“The Temperature of Hell, a Colloquium”

the-temperature-of-hell-a-colloquium“According to the best scientific data currently available, both the average and the mean temperatures of Hell have risen 3.8 degrees since 1955. Although an increase of this size may seem insignificant, especially to those not spending eternity there, the reality of the situation is quite different when experienced in concrete terms. For example, occupants of Hell who in 1955 were standing night and day in boiling pitch up to their knees report that, owing to the expansion of pitch at higher temperatures, they now must endure the torment all the way up to mid-thigh, or even higher, during Hell’s warmer seasons. Condemned souls who have to lie on their backs chained to a flat rock while a white-hot sheet of iron is lowered to within inches of their faces have stated that the rise in Hell’s ambient temperature now makes the iron seem much closer to their faces than it actually is.
Former Vice-President Al Gore, who was among the first to raise concerns about this problem, convened an interdisciplinary gathering in December of 2008 to discuss some of Hell’s climate issues and how we might begin to address them.” [. . .]    –Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, July 20, 2009

Contributed by Elizabeth Ann Coggeshall (Stanford University)