Why Now?
Monday, April 11, 2005
  Irwin Allen Presents:
The late Irwin Allen was famous for cheesy "science fiction" and disaster flicks. We have a few things coming up on the horizon that would appeal to the original "master of disaster".

Global warming is just too gradual for Mr. Allen. It will eventually wipe out huge swathes of humanity, but not in a 90 minutes movie.

Melanie has been tracking a couple of possibilities for a while. The Bird flu could become a pandemic at any time, but Out of the Dark Continent comes the Marburg virus, which is even nastier with a higher mortality rate, a true plague of Biblical proportions.

Andante is concerned with The scariest terrorist of all - Mother Nature. A string of large earthquakes has been hammering the Southwest corner of the "Circle of Fire" off the coast of mainland Asia, including the 9.0 12/26/04 quake and tsunami.

I was drawn to this article explaining that A gamma ray burst could have caused the Ordovician extinction. Gamma ray bursts are caused by stars imploding, creating black holes, or by two stars colliding. It doesn't have to be a "local" incident, anywhere within 6,000 light years will do.

The theory is that a 10 second blast of gamma radiation stripped the earth of its ozone layer and ultraviolet radiation eliminated life on the land and the surface of the oceans. The deep ocean life was not affected and eventually re-populated the planet after the ozone layer recovered.

Somehow I don't think the masters of duct tape and plastic tarps are ready for any of these problems. Given that the "science advisors" of the current administration haven't mastered slood, much less fire, it would be asking too much to expect them to deal with a real threat.

Just because some real scientific research might help us understand what is going on and how to ameliorate the worst effects of these disasters, when the people in charge want disasters in the belief that they won't be affected, will get to say "I told you so", and be whisked away to heaven, the chances of that happening are minimal.

With luck there will be enough of the Unites States left to rebuild from the ashes of their stupidity. Their delusion is wearing a bit thin and could come apart at anytime.

 



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