How long was it before the BP oil spill became its own theory of the end of the world? What started as a simple typical doomsday theory has blossomed into a far more convincing and elaborate hoax backed not only by psychic doomsday prophets, but by harder sciences as well. But is this just another elaborate scare tactic set off by those craving attention? Or is there something more to it this time?
It all started some 251 million years ago, according to geologists with something called formally the “Permian extinction event” and informally “The Great Dying.” The event was the only known massive extinction event of insects at one base of the food chain and traveled all the way up to several larger species. The event lasted several years and ultimately resulted in the deaths of some 96 percent of all life on Earth. Those that survived were the strongest or most adaptable of species. It was the single greatest apocalyptic disaster known today.
But why do so many people believe the Great Dying is about to make a comeback? That’s where the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum comes in. Called LPTM for short, this event happened when a massive methane explosion bulged up from the Gulf of Mexico and essentially caused another massive extinction event. The disaster scenario suspected to come from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to be similar to the LPTM, which lasted some 100,000 years. Since BP drilled down into the geologically unstable area around the Gulf of Mexico, some are suggesting this could have a cascading effect that ultimately results in another mass extinction event.
Not only is the BP rig leaking oil, but there is a gash leaking oil out as well ten miles from the rig. This gash is said to be leaking oil as well. And that’s not all. Though this is unconfirmed, there are reports that have not been traced to any official statement suggesting that the sea floor in the Gulf has risen some thirty feet due to pressure from something, though what exactly is unknown. Some are suggesting this could be the methane pushing its way out.
Not being a geologist, it would be irresponsible to give this fear any more leverage than the science warrants, but as the pressure builds on the media for answers the coast guard has placed a penalty on any reporters caught investigating the area of no less than $40,000 and possibly more heavy fines compounded on top of that. A media blackout on this matter does seem a bit unusual, though there may be other factors involved the public is unaware of. This isn’t to say a media blackout is warranted, simply that we do not know the motivating factors behind it.
So is the doomsday scenario illustrated by certain groups warranted in this case? The only words of solace that come to mind are to point out that hundreds of major doomsday scenarios have come up over the past several hundred years. And of those, the world hasn’t ended yet. Even a massive disaster of far reaching proportions has never extinguished all life on the planet. Mass hysteria, on the other hand, has had massive negative repercussions consistently for all those involved. Keeping a cool head and gathering information from logical sources never hurt anyone. And anyone who knows how different things can be from decade to decade will always be prepared for the world to change.