Viridian Note 00183: North Pole Melts

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts: Arctic ice, Viridian disasters

Attention Conservation Notice: Why pay attention merely because the North Pole has melted?

Entries in the Viridian Magazine Cover Contest:

This contest expires August 31, 02000.

Links: climate-pole.html,4273, 4052241,00.html

    "The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole has turned to water, recent visitors there reported yesterday. At least for the time being, an ice-free patch of ocean about a mile wide has opened at the very top of the world, something that has presumably never before been seen and is more evidence that global warming may be real and already affecting climate." John Noble Wilford, The New York Times, Saturday, August 19, 2000

(((We Viridians have been looking for the "Rock Hudson of the Greenhouse Effect" for some time now. To judge by Viridian email submissions, open water at the North Pole is the most compelling evidence yet. "The North Pole has melted." This assertion is hard to downplay, though no doubt the Greening Earth Society will bend every well- financed effort.

    (((There's quite a lot going on this month, weatherwise. The American West is extensively on fire, with firefighting teams collapsing from fatigue. A lab report came out declaring that ragweed, a notorious allergen, is twice as productive of irritating pollen thanks to increased CO2. This ominous report implies that most every plant on this planet may have been sexually affected by the Greenhouse Effect. We can expect untold demographic effects down the line. There were 160-mile an hour wind gusts in Taipei yesterday from the anomalously huge and violent "Super-Typhoon Bilis", which is making landfall now on the densely populated coast of China.

    (((There is a temptation to despair when events this egregious happen to us, yet there is no detectable response from the powers-that-be. But keep this in mind: this ugliness is as nothing compared to what lies ahead. We are early in the 21st century's developmental curve. These events are dire harbingers, like bloodshot eyes and trembling hands == but the trend means cirrhosis, violent blackouts and Korsakoff's Syndrome. So far, we've got it easy. The day will surely come when everyone knows. Then our dilettante hobby becomes history, and serious work ensues

    (((Best news of the month: the fabulous Viridian logo of "BP", aka "Beyond Petroleum." Though America is running two Texan oil men for President and Vice President, Sir John Browne's British-based multinational has sacrificed the jargon term "British" in exchange for a globalist Green Party sunflower logo. The BP television ads in the USA, establishing their new corporate-identity scheme, are marvelous. You could easily mistake this massive, ancient energy company for a go-getting dot-com. Despite stiff competition from Shell ("Shell Wind, Shell Solar") BP has to be known henceforth as the Viridian darling among oil companies. If you live in Chicago, we Viridians would be very interested in an eye-witness report from a BP solar-powered gas station. We are also eager to own a BP Sunflower T-shirt.

    (((Before you dismiss BP's greenwashing as some ludicrous oxymoron, ask yourself this: why are you emptying your wallet at some gas station that is not solar powered?

    (((Many Viridians sent in email about John Noble Wilford's New York Times article describing open water at the North Pole. Mirian Lennox suggested an activist response.)))

no more north polar ice cap* (Mirian Crzig Lennox)

"This may be the most important Viridian news story yet, in that it's the first incontrovertible evidence of global warming which can be plainly seen by the naked eye and understood by the layman. I suggest a broad marketing campaign centered around this event, complete with Viridian Polar Ice Cubes (clear plastic cubes filled with salt water) and, just in time for the holiday season 'A Viridian Green Christmas,' in which Santa is forced to abandon his toymaking factory for a houseboat. The kiddies will love it!"

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O