Global warming presents us with the threat of flooding: as the icecaps melt, the water levels rise around the world, with coastal cities facing ruin. The concept is easy enough to understand: as the ice melts, the sea rises, much as a tap fills a bath. Except that sea level rise does not quite work like this. The meltwater does not evenly flow into every harbour and bay: instead the impact is far worse in some places than others.
One reason for this is gravity: the polar ice caps are so vast that they have a gravity all of their own, literally ‘holding’ water close to them. As the icecaps diminish in mass, so too does their gravity.
I found myself wondering yesterday if ideas are much the same: so vast that they exert a force upon us that keeps us close, and yet as they melt, they suddenly turn to nothing, and belief flows away from them.
As you are stood upon the ice, everything may seem fine, right up until the point that your feet get wet.