The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Shoddy Foreign Shelving

Meanwhile, on the continent that witnessed Captain Scott's moral triumph a century ago, there is the minor matter of two thousand square miles of ice which seems just about ready to drop into the ocean. A crack a hundred miles long and a thousand feet wide has appeared on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, and is becoming wider at the rate of three feet a day. About ten per cent of the Larsen C ice shelf is expected to join the rising seas, which could make the rest of the shelf more unstable; a neighbouring ice shelf, Larsen B, collapsed fifteen years ago, and another, Larsen A, seven years before that. The hoaxes of the Heathen Chinee are drawn-out and subtle: far too long-winded to merit front-page headlines, especially when the Prime Minister of Her Majesty's Government is throwing dead cats in all directions. On its own, the collapse of Larsen C could raise sea levels by another centimetre, which would be unlikely to harm the immediate interests of the British Conservative Party or its chums. However, given that the quantity of ice on Antarctica is considered by mere experts to be significant, it is just possible that the shelf might be damming more of it up, and that the shelf's collapse might therefore cause still more ice to be released. The likely magnitude and consequences of such an event for the British Conservative Party remain as yet unknown, particularly to the Secretary of State for the Environment and most people who read the news.


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