Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Assured Results Of Science

As you know by now, the great goddess Science has pronounced global warming a human-induced tragedy that will destroy the entire planet in perhaps hours. (For more on this, see the mid 70's scientific and journalistic pronouncements on the environment, and substitute the words "global warming" for "coming ice age.")

On Friday night, I accidentally tuned into the Anderson Cooper show on CNN. If you've never seen this program before, the idea is that Anderson is sent out into the field to exotic and newsworthy locales, and then reports on how being there makes him personally feel on an emotional level (e.g. "It's really eerie to be here. I have this feeling--it's hard to describe"). On Friday, he'd been sent to Greenland. (Perhaps he welshed on a bet with a CNN boss or something.) The topic, needless to say, was global warming. Anderson was there because Greenland is made mostly of ice, and some of it appears to be melting. ("It's literally changing the map of this country!")

With Anderson in Greenland was Jeff Corwin, a hyperactive environmentalist TV nature show host who I used to have trouble distinguishing from Steve Irwin, though that problem has abated somewhat in the last year. This, of course, was a program about science, part of CNN's ongoing "Doomed Planet of Death" series (or something along those lines). The purpose of the program is to convince us that science shows we're in real trouble.

So Anderson, in telling us about his feelings, mentions that it's eerie and disorienting to be in Greenland because you can't really see the horizon. Because of the color of the ice and the color of the sky, it all looks like one. At this point, "wildlife biologist" Jeff Corwin, whom CNN had flown all the way to Greenland in an effort to help Anderson Cooper make the scientific point that the earth is doomed, chimed in to add some science. I'm taking this directly from CNN's transcript, since I actually had to double-check it to make sure I heard him correctly:
This is what's really amazing. If you were back home, for example, in New York, and you could see where the skyline is, you could see where the horizon is.

But if you look, there's horizon all the way around you, which is really incredible. You're that close to the top of the world, that you don't get sort of a dividing point. You're completely surrounded by the top of the world.
That's right, kids. According to scientist Jeff Corwin, whom CNN has flown to Greenland to give us the Scientific Perspective on Global Warming, the reason you don't see a horizon in Greenland is because you're nearly at the top of the planet. See, when you stand at the top of this round planet, the horizon disappears...because you're so high up. I just hope he held onto something so that he didn't slide off. Presumably, that would be an awfully long fall from "the top of the planet."

So enough already, you doubting, obscurantist flat-earthers. Stop doubting science of global warming and get behind the geniuses before more of the horizon melts away and we're all hurtled into space.

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