Articles in Global Catastrophes
Last night I watched yet another cable TV doco on supervolcanoes – this one focused on the Toba eruption 70,000 years ago. I didn’t learn anything new, but a new thought crossed my mind:
Could global catastrophes be the secret ingredient that made us who we are?
According to the documentary, all humans at the time were in Africa, and of the 1 million alive prior to the super-eruption, only 30,000 survived the volcanic winter. According to Wikipedia:
This change in temperature resulted in the world’s human population being reduced to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution.
This theory has a lot of solid scientific support. And it got me thinking… surely prior super-eruptions from other supervolcanoes caused similar bottlenecks? In that case you could argue that these and other cataclysms (local and global) are key ingredients and drivers of human evolution.
Planet Earth is sometimes referred …
So big were these marsupials that an adult human could fit in their pouch. The Diprotodon (giant wombat) is a great example of megafaunal extinction, and Australian scientists have uncovered the fossils of 50 of these animals. And as usual, the reason for their demise is about as far from global cataclysm as you can get:
He said it was thought the animals died after they became trapped in a bog.
Fifty of them. A stampede of giant wombats? But then the plot thickens:
The remains of other species, such as 20-foot lizards called megalania and giant crocodiles, were also found at the site.
“We’re almost certain that most of these carcasses of diprotodon have been torn apart by both the crocodiles and the lizards, because we’ve found shed teeth within their skeletons from both animals,” Hocknull told the BBC.
Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Robert BastAcknowledgements: MSNBCSome Rights ReservedOriginal content here is published under these license terms: X License Type:Attribution, No derivative workLicense …
One of the best alternative science books of recent years is The Cycles of Cosmic Catastrophes by Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith. Published in 2006 it presented powerful evidence for a comet causing a global catastrophe 13,000 years ago. In March I reported that the ancient Toltec/Aztec tale about a rain of meteorites they described has been validated by melted rock formations at Central Mexico’s Lake Cuitzeo.
This week further evidence has been accepted by orthodox academics:
Ever wondered why we are hairless compared to other apes? Or why our tears are salty? Or even why we have breasts?
Elaine Morgan has devoted decades to the topic of Aquatic Apes, and I’ve been keenly following her work – here’s a 2009 talk she gave at TED:
What does this have to do with 2012? Well, it dovetails nicely with punctuated equilibrium, global cataclysms and evolution via habitats being flooded. A similar cataclysm in 2012 could lead to further human evolution. Do you want to evolve (with no guarantees it will be for the better) or hide??
Usually I’m telling people that nobody knows for sure what will happen in 2012 – but it’s best to prepare for the worst, just in case. Today I am guaranteeing that certain disasters will occur – just not necessarily in 2012…
Flu Pandemic. It is 100% guaranteed that one day millions of people will die from a killer virus – mostly likely a strain of influenza. The world has never been more interconnected, and the recent movie Contagion highlighted the risks. Experts say we are well overdue for a killer pandemic. There’s tiny chance that scientists can develop a vaccine quick enough to save lives.
Coronal Mass Ejection – powerful enough to knock out satellites and power grids. It has happened before (in the 1800s) and it will certainly happen again. If it happens tomorrow, it has the potential to be a great catastrophe. We have the ability to upgrade power grids …
The popular Bucket List meme is wholly appropriate to 2012 and achieving goals within your limited (perceived) remaining time. Just as 2012 is a great excuse to prepare for the great array of potential catastrophes, it also gives one license to get things done. Here’s an idea of what my list would encompass:
Visit the ancient monuments of the world – especially pyramids. Bizarrely the only pyramid I have seen is one of the least known (in Samoa). Like many things on this list, family and work take priority – I simply can’t disappear for 3 months. And as a responsible parent, visiting Egypt right now would not be wise… but Xian, China could work, maybe a quick week?
Streak. I’m nudist-curious and have dabbled. Combined with my love of alternative music, the Meredith Gift is local and achievable.
Record an album, utilizing modern backing track technology, casks of wine and Auto-Tune. A …
By using nine different genes, and real genetic data (instead of estimates) new research suggests that just 70 people crossed the Bering Strait 12-14K years ago. This means that the wiping out of megafauna in North America, especially the mammoths, is now less likely to have been by human hands. Therefore the odds of a cataclysm being responsible have now increased. More at the Daily Mail.
In the USA there appears to have been a dramatic increase in the number of electrical transformers exploding. These news items could become this year’s sinkholes – weird everyday events getting highlighted a lot in blogs and forums. My take on it is that the increase in the Sun’s activity combined with the extra strain on the US power grid since the last solar peak is the culprit. This would mean that any major solar storms in the next few years are still a major risk …
Alexei Turchin has posted 20 ideas that could save our species, and it has nothing to do with “global warming”. Here are some of his ideas:
1. Create a book titled “Guide to the restoration of civilization”, which describes all the necessary knowledge of hunting, industry, mining, and all the warnings about the risks of civilization collapse. Test its different sections on volunteers. Print the book in stone / metal / other solid media in many copies throughout the world. Bury treasure with the tools / books / seeds in different parts of the world. Estimated cost: 1-100 million USD. Reduction of probability of extinction (assuming that real prior probability is 50% in XXI century): 0.1%.
4. Send human DNA to the moon in the stable time capsule. Several tens of millions of dollars. You can also send cryo-preserved human brains. The idea here is that if mankind would perish, then someday …
An Australian archaeologist, Peter ‘Mungo’ Jupp, is creating a series of films called Ancient Destructions and I cannot wait to watch them. The 26 films will all be about ancient cataclysms, and four titles are mentioned on his site so far:
The Destruction of Baalbek – City of the Thundergods
Mega Tsunami Melbourne 1500 A.D.
Lake Mungo and Lake Victoria the Australian Sodom and Gomorrah
Antarctica ..once a tropical paradise
The films seem to be far better researched than your typical History Channel fare. Jupp appears to be a cross between a real archaeologist and someone like Graham Hancock. For example, his site mentions how Antarctica once had marsupials, coal and a forest – which means it was obviously once a more temperate and hospitable place. He certainly seems to lean more towards understanding ancient myths to be true accounts, and less towards ascribing “goddess worship” and “ritual sacrifice” to everything discovered.
Of particular interest is something …
Denial is word usually applied to a minority of the population. We have holocaust deniers, AIDS deniers, global warming deniers and so on.
When it comes to SHTF and End of the World notions, most laypeople and scientists are in denial. While they may accept that evidence from the past has shown how fragile our existence is, and that science suggests that events that have tested the survivability of our species will certainly occur again, the denial covers the near future.
A good example was Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. Government officials were well aware that such destruction would happen every hundred years or so, but did not make adequate plans for it happening in the near future. They chose to acknowledge the long-term possibility, but denied that it could happen on their watch. Citizens were to blame as well. Despite most locals knowing that such destruction has happened in the past, …
Poor baffled scientists, if only they took a few hours to read Allan & Delair…
Along parts of the Arctic Ocean floor, currents have driven mud into huge piles, with some “mud waves” nearly 100 feet across.
Around the world, strong currents can produce these features, piling up sediments from the ocean floor to create a wavy surface, but researchers had thought the Arctic was too calm to produce the mud waves.
[hint: global cataclysm]
The mud waves, however, were an unexpected surprise. The scientists aren’t sure what formed them.
“The mud waves could be caused by tidal fluctuations,” said expedition scientist Leonard Polyak of Ohio State University. “But that’s really just speculation at this point.”
[hint: global cataclysm!]