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Climate change hits a new greasy high

June 20, 2011|By TIM ROWLAND | timr@herald-mail.com

My contract allows me one conspiracy theory a year, and while I hate to use it up by June, I’ve stumbled across one that is too big to ignore, and when Oliver Stone comes out with the movie, I want to be the one thanked in the credits for bringing it to the public’s attention.

I warn you right off, it’s not going to be popular on either side of the political spectrum. Those sheep on the left who believe anything the government spoon feeds them will think it daft, even if they agree with the underlying science.

But the paranoid right that you can usually count on to buy into flaming hot conspiracies and government subterfuge won’t like the fundamental premise.

The working title for the Oliver Stone film would be “America’s Sunscreen Smokescreen.” That’s right. The future of the earth as we know it is going to come down to handfuls of coconut-scented white glop.

Up until last week, the badgering classes treated sunscreen as a good idea, like seat belts or leafy green vegetables. It was just one more midlevel note in the background noise of the nation’s fear mongers.

But then last week, the message changed from “it’s a good idea” to “use GALLONS of sunscreen IMMEDIATELY or you will DIE.”

See what I mean? Something’s up.

Now, under normal circumstances, I would have assumed that all it meant was that the Obama administration had gotten an above-average campaign donation from the sunscreen lobby.

But this went much deeper. Actual scientists who themselves have not seen natural light in decades were being dragged out of their laboratories to talk about nanoparticles on the “Diane Rehm Show.”

The networks went nuts. In a blink, the war in Libya, the economy in free fall and Lindsay Lohan all took a back seat to suntan lotion.

All of a sudden, a quick squirt of cream was not enough. The experts now say we need, no lie, “golf-ball size” gobs of goop to do the job. So at the beach, all humanity is going to resemble ball bearings swimming in envelopes of axle grease.

Worse, they’re saying that clothing and even car-window glass aren’t enough to protect us from the sun’s rays. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that we are more likely to get skin cancer on the left side of us due to sunlight shining through the driver’s-side window.

The clear, if unspoken, message is that leaving your house is death.

What happened? Here’s what happened: Our latest data just confirmed the reality of climate change, which has torn vast holes in the ozone, allowing far deadlier levels of radioactivity to penetrate the atmosphere.

Notice that in Europe, where everyone lives within sight of a glacier (or used to), and where global warming is an accepted fact, these higher sunscreen standards are already in place. It all comes together, doesn’t it?

But the people who are now frantically peddling sunscreen can’t come out and say we need to lather up because of global warming because they know that half the population would then ignore the message as just another example of “junk science.”

Nor can they continue with business as usual because if they do, all Americans will be dead. So they need to get us all to panic, without saying why.

In a way, it’s kind of a reverse conspiracy — a coverup masked by a massive publicity campaign. But I’m sure Mr. Stone can run with it.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant at www.herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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