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Re: Siberian Traps

John Bois wrote:

> > (jrc)...Insofar as I know, we do not have the present capability to prevent 
> > other sources of mass extinction.
> (jb) On the contrary, we seem to hell-bent on _creating_ the current mass 
> extinction.

That's in exact accordance with what I said.  We do not have the present
capability to prevent your scenario.  Like you, I believe we are in the
middle of a mass extinction of our own creation.  I don't think we are
able to stop that one at the moment, though I do have hopes for the
future.  But we do have the present ability to stop asteroid
extinctions, given a little warning -- which we can create for
ourselves.  Why should we ignore that ability?  I'd rather see a cup as
half full than half empty.

> I realize it's futile to hope for evidence that
> supports a particular poicy, but wouldn't it be better if it were
> discovered that meteor-caused mass extinctions were bunk: we need to tcb 
> right here, right now.

Hope is never futile.  It is the salvation of mankind because it
encourages us to keep on trying, whatever the odds.  Since we're talking
about hope, I'd rather hope that most of the major extinctions have been
due to something we presently have the ability to fix.  If that hope is
correct, it would do more to improve our long-term chances than anything
else that comes to mind.  But, needless to say, while one is putting out
the fire in the theatre, it is not provident to ignore the mudslide
roaring down the hill.

Most of us are in a new year now.  Let's all of us do what we can to
make the best of it.