Saturday, January 22, 2005

today the world, tomorrow the solar system

tomorrow's earth today

From RedNova's feature on Titan, Lighting Up the Flammable Moon:

Titan is a world where bits of muck continually fall out of the smoggy sky, blanketing the frozen surface like dark gooey snow. Squalls of methane rain periodically wash the surface clean, sweeping the organic gunk into rivers. The methane rivers ferry the gunk down through hills of rock-hard ice, and empty into the valley below. "The region we landed in is more typical of arid regions on the Earth, like Arizona," says Martin Tomasco, Principal Investigator. "We had great difficulty obtaining these pictures. We had only one percent of the illumination from the sun, we're going into a very thick atmosphere with lots of haze that blocks light from penetrating to low levels ..."

Substitute carbon monoxide for methane and it kind of sounds like what the Earth will be like after another 100 years or so of "relaxed air-quality standards." No wonder Cheney keeping those pro-energy-industry task force meetings so secret. And that's why Bush gets on that "manned flight to Mars" kick every once in a while: the real estate's going to be a lot nicer there someday.