Ask a Famous Man is a monthly column transcribed by Emma Smith-Stevens, a conduit for the unerring wisdom of famous men—those inhabiting this earth as well as the hereafter. She is also a fiction writer whose stories have appeared in Subtropics, Conjunctions, Wigleaf, and elsewhere.
Dear Famous Man,
Way back in the mid-20th century some people were really freaked out about global climate change, and there were models showing catastrophic damage to weather patterns and the environment. However, in the 60s and 70s some of those models predicted massive cooling and even a new Ice Age. Now, scientists and other people who believe in “global warming” say that we should expect a calamitous increase in extreme weather events, heat waves, droughts and huge storms, etc.
There are so many conflicting models now, and I just don’t know what to think anymore. If models from two decades ago can be wrong, does that mean that no models can be believed?
—Skeptical in Manhattan, KS
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I know you want my advice. I’ve made it obvious that I want to give it to you. Let’s remove the space between us. I think you are giving voice to some real concerns shared by many. While most of my experience is with models from the last two decades, I’m here to answer you tonight.
Here’s the situation: I’ve been to every nation. I’ve sailed in a perfect dream, but lately I’ve noticed that the sea levels are quickly rising. I’ve seen the sun make love to the sea, but sometimes the rays are too intense due to an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Also, the ocean has been dancing ‘round, ‘round, ‘round—cyclones, hurricanes, etc. Please excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s all because of climate change. And it doesn’t matter if the models are 20 years old or 23 or 25 or even 30; they want to get off my yacht.
Trust me, I try my best to get them to stay. “Let me be your hero, baby,” I tell them. “Let me take away your pain.” Then, if they’ll let me, I’ll give them a relaxing little neck massage. Or if they are the nervous type I attempt to reassure them: “My girlfriend’s out of town and I’m all alone! Your boyfriend’s on vacation—he doesn’t have to know!” And maybe we could just dance until dawn? And nothing would be forbidden anymore?
But the models on my yacht are very seasick and frightened by things like tidal waves and melting icebergs and beached whales, and they are screaming like never before—demanding to go home. I know I should be used to it by now. Climate change has been happening for a long time. But still, I thought they’d never leave me. It hits me like a heart attack. Loving models isn’t easy, but I don’t want to live in a world without them.
Therefore we really need to protect our planet. We must elect politicians who will take aggressive action to combat climate change, and we have to put pressure on existing government officials (local and federal) to do the same. And we must ask ourselves what we are willing to do, as individuals, to help. Would we use renewable energy? Would we eat less meat and take shorter showers? Would we carpool? Or better yet—instead of driving, would we run and never look back?
Would you cry if you saw me crying? Would you save my soul tonight? Would you lie? Would you run and hide? Am I too deep? Have I lost my mind?
No. The truth is, the models are right. Climatic change is fucking terrifying. That’s not something I need scientists from 20 years ago to tell me, or that I need today’s scientists to predict for the future. It’s happening right now.
If you would like guidance from a famous man regarding a personal or professional dilemma, please send your inquiry to emmasmithstevens (at) gmail (dot) com.