Google image results for "climate change"
-Timothy Mortin, from his blog, The Contemporary Condition
In this post Mortin is talking about "hyperobjects." In short these are things which are too large to be comprehended by people (such as nuclear bombs and climate change). The prefix is shared with hyperreal, and I wonder if he would make the argument that these two are related. He does say that hyperobjects are "real" and maybe the case could be made that they can be seen as "real" because we don't have a way of fully understanding them - we don't have a way to bring them into full semiotic view. (But, we do give it a name, so it is in our linguistic bag.) This is a big stretch, but it is interesting to think of "things that appear to be immediate in our experience" as abstractions, and these abstractions as simulation. (e.g., the polar bear stranded on an ice-berg or the parched earth.)