• The Earth is Sinking!

    by  • March 25, 2019 • Fiction • 0 Comments

    An essay by Imahl Whett, Institute for Aqua-tektonics, as provided by E. B. Fischadler
    Art by Justine McGreevy

    Try as we might, we can’t seem to avoid the frequent news stories or lectures by former politicians claiming to be climate experts asserting that sea levels are rising due to global warming. Dire predictions of major cities being flooded by 2050, or an existence depicted in the film Waterworld constantly scare us. Here, at the Institute for Aqua-tektonics, we have reason to believe that while the effect will be the same, flooding on a scale not seen since Noah was alive, the claims of rising sea levels are wrong. In fact, we have determined that sea levels are not rising, rather landmasses are sinking. In this paper, we shall explain the reasoning which makes this conclusion inevitable.[1]

    First, in order for the landmasses to be sinking, they must have at some time been floating. How do we know they are floating? The answer is continental drift. We speak of “drifting out to sea,” being “cast adrift,” and other such phrases. All clearly nautical in origin, hence related to floating objects.[2] So if there is continental drift, the continents must be floating. In fact, we believe the 70% of the earth’s surface that is covered by sea water is only that part of the earth where water is on the surface. The continents are hiding the water covering the remaining other 30%.

    So, how do we know the seas aren’t rising? Look up sea level. The definition hasn’t changed in ages. If one compares recent topographic maps to those made years ago, one sees that mountain peaks and other landmarks are at approximately the same height above sea level. So sea level hasn’t changed. If we are doomed to drown (or at least the coastal cities are), then the land must be sinking. OK, so there may be another explanation. But bear with me; there are other arguments for the land sinking.

    Ein Gedenkenversuch[3]

    One cannot determine by direct observation whether the sea is rising or the land is sinking; both appear the same. Consider this thought experiment:[4] You are in a ship,[6] water is filling the ship such that it is slowly settling into the water.[7] Unfortunately, you are in one of the bargain priced inner cabins with no windows. You first notice the carpet getting squishy, then the room filling like a bathtub, only real cold. Now, is the water level rising around the ship or is the ship getting lower in the water? Ignoring for the moment the fact that it doesn’t really matter,[8] you can’t tell. So we can’t determine if the sea got higher or the land got lower simply looking at the water pouring down Atlantic Avenue in Boston or ankle deep at the Fulton fish market in New York.

    The Weight of All That Water

    Perhaps the most compelling argument for the land sinking is the weight of the ocean. The total volume of seawater on earth is 1.5 x 10^21 liters. That’s hard to comprehend. One way to make it easier to grasp is if you had that much bottled water, and took the empties to a redemption center at 5 cents per,[9] you could buy Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson and still have enough left over to make your alimony payments. Seawater weighs about 64 pounds per cubic foot. Now converting 1.5 x 10^21 liters to cubic feet and multiplying by 64, you get a number way higher than the tax liability of the entire population of the United States. The point is this: what or who could lift that much weight? Since we are unable to think of anyone in that kind of shape, we are left to conclude the sea can’t possibly be rising.

    The Geological Record

    Geologists tell us that Earth’s magnetic North and South Poles were in very different places from their present positions. In fact, they were almost exactly opposite to where they are now. They can tell this from the alignment of certain mineral grains in the soil. In so doing, the geologists are assuming the continents haven’t moved over the time intervals over which the poles shifted. Consider this: maybe the magnetic poles stayed in place, and the continents shifted! We propose that the continents did a sort of flip, which changed their orientation with respect to the magnetic field as the geologists have found. Imagine a boat, with its right side facing north and its left side facing south. Now, capsize that boat (that is, flip it on its back). Once the occupants are accounted for, the right side would be facing south, and the left side would face north, much as the minerals examined by the geologists. Thus, we assert that the geologic record shows that the continents once capsized. How? Did thousands of wooly mammoths run from one end of the continent to the other? Nope. The same mechanism that is sinking them also flipped them like so many pancakes (discussed below).[10]


    Astronomy offers some pretty strong evidence that the continents are sinking; it’s just that the evidence has been ascribed to the wrong cause. Edwin Hubble noted that the spectrum of various stars is redshifted, that is shifted to lower frequencies. He ascribed this redshift to a velocity of recession of the stars and inferred that the entire universe is expanding away from Earth. What did we do to deserve this? Nothing; the Earth is not the center of the universe, and the rest of the universe is not fleeing from us. Rather than requiring the entire universe to move to explain the behavior of these tiny spectral lines, we note that the shift in these lines is due to the continents sinking. As the continents sink, they are moving away from the sky, hence away from the objects astronomers observe. Thus any light coming from these objects is redshifted by the sinking of the continent. Occam’s Razor tells us to accept the simpler explanation of things rather than add complexity to make a theory fit the facts. Isn’t it simpler to move a continent than the entire universe?

    GPS Satellites

    Now you say you’ve got the perfect counterclaim. GPS satellites have been used to measure continental drift. Shouldn’t a system capable of detecting such motion also detect the sinking of the continents? The answer is of course, yes, assuming the satellite measurements are referenced to an inertial coordinate system. In fact, because the satellites drift,[11] data on their orbits must be periodically adjusted to provide accurate information on their motion. The problem is that this adjustment is based on observations taken from observatories on the continents themselves. Any observation of continental sink is made after these corrections. So, as the orbits are adjusted relative to fixed points (observatories) on the continent, it stands to reason that any sinking motion of the continent would be absorbed in the correction, and thus unobservable by GPS. When the day comes that GPS is corrected relative to an outside reference (for example an observatory on the moon), the sinking of the continents would be detectable.

    Art for "The Earth is Sinking!"

    Now you say you’ve got the perfect counterclaim.

    This Sinking is Not New

    Any school child can tell you the story of Noah from the Bible. God told Noah to build an ark, because the Earth would be flooded, and Noah could save his family and as many animals as he could round up.[12] Hah! God said the Earth would be flooded–not that the sea would rise. He took the easier route and made the continents sink!

    So What is Causing this Sinking?

    By noting that all the arguments for global warming assert that it is an artifact of the industrial age we were able to narrow our search considerably.[13] In fact, we have discovered a mechanism that is an artifact of industry as well as our consumption of fossil fuel, same as all those folks who think the seas are rising. We believe that those who propose the seas are rising due to the use of fossil fuel were on the right track, but reached the wrong conclusion.

    Consider the vast amounts of fossil fuel we have brought to the surface–coal from mines and petroleum from wells. A recent publication[14] calculated 135 billion tons of oil has been brought to the surface since commercial drilling began. Add to that 3 billion tons of coal in 2016 alone,[15] implying that historical coal production is on the order of trillions of tons. That’s just fossil fuels. Now consider such materials as iron, lead, tungsten, all really, really heavy metals. Probably a gazillion tons of that stuff as well.[16]

    Where did all this stuff go? Somewhere on top of the world’s continents. Now how is it possible that this fantastic amount of stuff is piled up on the Earth’ continents and they still float? Simple–they don’t!

    What Can We Do About It?

    Well, for one thing, burn fossil fuels. All these folks who think we can save the world by stopping our consumption of fossil fuels are dooming us to drowning as the continents sink under the weight of all that coal and oil. One possible alternative might be to push all this stuff into the sea. Then there’s all the minerals we piled on top of the continents. Of course, if we want to keep all that metal from sinking, we also have to push all the skyscrapers in New York into the harbor, dump all our cars and planes and return to a wood based economy.[17] Just think, if all the buildings, cars, and planes were wood, we’d float forever–problem solved!



    [1] Inevitable? Who is this Evita? And what table?

    [2] Catch my drift?

    [3] In English, “thought experiment.” Scientific stuff always sounds more official in German.

    [4] Incidentally, Jimmy Durante wrote a song about Ein Gedenkversuch. The record execs couldn’t pronounce Ein Gedenkversuch, let alone spell it, so the song became Inka Dinka Doo.[5]

    [5] It just occurred to me that most people who got this far reading this paper don’t remember who Jimmy Durante is. For that matter, anyone who sticks with me on this probably can’t recognize their immediate family. Here’s a link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWqi9eWwXvk

    [6] No, not the Titanic.

    [7] If it was the Titanic, you wouldn’t be able to hear me explain this over the screaming and shouting. Besides, we want a sinking ship that stays level, more like Exxon Valdez.

    [8] Either way, you’re going to drown.

    [9] Of course, after drinking all that water you’re going to have to make a lot of stops along the way.

    [10] The mechanism, not the pancakes.

    [11] Hold on–does that mean the satellites are floating on water? (see prior argument about drift)

    [12] Do you suppose Noah was the first cowboy?

    [13] That’s five syllables and 124 points in scrabble–longest word yet in this sorry paper.

    [14] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507072830.htm.

    [15] https://www.iea.org/newsroom/energysnapshots/world-total-coal-production-1971-2016.html.

    [16] Here’s an interesting derivation of the numerical value: http://gregology.net/reference/gazillion/.

    [17] Some people want to do this anyway.

    [21] That’s an exponent, dummy, not a footnote.

    Imahl Whett of the Institute for Aqua-tektonics has been clean and sober for the last few days. Even so, he has published such elegant tomes as “Water ya think of That” and “Global Warming–Think of What We’ll Save on Heating Bills.” His papers are distinctive for their watermarks and being published in washable ink.

    E. B. Fischadler has been writing short stories for several years, and has recently begun publishing. His stories have appeared in Mad Scientist Journal, Bewildering Stories, eFiction, Voluted Tales, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, and Beyond Science Fiction. In addition to fiction, Fischadler has published over 30 papers in refereed scientific journals, as well as a chapter of a textbook on satellite engineering. When he is not writing, he pursues a career in engineering and serves his community as an EMT. Fischadler continues to write short stories and is working on a novel about a naval surgeon. You can learn more about Fischadler and access his other publications at: https://ebfischadler.wordpress.com/.

    “The Earth is Sinking!” is © 2018 E. B. Fischadler
    Art accompanying story is © 2018 Justine McGreevy

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