So, I thought, I will just sit here staring at my computer screen until I come up with something entirely new and original to say about federal spending and the utter necessity of raising the debt limit before our lack of action causes the universe to implode.

ZZZZZZZZ What? Oh, sorry, dozed off a bit there. If you want something on the debt limit, we have letters and syndicated columns. There are stories and analyses.

But not from me. It’s the issue that has put the “anal” in analysis, and you can have it.

Still, every so often the boss wanders by, and he’s getting that Harmon-is-due-for- another-motivational-dope-slap look in his eye, so I’d better get busy. Or at least look busy. Fortunately, I’ve had practice.

One thing worth writing about this week isn’t politics, as thrilling as we all find it (ZZZZZ darn, dozed off again), but to celebrate the fact that politics, and indeed the whole purpose of public life in a free society, is to organize things so that we don’t have to worry about politics 100 percent of the time. Or, preferably, very much at all.

Indeed, what’s truly worrying about the current fiscal crisis is that things are bad enough that ordinary people have to worry about them at all.

That goes far beyond fussing over whether Aug. 2 is a real deadline. Whatever happens will not resolve the real issue, which is that we face a staggering debt of multiple trillions and budgets based on borrowing trillions and trillions more.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that the entire purpose of civilization was so that people could sit in a chair in front of a fire peacefully reading a book. A corollary to that is that societies in which political events are the most important things are typically ones in which freedom is well on its way to becoming only a memory.

So, I hope you will spend time this weekend at the beach, or having a picnic with family, or throwing a ball for the dog, or taking in a movie, or going for a hike, or anything but thinking about the debt limit.

That’s what we pay politicians good money to worry about, and if they mess it up again, that’s what elections are for. Even if all we achieve by throwing the old bums out is bringing in new bums, maybe a fresh crop will be motivated to do better. We can hope, can’t we?

In the meantime, let’s catch up on some things languishing on my desk dealing with developments on the climate-change front.

I take flak from time to time for even daring to mention the issue, because, I’m told, I have no scientific qualifications to discuss it. To which my reply is always that my credentials are at least the equal of Al Gore’s, and I’ll stop bringing up the issue when he does.

What’s interesting about Gore is that he hectors the rest of us about energy usage, and yet maintains several huge energy-gobbling residences, including one on the Pacific in Malibu, a fleet of SUVs and a private jet.

It’s been said that we can take “global warming” seriously when its biggest scaremongers, who scurry all over the world via carbon-spewing jets and hold huge conferences in major resorts to promote their views, start acting like they think it’s real.

Clearly there’s no need to worry yet, because the carbon-footprint crowd certainly isn’t.

And why is it that skeptics keep being told they are “ignoring the science” when they keep referring to real facts casting doubt on the warmists’ pet theories? The response always is that the warmists’ computer models, which are based on concepts and estimates, prove their theory right.

Of course, they “prove” nothing, and in that context it’s worth noting that a formal study convened to try to discern why there has been no appreciable warming for 15 years (it’s true, look it up) concluded that (among other factors) the sun’s relative quietude has resulted in a plateau in temperatures that was entirely unpredicted by models based on atmospheric CO2 levels.

In fact, a recent study by solar astronomers has raised serious worries not about warming, but about cooling, with a few fearing that if current solar trends continue, we could see another Little Ice Age like the one that ruined crops and froze Niagara Falls in the mid-1800s.

Then we have a new study released just this week that says, as Forbes magazine reported, “NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted.” The conclusion?

“The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than U.N. computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.”

Oops. But hey, it’s just a study based on real data. How could it possibly be more significant than a computer model?

And, as a bit of frosting on the cake, there’s this from the AP:

“JUNEAU – A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.

“Charles Monnett, an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, was told July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending results of an investigation into ‘integrity issues.’ “

Ah, global warming integrity issues. Can you bear it?

M.D. Harmon is an editorial writer. He can be contacted at 791-6482 or at

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