Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Chicxulub is a small town on the Yucatan peninsula.  It's worth periodically reminding ourselves that a little more than 66 million years ago an asteroid about 15 kilometers in diameter smashed into the earth near there, releasing the energy of about 10 billion Hiroshima bombs. The fireball sterilized the earth for thousands of miles, ferocious wildfires were ignited across the planet, and debris partially blocked sunlight for years. Within a short time, something like 75 to 80% of terrestrial species were extinct. After the short-term cooling, the attendant relase of C02 caused global warming that lasted for 100,000 years.

You are probably thinking, "I hate it when that happens," but maybe you shouldn't be. The extermination of the dinosaurs (with the exception of the birds), allowed mammals to radiate into the vacant ecological niches, and become the dominant order of large terrestrial animals. That, after 66 million years, made you possible. So keep that in mind. We just happen to be here, and we might not be around much longer. There isn't any plan beyond the one we are able to make for ourselves.

So wise up.


mojrim said...

George Carlin explained this decades ago: the Earth isn't going anywhere, we are.

Cervantes said...

We do miss him.