Dateline 17,000 BC: The First Global Warming Debate Setting: A large cave in a hill at the edge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet near the present day Missouri River. The temperature is 35 deg. It is July. A large group of cave men, women, and families have congregated to listen to their chieftan, Grog, who called them there on important clan business. Grog is at one end of the cave standing behind a large rock he uses as a podium. A fire in front of the podium struggles to keep the cave people warm. Grog is about to begin when the bear skin covered door flies open. In lumbers Bog. "Shut damn door!" yelled Grog, "You born in barn?" Bog furrowed his brow and slowly turned. "No. Bog born in cave. Like all cave men. What is barn, Grog?" "Shut up and shut door!" Bog shut the door and found his cave woman and cave kid and went to be with them. Grog cleared his throat and began. "I suppose you wonder why Grog call you here." Heads bobbed in the crowd. "Grog have something very important to speak. Maybe you notice when you young cave boy big ice sheet much bigger. Used to cover this cave we in. Now it over there outside. So far away, Glorb can't throw rock and hit it." Glorb discouraged looked down at his hairy feet. "Grog know now what happening to big ice sheet. Grog not happy. Grog worried." The crowd murmured and grunted. A voice in the crowd rang out, "Some cave man turn down fire. It hot in here!" "Can't turn down fire. It fire!" said Grog. "But Grog glad you say that. You see, clan, ice sheet moving because earth getting warmer." The crowd erupted in laughter and cat calls. "Grog go crazy!" "Warm no make ice MOVE! Warm make ice melt! HAAAAA! Only cave man move ice! From ice sheet to beer fridge in cave! HA!" "I fart on Grog! HA!" "Shut up!" yelled Grog. "Listen to Grog! Earth warmer in south. Colder in north. Ice sheet move from south to north mean south moving north." "Ah, if I may sir," said Thag in the front row, "Ah perhaps this is a good time for me to explain." Thag was the chief scientist in the clan and very well respected. "Yes," said Grog, "Cave ladies and gentlemen, Grog invite clan scientist to explain finer details of theory. Please welcome Thag." The crowd thumped mitted hands together in muffled applause. Thag stood and walked to the back of the rock podium. He was very well groomed--his hair was only one color with no animals living in it and he had no facial hair. He was the only cave man wearing a tie. "Thank you, sir Grog," said Thag, "Ladies and gentlemen what we have here is of great concern to us and our clan. I've dug ice core samples from the Laurentide Ice Sheet and have discovered that the entire planet has been warming for the past thousand years." The crowd was so quiet you could hear a rock drop. Then a voice from the back rang out. "So what?" "Well, let me tell you so what," continued Thag, "I call this "glow ball warming." You see if the earth is getting warmer our lives will change in drastic ways. It will be harder to find the tundra grass and lichen we eat because they won't grow in a warmer climate. We'll run out of plants to eat. And furthermore a warming planet could very well mean the extinction of our favorite meat, wooly mammoth." At this the crowd broke out in loud chatter. "No elephant barbeques!" "No mammoth burgers?" "No ivory tusk doorways?" "But what cause glow ball warming?" "Well, I don't think you're going to like the answer to that question," said Thag, "It means all of us are going to sacrifice our comfort. It's clear to me that the reason we have glow ball warming is because of our invention of fire." The crowd sat in stunned silence. "Over the past 10 years our use of fire has doubled. And it doubled over the previous 10 years. I have been in touch with my colleagues in Europe--" "What is, colleague?" came a voice from the crowd. "You speak funny!" "My coworkers--and they report similar findings in their clans. We have reached a consensus. We must cut down our use of fire if we are going to continue to eat lichens and mammoth." "Question!" A voice came from the crowd. It was Moog. He stood up so people could see and hear him. "Yes," said Thag, "Go ahead." "Moog know that fire invented only hundred year ago. But you say earth warming for last thousand year. How you know fire cause glow ball warming?" Every cave head in the cave turned to look at Moog--many with sneers and distain, some with fear. "Sit down, shut up!" said Grog, "Who you think you are? You scientist? How much Big Fire pay you to debate here? You have degree from Bedrock University like Thag? No. You just dumb cave man." "Moog just want simple explanation. Should make sense to Moog," said Moog. "Well, he's right," said Thag, "Science should make sense. And I think I can help out with that. I've created a number of high fidelity models that simulate the earth's climate. In fact, you can help me demonstrate. Would you mind coming up here, Moog?" Moog made his way to the front. Beside the rock podium were 11 large round rocks each one about the size of Moog's head. Thag picked up one rock and continued his lecture. "Now imagine this is the earth," said Thag. Moog nodded. "Now let's put this rock--that came from the earth, by the way--into the fire and see what happens." Thag put the rock in the fire and it soon began to glow. Moog watched in rapt interest. "Now let's step over to the fire, Moog," said Thag. They then stood by the rock glowing in the fire. "May I have your hand please?" Moog gave Thag his hand and Thag immediately stuck it in the fire on the glowing earth model." "NNNARRRRRRGH!" yelled Moog. The earth simulator was indeed hot! He yanked his hand back which was now red and blistered. Moog fell on the floor holding his hand writhing in pain. "And so you see ladies and gentlemen," said Thag, "If we use fire, the earth will get hot. I've run the simulation on all 11 models and each one of them agrees with these findings you see here. Thank you, Moog. You may sit down now." "So. . ." said another cave man, "We just need to use no fire and mammoths no die off?" "That will surely help. But we need to do more," said Thag, "I have another demonstration I'd like to show you. This is a recent discovery of mine that I will be submitting to the Pleistocene Physical Review. Sir Grog are you ready?" "Grog ready." He approached the fire and got on his back with his posterior pointing in the fire. "Have you eaten the foods I suggested, sir Grog?" "Grog eat. Get on with demonstration. Grog have to fart." "Very well then. Ladies and gentlemen please observe. Sir Grog, you may fart now." Grog let out a tremendous fart which upon contacting the fire blew up into a very large fireball. "Ooooooo!" said the crowd. "So you see, ladies and gentlemen," said Thag, "Farts are fire fuel. If we really want to take glow ball warming seriously we need to curb our emissions." "But how we do that?" "With these." Thag held up a small cylinder made from the bark of the cork tree. "You put these in your backside and that will ensure that no stray fires will receive fuel from our farts." "Yag can't do that!" said Yag, "What hell?" Other cave people grumbled their annoyance with the plan. "We must though," said Thag, "Curbing our emissions really won't be that bad. It's just a matter of releasing less gas. That's all. We're really not asking very much from you." "Tell them about the corks," said Grog. "Oh yes. Now you may be wondering where you can get your corks. Well as luck would have it Grog's brother Crag has made enough for every cave man cave woman and cave child. And they're only two bones a piece. You can pick them up on your way out the door." "Grog think that bout does it," said Grog, "Thank you for showing up. Please pick up cork at door. Bye. Go home now." And so ended the first debate on glow ball warming.