Monday, April 22, 2002
Searching the Web for Earth Day stories I came across this one at ABCNews.com entitled: "Is Venus Our Future? Scientists Seeking to Learn More About Earth Through Its 'Twin' " The piece is appropriately written by Amanda Onion -- because the thing stinks.
Anyone curious about what a worst-case global warming scenario might look like could peer through space to Earth's closest cousin: Venus.
Although Earth and Venus are very similar in size, mass and density, Venus is enshrouded in a thick layer of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid that traps heat in and leads to extreme warming.
This has made the planet hotter — much hotter.
Average temperatures on the cloud-choked planet average about 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The inferno-like conditions on Venus have led some to call it "Earth's evil twin." Researchers believe there is much we might learn about our own planet through Earth's darker, hotter twin and this week scientists from the European Union and NASA are meeting to discuss possible missions to Venus in 2005.
I don't doubt that there are things that we can learn from Venus' environment. But the way this article is written, it paints this picture that, if we don't stop it now, Earth will turn into another Venus. Of course, the article fails to mention one pertinent fact: Venus is 42 million kilometers closer to the sun than Earth is.
Color me skeptical, but maybe that has something to do with the proximity to the sun.