What if Al Gore were wrong about global warming? That would be great news.

December 6, 2009

It’s a point that the denialists just don’t get.  If Gore were wrong, if warming isn’t occurring, or if the warming were found to be part of a deeper cycle and all we need to do is hang on for another five or six years until the cycle shifts, that would be great news.

No one would complain about a study that actually showed that.

But no study shows that.  And the e-mails that somebody purloined from an English research center, if the worst allegations about scientists were true, can’t affect warming.  In fact, as I understand it, the chart that was “doctored” got its new, non-tree-ring data from actual thermometer readings — which, of course, show warming.

Worse, the chart’s predictions for following years turn out to be low!  Warming is outpacing some of the pessimists’ predictions.

Johann Hari, a columnist with the internet-fueled London Independent, discusses how good the news would be, in a missive at Huffington Post.

Every day, I pine for the global warming deniers to be proved right. I loved the old world – of flying to beaches wherever we want, growing to the skies, and burning whatever source of energy came our way. I hate the world to come that I’ve seen in my reporting from continent after continent – of falling Arctic ice shelves, of countries being swallowed by the sea, of vicious wars for the water and land that remains. When I read the works of global warming deniers like Nigel Lawson or Ian Plimer, I feel a sense of calm washing over me. The nightmare is gone; nothing has to change; the world can stay as it was.

But then I go back to the facts. However much I want them to be different, they sit there, hard and immovable. Nobody disputes that greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, like a blanket holding in the Sun’s rays. Nobody disputes that we are increasing the amount of those greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And nobody disputes that the world has become considerably hotter over the past century. (If you disagree with any of these statements, you’d fail a geography GCSE).

Alas, there is no significant or credible evidence that warming is not occurring, nor that we humans are not playing a huge role.

So, in Copenhagen where the world’s leaders and other policy makers are meeting this week to discuss the situation, there will be no champagne to toast an end to global warming.

That would be good news.  It’s not the news we get.

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Black Forest Cafe and the “Too Fat Polka”

December 6, 2009

Foray to the Container Store a success, the question:  What to do about dinner?

Kathryn asked, “How about that little German joint in back of Half Price Books?”

The Black Forest Cafe and Bakery.  Legendary for its Black Forest Cake.  For years it had a small shop inside the “mother ship” of Half Price Books a half-block away.  Before Starbucks, in Dallas there was the Black Forest Cafe.

It’s really more like a delicatessan.  Out of the way.  A real hidden kitchen of Dallas.  A refuge for Germans and lovers of German meats, mustards, chocolates.

Not immune to kitsch, though.

We were surprised to find the place packed late on a Friday.  At a couple of tables, obviously a part.  A private function?  We found a table at the rear of the cafe.

And along the way we passed the guy in leiderhosen.  He carried a large, burgundy-colored accordion with a German-sounding name.

Soon after we got our seat, he stood up at a microphone in a corner of the place, said a few things and I heard “most popular song of 1957.”  Vic Damone on an accordian?  Frank Sinatra?  Buddy Holly?

“Too Fat Polka!”  Kathryn and I both laughed.  We knew it from Bob Wills’ repertoire, old cowboy movies.  In a crowd of mostly young Dallasites, we would be the only ones to recall it (1957?).

From the opening notes and especially through the chorus, the entire crowd sang along.

Who knew?

The Hungarian-spiced bratwursts exploded with flavor, and the mustard was perfect.

Note: No, it was 1947.  An Arthur Godfrey success, McGuire Sisters.   And anyone else who had a band and a recording contract in 1947.


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