Elaine Meinel Supkis
Chinese scientists have confirmed the existence of an ozone hole like the ones over the poles. This has serious implications for the entire planet. For one thing, it makes living in the upper regions of the earth more dangerous due to dangerous cosmic rays damaging DNA.
BEIJING, May 4, 2006 (AFP) - Chinese scientists have warned a 2.5-million-square-kilometer (one-million-square-mile) ozone hole may be forming over the Tibetan plateau, state media reported Thursday.
While it does not yet qualify as a regular ozone hole, like the ones over the two poles, the area has seen a dramatic drop in ozone density in recent years, the Xinhua news agency said, citing China's Scientific Report journal.
The decrease in ozone over the plateau was caused by atmospheric air movements rather than the global greenhouse effect, Xinhua quoted the journal as saying.
"When low-ozone air currents in the lower layer enter the upper air layer, the overall ozone density is reduced."
Scientists have known about the thinning of the ozone density in the area at least since early this decade, but the report in the journal offers the most solid scientific evidence so far.
This is not good news. Many people feel that if they ignore these sorts of things we can then live happily. Well, actively destroying our home planet is not a good plan. There are obvious drawbacks. If what scientists have learned about the Permian extinction proves true, we could be heading into a situation whereby only very small animals hugging the lowest elevations will survive. Not a good prospect for humans.
Evidently, the entire ozone layer of this planet has been thinning thanks to human activities. This is something to be alarmed about. Only, like any ecosystem problem, asking someone to sacrifice so others may live is problematic. Obviously, someone using bicycles so others may drive bloated pleasure vehicles with impunity isn't an attractive solution, is it?
For some reason, quite a few people shut down the "let's take care of things" parts of their brains and they let the "whoopee! Let's blow it all up" sectors free rein. Oh, by the way, many writers these days have no idea what "free rein" means. So they use similiar words such as "free reign," for example.
My horse, Sparky can explain this: "Free rein is when I don't have those stupid leather strips yanking at the bit in my mouth! So I can run all over the place, looking for mares in heat! Or graze. Or roll over."
"Taking the bit in the mouth," refers to when horses simply ignore humans pulling on the reins usually when the human wants to stop a runaway horse.
And this is a runaway planet! And too many humans have taken the bit in their mouths and given themselves free rein. Not a smart idea.