That’s not a joke. OK. It’s kind of a joke to most of us around here. But it’s not a joke at all to Science magazine correspondent Eli Kintisch, who penned an oped for Sunday’s Los Angeles Times. He warned that the great strides we’ve made in the last 40 years reducing air pollution are actually going to make global warming worse.

Please sit down for this. Are you sitting down? Go ahead. I’ll wait. Ready? OK. Here’s the gist, from Kintisch’s piece:

You’re likely to hear a chorus of dire warnings as we approach Earth Day, but there’s a serious shortage few pundits are talking about: air pollution. That’s right, the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound.

Cleaner air, one of the signature achievements of the U.S. environmental movement, is certainly worth celebrating. Scientists estimate that the U.S. Clean Air Act has cut a major air pollutant called sulfate aerosols, for example, by 30% to 50% since the 1980s, helping greatly reduce cases of asthma and other respiratory problems.

But even as industrialized and developing nations alike steadily reduce aerosol pollution—caused primarily by burning coal—climate scientists are beginning to understand just how much these tiny particles have helped keep the planet cool. A silent benefit of sulfates, in fact, is that they’ve been helpfully blocking sunlight from striking the Earth for many decades, by brightening clouds and expanding their coverage. Emerging science suggests that their underappreciated impact has been incredible.

Arrrrghhhhhh!!! We just can’t win with these climate catastrophe alarmists!

“We must clean the air of all these pollutants to save the planet!!!” . . . “NO! We must pollute the air again to save the planet!!!” . . . or something. It’s always something that we’re doing—and must either stop doing it or do more of it. The constant and contradictory instructions from the green do-gooders is making my head hurt.

But the one thing that’s consistent is that the solution offered is . . . more government.

Scientist Rich Trzupek is even more frustrated and I am. In his post yesterday at Big Journalism, Trzupek wrote that when Kintisch’s story “was brought to my attention, I threw up repeatedly.” And after wiping his mouth and composing himself, he decided that “nothing but a rant will do.” You should read the whole rant.

Trzupek notes how asinine it is for the LA Times to run this oped about the need to throw more soot into the air when (1) thousands of scientists would think it ridiculous, and (2) the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland is doing that job much better than man ever could.

But Kintisch’s thesis even stupider than that, Trzupek notes, because:

. . . history tells us that Katla—a far larger and much more dangerous volcano—will blow soon afterwards. When Katla goes, and it’s overdue, it will spew so much ash into the atmosphere that we’ll be begging for a little global warming.

All this nonsense leads Trzupek to one conclusion:

There’s only one word to describe people who actually believe that mankind can control nature: MSM journalists.

Ain’t that the truth. But Trzupek left a few other miscreants off his list: Al Gore, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry (OK, just about every Democrat in Congress), the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, the European Union, Hollywood, most rock stars, MTV, the Discovery Channel, all public school children who lack parents with a sensitive BS detector. . . .

You get the picture. We could go on all day naming people who are not in the MSM but have been suckered by its alarmist, inaccurate (and, yes, decietful) reporting.

It’s telling that Kintisch’s tagline at the end of his LA Times piece notes that he is the author of a new book called Hack the Planet: Science’s Best Hope—or Worst Nightmare—for Averting Climate Catastrophe.

I don’t know what’s worse: the myth that man has more control than nature over whether the earth becomes warmer or cooler, or that government bureaucrats will have to direct every aspect of our lives in service of that myth.

Actually, I’m pretty certain the latter is worse.

(Cross-posted at The Freedom Pub)