The surface of this planet is covered by dry bits, called "land," andwet bits, called "water." Where these two bodies meet is termed a "beach," which may be sandy, rocky, cliff face, or any one of many other types.Where these "beaches" occur, there is, to a greater or lesser extent, acertain amount of wave activity called "surf." Imagine you are strollingalong a beach somewhere, minding your own business, and enjoying the view,when, out of nowhere, comes a demented, hysterical character who wants toenlist your help in freeing the beach of board-riders, because they are"wearing down the surf." He goes on to earnestly explain that the thin lineof "surf" is the only thing "holding back" the ocean, and if theboard-riders wear it out enough, the "layer of surf" will become sodepleted that it can no longer "hold back" the ocean, and the ocean willflood over the land and destroy mankind. What would be your reaction tosuch a person? You'd quite possibly conclude, quite correctly, that such aperson should be confined to the local "funny farm" as quickly as possible,wouldn't you?
And yet, this is exactly the kind of logic being used to support the"hole in the ozone layer" scam. And erstwhile intelligent people arerunning around with varying versions of this Chicken Little story that the"sky is falling," without ever making even the slightest attempt to findout what is really happening, and why. As with the "greenhouse effect," itis only necessary to understand a few very simple scientific facts, tototally debunk this "scam." First of all, what exactly is the "ozonelayer," or "ozone mantle" as it is now being called, which supposedly"protects" us from all that unwanted ultraviolet light? Well, quite simplyand bluntly, there ISN'T one!! Just as the surf is not a magical barrier tothe ocean flooding the land, and is, in reality simply an EFFECT of whereland a water meet, so too is the so-called "ozone layer" merely an areawhere an effect can be detected, not a CAUSE. Let's start with a verybasic chemistry lesson, which again can be confirmed with junior highschool textbooks. First of all, existing on this planet Earth, andprobably elsewhere, is an element called "oxygen." According to mydictionary, oxygen is an element, with the chemical symbol "O." Now,oxygen, for reasons I won't go into here, but which you can readily findout for yourself from the aforementioned junior high school chemistry book,rarely, if ever, exists as the single atom "O." Such a single atom ofoxygen or most other "elements," is called an "ion," and it is verydifficult for most substances to exist freely in their "ionic" state. Whatnormally happens is that two atoms of "O" combine, or "stick" together, and form the molecule "O2," of "oxygen" as you and I know it. This is thestuff you and I and all other living creatures breathe in and expel as "carbon dioxide," or CO2 (one carbon atom, two oxygen atoms). In yet another of nature's wonderful balancing acts, green plants "breathe" in the CO2, extract the atom of carbon (C) as a "building block" in their cellular growth, and expel oxygen, or "O2." This is why it is so important that we stop destroying all the green stuff on the land by overclearing, and stop polluting up the oceans, and thereby killing all the little green plants known as "plankton."
"O2," or two oxygen atoms "stuck together" if you like, is the"normal", or most prevalent form of oxygen in the atmosphere. But it is byno means the only one. If one applies various forms of energy to the "O2"molecule, it will break down to its ionic state and reform into anotherconfiguration, one where THREE, not two, atoms of oxygen "stick together"to form a new molecule called "O3," or "ozone." Now, the "energy" required to perform this little trick can come from a variety of sources. Anelectrical discharge through the air will do it. Unlike "oxygen" (O2),which is odorless, "ozone" has a distinct, pungent smell. Pick up yourkid's electric train engine, or radio-controlled car, after it has beenoperating a while, and you will smell this odor. The electrical dischargewhere the bushes run on the motor turns a certain amount of "oxygen" (O2),into "ozone" (O3). Electrical storms, or at least the subsequent bolts oflightning, ionize a great deal of the surrounding air, and create a certainamount of "ozone."
By far and away the biggest "source" of energy for the conversion of"oxygen" (O2) into "ozone" (O3), however, comes from the Sun, in the form of ultraviolet light. What happens is a cycle something like this: Youand I breathe in oxygen (O2), and breathe out CO2, carbon dioxide. Plantson the other hand "breathe in" carbon dioxide, and expel oxygen (O2). Thiscycle is more or less endless. Oxygen (O2), however, is slightly lighterthan the other elements which make up the "air" (nitrogen, carbon dioxide,and so on), and so a certain proportion of the molecules of oxygen driftupwards to the outer fringes of that blanket of gases that surround theplanet, which we call our atmosphere. From the other direction, light fromthe Sun streams in. A certain amount of this light is absorbed ordeflected by various elements, atoms, molecules, and particles of othermatter. The bulk of this light from the Sun, however, continues itsdownward journey toward the planet's surface, until it encounters theoxygen (O2) molecules rising up from the surface. At the point where thesunlight reaches a sufficient concentration of O2 molecules, a "reaction"takes place. A certain portion of the light from the Sun, that portionknown as the "ultraviolet" section, strikes the rising O2 molecules, andimparts its energy to the oxygen molecule it has struck. This has twoeffects. First, it greatly reduces the amount of ultraviolet light whichwould otherwise reach the Earth's surface, because the "ray," or unit, or"beam" of light loses energy and becomes light in the lower spectrums, theones we call "colors." This is one of the causes of that spectacular lightshow called the "Southern," or "Northern" Lights. Second, it converts the"oxygen" molecules (O2), into "ozone" molecules (O3).
There is a portion of the atmosphere, from 10, to 50 kilometers up,which does not, however, get this name because it contains some magical,mysterious "layer" of matter known as "ozone" which exists, and hasexisted, from the beginning of time to "protect" us from ultraviolet light,and which is now under "dire threat" from various man-made products. It iscalled this name because this is the region where rising O2 oxygenmolecules are struck by incoming ultraviolet light, and convert to O3 ozonemolecules, and it therefore has a higher proportion of "O3" molecules to"O2" molecules. There will continue to be an "ozonosphere," or, as it isincorrectly termed, an "ozone layer," for as long as the planet's surfacecontinues to manufacture oxygen to rise, and for as long as the Suncontinues to emit light to encounter that rising oxygen. Just as therewill always be "surf," for as long as there are places where "water" meets"land." The misnamed "ozone layer" will continue to simply be the endresult of where two opposing forces and systems meet, until such time asone or the other of those forces or systems ceases to exist. Just as therewill always be "surf," for as long as there is "land" and "water," there will be an "ozonosphere" as long as there is "oxygen" and sunlight. If either one of these packs up, we will have long since suffocated, or frozento death, before we develop skin cancer. As I said, this is stuff you cancheck out for yourself with the simplest of reference books.
Okay. What about the so-called "holes" in the "ozone layer"? Well,as we have seen, there is no such thing as a magical, mysterious "ozonelayer," so there can't be any "holes" in it. There IS however, a regioncalled the "ozonosphere" which normally has a higher incidence of "O3" than "O2" simply and purely because it is a region where a segment of sunlight(ultraviolet light) strikes O2 molecules, and converts them into O2 molecules. Now, given the chemical-physical explanation of the ozonosphere, as opposed to the "hysterical" version currently being peddled by the media, it becomes immensely easy to "predict" in said ozonosphere at certain times of the year. As has been demonstrated, the so-called "ozone layer" requires for its very existence, that oxygen (O2) molecules interact with incoming sunlight (ultraviolet light), in order to create "O3" molecules, which can then be measured and referred to as the magical "ozone mantle."
Now, there are two places on the face of the planet where, for aportion of the year, NO ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT strikes rising O2 molecules, andtherefore, where there can be NO large formation of O3 molecules (ozone).I am referring, of course, to the Northern (Arctic) Circle in the NorthernHemisphere winter, and to the Southern (Antarctic) Circle in the SouthernHemisphere winter. The Earth, thankfully, is not positioned exactlyperpendicular to the rays of the Sun. If it was, the Sun would be overheadin the small place all the time, and the so-called tropical regions wouldjust get hotter and hotter, until they became uninhabitable deserts, andthe polar regions would just keep freezing. The bulk of the Earth's surfacewould either be too hot, or too cold, to live in with only a thin regionwhere the two extremities met, capable of supporting life as we know it.
Fortunately, this is not the case; the Earth is, in fact "tilted over"to one side with respect to the Sun, and it is this tilt that gives us our"seasons." In Figure 1 [figure deleted], we have a representation of theEarth at what is known in the Northern Hemisphere as the "summer solstice,"that is, when the Sun is directly "overhead" at the Tropic of Cancer. Thisis the height of the Northern Hemisphere summer. As can clearly be seenfrom the diagram, NO sunlight is contacting the atmosphere above theAntarctic Circle, and therefore there simply cannot be any conversion of"O2" into "O3." Hence, there is a measurable "hole" in the amount of ozone in the ozonosphere at that time. As the Sun's "overhead" positiongradually changes, and the Sun "moves" back across the Equator, the amountof sunlight reaching the Antarctic Circle gradually increases, thus giving rise to an increase in the incidence of ultraviolet light striking the atmosphere, thus causing the "hole" to "shrink."
In Figure 2 [figure deleted] we have the exact opposite conditions,the "summer solstice" for the Southern Hemisphere. This occurs on Dec. 22each year, when the Sun is directly "overhead" at the Tropic of Capricorn.Again, it can readily be seen that now the Arctic Circle lies completely inthe dark, and, surprise, surprise, there is a measurable "hole" there inthe amount of O3 in the ozonosphere. After the Southern Hemispheresolstice, the Sun begins its journey northward again, and as we here inAustralia slip into our autumn, the "hole" at the Antarctic Circle startsto "grow" again, and the one at the Arctic Circle starts to "shrink." Thisis a natural cycle which has existed, and will continue to exist, for aslong as the Earth is tilted, the atmosphere contains O2 molecules, andultraviolet light continues to come from the Sun to convert them to O3molecules. There are no laws that puny men can pass to stop the awesomeforces and cycles of Nature, as King Canute learned when he attempted to"order" the tides to turn back. "Laws" to attempt to prevent the naturalcycle of "holes" in the ozonosphere, fall into the same category, andshould be treated with equal contempt.
So where did all this nonsense about "holes" in the ozone layer comefrom, anyway? Well, back in 1985, the British Climatological Team inAntarctica discovered the first "hole." There was a relatively short boutof hysteria, as always, whipped up by a compliant media because the wholething was in "somebody's" interest; all front-page hype and speculationabout how half the world's population would be dead from skin cancer by theyear 2000, and similar preposterous stuff. If you think back to the late1985-early 1986, you should be able to remember it all. You should also beable to remember that it had all just died away by late 1986-early 1987,and you heard nothing more about "holes" in the ozone layer until quiterecently. But do you know why? Well, I'll tell you. It all died awaybecause by the time the British scientists at the South Pole had beenstudying the phenomenon long enough to realize that it was not somehideous, dire threat to mankind's future, but part of a natural, endless,repetitive cycle. This was actually reported in the papers, but naturallyenough, not in screaming page-one headlines, but buried up on page 53 orso, somewhere between the comics and the obituaries.
What was also reported at the time was that the scientists, who nowknow exactly what they were dealing with, were packing up in Antarctica,and moving camp to the Northern Polar regions to test their own predictionthat there would be a similar "hole" there, at the opposite time of theyear, thereby proving that the "holes" were not a new threat to theenvironment and to mankind, but part of a natural cycle. And that, ofcourse, is exactly what they did, and that is exactly what they found. Ofcourse, such a reassurance would not suit those who wish us to live ourlives in a constant state of near panic, and therefore ever more preparedto hand over control of our lives to some form of "Big Brother" to save usfrom these imaginary "threats."
And so, rather than the papers correctly reporting that the Britishteam had discovered a second hole above the Arctic Circle, a hole they hadalready predicted and they had gone there specifically to confirm, therebyproving their theory that such phenomena were part of a natural cycle, thepapers instead screamed out from their front pages, "Second Hole in OzoneLayer Discovered: Dire Double Threat to Mankind," and other similarhysterical drivel. And now, Maggie Thatcher, the head of government inBritain, the person who was ultimately responsible for the team thatdiscovered the first "hole," and the person ultimately responsible forsending the team to the Arctic Circle to substantiate their theories, theperson with access to ALL this information, and the person who should beleading the way in debunking this scam, is the person inviting scientistsand leaders from all over the world, to formulate "policies," and"agreements," and if necessary, "world laws" to be administered by theUnited States, to tackle this new "threat." And there are STILL peopletrying to convince me she's one of the "good guys."
Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not in favor of ANY strangelaboratory-created substances polluting the air I have to breathe, and Iwholeheartedly endorse the current campaign to rid the atmosphere ofchlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the atoms being blamed for the so-called"holes" in the ozone layer. But just stop for a minute and think: If CFCscaused the so-called "holes," why are they ONLY over the polar regions?Are the polar explorers and scientists using too much spray-on deodorantand fly-killer? Of course not. If CFCs had much to do at all with theso-called "holes," then the "holes" would be over New York, or Tokyo, orLondon, or at least somewhere relative to these places where it could beshown that the air currents were causing the CFCs to accumulate. But theyare not. The "holes" only occur in two places, over the North and SouthPolar regions, exactly in accordance with natural forces which create thebulk of ozone, and exactly in accordance with the theories and predictionsof the scientists who discovered them in the first place.
Think about something else for a moment. Imagine a can of spray. Ifyou like, think about a whole supermarket shelf of cans of fly spray oreven an entire supermarket full of nothing else but cans of fly-spray.Picture in you mind how much CFCs are involved, and will find their wayinto the atmosphere to somehow (never actually explained) "destroy" ozone(O3). Now picture in your mind a Boeing 747 jet, with its four massiveengines. Now imagine that jet hurling through the sky at hundreds of milesan hour, scooping literally TONS of air into its jet engines every minuteor so. Now, what those jet engines are doing with that air, is extractingthe available oxygen, tons and tons of the stuff, and using it to burnkerosene, thereby using up the oxygen and creating carbonic gases. Andwhere do these jets fly? Why, predominantly in the ozonosphere.
That's right: The "oxygen" these jets destroy by the ton every minuteor so, is not the "O2" variety you and I breathe, it's the "O3" varietywhich SUPPOSEDLY exists as some kind of "protective mantle" and which wemust now "save" at all costs, even at the sacrifice of democracy andfreedom. Every time a jet takes off and flies somewhere, it destroys moreozone than you or I could ever imagine, let alone use, as CFCs, in alifetime. We're not talking about amounts that can even be conceived interms of fly-spray cans; we're talking volumes of ozone similar to theamount of water in Sydney Harbor at any given time. And that's ONE Boeing.Thousands, if not tens of thousands of such flights occur all over theworld each and every day (except in Australia at Christmas, when, aseverybody knows, all the airline staff go on strike). But have you heardanybody suggest that jet flight be banned, or at least kept below theozonosphere? No, of course not. You are supposed to believe that all thismassive consumption, millions of tons of O3 (ozone) every day, is perfectlysafe and poses no threat, but the next time you reach for the can ofMortein, you may just bring about the end of civilization as we know it.If you accept this, then you probably really do believe that the surfprotects us from the ocean, and we should stop the board-riders from"wearing it away."
Now, I ask you, just who is kidding whom?
The other current "scare" is based on the so-called "greenhouseeffect." The scenario goes something like this; increases in theatmosphere of various gasses, principally carbon dioxide, will cause anincrease in the Earth's mean atmospheric temperature. This, in turn, willcause amongst other things, a melting of the ice caps, making the oceanlevels rise, thereby causing terrible coastal flooding; it will also turncurrently arable farmlands into deserts, because there will be less rain inmost places (but more in others). Now, just for a moment, forget all thehysterical garbage you've been reading in the papers, most written by"journalists" who can't even spell anymore, let alone actually "research" astory, and let's have a look at the cold, hard facts.
First of all, it hasn't even been fully accepted by the mainstreamscientific community, that levels of carbon dioxide are, in fact rising,or, if they have, that they are continuing to rise. There is a narrow bandof statistical data that tends to suggest that this MAY be the case, but ithas been collated over such a short period of time that it is impossibleyet to accurately predict whether this is a "new" phenomenon, or part of acycle. Even amongst supporters of the theory that there has been asignificant increase, there is a sizable proportion who argue that thesituation has already stabilized, and that there is no further increase tobe expected. And even then, there is widespread scientific speculation asto whether such an increase in carbon dioxide, has actually caused anincrease in temperatures. There is no doubt that such "increases" havebeen recorded at least in some places. But whether it is "global" or not,and regardless, whether increase in carbon dioxide have caused it or not,are still mere speculation. One highly respected scientist has alreadypointed out that these "high temperature" statistics have all beencollected in, or near, major cities, which not only have significantlyhigher levels of many gases like carbon dioxide, but are also veritableconcrete and bitumen "jungles," which act as "heat-sinks," and willinvariably produce higher temperature readings than the surrounding ruralareas. While they may be bad news for people living in the very bigcities, it is hardly indicative of what is happening globally.
For the moment, however, let us assume both factors needed to supportthe "greenhouse effect": that the level of carbon dioxide IS increasing,and that this WILL cause the Earth's mean temperature to rise, as acceptedfacts, rather than speculation. Does it follow that sometime in the futurewe will see our costal cities turned into new "Venices," and see the ocean"rise," or that our rural farmlands will become dust bowls? No, in fact,exactly the OPPOSITE would be true....
To understand what WOULD happen, if the Earth's temperature increased,for whatever reason, one must first of all understand a few simple,scientific facts. The first is that there is only a certain, relativelyfixed amount of "water" on the planet. This water exists in four physicalor geographical states. The bulk, of course exists in a liquid state asoceans and seas. It also exists in its liquid state as lakes, rivers, andground water, most of which, at any given time, is involved in aninexorable trip back to the oceans. Another large amount exists as vapor inthe form of clouds, and a certain amount is locked up as a solid, in theform of ice, principally at the polar caps. Now, changes in the Earth'smean temperature will change the PROPORTION of water found in each of thesestates, but NOT the total amount.
The second fact to understand is that three of these forms are in aconstant state of movement. The waters of the oceans are constantlyevaporated into clouds. The cloud move over the land, where, under certaincircumstances, it falls as rain. The rain becomes ground water of one formor another, which starts its journey back to the oceans, where the processstarts all over again. So, at any given moment, there is a certain amountof water lying in the oceans, a certain amount evaporate, on its way tobecome rain, and a certain amount on the land for the farmers to use. Now,the real scientific fact to understand, is that if you raise airtemperatures, you INCREASE the rate of evaporation. If you doubt this,simply take two shallow beakers of tap water, put one in the refrigerator(not the freezer), and the other on the kitchen window sill. The one onthe window sill will very quickly evaporate away; the one in therefrigerator will last significantly longer.
So what does this mean in terms of the "greenhouse effect"? Simply,that if the Earth's temperature increases, it would rain MORE, not less.Marginal farmland would become more abundant, temperate climates wouldbecome subtropical, and so on. There would be far more fresh water in therivers, and lakes, for irrigation, and, if you think about it, the oceanlevels would drop (discounting for a moment, the "melting ice caps" whichwe will come to). Conversely, if the temperature were to decrease, therewould be LESS evaporation, and therefore LESS rain, and therefore LESSagriculture. This is substantiated historically, as well asscientifically, in almost every major drought and famine in mankind'shistory has been accompanied by severe WINTERS, not summers. Historically,it is the COLD which destroys agriculture, not a rise in temperatures,principally for the reasons cited above. (Incidentally, we all know itrains a lot in the tropics, but do you know which is the driest--leastprecipitation--continent on the planet? Antarctica!!!)
So, all things being equal, a slight rise in temperature would lead toa boom in world agriculture, not the desert wastelands scenario we arecurrently being fed. But is such a situation likely, even if temperaturesare going up at the moment? As we have seen, if mean temperature goes up,evaporation goes up. That means a great increase in cloud cover. Now askyourself, is it hotter on a sunny day or a cloudy day? You already knowthe answer. IF the temperature were to go up, for whatever reason, therewould be a corresponding increase in cloud cover. This, in turn, wouldcause a corresponding DECREASE in mean temperature. Within certain veryconfined parameters, the overall "system" is self-regulating, and willremain so as long as we don't replace too much green with concrete, stoppolluting the oceans with oil the interrupts the evaporation process, andrefrain from blowing ourselves and the planet to oblivion. Whoeverdesigned the place, howsoever you conceive Him, certainly knew what He wasdoing.
Ahh, you say. That's all very well. Okay, the crops won't fail, butwhat about when the ice caps start to melt, and the oceans rise, and floodall of us living by the coast? Well, as I have said above, I doubt thatsuch rises are sustainable over any period of time, and the polar regionsare well capable of bearing significant temperature rises for limitedperiods. The Arctic regions of Alaska, for instance, enjoy temperatures ofaround 20-25 degrees in the "month of the midnight Sun" each year. This iscomparable to a pleasant spring day. But even if the "greenhouse" scenariowere true, AND sustainable, and the ice caps melted, would that mean theocean levels would rise sufficiently to "flood us out." Again, no. Let'slook at the two ice caps separately, as they are very different.
First, the Northern ice cap, better known as Arctica. Contrary towhat many people believe, there is no "land" under the Arctic ice cap, itconsists entirely of frozen water, ice, "floating" on liquid water. Wateris a strange substance, in that instead of getting denser and denser as itturns from a liquid to a solid, below 4 degrees C, which is just abovefreezing, it begins to expand. Once it is "frozen" (becomes a solid), itis actually 10% less dense than in its liquid form, and occupies 10% morespace. This is why ice cubes float, and bottles of beer explode in thefreezer. Taken in isolation, if the Northern ice-cap melted totally,coupled to the increase in evaporation that would be associated with a"greenhouse effect," the levels of the oceans would DROP. Of course, thesethings can't be taken in isolation, and this "drop" would, in fact bealmost exactly offset by the corresponding melting of all the ice currentlyexisting in the form of glaciers and snow. (The Northern ice cap, plus ALLthe glaciers and snow on all the continents, together only account for 10%of the Earth's frozen water. The other 90% in on Antarctica.)
Now let's turn to the Southern ice-cap, Antarctica. Unlike Arctica,Antarctic IS a continent; the ice there is sitting out of the water "up" onland. If it all melted, it WOULD affect water levels, and quitesignificantly. But how likely is this? The average temperature atAntarctica is -50 degrees, with temperatures as low as -88 degrees, beingrecorded. Even the most ardent supporters of the "greenhouse effect" onlyclaim sustained mean rises of 2 to 4 degrees. That would mean Antarcticawould enjoy an average of -46 degrees. Not much ice melts at -46 degrees.Even if by some extraordinary convolution of all the known laws of physics,a full 10% of the Antarctic could be induced to melt, at an averagetemperature of -46 degrees, the end result wouldn't even raise the averageheight of the world's oceans two feet!!! And if, by some as yetundiscovered means such a feat could be induced to happen, the subsequentchanges to the weight distribution on the Earth's surface would probablymean a total realignment of our rotational axis, with consequent volcanoes,earthquakes, and possibly even whole continents sinking. Somehow, underthose circumstances, I doubt that we would be worrying too much about anextra two feet of water where the beach at Surfer's Paradise used to be.
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