Sunday, 27 January 2013

Extinction Level Event - SF or fact?


Hope Springs Eternal




Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

from an Essay by Alexander Pope

Perhaps these words in themselves explain the fascination with stories and films centred around natural disasters or perhaps it is a nervousness about the fragility of our existence. I must admit to a similar fascination even to the point that my next book, although not an E.L.E., is certainly a reflection on the delicate balancing act in which we are involved in maintaining our lives in the current format on our Earth.
I was encouraged to look a little deeper into the term and it is quite scary. For example over 98% of recorded species on our planet are now extinct! The rate of extinction is not so rapid - about 2 - 5 groups per million years. The most recent event was around 65.5 million years ago and there have been 5 other such events in the last 540 million years. Perhaps we should be ready!

We hear talk of global warming, there was the Cuban missile crisis 50 years ago and we don't seem to hesitate to drive ourselves to the brink but perhaps we flatter ourselves that humans have that much control.
America has 27 potential Fukushimas that will end human life if we do not change things. The United States has 27 aging nuclear reactors sitting on earthquake fault lines of California and New Madrid  that are long overdue for eruptions that could result in multiple Fukushima level meltdowns. Scary - but going back to global warming look at the below news for today in the UK:-

  • Fire crews rescued a woman when her car became stranded on a flooded part of the A34 in Staffordshire
  • In Shropshire, fire crews have been pumping water out of homes in Market Drayton and near Whitchurch
  • Norfolk Police have reported flooding caused by melting snow and ice, which has closed a number of roads in the area and left one car submerged in water
  • There has been flooding in mid, north and west Wales; in Welshpool rescuers are trying to save 10 sheep from the River Severn
  • The second day of a husky race in Aviemore has been cancelled because of ice
Are water levels rising?

In my humble opinion the weather patterns are a fact of living on the Earth. The weather has always been cyclical. How arrogant are we to think that we have influenced change within that cycle and if we have it may cause an E.L.E. but apparently such events are good for evolution and I'm sure that the Earth will recover without us!

Scifaiku

End of the World

Life will feel the chill
Extinction Level Event
Seven day rebirth

©David L Atkinson January 2013




God Bless