Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Greenhouse gases, global warming, and the magnetic field

My latest Mises.org blog post:

The local PBS station is due to rebroadcast the Nova program Magnetic Storm. The significance of the program is twofold. On one hand there is the prediction that Earth is long overdue for its magnetic poles to once again flip; north to south, south to north. On the other hand, and more ominous, there is the prediction that the Earth's magnetic field is quickly fading away.

Excerpts from the program transcripts:

NARRATOR: Mario's team now knew that Mars had once had a magnetic shield which it must at some point have lost. They began to wonder whether this might be the solution to one of the great mysteries of the solar system.

Scientists suspect that the young Mars was in many ways an Earth-like place, with a thick atmosphere and oceans which may have harbored primitive life. But then, around 4,000,000,000 years ago, the planet entered a catastrophic decline. Gradually the atmosphere and oceans of Mars mysteriously disappeared.

NARRATOR: It seems the Earth's magnetic field is rapidly fading, a puzzle that is challenging scientists around the globe.

NARRATOR: The fate of Mars suggests that without the protection of its magnetic shield, the Earth could also become a dead planet, which makes it all the more disturbing to learn that our own magnetic field is fading so rapidly.

OK, greenhouse gases and global warming have been trumped by the diminishing magnetic field. And, we have hard science to back our barren future.

This summer can I enjoy the little time left driving my SUV on frivolous trips while running the AC with the windows down? Or, do I have to await my magnetic fate suffering slow impoverishment under the socialist green agenda of an ever-encroaching assault on property rights and Liberty?

Can't PBS and Nova get the story straight for once? The magnetic field is certainly being depleted by the evil capitalist and ravenous consumer. That's the thread that holds political science - or, science of the political - together.

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