Finally convinced that man-made climate change is real?
Or is that man-made global warming?
Overheated debate on the topic rages on despite the widespread scientific consensus that human activity, in the form of a massive carbon-emissions increase over the last century, has significantly raised global temperatures - and sea levels.
Then again, it was mighty cold in my front yard Wednesday morning.
As for how a harsh cold snap can be construed as evidence of global warming, that's why the global-warming warners changed the term to climate change several years ago.
But whatever else you called the big chill that made me take the long way to work Wednesday, lots of us Mount Pleasant residents also called it a pain in the, er, bridge.
And as esteemed Post and Courier colleague Brian Hicks reported in his enlightening Wednesday column, there's just cause to wonder whether the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge really had to be closed for as long as it was two weeks ago.
Then the Ravenel was closed again all day Wednesday. Ponder the plight of commuters, including me, forced to repeat those dreaded detours over the I-526 Don Holt Bridge.
OK, so losing electricity, as many Dorchester County-ites did Wednesday, is a lot worse than losing your usual route to work.
Let our vehicles go
Back to those conflicting claims on what the short-term phenomena of unusually strong winter or summer storms do or don't mean about long-term climate change.
A few weeks ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, former Vice President Al "Earth in the Balance" Gore mused that severe climate changes in all directions are proving the climate-change point.
As Gore put it: "I think that these extreme weather events which are now a hundred times more common than 30 years ago are really waking people's awareness all over the world, and I think that is a game changer."
To which "The Donald" Trump, who's threatening to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination (seriously), tweeted: "We are experiencing the coldest weather in more than two decades - most people never remember anything like this. GLOBAL WARMING anyone?"
To which many of us stuck in traffic intensified by questionable DOT decisions responded: Who knows? Who cares? And when can we cross the bridge?
Sure, the climate-change issue is important. And judging from prevailing expertise, it's reasonable to buy the pitch that carbon emissions have played a role in the planet's warming over the last century.
Still, global temperatures have held relatively steady over the last 15 years.
And George "The Father of Our Country" Washington died on Dec. 18, 1799, after medical experts of that era drained large amounts of blood from him in what was then deemed an effective remedy for various ailments.
So experts aren't always right.
Yet non-experts are more often wrong.
That bunch includes state Sen. Mike Fair of Greenville, who, like too many of his fellow Republican legislators in Columbia, seems more concerned about protecting children from Charles Darwin than all of us from a dangerously decaying road system.
But hey, we're all still evolving (or at least should be) on assorted topics, including on when, how and why our bridges should close - and open.
Some folks who grew up rooting for - or against - the Washington Redskins are even demanding that they change their nickname.
Hail to the whom?
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week, imply that the league's tax-exempt status (which is, by the way, preposterous) could be removed if that Redskins name isn't.
Hey, why should federal lawmakers waste their time trying to stop the reckless rise of the record national debt when they can call out the NFL for its "degradation of tribes and Indian people"?
At least the powers of Native American culture have recently been respected anew in California, as the San Juan Intertribal Council performed multiple rain dances - thus far, to sadly limited wet effect - in an effort to end a devastating, extended drought.
At least it's supposed to warm up a bit today here.
And at least a few of us won't regard that shift as evidence for - or against - man-made climate change.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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