humans won’t get away with their scheme and now have the great Al Gore to deal with.

It is hoped by all concerned, of course, that once the movie is made and shown, especially on Mars, the terrible dangers predicted from Mars’s impending climate changes will abate, although some who have had a sharp eye focused on the planet have concluded that it is too late now, just as they have done as far as earth’s prospects are concerned. The dice has been tossed and we are all doomed both on Mars and on Earth.

It remains to be seen, though—and here is where the “who done it” aspect of the new film enters the picture—who exactly must be chewed out for the climate warming on Mars. There must be someone to blame, although whereas on Earth we have, of course, capitalism, American consumers, fossil fuel use by nearly all, and similar villains to target with the charges, on Mars the perpetrators have managed to do some effective obfuscation by not providing any evidence whatsoever of who they might be. Mr. Gore, it is also rumored, will inject a surprise ending into his new movie by finding the culprits. Maybe he will finally solve the on going UFO controversy here on Earth, revealing that all those sightings have been about the dastardly humans on Earth who were shipping off the bad substance to Mars—which will demonstrate just how much worse things could be here on Earth if Al Gore didn’t scare them into their sneaky ways.

Science News, in its report on Mars’s warming trends, did venture into the ongoing controversy about global climate warming when it concluded its report by noting that “The team’s findings don’t point to an external influence, such as an increase in solar radiation, that some climate-change skeptics have suggested may be behind earth’s recent warning,” Geissler says. Well, at least no non-human external influence!

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