In the midst of a blistering Australian heat wave, a university professor was declared the winner of ALERT’s outdoor egg-frying contest.
ALERT—the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers—is an international scientific group that advocates for environmental sustainability.
The tongue-in-cheek contest was being held to “eggsplain” climate change to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, who has often discounted global warming, while once claiming it was a Chinese hoax designed to hurt American business.
On January 27, ALERT director Bill Laurance quipped that “maybe someone should fry an egg on the sidewalk” and then send through a photo to Trump.
“He doesn’t seem to understand global warming but maybe he’d get that,” Laurance said to journalists -- after being asked for his views on Trump’s climate policies given that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded.
In recent days, temperatures in parts of Australia have approached 50 degrees Centigrade (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Many observers believe the scorching conditions are being aggravated by global warming.
The contest winner, Professor Corey Bradshaw from Flinders University in South Australia, said it was “hot enough to grill a goanna’s gonads” -- “goanna” being Australian slang for a large native lizard.
As the heat wave intensified, Australian firefighters went on high alert while health authorities announced special public-safety measures. Police warned any motorist who left a child or pet even briefly in their vehicle to expect severe penalties.
Bradshaw, an ALERT member who also writes the popular science blog ConservationBytes, used an iron skillet on an asphalt driveway to cook the egg.
“It took a little while but it definitely sizzled,” he said.
Bradshaw admitted he didn’t eat the egg. “I tried to get a dog to eat it but the skillet was too hot.”
ALERT’S competition drew contestants from Australia to Paraguay.
The winner, said Laurance, was determined by its “exceptional timeliness.”
“It’s almost as though the weather gods wanted to send a message to Trump,” said Laurance.
The winning photo was emailed today to President Trump, via the White House Media Office, along with compliments from Professor Bradshaw.
“He’s welcome to drop by for a fried egg anytime,” said Bradshaw.