Updated: August 30, 2012 6:12AM
I wish that a television evangelist, Rush Limbaugh, or anybody else who is close to God would tell us why the awful heat wave was visited upon us.
Is it punishment for putting up with a do-nothing-but-pout-and-argue-Congress? That’s possible, but some scientists blame it on greenhouse gases, stuff like Nitrous Oxide and Ozone — but you already knew that. I didn’t.
Whoever is in charge of the weather should be worried — just look at the experts who are delving into this hot issue:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
National Climatic Data Center.
As a kid on the farm, I looked out across the fertile fields, watching the heat waves do their happy dance, but I never heard any applause from the rows of thirsty corn until after a nice rain.
I can see that show from the front row seats in my memory theater, and I can still hear my grandfather stating profoundly: “It’s as hot as Billy Hell out there.” I can’t find the exact source of the Billy Hell thing. One “expert” links it to some Shakespearean stuff, but my granddad probably didn’t care where he heard it, he just thought that it fit an extreme burst of hot weather. He didn’t ever omit the word “Billy” but I know he wanted to.
Another memory from my kid days when most folks did not have air conditioning is that I felt sorry for our horses. They were out there in the blistering fields, pulling plows, helping bring in the sheaves, all the farm necessities. You probably already knew this: A horse can’t drink from a jug, so they waited for their turn at a big trough.
For a spell, I was the number one waterboy, riding a pony or horse to the fields, bringing jugs of cold water from our well. For workers only, of course.
Some famous guy said that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. Who said it? He was a perceptive observer of the human race.
I read a commentary that cited “sad stories of humanity’s inability to see the writing on the wall — overplowing that helped create the Dust Bowl, over fishing that has depopulated (I love that word) the oceans.” This heat wave, the writer said … “is merely the latest of many messages that should be easy to read.”
Some scientists say that if we don’t get serious about reducing greenhouse gases, dangerous heat waves will become more common.
Some of the hot air from our politicians is part of the problem, I believe, but I have no scientific data to prove it.
After my admirable service as a waterboy, I graduated to driving a tractor — horses became almost obsolete. The unemployment rate for farm nags zoomed. I never really knew what happened to horses who lost their jobs, and I didn’t want to know.
I learned a valuable lesson as a waterboy. Giving a cup of cold water to someone who is thirsty is rewarding, and even a figurative cup, like a kind word or a smile, can give a lift to someone who thirsts for encouragement.
I reckon that we don’t need scientists to tell us that.