Starting 250 million years ago, and continuing forward until about 65 million years ago, during what is called The Mesozoic Era, the earth was dominated by a species collectively referred to as dinosaurs. Some were small, some were large and some were truly huge.
They were divided primarily into carnivores and herbivores and it seems that for most of the 185 million years they ruled this planet there was a constant state of war between the meat eaters, and the plant eaters.
Herbivores developed some interesting means of defending themselves, and just because they were vegetarians did not mean they were pushovers. They continued to live, thrive and evolve in this uneasy state between predator and prey until a massive die-off occurred about 65.5 million years ago as a result of a cataclysmic occurrence called The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event.
Some dinosaurs such as Argentinosaurus grew to a height of 70 feet, at a length of 120 feet, weighing as much as 110 tons. That's 220,000 pounds! Another species, Seismosaurus, was even longer that Argentinosaurus.
And these monsters got chased around by somewhat smaller, but wickedly muscular and effectively armed carnivores that saw them as walking food pantries. Spinosaurus is thought to have been the largest carnivorous dinosaur, at nearly 60 feet long and weighing nearly 20,000 pounds, bigger even than Tyrannosaurus Rex.
So, how did they get this big? Plants. Living creatures back in the Mesozoic Era either ate plants, or ate the other dinosaurs that ate plants, and many of them grew to monstrous proportions. Argentinosaurus was a plant eater, as was Seismosaurus!
How did enough plants grow on the earth to support such a vast range of huge, ravenous beasts?
Carbon dioxide my friends, and lots of it. The plants helped produce it and they thrived because of it. It made the Earth hotter, all across the globe. Approximately 10 degrees Celsius on average, which calculates to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
But plants grew even in the heat, in sufficient quantities to feed hordes of plant eaters that in turn provided sufficient food for other hordes of ravenous meat eaters! Know what else? Another reason there were so many plants was because the whole world was warm. No ice, no polar ice caps; just land where it was warm enough for plants to grow.
Early in the Mesozoic Era the earth didn't have 7 continents, it had one super continent, Pangaea. The continents had been disconnected previously, but bumped up against each other at the outset of this era.
As the era progressed the continents again split and drifted apart, making for some significant changes in ocean currents, depth and climate, but Earth still didn't have polar ice caps as far as scientists can ascertain. (There seems to be agreement on this point. Also, there was a worldwide ice age before this era, but we're not talking about that right now. Besides, George Bush wasn't around to make all those glaciers and ice caps melt, so why discuss it?)
Interesting isn't it, that the world was so different and its dominant inhabitants were so different, and yet everything survived?
This all ended, according to some scientists, when a massive meteor from outer space smashed into the earth near the Yucatan Peninsula, throwing up a cloud of debris and ash that obscured the sun for a couple of years - long enough to kill off the vast majority of plant life and the animals that depended on it.
Others say it was near-simultaneous volcanic eruptions across the globe that had the same result. Frankly, I don't know why it couldn't have been both. If Earth was indeed hit by a meteor of such size and force that it could have caused a "nuclear winter" it seems reasonable that it also could have caused fissures in the earth's relatively fragile crust that would have caused a major increase in volcanic activity too.
At any rate, the most dominant species of animal that has ever existed died off in a matter of a few years. Know what survived? Ocean dwelling creatures that existed on detritus - the rotting carcasses of other species - such as lobsters, and land organisms that didn't rely on the sun for life - like fungi.
Eventually plants returned, but the conditions that led to the ascension of the dinosaurs did not return and neither did Tyrannosaurus Rex. Instead, we got liberals and cheating scientists who are gathering in Denmark this week to completely redraw the map of human existence based on their fabricated claims that humans, in the last one hundred of their entire 5,000 years of civilized existence, are changing the planet's climate because we create or emit too much carbon dioxide!
Consider for a moment if you will, that the earth's atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and the remaining one percent is argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, ozone, water vapor, methane, carbon monoxide, helium, neon, krypton and xenon. We never hear about that do we? I mean, that all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is only a small part of 1 percent of the total?
What we do hear is that carbon dioxide levels have doubled, or tripled - which still makes them a minuscule proportion of the overall, and of what has existed previously in the earth's development. Yet, as a result, we are supposed to believe that sea levels are going to rise to the point that we all will drown, unless we stop producing, stop advancing, in other words, stop everything that marks modern humans.
Look, I don't like pollution either. Want me on board? Talk to me about noxious chemicals spewing from smokestacks and hazardous chemicals being dumped into our streams, rivers, oceans and ground water. I'm with you on that. But carbon taxes? Redistribution of wealth to people we have been giving free stuff to for decades? Was anyone around to tax the herbivores in the Jurassic age because they produced more carbon and methane than the carnivores? No. But those that worked the hardest, evolved the most intelligently, and kept a wary eye on the meat eaters, survived for 185 million years! They didn't have to deal with committees of self-anointed gas wardens.
President Obama is scheduled to appear at the last day of the global warming conference in Denmark. If he really believes he represents all Americans then I would ask him to ask these people who have been caught skewing the numbers and obscuring contradictory data - Climategate - just what they think they are going to accomplish? How can we possibly believe people who say the earth is warming due to human interference when they use a shrinking North Polar Ice Cap as evidence, yet neglect to talk about the vast chain of very active undersea volcanoes called the Gakkel Ridge - running from Greenland to Siberia - right under the polar ice cap?
Did you ever put an ice cube into a cup of warm water? What happens? Oh, hell yes! It melts.
Go Google Gakkel Ridge and see what you learn. You'll find that scientists worldwide have known since 1999 that active volcanoes and thermal vents exist all along this underwater ridge. But did you see a big media splash on in? No, neither did I.
Why not? I'll tell you why. Because any real scientist who has studied the long-term history of the earth and its inhabitants knows full well that massive climate changes have been going on for hundreds of millions - hell billions - of years, and the earth has both warm and cold cycles. An upward trend in temperatures for a few years or even a few decades means nothing, especially if it is accompanied by increased sunspot activity.
Similar for a downward temperature trend, especially if it is accompanied decreased sunspot activity. And more to the point, virtually all of the really big changes in the earth's climate have occurred without one whit of interference from human beings. Real scientists know there are always things happening on a global scale, but humans don't have that much impact on most of them, and that is not newsworthy.
But now we have this unspeakably arrogant group of self-anointed pseudo-intellectuals trying to pull the wool over humanity's eyes by claiming that this pissant species with less than 5,000 years of "dominance" on this planet not only is changing the climate all by itself, but that only the members of this select group know what to do to stop it, and "rectify" it.
Supposedly only they know just how many factories to shut down. Supposedly only these "geniuses" know just where to draw the line on carbon production to keep the earth exactly as it is. This is not about global warming or climate change. This is about wealth distribution, shutting down the most productive so the least productive, those who usually would become evolutionary asterisks, can "catch up."
Let's think for a second about what also might happen if these clowns succeed in manipulating the atmosphere. What if they succeed temporarily and take too much CO2 out of the atmosphere? Know what we'll get then? Another ICE AGE! Then who are we going to see for compensation?
There isn't enough arable land under cultivation to feed the entire earth even now. There should be but the human population is growing, and we need all the forests and grasslands and ocean algae we can get to produce enough oxygen to keep us all breathing and growing.
But suppose the earth did warm up a few degrees, and the sea levels rose a few meters. Don't include the North Pole ice cap in your calculations because that is sea ice and as anyone with even a smidgen of education knows, 90 percent of it is underwater, it expanded when it froze, and if it thaws the seas will go down, not up. (To really see a big increase in sea levels, Antarctica has to melt, but that isn't happening. In fact, lots of data shows it is getting colder, with more, not less ice.)
But just for kicks, if the earth did warm, and the seas went up a few meters, would we come out ahead if we lost a few oceanfront condos owned by rich communists, but gained millions of acres of tillable land on which to grow food for billions of people? Interesting concept.
Oh, and one last thought. What do you think would have happened back in the Mesozoic Era if a committee of lesser carnivores approached a Tyrannosaurus Rex and complained that he was getting too much of his kills and that he should redistribute the meat with them because they weren't as big and powerful as he was? What would his response have been if they whined that he wasn't being fair because he wouldn't share?
Yeah, something like - What?
Monday, December 07, 2009