What’s dangerous about carbon dioxide?

Someone asked me the other day what I did with all my fire and anger. I can express it, usually about certain generalities and at no one in particular, but generally I lock it up inside and forget about it, just let it dissipate or do whatever the hell it does.  Occasionally, though, I can direct it at something.

Santorum thinks climate change is a hoax.  Now, since he’s up there talking crazy, I figured I could lob a little insanity up there too, in fiction form.  When I hear someone who’s supposed to be legitimate say something as ridiculous as this, someone denying something as factual as evolution or the fact that water is a liquid, I want to punch him/her in the face.  Especially in this case, when the issue at hand affects everyone on the planet and not just nut-jobs.  If it only affected nut-jobs, I would let it go.

So, friend asked me what I do with the anger once it’s realized. Could I shunt it towards sports or a martial art?  The answer is no.  I’m quite good at sports, but I’m a non-malicious player.  I just want to go outside and play the best I can and shut my brain off for a couple hours and have some fun. No, my anger comes to a slow boil, much less like a hired thug, but much more like a Bond villain.

I’m not saying I want to slowly lower Santorum into a caldera or anything, and dump fracking ooze on him. Even though that would be hilarious. 

When speaking of caps on greenhouse gases like CO2 Santorum said he didn’t understand what was so bad about carbon dioxide. In fact he said, “The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is.”

Okay, Santorum. Okay.

In a completely different, unrelated train of thought, a fictional scenario: a politician spreading super-stupid rhetoric to people who don’t know better but should returns to his empty, powered-down campaign bus and nods off. Unbeknownst to him, with the bus off, ventilation is shut down.  A slow push of carbon dioxide flows into the space and the temperature is rising oh-so gradually.  When politician jolts awake with a thickness in his lungs, he notices the condensation creeping up the windows and he loosens his tie and shucks off his jacket.  He goes to the front of the bus to try to door.  Handle sticks.  He’s perspiring.  On the windows he notices writing, invisible until the CO2 condensation began to cling to the patterns on the glass.

“The dangers of carbon dioxide?”

It’s on every window.  As he gets light headed in the heat, lack of oxygen, he slumps against the wall, slides against the window, his cheek smearing the message.  It’s then he notices text written backwards as well, on the outside of the bus: “I didn’t change as the climate changed.”

End scene.

So my anger sort of forms into scenarios I will probably use in stories later, but have nothing to do with reality or how I react to it.  Good writing comes from strong emotion. You have to love or hate your characters to want to spend more time with them, to want to see what they’ll do next.  Long story short, I shunt the anger to art.

Thanks, Santorum. You kind of made a little magic happen in my head, there.

Also, you’re a crazy-talking mofo. I hope, HOPE you’re grandstanding for votes and don’t believe the things you say.

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About ckstackhouse

Author of suspense books, creative consultant, blogger on culture and publishing. www.stackhousebooks.com
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