by Larry Leonard
“Okay, you are now a planetary scientist. Humans have existed on the planet for maybe a million years or so, in one stage of development or another. I believe our appearance was pre-ordained by the original laws of “nature” created by an architect: a super-intelligence people call “God,” but you are free to attribute it to accidents of biochemistry if you wish.”
“Without climate change, a planet is lifeless.” – – L.L.
http://tinyurl.com/nt6uhte (London Telegraph)
11/20/13 – – The links at the bottom of this London Telegraph piece are really interesting, but the main text is about global deforestation. That is, reduction in the number of trees on the planet. Here’s the premise:
Trees are filters. They inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. It’s a marriage between plants and animals that has existed forever. It’s a true statement, but without some additional text is like a present-day White House press release. (A bit more focused than is healthy.) So, we need some basic information to begin to grasp what is really going on with Earth’s climate. You never get this sort of thing in the basic media. They’re just fascinated by the people who are arguing about it, and eager to support liberal politics regardless of what facts and logic have to say.
Here we go.
You may have noticed that “Climate Change” is the new name for what was once called “Global Warming.” This is because environmental tomes in the Sixties predicted certain things related to the latter effect that didn’t happen. Certain islands in the Pacific Ocean were a foot or so above sea level and were supposed to disappear under the surface really soon, but didn’t. A predicted universal glacial melting on the globe that was supposed to cause this raise in sea levels is not reflected by certain space-based technology. So, you get some sources saying it’s happening, and others with important credentials saying the reverse is what’s going on. And, going from place to place, that may be an accurate description. Both may be happening, in other words.
The thing is, Earth is a dynamic planet, and not just a lump of stuff floating along in space, waiting for Republican corporate interests to harm it. It is this natural dynamism that is the reason there is life, here. It is a lack of this natural dynamism that explains why Mars is called a “dead” planet. It actually may have had life at one time, long ago, but the dynamics are now gone, and we are having the very devil of a time finding it with our rovers and probes.
Here, our kind of planet is a basically a ball of material with liquid water somewhere on or in it, and a proper atmosphere made of gasses life can breathe (in water or in the atmosphere). For most of its existence, Earth was a pile of molten rubble with no atmosphere. Incoming debris was the stuff of it. When the bombing backed off, the planet began to cool off, and incoming comets started bringing in water.
When I was in high school, they told me life required water, chemicals and light. The discoveries of volcanic vent colonies of life at the bottom of oceans pretty much squelched the light thing. Water, chemicals and heat remain. The heat part may be variable. As of this writing, the question is did life assemble itself from those ocean volcanic vents and float up, appear in those hot, acidic, volcanic pools you see in Yellowstone Park or come in from space at 20,000 mph in a comet?
And, when did it happen?
My vote is that oxygen is the key to large scale populations. Even after the planet cooled down enough, the oceans and skies were green and red. The present world began when three feet high structures that look like mushrooms appeared in shallow bays and shoreline areas.
They are called “stromatolites” and are built from the excretions of very tiny life forms, possibly bacteria. They exhale oxygen, and in their trillions are what turned the oceans and the heavens blue.
Various scientific methods like glacial ice core measurements allow archeological atmospheric testing. You’ve heard about the different ages that have taken place. Jurassic, Cretaceous, Carboniferous, Cambrian and so forth. During the various plant or animal periods which featured large versions of life, you seem to find the highest atmospheric concentration of oxygen. Twenty percent is the highest I have seen. We are much lower than that, at present. So, levels change over time. My guess is that these changes in oxygen content are driven by volcanic activity, and possibly affected by your average incoming giant meteor that is big enough to kill every dinosaur on the surface.
The Various Ages
Okay, you are now a planetary scientist. Humans have existed on the planet for maybe a million years or so, in one stage of development or another. I believe our appearance was pre-ordained by the original laws of “nature” created by an architect: a super-intelligence people call “God,” but you are free to attribute it to accidents of biochemistry if you wish.
But, the essence here is primarily the one I described above. It is dynamics. Something is always happening on a planet with life. Change is the only constant, and is the driving force for evolution. (Causes it to happen. The actual mechanical processes involved, including what the trigger is, are not known.)
At one time all the “land” on Earth was located in a ring around the equator. Being on the equator, it was very warm, and you can see what it was like by visiting the Okefenokee swamps in the south-eastern U.S. Another ancient landform, Pangia, or the “super continent” may have assembled itself from this structure or refer to another tectonic stage.
It’s all related to tectonics. That is, when the early Earth cooled off enough to create a non-lava, post-molten crust, that crust broke into puzzle parts that drifted off, floating on the liquid molten interior that is still there, today. (And explains where volcanoes originate.) I think an event of some kind caused that first breakup. A planetary vibration or wobble could have done it. An impact, perhaps. Thermodynamic effects like expansion or shrinkage. Whatever the cause, the continents have remained gigantic floating islands ever since.
Directly related to this piece of writing, the largest volcano in the Solar System, today is on Mars. It is roughly ten miles high and many times that in diameter, and is dead. The end of internal and external planetary dynamics is connected to the end of life on a planetary body.
Prince Charles, Al Gore, Climate “Science” and Planetary Dynamics
There is a climate window. It is always changing. It has to do with where the continents are located and how that affects ocean current patterns that define climate in various places. Stick up a mountain range and on one side will be a rain forest and on the other a desert. Mountain ranges come and go like clouds, only on a much bigger time scale. Alter the intensity of the sun (change the thermostat) and
everything on Earth is modified. Let a big volcano go off and you get an ice age of some kind. Slam a giant meteor into an ocean and the climate is altered for a while. Change the angle of inclination of the Earth with respect to the sun and the world’s climate goes off on some adventure.
Without climate change, a planet is lifeless.
It is not that Man cannot at least temporarily alter world climate characteristics. The detonation of a certain percentage of the nuclear weapons in existence could do that. The common belief is that a “nuclear winter” would be the result.
But, to dramatically drain world economic reserves on a climate change guess? There have been somewhere between 11 and 20 eras given the designation of ice age. (Once, the entire planet was a giant snowball. No clear ground, at all.) All of them ended in global warming, thank God, and not one of those global warmings was caused by SUV’s or factory smokestacks. Deforestation? The forest fires that erupted during some periods so filled the atmosphere with smoke that they generated massive cooling on their own. The downed trees from a meteor that air-detonated over eastern Russia clear-cut a thousand miles of forest in one explosion.
Setting aside the English “scientists” (East Anglia was the place) who kicked this debate into the public arena, and the highly questionable validity of their data, famous universities and climate-related government bodies around the globe have generated a fog of claims about the topic. You don’t see it in the liberal press, but scientists around the world have questions about the science on the subject.
My guess? Climate is the result of natural processes. The rise of civilization is of little importance to that cycle. Claims to the contrary are not based on good data, scientifically analyzed. Al Gore and the Prince are idiots, along with organizations like the Sierra Club.
There’s public admiration and lots of money in it all. So, it’s politics and nothing more at this stage.