News of the irreversible collapse of the Great West Antarctica Ice Sheet puts me in mind of the late Tiny Tim’s prescient anthem about the melting ice caps, “The Other Side.” Appearing in the 1968 album “God Bless Tiny Tim,” the song features the memorable chorus:
The icecaps are melting, oh, oh, oh, oh!
All the world is drowning, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!
The icecaps are melting. The tide is rushing in.
All the world is drowning, to wash away the sin.
I can’t find out anything about the songwriter, Bill Dorsey, but Tim seems to have been a serious Christian who once got upset with Howard Stern for taking Jesus’ name in vain. It occurs to me, then, that if something serious is going to be done about climate change, the purely scientific approach is not going to be enough.
These days, the skeptics do not claim that the climate isn’t changing. Their position is that the change is not due to anything done by people. In that sense, their interpretation is identical to the old secularist view that catastrophic weather events are not “acts of God” expressing divine judgments but mindless acts of Nature. Nowadays, it’s the scientists who see in these catastrophes the dire payback for bad human behavior.
What needs to happen is to get conservatives back on board with their traditional view. To be sure, they will have to be persuaded that the turning from our sinful ways does not mean banning abortion, same-sex marriage, the teaching of evolution, and Obamacare. It means reducing our carbon emissions. And fast. Because, as the top story of the day makes clear, the melt-down is already upon us.