On May 22, 2017, a sinkhole opened at Mar-a-Lago, which President Trump calls the “Winter White House.” On May 22, 2018, a sinkhole opened at the actual White House.
For the media and Twitter, it’s been a bottomless pit of puns. “If that’s not a direct sign from … somewhere … people, I don’t know what is,” opines Mashable. “Are memes finally gaining sentience?” asks The Mary Sue. Or is the Earth “trying to do itself in before Scott Pruitt gets the chance?”
Even the New York Times has jumped in with a headline that says in part, “Blame the Swamp. (Really.)”
But what does science say? Are sinkholes becoming more common? Is Trump somehow to blame?
The White House says it is a ‘sink hole’ on the West lawn. The rest of us are pretty sure that Melania’s escape tunnel caved in. pic.twitter.com/jPJmucW2jB
— Fred Rewey (@GodFadr) May 22, 2018
First and foremost, as PhysOrg noted last year, “a recent spate of huge, sudden-appearing caverns is prompting alarm because they’re happening in places where they shouldn’t, and now seem to be proliferating nationwide.”
If we look globally, it’s clear that there are a growing number of big holes in the ground — and not just because we’re drilling for fossil fuels in more more places. In the Arctic, where human caused global warming is occurring twice as fast as anywhere else, the permafrost is melting fast.
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