Publicity for an important report

So, I read about this on Climate Progress, and thought I’d do my bit to spread the news around too, so here’s my five minute take.

An article on the official website of Denmark about a month ago revealed that Greenland’s glaciers are melting fast.

Yeah, ok, we knew that already. I mean, unless there’s a big, pissy dragon messing around under the place, we don’t have any other explanation for the fact that the entire island has been gaining elevation recently.

The dragon hypothesis might explain the warming too, though. I should look into that…

Anyway, the point of THIS article is that “New calculations show that the amount of melted inland ice in Greenland is 25-50% higher in 2010 than normally”, where normally is balanced against the rates of melting in the 2002-2008 period. This is big. This is scary. This is happening RIGHT NOW. The earth is moving beneath you, the ocean is rising around you and the icy regions of the earth that have been white since before our ancestors were picking ants out of holes in the ground with twigs are fast on their way to being ice-free.

The thing is, however sensational this is, the official publication of this article was a month ago. It was a month ago, the Climate Progress article was the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m not exactly tuning this sort of thing out.

The problem, so far as I can see, is that most of our sources of information and news couldn’t care less about the issue. They, like the good capitalists they are, go for what they think will do the best in terms of making them money. Global warming is old news, therefor it’s only worth reporting on either as a byline, or if some important person says something controversial about it. The actual news on the issue is, by itself, apparently uninteresting. It’s science, and science is dull.

This is part of my problem here. Climate change is a remarkably complex, interesting, and above all TERRIFYING issue. The only way we could have a bigger impact in so short a time is if we started global nuclear war, and yet nobody, myself included, goes through their daily lives in fear. We don’t have global warming drills, we don’t have xenophobic politicians up there calling for imprisonment of all climate change deniers, and we don’t have anyone reporting on it like it’s something to be concerned about.

I don’t want the first two to happen, but given how pathetic a threat the Soviet Union was compared to what we face now, you’d think people would be a little louder.

This would be the appropriate place to say “we need to wake people up”, but that’s more or less useless. We do need to re-frame the issue though, I think, and start talking about it like the crisis it is. We to get creative, we need to get public, we need to get loud, and be persistently loud.

We need to do what it takes to get the fickle eyes of the nation, or at least the fickle cameras (the eyes are pretty faithful to their long-term partners, the television screens) to return to the issue again and again. (I want to be clear here, since there are those, like with any controversial issue, who might think that I’m advocating some idiot stunt like blowing something up or hurting someone or something. If anyone does something like that and, for some strange reason, claims me as inspiration, I will be sorely tempted to ask the cops if they’d let me spit on him, just to make a point.)

We have the science, we have the numbers, and the pictures, and the human suffering, what we lack is the drama. In this age of short attention spans, we need to make this as cool and scary as dragons, minus the fictional bit.

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