The Scythe is mightier than the Hockey Stick when it comes to getting the attention of those disposed to deny that climate is warming. Greenland's reapers , The Economist (7 September 2006) reports , have little to be grim about . They have brought in the first barley harvest in 600 years. The icy isle was colonized in the comparatively balmy centuries around the turn of the Millennium, when vacationing Vikings introduced if not Martha's Vineyard, at least Newfoundland ,to that noble Scandinavian custom, the keg party , which transformed American politics by paving the way for Senator Kennedy's amphibious assault on Chappaquiddick.
Viking interest in exploring New England may have been cut short when Long Ship's crews simultaneously ran out of beer and discovered poison ivy. One hopes palynologists can illuminate this historical question by assaying bogs between Newfoundland and Newport to see if shifting medieval levels of urushirol ( the evil active ingredient in Poison Ivy) may shed light on that fearsome vegetables northern migration.
In any event, Greenland's salad days rolled downhill into the Little Ice Age,and by 1400, its European immigrants had all perished of starvation, unable to eke a living as the growing season contracted and the ice fields grew. Now there's crispy Chinese cabbage , barley, and to teach warming enthusiasts a lesson in scientific humility, a truly alarming surplus of iceberg lettuce.
That Ain't Hay
Where barley already grows, frost-proof GM rye will follow.Ersatz Icelandic vodka now made
from Bulgarian grain may give way to the native spirit of Greenland,
flowing south from Qaqortoq to become a Green fashion statement in the hemp-clad end of the Hamptons.
So brace yourselves , Martha's Vinlanders , for politically loaded Low-carb
Greenland beer ads featuring the wooden visages of Alegore the Grim and Hiljari the
Horrible. The runes cast by the Finnish focus group wizards foretell
fossil ice hawkers planting glacier-proof GM tomatoes, and the wind
blows fair for an invasion of extra-virgin Danish olive oil , and
Labrador chardonnay watery enough to stand up to Ice Age ice. But go easy on the Siberian Champagne- too many CO2 bubbles can ruin a carbon neutral cocktail party.