BBC WORLDNET. 7:07 A.M.
Interview with Dr. Alice Finizio of the Jet Propulsion Lab by Connie Hasting. Hasting: Dr. Finizio, you've seen the pictures of people fleeing from coastal areas across the country and around the world. What would you say to those who have a beachfront home? Finizio: I'd tell them to stay in their living rooms, and watch pictures on television of all the foolish persons stuck in traffic jams. Hasting: then you don't think there's any danger? Finizio: There's always danger, Connie. I can't promise that a piece of rock isn't going to come through somebody's window. Or land in the ocean. But I'd be wiling to bet that the odds of getting killed are higher on the roads right now than they are along any shorefront. Hasting: Is there anything you are worried about? Finizio: Oh, yes. I think we're about to lose our tides. Hasting: That doesn't seem like a major problem. Finizio: It could be serious. This isn't my field, but we can be sure there'll be an impact on the ecosystems. Quite a few species won't survive when there are no more tides. Egrets, for example, will almost certainly become extinct. Hasting: I don't want to seem insensitive here, but I'm sure you'll agree, Doctor Finizio, that the loss of the egret will not be a serious problem for most of us. Finizio: Probably not. But everything is interrelated, There'll be a ripple effect. Remember, this won't be a gradual die-off, but an excision. On the order of introducing rabbits into Australia. Or shooting birds in the Dokotas until mosquitoes all but took over the area. We just don't know what'll happen long range. Or at least, I don't. Hasting: Is there anything else we need to worry about? Finizio: A substantial amount of particulate material will probably settle in the atmosphere. We could get an ice age. Hasting: Would that happen right away? Finizio: (Hesitates.) If it were to happen, I'd think the effects would be felt pretty quickly, yes. Hasting: I guess we wouldn't have to worry about greenhouse gases anymore. Finizio: Well, actually, there's a scenario that could lead into that area as well. Hasting: It doesn't sound like good news, Dr. Finizio. Finizio: (Cheerfully.) Well, there are always dangers. Which is why I advise your listeners not to worry. If the worst happens, we won't be able to do much anyway. But I think, in the short term, we'll be fine. The long term is what'll probably not be so good. But the long term is very long.