I believe that this had a profound effect on the children. Instead of my just saying, “I don’t know,” their inquiry was sent to a person whose entire life has been spent in the scientific field. The feedback from an intelligent and knowing voice of reason impressed them and gave them one avenue of searching for truth.
Dr. James Hanson is still the voice of reason. In a New York Times article last week, he gave his case against the tar sands oil that is being mined in Canada. He reported that the deposits contain “twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we burn them on top of all the coal, oil and gas we’re already using, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era” making Earth likely unlivable. This was a response to the Keystone Pipeline proposal.
As so often happens, and I don’t believe that it is just “coincidence”, I also read in Discover (June, 2012) an article about Venus, our twin neighbor in the solar system. Immediately I thought of what is happening on Earth and wondered if there were parallels.
It is believed that Venus once had liquid water indicated from the hydrogen molecules in the Venusian atmosphere gathered by NASA’s Pioneer-Venus probe. Maybe even oceans.
Somewhere along the way, Venus reached a critical point. “The planet overheated and water on the surface rapidly evaporated filling the atmosphere with water vapor; the vapor trapped more heat, which caused more evaporation, and so on.” Venus reached a point of no return.
Venus is close to us in size, 7,521 miles in diameter. As an evening or morning star (planet) she looks huge, but that is only because she is so near to Earth. Venus has a uniform temperature--world wide--of 900 degrees F. The wind-whipped clouds covering the planet are sulfuric acid.
No one knows if there was life on Venus before the “tipping point.” And we are unlikely to find out. The theory is that Venus being 28 percent closer to the sun than Earth, very likely received too much solar energy. That will happen here on Earth in a few million years when the sun increases in size before collapsing. That is, if we haven’t already doomed ourselves with complacency and greed. Jimmy Carter said that complacency is not what Jesus taught.
©Ann Rains June 3, 2012