Saturday, August 29, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The pleasant Cretaceous life

When the insanity of one climate fearmonger trumps the others

When you look at a 2009 blog post about geology, you may quickly figure out what the life was like in Cretaceous (German: K for Kreide, Czech: křída, meaning chalk), the geological period belonging to mesozoic era ("second mountains" in the outdated Czech terminology I was still taught: doesn't "ancient mountains", "first, second, third, fourth mountains" sound easier to remember?).

The Powderville Rocks [Prachovské skály], fun sandstone rocks in the Bohemian Paradise, the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin. A 1977 song by Ivan Mládek, Powderville Rocks, about the mountain climbers, climberesses, and climberbabies was one of the hits of my kindergarten years and beyond.

Cretaceous – 145 to 65 million years ago – came after the Jurassic Period in the same mesozoic; but was followed by Paleogene, the first period of the Cenozoic Era. The 2009 TRF text gives us some basic data:

The Cretaceous: 1700 ppm, 18 °C

figs, magnolias, some mammals, birds, modern sharks

Oil around Venezuela; Earth by 4 °C warmer than today; see Climate Audit
It was clearly a wonderful time to be around. Simply search for Cretaceous at Google Images. Do these pictures look like an environment that is hostile to life?

These days, the average temperature of the globe is slightly below 15 °C. The optimum room temperature that people prefer may be 23 °C so the average global temperature in the Cretaceous period was still too cold but it was "in between" the temperature we experience today and the temperature we would prefer.

The CO2 concentration was great, too (4+ times higher than today), allowing the plant growth rate to be about twice the contemporary value, but the concentration was still 6 times lower than the concentration at which some people start to feel dizzy.

When I promote this tourist destination for your time machine travel agency, I can't promise you safety in the presence of dinosaurs and unknown microorganisms. And be careful about the Chicxulub bolide that will hit Mexico (and the Earth) at the end of the Cretaceous period, the K-Pg boundary. If you visit the Cretaceous period, recommend the individuals over there to build a wall around Mexico to protect the rest of the world. The wall should be paid for by the Mexican government.

Concerning the continents, Africa was much closer to South America than it is today. Various maps disagree about the question whether Europe was a separate continent. India was near Madagascar, expecting a long journey to connect with Asia.

The Cretaceous period was generous to the Czech lands, too. The large Northern green area is the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin. In Czech, it's called "Česká křídová pánev/tabule" and the word "pánev" otherwise means either "pelvis" or "frying pan" while "tabule" is the "blackboard". ;-)

You can see that the darker bluish grey area around Pilsen is the Pilsner Basin which boasts Carboniferous sediments. They're very old – the period took place between 360 and 300 million years ago, well before Cretaceous. Well, the Proterozoic Era light grey area around Pilsen is even older, half a billion years or so.

Carboniferous sediments. The rocks near the ponds of Pilsen where I am going to swim tonight again – because tropical (above 30 °C) temperatures returned today – are similar.

But let me return back to the Quaternary Period in which the climate fearmongers flooded the Earth.

One of them is Capitalist Imperialist Pig, a left-wing blogger who recently agreed with another alarmist Michael Bender that a few degrees of warming could be pretty great. And Eli Rabett who said that anything resembling the Cretaceous period would be a complete Armageddon. The pig doesn't like to be in the middle but that's where he found himself now – well, closer to the climate skeptics.

The Pravčice Gate, the largest sandstone arch in Europe and the main sightseeing in The National Park of Bohemian Switzerland (no kidding). Created by the erosion of marine sediments in the Cretaceous period. There are fun places in Czechia outside Prague to visit.

Note that it's a top secret that Capitalist Imperialist Pig's real name is Edward Measure (University of New Mexico) while Eli Rabett's real name is Josh Halpern (Howard University). No one knows these classified data – just like no one knows that Tamino's name is Grant Foster. ;-)

The Pig made a comment:
Cognitive Dissonance! I might be having a breakdown. Lubosh seems to be making sense and Eli appears to be hysterical, both on the subject of climate.
Well, the Pig must have closed his eyes for the previous decade if he has never noticed that Eli Rabett has always been hysterical – after all, that's why he's classified as "an unhinged climate fearmonger and psychopath" – while I seem to be making sense – a reason why I am often counted among the "climate realists".

It must be strange for an alarmist (e.g. the Pig) to see another alarmist (e.g. the Rabett) who is self-evidently a complete nut. Do you think that the Pig may have some empathy for the fact that from our even saner viewpoint, he looks as nutty as the Rabett looks from his perspective?

A selfie from the Cretaceous period.

Just to be sure, I am in no way surprised that the Pig may be in the middle. Although he's an extremely partisan and often combative guy defending the Democratic Party and its associated interests, I actually think that he is closer to the moderate Democrats and he is often politically incorrect and heretical from the truly "progressive" fringe's perspective.

But I want to emphasize how amazingly far from the understanding of totally basic science, science that is taught to the schoolkids in the basic schools, the likes of Eli Rabett have to be. These people want to believe that in the whole period between 145 million and 65 million years before Christ, the climate resembled the Armageddon that would be incompatible with the human life. Wow.

He must completely misunderstand the evolution of life. 100 million years – which separate us from the Cretaceous period – is just 2% of the age of the Earth. It is a very small percentage of the period in which life existed on Earth. And most of the time, most of the species weren't changing at all.

Late Cretaceous, Alaska

And when they were changing, the plant and animal species weren't really adapting to very different temperatures. The temperatures were remarkably stable during the Earth's history. The history of the species is not the history of the climate at all. There were much more important survival issues that the organisms had to address.

And from the viewpoint of "broader groups of organisms", the Cretaceous period was already like the "day before yesterday". The trees, reptiles, and lots of other groups were basically similar and sometimes nearly identical to the contemporary ones. And there were already lots of rather modern flowering plant, bird, and mammal species. There were no humans but some mammals were "somewhat related to us" and no other major group of organisms was missing. The Cretaceous period may have been richer than ours – after all, we don't encounter too many dinosaurs these days.

A scientifically literate person simply cannot believe that the Cretaceous climate would be bad for the humans. To believe that the humans would have a problem means to disbelieve that the life evolves in tens or hundreds of millions of years. To be the alarmist of Eli Rabett's type means to deny Darwin; deny evolution; deny geology; deny continental drift; deny pretty much all of science.

And these mental cripples use the term "deniers" for the climate realists. It is incredibly ironic, indeed.

Now, it's very likely that the Pig actually realizes the validity and importance of the comments above – that Eli Rabett can't possibly understand the basic school science – as well as we do. But he can't and he won't say it too explicitly because it may be dangerous for their whole alarmist movement if they started to admit that the skeleton of their movement is built out of many similar complete nut jobs.

I never hesitate to say that someone – either myself or anyone else, an alarmist, a skeptic, or anyone else – is an idiot whenever some relevant evidence supporting such a claim emerges. It still seems sensible to argue that among the climate skeptics who are science professors, there are none who would display this Eli-Rabett-caliber kind of rudimentary misunderstanding of geology or the history of the Earth and life.

Add to Digg this Add to reddit

snail feedback (0) :