“Kinda warm in here,” The gray bearded professor said as he sat down at the Four Seasons hotel bar in downtown Houston.
“Yeah, it’s not the heat it’s the humidity, right? They’re working on the a c. What’ll it be?” the bartender asked him.
“Single malt, on the rocks, plenty of ice.”
Another man seated two stools to his right, spoke to the bartender, “This one’s on me, and I’ll have what he’s having. Make it a double. Maybe I’ll become as smart as him. You are the famous professor Smith from Harvard, am I right?”
“Thank you, and yes I am, cheers,” Prof. Smith said. “And you are…?”
“Thomas Johnson;” the two men shook hands, “Exxon.”
“George Smith, Harvard,” the professor said. Both men took a generous sip.
“Your IPCC report is required reading back at headquarters.” He paused, “I’m an attorney, that’s my job, sorry.” Both men took another drink of whisky.
“No apology required Mr. Johnson; this is a bar, not a courtroom. You are free to speak easy. And it doesn’t matter if we are being recorded,” the professor looked at the bartender who frowned, shook his head no, then curled the corner of his mouth into a small smile. “My speech is on YouTube.” They sipped their drinks in silence for a few minutes.
“I’m very familiar with your work at IPCC,” the lawyer suddenly said. “Over the next few years, either there is going to be a sudden, rapid warming that shoots temperatures up to where the models say they should be, or the mainstream climate modeling paradigm is going to fall apart.”
The professor raised his glass signaling to the bartender that he was ready for another one by rattling the ice cubes. Mr. Johnson rattled his cubes also. “Ice, ice, baby.” He sang, “Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum. The professor bobbed his head ever so slightly.
Both men bobbed their heads together and sang, “Ice, ice, baby, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum.” Tim smiled, and tilted his head sideways like a dog does when his master says something he doesn’t understand.
The professor stopped singing. “Scientists have upped their certainty about global warming,” “It is ninety-five percent certain human activity is causing the biosphere to warm. Everything we thought we knew about climate change we know even better now. We also have a longer record so we’ve seen more change, and we can be more confident of whether or not these reflect trends linked to climate or not.”
Tim set two fresh drinks with lots of ice in front of them. “Here ya go gentlemen; this should help global warming.”
“Hold on professor, I think that scotch may be overheating your brain.” Both men looked at each other and took another sip of whisky,. Neither man spoke… Finally, Mr. Johnson popped his lips, breaking the moment. He looked at the professor and said, “Since we are on the verge of seeing the emergence of data that could rock the foundations of mainstream climatology, this is obviously no time for entering into costly and permanent climate policy commitments based on failed model forecasts.” Both men took a sip. “The real message of the science is, hold on a bit longer, information is coming soon that could radically change our understanding of this issue. Lemme have another one bartender, plenty of ice.” Mr. Johnson laughed, and then spoke to the bartender. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Tim,” the bartender said smiling.
“Tim, you’re a good bartender,” Mr. Johnson said, the scotch having put a big clownish grin on his face. Mr. Johnson swiveled back and looked at Professor Smith. “Can we at least agree on THAT professor? Mr. Johnson spoke across the empty stool to Professor Smith, “What is commonly called,” Mr. Johnson put invisible quotation marks as he spoke, “mainstream” view of climate science is contained in the spread of results from computer models. What is commonly dismissed as the “skeptical” or “denier” view coincides with the real-world observations.”
The professor lifted his glass and gazed into it. He looked at Mr. Johnson, and said loudly, “Here’s to creationism.”
“And here’s to aliens from outer space, illegal or otherwise.” They clinked glasses. “And to global warming,” Mr. Johnson said taking a drink. There was a long pause.
“It is a mistake to focus on that counselor,” the professor said, becoming serious. “It is a mistake to focus on ocean surface water warming. It is just one of a dozen or so indicators of climate change; if you look at the deep ocean or if you look at the Arctic, there is no slowdown in temperature rise. The Arctic Ocean is continuing to lose ice. Right now the amount of ice in the Arctic is one fifth what it was in 1980.”
“Did someone say they wanted to look at a fifth?” Tim asked holding up a half-empty bottle of Glenfiddich.
The professor took a big sip from his glass, raising his index finger. “The deep ocean over the past decade has continued to accumulate heat. It slows no shines, excuse me, it shows no signs of slowing relative to the prior few decades.”
Mr. Johnson looked up at the ceiling, then back at the professor. “We hear from Obama himself that ninety-seven percent of climate experts, ninety-seven percent of published climate science papers, and the entire world’s leading scientific societies agree with the mainstream science as encoded in climate models. But the models don’t match reality. The climate science community has picked a terrible time to brag about the uniformity of groupthink in its ranks.”
“Oh God let’s please let’s don’t bring Obama in to this, shall we?”
“Hold on professor,” Mr. Johnson said, “Canadian journalist Donna La Framboise has meticulously documented the extent to which the IPCC has been colonized by environmental activists over the years, and we now she the result, excuse me, we now SEE the results. This scotch is affecting my peach spatterns, ha-ha. As I was saying, as the model-versus-reality discrepancy plays out, the last place you will learn about it will be in IPCC reports.”
“We call her Donna Raspberry at the IPCC,” the professor said. Both men laughed.
Mr. Johnson began bobbing his head and singing again, “ice, ice, baby, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum.” The professor began bobbing his head to the beat, “ice, ice, baby, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum. They both sang loudly and bobbed their heads together, “ice, ice, baby, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum.”
Professor Smith began rapping as Mr. Johnson kept singing and bobbing his head. “The IP she she asheshment, says, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum, why the rate of atmoshpheric warming has been going down. Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum.
The professor continued rapping, “The ocean is changing at depths Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum, as deep as 2000 meters. Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum, About ninety percent of the additional heat, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum, that the earth’s system has absorbed, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum, as a reshult of the greenhoush grasses, excuse me, the greenhouse gasses, Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum is actually in the ocean. They sand together, “ice, ice, baby.” Both men and the bartender applauded. “Bravo,” Mr. Johnson yelled. The professor knocked back his drink and slapped it down on the bar.
“More ice?” The bartender asked.
“Well yea-uh,” the professor intoned.
Both men began bobbing their heads and singing again. “Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum.”
A good looking woman in a low cut short dress walked into the bar dancing to the beat and whispered, “Ice, ice, baby.”
She walked over and sat down on the barstool between the two men. The men stopped singing. “I’ll have a daiquiri,” she said and batted her eyes, “Lots of ice, ice, baby.”
Both men chuckled.
“What’s so funny?” the woman asked.
“The gentlemen were discussing global warming,” the bartender said.
“Well there’s definitely global warming in here. It’s hot in this bar.” Both men spewed laughter.
“Do you believe in global warming?” Tim asked her, smiling.
“I believe there are too many people,” she said, then sipped on her drink straw. “There are just too many humans on the planet; fewer people mean less pollution, less crime,” she paused, “less global warming.” She raised her eyebrows, looked at the professor, and then turned to her right and looked at the Exxon lawyer.
“How you gonna shtop people from having babiesh?” the lawyer asked.
The drunken professor raised a finger, and then spoke: “One of the conshequenshezh of deep ocean warming is that it will be around for a while.” He listed hard to starboard, almost falling off the barstool, and then sat back up straight. He was very drunk. “The oshun circulation moveszh shlowly at great depsh, which meanzh it will be hundreds of yearzh before the oshun comezh to e quil ib ri um,” he pronounced each syllable. The professor then took a big drink. “That meanzh that over that time, the oshun will continue, as the meat hixshez, wait, as the heat mixshezh, to expand its volume the way mercury rishezh in a thermometer when the air tempature warmszh.” He slowly raised his hand, palm up. “That is why no matter what we do with emissionsh right now, the she level will continue to rizh for long time. I need to uszhe the reshroom.” The professor attempted to stand but his legs buckled and he fell on the floor. Mr. Johnson set his drink down, sloshing it on the bar, and then attempted to help the professor stand up. He fell down on top of the professor.
“I better help the professor to his room.” Both men leaned against each other, got up wobbling and staggered out of the bar, arms over each other’s shoulders, singing “ice, ice, baby Dum dah dah dum dah dah dum dum.”
“May I have some more ice?” the lady asked. “Mine has melted.”