The Future Home of Georgeís
by Dan Jamieson
"Iíve purchased some property near Gillam, Manitoba," George told me the other day.
Gillam is in Northern Manitoba, a hundred miles inland from Hudsons Bay and accessible only by rail or air for much of the year.
"Planning a hunting lodge?" I asked. I was a little skeptical. Hunting required a willingness to get some exercise in the fresh air. Such things were far outside Georgeís usual range of activities.
"Not a hunting lodge, no," George said, confirming my skepticism.
"Surely not just to have a place in the country to kick back and smell the flowers?" I said, my voice rising incredulously. Kicking back and relaxing George would do if forced to, but smelling the flowers, he would say, is for the bees.
George looked offended. "Well, I might do that from time to time," he said.
"But thatís not why you bought it," I ventured.
"No," he confirmed. "No, I bought it to build a resort."
Iíve been to Gillam, and it is a nice enough place, but I could only envision one type of tourism working there. "Youíre going to open a hunting and fishing resort there?" I guessed.
"Donít be silly," he retorted. "I donít know anything about hunting or fishing. It will be a tropical beach-front resort."
"At Gillam!?" George has had some hair-brained schemes in the past, but a tropical beach front resort a hundred miles from the nearest water, water that is frozen about half the year, has to be about the hairiest. I expressed this thought aloud.
"Youíre just being short-sighted," he huffed. "You have to have a little vision to understand."
"Iím all eyes," I said. "And ears. Explain it to me."
"Well youíre the one who is always talking about the environment," he said. "You know about global warming and all that."
The penny dropped.
"Global warming might provide tropical temperatures at the latitude of Gillam in a hundred years, George. It is unlikely anyone will consider Gillam tropical in our lifetimes.
"Besides, where are you going to get the beach?"
"As the globe warms the ice sheets will all melt. You know that. The scientists think that sea level will rise about 67 meters. I bought property right at the 68 meter mark."
"George, if it happens at all it wonít happen for hundreds of years. And if it does happen no-one will be worried about tropical vacations."
"I know that," George said, "but the land was so cheap I can afford to wait for the profits."
"George, you canít wait until the ice caps melt. Youíll be dead!"
"Oh, I donít plan to wait until the place is
actually built," he said, "just long enough to sell all the shares in my
tropical beach front condo and resort hotel company. Iíve already found a
few interested people.
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