Sunday, 11 July 2021

A little foretaste of what is to come? Possibly....

We do watch the Smithsonian Channel from time to time (Channel 175 on FreeSat) and today there were a series of very interesting scientific programs – ‘The Yellowstone Supervolcano’, about what could occur when such a volcano erupted. ‘Earth under Water’, about the sea-levels rising and the results for the earth’s coastlines. Very interesting and ‘Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink’. Now, you must not think I have a predilection for disaster programs but nevertheless it is historical fact brought to life. Furthermore, it can give some indication as to what could happen if we as a species do not change our lives. All these long-ago disasters seem to have one common thread and that is CO2, plus sulphuric compounds. SO2 (sulphur dioxide) tends to form acid rain. It is also quite upsetting to see how fast these things can occur. Rising sea-levels do not just mean a lot of coastlines receding but with most of the planet’s 7 billion people living near or at the coasts it would create a mass exodus towards higher ground. Imagine New York or London having to be evacuated? It is NOT fanciful thinking but a real possibility! If I was still living in the Netherlands I would really worry to hear it will have disappeared by 2100! Global warming due to careless actions by humans will ensure at least 10 feet of sea level increase by 2050-2070. And depending on humans not taking drastic action might mean up to 70 feet by the end of the century. There were some very interesting measures being talked about, like building a dam between Europe and Africa in the Straits of Gibraltar. This would safeguard the flooding of many important population sites. But it would also entail the drying up of the Mediterranean basin. So safeguarding against that would entail sluices and pipes in the dam possibly making electricity by building-in generators. Then again if the planet is going to experience a massive volcanic period with the Yellowstone super eruption and perhaps a big earthquake which all have happened before and will again at some time, this will release ash and chemicals in such quantity we might experience years of chill and crop failures. Again the extent of which makes little sense to stockpile supplies. There just will not be enough. Well, it all seems to come together. The cause is clear, it is US, humans. The answers are less clear because of the things we would have to do. Like eating much less meat, driving and flying less or none at all. Stop all burning of fossil fuels. Curb population growth, in fact lessen it drastically. Perhaps nature will do that itself with the next pandemic! Have a nice day now!

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