Only 800 Billion Years to Doomsday

'Fossil Bill' Kramer, the 'Angry Environmentalist,' began appearing as a regular monthly columnist in June 1996. Bill has passed away but he continues to be missed by many. His columns can still be found on the Internet, but we decided to re-publish all of the columns we re-printed, with permission, on the Clearinghouse.

The Angry Environmentalist Speaks Out:
Act Now to Save the Earth: ONLY 800 BILLION YEARS TO DOOMSDAY
by "Fossil Bill" Kramer
On Wings August 1996 2:8

It's not enough that we poison the air and water so they're unfit to breathe or drink, or that we ravage the landscape so everywhere one looks there is desolation. Now NASA researcher Dr. Benjamin F. Chao reports that the earth's rotation has changed by 0.000008 (eight millionths) of a second per day due to storage of vast amount of water behind dams in the northern hemisphere.

His report, published recently by Science News, concludes that these artificial barriers to the natural flow of rivers also have nudged the planet off balance, moving its axis of rotation 60 centimeters away from the North Pole. Could it be that your giddy spells are due to planetary wobble?

Regardless, this, coupled with global warming, is undoubtedly responsible for the extremely cold temperatures and record snowfalls experienced in many parts of North . America during the past winter.

Chao's findings demonstrate just how precarious the balance of nature is. Upsetting it, as we have by denuding the planet of forests, wetlands, grasslands, deserts, wildlife, and more recently by erecting giant dams, will bring total disaster upon future generations. Shouldn't we have at least some compunction about what we are doing to posterity?

Since most major dams were built in the past 80 years, the rate of the earth's axial tilting has been incredibly rapid. Unless something happens to curb the construction of artificial reservoirs and lakes, in just 7 million years the planet will wind up completely on its side.

Still more frightening is the pace at which rotation is slowing. If the current rate of change continues, in less than 800 billion years an entire day will fly by in only 8 seconds instead of the present 24 hours.

Together, these manmade disasters would dwarf all previous calamities including even natural prehistoric extinctions and the disappearance of dinosaurs. In fact, with the planet spinning as rapidly as one complete rotation every 8 seconds the only life that could possibly survive would be that located very close to the poles. The rest would all have spun off into space.

Along with rivers, mountains, and whatever little might remain of old growth forests. Incredibly, this development appears to have been entirely overlooked by powerful environmental groups. Dirk Bryant, World Resources Institute, Washington D.C., was chagrined that his office was unaware of it. Likewise. it was news to the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation and a number of other groups my wife and I contacted.

All professed grave concern. The editorial office of Science Magazine, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, expressed dismay that such a momentous announcement in a competing publication had escaped their notice. I spoke at length with Dr. Chao and his associate, Dr. Herbert Frye, at NASA. Both confirmed the details. Dr. Chao said he undertook .the study to see how manmade structures might be influencing the planet. He said that, while relatively small, human-caused axial tilt and changes in the earth's rotation will have long-term effects exacerbating global warming.

Dr. Frye pointed out, "If we would take all the water out of dams, it would undo what's been done. But," he added, "if we do it suddenly, I don't know what other effects might occur." In other words, while many environmental zealots want all dams dismantled and the free flow of water restored, this might inflict even more damage than we've incurred by tilting the planet's axis 60 centimeters and increasing its rotation by 8 millionths of a second per day. Nevertheless, there's no question we should act promptly to avert the total debacle which lies ahead.

Since current green groups have foolishly let this incipient disaster slip by unnoticed, a new non-profit known as STEADY!!! (acronym for: Stop Toppling the Earth, Abandon Dams Yet!!!) is being formed to undertake responsible corrective measures.

Under the auspices of the "Fossil Bill" Foundation (also being formed), the Kramer Charitable Trust (to be organized in the near future), and through the generosity of Kramer family donors (who request anonymity), STEADY!!! will have an initial funding of $10. This, of course, will have to be substantially augmented by support from millions of folks anxious to atone for the greed and thoughtlessness of loggers, farmers, miners, hunters, cattle grazers, auto producers, dam builders and others who are despoiling nature.

To expedite action, a STEADY!!! Legal Defense Fund also is in the works. With all life clearly imperiled, it's important that court actions to invoke the Endangered Species Act begin without delay.

Concerned citizens can contribute to this outstanding cause by sending checks in the amount of $100,000 or more to NONSENSE (Now Or Never, Serious Efforts Needed to Save the Earth), Box 146, Silver Bay, MN 55614. For personal thank- you, enclose self-addressed stamped envelope.