Ask Dr. Babooner

Ann_Landers baboon 2

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I’m a reasonably sane 55 year old man taking early retirement. I want to live a life of convenience so I’ve been looking at online lists of the best places to retire.

Apparently a lot of it has to do with weather.

I confess I haven’t spent much time paying attention to weather because I’ve been focused on making money as a coal mine elevator technician. I know, it’s not one of those jobs you think about very much, but the companies pay big money to get a quick repair and the miners slip me cash on the side to keep the thing broken. It’s win-win! For me, anyway.

Now I’m independently wealthy and could live anywhere I want. One area of concern though – Mother Earth might be trying to kill me as revenge for all my years in the coal industry. Yes, it’s personal. I just don’t want to make it too easy for her.

According to the climate change scientists, sea levels are rising and places that didn’t have a problem with flooding will be battered by an endless string of increasingly violent storms producing surges that may make coastal communities uninhabitable – even the densely populated and resource rich northeastern sections of the United States are at risk as we learned from Superstorm Sandy.

Living on a cliff overlooking the water isn’t any better. In California, we’re learning that Mother Nature can quite casually toss dead whales up on the beach or send so much rain that your house slides down the side of the hill into the ocean!

Then there are earthquakes and tornadoes to contend with. Drought is another thing Mother Earth likes to hurl at people who violate the environment. Yes, I watched that show about the Dust Bowl! I thought Minnesota would be safe and for a while it was looking pretty good. Until today. My neighbor swears this pile of snow is not related to climate change – but I think it’s just another hit attempt – on me!

Dr. Babooner, is any place on Earth safe for someone hiding from the Earth itself?

Sincerely,
I.M. Paranoid

Dear IMP,

This is the most ridiculous question I’ve ever had, and it makes me wonder if your brain was damaged by mine gasses. No, there is no safe place on Earth for a person who does not want to be inconvenienced by the Earth itself. Since you’ve already spent most of your working life underground, perhaps you should plan to live there. My suggestion – dig a deep hole somewhere and climb in. Make sure the drainage and venting are good and you can live out your days looking at pictures of what happens on the tumultuous surface. But remember, once your stay on Earth is through, you’ll be underground for millions of years. Do you really want to get an early start on that?

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

46 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Babooner”

  1. Good morning. IMP, you probably need to make a visit to a therapist. If that doesn’t help, you might consider Dale’s suggestion and start living in an underground shelter. There really is no place to escape from climate change which could be thought of, at least by you, as Mother Earth’s revenge on the polluters. However, you will not be the only one who will suffer from climate change and you are not the only polluter. The real solution is to stop burning coal and stop doing other things that are damaging the environment and causing global warming. Maybe the best thing for you to do, IMP, would be to join the people who are trying to reduce the pollution that is causing global warming. Have you considered doing that?

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Dear Silly IMP,

    I would suggest living in the Tower-Sudan mine in Northern Minnesota. It seems made just for you. And there are physicists in there to talk to–that is your punishment.

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        1. Much obliged! Sorry I couldn’t resist, I’ve always wanted to be able to say that but never had the presence of mind to do so when the opportunity presented itself.

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  3. I agree with Jim. I think you should join Greenpeace and go to sea. You need to work off your karmic debt to Mother Earth. You’ve got about 25 or 30 years to work off that debt, so get going! You’ll know you’re on the right track once you’ve tied yourself in front of a huge outlet structure into a river as an enormous amount of effluent pours out and you get soaked with toxic sludge. That’s when you’ll really have something to be afraid of. Good luck, IMP!

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  4. Perhaps you could go live at McMurdo station in Antarctica. You wouldn’t have to worry about global warming, at least for a bit, but winters I understand can be fierce. Summer is no walk in the park either, but at least you can go outside and look at the penguins. You might even be able to get a gig working to help the scientists down there figure out how climate change is affecting places as remote as McMurdo and its environs. Not exactly strapping yourself to something with the Greenpeace folks, but might assuage some of your years in the coal mines.

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    1. Yes, IMP, I continue to think it would be a good move if you did some work on environmental issues as Anna and Krista have suggested or go underground as others have suggested.

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    2. I had a young friend apply to work at McMurdo and they do quite an extensive psychological evaluation before they let you come down there. Not sure if IMP could pass the test!

      I still think Minnesota is a pretty good bet. I mean, we had a foot of snow here yesterday and we’re all out and about today as if nothing happened! Yes, the occasional tornado, but I’d still rather be here than on either of the coasts! Or in the South, but that’s more of a political issue for me than an environmental one!

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      1. Husband works with scientists who do research out of McMurdo – a couple of them are there now for a few months (you don’t go to McMurdo for a weekend stay – I think the minimum stay is a month). Apparently part of the fun is getting there. Often the flights to McMurdo go out of New Zealand and it is not unusual to fly down in the comfort of a cargo plane. And yeah, from what I get second and third hand, if you’re going to be there, a psych evaluation is in order. It’s close quarters and you may not be outside for days at a time if the weather is especially bad. Not the sort of place you want to have someone who is not entirely stable.

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        1. My friend, John, has worked at McMurdo every winter for the past nine years; as a matter of fact, he’s probably there right now. Apparently there are quite the number of people who go back year after year. Have seen lots of interesting slides of the facilities, the people who work there, and the fun they have together. Reminds me of the camaraderie among the folks I worked with in Greenland. Wild and crazy times!

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  5. Dear IMP,

    While I agree with my fellow Baboons that working off some of your karmic debt to Mother Earth would be your best course of action, you don’t strike me as the sort who will do anything of the sort.

    May I suggest you follow Dale’s advice and head back underground. I see that the Smithsonian has an exhibit chronicalling the dramatic rescue of the Chilean miners, but Washington, DC would not meet your climatic safety standards. Perhaps you should take your economic independence and start a theme park/museum at the actual mine site. If people will spend money to risk being shot into space, I’m sure there are those with the means and thrill-seeking tendency to want to ride the rescue pod down into the mine and back up.

    Don’t ask me why people will spend their not-so-hard-earned cash on things like this, but will kick like anything to not have to contribute to making the world a more liveable place for all life, but they do. I think you might just be among kindred spirits if you took on this business venture.

    Best of all, you would be out of hearing range of the rest of us.

    Good luck and please just go away if you are not willing to be part of the solution.

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  6. Dear IMP,

    I’m jealous! You’re only 55 and in a financial position to retire, how nice. How about buying yourself a comfortable RV and heading to wherever the climate suits you at the moment? Life is too short to have to contend with all of the calamities that Mother Nature inevitably inflicts upon us if we stay put in one place. While I haven’t personally experienced the RV lifestyle, I have several friends who have been doing it for quite some time now, and they swear by it.

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    1. Well, PJ, I guess traveling around in one of those RVs would a suitable home for IMP. Those things probably burn a lot of gas and IMP probably would not worry about doing that. I guess there might be some environmentalist that have figured out how to live in an RV without doing too much environmental damage.

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    2. The RV life would help IMP avoid the scary stuff. He could plan to be west of the Appalachians during hurricane season, in Florida during blizzard season, in the southwest during tornado season (is it safe there?), away from volcanos and earthquake faults all the time. Life would keep him busy avoiding danger above ground.

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  7. Will have to read after shoveling out – just want to invite babooners (lurkers and occasionals, too) to email me any wonderful snow photos you might take today with your digital camera:
    mmbbhassing@usfamily.net
    and I’ll put them together later this week for a guest post.

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    1. BiR, I am not setup today to take pictures. I might be able to send some tomorrow. There is some snow here. It isn’t the thick layer someone you have. Only a couple of inches, but it is very cold here today for the first time this fall.

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  8. The only time I haven’t felt “safe” in Minnesota has been during rare, extended power outages. Even then, it’s due to not having access to my internet, cable TV, or lights to read by. I saw on the weather channel last night that last year’s total snowfall was only 4.5″. And here we’ve gone and beat that record low in just a few hours! Perhaps this winter will be a repeat of 2010-2011?? It’s positively gorgeous if you weren’t trying to make it home from a Vikings game in the middle of it!

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    1. I was thinking about last year when I was out w/ my snowblower last night. I was happy that the snowblower started, since I didn’t use it at all last year. Didn’t even put gas in it once!

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      1. You had better luck than we did, vs. Our’s was absolutely dead. After dinking around with it for three hours, Hans finally gave up and we shoveled. An expensive Toro that we bought last year, and which has been used only once. Not a happy camper.

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        1. Sorry to hear it. I wasn’t particularly worried as I am surrounded on all sides by great neighbors who are always looking out for me. In fact, right before I went out, one of my neighbors called me to see if my snowblower had started, in case I needed to borrow theirs! Love my neighborhood.

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        2. Just found out the problem is a manufacturing defect that’s not covered by the warranty! The engines to Toro’s snowblowers are made in China, and they don’t run on gas with Ethanol added. $50.00 to replace the carburetor, thank you very much.

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  9. We have some vacated missle silos here in ND that would offer you all the protection you could want. You night want to check that those responsible for missles in other counties know which of our silos are vacated and which ones are not, or you could be in trouble.

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    1. Reminds me of once when I lived in Wyoming, I accidentally pulled into a missile convoy. I had never seen one before, and had no idea that the police car, way out ahead of the truck that was transporting the missile, and the police car that followed it, constituted a convoy. The police were not happy with me, but could obviously tell that I was some nitwit who didn’t have clue, as opposed to someone who might have had sinister intentions with that move. A 1963 VW bug, driven by a 22 year old new immigrant, caught between a military police car and a missile, a serious threat to national security. I shudder to think what that incident could have escalated to!

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      1. Only two police cars? I guess they had a lot of confidence that no one would try to steal the missle. Maybe they thought you were Air Force security.

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        1. Renee, there may well have been more, but somehow they were spaced such that I didn’t recognize it as anything unusual. I was quite indignant when the police man began yelling at me and threatening me, and I asked him for his badge number and name, and told him that I certainly intended to make a stink if anything came of this. This was in 1966. I still have to shake my head to think that I stopped a missile’s progress, at least temporarily.

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  10. Manned mission to mars would only tale about 10 years to get ere and back
    How about doing Saturn and beyond. Go out about 30 years. Return or don’t
    No weather issues, just keep the capsule a balmy 67 and in the oxygen . I hear they a booking trips to the moon for 170 million, mabe you could talk your way onto a starship for whatever you have been able to amass and then quit whining. And I’ll bet you could fit all your friends in there with you too.

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    1. Gosh, tim…. seems only natural that you would come up with the answer that the rest of us didn’t… go off-planet!

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  11. Another place that IMP should consider is House on the Rock. That might be the perfect place to hide from Mother Earth. That bizarre tourist attraction has probably never has had a visit from Mother Earth and probably never will.

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  12. I would be surprised 1) that there is not a website that shows the safest places and 2) that NE MN would not be one of those places. Some of course would consdier the winters a natural disaster. But, otherwise, few tornadoes, minor flooding and landslides, or Michelle Bachman appearances. No quakes, hurricanes landslides, volcanoes or Tom Cruise sightings.

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  13. I might recommend to IMP a certain parking garage just off Grand Avenue near Lexington. It is located in a complex with a Starbuck’s and a CVS pharmacy. If ever your car is encrusted with snow and ice, you can pull into this balmy underground garage, park, and go upstairs to have a nice hot coffee or cocoa and relax. When you return to your car, rested, the remaining snow and ice will just slide off the car with a little help from your snow brush. I bet you could wait out a tornado there, too. The drainage and venting appear to be adequate.

    I had a harrowing experience trying to get home tonight – got stuck on Summit on an incline leading up to Snelling, eastbound. Couldn’t go forward, and the traffic behind me would not allow me to back up. Finally some kind souls gave me a push. I will be getting in some hibernation time tomorrow to restore my equilibrium.

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    1. Oh Linda, I feel your pain. I got stuck once at that very same spot. It’s not that much of an incline but my 1973 Capri couldn’t handle it. Mortifying. Wishing you a rapid recovery.

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  14. I would pick Northern Minnesota or the UP. Snow is about the only natural disaster…unless you live in Duluth or Superior…hmm….maybe I haven’t thought this through. Eh, I can deal with the occasional flood. Just live above ground and not in a flood plain, haha 🙂

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