I assume the earth is still spinning. I don’t view that as an alternate fact. I assume I would somehow notice if it wasn’t still spinning. (More)
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I wonder if it would make the news if it stopped. I wonder what Trump would say about it. I wonder if the right wing would blame us lefties and say God was declaring his judgement on the women’s march, or LGBTs, or Planned Parenthood, or health care as a right, or equality or civil rights. I wonder if the communications would still work so they could rush to the nearest radio or television mike to blame us. I know they would blame us.
I started pondering this question because lots of life is going on quite normally around me while my mood swings. I go from the joys of caring for my 5-month-old granddaughter (now teething and not happy) to scanning the news and trying to find some semblance of sense of the country I thought I lived in. My youngest granddaughter is my reality therapist and a very good one. Making her giggle makes me giggle. I sing to her and she smiles. Usually she only fusses when she is hungry. It is a simple, rewarding relationship. We need each other.
The political ‘news’ is not nearly so simple. I struggle to try and focus on what Trump is doing that distracts us from what he is really doing. I am hoping that he pisses off Putin and that videos compromising him emerge. Who knew at 70 I would be googling “golden showers?” Clearly I have led a sheltered life. With years of Human Resources and Benefits in my past, I watch the health care “replace” trial balloons and think that ignorance will crash the entire health care industry. One-sixth of the economy is now subject to uncertainty, the whims of politicians and sound bites full of empty promises. The optimist in me thinks such a crash could only pave the way for single payer. The realist in me wonders how many people will die for this.
I am, in a word, a “mess.” But, the earth is still spinning. Mother nature may just spit us out as destroyers that cannot be trusted to care for our home planet, but she would be justified.
Back to the original question. I googled “What would happen if the earth stopped spinning?” and went withthe answer from NASA:
The probability for such an event is practically zero in the next few billion years. If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth’s original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock. This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere.
If the process happened gradually over billions of years, the situation would be very different, and it is this possibility which is the most likely as the constant torquing of the Sun and Moon upon the Earth finally reaches it’s conclusion. If the rotation period slowed to 1 rotation every 365 days a condition called ‘sun synchronous’, every spot in the Earth would have permanent daytime or nighttime all year long. This is similar to the situation on the Moon where for 2 weeks the front-side is illuminated by the Sun, and for 2 weeks the back side is illuminated. This situation for the Earth is not the condition of ‘stopped’ rotation, but it is as close as the laws of physics will let the Earth get.
Okay then. I am not going to waste time on that question. Plus it is good to know that if it happened suddenly, I wouldn’t have to listen to the right wingers.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.