I'm happy and proud to report that US legislators spare no expense and leave no overheated rock unturned when it comes to getting to the bottom of global warming.
Hi-lites of a recent US Congressional, er, "investigation":
* Diving and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef
* Cable car ride through the Australian rain forest
* Visit to a penguin rookery
* And, for balance, a quick hop to the South Pole
The lawmakers said the trip offered them a valuable chance to learn about global warming and to monitor how federal funds are spent (not to mention to actually spend some of those federal funds).
I know some AGW Deniers are going to complain about this and even attempt to make a cheap mockery of this trip. But I for one defend these legislators, and to the American taxpayers, I simply say, "pay up" -- it's the Canadian way. When the earth's on fire in your own country, it's critical to put on your asbestos-lined shoes and visit other countries to monitor the fire-level in those places, too.
And, the US Congress's commitment to global warming doesn't stop at one-off trips -- the House of Representatives has allocated $550 million to upgrade a fleet of luxury Air Force jets so that no expense will be spared in investigating the AGW monster. After all, when the survival of civilization is at stake, no expense is too big, no sacrifice too great. In the case of these recent trips, the sacrifice included lawmakers' spouses, who, in a brave gesture of American patriotism, volunteered for the taxpayer-funded mission. When asked about this, one lawmaker responded that his wife, Peachy, added "insight and perspective" that "only amplified the educational benefit he gained as a lawmaker." There you have it. We have an AGW amplification effect happening here. If that's not science, I don't know what is. And, whatever the cost, it was worth it.
And the sacrifice doesn't end here. For one lawmaker, this trip was just one of two he's made recently. He also visited the Galapagos Islands to gain expertise in climate change (and, possibly, to search for Darwin's bones -- no word on that).
Here's a final scientific angle to this: overseas trips by US legislators have taken a nearly 10-fold jump since 1995 -- and those years just happen to coincide with the hottest ever recorded in the history of the world, ever.
Meanwhile, legislators urge ordinary citizens to leave the car in the garage and either walk or take the bus.
As for me, if diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, cable car-ing the Australian rain forest, visiting penguin rookeries, and chilling out at the South Pole at tax-payers' expense is what it takes to tame the AGW monster, I'm up for it.
And that's the way the globe-bopping Ball bounces.