Civilization exists by geologic consent–subject to change without notice.
Apparently there is some controversy about whether Will Durant ever actually wrote that quote. But that doesn’t really matter to geologists. We know it’s true. Just ask the ammonites, or the residents of Pompeii.
But how, exactly, might the death and destruction occur?
And if the volcanoes of recent history are too tame, consider the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. The asteroid impact gets most of the press these days, but Chris (yorrike) at Good Schist points out that the volcanoes of the Deccan Traps did a number on the ammonites first.
And I wasn’t killed by the Loma Prieta earthquake (as you might have guessed), but I was shaken up a bit.
Hazards in general
It isn’t just gravity. As Jim Repka at Active Margin points out, we wouldn’t be able to live without disequilibrium. That’s right. Thermodynamics is also out to get us.
And then there are the hazards of field work…
Those of us who live in arid or semi-arid environments know that the sun is not always our friend. Especially at noon in the summer. Lounge of the Lab Lemming has more about deadly evapotranspiration.
So watch out.
The next edition of The Accretionary Wedge will be on November 15. Kevin Z at The Other 95% will be hosting the carnival, with a theme of “Geology and Life.”
Also, an announcement for any geo-bloggers and lurkers who will be going to the GSA meeting in Denver in a few weeks: there are plans afoot for a geo-blogging meet-up/dinner on Sunday night. Ron has offered to make dinner arrangements. Keep a look out for the final arrangements.
Edit: I’m adding other posts as they come in. So far, Jim Repka has added dire warnings about equilibrium, and Dr. Lemming tells of the dangers of evaporation.