Monday, December 27, 2004

Heard on Talk Radio
Today is one of those agonizing desk days. I have managed to let a tide of paper accumulate on my "work" surface to the point where I worried that I might have been the cause of the Asian tsunami. If anyone thinks I'm making light of that horrible and horrifying loss of life, I'm not, really. The devastation is deeply saddening to me. But I was working the "tide" analogy until it broke.
By the way, I have just finished Crichton's "State of Fear" wherein a potentially devastating tsunami is featured. Very strange coincidental juxtaposition. And read the book! Dammit. It's going to make one kick-ass movie too.
The point is I am sitting here mauling the keyboard as part of the process of clearing the deck/desk so that I can move on to other things (what? another load of laundry already? dang. I'm going to have start wearing the same clothes for several days in a row now?) and listening to Roger Hedgecock sitting in for Rush. The primary topic of conversation is, naturally, the tsunami and more generally, the environment. One of the points Hedgecock makes (and is made in "SoF" as well), is that the effect of man on climate is not nearly what the environmental hysterics would have us believe. The system of a planet is simply too large a system for even the cumulative effects of man to make a provable change. Not only that, climate and ecosystems have been changing since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary with no discernable input from cumulative human activity. Yet I digress.
On the air some absolute, complete, total moron called in to describe the earth as a like a geodesic sphere on which the depredations of man - "cutting" roads, building malls and such, are going to "weaken" the crust so much that the pressure within the earth is going to bust out and cause all manner of ungodly problems for us hairless apes who don't know what we're doing. The host made the appropriate point that the deepest human penetrations and all the digging we've done for construction are hardly even scratches on the surface. But what no one raised is one of the basic forces of our physical universe: gravity. The pressure on the surface of the earth is inward, not outward. Sure magma bubbles up in the proper places and spews out of volcanoes but it then (wait for it) falls back to earth as gravity reasserts itself against the transient force of expanding gasses. What a maroon.

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