Recently Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez stated that life on earth had only twelve more years to survive unless we acted immediately. Being attractive and sincere hardly excuses the fact that AOC is almost completely devoid of both scientific and economic information.
Thirty years ago, the environmentalists informed me that the world would run out of oil within ten years. It did not happen. Twenty years ago, the environmentalists told me that within five years most of the costal cities of the world would be under water. It did not happen. Ten years ago, the environmentalists told me that global warming would make out planet so hot that people would be growing Orange trees in North Dakota and Montana due to global warming within four years. It did not happen.
Am I a radical who denies these prognosticators of our environment? Not al all. I believe in science and the scientific method to make reasonable scientific prognostications. It would be very wise for these environmental prognosticators to at least study the valid historical record before making themselves look extremely foolish. In the following, I provide some clearly accepted scientific information that AOC and her friends should consider.
About 75,000 years ago, life on earth almost ended ! A giant explosion in the area now known as Indonesia sent up into the atmosphere massive amounts of smoke, ash, and other debris that covered thousands of miles ! The explosion was called Toba and it was the most violent volcanic event in earth’s history. It spewed about 670 cubic miles of dirt, soil, and rocks into the air. ( Editor’s Note: A cubic mile is a cube that is one mile in length, one mile in width, and one mile in height. ) 670 cubic miles of debris blown into our atmosphere is almost incomprehensible to contemplate.
As the toxic smoke and dirt and dust finally began to settle, all of Africa was deeply covered in this toxic debris. Then the temperature of the earth began to drop rapidly as a “volcanic winter” killed most life on earth. Almost all humans and most other organisms died, but a very small number of some survived. Scientists estimated that a total of only 2,000 humans survived and these individuals became the ancestral Adams and Eves of all humans on earth that exist today.
When scientists evaluate all life forms that ever existed on Earth, they find that 99.9% eventually became extinct. Millions of species appeared on Earth and then withered and died.
The Earth has already sustained five major extinction cycles in which 90% or more of all life forms were exterminated. It is an absolute certainty that other extinction events will happen again.
It could be only 10 days to our next extinction event or it could be 10,000 years before another extinction event happens. Remember, no human anywhere knows for certain.
R. Van Conoley ( Editor’s Note: The author believes that President Trump was very wise to develop a Space Program that will extend our living space in the Universe. I omitted discussing the very real possibility that a supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park may someday awaken from its long sleep and tear the United States apart and kill most life on Earth. It happened about 2 Million years ago and again 1.3 Million years ago. It will happen again sometime. Carl Sagan, the great astronomer, stated that it was ” only a matter of time until a large asteroid hits the Earth.” Also, there are NEO’s ( Near Earth Objects) that cross the path of the Earth each year. Last year there were more than 16,000 NEO’s, but fortunately most were small or missed the Earth, but that could change in the future.)