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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Argument for a Tortoise's Pace

We are all familiar with the notion of doomsdays being nearly at hand.   Because they've been predicted with such great regularity throughout the ages, they are a staple of the religious racket.   The fact that none of the most dire ones have happened within recent eras doesn't at all affect the desire to come out with new ones all the time.  But it does mean that they're regarded as being mere amusements and to be ignored as soon as they're uttered.

But what if such a prediction comes up that is surrounded by the absence of anything that can prevent all life on the world as we know it from ending, and almost right now?

Some think that besides all the other mess created by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, that ill-fated puncture in the bottom of the sea has set everything in place for such a huge catastrophe to happen in the next six months, and nothing can be done about it.

  The drilling was made into a big bubble of the methane that is present under a lot of the seas, usually in a frozen state.   But here the oil, sitting under there at a tremendous pressure and now freed to escape in one spot, came up loaded with heat and methane that ruptured not only the pipe in the rig but also places in the nearby seabed, thus freeing more methane.   This opens the way for a sort of chain reaction in which methane explosions will be followed by others and by other consequent results that will quickly spread over the whole planet,. erasing species and other things wholesale.

  Those who pay attention to the Discovery Channel know that this same kind of thing has happened many times before and eons before there were humans and thirsts for oil, though scattered over many millions of years, in the famous Permian and other extinctions.   The difference here is that this has a chance of happening now, and if it does happen it will all be due not so much to badly whipped BP as to  our liking instead for living on an ever faster track, so that maybe it can be said that the price of our civilization is going to be paid, fittingly, in its own coin, extreme speed.

Yesterday the engineers hired by British Petroleum to stop the rupture in the pipe succeeded in doing just that.

But there seems to be another rupture in the seabed nearby.


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