Among the many topics almost too depressing to talk about following the election of President Donald Trump, climate change might just be the most excruciating. Not only has Trump formerly suggested that climate change is a “hoax” invented by “the Chinese,” but on a policy level, within days of being inaugurated, Trump reinstated the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, both of which have been widely recognized by advocates/anyone with a functioning human heart (and/or some basic knowledge of climate change and the historical plight of indigenous people in our nation) as grave attacks on human rights and the environment.
And meanwhile, in Antarctica, things aren’t looking too dapper either.
The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf, popularly known as Larsen C, is nearing a “full break” and grew 17 miles in just two months. “The Larsen A and B ice shelves disintegrated in 1995 and 2002, though both were drastically smaller than Larsen C,” the report states. “Neither contributed significantly to global sea level rise, however, because they were already floating above water, and the glaciers behind them did not contain a substantial volume of ice.”
According to the Washington Post’s Chris Mooney, while “Antarctica has lost ice shelves before,” it’s never lost “one so enormous.”
“Not only would a loss of Larsen C change the map of the Earth itself; the shelf holds back glaciers capable of contributing about 4 inches of global sea level rise over time,” Mooney wrote.
But beyond that small, insignificant detail of the map of Earth literally being altered by this iceberg melting, what else will happen as a result of this? Not much, according to Science Daily, aside from, you know, global rising sea levels eventually, inevitably swallowing human civilization whole. It’s chill.
Melting icebergs are largely recognized as the product of poor environmental practice heeding global warming, but don’t worry, the Trump administration is taking care of things by permitting enormous oil pipelines to run across the sacred sites of indigenous people! It’s all good.
Trump himself is still muddling through the good ol’ internal debate of whether or not climate change is real that the wealthy and privileged, who have never had to struggle to find clean water, nor ever lost access to the agricultural resources they rely on for survival, so often are forced to muddle through — poor thing! Hopefully he’ll get there eventually, and hopefully the world won’t have collapsed into itself by then.
While Republican senators are bringing snowballs out onto the floor as incontrovertible proof that climate change isn’t real (you know, because weather in one region sweepingly disproves that in other less privileged parts of the world people aren’t dying of dehydration, or anything like that), global people of color, disproportionately women whose families rely on them for water and successful crops, are struggling and adapting to survive.
In South America, Indigenous women’s lands are getting pillaged for oil, their sacred sites are falling to natural disasters induced by decades of reckless treatment of the environment, and in the U.S., the oil pipelines struck down by President Obama, once again, have been restored. That’s how much our president cares.
And of course, the collapse of an enormous iceberg in Antarctica doesn’t bode well for any of us, anywhere. But all we can really do at this point (you know, other than contribute to or volunteer for any of these environmental protection organizations that need your help now more than ever) is wait for a rich white man to decide for himself if climate change is real or not.
At any rate, my point (because I swear I have one) is that if/when Florida inevitably sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor, let’s all collectively remember and never forget the state voted for Trump, and with him, their demise.