A New Look at Earth Science
Rainforest in the Desert
(Rough Draft of a Forward of a new book by Max B. Frederick)
Copyright 1999, 2007 by Max B. Frederick
A pre-publication copy of the book may be available free for a few readers
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Lets imagine for a moment that we do not know all there is to know about Earth Science. The most exciting thing in the career of a scientist is a new discovery. Lets assume there are still things to be discovered. The purpose of this book is to inspire young people into the sciences by revealing the vast opportunities available for new discovery. Sometimes we impart to our students that scientists know everything and there is no room left for new discovery. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am not talking about far out abstract things like astronomy and relativity, but about science that affects our daily lives. Earth Science, the study of things at hand, is one of the most assumed to be completely understood, but may in fact be the least understood and have the greatest potential for discovery.
One of the secrets to making new discovery is looking at things in a different way or from a different viewpoint. For example, instead of calling carbon and hydrocarbons trapped beneath the surface of the earth “fossil fuel,” lets try calling it “fossil life.” There are two major types of fossils. The first type fossil is a mineral replacement of a previously living organism. In this first type there is none of the original carbon nor hydrocarbon of the original life. The second type fossil contains the original carbon or hydrocarbon that was the actual living organism. Calling the second type “fossil life” opens up the train of thought that if the material making up that original life were to be released, just that much more life building material would be restored to availability for the current living organisms to use to expand into the abundant rainforests of yesteryear. The release of “fossil life” leads to the “greenhouse effect.” . The release of “fossil fuel” leads to the dreaded “global warming.” Both are the identical process described in different terms. The idea of restoration of the abundant rainforests of yesteryear by the term “greenhouse effect” versus the doomsday ideas conjured up by the concept using the terminology “global warming,” opens up a completely new line of thought leading to new discovery.
One of those lines of thought might lead to the conclusion that the greatest disaster that ever hit this planet earth was the removal of life building material from availability by burial. The removal from availability of life building material may be the greatest factor in the disappearance of the rainforests of yesteryear. Burning of the rainforests only returns the hydrocarbons to the atmosphere where they are available for recycling into new rainforests, but burial removes the material from the cycle of life. Could it be that “fossil life” is the death of ecology? It may be that the removal from availability of life building material is what is plunging the ecology of this planet earth into the decline we are witnessing with it’s massive rate of extinction. Could it be that the restoration of fossil life to the realm of the living could save the rainforests? It may be that the only hope for saving the rainforests is to restore the material from which the rainforests are made.
Imagine the bumper sticker: “Save the Ecology, Drive an SUV.”
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