Monday, June 17, 2013

Circular Warming

(The messenger entrusted with carrying this despatch was unaccountably delayed by twelve weeks.) A semi-annual ritual has just taken place in Flatland - we have moved our clocks an hour forward to Flatland Summer Time (FST), so as to celebrate the passing of winter and the forthcoming summer. In reality, however, Flatland is perishingly cold, possibly on account of emanations from Northland, where President Input is prone to cutting off supplies of energy to any nations who criticise his kleptocratic regime. Our leading scientists are deeply puzzled by all this - for years they have been regaling Flatlanders with horror stories along the lines of:
The entirety of Flatland will heat up to such an extent that crops will fail, and the population starve to death.
Then they add more wood to their central heating boilers in order to stave off the cold. Something is not right, and a meeting of the Senate has been called to discuss what can be done. The issue of Circular Warming has polarised(!) our community. Some believe every syllable of wibble issuing from the scientists' mouths, whilst others mutter sotto voce that perhaps these selfsame boffins have been smoking exotic substances that induce hallucinations. Finance in Flatland remains in turmoil - a number of nations are much happier to borrow than to repay their creditors. A prominent example is Silverland, whose lady president Cristina Churchner clashes noisily with any judge (foreign or domestic) who rules against her crackpot state. Her most strident demand is for Flatland to cede a group of benighted islands, none of whose inhabitants wish to become Silverlanders. Clearly her support for the democratic process is selective, to say the least. With luck, she will have her leg bitten by a patriotic penguin, and forget about her absurd demand.

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