ABC News is contributing a new fleet of hot air balloons to the bavardage that passes for serious global warming reportage. And it's going to get the kind of landfill contributions for which it shills.
"Global warming affecting your life? E-mail us," goes the headline on the network's Web site. "Send us your stories and video ... extend the reach of ABC News' reporting by sharing your observations."
Those scientific method-minded folks at the Anything But Confirmation network -- remember the story about House Speaker Dennis Hastert being under federal investigation, a story even denied by the feds? -- want "to hear from you" because it's "currently producing a report on the increasing changes in our physical environment."
ABC is "looking for interesting examples of people coping with the differences in their daily lives. Has your life been affected by global warming?"
Good grief and here we go. Things that, sans strict scientific scrutiny, most likely are happenstance, anecdotal or not related to global warming at all now are going to be reported by a major U.S. news network as proof positive of not just the man-made effects of global warming but that it lives and breathes on the grounds of every Stanley P. and Stella C. Kachowski.
"Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown?" ABC asks. "The difference can be large or small -- altered blooming schedules, unusual animals that have arrived in your community, higher water levels encroaching your property."
Well, by golly, let's begin by taking a brief, closer look at ABC's leading suggestions:
I very well expect to have my first vine-ripened tomatoes this weekend, the earliest ever. Global warming? Hardly. I braved an unusually chilly and rainy early May day to grab at a flea market two early varieties of tomatoes that obviously had been started in a hothouse and already had half a dozen blooms. May turned out to be a very chilly and damp month this year. I planted in raised beds that improved drainage and use old bricks to retain heat at night. Had I planted directly in the ground, this year's crop would have rotted.
But I wonder how many casual gardeners out there, not realizing what variety they planted and all that other technical gardening stuff, will shoot a little video of their global warming tomatoes and, worse, it "makes air" with some goofus intoning "I've ne'er had termaters this ear'y. Global warming, fer sure"?
Other than an influx of Democrats in my community -- hey, some don't even pay their taxes and park illegally with impunity -- I've encountered no unusual animals to speak of. But some folks 'round this region have been reporting increased sightings of bear. Global warming? Doubtful. It's near the end of mating season and, well, that kind of activity tends to make a bear get the munchies. Rule No. 5,682: Amorous bears sometimes look for food in suburban garbage cans.
How many videos will ABC get of hungry, foraging bear and cite them as an example of man's global warming inhumanity to bear? …