Last Monday night, my wife was at a meeting about funding a World Vision well for a Kenyan village. So, not having to watch any "Law and Order" reruns, I tuned to the National Geographic Channel, and it was profiling the Alaskan village of Shishmaref, located on the island of Sarichef.
Because of global warming, the surrounding seas are largely ice free, and the permafrost is melting. As the tides are now free to beat directly upon the shore, the soil is eroding at a rate of 10 feet per year. Estimates are that within 10 years the island may be gone.
There are talks about relocating the villagers to the mainland, but this is meeting with resistance, because of the potential loss of the traditional ways of life and the probable disbanding of family-based neighborhoods. Truly, this is a sad situation.
Global warming may or may not be real, but if it is, can we do anything about it? More on that later, but right now, what to do about Shishmaref?
As the documentary continues, the natives, who obviously have no dental plan, are shown leaving their dock and heading into the pristine blue waters of Shishmaref Harbor. A seal is seen searching for food and surfaces at about 150 yards.
BANG!!! They pop him in the head with a 150-grain power-point .30-'06 fired from a military surplus Springfield 1903 with a Redfield peep sight. I was sickened and flabbergasted. Heck of a shot, though! Fired free-hand, iron sights, and standing in a boat on the open sea. Not an easy target!
As they approach the marine mammal twitching in a pool of blood in the pristine blue waters, they hook him and drag him onboard. Once home, they skin the beast and prepare a meal of seal blubber. I was once again sickened and flabbergasted.
What to do? My mind was going a mile a minute! The slaughter of marine mammals is a terrible thing. They are cute, cuddly and very intelligent. What can be more tender, tasty and innocent than a baby seal?
On the flip side, seal blubber is high in cholesterol and will certainly clog your arteries. It is only a matter of time before the seals exact revenge on their assassins, but with the soon-to-be-implemented "Obamacare," the Shishmarefians may still have a chance. About their dental plan, it may already be too late!
It is a true conundrum. Consider this. Many in the environmental movement truly believe that cows, our surrogate mothers, are a major cause of global warming. With their flatulence and belching, they are huge methane factories and help to cook the Earth by greatly increasing the "greenhouse effect." Many also condemn incandescent light bulbs and their energy inefficiency as a major contributor.
It is only logical that the untold millions of marine mammals belching, urinating, defecating, blowing methane bubbles and reproducing in our warming oceans are certainly doing even more damage. My goodness, what can be done?
Should the brave Shishmarefians take to the open sea and meet the destruction of their home island head-on? Phantom this! Maybe Al Gore, George Clooney and their band of environmentalist superstars could join them.
By harvesting as many marine mammals as possible, the ocean temperature will go down, because of less expulsion of belching, flatulence defecation and 98.6-degree urine. This will allow the harbor to freeze and create a protective ice sheet!
I know, it may seem radical, and such a huge harvest will definitely lead to even higher cholesterol levels, but the consequences of unchecked global warming could kill us all. The Shishmarefians and their island of Sarichef are only the beginning! What can be done? Can Doomsday be checked?
Al Gore, what else can we do? Should we all drive electric cars, use ethanol, change our light bulbs, recycle cardboard, give more money to Solyndra, or install afterburners on our cows? Should we ban fossil fuels and huddle together for warmth like penguins?
What industry shall we cripple? What products should we ban? How many hundreds of billions can we spend on "green energy?" Or, should we emulate our Aztec brethren and sacrifice lambs to the Sun God?
All of the above are equally effective. Most agree that the Earth is warming because of natural cycles. Many attribute our cycles to an increase or decrease in the sun's activity. Rest assured the cycles of heating and cooling will continue at nature's timetable, regardless of man's activities.
Future generations will look back on this global warming bunk and the junk science that we swallowed "hook, line and sinker." They will just shake their heads and say, "What fools they were!"
Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board.