Monday, January 08, 2007

Dark, Dark, Dark

Add Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and now Dark Force to your physics plate and the world as you knew it returns to the mysterious "dark ages." Recent and on-going speculation of a scientific and imaginative nature seem to indicate the whole palette of cosmic flavors exist from anti-matter to dark matter to ....... whatever.

What does this mean for us earth-bound trolls? Not much on a daily basis. However, just as the first satellites around the earth meant not much for us earth-bound trolls, we now use satellites in many ways and would not like to return to the non-space age. It is entirely possible that "dark" physics will bring forth many new inventions and methods to benefit humans (and those portions of nature we think we want to keep) along with the typical new inventions and methods for killing each other. Yes, we have the unfortunate propensity to cruelty to each other and certainly cannot be termed "humane" when dealing with our territorial instincts. Prometheus brought fire and was punished (well, still is punished) for the great hazard to mankind and the "giant leap" toward godhood fire represented. I bet the first thing "man" did after getting warm was to seduce the females with promises of "warm" and then torture (with that same fire) those who didn't fall into the "warm" bed properly. Reminds me of the invention of the camera. First make sure it works and then bring up Betty the Maid to take off her clothes for a photograph. Makes one wonder what use we will make of dark physics. Will Betty the maid get a new opportunity? The satellites are doing their job. Much of the internet is bounced off them and much of the internet is filled with modern "Betty the maid" photos. I wonder what a nude in dark matter would look like?

Much as with electricity, dark matter might require a proverbial kite in a dark matter storm to show it's proper existence. Once found and "cornered" dark physics will take off like the man who ran out of the bar, jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions. Just as with the speed of light in a vacuum, much of dark physics will be "constant" and difficult to work with. Well, the speed of light in a vacuum is constant IF you don't subject it to unusual electromagnetic fields, high gravitational fields, and a lot of other variables. I suspect the "speed of light" is much like the freezing point of water which must be defined with many variables, one of the simplest being pressure. We will find this dark physics and bring it to the light of day. For now, we're like Ben Franklin, flying kites in a storm and wondering what will come of it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Global Warming. Why only bad?

Doom and Gloom. That's the whole story on global warming. In fact there's so much doom and gloom it got me to thinking. Always ends in weird ways. In this case, I wondered why there's no benefit from global warming. Why is it all bad?

I recall the Russians lamenting about the great expanses of the Siberian north and wishing to raise crops but unable to sustain a farming environment. Global warming should open up vast areas for sustainable farming to enrich the food supply of the world. All the northern countries should gain arable land from global warming, especially Russia and Canada but also Finland, Norway, Sweden, and even much of Europe will be able to change their farming to a new and possibly better (or at least more diverse) crop with increased yields. Sounds like a benefit to me. Even the mid-latitude areas such as the United States should see benefit and be able to grow more tropicals and sub-tropicals farther north along with year-round crops in much larger areas than at present. We might even be able to grow our own crops in the winter and not have to import them from Mexico. Anyway, there's probably not many workers left there to harvest the crops so we need to keep our own Mexicans busy.

So, the storms will be larger and more dangerous. Ok, then stop spending money on war and spend money on Coastal improvement. Spend money on infrastructure like better roads, cheaper electricity, more complete communication systems (complete and free cell coverage, free wireless, and more), less jail time and more community service with tracking devices to substitute for the jail experience, and the list goes on with the money we could put to good use rather than to killing others.

Yes, but, the weather inland will also be more severe. Same story. Stop sending money to every other country in the world and start sending it to our own people. Story is the same as with coastal improvement. Why fix Iraq? Why not fix ourselves? Oh, yeah, forgot again. Iraq is a threat and collapsing economy at home is not. Uh huh. President Johnson tried that and said of 'Nam that we could have guns and butter. Didn't work then and won't work now. (Isn't working now).

The ocean will rise and all coastal cities will be destroyed. Yup, might happen and probably a good thing. Called urban renewal and just in time. Well, that's a bit cynical but not all bad. So the ocean rises and some coastline is now in a new place. When New York City moves up river to "Next York City" it is an opportunity to rebuild in a more convenient and safer place with a city that didn't just happen but was planned and constructed around it's inhabitants, not the way the present cities are. Lots of areas will have improved ports and many will be in better locations. We will adapt and end up thinking it was better than before.

We will lose nearly all our coastal wetlands. A very strange misdirection. Of course we'd lose the coastal wetlands from where they are. We'd just have new areas of coastal wetlands. How silly. What do they think would happen if the ocean level went down? We'd lose all our wetlands and they'd be replaced by new areas of coastal wetlands. We'd even lose nearly all our coastal cities and ports and need new ports. Sounds just like the problem of rising sea level. Hmmmmm.

If status quo is the only good, then the world is in for bad because standing still and not changing is not the way of the world and will never be the way things are. Yes, I know those beavers of the Corps of Engineers have harnessed the Mississippi River and are doing all they can to keep in right where it is no matter how "unnatural" that is. The ocean is a bit too big for such taming. Even the Mississippi will finally get her way and go where she pleases. The only "status quo" we can work with is to change with the natural changes and stop trying to force everything to our will.

If a desert increases, something else will have traded places and become arable. If the weather changes we can adapt and make it a good thing. If the ocean rises or falls, we can also adapt and use it to good effect. If we, the people, caused these changes we can be responsible and change as needed.

The bottom line is that I'm still not convinced about human responsibility for global warming. Between 9000 and 10000 years ago the earth underwent a global warming that was quite similar in character. We didn't cause that. Then, there's the Carbon dioxide volcano in (I think) Nigeria that puts out more carbon dioxide each year than all other sources (including people) put together. Volcanic activity beats us all hollow on "bad" emissions. There's so much we don't know in spite of the bits and pieces we do know that it is impossible to assign blame and be totally certain. I recall the time we were told by authorities that the brown pelican was extinct and it was caused by ddt. Dumb and dumber.

So what happens if we actually are responsible for global warming and if we actually decide to stop the warming? Ice age? Dropping sea level? Uninhabitable northern areas? Disastrous hurricanes hitting Europe? A long list of even more but you can tell that warm might bring problems but cool might bring even more. Change will happen. Let's see the bad and the good and get ready to adapt.