A business of the future

Image for post
Image for post
Kelp Forest (Modified by ArcheanWeb)) — By NOAA’s National Ocean Service — Kelp Forest, CC BY 2.0,

Louis Pelton could be a farmer of the future. Not the type of farmer who awakens each morning to till the land, milk the cows, or feed the livestock. But instead, the kind of farmer who rises early and takes his boat into the open oceans. He prefers for fish to roam free and not spend their lives in small fetid enclosures, and he has no interest in catching them. Ironically Louis’ business provides his onshore farming brethren with needed food and supplements for their traditional enterprises. …


Are we victims of our own malaise?

Image for post
Image for post
Laura takes another roof (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By 2C2K Photography CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

A friend of mine recently took a cross country drive along the southern edges of the United States. He ate up the miles, taking crooked roads into patches of vast, remote wilderness simply to ‘have a look.’ But from mid-Texas eastward, he kept to the straight and narrow, blowing down Interstate 10. This path took him through Houston, Beaumont, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Biloxi, and Mobile. He summed it up succinctly saying, “The 2020 hurricanes kicked the living shit out of them. They can’t even find a place to run and hide anymore.

We knew the initial hurricane outlook in 2020 indicated a busy storm season, but we didn’t understand how busy it would be. NOAA’s August 6th update predicted twice the usual number of named storms moving through Hurricane Alley by November 30th (the end of hurricane season). Hurricane Alley is a belt of warm ocean water stretching from North Africa to Central America. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms in Hurricane Alley, six of which become hurricanes. Typically, half of those hurricanes rise to Category 3 or above. The August prediction was for up to 25 named storms with 11 hurricanes, six becoming Category 3 or above. …


The MAGA Nation takes a psychotic break

Image for post
Image for post
Mass Hysteria (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Much has been and will be written about the 2020 elections. Events unfolding in the autumn of 2020 proved to be both perplexing and unnerving. Despite the political intrigue, bizarre psychological manifestations gripping the MAGA public have proven to be as interesting as any political aberrations. In a fictional piece I recently published called “Delusional Humanism,” I explored the subject of Hypnotic Mass Hysteria and the psychological underpinnings causing large groups of people to break with reality. I thought I would extend this thinking from fiction to reality.

The first term, ‘hypnotic,’ refers to circumstances in which an individual becomes subconsciously receptive to ideas from another individual. Mass refers, of course, to a large number of affected people, and hysteria characterizes an uncontrolled outburst of irrational behavior. …


A Thaddeus Barcelona Story — Segment 3

Image for post
Image for post
Hypnotic Spiral (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: Photo by Daniels Joffe on Unsplash

Previous segment: Eighteen

The message from Cranstone was clear; he wanted to meet before the end of the week. Thaddeus was familiar with Cranstone’s life equation and didn’t ask any questions. He simply set up a 5:18 rendezvous at the Pearl Bridge Bar for Thursday. Now Thursday afternoon had arrived, and Thaddeus was hurrying across the North River Botanical Garden grounds, headed towards the property’s NW corner. From there, he could slip through the gate and make his way along the riverbank to the bar.

He checked his watch as he scurried past the Pearl and along the walkway beneath the bridge. He had purposefully arranged an extra thirty minutes to do a quick check on the New Amsterdam greenhouse. He recently entered into a business arrangement with the owner, Grant, to act as a consultant. Additionally, he was licensing his patented Gaia Gold marijuana strain to New Amsterdam INC. for the product’s first commercial test. Grant had set out a quarter of the available greenhouse space for this crop, and Thaddeus was determined to make it a success. …


Why did the earth start cooling 34 million years ago?

Image for post
Image for post
Icehouse World (Source: Archeanweb — Public Domain)

Earth sweltered in greenhouse heat for 226 million years, starting in the late Permian and ending in the early Oligocene. Polar icecaps and ice sheets were unknown, and tropical plants often grew from pole to pole. Looking at images of Antarctica today, it’s hard to imagine a continent with tropical shorelines and warm ocean breezes. The perfect setting for an afternoon of sunbathing. About 55 million years ago, the average global temperature was 30 degrees Celsius, or 15 degrees warmer than today, and the Antarctic was a paradise. But 34 million years before the present, temperatures dropped, plunging the planet into a big chill, and we have been there ever since. …


Riding the Singularity

Image for post
Image for post
Departure (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, CC BY-SA 3.0 igo, Wikimedia Commons

Joel dreams, and he sees humanity tethered to the past, with humans floating like kites on strings, dancing in the winds of time. Technologies yet to be imagined build around us, integrating into our cellular structure and merging with our minds. Revolutionary and evolutionary genetics relentlessly and exponentially drive us towards a technological singularity, stretching our tethers to the past.

Momentum builds until the pressure explodes — billions of Homo sapiens ejecting into space and time, radiating outwards from the earth like a concentric sphere of souls racing into the unknown.

Our tethers stretch as we expand into the universe until they reach their limit, and we jerk to a stop — a concentric sphere, all of us, existing only as points of light against a backdrop of black matter. …


How Iron Cooled the Earth 20,000 Years Ago

Image for post
Image for post
San Pedro de Atacama (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Ancient, iron-rich dust played a role in global cooling during the last ice age. This theory is based on studying 18 sediment cores across the South Pacific Ocean between Chile, Antarctica, and New Zealand. The work identifies iron-bearing dust layers trapped in marine sediments. These dust layers were deposited about 20,000 years ago, during the Late Wisconsinan glaciation. This period corresponded to the last glacial maximum — the coldest part of the glacial cycle.

The iron-bearing dust, which contributed to global cooling, came from the Patagonia region of South America. This area has the environmental preconditions to produce dust rich in iron: high elevation, arid conditions, fluvial activity to move sediments through streams and rivers, and high levels of glacial activity during glacial intervals. …


The Exotic Oceans of Early Earth

Image for post
Image for post
Ediacaran Seafloor (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit By Ryan Somma — Life in the Ediacaran Sea Uploaded by FunkMonk, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Approximately 541 million years ago (mya), mysterious events unfolded in the earth’s ancient oceans. Weird, unusual, and almost unimaginable lifeforms seemed to suddenly appear in a brief period of hyper-evolution. This event is known as the Cambrian explosion, and it marked a major evolutionary shift. During the next eleven million years (541 mya — 530 mya), most of the animal kingdom’s major branches sprang into existence and gained a foothold in the biosphere.

Deciphering geological data to envision life half a billion years ago is somewhat like looking at a couple of pyramids, with fuzzy partially worn away hieroglyphics, and trying to understand the nuances of life in early Egypt. But even under those circumstances, you would still probably get a more complete view of early Egyptian society than we have of Cambrian age life. Notwithstanding the challenges, however, we have a better understanding of life in the Cambrian oceans than we do of life in the Precambrian. …


A Thaddeus Barcelona Story: Segment 2

Image for post
Image for post
Gaia Gold (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: Photo by Alex Person on Unsplash

Previous segment: “The Life Equation

Eighteen was a number currently of interest to Thaddeus. His basement apartment on Grove Avenue was an eighteen-minute walk from his office in the back of Greenhouse Number 9 at the North River Botanical Gardens. Since he started seeing Melonie several months ago, he learned her third-floor condo was also an eighteen-minute walk from his office but in the opposite direction from his abode. He used the term ‘office’ loosely to refer to a large desk his upstairs neighbors recently disposed of, which now occupied a small glass-walled room in the back of the greenhouse. …


Positive feedback is a real bitch of a problem

Image for post
Image for post
Soil, generating a second wave of warming (Modified by Archean Web) — Original Credit: Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

Most homes have a thermostat hanging on the wall in a convenient, central location. This little device connects to heating and cooling systems and regulates indoor temperatures. A thermostat constantly monitors the home’s temperature. If it detects the temperature has dropped below a programmed level, it turns on the heating system to warm the house back up to the desired temperature. This system forms a negative feedback loop where the thermostat responds to home environmental conditions, maintaining a warm cozy abode — if temperatures drops too low, the thermostat orders up more heat.

All in all, the thermostat provides a nifty little feedback system to maintain a constant home temperature. But suppose the system goes awry and works as a positive feedback loop. Then a temperature rise would be a signal for even more heat. Once this loop starts, the home would continue warming until the furnace ran out of heating oil. …

About

William House

Exploring relationships between people and our planet — Stories and articles promoting science, environmental awareness, and insights into the human condition.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store