Stop the Earth; I Really Do Want to Get Off!

If you had expected the 1994, 6.7 Northridge, CA quake, would you, in late 1993 have moved into the Northridge apartments that it collapsed? Silly question, of course. But you live on planet Earth without a thought, right? That’s not the same thing? Hmnn…

Forget man-made global warming, that’s politics. We’re interested in real science here. Thing is see, the earth isn’t a stable nor is it a permanent place. Some 90 percent of its history, it’s been an icicle, frozen, glaciated. The remaining ten percent has been short (10 thousand years or so typically) warm periods like the present but the ice has always returned. And our present warm period has lasted over ten thousand years already. Nobody knows how this works, though the sun is a suspect. But there’s little doubt that it’s going to happen again, because it always has. No guarantee, but that seems the way to bet.

We see volcanoes going off from time to time in the news. They’re small potatoes compared to supervolcanoes like the calderas under Yellowstone Park, Central California and New Mexico. The big guys like those don’t blow often, but when one does, a lot of interested scientists think it’s a likely explanation for our planet’s history of mass extinctions. Don’t worry, though; there’s plenty of disagreement…

All the photos of other plantets, moons and such look like really bad acne from the impacts of meteors and such. The earth has its scars too, they don’t show as much because they erode due to weather, water, quakes etc. But mass extinctions have been laid to really large impacts from them, too. And there are plenty more we haven’t met yet, coming our way.

Then there are Drayson reversals. Drayson was a Brit who said that the earth’s magnetic field reversed from time to time, the north and south magnetic poles swapping places. Most serious and all respectable scientists thought he was nuts. He wasn’t, they do and it looks like maybe such a reversal is under way, though maybe not. They don’t call them Drayson reversals now, though, just magnetic reversals. Happens to the sun, too. The interesting part is, the earth’s magnetic field repels tons of hard radiation coming at us from space. If it goes down during a swap (nobody knows for sure), we’re going to get a lot of free energy we might not like.

Stars blow up and emit floods of gamma radiation from their poles, too. If one too close decides to do that in our direction, we won’t like that, either.

This one’s guaranteed and predictable: Our moon is going to quit and run off by itself. Each year, it’s a wee bit farther away as it circles us; maybe we don’t pay enough or maybe it just hates tourists. So what? Well, without its gravity, how will we keep in place the oceans and a bunch of other stuff we need?

Maybe you’d rather hear about global warming after all? Most of these are either undated or a long time from now. But they’re real. The earth really isn’t permanent or stable and if we are serious about our own species, we should consider famous physicist Stephen Hawking’s advice: Do all we can to get out into the larger universe to plant ourselves in as many places as possible. For humanity, the alternative is like signing a long term lease for that Northridge apartment in late 1093…  Maybe there’s more point to NASA’s budget than many of us stop to consider…

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Disaster, Environment, Glaciers, Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Stop the Earth; I Really Do Want to Get Off!

  1. Argus says:

    Hah! We New Zealanders are right out front, we are THE leaders in saving the planet from Anthropogenic Global Warming. All the rest of you lot talk the talk but we walk the walk! Boom boom, and all thanks to our clever politicians who (of course) promised us otherwise.

    So when the world cools you’ll know it’s all thanks to us clever kiwis, not the blasted solar cycles or any of that other reactionary propagandic rubbish. To keep the tides low and save the polar bear we’ve sacrificed a goodly chunk of our prosperity—but do we ever get any thanks for it, or even the recognition we deserve? Honestly, I dunno why we bovver … mutter mutter mutter …

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