Story 16. Testimony (Dr. James Hansen’s story)
By the mid and late 1980’s the majority of climatologists were convinced that global warming due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was occurring. Despite all of Carbo’s hench molecule’s efforts, some humans were just too smart and had wills that were too strong to be manipulated. To Carbo’s chagrin one such scientist finally got his day in court, so to speak, before the U.S. Congress after Hetia had done a lot of dirty work earlier in 1988. His name was Dr. Joseph Hastings.
Hastings, starred down the mostly bored members of Congress using the tried and true method of shouting while presenting his findings. Hastings chose some good timing for the testimony during the worst of the drought of 1988/1989. One senator whose last name was Doubt charged that Mr. Hastings was being too hasty saying, “Why we have hundreds of years to fix this”. To which Hastings replied, “Snoozing again Doubt? Wake up and pay attention!”
Carbo still wasn’t too concerned. “What can one or two puny human scientists do? These humans are too greedy and will not change their behavior over some alarmist quack’s testimony. Let Hastings rant and rave. I’m not afraid of him even though he is on to me and my minions.” Well, that part of the story is true. It was not until Dr. Hastings was well in his 70’s during the early part of the 21’st century that many very knowledgeable and non-gullible people became alarmed in the real world. No one knew that one lone carbon molecule was behind a huge conspiracy in this fictional story, but ironically, it appeared that the public and most powers that be didn’t care that there is a real conspiracy to keep carbon belching into the air due to special interests. Those special interests were and are coal and oil companies that operate world-wide.
Well, back to our story. Hetia very much liked what Carbo was doing since she could create and sustain very long heat waves and droughts due to the ramped-up greenhouse effect; although, from time to time Carbo, since he did not want the humans to catch onto his activities, became alarmed at Hetia’s enboldened activities. Carbo became so alarmed after the heat waves and dusty conditions in the U.S. during the 1930’s that he schemed to cool the planet down during the middle of the 20th century, which has already been described. Hetia didn’t like Carbo’s actions at all then, but as they became more sociopathic with time became best friends by the heat wave of 1980.
In 1988 Hetia was all set to strike again. The heat wave that Hetia produced by the summer of 1988 in the U.S. was not quite as hot as that of 1980, but more widespread and costly. Thermo and Dr. Carson were very alarmed by August of 1988 and decided to take some action.
Carson said, “Well Thermo, what you did worked a little back in 1980, so let’s do something now. A brilliant idea popped into Thermo’s metal and plastic head. “Why don’t I attract the Clan of the Storms to break the heat? This time we’ll attack Hetia from the north and not the south. Carson said, “Brilliant. I know that due to how Hetia has oriented the jet stream, the Clan is trapped well north in Canada, at the moment. If you can make them mad enough, maybe they’ll break free of their jet jail and rain on Hetia’s parade over most of Canada and the U.S. Good luck Thermo, now fly out of this lair and make Twista mad. That should be easy.”
Thermo flew to central Saskatchewan where the Clan of the Storms was huddled and pent up due to the jet stream being far to the north. Usually, even during the dog days of July and August the jet does occasionally dip into the U.S. during the summer. In 1988 Hetia had made sure that the jet did not dip much further south than southern Canada producing yet another heat dome over the U.S.
Carbo shouted at Twista, “Ha, You storms are all pent up in a cage…too bad. Thermo is sticking his long red thermometer tongue at you….ha, ha, ha. I betcha you can’t catch me over the Great Lakes.” With that Twista and most of the other storms grew dark with rage. The jet cage began to buckle. Pretty soon the storms were free to move south towards the U.S. but had been so weakened from their struggle to be free, they could not produce tornadoes. This was fine with Thermo. He only wanted the storms to cool and moisten the drought area and not produce havoc among the poor humans.
Upon flying southward to lead the Clan towards the U.S. for relief purposes, Thermo spied Hetia, as he thought he would, but something else flying in the sky was interacting with her. The object was a clear, round sphere the size of a beach ball with two other basketball size balls attached…one large blue ball and two white smaller balls that were the same size. Carbo had the appearance of a very large model of a carbon dioxide molecule, which has one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen (CO2). The outer clear ball had an insidious human face…black eyebrows, eyes, a mouth with crooked teeth, but no nose.
Upon seeing Thermo, Carbo said, “Aha. At long last I have met face to face with Dr. Carson’s plaything. My name is Carbo, leader of carbon. Hetia, one of my vast army of friends, has told me that she has already met you. Too bad that you and Phoon spoiled all of her plans back in 1980. We are both peeved at you.”
Before Carbo could go on, the dark storms had already moved out of Canada and were producing drought quenching rain over the Great Plains and Great Lakes. Hetia screamed, “What is this? How did the Clan of Storms escape my jail? Let’s get out of here Carbo. Carbo and Hetia quickly beat a hasty retreat across the Atlantic and Europe back to Carbo’s lair in the Russian Caucasus. The rain and wind interacting with the dust obscured their escape from Thermo. Nevertheless, Thermo knew he had found the root of one of the human’s biggest problems. He went back to Hawaii to inform Dr. Carson that he finally knew who and what Phoon had referred to back in 1969 during his encounter with Camille and in 1980 around Allen.
In the real world, Dr. Joseph Hastings is A.K.A. Dr. James Hansen, born in 1941. He became a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Hansen is best known for his research in the field of climatology. His testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 helped raise broad awareness of man induced global warming or what is termed anthropogenic global warming. Dr. Hansen has been a hero in the world of climate due to his congressional testimony in 1988, which put the threat of global warming on the front page of public recognition. Upon hearing Dr. Hansen’s testimony yours truly became convinced of the global warming problem.
After 1988 Hansen became an activist to mitigate the effects of climate change, which on a few occasions has led to his arrest. In 2009 his first book, Storms of My Grandchildren, was published. That book painted a dim picture of the future of humanity should carbon emissions go unchecked. Since 1981, Dr. Hansen was the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, which gathered and distributed world-wide climate data clearing showing a warming trend from the 20th century up until the time of his retirement in 2013.
In reality, one of the worst droughts to ever occur across the United States happened from 1988 into 1989. The event spurred Dr. Hansen to testify and Congress to listen. The drought caused $60 billion in damage in late 1980’s dollars. The drought and associated weather pattern caused some of the worst blowing-dust events since the 1930’s. In many locations across the Middle West the drought was protracted and was responsible for closing schools in South Dakota in late February 1988. During the spring records for lowest monthly total and longest interval between measurable precipitation were set. For example, 55 days in a row occurred without rain in Milwaukee, and during the summer two record-setting heat waves developed, exactly as they did in 1934 and 1936. The concurrent heat waves were blamed on killing approximately 4,800 to 17,000 people in the United States. At its peak, the drought covered about 45% of the United States. This seems minor when the Dust Bowl covered 70%, but the drought of 1988 was not only the costliest drought in U.S. history until Sandy in 2012, but it was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, prior to Hurricane Katrina. In Canada, drought-related losses added up to about two billion dollars adjusted for 1988 costs. The drought did start to end once the jet lowered into the U.S. from late in August into the fall of 1988 allowing for rain from storms to become fairly widespread.
The text and artwork are copyright by Guy Walton. I would like to get this book published. Please drop me a note if you are willing to help.
To see the rest of the World of Thermo stories click: http://www.guyonclimate.com/category/worldofthermo/