Monday, July 12, 2010

BP Oil Disaster May Destroy Planet Earth!

After the Apocalypse, everyone will have tattoos 
on their faces and funny haircuts

Hey everyone, welcome to Monday! So, thanks to David Eng I was turned on to this article that is, like, totally freaky. You see, the BP oil disaster isn't just an environmental crime of gargantuan proportions and the latest strong argument for breaking our killer oil habit. It's also releasing the world's biggest fart and that fart is going to send methane gas across the world, leading to big, freaking explosions that cook us all. THE END IS NIGH! If you hate your job and your boss, now would be a good time to tell him/her to stick that compulsory overtime up their ass and to pour some sugar in their gas tank. What are they gonna do, fire you? Ha! We'll all be roast goose in a couple of days and then who'll have the last laugh? According to Terrence Aym this particular cook-out has happened a couple of times before in our earth's checkered past and the result: global wipe-out city, Biblical-style.
251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. Experts agree that what is known as the Permian extinction event was the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world.
55 million years later another methane bubble ruptured causing more mass extinctions during the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (LPTM).
The LPTM lasted 100,000 years. [3]
Those subterranean seas of methane virtually reshaped the planet when they explosively blew from deep beneath the waters of what is today called the Gulf of Mexico.
Now, worried scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events that led to worldwide death back then may be happening again-and no known technology can stop it.
The bottom line: BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.
Bummer. So much for that vacation I've been saving up for, now we're all gonna be dead and there won't be any fish in the lake where we rented that cottage. One more reason to hate BP - apocalyptic pricks.
But seriously, while this Terrence Aym dude is a crank - with a writing portfolio full of articles on "Bizarre UFO sightings", time travel, and the "Coming sun storms [that] could slam USA into 'Greatest Depression'" - and that makes this article just shy of funny a la The Onion, it's also annoying. Why? Because it contributes to the kind of anti-intellectual fervour that is the foundation stone of contemporary American culture and which writes off important and urgent truths, like climate change. I'm all for a good joke and for taking the piss out of most things but this isn't being pitched as a joke and there's nothing worse than a joke that isn't meant to be a joke. Not only because it makes guys like me who try to be funny feel a sense of shame that we've been unintentionally outdone by an idiot but because it delegitimizes the subject at hand. "You're just like the Weekly World News with that BP spill is the end of the world stuff." "Ha ha, yeah sure, we're all gonna die." Well, maybe we're not all gonna die and the world isn't about to release a cosmically huge, wet fart but a lot of sea animals are dying because of BP, and a lot of people are having their livelihoods and lives destroyed all along the Gulf coast. Because of this seemingly unstoppable debacle, the world's oceans are one step further down death row, as this article in Wired Magazine notes:
According to a simulation of planetary warming trends, failure to drastically cut greenhouse gas pollution within the next half century could choke Earth’s oceans for the next 100,000 years.
With warmer temperatures reducing its ability to absorb oxygen, much of the water would become barren and lifeless. Oceanic food chains could be profoundly disrupted.
"What mankind does for the next several decades will play a large role in climate on Earth over the next tens of thousands of years," said geochemist Gary Shaffer of the University of Copenhagen.
And even if this total disaster is avoided, climate change will kill millions of people as a result of shifting weather patterns and extreme weather events, primarily in the developing world. And that apocalyptic vision is well-researched by real scientists - and it ain't no joke. Nor is it a joke that crazy, flat-earthers, supported by the Wall Street Journal et al are still beating the tocsin claiming that there's nothing to worry about - except for climate journals that won't accept there articles. If you follow the WSJ link, the author is a guy named Patrick Michaels who makes his bacon by attacking the climate change thesis. In fact, he scooped up a handy $100,000 from an electric company that has a vested interest in opposing carbon caps. He's also a fellow at the right wing Cato Institute and was described as follows by the policy director of the Office of Science and Technology:
"He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science."
Notwithstanding that Michaels is a shill for big coal and flat-earther extraordinaire, noted by other climate scientists for misrepresentation and misinterpretation, if you read his article you will see what I mean about the attempt by the powers-that-be to dismiss real and solid science.
Boy, I think maybe I started the day a little grumpy. And now I've probably ruined your Monday too. To make it better I still recommend you tell your boss to stick the compulsory overtime up their ass - though perhaps you want to use an untraceable e-mail address. And maybe hold off on the sugar - we know how dangerous anarchists are treated.
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