Ironically the Japanese ship that a few weeks ago achieved the historic feat of drilling down, extracting and burning “flammable ice” (aka methane hydrate, available in huge quantities underseas globally but notoriously difficult to utilize) was christened Chikyu, the Japanese word for Earth.

Perhaps instead they should rechristen the ship using the handy Japanese term for “man-made disaster” (jinsai) — a word that has certainly gotten a lot of use around irradiated Fukushima these past two years. Or simply have another few Japanese characters painted on the hull to make chikyu ondanka, or “global warming.”

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