Like many people, I’ve been worried about global warming, although I don’t know anything about it.
During a recent warm spell, I was standing on the corner, waiting for the light to change, and I remarked to the gentleman standing next to me, “I wonder if there is global warming.”
“Woojathinkso!” the man replied, crossing the street hurriedly and leaving me standing there perplexed.
Woojathinkso….Is that what he said?….Woojathinkso….I forgot all about the errand I was on and turned around to go home. What did that fellow mean?
As I put my key in the door, it hit me! Wooja thinks so! Somebody named Wooja thinks there is global warming! Now I get it!
But who was this fellow Wooja? And why did he think there was global warming? Maybe he was a scientist. If so, I definitely wanted to talk to him.
I checked the phone book, but there was no listing for “Wooja.” Maybe he had an unlisted number. If he was a top scientist, that wouldn’t surprise me. Scientists don’t want to be bothered by strangers when they’re in the middle of something important. But he had to be known somewhere. Surely at the university. That was it! He was probably in the physics department of the university!
So I called the physics department. “Do you have a Professor Wooja?” I asked.
The secretary hesitated. “Uh…do you mean Professor Woods?”
Woods! So he has an alias! A foreigner who goes by an anglicized name! “Yes, I think that’s the one. I’d like to talk to him. Is he there?”
“I’m afraid Professor Woods retired last year.”
Retired? In the midst of a global warming catastrophe? There was something fishy about this. “Can you give me his phone number, or tell me where he lives?”
“Oh, no. We don’t give out that kind of personal information,” said the secretary.
“Has he written any papers on global warming, by any chance?” I asked.
“I wouldn’t know. You’d have to check with the library.”
Wouldn’t know! Ha! She was stonewalling me. “So, then, I could just go to the library and read everything he’s written?” I asked.
“Yes, of course. Just go to the physics section on the fifth floor and ask the librarian.”
I thanked her and hung up.
The pieces were starting to fall into place. This Professor Woods, who was really a foreigner named Wooja, had mysteriously retired, and his present whereabouts were being kept secret. He must have discovered something about global warming — probably something too shocking to be made public, although that fellow on the corner knew about it somehow. He had walked away quickly, so perhaps he was being followed. It was still a puzzle, but maybe I’d find a big piece of it at the library.
I had never used the university library before, so I asked the librarian in the physics section for help. “I want to read whatever papers have been written by Professor Woods,” I said, somewhat out of breath after climbing the stairs (I should have taken the elevator).
She eyed me curiously for a moment, then pecked away at her keyboard and looked at her screen. “Would that be Professor Theodore Woods?”
“Yes, I think so. The one who just retired from the university.”
“Theodore Woods is the only Woods we’ve got listed. Here are his papers.” She turned the screen around so I could read it.
I scanned the titles of his papers….Magnetotelluric Technology Applications For Deep Earth Resistivity….Time-Domain Electromagnetic Systems….Maxwell Three-Dimensional Conductive Plate Modelling….Rotating Gradient Data Collection For Enhancement of High-Resolution Total-Magnetic Intensity Measurement….Borehole Gravity Logging Systems For 3-D Models and Measurement of Bulk-Density of Intersected Formations….Problems of Ground EM Pulse Geophysics….2-Axis Tipper EM Applications….Full-Tensor Airborne Magnetic Gradiometrics and Total Gravity Field Measurement….My eyes glazed over. There was nothing about global warming. Those papers had obviously been removed! I was too late!
Frustrated and angry, I went to the physics department to confront that secretary I had spoken to. As I was wandering around the halls, looking for the office, a young man stopped me. “Are you looking for someone?” he asked politely, but not smiling.
Foolishly, I blurted out, “I want to know what Professor Woods found out about global warming! Why is it being kept secret?”
The young man gave me a long, suspicious look. Finally he said, “Are you connected with the university?”
“No….I’m…I’m just a layman.”
“Professor Woods was not involved with global warming.”
“And how do you know that?” I demanded.
“I was his teaching assistant.”
I stood there dumbly for a moment, not knowing what to do next. “Suppose I wanted to talk to him,” I ventured weakly.
“Why don’t you write down your name and phone number, and I’ll pass it along to him.”
So I did. Maybe that was a mistake. Now they know who I am!
Back at home, I pondered the dark mystery I had unearthed. It was very clear that this Professor Woods, or Wooja, had stumbled onto something so terrible it had to be suppressed. A lid of secrecy had been clamped down on the whole matter — probably emanating from the highest levels of government. Even worse, the people responsible might think that I knew something I wasn’t supposed to know, even though I didn’t know anything — not even what I was supposed to know!
For the sake of my personal safety, I’m giving up this whole nasty business! I’m never going to say or do anything more about global warming! I never should have gotten involved in the first place!
If you think you’re the brave one who can break through this wall of censorship, I leave it in your hands. Go ahead. At least I’ve given you something to go on. But I’ve just heard the latest weather forecast, and from the sound of it, it may be too late for all of us! How much time do we have left before…it…happens? Wooja knows. And a few others. But as for me, I no longer want to know!
Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org