And Today’s Hyperbolic Headline Goes To…

r-THAW-huge

The Huffington Post, with dramatic image of ice crashing and melting included, for effect.

Can you feel just how terrible it will all be?

Antarctic Ice Shelf On Brink Of Unstoppable Melt That Could Raise Sea Levels For 10,000 Years.

I mean look, I am no climate change denier and there is no doubt in my mind that this planet’s climate is changing, but reading this ridiculous, undoubtedly aimed at inducing panic and being sensationalist, headline to get more hits, made me laugh pretty damn hard.

IT COULD RAISE SEA LEVELS FOR THE NEXT 10,000 years.

Ten Thousand!!!

Teeeeen thousaaaand!!!

Oh no!!

Are you scared yet? 10,000 years is just around the corner.

I mean pile it on a bit thicker, HP, won’t you.

And then the article itself is filled with vague “what if…” /guessing game speculation, such as “The study indicated that it could take 200 years or more to melt the ice plug if ocean temperatures rise. Once removed, it could take between 5,000 and 10,000 years for ice in the Wilkes Basin to empty as gravity pulled the ice seawards.”

It “could” take 200 years.

“If” ocean temperatures rise.

“Once” removed, which is based on the “if” from above, it “could” take between 5,000 to 10,000 (don’t try to narrow it down so precisely)  for ice in the Basin to empty blah blah blah.

“It sounds plausible” was the response of a professor not involved in the study.

Well shit, if it “sounds plausible” based on your educated, scholarly and scientific opinion then let me go get energy saving light bulbs right now and sit in the dark at night to make sure the ice on Earth doesn’t melt in the next 200 years increasing sea levels for another 10,000 years.

Of course, all this is very reassuring when you read shit like this:

Almost 200 governments have promised to work out a U.N. deal by the end of 2015 to curb increasing emissions of man-made greenhouse gases that a U.N. panel says will cause more droughts, heatwaves, downpours and rising sea levels.” (emphasis mine).

So some random governments have “promised” (how sweet of them) that they may consider doing something or other about all this by the end of 2015???

That really is reassuring. And how swiftly they all are promising to act. I mean, as long as they all promise with sugar on it, it sounds good. We are saved.

* * *

You know where the UN panel and the panel on climate change and all hold their meetings every year? All over the fucking world, which means all these people working on this need to fly all over the world and spew CO2 into the air so they can talk about it.

When I was in grad school, one of those meetings/conferences/panels was being held in Bali, which is like somewhere on the far side of the planet and away from everyone else.

That year, thousands of people all around the world spewed who knows how many metric fucktons of greenhouse gases into the air, so they can talk about promising to do something based on something that may happen withing the next 5,000 to 10,000 years, by the end of three years from now.

Then next year, they all jet to another exotic locale, spewing who knows how many metric fucktons of greenhouse gases into the air, so they can talk about promising to do something based on something that may happen withing the next 5,000 to 10,000 years, by the end of three years from now.

And round and round we go just in case, maybe, if this happens, or that doesn’t, or this could happen, or not, if maybe this happens just in case that happens.

Uh-huh.

Way to do both climate science and journalism. Gave me a good laugh, though.

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