GLOBAL WARMING DEMYSTIFIED : PART II
June 24 2015
This is an oversimplified explanation; but, so many people “don’t believe” in
Global Warming. Either that, or they “don’t believe that Global Warming represents
any threat to us.” This paper is an attempt to break through these levels of resistance based on false “beliefs”.
Our young planet, in geological terms, has had five different extinction cycles.
Each has been caused by global warming from millions of years of volcanic eruptions all over the planet. Huge masses of molten rock from the planet’s core covered everything in layer after layer.
When the volcanic activity settled down, the evolutionary process as described by Darwin and Wallace led to giant forests that covered most of the land mass.
Imagine the forests of the Pacific Northwest, trees about 350 feet tall for as far as the eye can see, as well as the trees of the Amazon Rainforest. These forests were everywhere that there was land to support them.
The earth then went through another phase of belching toxic gases (CO2 and methane) with lava that covered everything, including the enormous mass of trees.
Cellulose, that forms the structure of all plants, is composed of chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached as well.
Over millions of years of time, through five cycles of growth and extinction, the buried tree masses were “condensed” by pressure from the layers of lava above.
The result was pockets of “fossil fuels”: condensed energy from trees that had captured energy from the sun through photosynthesis. Then after the last extinction cycle, which led to the current evolutionary cycle, the young planet continued to cool down. With this cooling, evolution progressed long enough to produce a more intelligent species : homo sapiens or “us.” Ironically “homo sapiens” means the “wise ones”, but we certainly are not behaving like Wise creatures, as we have yet to even acknowledge threat of Global Warming, much less take any actions to reduce our burning of fossil fuels. The politics of such actions are complex, and beyong the scope of this essay, but are discussed in depth in other essays on my blog:
A couple of centuries ago, this clever new species discovered the pockets of oil and gas, staring to use them to expand the ability of living more comfortably anywhere on this planet and expand the industrialization of the planet. Little did we know, however, until a decade ago, that we were essentially releasing the energy of five gigantic forest fires of enormous trees that once covered the planet ALL AT ONCE !
Hundreds of millions of years that it took to compress and store all the energy from the sun has been released in a nanosecond of Geological Time. Our ecosystem is very adaptable; but, five forest fires that covered the planet just cannot be absorbed. Thus, the global temperature is rising, heading rapidly toward another extinction cycle…caused solely by us! Global Warming is a scientific issue with political ramifications that are like those of a science fiction novel. Like it or not, this situation is not science fiction, but a real as the drought in Southern California. We must deal with it NOW, or our species will perish just like the dinosaurs.
A scholar and a gentleman