Month 9, Day 18: I Always Liked Walruses

USA Today ran an AP article on the Walrus beachings. Naturally, the comment thread is full of denialists. What will it take for these people to wake up?

In discussing the tragic beaching of thousands of walruses, Seth Borenstein hides the true horror of the event. First noting that scientists call this phenomenon “unusual,” he then writes that “…it has happened at least twice before, in 2007 and 2009. In those years Arctic sea ice also was at or near record low levels.” In other words, an “unusual” event isn’t “unusual” any more. This paints a gloomy picture for one of the world’s most fascinating sea creatures. The existential threat posed by climate change is exacerbated by our media’s inability to address the problem directly; Borenstein’s phrasing makes it easy to dismiss a devastating ecological tragedy from our minds. Writing, “Three times in the last four years, melting sea ice caused by atmospheric warming has made thousands of walruses beach themselves,” would be truer to the facts and to the nature of the danger we face.

Warren Senders