Sunday, June 29, 2008

Where Will Santa's Elves Go?

They say the ice-caps in the North Pole will be completely melted through - for the first time in recorded history - this September.

We have always heard it would happen but of course, it always seemed such a distant threat - 50 years, 25 years, 10 years from now. The images on CNN terrified me, more than any bomb blast or cyclone could. It was not just the matter of human calamity or destruction of property, but something you perceived as permanent – at least for your life time – disappearing completely! It is not something obscure & hard to imagine like a crustacean in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or a species of desert snake in the Kalahari becoming extinct; it is something as romanticized as the North Pole! It is a region that was accessible to only a handful of intrepid Norwegians & Innuits; one of the last unexplored frontiers of man on this planet and unsurprisingly it was glamorized by Cartoon Network (who can forget the cuddly polar bears, cute reindeer and the red-cheeked Santa Claus from our childhood?!) films and Coca Cola advertisements. It is for this reason explicitly that this loss will be the first great burden of guilt on humanity’s shoulders – unlike the loss of coral or reptile specimens!

There will probably be miniscule changes though, maybe the US will shave off a few half-percentages of their carbon emissions & India will reduce their hacking at the Himalayas. There still isn’t enough cause to panic – maybe people think that Global Warming is still a myth.

Still, no matter what governments decide to do now, Mr. & Mrs. Claus will have to shift home (probably not to the US as they may not be able to afford the spiraling real estate prices), maybe to somewhere in Europe – but no, Customs would take issue with the diseases carried by the reindeer. The best bet might be Bangladesh, I know some great deals are available at Bashundhara Pink City, and besides the Elves could take jobs at Garments Factories when not making toys! I’m quite curious to see the outcome…but either way, it is an eerie thought to consider that the Aurora Borealis will glimmer over empty Arctic waters come September.