The first atmosphere was helium and hydrogen. It dissipated early on, because the planet was so hot. Then, as the planet cooled, volcanic eruptions produced a second atmosphere of steam and carbon dioxide. Later the water vapor condensed, forming the oceans that cover most of the planet. Then, around three billion years ago, some bacteria evolved to consume carbon dioxide and excrete a highly toxic gas, oxygen. Other bacteria released nitrogen. The atmospheric concentration of these gases slowly increased. Organisms that could not adapt died out.
Meanwhile, the planet’s land masses, floating on huge tectonic plates, eventually came together in a configuration that interfered with the circulation of ocean currents. It began to get cold for the first time. The first ice appeared two billion years ago.
And for the last seven hundred thousand years, our planet has been in a geological ice age, characterized by advancing and retreating glacial ice. No one is entirely sure why, but ice now covers the planet every hundred thousand years, with smaller advances every twenty thousand or so. The last advance was twenty thousand years ago, so we’re due for the next one.
And even today, after five billion years, our planet remains amazingly active. We have five hundred volcanoes, and an eruption every two weeks. Earthquakes are continuous: a million and a half a year, a moderate Richter 5 quake every six hours, a big earthquake every ten days. Tsunamis race across the Pacific Ocean every three months.
Our atmosphere is as violent as the land beneath it. At any moment there are one thousand five hundred electrical storms across the planet. Eleven lightning bolts strike the ground each second. A tornado tears across the surface every six hours. And every four days, a giant cyclonic storm, hundreds of miles in diameter, spins over the ocean and wreaks havoc on the land.
The nasty little apes that call themselves human beings can do nothing except run and hide. For these same apes to imagine they can stabilize this atmosphere is arrogant beyond belief. They can’t control the climate.
The reality is, they run from the storms....Continua
“Where do you live now, Ted?” Kenner said.
“Is that a village?”
“No. Well, it’s a sort of a village, I suppose you could say…But I have to be in LA for my work,” Bradley said. “I don’t have a choice.”
“Ted, have you ever stayed in a Third-World village? Even for one night?”
Bradley shifted in his seat. “As I said before, I spent a lot of time in the villages while we were shooting. I know what I’m talking about.”
“If village life is so great, why do you think people want to leave?”
“They shouldn’t leave. That’s my point.”
“You know better than they do?” Kenner said.
Bradley paused, then blurted: “Well, frankly, if you must know, yes. I do know better. I have the benefit of education and broader experience. And I know firsthand the dangers of industrial society and how it is making the whole world sick. So, yes, I think I do know what is best for them. Certainly I know what is ecologically best for the planet.”
“I have a problem,” Kenner said, “with other people deciding what is in my best interest when they don’t live where I do, when they don’t know the local conditions or the local problems I face, when they don’t even live in the same country as I do, but they still feel—in some far-off Western city, at a desk in some glass skyscraper in Brussels or Berlin or New York—they still feel that they know the solution to all my problems and how I should live my life. I have a problem with that.”...Continua
“Arguably the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century. DDT was the best agent against mosquitoes, and despite the rhetoric there was nothing anywhere near as good or as safe. Since the ban, two million people a year have died unnecessarily from malaria, mostly children. All together, the ban has caused more than fifty million needless deaths. Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler, Ted. And the environmental movement pushed hard for it.”
“But DDT was a carcinogen.”
“No, it wasn’t. And everybody knew it at the time of the ban.”
“It was unsafe.”
“Actually, it was so safe you could eat it. People did just that for two years, in one experiment. After the ban, it was replaced by parathion, which is really unsafe. More than a hundred farm workers died in the months after the DDT ban, because they were unaccustomed to handling really toxic pesticides.”
“We disagree about all this.”
“Only because you lack the relevant facts, or are unwilling to face up to the consequences of the actions of organizations you support. Banning DDT will someday be seen as a scandalous blunder.”
“DDT was never banned.”
“You’re right. Countries were just told that if they used it, they wouldn’t get foreign aid.” Kenner shook his head. “But the unarguable point, based on UN statistics, is that before the DDT ban, malaria had become almost a minor illness. Fifty thousand deaths a year worldwide. A few years later, it was once again a global scourge. Fifty million people have died since the ban [...]”...Continua
“How has this world view been instilled in everybody? Because although we imagine we live in different nations—France, Germany, Japan, the US—in fact, we inhabit exactly the same state, the State of Fear. How has that been accomplished?”
Evans said nothing. He knew it wasn’t necessary.
“Well, I shall tell you how,” he said. “In the old days—before your time, Peter—citizens of the West believed their nation-states were dominated by something called the military-industrial complex. Eisenhower warned Americans against it in the 1960s, and after two world wars Europeans knew very well what it meant in their own countries. But the military-industrial complex is no longer the primary driver of society. In reality, for the last fifteen years we have been under the control of an entirely new complex, far more powerful and far more pervasive. I call it the politico-legal-media complex. The PLM. And it is dedicated to promoting fear in the population—under the guise of promoting safety.”
“Safety is important.”
“Please. Western nations are fabulously safe. Yet people do not feel they are, because of the PLM. And the PLM is powerful and stable, precisely because it unites so many institutions of society. Politicians need fears to control the population. Lawyers need dangers to litigate, and make money. The media need scare stories to capture an audience. Together, these three estates are so compelling that they can go about their business even if the scare is totally groundless. If it has no basis in fact at all."...Continua