Friday, July 12, 2002

Welcome to Hoth!

You know, for all this hot air about global warming, we hardly ever hear people point out that we're apparently overdue for another Ice Age. I'm told that this was a bit of a concern in the 1970s, but somehow got brushed aside. See, according to scientists, the Earth has periods of being frigid and periods of being hot (which is why our planet is always depicted as a woman). For 100,000 years, it's really cold and things tend to go extinct in large numbers. Everything from Alaska to Pennsylvania becomes covered in ice, and the rest of the world doesn't do very well, either (though I suspect that with all this extra ice, sea levels would drop and some islands that are "in danger of drowning" from global warming would be sitting pretty). Then we get a golden age for 10,000 years where everything is nice. Guess when our last ice age ended? Yep, just over 10,000 years ago. I'm not going to go into young-Earth vs. old-Earth stuff, but this stuff is supposed to freeze and later unfreeze pretty rapidly, as in the space of about a year or so. It's thought that this massive melting might be a candidate for the source of all the flood stories. Coincidentally, it's at around 8000 BC that we first start to see traces of permanent habitation and sudden technological developments. If the world suddenly became a lot more hospitable, there would definitely appear to be a cultural explosion. Unless we're planning on giving up on Idaho, Wisconsin, and New York, it might not be that bad of a thing to be able to keep the temperature of the Earth artificially high. Just a thought.

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