Gerome and Marco–a modern fairy tale (a satirical look at climate change)

It all began long, long ago when an astronomer, Ace, gazed lovingly at Earth’s “sister” planet and imagined a lush paradise like that of his own precious Earth. Then reality presented the brutal facts about Venus—she was no twin to Earth. An atmosphere rift with CO2 and SO2, temperatures of 600 degrees K, rotating once per Earth year in reverse to what her twin did (mirror twins?), Venus was a lifeless, barren planet.

Disillusioned, the astronomer Ace began to put together a crude theory of what had happened on his beloved Venus to render her barren and lifeless. Her atmosphere was mostly CO2. Could that have created a very serious greenhouse effect at some point? Absorption of radiation by water vapor would have added to the heating. Oceans would have boiled away. If Venus met this fate, could Earth?

Enter Marco, a scientist working for a space agency. He was toiling away in the basement, staring at the lifeless planet Venus and trying to understand her. In the 70’s, Marco modeled with “confidence” that the sulfates on the planet, along with CO2, are why Venus has the atmosphere it does today. Once Earth-like, it floated lifeless in its orbit. Later, Marco used some of Ace’s ideas about Venus and adapted a theory of a “runaway greenhouse effect” to explain how Venus was transformed.

Marco knew, sitting in the basement of space central, he would not go anywhere. One afternoon, he decided to modify the equations he had been using to decode the Venus mystery and apply them to Earth. He was startled to discover these equations indicated the greenhouse effect that must have made Venus a barren planet could happen here too. He worked on revising the equations, and the news just kept getting worse and worse. He tried to tell the space agency what he had found and how serious this was. People weren’t really interested, sadly. What to do?

Meanwhile, Lester, a researcher in various disciplines, had turned an eye to Mars. Lester concluded Mars was lifeless—which lead to Mars being treated much the same as Venus (Mars was once considered a “sister planet” too). There MUST have been a runaway greenhouse situation there. Lester was not bothered by the lack of life on Mars. He was busy studying what particulates do to the atmosphere on Earth and sounding an alarm about an ozone hole that suddenly appeared (well, probably it suddenly appeared, but we really don’t know if there never was a hole, sometimes a hole…..) was caused by particulates. The “cure” for the ozone hole was relatively inexpensive, though it was hard on air conditioning, especially in cars. People adapted and human added particulates started to decline. The ozone hole began to shrink. Researchers were happy, until the 21st century when a hole in the Arctic ozone layer appeared, but that’s another story.

Lester, along the way in his research, came up with the theory of GeeHa. Earth was a self-regulating entity that kept itself in balance—until now. It seemed the evolution of the human species was now creating a threat to the very life-blood of GeeHa. Humans had gotten too smart and too greedy and were threatening to destroy the delicate balance. An alarm needed to be sounded.

Gerome appeared at this point. Gerome was a college student with Daddy issues. He had come to feel somewhat guilty about how rich his father had become by exploiting fossil fuel resources. Gerome had tried studying science but it was not a successful endeavor. He eventually found theology more to his liking. The theory of GeeHa gave him just the cause he needed. Oil and gas use was harming GeeHa and it had to stop.

These lost souls met and found a calling in life—they had to let the world know how evil fossil fuels were and how if we did not stop using them, we would end up like Venus or Mars. While some people called this “chicken little” behaviour, these men believed it fully and realized people had to made aware of the seriousness of the situation.

Marco and Gerome form a partnership. Marco was losing credibility at the space agency. But he was more convinced than ever we were destroying our planet. Even though some called him “Apocalypse Revere”, he knew he had to continue on his path to save the planet. The earth was being destroyed by humans and people had to understand this. By this time, Gerome was on his way up the political ladder. Gerome knew people loved a crisis and Marco’s data could provide this. Better yet, Marco’s data would create a negative feeling about fossil fuel, creating a win-win situation for Gerome.

Marco and Gerome began a partnership in which Marco provided data and Gerome provided the mouthpiece for the theory. Gerome wrote a book “The Earth is my Church, Don’t Leave it in the Lurch”. People were suddenly aware that the use of fossil fuels could be destroying the planet. Gerome began campaigning wholeheartedly to save the precious earth. Fossil fuels had to be eliminated. Gerome’s luck peaked with the oil embargo in 1973. Long lines and loss of electrical generation pushed the public opinion Gerome’s way. The possibility of “oil wars” arose and people started to realize how very wrong we were to use oil for fuel. Actually, the best Gerome and Marco accomplished was to get a few areas to switch from oil to coal and natural gas for electricity in this county, but it was a start. Marco continued his research and the results were more and more terrifying. Other countries had gone the route of wind and solar plus a massive decrease in electrical usage. The US seemed destined to barely follow in this “alternate energy”, let alone lead. So Gerome started pushing with “Unhappy Reality”, a film to educate people as to why they should switch from fossil fuels to those monstrous bat-killing, bird chomping spinning towers of death in order to save the planet. People needed to stop consuming so much gas, oil and electricity except of course, Gerome, Marco and all of their inner circle. Gerome thanked people for saving resources so he didn’t have to. He knew the followers could be counted on to save the world. They were true believers.

Meanwhile, Lester has been busy with his theories on GeeHa. Gerome immediately understood the significance of this idea. Gerome began preaching the religion of GeeHa far and wide. This lead to increased interest in the environment which lead to increased interest in climate science. This lead to study after study crying out that humans were killing the earth. It became career suicide to say all of this change could be natural.

Suddenly, “Big Oil” became a monster, out to destroy the planet. Demonstrations cropped up decrying fossil fuels. Gerome capitalized on these events (while retaining the “tainted” money Daddy left him). Eventually, Gerome garnered enough support and followers to win the Peace Prize for his efforts.

Marco had stepped up his game, too. He wrote books, spoke before Congress, made personal appearances if people paid his thousands per speech fee. This was so much cooler than the basement at the space agency. With Gerome preaching to the masses and Lester providing the theology, the three were on a roll. Add in a growing movement against the oil industry and wealth (against most industrial and business successes), and increased followers were assured. The 1973 oil embargo had slapped the public into a fearful existence, worried oil was costing too much and could be cut off at any time. However, there continued to be considerable anti-GeeHa feelings. After all,people had jobs, nice homes, cars—everything that constituted the good life—and all that was evil and bad to the GeeHa worshippers. Gerome was perplexed by people rejection of his theology. How could he re-ignite the passion? He pushed his movie, his books, went on TV, and urged people to listen. The new push worked. An international panel was created and conferences held. Gerome shared the Peace Prize with this group. The money from the prize was, of course, poured back into the cause. (Sadly, the US refused to play along on the treaty front. So Gerome returned to pushing the government to erect the spinning, white alters (pure, CO2 free wind power) to himself and convinced people these would save the planet. The government would pour huge sums of money into these alters to cut our CO2 emissions, making the US a player in saving the world from climate change. He pointed to Denmark as an example. Billions of dollars were thrown at the project. Solar panels were added to the mix along with CFL bulbs (no concern over the mercury in them—saving the planet was too important). School children learned low-flush toilets and shower heads would save the planet from a very hot future. Things were looking up for the trio’s futures. There was an occasional complaint, but sacrifices had to be made and Gerome continued preaching this to all who would hear.

Enter the “skeptics”–those abusive, angry, jealous people who dared to question the legitimacy of the science. Worse still, many skeptics were scientists who began to doubt after watching Gerome’s movie. A knife through his heart—that’s what it felt like. Then these “skeptics” began blogging (on the very internet that Gerome was so instrumental in creating). As time went by, the skeptics began to gain more followers than Gerome.

This was NOT acceptable. Gerome and Marco went on the offense, calling these people “deniers” for denying what was obviously settled science. The claim went out that authorities were right, but only the authorities Gerome and Marco had allowed to publish in their sacred books. All other scientists were referred to as wannabees who were corrupting science. It mattered not if the other scientists had the same degrees as the “authorities” had. Disagreement meant automatically being reduced to stupid, jealous, petty people who were most probably shills of the oil companies. Otherwise, these people would see that Marco was absolutely right. Sure, Gerome had had ties to oil, but he was pure in thought and deed, could handle it and his daddy left it to him so that didn’t count.

It became necessary to step up the labeling as the skeptic’s position began to take hold. The term “denier” likened skeptics to Holocaust survivors (except the Holocaust was an historical event and climate change was computer modeling but people wouldn’t notice the difference). The name-calling increased as skeptics found emails involving the IIRC (International Income Redistribution Committee—only huge sums of money could save the planet and these were the people to manage those funds while putting out research from Marco and Gerome’s sacred texts) showing lies to preserve consensus in the sacred texts. Outrageous, unprofessional behaviour—stealing emails. (If it had been emails concerning chemical dumping, that would have been whistle-blowing). More cries of “follow the money” resounded when warmists discussed skeptic blogs (yet never mentioning Gerome’s ties to oil or any support by Big Oil, Big Oil in the wind “free-money” game, etc.). Skeptic’s were controlled by oil companies, evil capitalists, conservatives and free market idealists trying to hang onto the huge industrial complex that was destroying the planet and our children’s future. “True science” was being demonized by these uncaring people.

The emails showed data was hidden, FOIA requests ignored, data was “adjusted” (fudged or ignored) and general rudeness and bullying was used to try and silence this threat to the Gerome/Marco kingdom. They had not fought their ways out of a basement and broken away from Daddy for nothing. They would do whatever was necessary. They threatened that inaction would kill millions. Gerome enlisted an eight-year-old to sob over a burning stuffed puppy to show just how hot things were going to get if we did not stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Marco went with oceans boiling off and Earth becomes just like Venus. No exaggeration or lie was too bold. Meanwhile, the faithful disciples looked past all the failed predictions, data tampering and any other attacks by the “deniers”, clinging to their faith to the bitter end.

Then came the biggest low—Lester. Lester, the little traitor, said they had exaggerated climate change from the beginning. Yes, there was warming, but no where near the projections. In the coup de grace, Lester said he was free to say what he really believed because he did not need government funding now. Horrors! One of their own gave aid and comfort to the enemy. They pounced immediately. Lester was senile. Ignore him. He is to be shunned like anyone leaving a religion must be. Excommunicated, thrown out and persona non-grata. It was wrong to mess with the consensus. Very, very wrong.

Hope arose with a new name—extreme weather. Gerome and Marco gambled on the population having the attention span of a gerbil and the memory of an earthworm. No one would remember how hot it was before. Even if they did and said anything, they would be labelled “DENIER” and vilified. The new media began calling every storm a record breaker and every fire “the worst ever”. There was no concern about crying wolf too many times. Earthworms can’t remember 30 seconds back. People were just not that smart. Plus, they loved stories of doom. Gerome made an internet special with pictures to remind people how bad the hurricanes and floods were. People would blindly believe the current storm was the worst ever over and over and over and over. They would believe that climate change caused warming, cooling, more snow, less snow, melting Arctic, freezing Antarctic—anything. After all, these pronouncement came from experts and anyone who disagreed was just ignorant.

Those pesky deniers kept posting historic data on their blogs, which had some people still questioning Gerome and Marco and the other climate change promoters. So the interval needed to determine climate change was shortened. When the temperatures leveled off, the oceans were said to hold the additional heat, or that it was “natural climate change holding things in check” or “particulates were to blame from coal burning” or “this is only temporary and it WILL get catastrophically hot if we don’t swear off fossil fuels”. Clearly, it was going to get HOT. Statements were made that if we did not lay off the fossil fuels, we were going to destroy our planet and ourselves. We had to stop with the CO2 emitting NOW.

The switch to “extreme weather” was not without a bump or two on the road to selling the belief. For years, climate scientists insisted weather was not climate, but now weather had become climate and things were going to get worse. Every hot day (forget heat wave—a couple of days of hot weather was all it took to “prove” extreme weather), every forest fire that burned down homes (building with a flammable material in flammable trees and brush had nothing to do with it), every heavy snow, every flood. All of it was due to humans pillage Mother Earth. Gerome made more videos about the ravages of climate change and put them on his precious internet to reach people. The media cooperated by reporting every thing as “unprecedented” and dwelling upon the catastrophes endlessly.

Complaints from the populace that cutting back on fossil fuels or switching to renewables would seriously cripple the economy were ignored or labelled selfish and short-sighted. People dying from “fuel poverty” were ignored. It was all for the greater good. Sacrifices had to be made for the greater good.

And so the saga of Marco and Gerome continued on—every change, every missed prediction just shrugged off by the faithful while the rest of the world awakened to the reality this was all just a huge fairly tale. Marco and Gerome fighting to protect the planet from a fictional malady.

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