“One Nation, Under Sputnik” – what If Sputnik occurred today …

Sputnik
Sputnik

October 1957

The Soviet Union announced Oct 4 that they – as part of the International Geophysical Year – had successfully launched an artificial satellite into earth orbit.  This creates a difficult situation for the USA, as:

1) If true, this means the Soviets have rockets which have the capability to deliver nuclear bombs to any location in North America.

2) The USSR gains substantial international prestige from the achievement.

 Sputnik ( meaning satellite) transmits a radio signal which has been monitored on earth.

The event has created great concern and anxiety in this country, and there has even been discussion of expanding our own satellite program.  Some members of Congress are reluctant to spend money on it, however, and some even question that Sputnik actually exists.  “This is just more Russian propaganda.  How could the Godless Communists have made such a technological achievement?”, asks a member of the House.  Another source critics of an expanded US space effort believe is an amateur astronomer who states the radio signals are not man made but emanate from a distant star.  “Why spend our tax dollars on something that isn’t even real?”

Spokespersons from the clergy question that God would have allowed such a thing to occur, and object to any new program.  To embark on such a mission would give more credibility to science and less to religion, they observe, and might even lead to the teaching of evolution in public schools.  What we need is more prayer, not more science and engineering they plead.  We must pray that the satellite is not real, and if it is, then for the safety of our country.

Post Scriptum: It has been observed that the launch of Sputnik came just a few years after the words “Under God” were inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and “In God We Trust” adopted  as the national motto.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_1

Carbon Dioxide Levels Just Hit Their Highest Point In 800,000 Years

never in the history of the planet have humans altered the atmosphere as radically as we are doing so now.”

shutterstock_72953344-638x514Source: Think progress

Author: Kiley Kroh

The concentration of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that drives climate change, hit 402 parts per million this week — the highest level recorded in at least 800,000 years.

The recordings came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which marked another ominous milestone last May when the 400 ppm threshold was crossed for the first time in recorded history.

402 ppm

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels spike every spring but this year the threshold was crossed in March, two months earlier than last year. In fact, it’s happening “at faster rates virtually every decade,” according to James Butler, Director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, a trend that “is consistent with rising fossil fuel emissions.”

400 ppm was long considered a very serious measurement but it isn’t the end — it’s just a marker on the road to ever-increasing carbon pollution levels, Butler explained in an interview on NOAA’s website. “It is a milestone, marking the fact that humans have caused carbon dioxide concentrations to rise 120 ppm since pre-industrial times, with over 90 percent of that in the past century alone. We don’t know where the tipping points are.”

When asked if the 400 ppm will be reached even earlier next year, Butler responded simply, “Yes. Every year going forward for a long time.”

While atmospheric CO2 levels never approached 400 ppm in the 800,000 years of detailed records scientists have, there is evidence that the last time the Earth experienced such high concentrations was actually several million years ago. Writing about the 400 ppm recording last year, climatologist Peter Gleick pointed to UCLA research “that suggested we would have to go back at least 15 million years to find carbon dioxide levels approaching today’s levels” and another article in the journal Paleoceanography “on paleoclimatic records that suggest CO2 concentrations (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) may have been around 400 ppm between 2 and 4.6 million years ago.”

But whether it’s 800,000 years ago or 15 million years ago, Gleick emphasizes that “the more important point to remember is that never in the history of the planet have humans altered the atmosphere as radically as we are doing so now.”

And this uncharted territory is something humans will have to navigate for quite some time because once its emitted, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere. In fact, Andrew Freedman explains, “a single molecule of carbon dioxide can remain aloft for hundreds of years, which means that the effects of today’s industrial activities will be felt for the next several centuries, if not thousands of years.”

Emphasis Mine

See: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/09/3424704/carbon-dioxide-highest-level/