The Public Eye

printed 06/15/2018

Let’s talk about the rising sea level situation, which either does or does not exist, according to one’s personal and political beliefs.

According to a new study, the Antarctic ice shelf is melting three times faster than previously believed and sea levels around the world will rise accordingly.

This has led to the following conclusions, again depending on one’s political thinking.

1. Somebody’s lying and it’s all a scheme to offer pre-construction prices on oceanfront lots in West Virginia.

2. Somebody’s not lying and we might want to hold off having the screens fixed on the storm doors.

3. Maybe someone’s lying and then again maybe not, but either way, Maryland Democrats already know how to draw a new First Congressional District that encompasses parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Before we go any further, we should acknowledge that sea level rise is not a joking matter to most people, no matter what you say or how you say it.

We can laugh at nuclear war — The North Koreans are too short to reach the launch button, ha-ha-ha-ha — because it doesn’t require us to do anything other than say,“Well, this wasn’t my fault,” as we rise up into the cosmos one sub-atomic particle at a time.

But joke about sea level rise and climate change? Well, that’s serious territory.

If, for instance, a person doesn’t believe the polar ice caps are melting because of climate change, and it’s more likely that someone left a burner on down in the earth’s mantle (where the mole people live, if my scientific assumptions are correct), then even your best attempt at humor will not be well received. The same goes for the folks who have been stocking up on diving bells.

For example, you say, “You know what happened to the Arctic explorer when the ice cap broke apart? He had to go with the floe.”

To the climate change/sea level rise believer, that’s not amusing because it suggests that you don’t believe it is happening and you are an ill-informed dunce.

On the other hand, the sea level rise skeptic will think it’s not funny because it suggests that you do believe it is happening and you are a gullible dunce.

Either way, you are a dunce, with the question of what kind of dunce being immaterial. To put it another way, if someone said, “You’re one ugly so-and-so,” it’s not like you would feel better knowing what kind of ugly you happened to be.

Nevertheless, I do have some specific questions on the sea level rise subject.

1. Can we block sea level rise in Ocean City because it will spoil our view?

2. Does this mean the day will come I can stop trying to look busy on something else while my wife cuts the grass?

4. Doesn’t this mean the Ocean City Inlet ought to be getting deeper rather than the other way around?

5. Is it possible that this would give ocean access to Berlin, which would, of course, hold a downtown celebration to recognize its new attribute, with 150-year-old Mayor Gee Williams declaring that the best thing to do is to turn the ocean into a park called “Berlin Floats?”

6. Are there really mole people living miles below the surface of the planet?

The answer to the latter is “possibly,” depending on who you ask.

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