G.P. Bear goes to Washington – part 8

By Bill Steigerwald

“Al Gore, star witness”

U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING

At the entrance of the U.S. Capitol Building Grandpa showed a security guard the invitation from Senator Al Franken inviting him to attend the Endangered Species hearings.

“Sorry about the temperature, folks,” the guard apologized as he escorted the three bears to the back of a hearing room crammed with shivering humans and lots of television cameras. “For some mysterious reason our heating system broke down early this morning.”

“We’ll be fine, thanks,” Grandpa said. “We’re from up north. We’re kind of used to the cold.”

In the front of the room were 15 United States senators in wool scarves, mittens and matching dark suits. Barbara Boxer was chairing the meeting. Star witness Albert Arnold “Al” Gore was droning on about what had to be done to stop the coming climate apocalypse.

“We are facing a planetary crisis of unprecedented scope,” Gore droned. “The United States government must immediately outlaw coal and make possession of incandescent light bulbs a capital crime or polar ice caps will melt and sea levels will rise 75 feet.”

“Madame Chair,” blurted Senator James Inhofe, “Mr. Gore is so full of ….”

“Shut up, Jim.” Senator Boxer snarled. “We know what Big Oil thinks. Go on, Al, tell us about the threat to the polar bear.”

“The very existence of the species is imperiled by anthropogenic global climate change,” Gore droned. “Our computer climate models tell us the Arctic sea ice will be entirely gone in 7.3 years and polar bears will become extinct in 11 years, 10 months, 14 days, 11 hours and 32 minutes.”

“What can the Senate do to avoid that awful tragedy?” Senator Boxer agonized.

“It’s very simple,” Al Gore droned. “We must have the political will to force every American family to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent within six months. Or they can purchase $10,000 worth of carbon credits from Al Gore Global Enterprises Inc. I call my idea the ‘Carbon Choice Act.’”

“Al, would your conglomerate – excuse me, nonprofit — provide those carbon credits to every American?”

“Yes, it would,” Al Gore droned. “For a commission of only 20 percent.”

“Bless you, Al. Bless you.”

“Well,” Gore droned modestly, “we do what we can to save our fragile planet. You know I just wrote another book, ‘Our Choice,’ that spells out everything we must do to reverse global warming. Tipper dries our wash outside on the line and recently she sold two of our family jets to Oprah.”

“You two!” gushed Senator Boxer. “You’re green role models for us all! Now, in addition to immediately placing the polar bear on the Endangered Species list, tell us, please, what else can the Senate do to help you save the Earth?”

“I’d love to take three hours to answer that, Barb,” Al Gore droned, looking down at his Blackberry. “But my pilot just texted me and my Gulfstream G450 is ready to go.”

“Going home to your Tennessee mansion for the weekend?”

“No. Tipper and I are jetting over to Paris and back for a quiet dinner. While I’m there, I have to pick up my third Jerry Lewis Genius Prize from the French National Film Academy.”

“Another well-deserved honor for “An Inconvenient Truth,” your breathtakingly simple explanation of global warming?” Senator Boxer asked with admiring twinkles in both eyes.

“Yes,” Al Gore droned humbly. “For Best Recycling of Hollywood Special-Effects in a Science Documentary.”

As Al Gore’s private helicopter lifted off from the Capitol Building’s West Lawn, Senator Al Franken finally spoke the words Grandpa had traveled 2,000 miles to hear.

“Madam Chairwoman,” he said, “I’d like to call our final expert — Mr. G.P. Bear. He’s an Inuit from East Greenland and he has much to teach us about polar bears. I bet he can even give us some tips on how to cope with this strange cold spell we’re having, ha, ha, ha.”

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January 1, 2010 11:00 pm

“Get to know two things about a man – how he earns his money and how he spends it – and you have the clue to his character, for you have a searchlight that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, his real religion.” – Robert Jame McCracked, D.D.

January 1, 2010 11:25 pm

The NEW YORK TIMES finally calls a spade a spade.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/01/opinion/01dutton.html?ref=opinion
They even coin the phrase “Y2K deniers”.
It’s funny to me, as a so-called “skeptic” merely for the fact that I want to really know what is going on, that suddenly, real certitude of a massive hoax is now being mocked. If Y2K kvetching was theoretical poppycock, might, just…might Global Warming also be…balderdash?

AlanG
January 1, 2010 11:30 pm

Nobody, nobody, has a pet polar bear. I wish Al Gore would go and hug one – all that tasty blubber. Am I the only person who thinks big Al wears a girdle in public?

kadaka
January 1, 2010 11:53 pm

These would be wonderful bedtime stories, if I was on the West Coast. As I am on Eastern Standard Time, these are wonderful well-after-bedtime stories.
Oh well, so it goes.

dbv
January 2, 2010 12:28 am

Nik from NYC, that was a really nice article. And in NYT, no less! Thanks.

AlanG
January 2, 2010 12:54 am

Nik, Y2K fiasco? As someone who actually fixed some software for Y2K in 1999 I would say that it was a problem that was identified and fixed ahead of time. What most people didn’t realize was that mission critical software always has a team of programmers supporting it. The company where I worked at the time used Y2K cost savings. They binned old servers, upgraded (mostly unix) operating systems and retired old applications. It did involve setting up an entirely separate network and a lot of testing which cost money but there was a financial pay back. Now the euro conversion; that was much more dangerous.

rbateman
January 2, 2010 1:44 am

AlanG (00:54:08) :
You got most of it, but I am pretty sure that NGDC in Boulder has some strange juxtapositions of 1880 with 1980. And a few other sites have bashed date problems. Oh well, it’ll all have to be done again in 2030 I suppose.

DavidE
January 2, 2010 2:15 am

AlanG (00:54:08) :, -=NikFromNYC=- (23:25:13) : was right.
For the majority of people & applications, Y2K was a non-problem, easily solved by one of two expediencies. ie either leave the system turned on over New Year, in which case the century rolled over, or just go into BIOS & reset the century.
The problem was down to the common Dallas RTC chip only updating the last two digits of the year. BIOS handled the century roll-over.
DaveE.

Vincent
January 2, 2010 2:24 am

Why did Al Gore leave before Grandpa bears testimony? I’d have loved to see the two go head to head or jaw to jaw – if you get my meaning.

peter_dtm
January 2, 2010 2:47 am

Y2K – overhyped warmist nonsense – at least in the majority of the public sphere.
Where it did impact (banks etc) – the fix had been made in the 80’s – if not before
Here is an example of the stupidity of Y2K :
Call from large multinational regarding some multiplexers they used :
‘We need Y2K certification for the multiplexers’
me : ‘No you don’t; they do not have calendar functionality’
‘but it says in the specifications they have clocks’
me : ‘yes; COMPUTER clocks; known elsewhere as OSCILLATORS; no calendar function; no Y2K risk ‘
‘but they have clocks – we must have Y2K certification’
me: ‘no they don’t; no you don’t – read the specs the clock is an oscillator; no Y2K risk’
‘but we have to have Y2K certification’
….. round & round in circles – like a polar bear …
me: “ok; I’ll fax you a statement ” -thinks of a silly number – “it’ll cost you £150″
‘is that all ? why didn’t you say so at the beginning ?’
me: ” because you don’t need it”
‘here’s our PO & order reference….’ -£150 for a five minute phone call & three minutes to invent a certificate….
Y2K – Global Warming – Man Made Climate Change – Swine flu —-
no wonder we are cynical about doom & gloom – especially doom & gloom based on a-scientific fairy stories

countingcats
January 2, 2010 2:56 am

DavidE,
I am afraid the Y2K problem was much more complex than that. Back in the late 70’s, before there was a PC to have a BIOS, we used to laugh that that our software would collapse come midnight, 31 December, 1999. Storing the year value as two digits, 0-99, and assuming the first two were 19, saved a whole byte on the disk for every date field. And bytes were precious back then.

January 2, 2010 4:58 am

Al Gore droned
*must. restrain. sarcasm. gene*

Editor
January 2, 2010 5:08 am
DavidE
January 2, 2010 5:24 am

countingcats (02:56:48)
I didn’t say it was a total non-issue, just that for most people it was.
By that time most people were using IBM compatibles and many businesses had also made the switch.
My Apple ][+ didn’t even have an RTC & I was still using it for applications I hadn’t got around to converting.
DaveE.

Benjamin
January 2, 2010 5:27 am

GP Bear (whispering to junior bear): Al just left a big pile in Washington, large even by DC standards. Now he’s off to Paris, to reload…

Leon Brozyna
January 2, 2010 10:27 am

Well now, bless their little hearts — those noble, selfless, sacrificing Congress critters working themselves to the bone, trying to protect us poor, ignorant peasants from all manner of doom and disaster, as well as trying to protect the planet. The only question is — who will protect us from our protectors.

kadaka
January 2, 2010 10:29 am

Y2K discussed here?
Almost a year ago when I was checking up on someone at the emergency room, some things still had “Y2K certified” stickers on them. Offhand they were sticking them on mechanical scales, lighting fixtures, IV stands… Anything showing up on an equipment inventory list must have been checked out. And apparently by hospital regulation, once said sticker was applied it had to remain, no matter how ridiculous it looked. You know, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they had replacement ones on hand for those that wore out from cleaning or just fell off.

DirkH
January 2, 2010 11:21 am

“-=NikFromNYC=- (23:25:13) :
The NEW YORK TIMES finally calls a spade a spade.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/01/opinion/01dutton.html?ref=opinion

That’s GREAT news! As an article, it’s not so important but the fact that it’s allowed to appear in the NYT is.
I’m german, so here the equivalent to the NYT would be something like Der Spiegel, opinion-wise. And they – Der Spiegel – allowed von Storch to write a piece about scientific integrity in climate science the other day. These are the first small cracks in the bloc. They can’t let a full-blown skeptic write a piece by now but i bet they’re anxious to test the waters.
I’ve been checking google news up and down to see this happening.

cba
January 2, 2010 11:21 am

algore leaving as soon as his rant was over may have left something desirable for the tale of GP Bear but I bet it would be totally accurate. It simply shows his real concern for GW (total lack of) and his real priorities – lunch.

DirkH
January 2, 2010 11:28 am

And while we talk about polar bears and saving them, now this is already from 07th Dec 09 but anyway, thought you wanted to know how you can help save polar bears and you know, consume less electricity. This is so…
http://www.daniweb.com/news/story244378.html#
…fantastic. You can’t make this stuff up.

January 2, 2010 1:40 pm

AlanG (23:30:15) : Nobody, nobody, has a pet polar bear.
I do. By my reckoning I have two. First, the polar-bear-in-the-sky is Ursa Minor, surely this is Ursula, Little Bear. My daughter. Second, a cuddly polar bear sleeps with me.

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