Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here's why we can't afford to be wrong on global warming

Actually there are a lot of reasons we can't afford to be wrong on global warming. And a lot of simple reasons we ought to address it (for example, excessive CO2 and other greenhouse gasses can't actually be making us healthier). But if we do nothing, we risk the responsibility of triggering one of the greatest mass extinctions of the Earth's history.

Sound a little dramatic? Well, according to University of Washington Professor of Astrobiology, Peter Ward, (
speaking on NPR's Science Friday) "One of the things that's really scaring us to death is, we look at past mass-extinctions and everyone says [asteroid] 'impact'… and NASA and the public believe this is the major threat, and yet we've now found that four of the past five mass extinctions were caused by microbes." So what? "Turns out that global warming is the scariest thing that can happen to a planet because the bad microbes come back."

"I think we're really on the cusp of planetary disaster that's unprecedented for the last 60 million years," says Ward.
Sorry to be such a downer. But we're kind of already there. Last year,
the London Times reported, "man is responsible for the greatest extinction of wildlife since the demise of the dinosaurs."

Check this stuff out, too…
  • Most major mass-extinctions on Earth have occurred
when "the Earth got sick" (not when a meteor strikes)
  • Peter Ward wrote a book exploring evidence of a fascinating twist in the story of dinosaur evolution
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    I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.