Friday, April 22, 2011

Our (Perfectly Stable, Never Changes, Not in a Million Years) Earth

Since it’s Earth Day today, I guess an earth scientist should make at least one comment or observation. From Yahoo! News - April 21, 2011:

We all know that climate change melts glaciers and shifts sea levels. But have you ever thought about how rising temperatures can threaten beautiful places in every corner of the world? Some of these spots may be closer to home than you think.

For Earth Day, Yahoo! News interviewed Gaute Hogh, publisher of the book 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear. Hogh was inspired to produce the book after witnessing the effects of global warming in his native Denmark. He wanted to show how natural beauty around the globe could be forever altered by climate change.

I have three questions that I’ll mull over during my morning coffee:

• Are these people serious or just out to make a buck?
• Did they never take Geology 101 in college?
• Who is responsible for teaching them that the earth is a static, stainless steel sphere absolved from following the laws of science like the rest of the universe? (and should those responsible parties serve jail time?)

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I would like to attribute it to a nefarious plot to indoctrinate our youth into...into some creed I disapprove of, but I think it is a function of how our memories work.

The earth changes we notice are mostly cyclic, so we discount them. The other changes we notice in the world are human-created, so we fall naturally into the idea of human=dynamic, nature=static. It's just an impression we have without analysing.

Geologists are more able to look at something an think "It looks that way because it used to look another way but X happened to it."