News item: Environmental scientists at England’s Liverpool John Moores University, writing in the journal Current Biology, present an interesting theory on what may have contributed to the increased warming of the Earth’s climate 150 million years ago. They think that large plant-eating dinosaurs, like the sauropods at left, and other equally enormous vegan creatures living at the time may have contributed mightily to that warming trend, referred to as the greenhouse effect.
“It is known that the time of these dinosaurs was warmer than now,” said David Wilkinson, the lead author of the paper. “If we are correct, then methane from sauropods may have been a contributor to this greenhouse effect.” The article went on to cite that methane actually is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, purported to be a leading contributor to possible present-day global warming.
Disturbing mental image. But wait, the article goes further, recalling an earlier published hypothesis by a French scientist – that the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by their own flatulence. Methane emissions from the giant beasts became so great that the climate changed, the vegetation withered and they all starved.
News item: This week an obesity specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported findings that today, just over a third of U.S. adults are obese and forecast that by 2030, that percentage will increase to 42 percent.
More disturbing, research recently conducted by Duke University finds that the obese are getting fatter. Severe obesity will double by 2030, when 11 percent of adults will be nearly 100 pounds overweight, or more.
Today, more than 78 million U.S. adults are obese. The new forecast suggests 32 million more people could join them in 2030.
So, let me see if I’ve got this right. Big dinosaurs begat fearsome farts begat global warming begat extinction. And it seems to be getting globally warmer around here, and more and more people are getting bigger and bigger …