explicitClick to confirm you are 18+

QUERY: What do Venus, Exxon, Ice Cores, Chicxulub, Warped Crust, Democracy, the Global Corporate Takeover and Hydras Have in Common?

GailSep 19, 2018, 4:33:17 AM
thumb_up367thumb_down7more_vert

[Gail McGowan Mellor is also [email protected] on Minds. Cover illustration: Heracles attacking the hydra, Greek amphora.]

                                   
     1. RUDE AWAKENING

My first inkling of it was 40 years ago, June, 1977, in the John Young Planetarium in OrlandoThe Zeiss Mark IV Star Projector stood in the center of the dome like a friendly black ant with two spinning heads.The assistant planetarium director, I was narrating part of a script and dubbing music, doing my job, reporting. Back in 1952, in a famous lab experiment, University of Chicago grad student Stanley Miller had zapped the sort of chemicals found on young planets with electricity.  Five amino acids -- the building blocks of life! -- had formed. Famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan called it "the single most significant step in convincing many scientists that life is likely to be abundant in the cosmos".

As I worked,
US Viking landers were transmitting the first photos from Mars, the red planet, looking for signs of  life or at least the conditions to sustain it. We were crossing our fingers. Venus had been a rude awakening. Almost the same size as Earth and the closest planet to us, Venus had been regarded as "our twin", even as a "water world". That is, until a Soviet Vernura robot lander tried to touch down on Venus in 1970. The lander, crushed high in the Venusian atmosphere fortunately only after its electronics fried,  had managed to transmit a few startling facts. Although Venus had once contained water, runaway heating had vaporized it. Venus' atmosphere was a broiling 462 °C (863 °F), with air pressure equal to the pressure of the rocks a kilometer under the earth's surface. That atmosphere, 96.5% carbon dioxide, was encased in un-lovely reflective clouds of sulfuric acid. Mars too had once held great seas, lakes and rivers, surface water. All that had been lost when it lost its atmosphere.... 

Earth and Venus

Scientists were therefore beginning to see the blue-green Earth in a new light, rocky and rugged, itself able to take almost anything, but holding life, including us, within a fragile, thin, priceless membrane. We're adaptable, smart and tough as nails. We're also heartbreakingly vulnerable. Our bodies are 55-60% seawater. As a species, we love beaches and waves, feel an easy kinship with dolphins, but we can't drink the sea. To live, we need oxygen constantly and freshwater daily.  All the water that covers the Earth or exists below its surface amounts to the biggest blue sphere that you see below -- about 800 miles in diameter. The medium-sized blob over Kentucky is all the freshwater that there is, much of it inaccessible underground. The tiny bubble over Atlanta is the freshwater available to the entire human race and all other lifeforms. 

Illustration showing all of Earth’s water, liquid fresh water, and water in lakes and rivers. Credit: Howard Perlman, USGS/illustration by Jack Cook, WHOI https://www.universetoday.com/65588/what-percent-of-earth-is-water/

"Greenhouse gases" -- basically water, carbon dioxide and methane --have gotten a bad name. It's actually the quantity and the rate of accumulation that are bad, not the gases per se. High in Earth's atmosphere, the greenhouse layer allows the sun’s heat to reach the Earth. Unlike the layer on Venus, our greenhouse layer has throughout our time on Earth let most heat vent back into space, trapping just enough close to the surface to give us a chance. 

I was therefore thinking that we ought to focus on water in the solar system in the next planetarium program, when the phone rang. It was a friend, an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Lab [JPL] in Pasadena. When I told him about the planetarium show that I was planning, he said, and granted I'm paraphrasing, "Freshwater is going to be much more scarce on Earth. The planet ought to be in a centuries-long cooling phase. It's reversing and far too fast. It's not just warming at an ever-increasing rate, but because of the warming, the atmosphere itself is growing increasingly unstable. The Earth can take it but most of it may become uninhabitable. Deserts are spreading. Storms will be ferocious." 

I asked what was causing it. He said, "That is coincident with CO2 build up high in the atmosphere. We've had trustworthy reports since 1917...."  

That was the first I'd heard of it, and it was a pale reflection of the enormity of the problem. The scientific community knew. So did the fossil fuel corporations. A month after my conversation, in July, 1977, the top executives in fossil fuel giant Exxon (formerly J.D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil) received a confidential report on an investigation which they had ordered. It answered all of Exxon's questions about global heating and climate change. Exxon did not tell its investors, world governments, or the public what the report said. It did tell the top echelons of other global corporations like Nestle and Monsanto....  

                                                     2.  SET IN ICE

Exxon (called Esso,  ExxonMobil etc), wealthier than a small country, had directed James F Black, Exxon's scientific adviser in the products research division of Research and Engineering, to hire a team of topflight scientists. Exxon had then provided the team with everything that it needed to get to the bottom of the "global warming/climate change question." With its big sea-going research vessel, high salaries, effectively bottomless expense account, and cutting-edge equipment, Black's team was far better provisioned by Exxon than most university teams of the time.  

Able moreover to draw on the secret work of other Exxon scientists and engineers dating back to the 1950s, and on the public work of the world's academic scientists, Black's team examined a century's worth of research from across the planet, replicated key experiments, and then invented investigations of their own in order to nail the answers. 

Key evidence was in the ice cores. Cores are cylinders drawn out of high ice that people believe will never melt, on a mountain top above the clouds -- in Greenland for example, where ice can be 2000 feet thick. Drilling down with hollow tubes, they draw out long cores of ice. Preserved by the cold are particles and gas bubbles from the "greenhouse layer" of the atmosphere, going back millions of years. The long cores have visible rings, two for each year: winter and summer. The width of each ring shows how much ice was deposited or lost in each season of that year. 


Denver National Ice Laboratory ice cores, Across the Fruited Plain, sepetjian, wordpress.com

Photo of ice core slice: Tas van Ommen published in Nature Geoscience, republished in http://www.antarctica.gov.au/

If for example the greenhouse gas layer, the Earth's "blanket", thins, less heat is trapped in the atmosphere and the earth cools. That's seen in fewer bubbles trapped in thicker ice rings. If however the greenhouse layer of gses thickens, more heat is trapped and the Earth warms. The evidence for that is lots of trapped gas bubbles in thinner ice rings (as above). 

Each year, the effects shown fluctuate. That's weather. Long term trends and processes are visible over decades, centuries and millennia. That's climate. So if it snows in Massachusetts, that's weather, but if the average temperature of the Earth cools for decades, that's climate. It's over time a fair approximation of world temperatures and greenhouse gas accumulations in those millions of years. As other scientists had been reporting since 1917, Black's team found the greenhouse layer of gases, particularly carbon dioxide, had been thickening for two centuries, and over the 1900s and into the 2000s at an ever-increasing rate. 

Greenhouse gases had never accumulated that fast as far back as the ice cores went, 800,000 years, for far longer than the 200,000 years that people have been on the planet. (As of 2018-2019, cores go back even farther, to 900,000 years, and yet the findings are the same. Greenhouse gases have never accumulated this fast before.) In July 1977, Black reported to Exxon’s top executives not only on the ice core data but also on a series of other impeccable investigations that all pointed to the same conclusions. The build-up of carbon dioxide and methane in the upper atmosphere was accelerating, successfully fighting a natural cooling. The world moreover was getting hotter and the climate more unstable at a rate of acceleration that humans have not seen before, ever. The last time this happened, 65 million of years ago, we were not here. 

                 3. FOR THOSE WHO WANT DETAIL, THE EXXON TEAM HAD:

(1) independently verified from direct examination of the evidence (national weather reports, research papers over time, ice cores etc.) that the expected longterm trend of natural cooling heading for an ice age had paused and was reversing into a warming phase;

(2) reviewed the evidence of carbon dioxide build-up in the upper atmosphere and concurred with the findings of other scientists throughout the world that the constantly accelerating speed of the change was unprecedented in [at the time 600,000, now 900,000 years], all of humanity's time on earth.

(3) showed that the global heating directly correlated with the carbon dioxide build-up in the upper atmosphere. The more CO2, the hotter it gets.

(4) examined a myriad of natural explanations for the carbon dioxide build-up, finding them inadequate to explain the level of CO2 or the heating,

(5) ) listed numerous already visible effects and extrapolated to what was coming, projecting its future speed. The planet would be fine. Nonstop heating however would cause a level of high temperature and wild climatic instability so severe that humans would be lucky to survive it.

(6) and had nailed what was causing the anomalous, accelerated whole-earth warming and what its effects would be.

                            4. URGENT: PREVENTING FEEDBACK LOOPS

Black told Exxon's executives, his bosses, that he was concerned about something that still lay ahead: processes kicking in that would feed on themselves: feedback loops. 

There would for example be more forest fires, producing more smoke with its CO2, feeding the greenhouse layer, heating the air, killing more trees, this releasing more CO2, thus feeding the greenhouse layer, heating the air, thus starting more fires. Heating the oceans would release methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, feeding the greenhouse layer, heating the oceans, producing more methane. Ice, to cite another example, is bright white and reflects the sun's rays back into space. Water or land is darker and absorbs heat. As a heating atmosphere heated the ocean water, that would melt more ice, revealing more heat-absorbent land and water, which would absorb more heat, melting nearby ice, etc. These were only three of many feedback loops that would click on in a heating world. 

That's why climate change once it got going would be increasingly hard to stop. Black's team's predictions have since been confirmed worldwide. Had they been independent researchers, they would have unquestionably received the Nobel Prize. However, Exxon owned  the team's information. Thanks to ironclad non-disclosure agreements, Black's scientific/engineering team could neither publish in scientific journals, write for popular publications, give interviews nor discuss it privately except among themselves. 

James F Black Scientific Adviser in the Products Research Division of Exxon Research & Engineering,

Honoring that agreement, Black told no one outside the top execs of Exxon. Black did warn them in person in July 1977 that the great danger was feedback loops that would hugely speed the process until it could no longer be stopped. He urged Exxon to warn the world. Exxon's CEO and major stockholders considered leading the way to alternative energies, being heroes, but decided against it. Black therefore repeated in writing in a letter to the Exxon board in 1978 that humanity had only 5-10 years to act before the first feedback loop engaged, that climate change was about to become an increasingly runaway process. 

Exxon in 1982 issued a manual for all its top executives explaining the danger, describing it as "scientific consensus", but forbidding the Exxon executives to mention it publiclyA few years after Black made his secret report, in the early 1980s, the non-industry researchers of the world themselves started trying to warn the public, going to Congress, radio and TV, the UN.  

By 1991, feedback loops had begun to engage. Shell Oil produced a 28-minute documentary, "Climate of Concern", urgently warning the public about climate change, calling for actionShell offered its documentary free to schools and universities, warning of "extreme weather, floods, famines and climate refugees"Other fossil fuel corporations quickly got Shell back in line, silencing it. Led by Exxon from 1977-1997 and then by oil refinery mega-billionaire Charles Koch 1997-present, the industry socked a fortune into convincing people that the consensus of the world's scientists (including secretly of course Exxon's and Shell's own scientists) was wrong. 

It wasn't until January, 2017, forty years after Black's report, that a former Exxon CEO, then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, publicly stated that the Earth was unnaturally warming, causing radical climate change. Tillerson did not mention what that shift was doing to the oceans, land and lifeforms, how long the industry had known, or what fossil fuels have to do with it, let along warn that many feedback loops had already engaged....

                             5. NESTLE, MONSANTO AND THE BANKS

Exxon however had told a few other global corporations everything back in 1978. Among those told were Nestle and Monsanto. During those forty years, knowing that terrible droughts and floods, titanic storms and loss of food and freshwater were coming, they tried to figure out how to make a fortune off it. The two scrambled to seize monopoly control of the world's food and water....

Peter Brabeck-Letmanthe, Nestle CEO  People have "no inherent right to water".

NESTLE

Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmanthe has explained that humans have "no inherent right to water". All freshwater, in his view, should be in the hands of global corporations, with the price "decided by the market", and given a monopoly, the corporation would simply set the "market" price itself. 

Brabeck-Letmanthe has to be heard to fully understand the threat that Nestle poses. [Please save that video. Nestle keeps trying to erase it from the Internet. It's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6BSY-Ybnn4 UPDATE: Nestle erased that one! Here's another copy of Brabeck-Letmanthe that the corporation has not yet found:  http://www.defenddemocracy.press/nestle-ceo-water-not-human-right-privatized-2/  You can find him all over the net trying to take it back but the one above is what you want: Brabeck-Letmanthe speaking candidly.

Nestle is acting to deplete or buy up freshwater supplies throughout the world, to become the only source. How that will work and the lives we will face if Nestle is not stopped are already on displayFour-fifths of US freshwater, much of it pure glacial aquifer,  is located in the state of Michigan. The City of Flint once drew crystalline water from that aquifer until a corrupt Michigan state government suddenly shifted them to river water so acidic that it ate the pipes, releasing toxic chemicals. The poisoned city water has permanently damaged the brains of children in Flint, yet against the stated will of 80% of Michigan's residentsthe bought-off Michigan government has forced Flint residents to pay high prices for the poisoned water or have liens put on their homes, which, because of the lack of clean water, they cannot sell, and meanwhile also to buy "safe Nestle water" in plastic bottles

Where is the safe Nestle water coming from? The crystalline wate they had been drinking.ALSO against the stated will of Michigan's people, that same state government has allowed the European-based global corporation Nestle to pump billions of gallons from the glacial aquifer only 100 miles from Flint, for only $200 a year in permitting fees, which it bottles inn plastic and sells to Flint residents. That's the future Nestle has planned for us.

While the people of the US are kept in the dark about climate change, the European giant's latest gambit is to plunder a million gallons a day from Florida's natural springsNestle indeed was caught stealing water from an aquifer under California's state forest during a drought. 


MONSANTO/BAYER
.

Monsanto, with the same major stockholders as Exxon, and now bought by Bayer, has simultaneously been cornering the market on food and seeds. In developing countries, it raids entire regions, seizing the seeds from the plants that people have grown for thousands of years, and patenting the seeds. Selling, bartering or even giving seeds that have been in a person's family for generations for millennia but are now patented by Monsanto is then subject to up to 12 years in jail or fines of up to €205,300 ($269,515) -- far greater than the lifetime earnings of most families in developing countries.

Meanwhile, Bayer/Monsanto produces GMO plants that are sterile after one or two plantings, and easily contaminate organic crops. Once contaminated with Monsanto plants, the farms need bought seeds each year, at prices families in developing countries cannot pay. In developed countries like the United States, Monsanto has bought up heirloom seed companies like Seeds of Change, driving them under.  Monsanto moreover owns Blackwater, the mercenary army, navy and air force that because of war crime scandals changed its name to Xi then to Academi. Bayer pharmaceuticals in 2018 acquired Monsanto/Blackwater. It dropped the names Monsanto and Academi, not their leaders and goals. That makes Bayer the largest pharmaceutical and agricultural cartel in the world, working to corner the world market on fertile land, food and seeds -- and heavily armed. 

Janet Maro, head of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania 

Janet Maro [above], head of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania was quoted in Tap Newswire as saying, “I have seeds of my family, because my great-grandmother used them. She gave them to my grandmother, who gave them to my mother and my mother then gave them to me. I’ve planted them here in the demonstration garden in Morogoro and that’s why very rare plants now grow here. Plants should be available to the people.” 

                                         6. FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY 

Expecting to lose their markets as soon as people caught on, fossil fuel globals, from 1977 on, were meanwhile racing the clock, greatly increasing the pace of their acquisition, extraction, transport, refining and sale of fossil fuels. In 40 years they've doubled the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. 

Rushing to squeeze every last dime, they are exploding entire mountain ranges to get to the coal in states like Kentucky because "mountaintop removal" is quicker than mining, and they have opened the Canadian tar sand areas, transporting gunky tar sand oil in constantly leaking pipes across the US not for US use but to ships. Fracking for gas, globals have knowingly polluted the entire Gulf of Mexico, a literal paradise and a major food source for the Americas, and caused earthquakes in previously stable countries and in states like Oklahoma. Twenty-nine years since the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in 1989, the animals, fish and beaches are still recovering. The Gulf of Mexico has huge spreading dead zones where oil covers the sea floor. 

The Middle Eastern wars and the murderous US embargo on Venezuela, which not coincidentally has the largest oil field in the Americas, are killing millions to get to the oil -- using a US military which is the largest oil guzzler in the world. Global banks fund all this and profit from it, as people go hungry, suffer from thirst and die in the senseless wars. All for nothing. US alternative energies produce ten times the jobs as US fossil fuels -- and require no tax subsidy. Fossil fuels by contrast take $10 million tax dollars in subsidy an hour, more than the Pentagon

Even the US military wants to shift to alternative energy sources. Global corporations are not people; they're not "companies" either, not businesses operating in a community. They are patterns of greed-driven behavior embedded in computer programs, with a few humans, at the top, spitting out any other humans who do not tow the line, switching to AI robots as fast as they can. Not surprisingly, the situation in 2019 is therefore increasingly a fulfillment of Black's 1977 report.... 

                                              7. UNDER THE SHEETS

We're rapidly losing the ice that stores our priceless global supply of freshwater, and not just on the mountains. As much as 85% of the global temperature rise in the atmosphere has so far gone into heating our ocean. There is only one vast ocean covering our planet, though people give names like "Atlantic" and "Pacific" to nearby beloved parts of that saltwater. The entire ocean surface has risen 8" since 1980, half of that due to molecular expansion from heating. It and the heated atmosphere are now acting to heat the land -- and the ice. There are three great ice sheets in the world: the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctica. A full release of the water in all three ice sheets would cause an at least 40 foot rise in the height of the world’s ocean, which would cover much of the continents. That is unlikely. On the other hand, estimates of how much has already melted are underestimates because recent investigation shows that much of the meltwater, a part until now unnoticed, is trapped in or under the glaciers.  

Global corporations hiss that these facts “don’t count” because “the ice is being replaced” by evaporation from the ocean and refreezing. 

That’s like saying that a forest of 200’ oaks is being replaced by a 2" saplings.  

New surface ice is fragile and easily melted, no replacement for the ancient hard-packed ice, compressed under gigatons over the ages, now lost. Each year Greenland loses 95% of that new ice before digging deeper into the hardpack. Ice sheets fluctuate in size with the seasons; that’s "weather ", easy to cherry-pick. "Climate" is longer-term. When viewed over decades, all three great ice sheets are melting fast. The Arctic ice sheet for example is at the north pole. Floating over open water, protecting it from the sun’s rays, it fluctuates in size. By 2013, however, the maximum yearly size of the Arctic ice sheet was down to a fifth of what it had been in 1980

The second sheet, on Antarctica, the south pole, is largely on land, with two different regions. West Antarctica was under the ocean as recently as 10,000 years ago, and is basically an ice bowl, its bottom thousands of feet below sea level. Cracked and fragile with pools of water on top of its ice, also melting from underneath, much of a huge ice peninsula has broken off and melted since 1980. Its loss has tripled in the last 25 years.

"Water streaming across Antarctica surprises, worries scientists."https://www.cbsnews.com/news/water-streaming-across-antarctica-ice-sheets-melting/

Until 2018, East Antarctica, covered by an intact block of ancient ice which is  in some places three miles thick, seemed impermeable. Yet in 2018 it began slowly melting too. Surface water is flowing over it, unheard of. The third ice sheet covers mainland Greenland. Its meltwater in 2012 released with such quantity and force that it warped the earth's crust

Melting ice sheets affect world weather.  For example, temperamental winds off the melting Arctic are shoving the jet stream and thus icy cold air farther south into the eastern United States -- and increasing the frequency of blizzards in the northeastern United States. 

"Oh look! You said it! You said it! There’s snow in Atlanta!!!!! Blizzards in Jersey!!!!! The world can’t be warming!” shriek the well-paid shills for the fossil fuel industry, convincing far too many citizens. Actually, the mean average temperature of the world over time (that's climate), not freezing Connecticut today (that's weather), has gone steadily upward, with the hottest years on record being the last five. 

"Ah but CO2 is great for trees, fruits and vegetables. We'll have record harvests!" say the industry shills.  Clearly none of them are farmers. 

A single hailstone from Alabama hailstorm, October 2019 in Alabama. United States.

Corn, apples and beans and for that matter mangos and papayas do not grow real well in fires, 100-year floods and droughts, and oh yeah, bombarded by the size of hail that we are already experiencing [see above).CO2 falling into oceans makes them acidic. Oxygen-dependent fish that many nations rely on for food are decreasing, as jellies (which do better in acidic water and methane) increase. Major coral reefs bleach as the oxygen-dependent coral die. As was also predicted back in the 1970s, in the rapidly thawing Russian tundra, enormous sinkholes have appeared. Methane, bubbling up in great quantity from warmed seafloors and from melting taiga and tundra, is moreover an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, not good for plants and animals, and it easily catches fire. So does peat moss. As forest fires in for example Canada reach the melting forest floor, they cannot be put out. Insects like fire ants are moving north, and deserts are spreading, as more and more feedback loops kick in. Doctors worry that already-conquered diseases like smallpox might get loose from melting corpses that were buried in what seemed at the time like permanent ice.

Species are going extinct. 

"Species do go extinct constantly, no biggie" soothe the industry shills. 

That they do. Our rate of species extinction however is already 1000 times greater than normal, faster than at any time since 65 million years ago, when a major asteroid hit. Studies of all previous mass extinctions show that the key variable was the rate of build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere. If it was a slow increase over say 20 generations, plants and creatures gracefully adapted to the climate change. Most survived. If it was a swift catastrophic change, most went extinct. That one 65 million years ago was the worst extinction event known. We humans were not on the Earth at the time, but it left traces of almost unimaginable catastrophe.

The fossil fuel industry had key information on that too, but withheld it. Sixty-five million years after the asteroid, in 1966, geologist Robert Baltosser was working as a contractor for the Mexican state-owned oil company PeMex, and discovered an immense crater twelve miles under the Gulf of Mexico. It's inner ring was 95 miles (152 km) in diameter, its outer ring was 112 miles (180 km) in diameter. It lay half on, half off, the Yucatan peninsula, centered on what is now the little town of Chicxulub. 

Although the crater was 12 miles deep under the Gulf, Baltosser produced a gravity map. PeMex confiscated the map and forbade Baltosser to share any information with the public or with other scientists, not releasing the map until the 1980s, twenty years later, providing the first understood evidence of one of the most catastrophic events in Earth's history, one with clear lessons for us....

8. CHICXULUB: AN EXPLOSION AS GREAT AS 300 MILLION ATOMIC BOMBS 

Although the Earth is four billion years old, we were not here for 3,999, 750,000 years of that. Luckily. There were five major extinction events, when 95% of the species on earth were wiped out. The fourth extinction event, 65 million years ago, was the worst. Back then, floating on lava, the continents were still moving and crashing into each other, pushing up towering folds of rock, creating the mountain ranges, setting of volcanic eruptions. Dinosaurs ruled.

In the midst of their world, an asteroid hit. Comets and asteroids hit us because even as we travel around the sun, our sun, a yellow dwarf star, is traveling around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our solar system bobs along, diving in and out of the stream of stars, dislodging stuff from the Oort Cloud of rocky debris far beyond Pluto. Some of that shoots in toward the sun, and if it's not absorbed by Jupiter, often whizes close by or straight into us. The little rocks, the "shooting stars" burn up in our outer atmosphere. They're pretty. This particular one was 9 miles (22 km) in diameter and barreled into the southern coast of what is now the Gulf of Mexico at 50,000 miles per hour (22 Km per second), with the impact of 300 million nuclear bombs....

https://scienceofcycles.com/new-find-shows-yucatan-peninsula-asteroid-strike-warmed-planet-for-100000-years/

First diving 12 miles down through the sea and continental crust, the asteroid exploded far underground, sending water and debris thousands of feet in the air, some of it flying back into space. Rock-filled walls of water collapsed back into that hole, spewed upwards again thousands of feet, and collapsed and spewed again, producing a spreading circle of perhaps 100 almost-simultaneous tsunamis. They in seconds clawed out the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and, filled with even more sharp debris, began marching in ranks 40'-70' high waves, less than a minute apart, that scraped clean all the islands and coastlines touching the Gulf of Mexico, going inland at least 150 miles into what is now Texas. 

Simultaneously, much of the debris was circling the globe on above-hurricane-force winds, fiery pieces of debris dropping out of the sky, causing gigantic forest fires. The strike set off volcanoes and earthquakes, most notably the Deccan Trap in India. All the continents were engulfed in lava and flames. 

Yet temperatures next plummeted to lethal cold as soot remained as a thick haze for three years, blocking out the sun. Most plant life and all trees died. When the soot dissipated, it left a telltale thick layer of black carbon from all the burned and otherwise dead vegetation, with extraterrestrial iridium (it does not occur on Earth), micro-diamonds and "nuclear glass" all the telltale signs of an enormous asteroid or comet strike, still visible as a line in canyon walls or purposeful digs to that depth all over the world. 

Even that did not wipe out all life. However, titanic storms racked the planet, as temperatures soared again, incompatible with much of the life that had survived the fires and freeze. When life struggled to its feet, drastic mutations had been necessary to survival. That is evident from digging deep in the earth finding fossilized skeletons from far back, seeing that over time the tiny mammal skeletons of 65 million years ago get larger as the once enormous dinosaurs grow smaller. The dinosaurs devolved into sparrows and hawks.   

As Professor Sagan said, "We live in a shooting gallery." 

Twelve thousand years ago, during an ice age, an even larger asteroid or comet hit what is now Canada. As before, above-hurricane-force winds carried fiery debris around the world, igniting fires that reduced almost all vegetation to a thick layer of soot containing the telltale iridium, nanodiamonds and tiny globules of "nuclear glass" that these extraterrestrial strikes leave in their wake.The ice covering Canada was in places 2000 feet thick, but melted in a nanosecond in the strike zone. Great oceans of freshwater poured down over what is now the United States in a tsunami 1000 feet high, gouging out canyons, leaving "ripples" in the Earth that are 50' high and 300' apart. 

People were on earth by then but the "Clovis comet" reset civilization back to hunter gatherers. All the ancient cities that we know of date from after that strike. That does not mean that there were no cities before, but there is no trace of them. Tiny pieces of that comet still strike us twice a year as we bob into its orbit. We call it the Geminid meteor shower. A far larger astral body than Chicxulub -- indeed the largest atmospheric strike in Earth's recorded history -- hit on June 30, 1908, just a century ago. Was that what caused global warming and climatic instability? 

                9. TWENTY-TWO TO SEVENTY TIMES CHIXULUB!

 Depending on whether it was a solid asteroid or an icy comet, it was either 200 or 620 feet (60 or 190 meters) in diameter. Certainly, it was 22 -72 times larger than Chicxulub, and exploded with a force 500 times greater than the power of the two atomic bombs that later wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The explosion was over the vast forests of  the Stony Tunguska region of Russia. IF the Tunguska asteroid/comet had struck land or water, it could have triggered an extinction level event far worse than the one 65 million years ago. Thing is, it didn't. Judging from the devastation, after hitting the friction of our atmosphere, it exploded five miles above ground, with its major force downward, thus flattening 80 million trees over an area of 830 sq mi (2,150 km) of evergreen forest, but leaving no crater, no soot and flaming debris circling the earth. 

Some people say, "No crater? It must have been an alien spaceship!"  

Scientists are unconvinced. (C'mon. What kind of pilot is adept enough to travel across interstellar space but can't safely enter a rocky planet's benign atmosphere ? Would any interstellar craft be made out of a material so flimsy that couldn't handle the friction of entry?) 

War of the worlds. A second interstellar ship shot the first ship to pieces!!!  

Maybe. A comet or asteroid exploding five miles above the ground is far more probable. Bottom line: The Tunguska explosion, although visible from 1000 miles away, triggered no tsunamis or volcanoes, produced no thick layer of soot or forest fires circling the world. Like the eruption of Mt. St. Helen, it just knocked down an awful lot of trees. Tunguska is not climate change's smoking gun. So what happened in the last 200 years that is comparable to a major asteroid strike? 

                                 10.  IT BEGAN WITH CLEARCUTTING

The Earth is four billion years old. Homo sapiens appeared about 250,000 years ago, and for much of that, our ancestors were just part of the natural scenery.  Nomads, hunters and gatherers, they spit, pooped or carried seeds, spreading plant life. Trees take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Animals, including humans, take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Convenient. With handfuls of humans and quintillions of trees, we were a blip, drinking from crystalline streams, breathing impeccably clean air. Even when some tribes became stationary and built cities, most lived well with their world. What is now New York when the Europeans came in the late 1500s was covered in a rich loam 16’ feet deep. 

People in the 1700s reported that they could still almost walk across the Hudson River on the teaming backs of the fish. Even one huge flock of birds flying over could block the sun for up to an hour. Yet by 1900, US people had by hand clear-cut the forest from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, scythed down the western prairie, and clear cut trees again to the Pacific, while fouling the waterways.  It was not just the US. It was people. By the 1940s China which is the same size as the United States, had few trees left. Much the same thing happened in India. Largely without chainsaws or bulldozers humans felled continents of old growth forests and fouled the water. 

By storing carbon and giving off oxygen, trees, plants, algae and cyano-bacteria create the oxygen that we breathe. That clearcutting both reduced the oxygen from trees and released the trees' mammoth stores of carbon, which combined with and depleted more oxygen, producing CO2. The huge CO2 release of worldwide clearcutting coincides with the beginning of climate change, 200 years ago. It also helps explain why the change is moving so fast -- there's less and less vegetation to absorb the CO2 from other sources. 

Once we could fly, moreover, humans discovered that seeding clouds with deliberate pollution (think "chemtrails") could provoke storms in the lower atmosphere. That is frankly a negligible amount compared to the main event. Because meanwhile 200 years ago the Industrial Age had begun in Europe, spreading to the United States, with its extraction and burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) from deep in the earth. By the late 1800s industry was pumping carbon dioxide into the upper atmosphere at hitherto unthinkable rates, much more than volcanoes and natural forest fires produce. 

Beginning in 1978, global corporations, already aware of climate change and of fossil fuels' part in it, aware too of alternative energies, not only doubled down on fossil fuel production in the developed nations but spread fossil-fuel-based industrialization to the rest of the world, zeroing in on countries that would not regulate toxic pollution. That tripled CO2 production worldwide.

The idea that this was or is necessary to modern human civilization is nonsense, or more exactly is corrupt politics. The first cars were electric not gas, and wonderful trolleys and other forms of mass transit were part of the US plan by 1890, still loved by the cities that held onto them -- New Orleans, San Francisco, New York. Hemp makes fast-growing paper that doesn't yellow with age. Ordinary people did not want this switch. 

In the US, people were in fact reacting from the late 1800s on, first inventing "public parks", huge set-asides of protected natural land free from sprawling development and fossil fuel extraction. The giant corporations clearcut; the citizenry planted. Like 2019 Beijing, industrialized U.S. cities by the 1970s nonetheless had stinking pea-soup air and rivers so full of chemicals that several had caught fire. Corporate toxic waste dumps were lethal, and cars left a thick trail of fumes. The US however had an enormous politically powerful middle class  From Left to Right, US voters therefore told their elected representatives to force big corporations to clean up their toxic wastes and to make vehicles less polluting. 

With a will and speed that would dumbfound 21st century Americans, the US Congress and US presidents from both parties responded by taking action. President Richard Nixon in 1970 established the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. Congress gave it the power to regulate the waste of major corporations and fine them. Republican Nixon and his successor Democratic President Jimmy Carter (at ease with nuclear power as other environmentalists are not) together came close to getting the United States off Middle Eastern fossil fuel dependence. Think of the wars we would not have had. Not coincidentally, beginning in 1978, a year after Black's team reported to Exxon, just as Congress, Nixon and Carter were coming down hard on industrial pollution, the globals bought the US media outright. 

                                             11. TAKEOVER

The globals' buying all the print and broadcast media left the US blind and deaf during the decades that it took to rebuild a free press from the grassroots up.That was all the giant corporations needed. Through subsidies voted for them by their purchased politicians untaxed globals drained all our tax money into their pockets -- fossil fuel corporations alone receive $10 million of our tax money in corporate subsdies every hour -- "balancing the budget" by cutting off services to our people. Our civil engineering was once a wonder of the world. Much city water is now unsafe to drink. Highways, roads and bridges crumble around us, and are being replaced by corporate toll roads, blocking the poor from jobs. 

Meanwhile beginning with the North American Free Trade Area {NAFTA] under Clinton, global corporations' multi-billionaire owners were pushing for a world corporate government. Although covering only Canada, the US and Mexico, NAFTA's infamous Chapter 11 established a model for later, bigger treaties, by creating global-corporate "tribunals" with the power to judge nations. 

Any treaty nation which, in protecting its lands or people, creates a law that costs an investor profit can be punished by the globals. According to Wikileaks, globals have already "sued Germany for $3.7 billion for phasing out nuclear energy. British American Tobacco sued Australia for passing a law limiting cigarette advertising, a French company sued Egypt for raising the minimum wage".Even as citizen activists fought often successfully to stop the newer treaties, global corporations and their owners were trying -- through the WTO, the FTAA and most recently the TPP, TPIP and TISA -- to bring all nations under the jurisdictions of such tribunals. 

For 40 years, the globals moreover through lobbying (bribing) politicians have actively kept the main polluting countries -- the U.S., China and India -- from shifting to alternative energy use.  Under President Barack Obama, in spite of what was by then worldwide citizen action and in spite of the BP disaster in the Gulf, the US increased offshore oil drilling, opened the land to fracking, while Obama and a Republican Congress tried to secretly join the TPP.  President Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP but instead of withdrawing from NAFTA and the WTO, withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, naming the lawyer who defended BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump opened the parks to the fossil fuel industry and recently signed bills allowing global coal corporations to drop their untreated waste in our streams, and the spraying of pesticides that kill bees, pollinators necessary to homegrowing food.

This is not a partisan issue; it's humanity versus the global corporations. 

A painstaking study over decades was released in 2019, which showed that 70 global corporations and the politicians enabling them are responsible for almost all the pollution in the world. Twenty globals are behind one-third of all carbon emissions

Making a mint, they see no incentive for changing their behavior. We however vastly outnumber them; what kneecaps us is our division. Quit squabbling, People of the Blue Green Marble....