Professor StePHen Hawking this week suggested ‘climate change deniers’ take a trip to Venus to experience what runaway global warming looks like. He has even offered the fair.
His view about why the temperature of the planet known as the bright morning/evening star is so high - at 462 degrees, it’s hot enough to melt lead - chimes with the modern scientific consensus. However, there is an alternative narrative, as there usually is with these things.
Although Immanuel Velikovsky’s (1895-1950) theories about Venus (see his book Worlds In Collision) has been rubbished by most of the scientific community, aspects of it remain plausible.
Velikovsky posited Venus began life as a comet, ejected from the planet Jupiter and that, after heading toward the inner solar system, it interacted with both Mars and the Earth, before settling into a fairly circular orbit.
His theory has Venus as a relatively young planet, which is still in the process of cooling and while critics of the theory rounded on the problematic notion of a body as large as Venus being able to escape the massive gravity of Jupiter, revisionists have suggested rather than smashing into (and through) the Jovian atmosphere, Venus may have passed close by to the gas giant, which would have the same effect of melting the planet, before sending it on its way again.
The origin of Velikovsky’s theory is bound up with myths from all over the world, many of which tell similar stories about the birth of Venus. The Greek version has Zeus (Jupiter) swallowing Metis, the mother of Venus and then ‘giving birth’ to Athena (Venus). It’s also worth noting there is little mention of Venus in antiquity, prior to about 1500BC. At this time, Venus as a comet is said to have passed close by to the earth (also the time of the world’ biggest volcanic eruption, Thera, and the Biblical plagues.
Interestingly, this was also when many cultures across the globe gave up their 360 day calendar in favour of the one we have today.
Critics lambast this theory because it does not fit with ‘received wisdom’ and Hawking obviously subscribes to this view.
There is not room here to dig into the detail but suffice to say, there’s a theory out there which runs counter to the modern consensus, so when scientists blithely cite Venus as an example of ‘global warming gone mad’, they are basing such statements on assumptions which have not yet been proven either way.
I’m just saying...
Log burners and Rita Ora
So, this war on log burners, heavily hinted at by government ministers... I mean, seriously?
Let me get this straight... the world is almost on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea, the sea is full of plastic, the US has an (allegedly) racist and sexist president whose incompetence seems to reach new heights on a daily basis, there’s Brexit, of course, ‘fat cat’ bosses, asteroids which keep nearly hitting the planet, parking wardens, programmes like Celebrity Love Island, ... and they want us to stop burning logs.
Think calm thoughts. Think calm, happy thoughts. Ommmmmm.
In a complete change of tack - and nothing to do with either log burners or Stephen Hawking - I want to turn the focus now to Rita Ora, whose most recent song contains the lyric, Just take me anywhere, take me anywhere
Anywhere away with you...
Which got me thinking... how about Batley? She says ‘anywhere’, so let’s go to the heart of the Heavy Woollen district for a cuppa tea and a slice of toast. Either that or a pork pie.
I mean, I wonder if Rita Ora would be happy with that? Or whether she is dreaming of somewhere a bit more exotic? If so, I think she ought to insert a line into the song to qualify the situation, such as: Just take me anywhere (except Batley), take me anywhere (except Batley)... Anywhere (except Batley) away with you...