Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Our Coming Ice Age

"The Blue Marble"  (NASA/ Apollo 17 Crew)
The ice age may have occurred when an enormous meteor hit the earth, resulting in the destruction of a whole species of “larger than life” creatures whose remains we now see in the glass enclosed exhibits in museums of natural history. It’s possible that the earth could again experience a catastrophic collision with another heavenly body. But Halley’s Comet, for example, is not scheduled to reappear until 2061. In between that time, the planet balances precariously between the effects of green house gases to man made dangers like the Hydrogen bomb. If the North Koreans make good on their threats of creating an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hefting one of these babies to our shores, then the nuclear Armageddon that many of us thought was the stuff of l950’s novels like On the Beach could become a reality. Neither Russia nor the United States would turn out to be the real danger, yet by that time it would be too late to realize that it was a rogue state, an outlier, bidding for global hegemony, that posed the real threat. Like their millennial counterparts in the Middle East, the North Koreans are visionaries and their vision carries with it a death’s head, which would sacrifice the world for the allegiance to a leader or cause.  Buddhist monks set themselves on fire in protest to the Vietnam War, but today’s suicide bombers are only the fuse to greater conflagration. We may have another ice age, which puts prehensile man in some future species’ diorama, but it's less likely to come from an attack from the heavens as an eruption from the bowels of mankind itself.

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