Guy Scientist, A “True” Story by a Fictional Character

(Jazz) Host: Ladies and Gentlemen Host: The NASA Climate Scientist Formerly known… as Josh Willis (applause) (laughter) Yeah, I used to be a regular guy. Just an average Joe named Josh. Willis. Sure I was a climate scientist, I worked for NASA, but deep down I was ordinary. Like you people. Then one day I snapped, like an overstretched balloon. I lost all aspects of modesty and humility. I realized I was more than a scientist, and a guy. I… was Guy Scientist! Climate Crusader for Truth, Social Justice and the Environmental Way. It was a bright clear Tuesday afternoon, in a state known for its sunshine. The kind of Southern California day that makes you wished you called in sick, and headed for the Getty with a bottle of two-buck Chuck and a footlong from Subway. But today was no picnic. I was headed right into the belly of the beast. One of the most conservative places known to man. Orange County.

I'd been invited to the Newport Beach Country Club to give a talk on global warming to some group of Good 'ol Boys. They were called the "Bluejays" or "Sparrow Club". Somethin' like that. They were Old World power brokers, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, rich oil barons. The kind of men who don't drive hybrids and want to make America great again. But I was ready. I've given my global warming talk a thousand times to a thousand different school children and soccer moms and city council members. I showed up early. That way I could clock the old timers and pass judgement on them as they entered The place was fancy. Expensive carpets. Hardwood tables covered in white linen, and more oak on the walls than a barrel of Jack Daniels. My suspicions were confirmed as they started to arrive: they were old alright. They had more pacemakers than Dave Bruebeck's rhythm section. And white, too. I've seen more diversity in a bowl of basmati rice. Matter of fact, everybody in that place with a skin tone darker than Donald Trump's teeth was wearing a tuxedo, and handing out hors d'oeuvres. I had my work cut out for me, alright.

But they were crafty. The fed me prime beef, first. It was delicious. And then it was showtime. I was flying high, I told a few jokes to get 'em in the mood. Like, uh… It's so hot in the Arctic… I said it's SO hot in the Arctic. (How hot is it?) There we go. It's so hot the polar bears are threatening to build a wall to keep the brown bears from moving north. Yeah, you guys get it, but not this crowd. No, no… my punchlines landed like a lead brick on Spanish tile. I moved on. I moved on to some charts and graphs. I provided incontrovertible evidence that the Earth was warming faster now than at any time in the last 10,000 years. I looked out into the audience. They were not impressed. Matter of fact, I've seen more trust in the eyes of five year old on the Metro, clutching an Elmo doll in his tiny, white knuckled hands. It was time to bring out the big guns.

Time for the balloon gag. That's right. The balloon gag, is a simple physics experiment designed to illustrate the heat capacity of You see the oceans absorb more than 95 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. Why? Because water, that's why. Water sucks up heat faster than a desperate housewife downs mojitos on a hot summer day. And once it gets in the ocean, heat stays for a thousand years– just like your in-laws after dinner. I pulled out my balloon. I inflated it with air. I flipped open my trusty zippo. The tall, lanky flame moved closer and closer to the skin of the skin of the balloon until… Bam! It exploded like a firecracker on Cinco de Mayo. Now I had their attention. I explained that the balloon filled with air, couldn't take the heat. But fill up a balloon with water, it can take more flames than Sean Spicer at a press conference. Simple physics. Flames can't pop a balloon filled with water. I pulled out my water balloon.

I held it up high. This was it. This was the moment I won the hearts and minds of the climate deniers. I opened my trusty zippo. I brought the flame toward the skin of the balloon and… Bam! It exploded like a bottle of cheap champagne across the bow of an oil tanker. Instantly, my arm was soaked and water rained down onto the expensive carpet in a river of liquid shame. A small brown man appeared out of nowhere in a white tuxedo and laid a napkin over the wet spot on the floor. Apparently, these guys were so rich they didn't even have to obey the laws of physics. That was the moment I knew. That nice guy climate scientist, Josh Willis?… His days were numbered. He had to change. After the incident, they peppered me with questions about climate data and natural cycles. I gave 'em all the right answers, but there was no more winning hearts and minds thatday. I packed up my things and headed for the door.

I looked up, into the sun. At least it was still shining. You win this round, Sparrow-Blue Jay Club, I said. But you haven't heard the last, of Guy Scientist. (Jazz) (Cheers).