Jack Zaleski, Published February 02 2014
Zaleski: Soon I’ll be howling at the moon
A Fargo reader was incensed by all the talk of climate change during what he said was the coldest winter he’s ever seen. “You media people – I get it – you’re part of that global warming crap. How in hell can you believe that crap when it’s so god-awful damn cold outside? You got no good sense,” he said during a rambling, angry phone call.
I said it’s hard to argue with the science. One winter or one hurricane isn’t an indication of climate change. It’s about long-term measureable trends and …
“Oh bull!” he said, his voice rising to the top of the register. “You people are part of the conspiracy. None of it’s true. Hurricanes? Not one hit the U.S. this year. Not one? What do you say about that?”
I reminded him that one of the largest typhoons of all time was recorded in the Pacific Ocean just a few months ago. And large-scale weather trends – droughts, floods, intensity of storms, melting glaciers – are indicators of climate change, not just one storm or one season of weather.
“Bull––!” he said. “It’s a plot, a conspiracy. Might just as well blame the moon for high tides …”
I said, the moon does cause the tides, you know.
Long pause. “You think you know it all, don’t you …? You don’t!” He hung up.
A caller who identified herself as a farm wife from rural North Dakota asked: “Are you a Forum person?”
Yes, I am one of them, I said. How can I help you?
“Why aren’t you telling people about that secret prison up here in our area?”
“Yes sir,” she said, her voice dropping to whisper. “Secret prison, federal I think, but we’re not sure.”
We? I asked.
“Yes sir,” she said. “Me and my friends – neighbors mostly, you know. We think there’s goings-on up there.”
Up where? I asked. What sort of goings on?
“I really don’t want to say on telephone,” she said, “what with that NSA listening in and all. Who knows, you know…”
About the goings on?
“Can’t say, can’t say,” she said, “but we think they got federal prisoners in there … from that ‘Guantanmo’ place in Cuba.”
Wait, I said, in where?
“The secret building, you know,” she said.
You’ve seen it?
“Not exactly. It’s hidden, you know, by high-tech things – so’s you can’t see it,” she whispered. “Invisible, you know.”
Uh, huh, I said, beginning to sense the effects of the long winter and new moon on the caller.
If you learn more, like a location, let me know.
“Oh, yes, we will,” she said, and thanked me for my time.
If this keeps up, I’ll be howling at the moon when it goes full on the 15th.
Contact Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-241-5521.