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Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 19:57:30 -0700
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From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: The Hamaker Hypothesis (2 of 7)

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                "Too Hot, Too Cold  --  or Both?"
                         Norman Cousins
                  The Christian Science Monitor
                          July 3, 1990
                             page 18
An interesting  difference of  opinion   --   not quite a sharply
defined public  debate    --    is  emerging  in  the  scientific
community over  the threat  to  life  on  this  planet  from  the
destabilization of the world's climate.

One group  of scientists  contends the  planet is steadily moving
towards  a   condition   of   over-heating.      A   buildup   of
chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's)  is causing  ozone depletion  in  the
atmosphere.  The depletion allows increased ultraviolet radiation
from the  sun to  enter the  atmosphere.  Adding to the danger is
the concentration  of carbon  dioxide from  burning fossil fuels.
Heat is  being trapped  on the  surface of  the earth   --    the
"greenhouse effect"   --  that would otherwise be irradiated back
to space.

Far less  familiar to  the public  are arguments  about a serious
earth cooling.  Scientists calling attention to this danger don't
necessarily  argue  against  the  effects  of  CFC's  and  carbon
dioxide.   More insistent,  they say,  is the  danger of  a rapid
cooling produced  by a  buildup of billions of tons of ice in the
Arctic and  Antarctic.   They assert  that  the  same  greenhouse
effect that  produces a  temperature increase  in the  equatorial
regions also  sucks moisture  from the  tropics.    The  moisture
condenses into  snow at the two Poles and adds to the vast burden
of ice cooling the polar oceans.  The mass quantities of cold air
are then  distributed by  oceans and  wind over the entire globe.
Thus, the  same increase  of solar radiation that causes regional
warming is  believed to  have the  ultimate effect of producing a
drastic cooling, with the realistic danger of a modern ice age.

Backing this  view is  a report  prepared by  the U.S.  Office of
Research and  Development.  The main finding is that the world is
cooling with  possibly  disastrous  effects.    "If  the  cooling
continues for  several decades,"  the report  said, "there  would
almost certainly  be an  absolute shortage  of  food  ...  (with)
increasingly desperate  attempts on  the  part  of  powerful  but
hungry nations to get grain any way they could."

As though  their grim  forecasts were  not enough, scientists are
finding correlations  between cold  weather and  the increase  in
earthquakes.   Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, in "Secret of
the Soil," published last year by Harper and Row, write that "ice
and snow,  accumulating at  the Poles,  press down on the planet,
causing it  to bulge  at the seams like a balloon.  This triggers
the  pre-stressed   earthquake  faults   into  slipping.    Hence
earthquakes.  It also causes volcanism  --  potentially even more
dangerous   --    by  squeezing  the  molten  magma  and  causing
eruptions.   The colder it gets and the more snow presses down on
the Poles, the more magma is compressed, and volcanoes act up."

What  is  more  interesting  about  these  ominous  forecasts  is
widespread agreement  that humans  need not  be victims  of them.
Tompkins  and   Bird  cite   a  1982   book,  "The   Survival  of
Civilization," by  John Hamaker  and Don  Weaver.    The  authors
called for  a "mosaic  program of world-wide remineralization and
re-forestation."    Glacial  gravel,  of  which  there  seems  an
infinite supply,  could be  ground up  for this  purpose.    Tree
planting  would  have  the  highest  priority.    Meanwhile,  the
National Resources  Defense Council  has scored  a victory in its
lawsuit against  the U.S.  Environmental Protection  Agency.  The
NRDC contended  the new  EPA regulations for protecting the ozone
layer against  ozone-depleting chemicals  were too  lenient.  EPA
agreed to issue more stringent regulations on the use of CFC's.

Most encouraging  is a  bill introduced  in Congress  by Rep. Ron
Dellums.   Titled the  "Emergency Climate Stabilization and Earth
Regeneration Act," it recognizes the threat of temperature change
and calls  for the  reduction of  atmospheric carbon dioxide from
the present 350 parts per million to 280 ppm.

The bill  also aims  at world-wide soil remineralization in order
to support  regeneration of  vegetation and  to produce  "natural
carbon sinks  that can  reduce atmospheric  carbon dioxide."  The
Act seeks  to accomplish  its purpose  within 10  to 15 years and
calls on the president to put the problem and proposed resolution
before the world.

What the ecological crisis dramatizes is how primitive our living
still is.  We are locked into national sovereignties.  It may not
be enough  for the  U.S. president to propose an ecology program.
We need  a world  conference to  make  the  great  crossing  from
national tribalism  to  world  community.    It's  not  just  the
environment that  requires  attention.    The  way  we  think  of
ourselves and our common destiny is critical.

The big question is whether we can recognize our common interests
as a  species ahead  of our obsessions as national warriors.  How
we identify ourselves may be the ultimate test of survival.

                        #  #  #

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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