Dispatches from the wilds of Proseambique – Unintended Consequences

I have always been inordinately fond of unintended consequences. There is, of course, a certain innate irony in such things, but primarily, I think, it is the almost mathematical beauty of watching a peculiarity of causality unfolding like a budding rose.

I delighted, for instance, in reading about how the latest U.S. Presidential election was determined, in part, by the shape of the coastline 85 Million years ago. Or how George W. Bush, may, perhaps, owe his presidency to the invention of air-conditioning.

But some quirks of causality are, perhaps, better than others. Take, for instance, last night’s Today Tonight story, looking at the possible consequences of recession. Now, the consequences of such an enormous economic change will, naturally, be far-reaching, doubtlessly penetrating into spheres of life we don’t expect in ways that we have yet to imagine. Some, like the upswing in business for cobblers, seem obvious. Others, like the short-term uptick in business for high-end prostitutes from anxious businessmen are less immediately obvious, but reasonable enough when you think about it – similarly so the revelation that service at restaurants is improving. Of course, these subtleties are perhaps a little beyond the blunt instruments of Today Tonight‘s editing teams, who instead opted for that direst and most obvious of chestnuts: If the recession gets really bad, HITLER WILL COME BACK.

I’m not even joking.

(Around 5:21 is probably where you should start watching

Now, although they didn’t specifically state it, I’m reasonably sure that what they in fact meant was that ZOMBIE Hitler would be returning. For, as my mother put it; “Well, they never did find his body.

But enough of all this recession talk; you are, no doubt, now thoroughly bored with all this economic mumbo-jumbo. Instead, I’d like to direct your attention to this article from The Guardian. It describes the discovery of the largest snake fossils ever found – indicating a snake 13 metres long. There are two important statements in the article, specifically: “cold-blooded animals grow much larger in warmer environments…” and “…the researchers calculated that the tropics were on average 5C warmer than they are today.

Why is this important? Well, whilst The Guardian didn’t actually connect the dots for you – perhaps because, like Today Tonight, they struggle with the subtleties of causality – I however, am more than happy to do so. Now, I know that most people are vaguely aware of the consequences of global warming, and are, to a certain extent, fairly apathetic about them. After all, why worry about something that’s just going to mean more days at the beach, awesome skiing, and an excuse to live on a boat like you’ve always secretly dreamed? The answer, sadly, is that global warming isn’t all roses – because, along with all that awesome stuff, there’s one other thing that you’ll be seeing more of in the future:


Also, my sister suggests: Ginormous Crocodiles and Elephantine Lizards.

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Dispatches from the wilds of Proseambique – Unintended Consequences […]

  2. holy shit, i forgot that today tonight is the BEST news program in the country. Hitler WTF?

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