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Wednesday, July 15

Climate change, women's rights, and prison reform: Pundita takes a walk on the Taboo side of humanity's town

I really like Climate Depot's Marc Morano, who has become a fixture on John Batchelor's radio show in recent weeks. So I'm interrupting my blogging on swine flu to alert you to a delightful essay by John on how the Climate Change issue fared at the G8 summit in Italy.

Don't miss the article John added to the comment section of his post (third comment) titled Ancient Climate-Change Event Puzzles Scientists.

Regarding this observation in the article: "The urgent challenge now facing us is to find out what was amplifying [temperatures] during this event and understand what it means for Earth's future" --

Well, have they thought of investigating the possibility that the climate changes they're noting are due to Earth's poles starting to reverse themselves -- an event that happens every 250,000 years or so, and one which some scientists consider overdue if the reversal hasn't already started?

Just a suggestion.

Yes I know the subject of pole reversal is Taboo in Green circles. But let's live dangerously for a few minutes, shall we, and take a walk on the wild side?

Would any of humanity survive the space junk that would crash upon us while the Earth's magnetic shield was down during the height of the pole reversal? Sure. We've survived it before.

But we'd survive much better if we stopped tilting at windmills that General Electric seems determined to fob off, gave less attention to exotic financial instruments in the form of cap and trade schemes, and revised our priorities.

What would be the top priority if we were indeed living through the start of the pole shift, which is a normal and necessary part of Earth's housekeeping?

The bad news is that so little is known about the process that scientists can't predict with any accuracy how long it will last, or at what point in the process living creatures will face the toughest slog. The worst could last a quarter century or a thousand years; we just don't know.

What is known at this point is that to survive the worst with some modicum of grace, humans would need all the brainpower we could get.

So if you wanted to prioritize for a Magnetic Storm Epoch, that would mean every government on the planet shoveling mountains of money into education programs right now -- and, in regions where females are barred from formal education, removing all such barriers.

Oh but I forgot! Bad Pundita! Bringing up that subject during a discussion on Climate Change is Taboo. Of course it's easier for 'advanced' democracies to protest the carbon footprint than to read the riot act to governments that support cultural prejudices against educating females.

Moving right along, another way to boost humanity's collective smarts would be to undertake a crash program to turn prisons into colleges. If you protest that this is rewarding criminal behavior -- do you have any idea what a pole reversal means?

For starters, chunks of continents will be covered by oceans, the Australian continent will probably disappear under water, and so will many island nations. Many species will be fried out of existence by the more intense rays from the sun while the magnetic shield is down. In many regions entire seas will dry up, which is saying nothing about the disappearance of rivers that large numbers of humans and wildlife depend on.

Bottom line: to keep our civilization going -- if we don't want to end up back in what's left of the trees -- we'll have to arrange massive 'rolling' population shifts from one region to another, at least until the magnetic shield starts to return. That is going to require feats of engineering we can scarcely imagine today, let alone implement.

And you want to let some guy who's in the clink for robbery sit around for years watching TV, playing basketball, and working at a mindless easy job like making license plates?

As we flogged prisoners to work on road-building chain gangs during an earlier era, any convict whose brain is not half-melted from drugs, booze or malnutrition should be pushed to the limit in prison to study subjects that are priority for human survival.

There is no reason why video-conference classrooms shouldn't be the standard daily grind for prisoners. And no reason why companies can't be formed to hire graduates of prison colleges.

Even without the sword of pole reversal hanging over our head, humanity has passed the time when we can afford to let millions of brains rot in jail. I understand that observation is Taboo. It's also the truth.

For more on pole reversal, see NOVA's 2003 Magnetic Storm.
This entry is crossposted at RBO. Procrustes found stunning artwork on the pole reversal to accompany the piece.
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