NPR Station Conducts 'Scientific' Sea Level Rise Survey Via Bizarre Computer Voice Shoutouts

What a "coincidence!"

While the Senate Democrats are currently engaged in a Global Warming (now conveniently called "Climate Change") all nighter publicity stunt whose real purpose even  a Washinton Post reporter claimed was to raise desperately needed campaign cash, the usual suspects in the media are suddenly reporting about this mostly forgotten topic. Among these media outlets, perhaps the most comedically entertaining report came from National Public Radio station WBUR in Boston which conducted a bizarre survey of computerized voice shoutouts to somehow determine how much the sea level has risen in South Florida. The transcript is below the jump but you must listen to the computer voice survey to fully savor the hilariously surreal nature of this report.

 

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW. All this week we're going to hear about the consequences of rising sea levels in South Florida through a series of reports from HERE AND NOW contributing station WLRN in Miami. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Miami is the country's coastal city most threatened by sea level rise, which means the region's economy, infrastructure, just about everything else is vulnerable.

Climate scientists largely agree that sea levels are rising and will continue to rise. But by how much? WLRN's Kenny Malone went in search of answers.

KENNY MALONE, BYLINE: In the year 2100, how high will the sea level have risen?

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #1: One-point-six to 4.6 feet.

MALONE: OK, so that's it.

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #1: Yup, according to the National Research Council.

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #2: I respectfully disagree. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says .65 to 4.9 feet.

I bid 6 feet!

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #4: Point-seven to 6.3 feet.

6.3 feet? You got me beat.

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #5: Point-three to 2.2 feet.

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #6: (Unintelligible)...

Unintelligible? That is the most  profound observation of this transcript. However the laughs aren't over yet. The truly wacky predictions are yet to come from real live folks.

MALONE: OK, shh, down, computer voices. Let's start from square one.

DAVID ENFIELD: Sea level rise consists of two components.

MALONE: David Enfield is a climatologist with the University of Miami and NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. That first component...

ENFIELD: That's the heating of the ocean.

MALONE: As the climate warms, the oceans warm, the water expands, and sea level rises.

ENFIELD: And the other is the disappearance of landlocked ice.

MALONE: Against as the climate warms, land-locked ice sheets start to melt. Water goes into the ocean, sea level rises. Based on what Enfield's seen, for example, he says sea level rise in 2100 will be at least two feet, possibly three, but if ice sheets wind up melting faster than we've been seeing already...

ENFIELD: We could be seeing six feet by the end of the century.

MALONE: A six-foot sea level rise puts the majority of Miami-Dade County below sea level. But that's Enfield's very unlikely scenario. Herald Wanless, on the other hand...

Unlikely scenario? Hey, I'll see your six feet and RAISE you another dozen!

HERALD WANLESS: Six to 20 feet, somewhere in there.

Sniff! I'm winless against Wanless. His 20 feet got me beat. As a bonus we also get a computer voice chorus projection. Remember, you must actually hear this GroupThink computerized chorus to fully appreciate the unintended humor:

MALONE: But some of the highest profile projections don't come from a single voice.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: We more or less agree .8 to 3.2 feet.

Bonus humor comes at the 3:51 mark of the audio where the GroupThink computerized voices suffer a bit of a breakdown in their "scientific" consensus.

Oh, and if one wants to take a break from the computer voices and/or the real life Chicken Littles, then perhaps an actual expert on the subject of sea level rise,  Doctor Nils-Axel Mörner, should be consulted. Contrary to the amusing computer voices, Dr. Mörner has claimed that not only is the sea level not rising, it hasn't risen in at least 50 years. That makes sense since despite what the computer voices say, the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach still has about the same beachfront as it did when it was built 60 years ago.

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.