Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick: 60 Minutes’ Cooper nails NASA’s Yeomans and Chodas on common asteroid threat


We all know the Tusk enjoys the study of past catastrophes but is less interested in blogging on space borne threats to our future. The intellectual real estate of future apocalypse — Repent! — is too well populated on the internet for us.

But great TV is great TV and Anderson Cooper did a surprising and praise worthy job last Sunday with a couple of Tusk-worthy follow-up questions regarding future impacts.

After the always glib Yeomans delivers his misdirecting meme that 95% of potentially destructive asteroids are discovered and catalogued, Cooper digs him just a bit about the teeny, tiny ones — the city killers.

Chodas responds by unexpectedly upping the scale of destruction and reports that NASA has yet to identify even those objects that could cause “continental extinction,” which he quickly modifies to “continental destruction.”  (A notable reflex designed to fend off addressing the Younger Dryas Boundary Hypothesis).

Yet then, with heavy heart, I heard and saw what always brings me down when teaching moments appear for our subject. They all laughed, smiled, smirked and giggled.

For the sake of pete, why does this subject always become humorous just when the facts might be taken seriously? Please tell me the last time 60 Minutes or any other news magazine covering Global Warming ever had time for a laugh?

Just what the hell is so funny?

I’ll tell you what is funny. He who shall not be named — Dr. V. — was right. Dr. V. laid it all out a long time ago in Mankind in Amnesia. Our collective Id simply cannot hack this subject. It is laugh or cry as far as our true history is concerned. Those that cry move on and contribute to our understanding. Those that laugh perpetuate our ignorance.

See below.

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Yeomans and Chodras of NASA yuck it up with CBS about continent-wide extinction


Full Segment

112 Responses

  1. Hi George –

    Please give CBS their props by linking to the full video:


    it helps if you watch all of the advertisements, which strikes me as being a fair enough trade.

    If you look towards the end of that video, you’ll see a B612 fundraiser. You may want to consider making a donation and getting one of their invites to hang out with the rich and famous.

    Aside from that, the small impact risk is still understated by Don and Paul, but Amy, in the next generation, is aware.

    PS – someone needs to straighten out Keith Cowing over at NASAwatch as to why Obama put forth the ARM. He views ARM as taking money from his pet project, manned flight to Mars.

  2. I was not amused that Don or Paul (don’t know which was which) said that, well the smaller ones might hit in a remote place or in the ocean – as if an oceanic impact wasn’t trading one set of disastrous effects for another. And as if a remote impact isn’t going to have serious consequences over a large region.

  3. It’s almost humorous how hard the NASA guys were trying to downplay the risks every step of the way. No one was asking them for a prediction or a guarantee; the attempt was to get a simple acknowledgment on the realization that humankind is woefully ignorant of cosmic threats and currently lacks any way of mitigating such threats.

  4. I have recently written on this subject, and if you can get through the tortured and complex logic, I touch on almost every aspect of the problem. I’m sorry but I see no other way to simplify this very complex problem of ours.

    Space Case – The Case for Space

    Clearly we need an order of magnitude or more of space based detection assets, and the B612 Sentinel mission would a good first step in that direction.

  5. Well, at least this ’60 Minutes’ episode is one small step toward mainstream recognition of the tusk.

    They did mention comets, thrice by my count, but each time lumping them with asteroids.

    At 0:01 “For a long time, scientists have seen the asteroids and comets that come close to Earth as useless debris.”

    At 5:27 [at the C/T boundary] “The theory is that an enormous asteroid or comet …”

    At 6:52 [describing Obama’s direction to the space program] “… and perhaps to exploit the water resources that many comets and asteroids have.”

    The program mentioned only three specific past impacts: the dinosaur extinction 65my, Tunguska a century ago, and Russia less than a year ago. Then they showed a world map with colored dots denoting all the confirmed impact structures, and even mentioned that there may be a few more still to be found; but I feel they left the impression that those dots represented nearly all land impacts in Earth’s long history. Actually, most have been fully obliterated by time or have been subducted by plate tectonics.

    The tenor of the piece taken as a whole isn’t far from what Yeomans & Chodas of NASA tried to put over: that these impacts happen, but that in a human lifetime there won’t be more than a few, and that the law of averages says that those few will be relatively small — small enough that most of us won’t be affected at all, while people near the impact may have to treat some superficial cuts and replace some windows. If I got my understanding entirely from this piece, I’d quit worrying about it. But I was glued to the screen for hours as the images came in of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts, and other comet-swarms have been photographed in space since then.

    Yet the episode did slip in enough information so that thinking people may question that ho-hum impression. If the ’60 Minutes’ script-writers ever want to really scare people, the prospect of a hemisphere-wide fusilade of tunguskas would surely accomplish that. It also would bring loud objections from some well-credentialed sources, so I’m guessing that the YDB impact theory wasn’t omitted due to ignorance of the evidence on the part of the script-writers.


  6. I’m flattered, WE. The closest the Tusk and our beloved subject got was when Chodas tripped up and said continent wide “extinction” before instantly correcting himself to continent wide “destruction.” I think we know what Paul meant here at the Tusk.

    Thanks for your comment.

  7. Seems man will never fully understand that only by God’s good grace does mankind survive.

  8. Yes, God has gyroscopic guidance on every rock and ball of material out in the inner solar system and on out beyond Pluto – and God is lounging around on his cloud, just trying to decide when to steer something our way, and which one. God has nothing better to do.

    But if God has nothing but time on his hands to think about, “Well, am I going to screw over humanity on little planet Earth this eon or not?” he must be one bored mofo.

  9. TLE, you start your anti-human diatribe with:

    “We have irreparably raised the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere beyond what can be resolved.”

    You obviously are not aware that CO2 levels in Earth’s history have been MANY times higher than today (400ppm), and life still goes on.

    In fact, greenhouses try and do succeed in achieving MUCH higher CO2 levels – because the plants grow so much better at about 1500 ppm and above. Never forget that CO2 is to plants as oxygen is to animals – they breathe it and cannot live without it.

    I highly recommend Matt Ridley on Greening the Planet: http://tiny.cc/i58u4w

  10. Yeah, well, good luck with maintaining a civilization on the brink with seven to nine billion people when the smallest financial or agricultural perturbation brings it crashing down. Energy wise it’s approaching asteroid impact levels.

    And not a particularly small asteroid. It’s just slower, that’s all. And the warming is more or less the least of it. It’s certainly an extinction event. I’ll be discussing it a little more thoroughly in my next paper on it.

  11. There are a lot of people in the world who have an attitude of “I hate being human and humans are evil and deserve to have God come down and wipe us all out”.

    I am not one of them. Obviously you are.

    The reason such “God wiping out evil humans” stories are out there in ancient cultures is that after the previous impacts most of the rational humans were dead, and all it took was one wannabe priest who wanted to lord it over people, and he put the idea into the other survivors’ heads that “It was because humans are evil.” After an impact the survivors would be vulnerable to such stories. After all, “for some reason” God “allowed it to happen,” right?

    A comet is not God’s will, nor God’s judgment. It is a solar system with rocks flying around in it. And if we who can do something about it let it happen to our society – sit around and do nothing about it – it is US, not God who kills billions of people – billions of people who are just trying to get by in life.

    Yes, there are some evil people in this world. Most are lawyers and politicians, and some are mass murderers. Those all added together do not constitute more than 1/2% of us. Shall we kill off (by letting the next comet hit us) the entire 7 billion, just to suit your sack-cloth-rending hatred of yourself and those politicians and mass murderers? What kind of justice is IN your head? You’d make Hitler look like a choir boy. Do you hate yourself THAT much? If so, don’t take us with you – there are nice bridges and tall buildings to jump off. Kindly leave me out of it.

    I’ve never met ONE human being who deserves to die in an impact, or through starvation. I think people are pretty cool. I wish the human race a long and prosperous future.

    Like I said, go see that Matt Ridley stuff. Like him, I am an optimist. 7 billion people? We are now feeding the world better than we have ever done so before. Places like Malaysia, Viet Nam, Columbia, Chile, Egypt, Lebanon, and many more are at all-time prosperity levels, with less starvation than ever. And 99.99% of them are people like you and me (well, like me, anyway), who just want to live life and get along and have their children have a good life, a somewhat better life – and that is happening. People live 30% longer (and healthier) lives than when I was born. More countries are prosperous. More people have electricity, have the Internet, have cell phones, have cars, take vacations.

    And you, evidently, see all of that as evil.

    As to the warming, our warming in the last 15 years has been statistically insignificant. Two papers out this week show that the long-term phases of some of the climate oscillations are responsible not only for the “slow-down” but also caused the warming of the ’80s-90s. It is called by one a “stadium curve” – there has been, since the end of the Little Ice Age in about 1820, a warming. (Coming out of ANY ice age conditions, there would be warming, yes?) We are still only 190 years into that warming. It is not destructive, nor is it caused by humans. It is natural variations. Humans were not responsible for the Little Ice Age, nor are we responsible for the warming after the LIA ended.

    If you look at CO2 as a %, the 400 PPM CO2 is roughly equal to the period at the end of the last paragraph, versus the rest of the paragraph. To think that THAT period drives the climate is to believe in magic. The actual REALLY BIG greenhouse gas is guess what? Water vapor. If there is warming, should we blame it on water? Should we reclassify water as a “pollutant”, like we did with CO2?

    The current “hiatus” in “warming” will continue to about the year 2030. This has been guessed at for about 10 years, but only now is becoming solid science. The “warmists” are already going into conniption fits because warming isn’t happening for the last 15 years (some say 17 years). If you think it IS, then you aren’t keeping up – you are about 10 years behind on your info.

    It is not an extinction event, and you are being an alarmist with your misinformation. The planet has been MUCH warmer in the recent past – SINCE the YDB. Ever heard of the Holocene Climate Optimum? Temps were much higher than now. Humans survived, and what animals hadn’t gotten killed by the YDB did just fine.

    Nope, there is no extinction event going on – unless you find one of those bridges or want to slit your wrists. Humans are going to be around for a LONG time to come.

    Unless NASA and the ESA sit on their hands and let the next big asteroid/comet hit us.

  12. Steve; AMEN to that brother. The human race is a very resiliant organism. It can survive and sometimes thrive in the most adverse conditions. If the world gets warmer, we adapt. If the world gets colder we adapt.No matter what mo nature, God or the cosmic muffin throw at us we move on. And for the most part we care about each other no matter the diversity of the individual. I’m also hoping that someone in authority is listening and prodding the science world to develope some sort system to divert or destroy some if not all of the incoming debris. Because it’s a commin, not if it’s a commin.

  13. No, Steve, you’re a nut. The only thing standing between you are 70 meters of sea level rise and an Permian Eocene apocalyptic planet are cold deep mobile ocean waters and a couple of ice sheets. This is about ice sheet apocalypses, right? Now that alone isn’t going to be a problem, until you factor in the seven to nine billion zombies and their own private zombie apocalypses in the form of killing every edible creature and burning every last scrap of wood.

    If you think an entire world of Mexico city slums is a good time, so be it. I’m glad I don’t have any children that will have to deal with that kind of shit.

  14. 70 meters of sea rise???? Watching “The Day After Tomorrow” too many times?

    At the pretty steady average of 3.1 to 3.5mm per year (according to the U of Colorado) – let’s average it at 3.3mm per year – since the end of the Little Ice Age (LOOK IT UP), that comes out to 70000mm/3.3mm per year = ~21,000 years. I am not holding my breath. NASA JPL putts it at 3.2mm/year, so they are in close agreement. I am not buying scuba gear till at least 20,950 years.

    Do you think 21,000 years is enough time for people to move from the shore? Or do we have to put FEMA on high alert at 21,950 years, too?

    TLE, you should check where you are getting your data from. My tip: Do NOT pay attention to Al Gore. Sorry, I liked him for President; as a climatologist he’s pretty dumb.

    For those who still don’t think metric very well, 3.3 mm = pretty close to 1/8″. at 8 per inch, that means 96 more or less to raise the sea level 1 FOOT. 70 meters = 229.658 feet. So, double checking, 96 years per foot times 229 feet per 70 meters = right about 21,000 years. It checks.

    You have a sad, sad view of humans, my friend… Made worse by your poor selection of sources for your facts. I’ll link to JPL’s graph here: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/mission-chronicles/2/images/MSL_Serie_MERGED_Global_IB_RWT_GIA_Adjust.en.png

    This information is out there everywhere. You have a good mind. Get out there and think with your mind instead of your anti-human racism.

    Killing every edible creature? Burning every scrap of wood? The only countries still burning wood are Haiti and Sub-Saharan African countries – and the rest of the world is trying to wean them all off that.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_extinctions for a timeline of extinctions. It’s a lot less than you’ve been led to believe. 47 extinctions since 1900, and only one of those because humans were eating them. ONE. We aren’t the devouring demons you claim us to be.

    Also, I take humbrage at the slur on Mexico City. Why can’t you use good old American slums in your slurs? Newark, Gary, South Central L.A., E. St. Louis, Detroit, and the states of Mississippi and West Virginia are gonna start feeling left out.

  15. Jim –

    Yeah, there are a LOT of good people in this world. There really are. One book project I thought of was to try to identify where our generosity gene comes from. In my travels I’ve seen generosity and helpfulness just about everywhere. Some of the most generous people are the least prosperous, which makes no sense, when you think about it. You’d think the ones with the least would be the ones most clinging to what they have. Somehow it seems to work the opposite.

    A study was done maybe 15 years ago about 2-year old kids, and how if they think an adult is in trouble with what they are doing, the kid will reach out and offer help. The study ended up asking where the hell that came from. They didn’t have an answer, but they speculated that there seems to be something inbred in us to help others who are in need.

    There are a lot of good people in the world. Maybe the majority of those 7 billion TLE seems to hate and demonize. And my impression is that he wants them dead. I don’t.

    I think that despite its flaws, our world is totally worth saving from an impact event. It’s actually a better world than it was 100 or 200 years ago. I like that we are moving in that direction. Maybe if we give us 5,000 or 50,000 years we can really do a good job of it.

    TLE is all worried about the projection of 9 billion later this century. A lot of people are. But that is only half the story. The way the birth rates have dropped (especially in the developing world), more thorough projections include that lower birth rate and indicate that, yes population will reach 9 or 10 billion – but then it will begin to decline. They are talking about by the year 2300 there possibly being only 1 billion people on the planet.

    From Salon (a pretty Liberal mag) comes this:

    …In other words, the rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.

    And then it will fall.


    …A report issued last month by the Pew Research Center found that immigrant births fell from 102 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 87.8 per 1,000 in 2012. That helped bring the overall U.S. birthrate to a mere 64 per 1,000 women — not enough to sustain our current population.

    Moreover, the poor, highly fertile countries that once churned out immigrants by the boatload are now experiencing birthrate declines of their own. From 1960 to 2009, Mexico’s fertility rate tumbled from 7.3 live births per woman to 2.4, India’s dropped from six to 2.5, and Brazil’s fell from 6.15 to 1.9. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average birthrate remains a relatively blistering 4.66, fertility is projected to fall below replacement level by the 2070s. This change in developing countries will affect not only the U.S. population, of course, but eventually the world’s.

    …Demographic transition, Sanderson says, “is a shift between two very different long-run states: from high death rates and high birthrates to low death rates and low birthrates.” Not only is the pattern well-documented, it’s well under way: Already, more than half the world’s population is reproducing at below the replacement rate.

    So, since it IS already underway, all the Population Bomb alarmism will – like everything else Paul Ehrlich predicted – prove to be dead wrong.

    Then comes the completely counter-intuitive part of the numbers:

    And in the long term—on the order of centuries—we could be looking at the literal extinction of humanity.

    That might sound like an outrageous claim, but it comes down to simple math. According to a 2008 IIASA report, if the world stabilizes at a total fertility rate of 1.5 — where Europe is today — then by 2200 the global population will fall to half of what it is today. By 2300, it’ll barely scratch 1 billion.

    Population Bomb canceled. Human plague on the planet – won’t happen. The changes are already out there – and the birth rate is dropping, as I write this. The technology that everyone screams is the bane of the planet is actually in the process of fixing the population problem.


    …“For hundreds of thousands of years,” explains Warren Sanderson, a professor of economics at Stony Brook University, “in order for humanity to survive things like epidemics and wars and famine, birthrates had to be very high.” Eventually, thanks to technology, death rates started to fall in Europe and in North America, and the population size soared. In time, though, birthrates fell as well, and the population leveled out. The same pattern has repeated in countries around the world.

    IOW, around 1900-1920 our medicine that helped us stamp out smallpox and malaria, as well as most flu epidemics helped kids who would have died at 4 or 5 live to be old. Obviously, that meant a population increase – as long as women were still having 6 kids or more. But then in 1960 the Pill came along, and women have opted for smaller families pretty much ever since. As soon as each nationality allowed its women to access birth control, DOWN went the birth rate there. Overall, the birth rate approached the already lowered death rate. While the death rate is maybe about as low as it can go, the birth rate still has corners of the world that it can come down much more.

    So, to put it bluntly, women LOVE being able to have sex without getting pregnant – and THAT is canceling out the longevity increases. Our own sex drives are going to bring down the world population. Sounds good to me!

  16. Imagine a world with only 1 billion people – and WITH the level of technology we have. (And it happening without genocide or starvation.) It might actually become a paradise world. One that we don’t want some comet screwing up.

    At a billion people, it may become difficult to carry on any industry as we know it. MUCH smaller markets. Much smaller cities means much more open land. Shipping distances may be a problem. Maybe not. It sounds like something for human ingenuity to solve, when the time comes. It sounds like a good problem to have.

  17. George: “We all know the Tusk enjoys the study of past catastrophes but is less interested in blogging on space borne threats to our future. The intellectual real estate of future apocalypse — Repent!– is too well populated on the internet for us.”

    You have a point. At the same time, if this is only a history lesson, then it is neither here nor there.

    The past is the window into the future. What happened before can happen again. As much as the gradualists’ meme bugs us, it is not untrue. THEY say the past was 100% Uniformitarian, and that only Uniformitarian processes could have existed in the past – therefore only Uniformitarian processes can exist in the present and future.

    If the YDB team finds sufficient evidence of Non-uniformitarian processes in the past, then their entire meme must be expanded – not only for the past, but also for the present and future. “Even if” that past evidence that the YDB team finds is “only” forensic, the accumulation of those forensics create a circumstantial body of evidence that cannot be denied. A carbon spherule made at about 2200°C is what it is. Once discovered – and its temperature can lead to only one conclusion, that it was formed in an impact on the planet Earth – then the evidence of it cannot be erased from the history of the past.

    Once it exists, it STATES unequivocally that that impact happened, at THAT time in the past. And once it exists, it MUST expand the gradualists’ body of evidence. After all, it is Lyell himself who said that the past and present are tied together by the processes: Whatever processes exist in one time (past or present) must also exist in the other time. But then it must also exist in the future, as well.

    So, though we don’t want to get into the realm of speculative science fiction, everything we do here in talking of the past is also establishing IN THE PRESENT that same evidential/empirical/experimental reality.

    So what if the gradualists have not expanded the panoply of evidence sufficiently? Some (if not all) of the YDB team used to be gradualists, and THEY have embodied the new processes/evidence into their thinking. Science will not ever be the same again, once the evidence of the past passes a certain threshold. The question is: “Will it pass that threshold?”

    But IN THIS PARTICULAR field of inquiry, inherent in that threshold is concern for the future.

    If it is at some point accepted that: In the time of man at least one impactor has struck the Earth, then not only the past is changed, but our view of our present and future must also change.

    It is not important in the slightest to modern man and modern science whether an impactor struck the Earth 13,000 years ago if we don’t also question what it might mean for our future. When I talk about some past high tech society (by whatever name), it doesn’t matter at all that the impactor happened, unless we also ask, “Can it happen to US?”

    The past is simply the past. It was what it was, whether scientists or historians write or think. Nothing that is written now can ever change what happened or didn’t happen 12,800 years ago. Learning about any past impact(s) means nothing – unless it makes us do what can be done to prevent that in our future. Otherwise it is just intellectual masturbation.

    I am not in it for that, myself.

    If it happened in the past, it also isn’t enough the physics, or astronomy, or geology of it. If it happened in the time of man, then is there anything we can learn about how they dealt with the event? And learning any of that, can we apply it to our own future?

    I am sensitive to one aspect of what you said, George: “Repent!– is too well populated on the internet for us.” I have been interested in the global warming issue, as you know, and the part of it I am sensitive to is the alarmism of it – the “Repent!” message about CO2 and industry. I see little difference between the climate alarmism and religious alarmism.

    “Repent ye, for the Day of the Lord is Nigh!” is exactly what I hear from the climate people – and I see the same fervor and lack of interest in the actual science.

    I do NOT want the CT to become one of those alarmism sites, with us hear beating our breasts and rending our cloth. If we get to that, we’ve lost it.

    I don’t think we have ever even approached that, though CL and now TLE have brought some of that here – only to have everyone else slide to the far end of the bench. We ALL (except CL) weigh the specific evidences in different ways, and thus we all seem to come out with slightly different comprehensions of the papers and each others’ inputs. We disagree, even while agreeing that overall we are all weighing the bulk of the evidence in the same way.

    But if all we are doing is digging into history – or kibitzing those who are – then there isn’t much point to any of this. If an event happened in the past, we are well served to take note that the past is the window into the present. What killed off Clovis Man – should we leave it at that and go on our way?

    I don’t think so, but I don’t want me or us to become a Chicken Little or a Boy Who Cried Wolf. I think we have followed a GOOD line, one of focusing on the evidence and what the evidence implies. If we stay fairly close to that direction, we will be okay – but I think we DO need to at least discuss (from time to time) what the past implies for humanity’s future.

    Should we take it to heart that our civilization DOES have the ability to forestall our own extinction? And, having that ability, should we help to marshal our resources in a prudent way in order to SO that forestalling is possible – just in case?

    I mean, when an avalanche strikes in populated areas, it is disaster. And we do take action – as necessary – to cut off the disaster at the pass, by creating smaller avalanches before they accumulate into dangerous ones. People do this all the time. It is recognizing a threat and cutting it off at the knees. Danger recognized is – so far in our world – danger averted. That is one of those things our species is good at. We can do the same with comets and asteroids. We do have the technical means and minds to avert the threat, if we conclude that we need to.

    But all of that is in the future. Mitigation is not the issue now. Basically, right now we ARE in the recognition stage – trying to decide if the past threats existed, and what that might mean for us today and in the future. If the impacts didn’t exist, then no problem. Here at CT we are coming to the opposite conclusion – that they DID exist, and that it implies a threat to our future. We can’t disconnect the future from the past. All we need to do is what the avalanche mitigation teams do. That is, IF we are correct and the past DID have impacts in the time of man.

    Sorry if this was a bit long…

  18. LOL Steve, you are a good guy but you forgot your meds today..:)
    Just remember how “The evil human group”, are never volunteering to discorporate in the interest of planetary improvement..They want everyone else to go and leave paradise to them, after all they deserve it??
    On a bit more fun note I found this “Diamond Rain” which may interest Tuskites.

  19. Steve; I guess I’m going to have to start doing my part to help stop the world population decline. I just listened to a video the ohter day that was linked from the Tusk about the greening of the earth. The gentleman ascerted that the Co2 levels were indeed rising but they would have a long ways to go to be harmful to humans. Also brought up was the fact that the earth is getting greener. There are more forests in the world than 20 yrs ago. The Sahara is shrinking, the Rainforests are expanding. The world is feeding it self way better than 20 yrs ago. the earth is feedeing 30% more people on 68% less land. Doesn’t sound like a catastrophy to me. I’ll try to find the link again and pass it on to you. I also finally got the Dolomite pics e-mailed to you. See what you think.

  20. Steve; I found the reference I was looking for. It was in your reply to Mr. Elifritz on 10/13/13. You mentioned Matt Ridley so I looked him up and found his videos. What a concept!! I wish I had more time to catch up to what’s happening with all this, but that won’t happen until I pay off the farm someday.

  21. Jim –

    Matt Ridley had a global warming presentation about 4 years ago that was the most concise thing I’d ever seen, pointing out where all the arguments pertaining to global warming were wrong. It was like 12 minutes losing and at the end, it was all shredded to pieces, and without calling people names or sounding crazy. The guy is pretty amazing.

    To stop the word population decline? You gonna make more babies? I made four, so I did my share. Four accidents and all brilliant, and they are making their contributions to the world even now.

    The world has a pretty good future, as I see it. Oh, that is certainly not the view one gets if one listens to those who, under it all, hate humans. I don’t understand it. People are VERY cool. The world we have built is really amazing, that we can get food to the great majority of 7 billion people, that so many are now well housed, that there are entire countries – who were not doing well 45 years ago – now living better than we in the best parts of the USA did when I was 20. We are doing so much of it intelligently, and we should give ourselves (and our parents) credit. Yes, there are criminals. Yes, there is starvation. Yes, there is corruption. Yes, there is illiteracy. Yes, there is stupidity. But all of those are on the decline, and have been for a long time.

    Another guy I recommend is Hans Rosling. Look up his TED Talks, with his amazing graphs. His graphs will show you that the gap between developed world and underdeveloped world has been shrinking for a long time, and that there aren’t many underdeveloped countries anymore.

    Matt Ridley points out that we grow more food now on 65% less farmland – meaning there is more of Earth’s surface being returned to nature. You don’t hear that anywhere, because the human haters have a lock on much of the news media; all you hear is “Humans – aren’t we horrible? Won’t the world be better when we are gone?” They think that any human changes to the world are criminal. Balderdash!

    One other book I recommend is Patrick Moore’s “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout,” where he describes how Greenpeace working from a science basis (he was one of the first people anywhere with a degree in ecology) was affecting really good and necessary changes in the world, like saving the whales – and then the movement got hijacked by anti-war politicos. He tells how they became almost like terrorists, unwilling to agree with anything that didn’t entail destroying any and all technologies – even good ones like reforestation.

    That isn’t to say that greed isn’t out there and that wealth is distributed evenly. But we don’t have to kill the modern world in order to get that solved over time. If they want to point out only the negatives, they can always find some. But the thing is that many of the things they harp on are not even negatives at all. And at the same time, no one pretends that industry puts out CO2 just to help green the planet.

    BUT: The next time you see an anti-industry articel or ad with vapors above a nuclear plant’s cooling towers, DO be aware that there is NO CO2 in that or pollutants in that whatsoever – it is STEAM – water vapor, and probably 99.999999% H2O.

    I worked for YEARS on pollution control equipment for industry, and I can tell you there were trillions of dollars spent on cleaning up our air and water. Pollutants are now called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and we/they used all sorts of ways of preventing VOCs from getting into the air. And our cities’ water effluent is cleaner downstream than upstream.

    All in all, we are doing a good job – if not excellent – of caretaking the world we live in. Those who show steam/water vapor (especially when back-lit to make it look blacker) and try to use that to convince people we are all killing the Earth – they do NOT know what they are talking about. Yes, they can find places where , say, the Chinese, have not come up to US or European standards. But the Chinese themselves have begun to learn that they are injuring their people and their country, and are improving. They are closing the gap.

    So, do we deserve to all die off by some “Hammer of God” comet because we are evil? Because we have loud rock music? Because we fornicate using condoms and the Day-After Pill? Because some of us are Muslims?

    Gimme a break.

    We re doing well enough we should be given a few more centuries, to see what more we can do. After all, in SOME solar systems around the galaxies there are civilizations and no comets or asteroids taking pot-shots at those civilized worlds – so they have had hundreds of thousands of years to develop. We’ve only really begun developing for the last 200 years. Wouldn’t it be nice to not be kicked back to “Go” – especially not just because some human-haters are bound and determined to bring the wrath of God down upon us? (just so they can say, “I told you so”?)

    Screw those people.

    BTW, I give you BIG credit for being a farmer in this day and age. Where is your farm? If you aren’t too far from Kempton, head down there some time – one of the coolest book stores EVER.

  22. Steve I’ve blogged with you before. I’m from Wilmington Ill about 40 miles due north of Kempton. We had talked about the Medewin tall Grass Dolomite prairie. I also had some samples of local dolomite that is very glossy and permiated with pin holes. You had asked for some pics and I finally got them out to you on regular e-mail. Hope you get them. My “farm” is small (10 acres) but I grow my own hay and raise horses for “fun”. If you travel back to Ill give me a holler, I would love to sit down and converse about just anything. I could take you down to the Mazon river and kick around a bit.

  23. I hate to break up your fun but the PETM is back in the news again and it’s looking like the ‘big comet impact onto the continental shelf’ hypothesis is elevated back up to the top of the stack of crackpot theories, at least for a little while.

  24. its ALL about comets:

    Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up:

    Comet ISON Details Emerge as it Races Toward the Sun:

    and asteroids

    Telescopes Large and Small Team Up to Study Triple Asteroid 87 Sylvia:

    and water (which is a mineral, right?)

    Water discovered in remnants of extrasolar rocky world orbiting white dwarf:

    And lets not forget that Cosmic Impact is a Geologic process. It is a one of the most dynamic of all Geologic processes, covering the absolute cold of deep space all the way through the strange and surreal mechanics of the 100k degree hot isobaric core of the same asteroid as it strikes, frozen to its core just milliseconds previous.

    The Geologic process of Cosmic Impact covers time scales from billionths of a second as shock waves travel through individual atoms, to billions of years as the largest craters eventually succumb to gradual Geologic modification after emplacement.

    The emplacement process is fun to learn about, very exciting and even frightening to imagine at full scale, with its astronomical scales. But its the knowledge about Geologic modification of impact sites over time that will ultimately help us find and characterize more and more of those sites as they currently exist in the Geologic record.

    And they do exist.

    How does a million years and 6 glaciation cycles change an impact scar in the mountains, emplaced during an ice age epoch? Lets all open our Geology textbooks to the chapter on impact site modification please….

    Geochemistry alone makes Astronomy look easy.


  25. TLE –

    Okay. . . You are pointing at the Permian extinction event but at what in particular? Something in the news that doesn’t come up on my Google?

    Now I DO love this at https://sites.google.com/site/thepaleoceneeocenethermalmaxim/

    The fossil record shows major migrations of flora and fauna into higher latitudes. Early primates, such as Teilhardina migrated across land bridges from Eurasia to North America.

    Mangroves and rain forests spread as far north as England and Belgium and as far south as Tasmania and New Zealand.

    Turtles, hippo’s, alligators and palm trees graced Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic; tropical algae, Apectodinium, spread northwards as far as the north pole.

    Shame on Google for spreading such tripe. Oh, the facts are correct, but the main point of that article is this:

    In the first decade of the 21st century evidence emerged from several scientific fields to clearly demonstrate that 55 million years ago a massive release of CO2 abruptly raised earth’s temperature.

    Almost half of what we hear about global warming is that animals are going to all die off because their habitat will change. And yet, here we see them talking out of the other side of their mouths that animals DID migrate – all the way north to the North Pole! Either they will die off from CO2/GHGs or they will migrate many thousands of miles – which is it?

    This is just silliness. As you say, “crackpot theories”.

    Of course, our own minds go to impacts as the changer of the climate at the PEMT, but then we would only be speculating. But “Speculating?! There’s no speculating in science!!”

    It makes one wonder how gullible some journal editors are, or how big the biddy system is in science.

    [Oh? Am I sounding superior? Shame on me!” . . . LOL]

  26. I am going to guess that THIS paper is what you are talking about, TLE:

    Evidence for a rapid release of carbon at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum
    James D. Wrighta,1 and Morgan F. Schallera,b

    Edited* by Wallace S. Broecker, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, and approved August 5, 2013 (received for review May 14, 2013)


    Calcium carbonate and carbon isotope records from the rhythmically bedded Marlboro Clay, deposited during the onset of the PETM CIE, show that the massive release of isotopically light carbon was instantaneous, providing important constraints for the magnitude of carbon released and potential mechanisms.


    The Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and associated carbon isotope excursion (CIE) are often touted as the best geologic analog for the current anthropogenic rise in pCO2. However, a causal mechanism for the PETM CIE remains unidentified because of large uncertainties in the duration of the CIE’s onset. Here, we report on a sequence of rhythmic sedimentary couplets comprising the Paleocene/Eocene Marlboro Clay (Salisbury Embayment). These couplets have corresponding δ18O cycles that imply a climatic origin.

    Seasonal insolation is the only regular climate cycle that can plausibly account for δ18O amplitudes and layer counts. High-resolution stable isotope records show 3.5‰ δ13C decrease over 13 couplets defining the CIE onset, which requires a large, instantaneous release of 13C-depleted carbon. During the CIE, a clear δ13C gradient developed on the shelf with the largest excursions in shallowest waters, indicating atmospheric δ13C decreased by ∼20‰. Our observations and revised release rate are consistent with an atmospheric perturbation of 3,000-gigatons of carbon (GtC).

    It is nice to see these data.

    It is silliness to assume that gradualist mechanisms were the only possible processses. Once again, the crowbar comes out. Data IS what data is. Evidence IS what evidence IS. Applying a gradualist interpretation to something that was MASSIVE and instantaneous is like the fabled eight blind men trying to describe an elephant based on which part of the elephant each one feels with his hands.

    Massive and instantaneous means a huge amount of energy being put into the system. Nothing in gradualism fits the bill.

    But when one can put in some phrase such as “global warming did it” then future funding is assured. It is a no-lose paper.

    It is REALLY funny that it is in PNAS. You gotta wonder about them PNAS cherry-picked editor, after all.

    Oh?! The editor was Broecker himself? Now THAT is a hoot. Hahahahaha!!! Mr. “Oceanic Conveyor Did It” himself.

    Expect to see a paper shortly showing how 55 million years ago the oceanic conveyor stopped, because of some influx of fresh water (somehow because of too much CO2) capped the sinkage of salt water. You heard it here first. I guarantee that that paper is forthcoming.

    What was the term? Greedy reductionism. Remember that term, folks!

  27. They need to understand this:

    The climate FOLLOWS; it does not lead. Climate is an EFFECT, not a cause. Things happen TO the climate. The climate does not CAUSE things.

    Especially: Climate is PASSIVE.

    As I said, a massive energy input had to happen. Internally climate is incapable of instantaneous massive changes. There are no internal components of climate that can cause massive changes. Each of them is inside a feedback loop, so each of them is constantly being bled off of its energy. There is no capacity for huge buildups of energy of the scale they discuss. Each component is being reduced every time it builds up even a little bit. (By little bit, I mean at or below the scale of hurricanes. Hurricanes are microscopically PUNY compared to such events as this paper discusses.)

    Thus, for massive changes, one needs to look OUTSIDE the climate/weather to find explanations. Unfortunately gradualism is incapable of “going there.” Because “there be dragons.” Dragons of catastrophe. Can’t look at any possible catastrophic mechanisms. If one does, one can be booted right out of the ivory tower.

  28. An entirely different mental process is necessary if one is to consider including catastrophic events into ones world of possibilities. Even if it is “only” “coherent catastrophism,” one has to put aside gradualism’s dictates of slow and gradual, of smooth transitions and smooth ebbs and rises.

    Oh, the physics underlying gradualism and catastrophism is one and the same physics. The only change needed is to be able to accept one thing: Impacts.

    Impacts come out of the blue – literally. Without telescopes they would always literally come without warning. As such, it is natural that science would be slaved to slow and gradual processes. After all, that it what is true for thousands of years at a time. Those who come to master the slow and gradual have no real reason to consider that anything else might exist.

    Except that “anything else” DOES exist. They show up in the geological records at those few thousand year intervals. And when they DO, what does a gradualist think about them? How does he process it in his mind?

    He looks for slow and gradual explanation. He looks for things like ice dams on glacial lakes. In fact, he looks for ice ages themselves.

    It is no accident that the ice age theory dates from the same time as gradualism. Louis Agassiz’ speculation about the glaciers in the Jura Mountains of western Switzerland couldn’t have come along at a better time. It turned out to be the final piece that gradualism’s leading advocate Charles Lyell needed, to put a final nail in the coffin of Noah’s Flood.

    SOMEONE had found an alternative explanation for the striated rocks all over the world – rocks that people kept shoving in Lyell’s face, asking, “Oh yeah? Well what about THESE? Only a flood could have done this!” And the rocks were truly everywhere they looked. Striated rocks. Everywhere. Universal Flood. What ELSE could it be? (Damn that Noah, anyway!)

    Well, along came young Louis Agassiz and his ice ages. Well, Agassiz saw more than one – but Lyell, the power of his time, didn’t WANT plural ice ages; he only wanted ONE. So he pulled rank on young Agassiz and Agassiz – seeing which side his bread was buttered on – capitulated. It MADE his career.

    So, it was glaciers, not Noah’s Flood, that caused the striations in the rocks. It was such a simple idea, and it was latched onto immediately by scientists everywhere. After all, Lyell wasn’t the only scientist embarrassed by those striated rocks. Now they ALL had an answer, and the Church and it Bible and its Flood could be LAUGHED at. Anyone bringing that up again was relegated to the corner with a dunce cap on. They had their answer, and we have been taught it since the day we were born:

    There is no process in nature except gradualist processes, and the ONE of those that is as basic as butter on toast is Agassiz’s ice ages.

    They don’t explain HOW the ice ages came to be; they just HAPPENED. The climate did it. They don’t explain HOW the ice ages ended; things just HAPPENED to warm up.

    This is one reason the YDB is important. To explain how the YDB began and ended is to get a glimpse inside how ALL ice ages occurred and ended. Yes, they have conjectures, based on their readings of SOME of the evidence. But to give them credit for explaining ti ALL, that is something they don’t even do for each other. There are competing ideas, and none of them answer all the questions, so none of them are accepted universally. Oh, the ice ages themselves are – but not their causes nor the causes for them ending.

    And even with our YD, we discuss a LOT about its cause, but we strike out when we look at the fact that the END of the YD was even more steep than its beginning.

    All we really have for the YDB is instantaneous change – that and a lot of forensics which suggest an intervention of a very energetic kind, from the outside of our closed system.

    Closed system? THAT is what gradualism is all about – a system that is sure that it can only be affected by what goes on inside it. It’s kind of like a business office on the first story of a building in a city. There are things that are going on outside, but when business begins, that all is pretty much ignored. But then one day a bus driver has a heart attack, and he loses control of his bus, and it crashes into the building and through the plate glass windows, and kills three people and injures seven more. Nothing in their office politics, or office procedures, or in the office’s climate control system, or in their fire drills, or safety protocols, none of that tells them that such a thing is possible, that something can just BUST in all of a sudden. Nothing in their ivory tower, secure world prepared them for the bus crashing into that little world. No one could have predicted it (though certainly some bus somewhere was going to impact into a building at SOME time).

    So once they set up their gradualist, positivist, reductionist view of the natural world, after that everything was required to be interpreted though that lens. Agassiz got them across their goal line – the defeat of The Church – by way of his ice age(s). It set the stage for Darwin and Wallace, for Evolution.

    However, even once it was set, it soon had problems – problems that Creationists take note of and the Creationists give the Evolutionists hell about those things that evolution does not answer. it would HELP if the gradualists would actually address those things – but by and large they steer clear of those, partly because to even address them seems to be an acceptance of the Creationist’s points, so mainly the points get ignored. So, gradualists dig themselves in deeper, and they pretend that those things simply aren’t important enough to spend their valuable time on.

    The ONE thing that evolutionists had wrong, right from the beginning, is that there really ARE no transitional animals in the fossil record. There is only stasis for long periods, and then there are extinctions on massive scales – and then, VIOLA! there are new animals that appear. Rightly so, the Creationists have howled loudly about that: “Where are the mutations, folks? Come on! Put up or shut up!”

    Finally Stephen J Gould was a rare paleo guy who realized that, no, there really WEREN’T any transition animals, that all the changes came at a few moments in history. Extinctions were at certain points. Explosions of new species also happened at certain points. He pissed a lot of people off by even acknowledging this punctuated history of animals in the fossil record. But – like the Creationists all said – the scientists were going around with their heads in the sand. The scientists were denying the reality. Gould was young and foolish, and he was bold enough to think for himself, and he “adjusted” Darwin’s evolution into what came to be known as “punctuated equilibrium.” It is what the fossil record showed, after all, so finally, after 130 years or, so someone adjusted Gradualism to better fit the facts in the field.

    However, they STILL don’t really have an explanation for WHY the mass extinctions happened, nor WHY the explosions of new species occurred. They are a bit farther along, but – within gradualism itself – no mechanisms exist to explain all this. Oh, for sure, the crowbars came out!

    It is speculation, but it seems altogether possible to me that the KT extinction event is a clue to the other extinctions, including, of course, the Clovis extinction. And what of that PEMT extinction event? And the accounts of indigenous peoples all over the world of “the end of the age” or “the end of the third world”?

    It seems somewhat reasonable to think that what caused one mass extinction may have been common to all mass extinctions. It seems that whatever caused one short ice age may have also caused the other ice ages – and even perhaps their endings. Huge changes in climate IMHO cannot be explained by internal triggers, climate being a passive resultant, not an “actor” itself in history (no matter that that is the current prevailing thinking).

    We are met on a great battlefield of that conflict, with catastrophism trying to gain a toe hold on the thinking processes of scientists, to share the stage with gradualism. The war rages on. The gradualists seem to more or less be as blind as ever to connecting any dots. The gradualists don’t seem to want to share the stage with anyone else; the catastrophists all readily admit that in all but a few moments in time gradualism was indeed, what was going on.

    It IS a different mentality, catastrophism. It only needs to be applied to those few moments in time. Some people can make that leap – to open their minds – and some can’t. The crowbars that they use to gerrymander catastrophic evidence into gradualism also can be used to bar the door of their minds. Until they utterly FAIL with those crowbars, or until someone else totally blows the world away with a non-gradualist explanation for some event like the YDB, nothing will change the gradualists’ minds. They are convinced, and they seem to be organically incapable of having open minds about evidence and about instantaneous massive injections of energy NOT being possible to be explained by gradualism.

    Methinks that the closer the YDB team gets to undeniable evidence, the more entrenched and vicious the gradualists will become. Hopefully I am wrong on that.

    My biggest hope is that it won’t take an actual impact to convince them. I sincerely hope that someone rational in some governments somewhere will be able to mitigate such an impact before we learn the hard way.

    Sorry for the length of this essay.

  29. TLE –

    Climate IS passive. Their idea is like a mechanic telling you that the exhaust of your car is what makes the engine work so that the car can move.

    I assure you, the climatologists are backward and wrong in a whole lot of their thinking. It wasn’t always that way, but it has been since they started listening to James Hansen, who is almost certifiable. He’s the NASA guy that wrote a book in which he tells a story that the oceans would be boiled away.

  30. Phys.org has an article up on comet ISON fragmenting.


    Re: Steve – on a population of 1 billion on Earth. Note that the best way to control a population peacefully appears to be increasing its overall wealth. This is proven by the falling birth rates of the Western world. The Middle East also tends to do a parallel proof it with falling birth rates (still very high) as they regress back into the 8th Century Sharia.

    Finally, there is a nuclear physicist / engineer named James Marusek that blogs over at the Impact site that proposes that the current 2 – 3 million year period of ice ages is driven by a series of close supernovae explosions from stars in this part of the galaxy as the solar system transits it. Mechanism for the cool down is Svensmark’s cosmic ray – cloud formation connection. He is also a catastrophist, though has not looked into the YD – comet connection yet. Cheers –


  31. Can anyone point me to a resource which enumerates and dates the “Striated layers” mentioned above.
    Thanks in advance

  32. agimarc –

    Thanks foe the links. I agree on the wealth>lower birth rate thing. If you didn’t know, the last additional billion people (from 6B to 7B) took longer than the previous billion (from 5B to 6B) – suggesting that the slowdown may already be beginning. And since longevity continues to increase, it also suggests that birth rates are even a little lower. Prosperous people do have fewer babies. See the TED Talks of Hans Rosling – informative and also quite entertaining.

    When people talk about >million year events, my eyes glaze over. I don’t quite see the relevance for any global dangers. If the intervals are that long, the immediate risk odds are so low that even if it haapens tomorrow there is nothing in the evidence that can help us out. I think that is why NASA-type people see no threat – because the frequency is too low, and so the numbers don’t worry them. Same with me.

    I well know about Svensmark’s cosmic rays. They even did a successful experiment at Cern about it. Yes, those things happen from supernovae, but the more immediate ones are the much more frequent solar events and variations.

    I think that is my own take, though no one has to agree with me, that more immediate is what we need to address/discover: our civilization cannot be expected to build anything that will address something with a million-year benefit.

    Even global warming – with its possible 100-year threat – weighing the amount of the threat (shed of the hyperbole) vs the costs and payback, it simply doesn’t make rational sense. Kyoto’s temp reduction was projecting to be less than 0.1°C benefit. Several trillion dollars for 0.1­°C makes no sense.

    Asteroid/comet mitigation also is something like a 100-year threat – perhaps as much as 500-1,000 years – so it is more in line with global warming vs million year threats. The costs that anyone can foresee are probably much, much less than the trillions for global warming, so that weighs in favor of mitigation of objects from the near space area. The benefits are also MUCH higher, since if even ONE city is saved, much measurable payback is probable.

    So if we tie in immediacy/frequency with costs and benefits, there really is a lot more favoring mitigation of impactors against global warming or million-year threats.

    Certainly some would say that even impactors are not something we should be wasting money and effort on. It’s hard to argue that, but I’d throw one more thing into the mix: technological advancement.

    Back in the ’60s and ’70s there were occasional grumblings about the costs of the space program, and they were not wrong in yelling, because there were no obvious benefits of going to the Moon or building a space station. But I will point out three benefits that came out of the space program/astronomy:

    1. CCDs. These are the innards of our digital cameras. If nothing else, the world is saving hundreds of billions of dollars on film we are not having to pay to get developed. Photography and filmmaking are an entirely different world from what they were in the heyday of NASA.

    2. Satellites. Our world is so much more connected. Our phones are now able to call intercontinentally, often for no additional cost. Television is world-wide. The internet may, in time, supersede television completely. Money moves around the world at the blink of an eye – for better much more often than for worse.

    3. GPS. Though the military did not want to share this, it is now everywhere – for better or for worse. GPS is a terrific aid to navigation of both cruise ships and cargo ships, improving commerce in vast ways. Added to the internet and bar codes, every item shipped can be tracked, adding to the efficiency of trade.

    NONE of these were on the horizon when people were complaining about wasting the money on the space race. But because of the drive to advance things do fall out and fall into our laps.

    I will argue now that similar such unforeseen benefits will accrue from the effort to detect and mitigate impactors. What benefits? That is part of my point: We can’t see them from here. So, do we just do it and trust that somehow along the line some developments will change our world in the future? Absolutely, that IS what I am saying. They WILL happen. Technologically, things don’t stand still. But they also don’t derive from hanging onto our buggy whip stocks or chimney sweep companies stocks.

    If pressed, I would suggest one benefit is in the detection aspect of mitigation. It would improve our ability – for all time – to avoid collisions with asteroids and micrometeorites in space. That would benefit not only space travel but satellite integrity and longevity – and with the initial costs of those, that is no small issue. With satellites, it wouldn’t necessarily be to divert the impactor, with its very sizable momentum. It might be much easier to simply move the satellite to a safe location – dodging the danger, in effect.

    Already, with private space efforts, more minds are attacking problems, and more alternative approaches are being looked into. So innovation is already happening, in many more directions – increasing the probability of finding effective solutions.

    Chelyabinsk was a good motivator. One or two more of those and we might see a massive increase in efforts and investment. And make no bones about it – mitigation IS an investment, the same as air bags and seat belts and drunk driving laws. It is good business to be able to stay in business, especially on the scale of an entire civilization.

  33. Paul –

    Ironically, just yesterday I ran across mention of “The rock-scorings of the great ice invasions” by Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin (1888).

    Unfortunately, I can’t find a copy of it.

    This one at least has SOME of the pages available in Google Books:

    “Photographic atlas of striations from selected glacial and non-glacial environments” by Clifford Barrie Atkins (2004). Nothing really accessible/useful there.

    Also at http://tiny.cc/2dq94w, there is this, “Earth’s Pre-Pleistocene Glacial Record” edited by M. J. Hambrey, W. B. Harland” (year?) which has some very interesting descriptions and black and white photos.

    Here is one: http://tiny.cc/dsq94w — “Glaciation of the Uinta and Wasatch Mountains” by Wallace Atwood (1909), a U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper. Apparently the entire paper is readable. In reading some passages, I see something I often see: upon seeing striations, they automatically interpret them as glacial. Perhaps at some time in the Wasatch that is true, though the Unita and Wasatch areas were NOT glaciated in the last glaciation period.

    Another: http://tiny.cc/m2q94w — “Neoproterozoic Glacial and Associated Facies in the Tanafjord-Varangerfjord, Finnmark, North Norway” by A. Hugh N. Rice, Marc B. Edwards, T.H. Hansen (2012). This one is only partially accessible. Again, striations 100% interpreted as glacial. Given the locations ON the coastline, I’d consider that tsunami conditions might have caused at least SOME of the striations – especially as there was a huge underwater landslide off this coast, one that Firestone mentions in his book.

    I personally posit that especially on coastlines these striations would be from tsunamis. People look for chevrons on coastlines and see them as evidence of tsunamis, but they don’t look at striations as such.

    Paul, if you go to Google Books and search under “glacial striations,” you should find more. Maybe a LOT more.

  34. Tsunamis –

    Ed discusses that there were many more land impacts than just the YDB, several within the Holocence.

    It only makes sense that about 4 out of 5 impactors would have hit the oceans, and that those that did would have caused tsunamis of some degree.

    This being likely, we should be seeing a lot of tsunami evidence around the coastlines of the world.

  35. Enjoyable series of postings from Steve Garcia. He puts in words exactly the sort of thing SIS have been crying in the wilderness for years – see http://www.sis-group.org.uk/inthenews
    The problem I have with the YD event is that it ended abruptly also and the idea the Earth was caught in a dense stream of dust that lasted 1300 years appears unlikely – unless the Earth gained some sort of dust ring that took 1300 years to dissipate. Fred Hoyle suggested an impact (?) caused a lot of debris to rise into the upper atmosphere and an impact in the sea, much later, caused it all to be washed out of the atmosphere as so much water was thrown upstairs – or something like that. Hoyle was prone to come up with ad hoc theories that infuriated mainstream uniformitarians, and change them on a whim a few years later. How much certainty he placed in this idea is unclear – and lets not forget he was a maverick who not only opposed the Big Bang theory but with Chandra Wickramasinghe came up with Panspermia (which is still under attack as it smacks of a cosmic origin for life and uniformitarianism would like a unique creation of life here on Earth). Its funny but people are always bragging about the democratic superiority of the West when science is exactly the opposite. Anything contrary to mainstream has a stiff ride – and that is what is happening to the YD boundary event theory. Best of luck.

  36. Hi Steve,

    Since I grew up in the High Sierra of California I’m no stranger to glacial striations, and glacier polish on hard rocks. The exact mechanism for how the weight of a glacier pressing ice impregnated with glacial til, and debris against a rock surface as the glacier moves across it isn’t hard to work out.

    But I’m not clear at all about how a tsunami could produce uniformly parallel striations in a rock surface that might be indistinguishable from the work of ice. Care to elaborate?

  37. Dennis –

    I was just yesterday looking at striations, in one of those links I submitted for Paul. One of the things I specifically noticed was that so many of the striations were NOT uniformly parallel. That got me to thinking, but I don’t have anything solid to offer at this time. You are welcome to go look yourself.

    My initial point would be not to deny that today’s glaciers make striations, but would suggest that it may be a mistake to assign ALL striations to glaciers. Where glaciers exist is in valleys – specifically the bottoms of valleys. Like rivers, glaciers are 100% gravity-driven, as we all know, so one doesn’t find rivers halfway up slopes, paralleling the ridge. And we don’t find rivers cresting ridges and going into the next valley or canyon – they meet at the bottom.

    Just so, the ice sheets had to/have to flow downhill and no other direction, yet the Canadian ice sheets were supposed to flow mostly from the Hudson Bay area (before isostasy lifted the area, when the area was even lower) and to the south, over quite a few ridges. To crest those ridges, the amount of ice would have been several times as high as proposed. Also, the striations do not tend to show over-the-crest markings.

    Up till Agassiz all the striations were universally accepted by geologists – even those who opposed “The Flood” – as evidence of water action, so there must have been some good reasons to consider water as the agent of the striations. Agassiz’s ice age idea came out of left field. And just like you, Agassiz saw the evidence high up in the mountains.

    I will jump now to erratic boulders, one of Velikovsky’s points, and how so many of them are not only displaced, but displaced across any number of ridges, in directions glaciers simply do not go. Example: some erratics from Scandinavia ended up in central Europe, when downhill would have been west into the Atlantic. (Is it a coincidence that some of those erratics are found in more or less the same areas as the European Sand Belt?) And not only are the erratics thought to have crossed ridges, but many, many of them are still found on TOP of those ridges. Many of the “balanced rocks” are actually erratics. Some force lifted them up and placed them onto precarious pedestals. How? Asking when is perhaps too much to ask.

    Not arguing my point here so much as asking questions. My point is that a conclusion was jumped to – to a large degree because it was convenient to their uniformitarianism – and all other alternative explanations have been spit upon ever since. That tsunamis can move heavy objects we are now well aware of. The question would be how heavy and now far. And the fixed rocks that did not move – did the water and debris possibly wear them in a much shorter time span than geology now accepts?

    Again, I am NOT arguing that glaciers do not striate – of COURSE they do. But are glaciers the ONLY agent capable of doing so? I think part of the answer could be to find striations in areas where glaciers would be doubtful.

  38. carol –

    First off, that link you posted didn’t work. But this one does: http://www.sis-group.org.uk/news

    …Yep, the YD ending even MORE suddenly than it started, that is a BIG question.

    As much, we should ask why the Dansgard-Oeschger events shown in the GISP also have severe changes, both up and down.

    It is my guess for now that if one of these events can be tied to impacts, then we should consider it possible that ALL of them did.

    I personally do not sign onto any dust ring ideas, either for the YD or for climate changes in the past. Perhaps I am wrong on that, but I just don’t see it. I see it as a fishing expedition.

    I also assign little effect to Milankovitch Cycles. It’s just me, but I see those occurring so gradually to make even gradualism itself look like a rocket car.

    Jumping over to Hoyle, let’s not forget that the Steady State Theory predated the Big Bang, and it was the Big Bangers who were the mavericks for quite a while. I myself have arguments against the Big Bang that I choose not to go into here, but I also suppose that they make me a maverick. Shudders!… LOL

    But having just these past few days read some of Hoyle’s ideas, yes, he and Chandra tossed some ideas into the fray that seem a bit off-the-cuff. But then so did Thomas Gold, also a highly recognized and awarded scientist who was even more so a interdisciplinarian. Don’t rule out their ideas just because the consensus says otherwise – they had good reasons for coming up with their ideas. That other ivory tower guys didn’t have the courage to agree? It means little, in the end – because reality will show us, in time, and no matter what the current ideas are, it is hit-or-miss on whether the consensus is right. As I often point out, I got hold of some late-19th-century science textbooks, and they were amazingly wrong in their certainties back then. Consensus is, if nothing else, a collective certainty. That collective certainty in the 1890s was, from our perspective foolish and naive. Who is to say that 125 years from now our certainties/consensuses won’t also be seen as naivete? If the same proportion of OURS are wrong in 125 years, then we have some humble pie to eat along the way.

    Perhaps your use of the word “democracy” isn’t quite right. More like “free market”? In a free market, each new product is challenged by existing products, in order to survive in the marketplace. In science, each new idea is challenged (if not often actually tested) by the existing ideas. The Big Bang, for example, was not accepted right away. It was only when new evidence began to come in that it became ascendant over the Steady State Theory.

    While not specifically a Steady Stater, Halton Arp, THE expert on weird stuff “out there” (he created the catalog of them, no less), was left behind and left out because he argued that the Doppler effect was the wrong interpretation for the Red Shift. He pointed at many specific examples where the red shift could not BE from Doppler effect. I side with Arp, because it was just about the same time that quasars were found, and the Doppler interpretation meant that some object the size of the Moon was putting out as much energy as an entire galaxy. While they recognized the quandary, they still chose to interpret things that way, and astronomy has gotten weirder and weirder ever since. (I well remember most of that when it was happening though I am sure I missed most of it – there was not internet then with which to look up things, and no library was capable of keeping up with it. I only heard of Arp’s stuff much later, but the quasar answer, to me, was simple, even at the time: The quasars were NOT as far away as the Red Shift implied if it was Doppler. KISS – Keep it simple, Stupid.)

    So put me down as more of a Steady State guy myself.

    …Back to the YD, my take right now is that ALL those big shifts in the O18 and other proxies for temperature ere either caused by the same kind of external event – or the proxies, as shown, are simply artifacts of the sampling or data processing methodologies and therefore don’t show what we all think they show.

    Since the O18 shows SOMETHING happening at the YDB – and because so many other lines of evidence also show SOMETHING at that time, I tend to discount the latter explanation. That leaves what?

    To me that means that if an impact caused the YD Onset, then it seems reasonable to suspect that impacts caused the OTHER saw-tooth ups and downs in the ice cores, too. It doesn’t MAKE it true, but it seems to argue that we should look into it.

    Gradualists have enough trouble, though, with ONE impactor in the time of Man. To ask them to accept dozens of them? Have fun, YDB team! Ed is delineating many more, some of which we all know about and some ones we don’t. But I don’t expect him to spell them out till he finishes his current project. When he finishes, I want to compare them all to the D-O events, the Bond events, and the Heinrich events.

    The single wrong idea that uniformitarians have is that the system is a closed system. They permit nothing from the outside. This in spite of the KT event, the SL/9 event, and all of the forensics about the YDB – not to mention the Permian extinction event, and the Camrian explosion. They pull out their crowbars and force everything into gradualism, no matter HOW silly or strained the explanation turns out. In comparison, the YDB efficiently explains – and PREDICTS – evidence on many fronts. No crowbar required.

    All it takes is to accept that the system isn’t always a closed system. Such a reasonable idea, yes? But they just can’t go there – at least not without hyperventilating…LOL

  39. Hi Steve,

    You do make some good points. But something to keep in mind is that if you are at a location where the movement of glacial ices has put striations into the rocks then there will be a whole host of other evidence in the area too. Glacial geomorphology is never ambiguous.

    Simply put, if you are in an area where the glaciers were deep enough to do that to the rock surfaces it passed over, then the striations are going to be a very minor and relatively insignificant component of the overall geomorphology the glacier produced as it gouged its way through that location, things like giant clay deposits, or huge moraines, and piles of glacial till left behind after the ice melted, or dramatic U shaped hanging valleys, and waterfalls like those found in the high mountains of the American West. In places like that you can actually follow the flow of the ice through a glacial valley by paying attention to the direction of flow incised into the rock faces of that valley as glacial striations.

    In flat areas that were once under the surface of a much larger sheet of ice like the LIS you can expect to find other dramatic, and obvious things like mountain sized drumlins, or terminal moraines stretching for hundreds of miles. And for the most part glaciers just don’t do that to a loose rock moving  and tumbling in the ice. It happens sometimes. But when it does the rock becomes an erratic as the glacier takes it someplace downstream.

    The question of whether or not a glacier was once in a given area is rarely in doubt. Their always obvious footprints are just way too dramatic and easy to spot. So if you can find a lone striated rock that’s not a glacial erratic, and there are no other signs of glacial geomorphology in the area you might be on to something. Otherwise, good luck trying to convince the big kids.

  40. One thing to remember is tsunami are extremely short term event, geologically speaking, lasting only a few minutes, although drain back might take some time, but it is very low energy.
    Glaciers take hundreds or thousands of years to make the marks they do.
    One would think any rocks soft enough to be marked by the passage of water from a tsunami would also be so soft as to quickly lose any markings of the
    I would also think that the mechanics of water and debris in a tsunami would be way to chaotic to produce parallel striations.

  41. @Steve –

    I was more looking at the current 100k year average ice age cycle for the last 2 – 3 million years than anything else. Something relatively recent has been driving that cycle. And the close supernova suggestion makes me scratch my head a bit. You’ve [probably seen this graph. It makes me wonder what is driving that particular bus.


    As to comets, given that we are currently seeing 2 current returning remains of a fragmented body (Taurus Complex and the Kreutz Group), one is in earth crossing orbit and the other is not. But in terms of geologic time, both are currently visible. I don’t think we are all that lucky and perhaps close encounters with fragmented comets may be a lot more common that anyone believes.

    NewSpace is doing what it should have done a couple generations ago. Note that we have today 2 commercial LVs and capsules capable of being outfitted for manned flight – Dragon and Cygnus. And they are just getting started. All for now. Cheers –

  42. Steve; If you can find a way to contact me directly, (George can give you my email), I will throw a mind blowing theory at you. This is not a casual blip on my screen, I’ve been poking at the idea for a couple of years. But, I don’t have the background or the resources to pursue it. I also don’t want to throw it out to the critical public. So, if you think it has merit, you can take the glory too..:)

  43. Dennis –

    All good points of yours, too.

    SOMETIMES erratics were/are found on ridges in Switzerland (as one example I heard of) above valleys that were clearly glacial. Erratics above, glaciers below. Any connection? It seems possible in some ways and not so obvious in others. I don’t know the answers, but the questions exist.

  44. Cevin Q –

    All true points. “Normal” tsunamis (like we any of us know much about them really) don’t affect rocks for more than an hour or so, tops. Ed Grondine’s work includes mega-tsunamis, which he ties to impacts.

    What a mega-tsunami does, I don’t know. If Hills and Goda are correct, some of them would be the better part of 1 km high, with run-up. How far inland do they go, with the drag of the land? How long does that take? The surge would be for the full time that it flows inland and then the full time flushing back out, yes? How long is that? How much sediment is entrained and becomes a slurry to wear down rocks? All questions and speculation, but trying to be as reasonable as possible, given the idea of a 1km impactor and a 1 km tsunami.

    Chevrons are found that indicate/suggest tsunamis on coastlines. How far inland does a chevron go for a 1km tsunami? Does any sand actually remain? How far does sand get carried? How abrasive can it be? How much more rapid are any markings made than a glacier might make?

    Is all this foolishness because such things can’t happen? Not within gradualism they can’t. What if punctuated catastrophism is the reality?

  45. Paul –

    I know exactly what you mean about not throwing your ideas out to get trampled. Maybe it comes with the territory. No two of us piece together the evidence we know in quite the same way.

    NOTE TO GEORGE: It is okay to give Paul my email address.

  46. Steve; Your comments and ?s about tsunami are good. I worked for a while in a stone fabricating shop. We had 2 water saws one for slabbing and one for fine scrolling and finish cuts. Both worked with just pumped up psi ( up to 50,000 psi)The big slabber was capable of cutting steel smooth as silk. I would have to speculate that a tsunami was able to generate considerable psi just on the volume of water and the weight of said water column on a particular space. Add in the sand and other abrasives in the slurry mix and I bet you could etch diamonds. As the tsunami travels inland it’s loss of momentum will cause suspended solids to dropout. The most deposition occurring at the outter most terminus, then aquiring more debris as it retreats to the sea to be possibly repeated multiple times. I would think parralel striation would be more likely to occur on the return flow when there is less chaotic motion. also the most striation should happen just before return to the sea. Sounds reasonable to me.

  47. Hi Paul,

    Here’s a note on “Throwing your ideas out there to be trampled”.

    I think it was Aristotle who said that,

    “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” 

    Rhetorical question: Did you know that in order to get an apple seed to germinate you have to subject it to brutal, and unpleasant  climate conditions? It’s true. You have to subject it to cold, wet conditions, barely above freezing for weeks to months before it’ll sprout.

    The thing is, in any fresh new idea there will always week points that only begin to surface when you begin to really think it through objectively. Unfortunately, there will never be an idea, no matter whether good or bad that can really be considered objectively by the one who originates it; no matter how well you try to think it through, there will always be something you missed because you just didn’t want to hurt your own pet pig.

    But the trouble with that is that any really good idea needs to survive repeated public tramplings in it’s early growth stages in order to grow up to become a fully functional meme with a life of it’s own that’s a healthy and productive component of human understanding.

    You can tell it’s time to throw an idea out among the rest of the herd and let it fend for itself when you’ve been thinking it over from so many angles that you can’t stand it anymore; you jus’ gotta tell someone.

  48. Jim –

    All of what you said sound reasonable to me. I like the part about the return flow being less chaotic. In engineering we might have referred to it as laminar – below a certain Reynold’s number for the fluid in question. The force of either inflow or outflow is significant – ask people who experienced those tsunamis in 2004 and 2011. The fixed rocks over and around which it flows are at the mercy of the materials caught up in the flow (which is considerable. And those were just baby tsunamis. Those tsunamis are ones limited by gradualistic forces, forces within the closed system.

    As Boslough’s and Schultz’s and other studies and models suggest, the forces involved in an impact are much more ferocious (nice scientific word…LOL) than the forces available from gradualism. One would expect the water forces involved in impact tsunamis to be directly proportional or even proportional to the squares of the velocity of the impactor.

    I want to remind folks that I am not concluding such things. I am just going with intuitive/extrapolative reasoning – presenting what reason suggests is possible and which is consistent with what information I have picked up along the way. In order to learn such things for real would take lab experiments and/or some math – preferably both. I don’t have access to a lab, and I prefer to let others do the math; my math is rusty.

  49. Dennis –

    LOL, good ol’ Aristotle had a good point. To say nothing and to do nothing – that is about as close as we can get to being nothing.

    All your points about self-vetting an idea are correct. It’s why Darwin took so long that Wallace was ready to publish – and then Darwin just about sh*t a brick, that he’d taken so long.*** It also may be why most scientists’ most imaginative work is when they are young – before they get the yips.

    ***The only reason we connect Darwin with evolution instead of Alfred Wallace is that Wallace got involved with spiritualism, which was a no-no in ivory tower circles. It turned Wallace into a pariah. I don’t know what biologists would have done had only Wallace come up with evolution. At least with Darwin they had someone “reputable” upon whom to bestow all the attention and credit. The very LAST thing the biologists wanted to do was give credit to someone who believed in spirits. This was the period when reductionism and positivism came to the fore, and the two have been dominant ever since.

    It is the same sort of thing that makes biologist Rupert Sheldrake a pariah today: How DARE you take certain things seriously! It is the surest way to have people ignore you. Just like mentioning Atlantis…LOL

    It is not uncommon for new ideas to come from uncommon sources. It is NOT common for such ideas to not get beat up on. Ask the YDB team about that.

    IMHO, that is part of what CT is about – to be open to new perspectives, with the current focus on the YDB, but to not be limited to the YDB.

    At the same time, I have ideas of my own which have not seen the light of day here. IMO the ideas are not fully developed enough. To toss any of those into the ring would be premature.

  50. Hello Steve –

    I have no problem with mentioning “Atlantis”. Plato’s story was a great mcguffin for his books. It worked very well, and did exactly what it was intended to do.

    The problem is that a whole lot of people took it for a real place, just like you did/do.

  51. Steve; I would bet if one was to go to an area that has been struck by a Mega-tsunami that has high sea side cliff structures you would probably find both straight line and chaotic striations. I have found various stones that have been under the last ice sheet here at home that have lines going one way and others crossing over the first in another direction. I would guess from the stone getting rolled over under the ice. This till I live on is just full of rocks of all natures from slates to dolomite to various granites to agates and quartz. Some larger most small pebbles, some rounded others sharp- shattered looking. It’s always intrigueing to walk around some of my dirt pens and see what washes up. The wife says I haven’t left my first childhood, Still playing in the dirt.

  52. Jim –

    Straight line and chaotic striations – like this?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10433663665/

    The upper left image is exactly what I am talking about – and sounds like the ones you’ve found. Those are assigned late pre-Cambrian, so no timing match. But such rocks DO exist.

    It is interesting to me that the rock shown has two sets of striations, and both sets are parallel within themselves.

  53. Steve; Those pics are exactly what I’ve seen. I’m guessing that as the rocks move along they encounter other objects and rotate before continuing along. I believe erratics find there way to ridge tops by getting wedged along the sidewalls and traveling upwards as the glacier moves forward. Kind of a plowing motion. When it finally reaches the top of the ice wall it has travelled quite a distance forward from it’s original contact point.

  54. Jim –

    As a KIND of a response, I am going to adress something Alfred E. Wallace wrote back in 1893, The Ice Age and Its Work — I. Erratic Blocks and Ice-Sheets. (S481: 1893) [http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S481A.htm]

    Wallace is the OTHER guy who came up with Evolution.

    This is going to take a bit… I am going to try to punch holes in Wallace’s In (4) Erratics and perched blocks [[pg 621]], Wallace begins with

    (4) Erratic blocks were among the phenomena that first attracted the attention of men of science. Large masses of granite and hard metamorphic rock, which can be traced to Scandinavia, are found scattered over the plains of Denmark, Prussia, and Northern Germany, where they rest either on drift or on quite different formations of the Secondary or Tertiary periods. One of these blocks, estimated at 1,500 tons weight, lay in a marshy plain near St. Petersburg, and a portion of it was used for the pedestal of the statue of Peter the Great. In parts of North Germany they are so abundant as to hide the surface of the ground, being piled up in irregular masses forming hills of granite boulders, which are often covered with forests of pine, birch, and juniper. Far south, at Fürstenwalde south-east of Berlin, there was a huge block of Swedish red granite, from one half of which the gigantic basin was wrought which stands before the New Museum in that city. In Holstein there is a block of granite 20 feet in diameter; and it was noticed by De Luc that the largest blocks were often found at the greatest distance from the parent rock, and that this fact was conclusive against their having been brought to their present position by the action of floods.

    Note that ALL these countries are VERY flat – Denmark, Sweden, Northern Germany, Prussia, St Petersburg, and Fürstenwalde. Mostly these areas are under 300 feet elevation – over an area at least 400 x 500 miles. Which specific areas, I can’t tell. The area might be somewhat larger, but probably not much smaller.

    It is important to watch the pea here. After mentioning these erratics in this large flat area, Wallace then shifts to the most mountainous region in Europe, Switzerland – where glaciation is well documented and glacial evidence is everywhere. And he then seems to just believe that finding stuff in the mountains of Switzerland explains what was going on in a pool-table flat area unconnected with any mountains whatsoever.

    It is, however, in Switzerland that we find erratic blocks which furnish us with the most conclusive testimony to the former enormous extension of glaciers…

    Actually, look at this map: [http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/eur18k.gif] which is captioned: “Reconstructed vegetative cover, 180000 C14 years ago.”

    Note the small area denoted “28 Ice”. This SMALL GLACIATED AREA is the area that Wallace goes into great detail describing, and which he describes as having “the most conclusive testimony to the former enormous extension of glaciers.”

    Actually, NO. There is shown annother “28 Ice” area which IS “enormous” — but the two “28 Ice” areas are geologically very different when it comes to the areas Wallace points out in the first quote above (part of the “21 Polar/MontDes” are and the extreme southern part of the northern “28 Ice” area.

    He is claiming that comparing apples and oranges is valid.

    He never does come back to the erratics in the flatlands that he started out discussing.

    Then he switches to North America, where he accurately describes the evidence and blows off the illogic of it:

    On the Kentucky hills, about twelve miles south of Cincinnati, conglomerate boulders containing pebbles of red jasper can be traced to a limited outcrop of the same rock in Canada to the north of Lake Huron, more than 600 miles distant, and similar boulders have been found at intervals over the whole intervening country. In both these cases the blocks must have passed over intervening valleys and hills, the latter as high or nearly as high as the source from whence the rocks were derived.

    This is exactly true. Excoept that glaciers or ice sheets cannot defy gravity. Like water, ice can only go downhill. Glaciers follow valleys. Wallace went into precise detail about how Swiss erratics ended up 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Such events cannot have occurred between Ontario and Kentucky. As Wallace honestly notes, “intervening valleys and hills, the latter [were] as high or nearly as high as the source from whence the rocks were derived.” Not just ONE ridge to go over, not ONE hill to ascend, but quite a few – including the St Lawrence River, where the ice should have flowed EASTWARD, not southward. The overwhelming tendency of the ice would be to go east. It should have first blown out the land dam at the south edge of Lake Huron – but there is no evidence of this. There is still only a small basin (Lake St Clair) between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, and it has a land dam at ITS south edge, too.

    For the erratics to move all the way to Kentucky, it seems that the law of gravity had to be suspended. And on flat land, too. Where was the PUSH for the ice sheet to move south? It had to come from gravity, but on flat land, why would it perfer to keep going on the flat land instead of eastward along the St Lawrence?

    There is also a “mini-continental divide” JUST south of Lake Erie (as there is just around the south and SW and western edge of Lake Michigan. This “berm” did not stop the ice advance, but also was not ground flat, either.

    Ice does not MOVE on flat ground – it can only grow thicker or thinner. It’s own weight and the coefficient of friction between the two solids – land and ice – make the stay in one place. And that is not even including the bumps and hills and valleys, which are called “mechanical” gripping. Rough surfaces hold things better; we all know that.

    If those erratics in KY started out north of Lake Huron, it is a certainty that no ice sheet moved in that direction that far to carry the rocks there.

    Wallace goes on…

    Returning to the main question, of the possibility of glaciers or ice-sheets moving over long distances of generally level ground with intervening hills and valleys, there is an important piece of evidence, the bearing of which appears to have been overlooked by objectors. The former existence of the great Rhone glacier carrying erratics to the slopes of the Jura from beyond Geneva on the south-west to Soleure on the north-east, is universally admitted. This glacier passed out of the gorge between the Dent du Midi and the Dent de Morcles, and a little below St. Maurice enters on the alluvial plain which extends to the lake. From this point to Geneva, a distance of about 60 miles, may be considered a level plain, the descent into the lake being balanced by the ascent out of it. Yet it is admitted that the glacier did move over this distance, since erratics which can be traced to their source on the left of the valley below Martigny are found near that city. But the main part of the glacier curved round to the right across the Lake of Neufchatel, and extended at least as far as Soleure, a distance of about 90 miles. To do this it must have ascended 500 or 600 feet to the country around Fribourg, and before reaching Soleure must have passed over a hill 300 or 400 feet higher. Yet on the flanks of the Jura above Soleure there are erratics which have been carried on the surface of the glacier from the east side of the valley below Martigny, and close to Soleure itself there are [[p. 628]] remains of a terminal sub-glacial moraine of compact boulder-clay. …

    …It is evident that, to have produced such effects as are here described, the glacier must have extended much beyond Soleure, and have been very thick even there. It thus proves to demonstration that a glacier can travel for 100 miles over a generally level country, that it can pass over hills and valleys, and that, even near its termination, it can groove, and grind, and polish rocks, and deposit large masses of hard boulder-clay.

    Again, watch the pea. Apples and oranges.

    In Switzerland the glaciers were coming out of VERY HIGH mountains, which gives them great force, even crossing a while valley and filling it up. He talks about some erratics coming off 14,000-foot Mt Blanc. He talks about erratics 3,000 feet above the lake and on the other side of the flat western Swiss valley. No one is going to argue that such a thing can happen in such geography.

    In no way, though, is that applicable to areas the do not have 14,000-foot mountains as starting points for the ice sheets/glaciers.

    Apples and oranges.

    Where are the Mt Blancs up in Ontario? Where are the gravity drivers high enough to overcome the coefficient of friction of ice on rough land to plow over the land, to obliterate small hills? Where are the north-south scars upon the land?

    In addition, that Swiss valley was only 90 miles across. In no way does that equate to driving ice sheets across 600 miles and (in some cases quite a bit) more of flat land and over intervening hills without mountains to do the driving via gravity – and then to end up at the same elevation. Engineering-wise and physics-wise, it is all nonsense. Wallace was playing with walnut shells and peas, and using slight-of-hand – pointing to the problem areas and then putting up straw men in terms of Swiss glaciers.

    If you want, I will go further into it.

    I do not disagree that glaciers as we know them do things IN VALLEYS. Moraines, erratics, striations, all yes, yes, and yes.

    But when valley glaciers are mis-used as arguments to support erratics going over FLAT land for VERY long distances, and in the wrong gravitational direction, I have to disagree with that part.

    SOMETHING ELSE moved those rocks.

    I also DO agree with Wallace that floods on the scale that he dreams up will not move those rocks in that manner. But Wallace was not privy to modern understanding that BIG meteors have hit the Earth, nor that strings of 1-km comets can hit Jupiter. Wallace, being one of the foundations of Evolution, was ALSO not going to allow his thinking to include mega-tsunamis from catastrophic comets and asteroid hits on the Earth.

    For us, to look at eh evidence, it is almost NECESSARY to go back as far as Wallace, over 100 years, because modern geology has buried information on all these things. (I was surprised to find this article of Wallace’s.) Only when we go back to the time when it was still being argued can we find mention of these erratics in an honest discussion. Geologists of today are so programmed to think gradualism – and only gradualism – that such evidence is not even included for discussion.

    I don’t think this directly addresses your POV, Jim, but it addresses that glaciers might not be causing ALL of the striations and ALL of what is seen as “glacial” evidence. I don’t expect it to be the last word.

    CERTAINLY, if land impacts occurred, then even MORE ocean impacts occurred.

    And if so, then there will be evidence of SOME sort. What sorts? That is what I am trying to help reason out. Right now it is speculation and conjecture.

    I don’t know much, and I am just trying to see what we can figure out. No one ELSE is doing it!…LOL

  55. Steve Garcia

    October 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm had the name Alfred E. Wallace. It should be Alfred R. Wallace.
    It was a good comment.

  56. Steve; I was going over your reply to me about the erratics and said you thought the ice should have flow out the St Lawerence valley, Path of least resistance. I looked up a map of the laurentian ice sheet and noticed there were 2 apparent centers of ice flow. One being about 1/2 way up Canada say due norht of lake Erie and the other in the Northwest territories east of the rockies. According to the maps all the ice radiated out from these centers in all directions. Southward flow being the predominate direction. I would think that the ice flow would also follow the routes of softer bedrock that would deform under the weight of the ice and allow motion. A 2km wall of ice should be able to move building sized boulders somewhat easily or “flow” around them if too much resistance was encountered. The Kentucky Hills are shown on the maps to be the southern terminus of the glaciation. There is also the possibility of an impact dropping these erratics onto the ice to be carried along to be deposited elsewhere. Is there any pattern disernable to any of these erratic fields that might suggest impact origin?

  57. Steve;I was on another site Perigee zero, and there they discuss the wisconsin ice sheets and talk about floods and thermo events and other anomolies in the Michigan basin area. If you haven’t already been there you might want to look.

  58. Hi Steve –

    I am sorry to break this to you, but the arctic methane releases
    have begun, pretty much as predicted.

    Now back to impact science.

  59. By the way, Don does not set the NEO detection budget.

    As a matter of fact, by law Don can not even lobby for
    more money. He does as best he can, and is very frugal and spends very wisely the pocket change they give him for the job.

  60. Dennis –

    When it comes to impact science, you speak for yourself.

    There certainly has been no data found to speak for you.

  61. Jim –

    Yeah, Perigee Zero is Michael Davias’ site. He’s got some VERY good stuff there.

  62. Steve; I was just viewing a video about the Lake Bonnevile flood. It showed massive boulder fields as well as massive individual boulders. Most shots were too wide to see closeups for striations but one of the early shots shows 2 rocks about 4-5 ft dia with clear striations going in different directions. None of the boulder fields are glacical in origin all happened when the land dam at red rock gave way and drained the 20,00 sq mi lake in a couple of weeks. The size of some of these rock is incredable ( garage sized). Almost all of the rock is basalt which I believe pretty tough stuff so it was quite a huge deal to ripthis stuff up and wash it for miles. This also happened about 14-17,000 years ago. Maybe an indirect link to YDB?

  63. Ain’tit funny that nothing you have ever written, self referenced, and self published about Amerindian Oral traditions containing valid memories of impact events has ever been independantly confirmed by an archeologist? And yet you have the hubris to critisize work of another that you have never even had the oportunity to read, and therfore most certainly have no clue.

    As for demanding that others forsake the use of standard terminology from numerous peer reviewed references in favor of your own made-up nomenclature, folks might not that all you get when you Google that term is a reference to your own
    unvarifiable, self pubished book. No vaild peer reviewed refwillbe found using “HSIE”.

  64. Jim –

    Well, one thing it does show is that water can move BIG rocks and water can striate, as the pre-Agassiz, pre-Lyell folks all thought.

    BTW, I am sure basalt also does not striate easily.

    Was it literally 14-17kya? I did not know that. Never saw a date on it, though I know they had one on it before I ever heard of it.

    When I see dates that are reasonably close, I assume tentatively that as they refine the dates with more evidence, that the difference will approach zero. That is what I assumed about the Solutreans and Clovis points/evidence. It was clear DECADES AGO from everything BUT the dates that the two were closely related technologies. The only thing that stood in the way was the Clovis barrier and C14 dates, which put them like 4-5,ooo years apart. I assumed that the C14 for Clovis would shift, once they allowed arkies to study earlier sites. It took patience, but now Clovis and Solutrean overlap by quite a bit.

    That is kind of what I have been asking where I acn about the dates for the Carolina bays. Davias says 45-130kya. Firestone’s book points out CB dates all OVER the place, much of it depending on where the samples are taken – and some of those were within range of the YDB. I assume that some day they will narrow it down. I mean even though 45k and 130k are a lot older than 13k, that is still a range of 75k years. That isn’t very good resolution, is it?

    What do I THINK? That is one I think might be connected, but don’t know what to think at this point. If it GETS connected a LOT of things change.

    I would think the Scablands event would change thinking a lot, too, if its time slipped to 13kya.

  65. Steve; I went back to the Lake bonneville Video on the Huge Floods site and checked the dates again, 2x they mention 17,500yrs as the date then they say 15,000yrs and one of the marker signs says 14,500 yrs ago for the flood dates. I also wwent back to the lake Missoula site and guess what. Dates for that flood are listed as 13-12,000 yrs ago. The Bonneville lake was a basin that filled with melt wate then overflowed the earthen dam to erode and flood the snake river system. Lake Missoula was created from a glacier blocking natural flowage. when the glacier catastrophically failed the lake drained. Supposedly multiple times. The Missoula flood did occur after the Bonneville food because there are areas of sediment 2-20 ft thick from Missoula that are directly overlaying the Bonneville gravels. The Missoula site does mention ice rafting of boulders from as far away as Britsh Columbia then left as eratics. I would think that iceburgs big enough to carry massive boulders over hundreds of miles over land before melting and dropping them must have beeen impressive at least and not something one thinks about when mentioning Iceburgs. Another thought, why did the ice dam fail so catastrophically as to be able to send burgs downstream? Any mention of impacts in the area of the ice or south of the glaciers? VELLY Intellesting, but out there?

  66. Steve; I just had a thought. It gave me a headache but I did it anyways. In one of your return posts to me you mentioned that ice can’t move on flat ground. What if the ice is riding on a thin layer of ice melt water, much like a sweating beer glass skittering across a table top on it own sweat? I know there is an area of perma frost at the leading edge of the ice sheets but the sheer volume of ice has to have an insulating effect allowing the natural ground heat to start the melting process under the ice. This may provide enough lubrication to allow the ice sheet to “float” and have flat land motion to follow the curve of the earth by gravity.

  67. Steve and Jim,

    Don’t forget that the weight of an ice sheet, of the size we are talking about, will flow under it’s own weight toward the path of least resistance. And there are very few place on the planet that are truely “flat”, if water flows there is a gradient.
    And Jim you are correct that the base of an ice sheet or glacier is lubricated with internal melt water and mud, thus enabling it to flow.
    In the case of lake Missoula this very melt water was instrumental in the failure of the ice dam.
    Also when comparing the energies involved in the flow of water and their effects on the landscape, Bonneville and missoula were order of magnitude far more enegentic, even though their total out flows were far less.
    Both of these lakes had stand lines thousands of feet higher than agassiz, with Missoula standing at 8000′ and being 2000+feet deep and bonneville standing at nearly 6000?.
    The gravitational potential energy out to sea was enourmous
    and they excised deep channels right off an maintained a lot of that energy that ordinary rivers or glace could do.

  68. Cevin; Your saying the Missoula ice dam broke because the lake water was able to either raise up or undermine the ice dam. This is similar to one hypothosis about the Kankakee Torrent suggesting that an impact on the ice sheet in lower Michigan created a hole in the ice that went to the clean to the underlying bedrock. This hole filled with water until hydraulic pressure lifted the ice sheet and allowed this 2 mile deep “lake” to drain catastrophically.

  69. Since I used to live up there and have spent many hundreds of hours flying over the lake Missoula basin, and the channeled scablands of eastern Washington, I am more familiar than most regarding the catastrophic glacial floods of the late Pleistocene, early Holocene.

    Lake Bonneville couldn’t have been related event to the YD because the time frames don’t match up. The Bonneville flood happened about around 17,400 years ago. It released a hell of a lot more water than Missoula; But over a longer time frame. And in fact, Since it was impounded by an Earthen damn it was never truly a “Glacial Lake”

    But so far you guys have left out the only other glacial lake besides Missoula that was on the edge of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, that was impounded by a repeatedly failing ice dam, and that could have been involved with the YD event, namely Lake Columbia.

    I have personally counted 40 strand lines in Lake Missoula. So the failure of the ice dam where a tongue of the CIS blocked the Clark Fork River in northern Idaho was a definitely a repeating event all through the Pleistocene. The same can be said for Lake Columbia to the west on the Columbia river which was also blocked by it’s own ice dam.

    Both of them were at the foot of the CIS, and were bounded on their northern shores by the 2Km+ wall of ice of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet. So we can say with certainty, that no one was living north of either of them while they were full.

    The thing is, while it’s tempting to associate the last time Lake Missoula and/or Lake Columbia drained with the YD impact event due to the timing, there is no evidence at all to be found on the ground up there to indicate that the final ice dam failures of those two glacial lakes was any different from all the others, with the exception that with the ice sheets in retreat, ice dams didn’t reform after the last ice dam failures.

  70. Jim –

    About beer glasses sliding across a bar, do know that there are a lot of aspects to lubricated or non-lubricated sliding of one material over another. In engineering there has been a LOT of work on that, in the fields of tribology and materials science.

    Then there is a thing called asperity – which is more or less the study of rough surfaces and the way the tips of rough projections grind each other down and create debris. (Al of that uses up energy and makes the surfaces want to STAY rather than slide.) Recently they have developed a material that has MUCH fewer – and lower – rough points sticking up, and this contributes to a VERY slippery material.

    Be aware that when two solids come into contact, it is “point contact” and projections catching on each other. Unit stress (psi) comes into play, surface roughness comes into play, the type of crystalline structure comes into play, and surface tension comes into play.

    When one rough material overlays another, the points of contact leaves voids in between, and in these voids, yes, meltwater can pass. This happens and is seen in glaciers. I have not heard of it being seen in ice sheets. Water, of course, can soften some materials and dissolve many materials, and the water can flow in the voids. And yes, water can lubricate – which helps movement but does not in itself guarantee movement.

    All of this is thinking like an engineer: To move laterally it is necessary to overcome the resistance to that movement. And the resistance is comprised of interlockings, of flat surface on flat surface, of weight, of surface tension, and of internal shearing/slippage. Vectoring the vertical gravitational forces on steep slopes means relatively large horizontal vectors. On lesser slopes the horizontal vectors are correspondingly less. Vertical vectors do not contribute to movement. In fact, the vertical component will work AGAINST horizontal movement, since it increases the unit stresses.

    In any movement there will be single points of movement that start it all, like a zipper – or like a crack in a windshield grows/propagates. In essence, you can liken it to a crack forming between the two materials. Cracks begin at a point and then propagate, as the force in a very localized point exceeds the adhesion between the two materials. There is always ONE point of initiation – at the point of maximum stresses. In materials this point can be deduced from the patterns left on the surfaces. If any velocity occurs, then momentum increases proportionally. I am certain that sometimes one point begins to move, but then runs up against an impediment – thus you get the proverbial unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.

    The lower the slope the more the leverage the immovable object has. The steeper the slope, the more leverage the unstoppable force has. Talking again here of horizontal forces/vectors; vertical vectors only contribute – they do not govern.

    Rule 1 of movement: Pressure results from a resistance to a force.

    Rule 2: Movement indicates that resistance has failed.

    Rule 3: Rate of movement is proportional to delta P, minus existing resistance conditions.

    Rule 4: If there is no movement, it means that total resisting force AT THAT POINT is greater than the force applied.

    Rule 5: The smoother the surface, the easier the resistance is to overcome.

    Rule 6: Weight is a vertical force. It translates to a horizontal force by the sine factor – the greater the slope, the more horizontal force vector.

    Nearly flat surfaces have a VERY low sine factor/vector – perhaps in several leading decimal places. In such environments the weight is increasing the GRAB much more than it is able to generate horizontal movement.

    Add to that the roughness of the ground – including hills (negative slopes), river valleys, undulations…

    Note in Antarctica that, yes, there are SOME glaciers that move. Those are in valleys. (But there are also mountains, ones that HOLD things in place.) Also think about the concentration of the weight down the side slopes, focusing the weight at the bottom of the valley’s “v”. This magnifier of force helps speed up the movement down the valley. Because these are connected with global warming research they get a lot of press – “Glaciers moving at faster rates than 30 years ago!”

    Where the ice doesn’t move is in places where valleys cannot act as conduits. In those places the ice just sits. It is locked up (meaning the resisting force is greater than the existing horizontal force between layers/materials). We hear a lot about the glaciers and almost nothing about the also large areas areas where no movement occurs.

    In pressure situations (like the atmosphere and in water), the more material lies above a point the greater the pressure exists at that point. It is sometimes called “head” – which roughly translates into how much “depth” exists at that point – deeper equals more head. And the greater the head, the greater the capacity to apply force. In fact pressure IS a force, one that we measure in PSI or kPAs. In fluids the weight delivers force in all directions. In solids it is different; the internal cohesion is such that weight above translates almost fully into downward force. So with solids, deeper means simply more weight and more “grab” – more psi holding the two surfaces locked in place.

    In ice sheets across N American flat regions the head due to the topography is very, very low. By this I mean that the high elevations simply aren’t high enough to push downward with the right kind of geometry to push outward, too. Compared to the Alps there simply is no comparison. One wants to move down valleys quickly and overcomes the resistance. The other can’t do much more than sit there. Just as rivers in flat country flow slowly so do ice sheets flow very slowly, slower than glaciers. Being much more solid, ice sheets also cannot overcome their internal cohesion, so they cannot slide internally. There is little horizontal vector force to break the adhesion between lattice planes. All the weight creates grab/holding forces, rather than lateral sliding forces. Everything locks up, rather than moving.

  71. Jim – What do you have on the Kankakee Torrent?

    That conceivably could tie in with Davias’ Saginaw impact. If you want, we can discuss separately.

  72. Dennis,
    I believe that Jim and Steve are discussing the glacial lake floods in terms of what large amounts of water moving across the landscape would do, ie as in a mega tsumami, as these incidents are the closest analog to an impact caused mega tsunami.

  73. Jim,
    As per your Missoula question
    Yes and no,
    Melt water from the glacier starts to undermine it from the downstream side, pretty typical glacier mechanics. As the ice erodes from it’s own meltwater it undermines the base material as well. At the same time the lake water melts the upstream side of the ice dam till it breaks through the dam. When the whole width of the dam is undermined, the pressure of the water floats the whole dam and it fails.

  74. Dennis –

    Thanks for all the info.


    1. The very same difference in ages between the YDB and the Bonneville flood is what the difference between Clovis Man and Solutreans, if I am not mistaken. So I hear what you are saying, but I reserve the right to not accept the dating (though I have not focused on the western floods, so I am doing that in admitted ignorance). With dates for the CBs all over the place, it seems sampling can make a difference. But for now the dates are 12.8kya and 17.4kya. Got it. Thanks.

    2. It suddenly strikes me as interesting that in NA there were at least 2, perhaps 3, Scabland-like floods, yet I haven’t yet heard of any such floods in Siberia or N Europe where such ice sheets existed in the same time frames. Does that strike anyone else as odd? Or is it just a matter of Steve not keeping his ear to the ground enough? Where are the Siberian/European ice dam failures? There was a large ice sheet from N Germany/Denmark all the way to the Arctic/Ural area. Yet all they have is a sand belt.

  75. CevinQ –

    Parts of your ice dam failure don’t follow what happens when a constructed dam breaks.

    Generally speaking each dam break I’ve seen video of had to do with one point where a crack developed and then was widened and deepened as it propagated. The ultimate failure was at one point laterally, not “the whole width of the dam.” That ultimate failure widened/eroded quickly, once the water began flowing through.

  76. Hi Steve,

    The fact that there were no large glacial floods in Europe is probably related to the terrains at the terminus of the ice sheets there. In order for an ice dam to form and impound a large body of water you need two things, a basin to hold that water, and just as important, somewhere for the ice to plug up the outflow channel. The cordillera of Western North America had both.

  77. Getting caught up on my Tusk…

    Why would a continental ice sheet flow up hill?

    First, regarding dam failures –
    Different failure modes, wall vs. foundation, will yield different results in terms of how the failure/flood process plays out.

    Regarding glaciers in general, I’ve been looking at Michigan. Here are some useful papers. Realize that with 7 confirmed glacial/interglacial cycles in the last 650 ka, there is lots of material to plow through.

    Relevant link:
    “Analysis of modern and Pleistocene hydrologic exchange between Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) and the Saginaw Lowlands area” Hoaglund et al, 2003 (?) (“pay-for” paper)
    This paper has good discussion on the profile of continental ice sheets near their edges, (from Nye 1952 and Mathews 1974), if x is minimum distance from the ice margin to the profile point in meters, y is the thickness in meters, & A is an ice-profiling coefficient w/ units of square root meters (m^ 1/2).

    For perfect plasticity of ice where basal shear stress is 100 kPa and there is no slip between the ice and the subsurface, A=max value of 4.7, which fits observations of Greenland ice cap and Antarctic ice sheet (Nye 1952). So A=4.7 at the highest for no basal sliding of the ice sheet.

    y = A(x)^1/2. Profiling coefficient A for Pleistocene Laurentide ice sheet varied regionally from 0.32 to 4.1 (pretty big variation, but this tells you that there was a wide range of either wet or frozen interface conditions under the sheet depending on where you look. A wet interface allows easier sliding and is represented by the lower values of A, which means a more shallow slope near the ice sheet margin.

    So on flat land I AM GUESSING that the bulk flow of the sheet would be driven by this slope when the ground underneath is essentially flat, and there are no other horizontal force generators in the area. Its been on my mind, can ice sheets flow up hill?

    Glaciers can flow uphill in various different situations, typically with big push from behind.

    But what about continental ice sheets….?

    Relevant link:
    Evidence for catastrophic subglacial meltwater sheetflood events on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

    Direct hit link:

    Sedimentary and stratigraphic evidence for subglacial flooding, south-central Michigan, USA (“pay-for” paper)

    This is one of the ones mentioned in Mike Davias’ http://cintos.org/ site. The deposit photos alone are hair raising in this paper.

    FIg 28:
    Continental Ice sheet moving up hill through Saginaw Bay, for the NE toward the SW. This paper has bothered me for quite some time for this reason. Why would that continental Ice sheet flow up hill? And if that isn’t what happened, where did those massive flood deposits come from? Very curious…

    I am skeptical of this. When you look at the true vertical scale of a few km depth (2 or maybe 3 km) of ice, spread out along the 90+ km long, 60+ km wide Saginaw bay, the aspect ratio is too thin to deliver enough push from behind for sustained forward motion, let alone even overcoming static friction, let alone upgrade movement.


    another link (“pay-for” paper)
    “A critical assessment of subglacial mega-floods: a case study of glacial sediments and landforms in south-central Alberta, Canada”

    Just sayin’

  78. Dennis –

    Once again you do not know what you are talking about as far as the traditions of the First Peoples goes.

    If you ever find any impact structure confirmed by geologists, then do mention it.

    In the meantime, please go share your ignorance elsewhere.

    Steve –

    First off, I am not a “boy”, though I will agree with you completely that Deniis is an immature a-hole.

    You may notice that damn few of the professionals in impact research stop by here. Some day you will figure out why.

    If my stroke had not interfered, I myself would have taken over running an impact research clearing house.

    You are the one who brought up global warming here. I myself have not commented on global warming, as I tend to stick with impact research.

    As far as the glacial melt-water outflows goes, all of you need to understand that the impacts took place at the start of the Holocene, which is separated from the Younger Dryas by 1,000 years or so.

  79. Ed,
    Can you clear that up for me please – because I’ve looked around and can’t resolve the difference between Younger Dryas and Holocene Start.

    I see definitions for Holocene starting at 11.7 ka, which would be about 1000 yrs after YDLB, closer to the end of Younger Dryas than to the beginning. Is that the reason?

    I also notice that all of the sources I see with the 11.7 ka number are likely not up to date with recent revisions to the carbon dating science, which is typically used for ages of this epoch if I’m not mistaken.

    Could it also depend on which continent on is doing the science in?

    Thanks for your patients –

    Tim Harris

  80. Ed,
    Don’t you think your childish, rude, and insulting, behavior has gone a bit too far, and for too long? I never mentioned global warming at all. Don’t know where you got that. But in fact, you yourself have never identified a single impact structure either. And not one word of your work on indian oral traditons being memories of impact events has ever been confirmed indepenantly by an archeologist, or geologist either for that matter. I really don’t see anything all to be gained by responding to your use of the intentional insult “ignorant”; I think I’ll leave that for George to answer.
    P.S. Tom, you’ll find that “HSIE” is made up term Ed invented. He’d love to see it get become more widely used. This is because it becomes a plug for his book; every time you use it as a search term his book is the only link that’ll come. You won’t find it used in peer reviewed literature.

  81. Steve,
    I’m not sure that an earthen or concrete dam failures are a good model for the sort of failure we are talking about.
    The scenario I presented was from some paper on the missoula floods, that I read a few months ago, although my recounting of it was some simplified. I’ve tried to back track that paper ,but to no avail.
    Remember the missoula dam was a glacier in it’s own right, and was 2000feet tall, and the amount of hydraulic pressure at the bottom would have been tremendous.
    We are all likely way above our “paygrade” when discussing the mechanics of such a failure.

  82. TH: “Glaciers can flow uphill in various different situations, typically with big push from behind.

    But what about continental ice sheets….?”

    That is exactly what I am saying.

    In the Alps, Alfred Wallace was talking specifically about that BIG PUSH from behind begin what enabled erratics to be 3,000 feet above Lake Lucerne. Such big push doesn’t exist on flat ground.

    TH: Can’t access those images in that paper.

    It seems that the operative gradualist term for big-ass local catastrophe is “outburst flood.” With all the papers listed, it seems like a LOT of such outbursts occurred. They crowbar them into gradualism, of course.

    You SHOULD be troubled about ice sheets moving uphill with no big slopes to push them up and over. as I say over and over: Glaciers are in valleys; what happens in valleys iss not translatable into what happens with ice accumulated on generally flat plains.

    That one abstract talks about all the hills and valleys in south-central Michigan:

    “The glacial landscape in south-central Michigan is a dissected surface with streamlined, residual, and upland blocks surrounded by lowland valleys dominated by outwash. The upland surface has ridges, hills, and hummocks composed of boulder gravel, which are transitional to drumlins in a down-ice direction, and is dissected by tunnel channels with eskers within them.”

    The shoreline of Lake Huron is about 600 feet elevation. Central Michigan is about 900-1000 feet elevation. The ice pushed upward 300-400 feet as it moved SW? And not just up 300 feet, but down some then back up, then down again, then back up. Each down meant new big push was needed, because each down separates/isolates the present valley from previous pushes.

    Right now I am laughing at their “outburst floods” and “subglacial floods”. Those are crowbars, trying to pry catastrophic evidence into a gradualist paradigm. It looks like there is evidence all OVER the place.

    That the one paper is talking about the immediate vicinity of Davias’ Saginaw impact, we can easily fit this all into our own hypothesis. No crowbars needed. Too bad we don’t have funding!

    This kind of thing is exactly the kind of evidence that would be predicted from impacts that affected water or ice. It hasn’t been predicted so far because the YDB team is having to spend all their time just getting their main point across, so they don’t have the time to look into corollary effects.

    ALL the doubts you have are ones I also have. And those are my very points.

  83. Ed –

    YES, when you and Dennis go at it like that you ARE a boy. You calling him an immature a-hole – do you actually consider that mature?

    Are you going to argue next over whose dad can beat up the other guy’s dad?

  84. TH –
    There IS no difference between Ed’s HSIE and the YDB.

    As Dennis points out, NO ONE ELSE uses the term “Holocene Start Impact Event” except Ed. And he keeps trying to cram that term down everybody’s throats.

    Why he thinks he can force us all into using it, I don’t know.

    But the bottom line is that they mean the same thing.

  85. Cevin Q –

    Maybe some of us are above our pay grades. I am not, nor is TH. I have 40 years of mechanical engineering (which means solving real-world problems), and I know how to address problems and conditions.

    Physics is physics. Things fail because their local ultimate strength in p.s.i. is is exceeded. Erosion follows physical laws. Masses can only move when the total propulsion force exceeds the existing resisting force. Gravity works both for and against movement, depending on the other existing conditions (but at the same time, gravity is actually a weak force).

    When I am in over my head, I readily admit it.

  86. Steve,
    I in no way intended any disrespect, or called into question any ones credentials, and I apologise if it was taken that way.
    I’m just saying that determining the actual mode of failure goes way beyond any internet forum discussion.

  87. Cevin Q –

    Nah, no offense taken.

    Of COURSE it take more than a forum discussion. I agree with that completely.

    I am a fan (as much as possible) of Robert Hooke, one of the co-founders of the Royal Society with Newton. Hooke was a huge opponent of science by discussion or contemplation in the ancient Greek manner. Hooke was convinced science had to be hard science, lab experiments and field measurements – and replicatable. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I am also a big fan of Richard Feynman, who lays out the scientific method which he starts of by saying, “First, you make a guess.” We here are in that make a guess mode. He follows that guess up with, “Then you devise an experiment that predicts certain output.” (paraphrased) “Then you compare your predicted results with experience or experiment. And if the results don’t agree, then the guess is WRONG.” (also paraphrased)

    We here don’t have funding to go out and get samples and measurements and then get C14 tests and OSL tests. We are interested observers, and we have every right to inquire what this paper or that paper signify. What are we supposed to do here – sit on our hands and not think?

    I have no intention of not trying to understand it all myself.

    I have been gratified on occasion here to see some predicted effects/results of the YDN team be supported by experience. That is the reason for sampling at the different arkie sites. If something as big as the YDB happened, then similar forensics should appear in widely separated regions. That is a prediction, and it came true. The forensics ARE there – not identical but certainly along the same lines.

    But there is a lot more to all this than just a gigundus object hitting the surface or the water. What effect did it have? How widespread was it? HOW was it able to kill off the mammoths and 32 other megafauna? How was it able to kill the mammoths in Russia, too? How did it contribute or connect with the advent of civilization, domestication of animals, and agriculture? How many impacts were there? Where? How does the YDB connect to the other impacts, some of which Ed Grondine is deslineating? Is there some connection between the YDB and the Bond/Heinrich, and Dansgaard-Oescher events? How did it differ from other impacts and airbursts? Each one of those is worth about 5-10 papers, and it will be a LONG time before they are covered adequately.

    But so what if the papers by the YDB team have not been able to get into all of those things. That does not stop us here from inquiring about them.

    You do not require a PhD to be able to think clearly and logically and to read papers. We may not have grant money, but we can still inquire to the best of our abilities.

  88. Steve; Most of the info I’ve gotton on the Kankakee Torrent has come from Perigee0 after that not much except the standard Dogma. I’m still trying to track down any mapping of the flood streams. I know they diverged somewhere near the Indiana Ill border some flowing west creating the Illinois river and some flowing south the form the Kankakee River but I’m not sure where these broke off from each other. You mentioned discussing this seperately, fine with me. do you want to use standard e-Mail? I believe I have yours and You should have from home . The last Pics I sent you came from the home PC. Also on Dennis Cox’s site an article by Bob Korbs had a photo of a boiled grain of sand and it looks srtikingly similar to the Dolomite pieces I have only smaller.

  89. Steve; I must have had a brain fart when I posted last. The Kankakee Torrent did not diverge as I mentioned it came across Indiana dropping south until it hit a morraine then went west to Kankakee before turning northwest to merge with the Desplaines river to form the Illiois River. I’ve been on the about Geography site and it’s not bad. I’m still trying to sort out the dates on The saginaw Impact, the Kankakee torrent, and YDB. Saginaw Bay impact Starts talking about being on the Illinoisan Ice sheet then switches gears and all references go the the Wisconsin ice sheet. Dates for the Carolina Bays seem to be older than the Torrent dates but they keep getting tied together somehow and it’s close enough to the YDB in geologic time that maybe there’s room for fudging. I’ve noticed most of your postings come at night mine come from work during day time. We’ll have to get this worked out.

  90. Steve – I called Dennis an immature a-hole because the limits of language permitted here do not allow me to state what I really think of him.

    This torrent of his started out when I first noted that his hypothesized mechanism did not agree with the hard archaeological evidence. While his impact model is a fantasy, his insults are real.

    And by the way, while you have a pretty good grasp of engineering mechanics, and an inquisitive mind, they in no way qualify you to moderate any discussion of impact research.

    As far as the term “Holocene Start Impact Event”, when it is adopted in general usage please remember who you heard it from first.

  91. Steve,

    There is a 1,000 year difference between the Holocene Start and the Younger Dryas.

  92. Ed –

    I do not consider trying to get you and Dennis to stop name-calling “moderating a discussion of impact research.”

    Neither Dennis’ a**hole nor yours constitutes an impact crater nor research.”

    I happen to agree with Dennis: It will never happen that Holocene Start Impact Event will be universal. Sorry, but it hasn’t caught on yet, and nothing at all indicates that it ever will. He said many months ago that you were the only person using the term. That is still the case – no one else uses it, except to ask you why YOU do. One man does not a universal term make.

    I don’t use it, and no one else here uses it.

    Please tell us who else uses it besides you?

    General usage for HSIE just isn’t in the cards. Sorry. That is my opinion.

  93. Ed –

    The beginning of the Holocene is a vague date that varies with whomever happens to be talking about it. It varies by more than the 1,000 years you talk about.

    It may begin to tighten up, but right now…


    [Britannica] Arguments can be presented for the selection of the lower boundary of the Holocene at several different times in the past. Some Russian investigators have proposed a boundary at the beginning of the Allerød, a warm interstadial age that began about 12,000 bp. Others, in Alaska, proposed a Holocene section beginning at 6000 bp. Marine geologists have recognized a worldwide change in the character of deep-sea sedimentation about 10,000–11,000 bp. In warm tropical waters, the clays show a sharp change at this time from chlorite-rich particles often associated with fresh feldspar grains (cold, dry climate indicators) to …

    And then this, up your alley:

    North American Pleistocene/Holocene Transition – Paleoindian http://tiny.cc/njbw5w

    Dramatic climatic changes at the close of the Pleistocene resulted in extinctions as well as fundamental reorganization of ecological communities some 13,000 years ago (11,000 rcybp).

    You can find assertions of everything from that 6,000 years in Britannica to 10,000ya (common), 11,000ya (common), to 11,500ya (common), to 11,700ya (common), to 12,800ya, to 14,000ya.

    TAKE YOUR PICK. What is the Ed Grondine approved year?

    If by “Holocene” you take Wikipedia’s date of 11,700ya, which is maybe the commonest single date for the Holocene Start, then the Holocene is basically the END of the Younger Dryas – which means that a HSIE would not and could not be the same 12,800ya impact that all of us are talking about.

    In that case, what exact impact are you yourself talking about? Was there an impact at 11,700ya? Have you shifted gears on all of us? If the Firestone impact at the beginning of the YD is 1,000 years off from being the Holocene Start, then your Holocene Start Impact Event MUST be different.

    So you want HSIE over YDB? You can’t, not if the HS was 11,700 and the YDB was 12,800.

  94. Ed said:

    Steve – I called Dennis an immature a-hole because the limits of language permitted here do not allow me to state what I really think of him.

    I see nothing at all to be gained by going down to your level again Ed. So, since their continual use of them anytime someone says something you disagree with speaks volumes about your character, and academic integrity, in the future I’ll not be inclined to dignify your childish name calling, and personal ad hominem insults with a response.

    However, you also said:

    This torrent of his started out when I first noted that his hypothesized mechanism did not agree with the hard archaeological evidence.

    Ok, In the first place, archeology has nothing to do with it. The two applicable sciences are geology, and physics.

    Archeology does apply to your work though. Yet no professional archeologist has ever verified  claims regarding Amerindian oral traditions.

    The rest of this post is intended as background info for the new guys, and to set the record straight.

    At the time Ed began to attack my work he had already formed his opinion of it even though at that time he had no real idea what it consisted of.

    I think it’s been something like five years now since this all started. But back then, Ed began to attack my work with some of the damnedest non sequitur, confusing, and insulting comments. And I really didn’t know how to respond them. Because what he was saying in those attacks did not seem to have any real relationship at all to anything I had actually written.

    And then one day, after more than two years of those humiliating and insulting attacks, he showed up on a secondary blog of mine where I had placed, all  by itself, an article of mine called, “A Different Kind of Climate Catastrophe”. (I’ve spent the past couple of months going to the places I’ve been writing about and spending some time on the ground there so I’ll be revising that article a bit sometime in the next month)

    There was no by line at the top of the article. So he didn’t know who the author was. But there was a lively comment thread below, and I had responded to a couple of those comments. He saw my name there. And he surprised me by proving that he is capable of civilized behavior when it suits him, such as when he’s trying to make a good first impression. But it was the content of his comment that shocked me the most.

    He said, “Dennis, why haven’t you ever told us about this gentleman’s excellent work before?”

    Heck, that article was the flagship of my working hypothesis. That’s why I set it up all by itself in a blog of its own. But here’s where it gets crazy. The only way he would not have immediately recognized it as my work was if he had never really read a single word of what I had actually written. And that meant that he had been riding me like a dirty diaper for more than two years without really having the remotest clue about the work he was criticizing. His attitude went back to the same old insulting crap though when I told him that “this gentleman’s excellent work” was mine, and was the very work he had been negatively criticizing for so long

    Suddenly, all of the off the wall and non sequitur comments made perfect sense. The simple reality is that this man won’t hesitate to form very vocal opinions about things he has never really read at all, and thus can’t have any real idea what he’s talking about.

    “While his impact model is a fantasy, his insults are real.”

    I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that if my impact model was only a “fantasy” then Dr Richard Firestone would not have been willing to do a detailed PGAA analysis of the sample I sent him from a place in California. Note the 13% iron content, and the fact that the sample has many times the normal terrestrial abundance of nickel. You might also note that the overall chemistry of that specimen is similar to a urelite meteorite so Dr Firestone says that more work needs to be done to pin it down. But there’s also a couple large and exposed iron rich masses rusting out on the mountainside that specimen was taken from that might have something to say about that first specimen so I’ll be going back to up there get some of those rusty chunks for Dr Firestone to take a look at as well.

    As for the insults, if folks will take the time to Google up those old threads they’ll see that in every case the insults began with Ed, and I just responded in kind. But really, how insulting do you think it might be to have ones work continually attacked and bashed by someone who can not possibly know what they are are talking about because they have never really read a word of it?

    Anyway, if folks do take the time to read those old threads it will also become abundantly clear that Eds resentment of me stems from the fact that from the beginning, I refused to acknowledge him as the worlds foremost authority, and the final word, on all things related to impact science.

    He demands that everyone, including NASA’s top planetary scientists accept him as the unquestioned and foremost authority on impact science. But he has no academic credentials whatsoever. Not one word of anything he has ever written regarding his claims that Indian oral traditions contain accurate memories of impact events more than 12,000 years ago has ever been verified independently by a real scientist from any academic discipline. He claims to be above the need for honest to somebody-check-me-on-this peer review; says he has no peers. But unquestioned acceptance of unverifiable claims made by persons with no academic credentials whatsoever is not the way real science is done. In the real world of real science no claim made by anyone, and no matter the academic standing of the person making that claim, is accepted as fact without independent verification by often skeptical others. Yet Eds response to anyone who will have the audacity to doubt his authority and/or question his self assumed “facts”, or who expresses skepticism of his work, is always a personal ad hominem attack. He never responds by giving a link to a peer reviewed reference. And for the most part the only reference we ever hear him give is his own unverified, self published, book.

    And finally without exception, every honest to PhD planetary, and/or impact scientist I have contacted regarding him, or his work, and who has had dealings with him, has told me that they don’t consider him to be a reliable researcher at all, and that they do their best to simply ignore him.

    If someone with no academic credentials at all will claim to be an advanced expert in a field of research without proving beyond question that he knows as much as he’s convinced himself he does I’m not buying it. I am rewarded for my skepticism by being called an “immature a**hole”. But I find myself in good company. NASA’s top planetary scientists got the same treatment from him for more than 16 years.

  95. Dennis, In my opinion you are an idiot and if there was moderation by anyone who knew the field of impact research you would be left alone with your obsessions.

    Just to set the record straight, Dennis had imaginary ablation features and an imaginary impact scenario that conflicted with the data, and has used this forum for nothing more than personal attacks.

    As Dennis puts it:

    “If someone with no academic credentials at all will claim to be an advanced expert in a field of research without proving beyond question that he knows as much as he’s convinced himself he does I’m not buying it. I am rewarded for my skepticism by being called an “immature a**hole”.”

    No Dennis, you are being called an immature a-hole because you are one, not for your “scepticism”. Your buddy Morrison is a different type of a-hole: a snake who puts his place in the bureaucracy above the public good. In my view, you can either do work or play bureaucratic games.

    What I am is an expert on recent historical impacts.
    You’re purpose here is simply to deny that, and thus you are impeding the field.

  96. Dennis; I was just over on your site and was reading about your trip to Minn and viewing the great pics. you mentioned in your article about the roundish green areas having been icebergs broken off the main ice sheet when it shattered. Were you able to look around for any erractic fields in those areas. I would think if these pieces broke from the main sheet those areas should hold a noticeable amount of till and larger rock not necessarily of Minn origin. Also were there any signs of possible secondary impacts in the same area?

  97. Hi Jim,
    There really is no sustitute for going to a place, and spending time on the ground there. Now that I have been there I am more convinced than ever before that the LIS took a major multiple fragment hit there. But it’s also abundantly clear to me now that the exact mechanisms of that event were vastly differerent from what I had been thinking before, and probably more violeng too. If you can give me a couple of weeks to write up what I’ve found I think it’ll make better sense to all.

  98. Ed, you have again gone too far. All your comments will be spam to me now. Sorry it has to be this way.

  99. George,

    Don’t wrestle with pigs, as you’ll only get covered with s***.

    Not only does Dennis not even know about scaling laws, nor the Allerod, he refuses to face up to the fact that his “features” are illusory, and exist only in his own mind.

  100. I could post this comment on any one of several posts, and have chosen this one as fairly much the better one…

    A BOOK REVIEW (of sorts)…

    …I just got done reading Peter Warlow’s book “The Reversing Earth.” Han Kloosterman strongly recommended it. And I did manage to find a not terribly extortionate price on it.

    My overall take is two-fold.

    Firstly, I don’t agree with Warlow’s tippe-top theory, though some aspects of it are incisive. See http://tiny.cc/w3q3px and http://tiny.cc/v4q3px. A round tippe-top spinning on a surface and then inverting itself has as much to do with the slight friction between the tippe-top and the table as it does its spin. IMVHO, Warlow ignores the friction, which he is not allowed to do.

    Secondly, thinking in terms of forces and momentum, and in terms of a flywheel effect (the last of which Warlow doesn’t bring into the discussion at all), I recognize the ‘neck region’ of the tippe-top as mass removed in the (initially) lower hemisphere, which is VERY important to this discussion. This missing mass changes the entire dynamic of the spinning ball.

    Some tippe-tops have more mass removed on the “other’ hemisphere. This evidently makes the tippe-top inversion easier, it seems. But as in any flywheel the important material is the most extreme material. “Extreme material” here I apply in an engineering sense, and in that sense it refers to the mass farthest away from the axis of rotation.) The Extreme material has the most momentum, as defined by the math.) The greater mass of the OTHER hemisphere is slung outward centrifugally as in any flywheel, and the highest momentum mass will ALWAYS tend to be thrown out to the farthest extreme. (This is why unbalanced car tires will destroy themselves fairly quickly. It is ALSO why a beach ball’s valve screws up the rotation of the beach ball and makes it fly erratically.)

    With the ‘other’ hemisphere down, the (greater) hemispheric mass is NOT farthest from the axle’s contact point with the surface. Thus, the greater mass hemisphere wants to be farthest from the point of contact with the surface, and that hemisphere will be flung upward because that mass needs to be there, not below the mid-point.

    All of that is an attempt to turn engineering principles into lay language, and I am pretty sure I did not do it well.

    Now that word “incisive” is at least partially true of Warlow’s thinking. I don’t think he got THAT part right, but many of his observations and much of his referenced evidence were spot on.

    He discusses how the geographic poles could have remained the same if “the Earth” flipped over, either 180° or some small amount. It was very clear that Warlow did NOT make clear what he meant by “the Earth”. Mostly it sounded like he was talking about the outer layers of the Earth, but he never does make that clear.

    Han believes that the outer layers slide over the interior at the mantle. I have discussed it as happening to the crust, but his mantle will work for me, too. At this juncture it is all tentative on that point, but I do mean to nail it down some day.

    But (if I understand his use of the term “the Earth” correctly) I agree with Warlow that the outer layers flipping while the core and magnetic properties remain rotating the same direction is consistent with the observations from ancient accounts. (I am certainly not the first who has seen that all, nor was Warlow.) The shift in the direction of the rising Sun, the shift in the stars, the paleomagnetic record – all of these would be obvious observations by a person observing them.

    Warlow was (in 1982) hard-pressed to explain the mechanism of reversal (whether full or partial), and his tippe-top I simply think is incorrect physics. But the collection of observations and conclusions are in the main quite prescient, IMO.

    In the end, though, Warlow gives Velikovsky too much importance. As the genesis of that flipping movement, he falls back on Velikovsky and his “passing planet” concept – which was the very reason Velikovsky enraged the astronomers. It is also one of the great reasons I departed long ago from Velikovsky myself. Planets do not just wander in from somewhere (which is what Warlow posits), nor did Venus wander off course.

    My IMMEDIATE disagreement with Dr V was that Venus currently has the most perfectly CIRCULAR orbit of any planet. To imagine that only 4300 years ago or so Venus was roaming like a drunken comet and THEN settled into an orbit with less flaws than any other planet – THIS I could not agree with. Not in 4300 years (only about 6000 orbits of the Sun).

    Nor can I agree with Warlow that some unspecified body of unspecified size wandered in from elsewhere in our galactic arm and passed close enough to Earth to exchange a (literally) Velikovskian electric discharge with Earth.*** I won’t let it pass that the Solar system is a VERY large and very empty region of space, and for a body to wander into the solar system and take aim on an Earth revolving at 30km/sec is asking too much. People make all sorts of allegations that bodies coming in will have close encounters with (often ALL) the outer bodies before then encountering Earth, even though most of the time those planets are in other quadrants of their orbits and RARELY aligned for a fly-by by any body, artificial or natural). ALL of these wandering rogue bodies I reject out of hand. There is NO evidence of such things ever having happened, and I see their inclusion into such concepts as ad hoc and 1000% speculative and basically pulled out of someone’s anal orifice.

    (Liewise, I see the Oort Cloud as spurious and manufactured retroactively to dream up a version of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” to fit into Uniformitarianism.)

    Thus, while I am thrilled to have read the evidence that Warlow brings to the table, and I LOVE his thought processes (truly) in many places in the book, in the end IMVHO his overall idea is generally half-baked. Warlow discusses VERY WELL how others are led astray. I think he fell victim to such “astray-ness” himself. Primarily I see his reliance on Velikovksy (when push came to shove) as being a fatal flaw.

    No one here needs to agree with me on ANY of this, though. Apologies to Han that I can’t buy into the mechanics of Warlow. I disagree solely because I have sufficient grounding in engineering physics, and I see where Warlow went wrong. Unless one is talking about quantum physics and what happens at nuclear particle sized environments, engineering physics is GOD, being the same as Newtonian mechanics. Warlow appears to have no foundation for his thinking and is – like Velikovsky was accused of – simply out of his element.

    Did I ENJOY the book? Quite a bit, in fact. I thin it was a terrific read, once I got past the flaws in his physics and the wandering incoming body. I DO think Warlow ripped Uniformitarianism a new asshole, even if they don’t know it yet. Uni-ism has flaws bigger than Jupiter, ones that no one dares to admit to, for fear of being called Creationist. They need to grow some testicles and get on with science and getting rid of its flaws. Warlow did a nice job poking holes. I WILL use his book as a source of information, but I will also continue to use discernment regarding his evidence and be VERY skeptical of his conclusions CERTAINLY.

    Unfortunately, however, Warlow did not come up with the right answers. But I give him a B+ for trying.

    *** I will ALSO ask HOW such a body could have formed in deepest interstellar space. You all know my rag about all of that. IMHO if a solid body couldn’t have formed in deep space WITHIN the solar system, then one also couldn’t have formed beyond the solar system. That IS my story, and I AM sticking to it. Oort clouds and wandering rogue planets – to me they are 100% imaginary. So invoking them to explain the comets or Earth’s flipping are equally imaginary and arbitrary and spurious and bloody well ad hoc – like Deus ex machina, only supposedly for real.

  101. This post seems to be the place to add this comment…

    Over at http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com, Eric Worrall caught this news item – Bigger Problems than Global Warming – NASA Discovers 8 New Dangerous Near Earth Asteroids

    The post ends with

    …Its nice to know that NASA occasionally takes a break from climate bothering, long enough to do something space related, but I’m mildly horrified that a project this important appears to be so far down the list of priorities, that the project was mothballed for a year while the survey satellite stood waiting for a refuel. Granted that a major Asteroid strike is a low probability event, but the consequences are potentially catastrophic – a big ocean strike could kill millions, maybe even billions of people.

    Nothing like a little banshee screaming alarmism, but we all know and recognize exactly what Worrall is talking about – it’s a rare, RARE event, but dammit, if one comes our way and we haven’t put any thought into it at all, we are pretty much screwed. Compared to the so-far and probable future price tag to combat the 1.8°C increase in global average temps by the year 2100, the effort to put in place a READY-TO-GO mitigation plan would be a real bargain.

    I’d really rather that humans didn’t get sent back to the stone age…


    The WUWT post includes links to these: The Register – Ninety New Doom Asteroids Found in 2014

    and these useful and educational NEO links:
    NASA’s NEOWISE Program http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/programs/neowise.html

    Minor Planets Center – List Of The Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/Dangerous.html

    Minor Planets Center – Conversion of Absolute Magnitude to Diameter http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/Sizes.html

    NASA’s Near Earth Object Program’s NEO Groups

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