Maybe it’s in the name of expanding scientific knowledge that the scientists at NASA continue to do science. Or maybe, in light of recent declarations, it’s an elaborate scheme to produce effective chat-up lines for abstract entities.
When NASA’s latest climate report concluded that 2020 was the “hottest year on record,” it was initially assumed that this was meant in a negative way. After all, it simply adds more evidence of the progression of global warming, which is the second greatest existential threat of our time (behind, of course, the greatest threat: hugely high-profile reactionary conservative voices being silenced on every single platform except from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Sky News, the BBC, and the internet as a whole).
It would be fair to look at this report as a grim indicator of exactly how crushingly real the threat is of a total environmental collapse within our lifetimes; a kind of tourist information point on our descent through the circles of hell. It wouldn’t be difficult to read this report and be reminded of the unstoppable ticking of nature’s atomic clock as it travels closer and closer to midnight.
It would be hard to avoid these thoughts, that is, if it weren’t for the fact that the year 2020 put out a response tweet to this article, explaining how it was “flattered” to have been so complimented by the US space organisation. 2020, renownedly a prominent Twitter user, had apparently “never been talked about in a nice way before,” and was “warmed by the message.”
NASA then complicated relations with the year by adding that “The Australian wildfires during the first half of the year burned 46 million acres of land, releasing smoke and other particles more than 18 miles high in the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and likely cooling the atmosphere slightly.”
When asked “what are you trying to say?” by a tweeting 2020, the scientists replied: “Basically, you would’ve been even hotter if you didn’t have a fiery bush down under.”
But the debacle over this report is a much larger problem, one that could possibly bring an end to NASA altogether – many are disgusted by the fact that NASA could engage in such an exchange or even think about producing such a romantic report on 2020’s supposed hotness, given the fact that 2020 is only one year old.