In the beginning, the future earth was but a molten mass of fiery gases. Like all corporeal worlds, its destiny was to begin in fire and end in ice. For 19th century science, this was a stable dictum—“A constant heat loss from a once fiery earth.” The flaming earth, of course, had to cool quite a bit before we could go for a walk in the park. But it is the steady and trifling loss of heat that concerns us most. According to Isaac Asimov, there is an “eighty-million-year trend of dropping temperature.” (It’s actually as old as the earth itself.) Certainly this natural and very gradual cooling is intrinsically tied to the simultaneous decrease in the planet’s rotational speed; for all young planets whirl about with a blooming velocity that Nature tames, little by little. Infant earth spun around her axis in only 14 hours. planet Earth, in fact, is no youngster, some scientists openly lamenting our “geriatric” globe, as witnessed by decreases in vulcanism, sky-falls, continent formation, rainfall, seismic activity, and rotation speed.
Of all the sacred cows that scientific fundamentalism “hugs forever” (William James’ phrase), the Ice Age—and now its stepchild, global warming—is among the most tenacious. Both “Ice Age” and “Global Warming” ask us to promiscuously abandon the age-old march of Geologic Time, i.e., the earth’s minute but incessant loss of heat, and install, in its place a recurring scene of universal refrigeration (ice ages) and, more recently, a frightening tableau of escalating temperatures (global warming).
The idea of Mother Earth changing her habit mid-career, of periodically freezing and thawing, like the ground in early spring, turning on and off throughout the aeons like a grand machine—came along, not surprisingly, at the birth of the Industrial Age; whose mechanistic way set the stage for our scientific models.
Let us begin with a brief look at the chaos of modern science whose glaring lack of consensus places their pet theories on thin ice, indeed.
Wildly conjectural and obscenely contradictory, these are the clashing “facts” of the Ice Ages, as set forth by our most notable deans of science:
Ice ages occur every 250 million years; no, make that every 250 thousand years; or, every 100,000 years; or “several hundreds of thousands of years;” or perhaps, 40,000 years.
When was the first ice age? 300 thousand years ago? 300 million years ago? A billion years ago?
How long do ice ages last? 100,000 years? “Tens of millions of years”? How many ice ages have there been?—ten of them in the last million years; four of them in the last million years; four in the last 600 million years; “five ice ages altogether.”
And when did the last ice age end?—6,000 years ago;—40,000 years ago;—11,000 years ago;—27,000 years ago;— 1,000 years ago.
If scientists are light-years away from agreeing on the vital statistics of ice ages, it’s for a good reason. There never was an ice age. School’s out.
So let’s scroll back 150 years and see why Charles Darwin was almost forced to fabricate ice ages. Father Darwin, it seems, could not account for the presence of the same animal species inhabiting the far reaches of both northern and southern hemispheres. How could cold-weather animals have traversed the equatorial zones? Or did they? Ultimately, Darwin postulated “advancing ice” to explain their presence in different corners of the world. Here’s how Darwin’s “ice ages” solved the stickiest zoological puzzle of the 19th century:
When the hypothetical “glacial period” descended upon the north, animals slowly migrated southward. During the next “interglacial” (warm period—The Big Defrost), some of those heavy-coated beasts returned north again, but others apparently remained in equatorial regions, finding refuge from heat in the cool mountains. And when the next “ice age” came along (this is the important part)—it came from the south. Some kind of alternating pattern.
Well, those animals ensconced in the southern highlands climbed down from their wuthering heights for warmer pastures. And, as Darwin reasoned, when the next “interglacial” warm set in, those same beasts moved to higher (southern) latitudes to beat the heat. This, then, solved the riddle of identical animals—of a single and common origin—residing at the cooler latitudes of either hemisphere.
Questions, though, spring to mind: Why does one “ice age” advance from the north and the next one from the south (pole)? The northern and southern glaciers, Darwin observed, were not simultaneous. Rather, they took turns. The Permian glaciation, Loren Eiseley notes, was unlike the “ice age just passed, confined primarily to the southern hemisphere.” Others have noted that while Europe and North America were experiencing cold conditions, there was “anomalously warm weather in the South Atlantic and Antarctica.” But there is nothing “anomalous” about it, for even Darwin recognized that the different regions of the earth take turns being icy. Take Antarctica, for example. I doubt Darwin would have been surprised (as was the world) when the 1912 Scott Expedition to Antarctica turned up seven seams of coal on the frozen continent at a chilling 85 degree latitude. Indeed, analysts tell us that the land now at the South Pole was formerly at a different latitude, in a temperate zone.
The continents have moved!
The Arctic Circle gives up abundant “fossil evidence for subtropical conditions.”
Table 1. Warm-weather species buried in the far North
PLACE FINDS Arctic Circle fig palms Spitsbergen, 78° N warm-sea animal fossils; sequoia trees (petrified) corals and coal beds New Siberian Islands forests; luxuriant vegetation North Greenland magnolia trees Alaska bones of lion, elephant, and rhino Yorkshire, UK cave bones: immense tiger, rhino, hippo Northern Black Sea river delta muds & rich lands (from cores)
The mirror-image of these facts gives us cold-weather species in tropical and temperate climes: “boreal” burials in Maryland, reindeer bones in southern France and the Crimea. In the same vein, there are “glacial” markings in Brazil and South Africa, and huge depressions (as if made by ice caps) at Sudan Basin and the Caspian Sea. But the idea of ice sheets descending from the pole, thus inaugurating an “ice age,” must be ruled out at once. Because some of these ancient glaciers (Indian, African) moved from the equator, not toward it. And because there were many centers of ice, flowing in all directions. The mystery, though, is instantly dispelled once we study the “migration of the poles.” But the phrase may be misleading; call it instead oscillation wherein the north and south poles trade places, moving at a constant rate over hundreds of thousands of years. This steady roll through the latitudes (think of a lazily rolling beach ball) is exactly the same thing as “pole shifts”—the well-known magnetic reversals.
Given an oscillating earth, glacial ice never “advances;” no, it is only the north-lying landmass slowly sailing further north, in this inexorable planetary shift, that creates the illusion of advancing ice. James (“The Colonel”) Churchward has clearly shown the impossibility of glaciers slipping down to North America’s 40th parallel (to Kansas, Ohio, etc.). Sliding up the Labrador, Adirondack, and Catskill Mountains? I don’t think so. Even the Mohawk and Hudson valleys would have stopped them, anchored them.
Otherwise put: None of Mother Earth’s landmasses is where it once was. All the continents have made passage through the polar places, through the equator, through the latitudes. Thinking they are citing “ice ages,” the record reports past glaciers in British Guiana, equatorial Africa, etc. But it also tells us that India, South America and Australia were once at the South Pole! We realize, too, that at the end of so-called ice ages, glacial melting would predictably raise sea levels. This, however, is not the case. In fact, the “past few million years have been a time of steadily decreasing ocean volume.”
The “bizarre, fantastic, mythical… chi-merical and silly… grotesque and impossible” (Churchward) ice ages have spawned a circus of spectacular guesswork to account for the planet’s “periodic deep-freeze events.” Cruel and unusual are the catastrophic theories—asteroids or comets smashing into the planet, their “dust” obscuring the sun— theories which totally ignore the “very regular” changes of climate zones. Space junk bombarding the poor earth has been trotted out to explain everything from ice ages to the moving continents to the massive “K-T” extinctions (at the end of the Cretaceous). Other well-imagined explanations for ice ages:—Cosmic rays (a Danish theory) may effect cloud cover—continents may change their altitude (going up!). Too few greenhouse gases may cause the temperature to drop (Asimov). Or stoppage of igneous activity may be the culprit (Agassiz). Or ocean temperatures. Or volcanoes. Or…
“The concept of the ice ages has no explanation itself.” – Immanuel Velikovsky
With open season on the cause of the putative ice ages, the science cabal threw in and found a respectable cause: plate tectonics. Such luminaries as Sir George Darwin (Charles’ son) and Lord Kelvin were part of the stimulating debate on earth’s crust and the displacement of continents. But the wanton play of tectonic slippage proved to be shaky ground, incapable also of explaining the regular migration of the poles. Then, after pole shift was confirmed in the 1950s, theorists cottoned to axial explanations for ice ages, giving us to understand that “wobble” caused great ice sheets to spread from the poles. The deficiencies of axial wobble next relented to orbital theories espousing the ability of “orbital variations [to] control the growth and decay of ice sheets.”
But none of the above could account for the Australian pole, the Indian pole, the South American pole, the South African pole, or the Saharan pole, discovered by 20th-century geophysicists.
The only hope of unraveling these mysteries of the earth, these creeping continents, lay in the new science of Pole Shifts. Reversed polarity. Magnetic “flips.” “When north becomes south.” Our planetary somersault. The first leader of the IGY South Pole Station, Dr. Paul Siple, sought to explain the shifting of the poles by “a certain oscillation of the earth itself.” Yes! Why do the different regions of the earth take turns being icy? Because each must traverse the magnetic poles in due course, according to the law of oscillation.
Position, they say, is everything in life. Determine the shifting position of each climate zone with respect to the magnetic pole, and you are on the way to unriddling many a climatological puzzle.
“The permanence of the geographical poles in the very same regions of the earth cannot be incontestably established.”—Schiaparelli
In the generation following the great Schiaparelli, the Austrian meteorologist, Julius Hahn, would declare, “Earth’s axis of rotation has not always had the same position.” It is this gentle oscillation—and not some apocalyptic, Chicken Little scenario—that gives us, in time, magnetic reversals.
“…every portion of the earth hath been to the…north and to the south. Which is proven in the rocks and boulders…of the earth.”
These are rocks and boulders of peculiar “inverted polarity” that zig when they should zag, i.e., magnetite, hematite, and other fossils whose grains retain the direction of the earth’s field at the time they were formed. Lining up like tiny compass needles, these silent record-keepers have proven that “during the Tertiary, the north and south geomagnetic poles reversed places several times…. In other words, the planet has rolled about.”
Far from the doomsday spin on pole shifts, reversed polarity is a natural mechanism that allows the earth its counterpoise, preventing top-heavy icecaps from deforming, imbalancing its globular shape. Yet science is at a loss to explain magnetic reversals. “No good explanations.” “Stubbornly inexplicable.” “We just don’t know.”
But what is this blithe confession of ignorance, if not the obstructionist rule of hidebound science?
Most recently, residents in the high arctic have been reporting an earlier sunrise, more daylight, and winter-dark ending earlier (April sunlight in February). Ignoring these obvious signs of a different orientation of the far north, spokesmen conjure instead the bending of light rays, supposedly producing an optical illusion of sunrise!
But the only “bending” here is the bowing to doctrine and dogma, and twisting of solid evidence.
Remove the blinders, and a simple fact remains: the continents refuse to stay put! Why was north Asia once green and temperate, the Gobi Desert a “springtime paradise”? Why was Europe covered in tropical vegetation and Iceland tepid and arable? Why were Alaska and Canada at the equator in the Triassic? What are ancient forests doing under the Arctic? Icesheets in South Africa? Frigid temperatures in Caribbean cores?
Perfectly aware of the perpetual interchange of climate belts, analysts readily describe them as “marching up and down the continents like so many armies surging back and forth in battle…” But not because of “advancing” or “retreating” glaciers. And not because of any violent temperature change. Never a sudden jump or backward step or cruel turnaround for clement earth who calmly provides diversification for her children —the continents.
Before we use the term “global”—whether for ice or warming—let us consider the facts that glaciologists themselves hand us: Siberia, for example, was ice-free at the time that places like Missouri and Ohio were covered in ice. Regional ice only. Remember the discordant figures (above) for the end of the last “Ice Age”? (ranging from 1,000 to 40,000 years ago) Again, discrepancies merely reflect regional differences, whispering also that ice is never global, never universal, never an “age.” One of the most remarkable proofs of this fact (i.e., regional ice only) comes to us in the form of ancient artwork (ca. 20,000 bp) clearly depicting the co-existence of—man and dinosaur, the latter allegedly extinct for 65 million years! Only regional differences in temperature could allow “dinosaurs to live…until much more recent times [here in South America] than in the rest of the world.” A word on extinctions: If ice ages were a reality, wouldn’t you expect them to be the cause of the major species kills? Not according to Geologic Time, which places the die-offs at the boundaries of the eras—Paleozoic, Mesozoic, etc.—then leaving the cause of extinction open to speculation. Official versions notwithstanding, the so-called ice ages would have killed off not only lots of animals but also the early hominids—man’s naked “ancestor”!
Mankind, having conquered so many of Nature’s vagaries, now finds himself poised for some kind of final battle with—climate. And we wonder—why should global warming be such a “hot” issue if the next ice age is “long overdue”?
But don’t sweat it; no one on this aging and cooling planet should lose sleep over global warming or ice ages.
Because it is humbug.
And because—shift happens.