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At first glance the current heatwave in Antarctica does not seem to have a lot in common with Thabo Mbeki. After all, the one is a very distant, very cold thing that is slowly melting into oblivion, and the other is Antarctica. Both, however, are upsetting facts of life surrounded by intense, deliberate denial.

I can understand why one might want to ignore the unprecedented melting of Antarctica. The facts and figures would be immense and numbing at the best of times. These days they also have to fight their way through a chorus of oil salesmen, bought politicians and Russian bots, all explaining that it’s totally normal for the South Pole to be melting at the same time as the North Pole, and that there’s nothing weird about parts of Antarctica registering temperatures 40°C above the average for this time of year...

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