Thursday, January 14, 2016

Let's hear it for carbon emissions!

Hey, good news! Well, maybe it's not good news, more like a silver lining. To a coffin. Oh sorry, went a little dark there, but according to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the effect of human civilization on the Earth's environment has at least one upside: it's pushed off the next ice age by another fifty thousand years. Um, hurray?
"You're welcome."
I'm not saying it's off the table
mind you, just not super-likely.
Well, no, this is science, so you have to understand that there's an open-handed slap of reality behind any upbeat headline. Human activity has mitigated the effect the Earth's orbit around the sun naturally has on the climate and in doing so thrown off the cycle of glaciation delaying the next ice age by another fifty thousand years, so a hundred thousand years in total. Still with me? Yeah, me neither, the point is that our massive carbon footprints haven't saved us from roving packs of sabertooth cats or having to hunt mastodons for food. Besides, we'll all be long dead.

'Hillary Clinton: is soft on ice ages. Me? I'll
screw the next ice age with it's pants on. Fact.'
So in many ways, it seems like this news isn't really going to help us much. In fact, it strikes me as a little counter-productive. Like, it's the kind of thing that could get latched onto in an election year as a reason to drag our feet over reducing carbon emissions. Why bother sticking to the Paris climate agreement when our reckless destruction of the environment has created a hazy orange forcefield against the next ice age? Hurray for carbon emissions! Carbon emissions are awesome!

What? Like it's any stupider than the vaccine thing. Anyway, a lot can happen in a hundred thousand years. Our species could be extinct, or maybe we'll have invented warp drive and will be fucking up alien planets. The important thing to keep in mind is that this news isn't really an upside to climate change. If anything, it's another harbinger of our planet's doom. Damn, went dark again. Sorry. Next time we'll talk about Star Wars or something, promise.
I guess what I'm saying is look on the bright side: this will be the ape's problem. 

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