An interview with Dr John Brandenburg
From Oracle, May 2000 Issue Interview with Monica Rix Paxson:
Life on Mars? Life on Earth? -- by Marie-Claire Wilson.
Reproduced with the permission of the publisher.
Earth, the third planet from the Sun, is situated between Venus, the second planet, and Mars, the fourth planet. Mars is the most important planet with respect to ours. We may not realize how fragile the planets are. Mars is showing effects of human pollution in space, and that in turn will have repercussions on Earth.
Has it been scientifically proven that life once existed on Mars?
The media has recently widely reported that its been demonstrated that life exists on Mars. The Moon mission that brought back some Moon rocks for our scientists to examine proved that these rocks have the same composition as Earth rocks. Meteorites are identified by their special composition, and they lend strong evidence that there is life on Mars. Recently, in addition to Dead Mars, Dying Earth, we became partners in the scientific discovery called oxygen inventory depletion, or OID, in which the Earths oxygen levels were discovered to be dropping. I realized that were running a serious risk that if the planet Mars died, it would mean a catastrophe for Earth and the Universe.
Describe the effects of global warming on our atmosphere and the link between decreasing oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide.
We are presently putting two billion more tons of carbon dioxide into the oceans each year than were entering the ocean before the use of fossil fuels. When extra carbon dioxide goes into the ocean, a large amount of oxygen is leached out of the water at the same time and released into the atmosphere. This will have a potentially disastrous consequence for ocean life. But now the atmospheric levels of oxygen are gradually dropping even though more and more oxygen is being forced into the atmosphere displaced by many billions of tons of oceanic carbon dioxide. We are thus covering our oxygen deficit by making huge withdrawals from the oceanic oxygen bank. Our actual reduction in atmospheric oxygen must be much greater. But we are really concerned with the possibility that one day the oceans will return larger amounts of the excess carbon dioxide stored in their depths to the atmosphere. While this is a worst case scenario, unfortunately it cannot be completely ruled out because no one knows for certain what the threshold conditions for carbon dioxide release from the oceans really are. And for the most part, if the carbon dioxide that is stored there escapes into the atmosphere, then we truly will have a catastrophe of epic proportions.
Is the recent increase in asthma due to increased carbon dioxide?
Yes, absolutely. The damage that is done to the environment will impact each of us. Carbon dioxide at slightly elevated levels may also negatively alter the ability of our bodies to utilize oxygen within our cells. A group of European scientists discovered that there are important bio-ecological problems such as the increase of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, and that affects humans and animals. Even slightly increased levels of carbon dioxide change our normal breathing, which can cause asthma.
Briefly, outline your plan for reversing the effects of global warming.
The world community should commit to accomplish the following by 2010:
- Develop fusion power. It is relatively clean and produces no greenhouse gases.
- Develop practical cars and reinvigorate a world-wide electrical rail transit system, along the lines of the European Union System.
- Pay rainforest nations for their oxygen production.
- Continue to aggressively develop solar energy.
- Fund a vigorous manned and unmanned space program.
- Ratify the Kyoto Protocol for all nations.
- Move closer to nature, and conserve and practice a lifestyle less dependent on fossil fuels and electricity.
- Put money for environmental problems wherever it can best reduce the worst problems on the globe.
- Create a Peace Corps comprised of members from every country and expand its mission to include a worldwide project to reverse the effects of global warming.
Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher.
This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
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