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Despite nuclear threats, we survive — and even find a chance to chuckle

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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 10:00 pm

In the time I have been writing this little column, I have been flattered with literally tons of positive comments from both fellow squareheads and normal people as well, and have also been told that I have a Pollyanna attitude because things are not that good now nor will they be.

We have, however Pollyannaish I am, survived the population explosion that was supposed to have, by the year 2000, put us in the unenviable position of being as crowded as the chickens in the fowl death camps, otherwise known as commercial chicken ranches, in which the crowding is sometimes so stifling that when a chicken dies, it just stays there because there is no room for it to fall over.

We have survived the certain death the vicissitudes of the ozone layer was supposed to confer, but it was probably deferred just because of that very thing: Vicissitudes. It didn't kill us because the experts said it would. Who said God and real scientists have no sense of humor?

Ironically, the causal CFC matter was never fully broached because plants in India, to this very day, still make Freon.

As a sixth grader during the Big War, in case of an attack I was instructed to assume a fetal position under my school desk since it would render a blockbuster bomb completely harmless because I had three quarters of an inch of solid oak between me and the blast ordinarily designed to level everything in the block we were in except Miss Wolleson's Sixth Grade Classroom in Lincoln School.

I have a hunch I would be even safer in that venerable building these days because it can now stand a huge earthquake, not to mention the blast of a 100 megaton bomb with "Kim Jong-il" written all over it. That is, if he could get a rocket to fly more than a city block from the launching pad in North Korea. Seems a dumb haircut does more for some people than just make them look dumb.

Back in the middle 1940's, Mr. Auch, who was the principal of Lincoln School and a munitions expert, said we would be just fine hiding under our bomb-proof desks. We were. The oak desks worked perfectly, but just in case, I did say a little prayer there under the desk. I wasn't limber enough to kiss my butt goodbye like one of the older kids said I should do.

I'm beginning to see things through the eyes of a person three-quarters of a century old because of the simple fact we have all become as old as we are because the doomsday naysayers have been wrong. You may have been sick unto death at one time or another, but you are still here and your chances of getting quite a bit older increase, percentage-wise, every year.

At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna again, let's get back to what makes us happy, healthy and successful - our collective attitudes. I sure as heck would like to have a lot more money, but even Bill Gates puts his pants on one leg at a time, and like Bill Gates, I have never missed a meal and am eternally grateful for the fact I have never been really sick.

And when I have been, it has always been my own damn fault (usually from overeating).

We are in a situation now in which we face Armageddon because of global warming. I would like to directly quote The Guardian on this issue: "The world is getting warmer - and U.S. scientists now know precisely how much warmer. They calculated the radiation from the sun, the heat reflected back into space, and the rising temperature of the seas and say the extra warmth is equivalent to a 1 watt light bulb shining constantly over an area of 1 sq metre everywhere on the planet.

That would raise average temperatures by 0.6C before the end of the century, they report in Science today. Warming at that level, maintained over 10,000 years, would melt enough ice to raise sea levels by a kilometer (if there was enough ice to begin with)."

Tell you what, in 10,000 years we are gonna need another Noah - badly. Next time I hope he doesn't herd the fleas onto the ark. That right there was a big mistake.

Bob Bader is a Lodi chiropractor and writer.

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