Can volcanic eruptions devastate entire continents – with poisonous gas for example?

Summary:  The recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland has prompted increasingly fevered discussion about the danger of a future eruption -- perhaps by Eyjafjallajokull's sister, Katla.  Might an eruption expel volcanic gases that poison much of Europe?  Just like Laki did in 1783-84.   Or not.  The stories have grown as they circulate around the Internet, … Continue reading Can volcanic eruptions devastate entire continents – with poisonous gas for example?

“2nd Iceland volcano issues warning” (Katla speaks to MSNBC’s newshounds)

Summary:  Today's fearful headlines about Icelandic volcanos from the news media and popular websites.  And the real story.  BTW -- "soon" means something different to geologists than laypeople. Disturbing:  "2nd Iceland volcano issues warning", MSNBC, May 2010 -- "Scientists say powerful Katla is ‘close to failure’."  The opening is misleading but the full article is accurate. … Continue reading “2nd Iceland volcano issues warning” (Katla speaks to MSNBC’s newshounds)

Might the current eruptions in Iceland become worse, affecting Europe – and perhaps our climate?

Summary:   The volcanic eruptions in Iceland reminds how geological events can make the works of man look insignificant.  Fortunately this happens seldom, as we reckon time.   This post discusses the possibility that the current eruption cycle in Iceland might become larger and more destructive. Much of the media discussion about the odds of the current eruptions becoming far … Continue reading Might the current eruptions in Iceland become worse, affecting Europe – and perhaps our climate?

The periphery of Europe – a flashpoint to the global economy

Introduction:  This is the fourth in a series of dashed off speculative opinions.  Normal procedure on the FM website for these topics would be 3 thousand word posts, supported by dozens of links.  I dont’ have the time to finish them, and too many of these outlines have accumulated in my drafts file.  Perhaps these will spark useful debate … Continue reading The periphery of Europe – a flashpoint to the global economy

A look at America’s future – grim unless we get smart and pull together

The current generations of Americans were born to affluence (most of them, that is), and few have any idea how quickly it can all go away.  As it did for Latin America -- rich after WWII, poor today.  Here are three articles foreshadowing a possible future for America.  All grim, all essential reading to understand … Continue reading A look at America’s future – grim unless we get smart and pull together