During the Permian-Triassic period, approximately 251 million years ago, there was a mass extinction event resulting in the death of 96% of marine
life, and 70% of terrestrial life. This particular mass extinction took significantly longer for Earth to recover from then others. How is this
relevant to what we are talking about now? It is believed that a significant contribution to this event was global warming, possibly due to mass
volcanism. BBC produced the show The Day the Earth Nearly Died
Frozen methane pockets, specifically methane hydrate, would be released into the air with an increase of just 5 degrees Celsius. Methane is one of the
most potent green house gases, and this would have triggered a chain reaction triggering even higher global temperatures, causing other events to
happen. At the end of the cycle, over 95% of the species on Earth died out. This would amount to billions of deaths if you equate the numbers to human
How exactly would this affect us, the "superior" species on the planet? First, take into account the increased sea levels caused by melting polar
ice. We will experience stronger tropical storms affecting farther inland, an acidic ocean affecting our major oxygen producing plants, not to mention
the fish. This has all been detailed for those wishing to read the full report by the German Advisory Council on Global Change entitled
The Future Oceans - Warming Up, Rising High, Turning Sour
Let's review each of these in turns.
The shear devastation that a tropical storm can dish out was seen in New Orleans and India. Now, compound that globally, with a steady increase of
the percentage of populations living within the danger zone of coastlines. It is estimated that by the year 2030, 50% of the world's population could
potentially be hit by this. What is scary is how many people are currently living below what the new sea level would rise to.
It isn't just the increased sea levels, but rather the storm surges that would come with them. The amount of land affected by this is significantly
more then most people realize. The report I linked above has some photos showing the areas affected. People live in these areas... in very crowded
situations. Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York... gone.
To make matters worse, rivers and streams would become salinized, contaminating water supplies. The ground would absorb sea water, killing off plant
life farther in coast then where the water levels hit, as it would take thousands of years for the coast lines to reach a harmonic level with the new
sea level. Remember, this is dirt we are talking about, not the sandy beaches we normally see boardering us from the toxic plant poison known as salt
Scared yet? Wait, there is more. The coastline areas will be useless for growing food, due to the salinization of the ground soil. What about
further inland? Well, due to global warming, droughts inland will be commonplace. No water means no plants which means no food. Cattle farms will
be ruined. Agriculture will be nullified. In addition, the fish in the seas would be dying due to the acidic nature caused by the absorbtion of
carbon dioxide in the sea water (creating carbonic acid).
Food shortages will be commonplace. Flooding will be commonplace. So what is next? Disease. Taking Katrina as an example, look at the spread of
disease in such a short time period. Sanitation will be a problem, due to the lack of shelters needed to house millions (if not billions) of people in
areas that are not prepared. That many people in close proximity will cause any virus or bacteria to spread like wildfire, infecting a great deal of
people before a problem is even identified. And where there is people, there are rats... As cases of Bubonic Plague resurface in the US as well as
abroad, will we return to the Dark Ages? Think I'm joking? Then take a look
, or here
These are just a few recent examples.
People will be refugees from their own homes, yet the foodstuffs needed to survive will not be available. How do you distribute medicine to billions
when they can't produce enough for local populations? How exactly do you relocate billions of people? You can't. They will die off (relatively)
quickly, while the rest of us will die off a bit slower as food runs out.
At this time, I have not seen what my opponent's stance is, so I withhold any questions.