“Fun Fact” – As long as species have been evolving, species have been going extinct. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct. The average lifespan of a species is 1–10 million years, although this varies widely between taxa.
For humans – and most life as it is currently defined – needs breathable air, drinkable water, and food to survive. Food as we know it was nonexistent prior to the Ediacaran, which began about 635 million years ago. Life was exceedingly primitive (single celled) prior to that. Breathable air is a more significant challenge. A breathable atmosphere means sufficient oxygen and not too much carbon dioxide. Oxygen levels rose to above half it’s current amount in the atmosphere about 850 million years ago, but carbon dioxide didn’t fall below 5000 ppm until about 450 million years ago, when it dropped precipitously and caused an ice age and an extinction event. Extinction events would be something to avoid, so about 440 million years ago.
As a side note, during the pre-Cambrian period (the period of earth 300+ million years ago), the earth went through many changes. This period had many periods within itself such as the Hadean period (“hellish” period) which was when the earth was still forming; it was very hot and it was continuously bombarded by the remnants of the dust and debris — like asteroids, meteors and comets — until it formed into a more solid, sphere-like object and cooled. The first atmosphere consisted of hydrogen and helium and was toxic to all life; source. The second atmosphere “was formed mostly from the out gassing of such volatile compounds as water vapor, carbon monoxide, methane, ammonia, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrochloric acid and sulfur produced by the constant volcanic eruptions.” For the most part, after the crust cooled, the rocky terrain formed and clouds formed which soon brought forth rainwater and created oceans. About 3 billion years ago, during the Archean period, the first life began to form and landmasses were taking shape. The atmosphere was still toxic but early bacteria could survive. it wasn’t until the Proterozoic period that oxygen-forming syntheses began to take place in a type of blue-green algae.
But back to the main point: There have been at least five major ice ages in the earth’s past (the Huronian, Cryogenian, Andean-Saharan, Karoo Ice Age and the Quaternary glaciation). Outside these ages, the Earth seems to have been ice-free even in high latitudes. Bet there were no SUVs or water bottles to blame back then.
Of particular note, there have been many ice ages during the last 2.6 million years but when people talk about the “Ice Age”, they are most often referring to the most recent glacial period, which peaked about 21,000 years ago and ended about 11,500 years ago.
“If we keep using cars, the ice caps will melt and we’ll all drown!” This is a myth, just as false as fearing the Sun will die as a result of using solar power. However, as often as I hear it–particularly from people who should know better–I thought I would address it here. First, here is a summary of the facts:
– Despite what you may have been told, it has NOT been proven that human-caused global warming is occurring, and in fact there is substantial reason to reject such claims.
– The best explanation for the evidence is that whatever global warming trend exists is mostly the result of natural influences like variations in the climate system and variations in solar radiation.
– The suggestions that human activities will cause significant changes in global temperature and sea level in the next century are flawed predictions which haven’t been confirmed by observations.
– The solutions to this apparently non-existent problem proposed by environmentalists would not have a significant effect on climate, but they would cause a significant amount of human suffering.
– Based on what we know now, in the next 100 years a rise in sea level of 0.1 meters (4 inches) would not be surprising; those predicting changes of 0.5-2 meters (1.5-7 feet) are using flawed models.
– If all the icecaps in the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 60-75 meters (200-250 feet). This could not result from modern human activities, and from any realistic cause WOULD TAKE THOUSANDS OF YEARS TO OCCUR!
The warnings – such as what was included in this video – are the sort of changes that cannot be affected by modern human activity even given many centuries. It is sad that so many individuals actually think that burning of hydrocarbons could cause the ice caps to melt and drown cities; it is criminal when teachers don’t correct this nonsense. And it should tell you much of environmental groups like the Sierra Club when they use such myths to further an extremist political agenda.
Again, a change in the Earth this dramatic would take thousands of years to effect from any realistic cause. Over generations people would migrate as the coasts changed. Consider that virtually all of the settlements in the United States were established only during the last 350 years. Of course, many settlements inhabited for thousands of years would have to be abandoned to the ocean – just as many would have to be abandoned if ice age conditions returned and covered vast areas with ice sheets. But people can comfortably adjust where they live over periods of decades, far shorter than the thousands of years needed for these climate changes to naturally take place. Also, that’s IF THEY ACTUALLY EVER OCCUR as we have no evidence to indicate what will actually happen to the climate over the next few thousand years.
If the individuals that put out this absolutely false propaganda were to speak of the truth, they would be able to speak more intelligently about real concerns vs the false concerns of carbon – specifically CO2. A brief reminder: not only are we carbon-based life forms, almost every plant that occupies the same land masses as humans do CONSUME carbon and – prepare yourself – EXPEL OXYGEN – a primary component that humans like to breath. Furthermore, these CO2 absorbing plants excel in carbon rich environments producing more and more O2. Once more, part of the stuff we breath.
That aside, a primary argument that those trying to believe correctly that “man” has noting to do with climate change argue that “volcanic activity spreads far more CO2 into the air that mankind could ever achieve”. That is actually a incorrect statement. But that is not where the argument should end as these well-meaning individuals are actually arguing the wrong point. The culprit isn’t actually CO2. Never was.
One of the things that truly make a difference within our atmosphere from volcanic activity, whether from small or large eruptions, is volcanic aerosols. These aerosols actually reflect sunlight back into space in a measurable way that actually results in cooling global climate. The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora alone produced enough ash and aerosols to cancel summer in Europe and North America in 1816. Bet they don’t tell you about that when making the case against CO2.
Then there is CH4 – what we refer to as Methane. The negative effect on the climate of Methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2. TWENTY THREE TIMES HIGHER! So what is the largest producer of Methane? Cows.
A cow, on overage, releases between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2). Therefore the release of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to about 2’300 kg of CO2 per year. Just ponder that. Again, nothing to do with carbon (dioxide or otherwise). The CO2 emissions argument is just plain silly.
And though not covered in the ridiculous claims included in this video, it is important to to note that livestock produces more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world’s emissions of ammonia, one of the main causes of acid rain. And all of these VERY REAL facts are not even considering what all of the other combined species produce – all on their own – that everyone is so up in arms about ensuring that they do not go extinct. Try singing about that!
Totally Friggin’ Amazing!