Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Possibility of Losing It (for Venus at least)

Anton Petrov (“what da math?”) explains that Venus had water and oceans, probably oceans covering most of the surface, and then lost everything in a short time about 750 million years ago.

Suddenly the planet turned itself inside out with runaway volcanism, essentially projectile vomiting from every hole in the planet.  A catastrophic greenhouse event would follow. Petrov theorizes an asteroid hit might have done it, or for some reason (tidally locked”) the pressure inside the core got to be too much.

But this is a lot more than the usual lecture on global warming. There is enough carbon in the Earth to raise the temperature of the surface to 1000 celsium if it all came up.  (Yellowstone??  Probably not enough.) 
There could have been life there, maybe even a civilization (although it should have left artefacts here, like Ncaza line) but its destruction wasn’t man made.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

CNN re-airs controversial "Declassified" episode where neo-Nazi's allegedly tried to overthrow the US government in the 1990s

On Sunday, Sept. 29, CNN’s “Declassifiedreturns to start a season 3, but there was a major review Sept. 22.  The series is hosted by Mike Rogers.
This would normally fit on my TV reviews blog (there is a label “CNN Declassified” with five entries), but  9 PM episode Sept 22 depicted a series of incidents that the series claims was a right-wing plot to overthrow the US government by force, following the script of “The Turner Diaries”, culminating in Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City attack.

The focus of the episode was the mid 1980s, with a series of armored car robberies, such as in Ukiah County, CA, by a loose neo-Nazi group, as in this Los Angeles Times 1984 article.

The episode doesn’t have a title, but the Internet Archive has a summary dated Aug. 19, 2017.
The episode fits into a narrative today that white supremacy specifically is much more dangerous relative to radical Islam and to the radical Marxist Left (Antifa units) than the public generally realizes (the David Pakman show has tended to reinforce this view recently). 

I can remember returning home from work on April 19, 1995 and being surprised when logging on to AOL to find out about the Oklahoma City attack, in the early days of the Internet.

Update:  Oct. 14

On Oct. 13 CNN aired another episode relating a covert investigation during the Clinton Administration of a covert Hezbollah sleeper cell in the 1990s, in Charlotte, NC.  The cell ran racketeering businesses where it would buy cigarettes in low cost states and ship them north. ATF had detected the crime, but the FBI and intelligence services held it up until they worked with Canadian authorities, including bizarre meetings in Ottawa (a city I revisited this July, having been there as a child once I believe in 1952.   

Monday, September 16, 2019

Star WR 104 could become a supernova, possibly fire a gamma ray burst at solar system and drive humankind underground (Petrov, Kaku videos)

Late Sunday night, I found some videos about the WR 104 binary star system, 8000 light years away (1/3 of the distance to the center of the galaxy) which could produce a collision and supernovae, black hole, and send a gamma ray burst to Earth. (Actually there is a third smaller star in the system.)
A more recent one was published in June 2018 by Antrov Petrov, titled “WR 104 Spiral Could Kill Life on Earth”. Michio Kaku has a more graphic video from the summer of 2015 here

The videos say that either star could explode on their own, but what is more likely is a collision and supernova and formation of black hole.
The narrower the gamma ray burst out of each end, the farther it reaches.  But calculations show that even at 8000 light years, the burst is wide enough to engulf the entire Solar System.  Every few months a calculation is made, and the most recent one in early 2018 (that I have seen) showed the entire Solar System in the line of fire. 

It is conceivable that the explosion(s) could already have happened.  We would one day see the evidence of the supernova, as bright as the Moon (one thinks of the movie “Melancholia”).  Since the gamma ray burst travels near the speed of light, it might arrive soon after sighting (maybe within a few decades).
A gamma ray burst is the second strongest explosive event in the known Universe, after the “Big Bang”.  Astronomers predict that this particular hazard could destroy over half of the Earth’s ozone layer, and destroy all plant photosynthesis above ground.  Animals and humans would die off because of the food supply destruction.  The astronomers predict humankind would have to build a civilization underground to live in indefinitely, and only gradually recover the surface after a few decades.
The idea of such a long term threat countermands, possibly, demands to fix the known climate change hazard to protect future generations. Over a time span of a few hundred million years, the Sun will grow hotter anyway, and Man would have to prepare to move, maybe to Mars.  Once the Earth became a red giant, it might have to move as far away as Titan, around Saturn, but that’s four or more billion years away. (Carlos Maza – aka Thanos – already owns all the real estate on Titan now! – this can become a meme.)
Astronomers have no reliable prediction on when WR 104 could blow up, but it sounds reasonable that watching the movements of the two more dangerous stars (even 8000 years delayed) could give an idea of how quickly the geometry of the system progresses over time, and some idea when a collision or explosion could happen (or could have happened).

The practically reality could be that a problem within the next few hundred to few thousand years is indeed possible. 
Perhaps our moral responsibility is to stabilize our planet enough that future generations and their geniuses can figure out what to do about future threats.  The political idea of “selection” (related to “replacement”) is not very acceptable right now. But it would not sound possible to move the entire world population underground any more than you could put it on an escape ship to go to another solar system.

Wikipedia attribution link, PD, NASA photo. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"End of Space: Creating a Prison for Humanity" -- it could keep an "Evacuate Earth" operation from working

“Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell” has an alarming short, “End of Space: Creating a Prison for Humanity”.

He argues that as space debris accumulates and smaller pieces scatter as a result of little collisions, the pace of collisions could grow exponentially, and make it impossible for satellites to stay up, or for space stations or other structures (maybe O’Neill cylinders, even) to survive for long.  The tipping point could occur suddenly.  It’s like a “space climate change” problem. Space exploration could come to a halt for centuries. 

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

NYTimes video explains the "felony murder rule" and the hidden dangers for ordinary situations

“Why Did I Serve 16 Years for Murder When I Didn’t Kill Anyone?”, a New York Times op-ed video (directed Adam Westrbook).

A man released from prison in California says he was convicted of first degree murder because of the “felony murder rule”, which has recently been largely overturned in California by S1437, as well as some other states.

The concept originated in England but the United States is the only country to use it.  There was a case where an accomplice was convicted of murder and sentence to life because police killed the perpetrator. 
The concept sounds disturbing in the speech context.  It is logical that if you plan a crime that someone else commits, you should be convicted of it.  But what if you incite the person in a political or social context?  What if someone claims your speech radicalized him after a crime?  Could there be legal consequences for that?  Now I’m wondering.

At least for now, be careful about whom you loan your car too, or even computer, or phone??