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Opinion - Carine Knapen

We have often heard absurdities in the last 3 years. There is no brake on the media's imagination. What they all come up with ... oh boy.

One thinks, for example, of the multitude of articles in which the media make an attempt to explain the ongoing excess mortality and the many sudden deaths since 2021 and its warnings of what all you can get a heart attack from : showering too long, sleeping in the wrong position, sleeping too long, tying your laces... The list of absurd explanations is endless.

The sharp increase in turbo cancers is of course also explained by what, we humans, do or don't do.

We used to have to apply sunscreen to avoid skin cancer, now it turns out that sunscreen contains a substance that is carcinogenic. According to the WHO, aspartame may also be carcinogenic while since the 1980s it was claimed that it was not harmful. And so on and so forth.

Needless to say, the climate problem is also our fault. That our atmosphere contains barely 0.04% CO2 ( proven ) and man's share is barely 4% ( of that 0.04% ) is totally irrelevant. That solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars are not green at all, the yield and lifespan is very limited and the cost and pollution many times higher than what man, industry and agriculture cause by current means, is equally totally irrelevant and, moreover, is being hushed up.

The latest in the long line of absurdities is the claim that man has pumped up so much groundwater from the earth between 1993 and 2010 ( not after that ? ) (2150 gigatons, yes they know that very precisely ! ), that the poles have shifted 80 cm in 17 years, tilting the earth.

Seriously ?

VRT and its mediator Lieven Verstraeten urgently need to read up on science or read the scientific articles by their colleagues at BBC, The Guardian, CNN, National Geographic et al, or yet, the EU Commission, ESA, NASA. These have also published quite some on the matter. The internet is full of information. If reading requires too much effort, a chat with an ATPL pilot can also do wonders. Reading nothing and not informing oneself before publishing absurd disinformation shows intellectual laziness unworthy of a journalist. They might as well close the outlet then.

The earth is a living planet. Since its creation, untold numbers of natural phenomena have occurred. These, of course, did not stop at the advent of modern man ( roughly 2,000 years ago, which is by the way nothing on the earth's timeline ). Mother planet did not say to herself at the start of the first industrial revolution ( just after WWI ) : " ah, polluting man is here, now I'm not going to do anything anymore". In other words : the earth remains a living planet where natural phenomena continue to occur as usual. Mankind cannot do anything about it.

If tomorrow the Gulf Stream stops or moves to the southern hemisphere we will have another Ice Age here in no time. If the Gulf Stream moves more upwards into the Northern Hemisphere ( which it does by the way ) the climate in the North will get warmer and we can plant palm trees everywhere ( like in the South of England where the Gulf Stream passes ).

When the iron/nickel Earth's core stops spinning, accelerates or slows down or, as CNN revealed in January 2023, after a pause, starts spinning in the opposite direction, it has an impact on the Earth's magnetic field. In the first case, the magnetic field largely falls away.

During my pilot training, I learned that all airports in the world change the degrees of the approach routes ( which are listed on the runway ) every 5 years because the magnetic North is constantly shifting relative to True North. In 2009, Magnetic North was somewhere in Siberia. It continues to shift further every year. Until the 1990s at a rate of about 15 km per year and since then at a rate of 50-60 km per year.

With this knowledge in my pocket, I started reading up on the matter in 2009 because, of course, I wanted to know why, why the magnetic North is shifting and what the consequences of this are. And in this, I am far from alone. Science has been investigating this since 1831.

The " tilting " of the earth ( to be understood as the shifting of the axis ) is a natural phenomenon and cyclical. It has occurred many times since the creation of the earth. The result of the axis moving up is a water displacement, in some places the water rises, in other places the water level drops. This happens very slowly, a few mm per year, but viewed over a period of a few thousand years, it is very clearly visible and measurable. This natural phenomenon has created the Mediterranean Sea, for instance, and other seas have disappeared. Continents tore and drifted away from each other and continue to do so. Think of Pangea and how it is now. Ice coring, by the way, has also shown that the poles have been switched several times ( N becomes Z and vice versa ). It is incredible ( stupid ) to make people believe that a natural phenomenon that is cyclical ( and has long been proven ) and put this on the hood of mankind.

Here are a few more data to illustrate how ridiculous vrt's claim is :

- the earth has a diameter of 12,714 km;

- 70% of the earth is covered with water;

- the earth's crust is 60 km thick, fresh water is in the first 200-300 meters and covers barely 2.5-3% of the total water volume;

- 97% of all water is salt water in the oceans that go up to 11 km or 11,000 meters deep ( the Mariana Trench is the deepest measured place on Earth ); if the Earth had no relief, this water would cover the entire surface of the Earth with a 2.7 km deep layer

- the total amount of water on Earth in oceans as salt water and in fresh water combined is about 1.35 billion km3, i.e. a cube of 1 by 1 km x 1, 35 billion ( of which 2.5 to 3% is fresh water );

- 2150 gigatonnes of freshwater consumption over 17 years is negligible compared to the total amount of water on the planet, especially since these water resources are constantly replenished by evaporation and rain.

- 30 times more water falls on earth every year than the atmosphere can hold at most.

By the way, the unit of measurement used by Vrt is wrong. Water is not calculated in tonnes or gigatonnes but in liters, hectoliters or gigaliters. 1 gigaliter : 1 billion liters. 2150 gigaliters is 2150 billion liters. One km3 contains 1 trillion liters ( 12 zeros ), so fresh water consumption over 17 years is 0.2150 km3 of the 1.35 billion km3 of available water quantity. Does more need to be said ?

In the hypothesis that not a drop of rain would have fallen in those 17 years and the system of evaporation would not exist, then 1) there would still be billions of liters of freshwater reserves and 2) freshwater consumption would not have any impact on the state of the earth.

On the other hand, the last absurdity of the story: those 2150 gigatons /gigaliters ( and there is a difference but we forget that for the sake of convenience ) did not suddenly disappear in one go but spread over 17 years ( and each time supplemented supra ); In the impossible hypothesis that 2150 gigatons of freshwater would suddenly be pulled out of the 60 km thick earth's crust in one go, even then this would have no impact whatsoever on the state of the planet which has a diameter of 12,714 km.

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