Sunday, October 30, 2016

Guest blog from a friend of ours:
Worrisome Discovery Of "Iced Pumpkin Spice Latté" Proves Existence Of Global Warming, Say Leading Climate Scientists

According to the world’s leading climate 
scientists, this tasty new fall treat means 
we will all die in the fires of Hades brought 
here to Earth. / Associated Press
Reporting in the journal Nature, the world’s leading climate scientists announced this week the discovery of long elusive proof that the Earth is warming due to human-generated pollution.  Described as “incontrovertible evidence” of the atmosphere’s increased retention of solar radiation resulting from the buildup of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases released by human industry and activity, the paper announced the identification of a never-before observed substance that scientists are referring to as “iced pumpkin spice latté.”  Said the paper’s lead author and professor of atmospheric physics at Columbia University, James Hansen, “A beverage such as this was never intended by nature to exist.  We can only conclude by its discovery that the fundamental balance of the systems regulating the life-supporting temperatures of Earth’s biosphere have been critically disrupted by humanity’s consumption of fossil fuels and that our once edenic planet is fated to become a hellish wasteland that no one would want to live in even if they could.  And the amount Starbucks is charging for a grande is just outrageous.”  

Experts who had determined as “inconclusive” the way global temperatures have closely tracked the relentless increase in atmospheric CO2 levels since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution are alarmed not just by the confirmation that global warming is real, but that it is so advanced that the evidence is already observable even to those who lack the sensitive scientific equipment used to first detect the chilled gourd-flavored refreshment.  Max Zahniser, a Philadelphia-based green architect who volunteers in his spare time helping to resettle people displaced by natural disasters to cities that have not yet themselves become uninhabitable due to flooding, drought or daytime temperatures that can kill a healthy human adult in 30 minutes, described the moment when he lost his sense of optimism for the future.  Taking advantage of a recent late-September afternoon’s 85-degree weather, Zahniser – a self-proclaimed “superfan” of 80’s pop icon Tiffany – went rollerblading through Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park to admire the changing fall foliage while wearing his favorite tank top emblazoned with the large face of a handsomely whiskered tabby cat.  As he skated along listening to Tiffany’s 1987 hit I Think We’re Alone Now on repeat, Zahniser came upon a refugee from the former Pacific island nation of Kiribati whose family he had recently helped find housing for in the city when they moved to the US after their ancestral home became permanently flooded by rising sea levels.  “He was sunbathing by the pool that they now keep open past Labor Day weekend while flipping through a catalogue of air conditioners.  After inviting his family to join me at the beach in mid-October I casually asked him what he was drinking.  I had always dismissed the nonsense so-called ‘scientists’ write about in peer-reviewed journals, but I was totally taken aback when he said it was an ‘iced pumpkin spice latté.’  That’s when it struck me that global warming is real.”

Having steadily issued warnings for more than 30 years about the potential for global warming and the devastating impacts it would have on the habitability of the planet, scientists are at a loss to explain how the world has nonetheless reached the point where Glenda’s Taste of France Café & Deli in Poughkeepsie, NY, now offers customers a free iced pumpkin spice latté after they purchase 10 at the regular price.  The failure of the scientific and environmental communities to effectively warn the public of such a dangerous threat was a particular to blow to Moyock, NC, resident Dolores Schemple.  As an oceanographer who studies the destruction of coral reefs by ocean acidification from human-caused CO2, Schemple has made it a personal mission to warn others about the seriousness of the issue.  “I love traveling, and whenever I’m on one the many flights I take each year to vacation in places as far away as South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia to visit cultural treasures that might not be around for future generations because of the environmental threats they face, I always make a point to tell the passengers sitting next to me about how Western, fossil fuel-supported lifestyles are shortsighted, unsustainable and, frankly, selfish when you consider the environmental harm they cause.  But clearly some people just don’t get it.”  Added Schemple, “To know that people are now drinking iced pumpkin spice lattés makes me worry that I might never be able to fulfill my dream of visiting Antarctica before it gets destroyed by people who don’t consider the consequences of their actions.”

To ensure there was no confusion amongst the citizenry of the United States about how high of a priority their government places on stopping global warming, President Barack Obama addressed the issue directly while sipping a large iced pumpkin spice latté that he described as “delicious” and his “new favorite.”  Speaking in an impassioned tone, Obama declared “that the time for urgent action against humanity’s irresponsible release of CO2 gases into Earth’s precious atmosphere is now,” before being whisked away in a 30-vehicle motorcade to fly to China aboard a private jumbo jet for a discussion on reducing tariffs on US coal exports.  Concluding his remarks, Obama took a large sip of his drink that was both frosty yet warmed by a hint of nutmeg and added, “Whoa!  Brain freeze!” 

The report confirming the existence of global warming has even reached the campaign trails of those looking to succeed Obama as president.  Said Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, “Iced pumpkin spice lattés are a hoax created by China.”  The Clinton campaign, for its part, expressed concern about the impacts of global warming on the cost of college for millennials and released a policy paper detailing plans to regulate iced pumpkin spice lattés under a cap and trade system.

Despite the alarm expressed by scientists, not everyone is concerned about the new seasonal pick-me-up the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is calling the “harbinger of The End Times.”  Harold Deubner, a freelance taxidermist from Maumee, OH, said the real threat to America is Islamic terrorism, which in 2015 was responsible for the loss of 19 lives in the US.  Having just pulled into a gas station to refuel his car despite automobiles being responsible for the deaths of approximately 38,300 Americans over the same time period, Deubner said that iced pumpkin spice lattés are an encouraging sign of US economic growth and reduced dependence on oil from Muslim countries in the Middle East.  Deubner, who like many Americans believes the Earth is 6,000 years old, then proceeded to fill his tank with 10 gallons worth of hydrocarbon molecules that were distilled over the course of 234 million years from 900 metric tons of dead phytoplankton that slowly accumulated at the bottom of the ocean during the Triassic period so that he could commute to work for the next 3 days.  Having recently gotten rid of the Prius he bought when gas prices were over $4 a gallon, Deubner looked admiringly at the SUV he has been able to afford thanks to temporarily low gas prices made possible by fracking that has caused a boom in production from domestic US oil reserves, which will run out within the next 10 years. Before getting back in his car to catch up on his text messages while driving 75 miles per hour down the Interstate, Deubner raised his iced pumpkin spice latté in a toast, saying “To America finally being on track to realize a future of energy independence!”

Back in his office, where he donned a sweater to keep warm in the frigid air conditioning, Dr. Hansen described the environmental dilemma facing the world in even starker terms, saying that, if left unchecked, global warming would soon result in problems far more frightening than what has been seen so far.  “If the current trends continue, by 2021 we could start seeing frozen raspberry-lime margaritas replace milk as the traditional drink children leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.”  Hansen then went online to buy tickets to a water park in Upstate New York for Thanksgiving weekend for each of his five grandchildren – who, as Americans, will consume 30 times more resources than their counterparts in many other countries – while he slurped with a straw the last bit of iced pumpkin spice latté he had been drinking and remarked, “Mmmm, that was good!”

In case it wasn’t obvious, this article is satire.  Although global warming is serious and real, much described above – including the events, quotes, and non-famous and/or patently fictional characters who the author does not personally know – are not.  Except iced pumpkin 
spice lattés.  Sadly those really do exist.  Apologies to all who prior to reading this still believed in Santa Claus and Poughkeepsie, NY.

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