We Live in Interesting Times
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
This is an age in which some aspects of science have completely reversed. Despite the planet remaining exactly the same, plus the sun, moon, stars, and people, nevertheless what we learned in school appears now to be irrelevant and replaced by concepts empirical physicists like Newton would have had difficulty comprehending. In this new age, new science is driven by funding rather than facts, and ideology rather than ideas. They are interesting times, because the future of science itself may be at stake. If the new trend of politically-directed science is to completely replace the scientific method, which called for rigorous standards of evidence and proof, then it will be entirely up to the politicians of the future to decide what is true or false. What follows is a brief description of some aspects of this new science.
We now have far more earthquakes, according to studies, than
ever before, and the planet is being described as almost at the point of breaking apart.
Previously, earthquakes were natural, and formed hills and valleys over
time. But now, due to oil drilling, fracking and the impact of
civilization, new science tells us that the continental plates are
moving more violently against each other, the impact then diving down to
epicentres 500kms below the earth's crust, then bouncing back up, in
time to be detected at the plate boundaries by strategically-placed
sensors. The earthquakes then form fault lines, which we are told by
geologists were responsible for causing the earthquake in the first
place. It means earthquakes create themselves retrospectively, which before did not happen under the rules of old science. We have lucrative research grants to thank for these new ideas.
How wondrous, too, to live in an age where heat no longer just goes up - it goes down now as well. We were always taught in school that heat only rises, but in the new science, from an invisible greenhouse ceiling in the high altitudes of the atmosphere, heat can flow downwards to warm the earth, which in the days before global warming was the prerogative solely of the sun. In the olden days the sun warmed the ground and the ground then warmed the air just above the ground, meaning the air cooled the earth. But now it is the air warming the earth (because of planet-harming greenhouse gases contained in it) and not the sun.
Although the sun has apparently retired from its former global heating job, it can still burn freckled people, and of late it has turned into a public menace. Any exposure to it leads directly to fatal skin cancer. Fortunately new science has invented skin cover products to combat this but the whole body must be covered all the time. Even ten minutes of exposure to the Sun now will lead to grave harm. Whereas before, sunshine was healthy, now, only the application of extensive (and expensive) skin cream is healthy.
Then we have the moon, that huge lump of rock between a quarter and a third the size of Planet Earth, which according to new science, has zero effect on the air. If everyone who goes to the beach looks out they will notice that the bottom of the air is joined to the sea, yet this makes no difference, because the moon can differentiate between the two. Also the moon has zero effect on the land that is holding the sea up, even though land and sea are joined beneath the oceans throughout the globe. Despite land, sea and air being joined and forming a joined system, the moon has 100% effect only on the sea, which sits squarely in the middle of the land and the air, this effect being called 'tides'. Yet the moon's forces have to find a way of getting past air and land to find the sea, in order to have this 100% effect on it, without disturbing the other two. Without a brain or eyes to see, the way the moon is so successfully selective is mysterious, nevertheless it constitutes the new science. And that means anyone who claims the moon can also affect land and air must be a charlatan.
There are a handful of little islands, with names like Tuvalu, Kiribati and Marshalls, and we learn in the media how they are the only ones in the world which the sea is bullying by attempting to rise over them. That does not happen anywhere around bigger countries like Australia or New Zealand, where there are far more people but no one seems to have noticed this to be any problem; neither swimmers, boaties, fishermen nor beach combers. Old photos and paintings show no sea-level changes. It is why overcrowded Bangladesh which is on the coast, also downtown Manhattan, also Greater London and all of Holland, about a billion people, are not concerned about any sea level rising. But then new science tells us that sea-level rising is not widespread, in fact only a tiny handful of Pacific island families are really affected. According to new science the sea changes its level around these island locations because not enough people in NZ, Australia, UK, US, India, China etc, are looking after the planet by riding bicycles to work.
You may also have heard about the Poles and how they are melting so fast that soon there will be no ice left. Al Gore in 2005 said all polar ice would be gone by 2013. He just missed mentioning the left-over ice that ships still get icebound in and have to wait several months to break free of. Today's temperature at the South Pole is -60°C. New science says that Antarctic ice is melting at a rapid rate. It means that whereas ice used to only melt at 0°C, now it all melts at -60°C. That must mean that at -60°C, it can no longer exist as ice. This in turn means that our ice-blocks will stay permanently frozen now in our drinks, because room temperature will have to reach Antarctic's winter temperatures for the ice-blocks to even start to diminish. But even then we'll have to wait, because Antarctic still ices up in winter, and gets down to about -89°C, and still doesn't all melt away. New science again, completely changing what we once knew as physics.
Equally intriguing is the 'global temperature' which is rapidly rising so much that whole species of life are becoming extinct which never happened before, according to the IPCC. Despite requests, scientists won't disclose where their global thermometer is standing. But new science measures the whole temperature of the whole world in any one moment such that it can tell if the world is warming, despite that at any moment half the population of the world is in the freezing icy grip of winter while the other half are sweating it out on beaches. Also, one half are fast asleep in night time and the other half are running around with the hot sun shining on them. Fairly irrelevant, though, because scientists have worked out that all ground, sea and air temperatures are now rising at exactly the same time. No one knows by exactly how much, but the latest figure is 0.7 of a degree over a century, or 0.00002°C per day, which is something we cannot ever hope to adjust to and need to take very seriously for the sake of coming generations. Although we don't know what decimalised temperatures were before digital thermometers were invented about 30 years ago - we know they must be rising because 97% of government-paid scientists receiving research funding to study them are in absolute agreement.
And what is making the planet's temperature rise? Well, if you have to ask (because that is not very polite), scientists say it is obvious, because we are running engines that were not invented 200 years ago, and they get warm. So do bedside lamps, kettles, electric blankets, cigarettes, rubbing hands together and the top of your head when you eat curry. These all add up. Also humans are now breathing out a warm polluting atmosphere-wrecking gas called carbon dioxide, which is now lethal to the environment in a way it has not been in all past centuries of civilization. All this heats the earth more than it ever did before and our fragile planet has not worked out how it can adjust to these new warming factors. Although the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and in that time has experienced the violent impacts of meteors, the cataclysms of earthquakes and destructive tsunamis causing whole cities to topple, huge shifts of continental plates, devastating floods and relentless tides, drought-causing famines, desertification of continents over several centuries, islands erupting out of the ocean to form new countries, glaciations that last 50,000 years and catastrophic volcanoes, the plant's biggest challenge yet is how to brace itself against the farts and belches of cows, and car fumes. But new science is again aware of this and knows what to do. It is a wondrous coincidence that humans, the only true caretakers of the planet, have come along at exactly the right time to save it.
By paying more taxes to politicians, this problem can be sorted, because the planet-destroying warmth will then stop. About a billion dollars per day is being paid now towards fixing these issues but more is needed because the warming is continuing unabated. According to Barack Obama and ex-Prime Minister of NZ, Helen Clark, global warming is a far worse problem than global terrorism. We would all agree that a slightly warmer-than-normal afternoon is far more terrifying than having snipers on your roof. How wonderful that such caring and levelheaded leaders are/were in charge of our countries. It is to be remembered that PM Clark signed a deal with China to supply them with all our Southland coal, so the Chinese could pollute their skies which are far, far away from our own.
So just look at how we as a society have progressed. In the old days people believed that the sun warmed the ground and the seasons came and went in cycles. They thought that storms and floods and droughts were all normal things that occasionally arrived. These events even received regular mention in the Bible. People of the past also assumed that all around the house and even the different rooms of the house had different temperatures, some warm and some cool, and you put heaters in the cool areas and fans in the hot ones. They didn't know that everything would one day be all warming up at once.
In the past they also thought that sometimes tides were higher than others when the moon came closer, and that earthquakes happened which formed mountains, and not vice versa. They thought that forests grew only where lots of rain fell. It just demonstrates how misguided the science was back then. Now, new science informs us that it is the mountains and Alpine Faults that will cause future earthquakes, and the trees that cause the rain, and when all the rain forests in Brazil are finally cut down all world weather will be forever changed.
And then there are the polar bears. If you don't know what they are it is because they are extinct. Despite being all white with four legs and identical in appearance, through new science a way was found to count them all. It was not easy - they covered a quarter of a million square miles, are only at the North Pole in winter time in conditions of pitch black Arctic winter darkness, and are all asleep in hibernation beneath it, and yet an accurate count was possible (due to a $10,000 research fund) in 1995. The count revealed (because no polar bears were seen) that there were none left. Using similar methods we know there are 7 Maui dolphins in all the oceans (because they were seen), and only 15 killer whales remaining.
It is a problem for administrators when a minority choose to be skeptical of new science, ask to be left alone, try to stay happy for their children's well-being and wish to ignore gloom and doom. They are made to feel they are letting the side down because their skepticism makes taxes harder to gather, and there is less money available for essentials like electoral advertising, which is more necessary than houses and jobs, because choosing the right political party tops our list of priorities. In the days before new science men and women could work and have houses and feed young families which could grow up not being hungry. Now, machines perform much of the manual tasks that previously were done by working people, and wages do not have to be provided. It means the unemployed poor can now stay in bed and relax, freed from the responsibility of decision-making and from the trappings of wealth and having to own houses.
What a successful, caring and interesting civilization we have become. For that we can thank the new science and those who advance it..