Friday, January 25, 2008

Ask Satan

Reader CTK writes: “I think the blogreading public would like to get Satan’s take on modern sustainable farming practices in the face of globalization, an overheating planet, and Britney.”

Dear CTK,

Ok, here you go.

Britney: I suppose I could give a smartass answer about client privilege or not commenting on ongoing negotiations, but the fact is I just don’t care. I have no opinion.

Overheating planet: Speaking professionally, I love global warming. It creates so many moral choices, especially lots of nice small ones. You think burning gas is bad for the world but you still drive your SUV? Those are the little things that add such nice flavors to your soul. Tasty. And global warming isn’t just about seasoning – it’s got the big bold flavors too. The industrialized world was built up on cheap coal and oil, but now, you see, you know better, you’re going to have international climate treaties and convince China and India that shouldn’t dam their rivers and burn their sulfurous coal as they try to do the same. Oooh, moral indignation, and, yes, a little bit of racism. Good with a nice chianti.

Now, for me professionally, it doesn’t really matter whether the earth is getting warmer or colder, or whether humans did it or not. It just matters what people believe. So unfortunately, the people who sincerely don’t believe the world is heating up overall aren’t worth anything to me. Stupidity has no flavor. (Of course, there is willful ignorance – that’s not a bad taste.) “But it’s been getting colder here!” Such a nice educational system, people can’t tell the difference between a local measurement and a global average over many local measurements – but that’s another story altogether.

Now, the real questions are these: is it your fault, and can you do anything about it? The first one can legitimately be argued, unlike the fact of warming itself. There’s pretty strong evidence that greenhouse gases cause global warming. There aren’t legitimate scientific grounds for challenging the existence and sign of the effect any more. But the size of the effect is open to doubt. A lot of climate models predict much more warming than we’ve actually seen, some predict less. Climate science can’t prove that all the observed warming is caused by humans, only that some is. And hey, the world has had much bigger temperature changes in the past without humans to blame.

Now, from a policy point of view, the remaining ambiguity doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t. If there was actually something politically feasible that could be done about it, there’s more that sufficient cause to do it. But I’ve known you humans a long time, and it’s just not going to happen. Collectively, you just don’t have the resolve. The $500 barrel of oil will cut gas consumption more than any government policy, even in California. Of course, it will also make a lot of new sources of oil financially viable. Heh. By the way, are you sure that if you try to make people pay even a fraction of the environmental cost of the energy they use, you won’t lower their quality of life more that global warming ever will?

I think, in the end, you’re all just going to adapt to changing climate, wringing your hands all the while. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy how your souls taste.

I’ll save the farming question for next time.

Stay warm,

-- Satan

Have other questions or want advice from Satan? You can email them to Satan or post them in the comments for this blog entry.


CTK said...

Wait - so you're really Satan? I thought you were just some guy in Michigan. enough for ya?

Übermilf said...

Michigan? Michigan??!!!

Good Lord, CTK, you're worse than I thought.

Satan said...

Satan? No - I'm Batman.

And this after you told me you wished we'd kept in touch? Must have been the vodka talking.

CTK said...


(a) my incorrect guess actually carried the nickname "Satan" through all 4 years of college, and (2) the sitemeter thingy doesn't show up on my workputer, so I couldn't see that a certain caped crusader/Beelzebub from the Front Range had taken an interest in my blog.

So there.

And yes, I do wish we'd kept in touch. I always thought Batman was the coolest (except for Han Solo).

CTK said...

I feel like such a loser.

Satan said...

Would that be a certain resident of Michigan who was put out by being called dark and evil? That's really pretty funny.

Übermilf said...

Was Mr. Michigan put out by that high school description of himself? He seemed to work hard to perpetuate it at the time.

But I have another question for Satan:

I suspect that Jim Belushi sold his soul to you, leading you to take his vastly more talented brother out of the picture AND get his television show renewed every year.

Is this true?

Satan said...

Belushi: Hell, no! Jim Belushi's soul isn't worth anywhere near that much. Souls come a lot more cheaply, I'm afraid.

Mr. Michigan: Yeah, he really did seem a bit put out. He'd seen your blog entry somehow and I guess it seemed out of the blue to him. He was wondering whether he somehow radiated darkness and made people've lives worse without realizing it or meaning to (or something to that effect). It was near the end of the evening.

Übermilf said...

Is laundry avoidance a sin?

I ask for a friend.