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Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Steve Otto Columns

Otto: Some day we all may need an ark

“Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.”

I think it was “irreversible” that got my attention. I've got to stop believing everything I read in the paper.

Here in America we don't use the word much unless we're talking about hair loss or the price of gas.

We can fix anything. There is no tipping point we can't tip back the other way.

So for the most part, I skipped over the story this week on a report out of the United Nations that suggested there may be some rough weather down the road.

First of all, the report was from the United Nations, the most distrusted governmental body in this country outside of Congress.

It was full of so much doom and gloom it's bound to become a major motion picture. If the country will buy Russell Crowe as “Noah,” which only deals with 40 days and nights of water, then this ought to be an epic.

“We're sitting ducks,” is a quote from Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the chief authors of the 32-volume report. You wonder how many trees were used in printing the study?

Actually, as I mentioned to my son in Washington, who called to tell me it was snowing again, I buy a lot of this climate change stuff.

It's not easy standing there by the balustrade on Bayshore Boulevard staring out at the glassy smooth bay to know there are those who think the next generation or two will face a state being drowned under several feet of water, especially after we only recently sodded our lawn.

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The government entities trying to persuade us to get involved don't help the cause by producing musicals such as “The Great Immensity,” which apparently is a toe-tapping show built around the coming climate catastrophe.

Apparently, the National Science Foundation spent roughly $700,000 of your money to get this show to an off-Broadway theater. I guess if we don't drown in the next year or so, it might make it to the Straz downtown.

This same National Science Foundation has recently come under fire for spending your money on projects such as a $50,000 study of 17th century lawsuits in Peru; $340,000 on the “ecological consequences of early human fires in New Zealand,” and my favorite, $20,000 for a study on the causes of stress in Bolivia.

Other than having to wear those funny hats, I'm surprised there is a great deal of stress in Bolivia.

You might think there are other places where stress is a bigger deal. I imagine you could do an interesting study of how the stress level changes from quarter to quarter at Bucs' games in Raymond James Stadium, especially in the upper stands.

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I don't know. It's not easy getting pumped up about global warming on a spring day in Tampa. Besides, it's baseball season, and even if it rains we have our own dome. We can worry about this global warming thing later.

By the way, did you hear about that iceberg they saw the other day coming under the Sunshine Skyway?

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