From: Eugene Leitl (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Aug 23 2000 - 02:03:31 PDT
Steve Dossick writes:
> Anyone have any idea how long it would take for our lovely Mother Nature
> to fix her planet even if we piggy humans turned off all the
> pollution/greenhouse gases? I'm thinking this problem is bigger than
> the presidency....
Lovely Mother Nature will have this planet fixed permanently in
roughly 500 megayears, when solar constant will start going up
noticeably as Sol will start visibly moving off the Hertzsprung-Russel
main sequence. Archaea will love it, I'm sure, at least for a while,
but it will be a major bummer for the more complex multicellular life
Of course, before the great final curtain falls, you can expect
several major climate nonlinearities, volcanic and impact winters,
solar constant fluctuations, passage through interstellar dust clouds
and dark matter clumps, and the like. Judging from the fossil record,
the performance is expected to remain interesting.
Gee, dude, I wonder why people think Momma Nature is so very gentle,
and so very homeostatic. Due to a cosmic fluke, we've been leading a
very sheltered life -- but even so our environmental impact has
remained certainly visible, but not unprecendented. Despite all our
lofty ambitions to screw this place up, we still pretty much vanish in
the background noise.
As to greenhouse gases, fluorocarbons are rather longlived (half life
time in decades?) but methane and carbon dioxide should be
normalizable very shortly.
Simplest solution to the global warming would be sending an
autoreplicating lunar factory to Luna, which in situ expands into
copies of itself, photovoltaics panels, copies of itself, linear mass
drivers, copies of itself, microwave generators, and did I already
mention copies of itself? Pack the photovoltaics/microwave generators
into ceramics shells, launch with linear mass drivers towards Earth,
aerobrake and circularize the orbit, unfold the panels, voila.
While diurnal-cycle susceptible animals would probably go to hell in a
breadbasket due to all the megatons of luminous hardware in the sky,
and I have no idea how life in general will react to scattered
low-density microwave radiation (wear lead-lined threads, as in
Waldo?), all you need on the ground are rectenna arrays. Power maybe
not too cheap to meter, but I think I hear Tesla rotating in his
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