With the year drawing to a close in a matter of a couple of days, we will all experience, although at a level hardly detectable, proof of yet another natural peril. Life, such as it is, with the threats flowing from Global Warming and other natural disasters in the making, has just become more difficult. You see, at 23:59:60 PM Wednesday, December 31, 2008, one second will be added to the cesium atomic clocks around the world. It is being called a Leap Second.
This is being done in response to the reality that (perhaps you should be seated when you read or hear this) the earth’s daily rotation is slowing. In fact, in the 34 years between 1972 and 2006, the earth’s rotation, when compared to the atomic clocks, slowed by 23 seconds. Did you stop to consider that? 23 seconds! And now, only 3 years later, we are having to add yet another second.
With various other imagined global crises somewhat in doubt, I suppose this must be a real blessing for those who see a calamity under every rock and behind every tree. This is REAL. The earth is slowing down!!! It will take someone with far more creativity than I possess to imagine the dire implications of this new peril. I hope Al Gore is aware of this.
Perhaps Barack Hussein Obama will have a solution. Just as he plans to create “green jobs” in response to Global Warming, maybe there are new “slower jobs” that will not only be a natural response to a slower rotating earth, but will also serve to boost the economy and maybe even save the planet. Let’s do hope so.
Read more about the Leap Second at the U.S. Naval Observatory website.