All posts by Peter Censer

Earth’s worst Enemy: Our Delusions of Grandeur

Earth Day: April 22, 2017

This year Earth Day is especially meaningful I think. The reason for this is not simply because the Earth is beautiful and universal to all living things but because we have signifticant threats to both the beauty of Earth, and to its living organisms.

This year has seen a number of bad trends getting worse and seemingly coming to a climax. But all the while there is this dellusion of grandeur and the air of invincibility among the ruling powers that spells the almost certain destruction of our planet(at least as far as human life is concerned-though the Earth itself would go on fine no matter what we did. It could easily recover in a few hundred million years…a blink of an eye for her, unimaginable for us.)

There are three issues which I feel are most important to note, even if we should instead be celebrating the beauty of this planet only on this day-and not complaining about it all, still some serious warnings need to be aired.

World War III is in the Air

The first of these must be the present state of strategic affairs around the globe. We are seeing today a rising danger among the world’s super powers as they begin to confront each other in earnest. The issues of Ukraine, of Syria, of Africa and Asia where the United States and Europe are finding themselves pitted against the powers of Russia and China are quite alarming. There is little doubt that the situation is getting worse and should be addressed soon if we are to avoid all out conflict. Yet there are delusions on all sides that somehow the game can be played because we have developed weapons systems that allow for potential winners and losers.

We hear now of missile defense systems and the like, and how even if there were a nuclear war, it would be uncomfortable, quick, but survivable. The delusion of invincibility at its very worst.

There is no chance of surviving an all out confrontation, there is really no chance of preventing nuclear strikes in general except in a very limited capacity in a very limited theatre of war with a very limited range of weapons. What I mean is that maybe we can prevent a North Korea from completely obliterating one of its neighbors through some form of anti-missle system, but this is not going to be the case if a nation like Russia or China is fully involved. These systems have very limited capabilities inherently, no matter how they may be marketed. Worse yet, the demons of war once unleashed always create uncertainties and these uncertainties almost always defeat whatever strategy was estabished before the start of battles. Therefore we can say that what looks good on paper, or in a computer simulation is not likely to hold up in the broil of a real war. Yet the delusions go on…as if there were a way to come out on top.

This mindset is a danger to not only to the combatants but to the entire world community. The entire planet’s eco system. The end result of such a war involving Nuclear weapons would be the likely end of our species-and many others to boot. It would result in massive radiation sickness and disease and the complete collapse of all but the most primitive, most disfigured social systems and then only for a very short while. Life under such circumstances might not be worth living for anyone who is unlucky enough to survive.

What few people want to believe is how truly vulnerable our civilization is to sudden shocks and instability. I believe that in general, the more complex the society, the more vulnerable it is to instability of any kind. Whether it is societal instability, or climatic change, or Geological. Even a relatively minor confrontation could be enough to destabilize our society to a terminal level.
Much of the earth would probably become uninhabitable considering the spread of radioactivity into the food and water resources. Unless we were to evolve quickly into mutant ninja turtles, the outlook would be bleak, even after a very limited war involving nukes.

Let’s all go “Green”, then Blue, then Red, Purple, and Black

There is also another great delusion which threatens our world today. This one is more closely related to the original concept of Earth Day. We have all heard of going “green” and it seems to imply that there is some way for all of us to create an alternative to our present way of fueling the world community and economy. But in reality this notion of a clean energy alternative is little more than self-deception, and grand illusion.

The reasons for this are many and have been discussed before. We say for example that the climate is changing. But in reality we do not know its natural limits to begin with. There are claims of meteorological records going back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. But what we are not told is that these records were shoddy, spurious at best. Measurements of sea temperature and land temperature were really not reliable until a few decades ago, and even then minimally available. We simply did not have the technological ability to measure temperatures around the world until very recently. Even the sophisticated technique of ice core sampling of the paleo climate is in the end only an approximate reading of very general conditions.

So we often hear of records being broken or set in recent times, and these are paraded around as if fact. But they are very probably much less than that.

The point is that we really cannot even be certain that the changes we are seeing now are valid beyond our small scale time-and yes these particular changes of our particular time do seem significant-to us, a delicate species with a very limited vision of Time, there is some kind of change in temperature and vehemence of storm activity. But we do not know that these are in any way out of the normal for our meteorological epoch. They may be, but we cannot really be certain. This because we exist on a tiny timescale, and no matter how clever we get, it is hard for us to truly understand the Titanic time scales of Geology and Climate.

Now we will not go into the climate change argument again, we’ve done that before but we should understand that even if we have changed our climate in reality which frankly is quite possible to be quite honest, we cannot know exactly how, or what the outcome will actually be. We do not for example know if the Earth’s climate will continue warming, or if some virulent and destructive antithetical oscillation occurs instead.

The fact is that even if the climate were steadily warming we could probably survive. If the change is slow. But one little known truth that is rarely mentioned if ever is that as the climate becomes warmer, the Earth will attempt to dissipate this heat with extreme climatic violence. That is to say each time a storm forms, it tends to dissipate heat and to radiate it into space. Therefore the warmer the climate gets, the more unstable, and violent violent the climate it gets. This instability may not merely be evident for a few days as in the duration of a particular storm, but may last for decades and even centuries. Therefore the climate may warm violently, then cool violently as well as produce violent destructive storms within these larger cyclical variations. Kind of like the volotility one sees in the stock market when a particular economic event creates uncertainty. The volotility itself is one of the chief mechanisms by which the climate would disperse infrared radiation into space, and thus allow for cooling.

We should never assume that we know when or wherefore the great changes will arise. The Little Ice Age proves that climate can change for long periods on the human scale. One hundred two hundred years cycles may well be the norm. We have little science that instruct us as the actual historical dynamics of such relatively long term changes in temperature. There will be those who attribute the Little Ice Age to sunspot activity, but once again, the science back then was for intent and purpose non-existent. We really dont know what caused it, but we cannot guarantee that it will not happen again, or for that matter that a similarly long term warming trend instead. The great ice ages, and warming trends probably come in much smaller waves… just like the tide, and like everything else in the universe as far as we can see.

Still we are polluting at a reprehensible, truly irresponsible pace. So in the end we really dont know exactly what the long term outcome of all this pollution will be. How this man made pollution will interact with the Earth’s natural order. The only thing we can be certain of is that it will create instability and uncertainty and make it harder for us to predict the climate. I think there is just about enough evidence to conclude this outcome at least.

Our knowledge of the Earth’s systems are limited. We cannot really predict what the Earth will do, especially if it is agitated short term by human activity. And therein lies the danger of delusion.

What we do not know can hurt us. Yet, there is almost no policy change anywhere to be found that even dares mention conservation. All we hear is that we need growth, but of course we are never told that this “growth” is going to cause monstrous amounts of pollution. Only that if we go “Green” alas we can our cake and eat it too!

We have the Solutions..Really?

We have crossed into the delusion that we “have an answer” to all this climate change. This delusion by itself is even more dangerous than our lack of knowledge concerning the climate.

We assume here that we know what the Earth’s climate is really doing, and in fact we do not. We assume we know what the Earth’s climate is going to do, and we almost definitely do not. But then we assume that there are specific “solutions” to this problem, but in reality there probably are not.

We are constantly bombarded with the idea that going “Green” will save the day. That we can substitute new forms of “Alternative” energy to power our world, and that by so doing we might be able to reduce the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere, and that once done things will begin to return to normal. That we can save our world only by polluting it in a less intense manner. But this is nowhere near as simple as all that. It is not an accurate expectation.

Aside from the economic impact of trying to go “Green”, which would be quite substantial, there will also be environmental damage. Significant in many cases, and even then we cannot know the full extent. We dont know what happens to the Earth’s climate if we begin to capture large volumes of solar energy, or begin to disturb wind flows, or tidal flows. We do not know what sort of possible damage this can do if we really used these alternative energy sources to the degree that we are using oil and gas today. There could be significant damage done to the environment anyway. We dont know what happens if we start building nuclear reactors all over the planet. Fukushima should warn us of potential environmental damage that at least rivals any from the supposed human induced Climate Change we are seeing today.

Maybe “Green” Means Nuclear?

There is today this nascent idea that maybe Nuclear power can be a reasonable alternative to our present problems. However the fundamental problem of Nuclear waste is the same as it was fifty years ago. There is no place to put the reactor waste that is actually going to be safe in the long run. And the more we use this form of power the greater the risks will be for absolute catastrophe making even global climate change seem not so bad. We dont even want to know what would happen if a major disposal site began to leak into the water table.

We have seen with Fukushima an unusual set of circumstances. After all Tsunamis dont happen everyday, and besides we can work around the particular failure of the Fukushima reactor. At great expense of course, but still we might manage it. The problem still remains however. Tons of nuclear waste will have to sit somewhere, and if for any reason those should leak, even if terrorism for example were involved, the outcome would be catastrophic. There is no solution to the problem of Nuclear waste. And a significant leak of radioactive material would make all our efforts a horrific failure. I cannot say with certainty, I am not an expert here, but from what I have heard it is only a matter of time before such dumps begin to leak.

Going “Green” in this way, might lead to going blue.

Agricultural Pollution

Moreover, no matter what we did with energy, agriculture would still be a massive contributor to green house emissions.

Recently there has been an increased awareness of how much pollution we produce merely to feed ourselves. We are destroying vast swaths of forest all over the world simply to clear the land for harvest. Those trees which we destroy moderate both CO2 emissions, as well as water vapor and heat emissions. As we continue to devour our forests we contribute mightily to the green house problem. There are some who are quietly convinced that this agricultural pollution may well be the real culprit behind the observed changes in climate. There is also the release of Methane, another virulent by product of Agriculture. Methane is many times more potent a Green House gas than is CO2.

But what to do? Seven billion people need to be fed. Oh yeah, Im sure we can theoretically feed them all soy beans, and cut the production of cattle, but would we really do it? Does anyone see the Earth’s population as becoming fully reliant on soy beans and Lima Beans and peas?

In the end the agricultural raping of the Earth’s forest will continue no matter what we dream. Tell some people they will not be able to eat steak, or pork sausage and they could actually become homicidal.

Water Vapor

So even if we did manage to lower our carbon footprint as they say, unless we found “green” ways to feed ourselves, it really would not much matter. We would still emit a great amount of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. And the general release of heat through industrial combustion which all civilization causes would also continue to cause CO2 gas build up in the atmosphere anyway, as well as water vapor.

The reality is that probably the greatest contributor to green house gases is simple water vapor. Every engine we use will emit water vapor, a green house gas many times more powerful than CO2. There is no way that I know of to avoid this. Even wind mills will at some point warm up the air around them and this will increase water vapor; and the increase in water vapor will add to the greenhouse effect, especially if heavily used. Any machine that generates heat in any way will of necessity add to the green house effect. Any city that warms the atmosphere will add to the green house effect(which the reason that New York City is usually an average of five to the ten degrees warmer than the surrounding area.)

All of this says absolutely nothing about the tremendous increase in fossil fuel required to actually go “Green”. Building wind mills, and solar panels, and electric generators and batteries will require an immense increase in the use of fossil fuels to begin with. By the time we have a substantial “Green” energy industry we will have increased our use of fossil fuels by a significant amount.

The great deception : More “Green” means even more “Black”

Nor is it likely that oil and natural gas would simply be done away with. And this is the greatest of all delusions, and the biggest of all lies. Should we manage to go green, there is absolutely no reason to believe that we would in reality stop using oil and gas since that would by its nature be the cheaper quicker fuel to burn. And if we continue to expand world consumption, there would be nothing to indicate that we would not use an available fuel. This is very critical to note. Those who say that alternative energy would decrease our use of oil and gas are wrong, or disingenuous. Rather the larger the economy the more likely would require greater amounts of oil and gas(at least as long as those last.) And when the easy wells begin to run dry, we would probably start going after the more remote sources, which would of course require even greater up front expenditures, and cause even more pollution and harm to the environment.

As the global economy grows, it will use whatever fuel sources are available. Oh yeah we would go green, but this would only add to the consumption! Those who say that “Green” energy would be a replacement for oil and gas either do not understand the economy, or are not, frankly, being honest. The increase in industrial production would of necessity involve an increase in the use of all available fuels. It is not a matter of “Green Energy” or “Black Energy”, it is, and always was a case of “Green Energy” plus “Black Energy”! It would only make it worse! And that’s the pun here. That’s the joke. And this is perhaps the greatest of all deceptions in the Alternative Energy saga. There is absolutely no intent of doing away with oil and gas, and coal. Anyone who understands the economy would very quickly see, that is an absolute impossibility! The larger the economy the more dependent it would become on the cheaper energy source, and that is going to continue being fossil fuel. Those are the dynamics of the economy and they will not change no matter what anyone says.

We are given the illusion that somehow going green is going to save us from our ultimate fate, but in reality this is the biggest lie of all. Going green would only increase consumption, increase energy use, and increase global pollution.


The only step we can take to avoid our fate is Conservation. It is to stop wasting, stop expending so much energy. Control our numbers, control ourselves! Yet no one is talking about that. Indeed our third major delusion is just that…that we can create a Global Economy that is actually sustainable! This is the greatest of all present delusions, and is the chief cause of the two above!

Our Known Limitations have been Replaced with Delusions

Back in the seventies it was clear to anyone who might want to look that both the right and left political wings were actually far more conservative than they are today. An odd truth, but true nonetheless.

The Left back then was deeply concerned about the impact of human “rules” on the natural order. There was deep concern over just how much we could do to the natural world before it reacted destructively. Before it killed us. The Left seemed to be aware that there was some reason to pull back, some reason to re-consider the basic biblical assumptions made by the right. Therefore that God gave man dominion over the Earth, so to speak. To the Left, influenced to some degree by communist dialectic no doubt, questioned very seriously the wisdom of assuming our divine authority over the Earth and its creatures. It was in many ways conservationism of sorts. That is there was an inclination to conserve our interactions with nature, and to conserve our actions upon the general environment because we might not really know the consequences. This same concern was often to do with social order as well. There was concern over the assumptions of the superiority and authority of one group of people over another.

The Right on the other hand felt that Ideological conservation was necessary. They in their own turn argued that the society that we lived in was founded upon certain principles, and that disregarding those principles, be they pretty or ugly could return us to a degenerative social order. They were not fond of Hippie love ins, or racial integration, or power struggles or socialist doctrines of re-distribution, but mostly they were not fond of overly liberal changes to their basic society as they had come to build it. Religion was still deeply embedded in their views, and so were the Ideological foundations of Capitalism. They may have been given dominion over the earth, but they were not necessarily given total dominion over their own existence. They may have been capitalists, but they adhered as much as possible to the limiting Darwinist principles underlying their views. They believed firmly that the strong will survive, and the weak must either die, or accept guidance, and a lower standard of living. Harsh, no doubt, but it was a form of conservation. They also believed in some austerity, and self-preservation. They tended to conserve their doctrines, and if changes were to happen, they would happen very slowly and only when proven to be necessary in the rigor of the Ideological process.
Their own authority, had at least some built in limits.

Both of these movements had exception, distortions, and corruption, and both were deeply entwined to the power structure. However, in the end both were relatively careful(compared at least to the present world-view.) Their objectives were almost always limited. They were both aware of their limitations. This perhaps was nescessitated due to the “balance of power” between the Soviets and the West. One mistake, and poof…it could all be gone, and both sides understood this and to a large degree respected this one great limitation to their dreaming, and/or their greed.

With the fall of the Soviet Union all that changed forever.

When we look today at either side, Left or Right, West or East, what we see are liberal delusions on a grand scale. Both the progressive liberals and the Neoconservatives have begun to assume that there are no limits to their objectives. There are no potential obstacles save but the opposing side. The West, convinced of its victory over the dark powers of Communism assumed that there were no longer any limits, anything was possible, nothing was beyond accomplishment. This was of course, absurd.

The East now ressurgent, sees only the sky, but not as a limit, just as the new frontier. Forgetting at times I think that to leap into the sky, we must first pounce on the Earth.

Worse yet both sides seem keen to usurp the economy to get what they want. Both sides are willing to take liberalities with the underlying economic system, and with whatever ideological system they loosely profess to be bound to. To be sure back in the seventies the economic argument was front and center, but there was an understanding that only certain very specific limited steps could be taken. There was in general an understanding of the limitations of human ingenuity, and human being. They were aware of the tragedies of history.

But today no such understanding exists, and if the Democrats and Republicans, for example, agree on one thing, its how easy it is for them to print money as needed in promoting their own modus operandi. Truth be told they are both on massive welfare funded by nearly infinite amounts of credit, and endless unrestricted promises. Promises that are highly unlikely to ever be kept.

The one thing both sides can agree on is the massive amounts of debt we have, and the general dissatisfaction of the world’s public. And to blame the other exclusively.

Yet, in general they are both convinced that one day, very soon, we will all learn the secrets of “Black Hole” technology and live forever even if far apart. There’s not even an intellectual conservation it seems at times.

Extinction : A New Virtual Reality Game

As we have seen over the past year, as with any bad idea reality will eventually catch up with it. And so we have the present global reality to deal with. World War 3 is waiting on our front porch. Even a minor incident can start the end of our world. The only way to pay back our existing debt is to borrow more, and every year we go through the same drama, the same theater that always has the same tragic ending, just borrow more.

All the while divisions are becoming ever greater, and fundamental anger and frustration is rising on all sides. If everything were just fine, why then are we seeing the same tragic play year after year? Do we even care anymore how this tragedy plays out? The makers of “Fallout Four” have had a hit in the game industry for a decade…and every time they put out a new version of this tragic game of a post apocalyptic nuclear holocaust their sales rise ever higher! Its clear that the Millenials have all but become resigned to the end of the world, and total human failure. Just how prophetic is that?

Our only hope is to come back down to Earth. Respect those limitations which define our lives, and begin to realize that our options really are limited.

We cannot continue to pollute the Earth in the way we have done over the past forty years. Notice that the global climate began warming around the late seventies as industrialization began to make its way all over the world. It actually became worse during the late eighties and early nineties with the fall of the soviet union, the rise of the internet, and massive economic expansion all over the world. Could the increase of industrial output account for the sudden warming of the climate? Could this sudden global industrial expansion account for the sudden warming trend? There’s a good chance it did.

But it may also be temporary. If we begin to limit this expansion, it may well result in a cooling trend as less combustion, less agriculture and less pollution give the Earth a chance to clean up our mess.

If we fail to heed these warnings, I believe that the Earth will react, and its reaction will probably be in the form of terminating a rather troublesome , rather delicate species that seems to have an overabundance of audacity and and a severe tendency to extreme delusions of grandeur. Not everything is possible under the given set of circumstances. Yet it seems like this age old truth no longer applies to our way of thinking these days.

Biologists tell us that there is now a mass extinction under way because of human activity and its associated pollution. How long will it be before we join the trend?

It should be noted that in our presently overpopulated wasteful state that even a relatively minor Volcanic eruption, say a little larger than the 1815 eruption of Tambora would put so much pressure on our food and water resources as to probably cause a severe societal degeneration which might easily become interminable.

We need to become more efficient economically, more politically stable, and choose to honor the sovereign nature of nations so as to promote local stability and efficiency. Our present Neo-colonial expansionism will only lead to ever greater waste of resources, greater overpopulation, greater economic inefficiency, greater political instability and greater social instability the result of all these is likely to be highly destructive, and terribly disfiguring to our earthly environment. We must begin an earnest attempt to conserve our resources so that we can create a sustainable civilization that is in harmony with our natural environment-if we hope to go on much longer.

We must conserve our Earthly environment or face possible extinction…so much is clear on this Earth day in the year two thousand and seventeen.

Pluto, Charon, and the Giant Japanese Hornet

Mountains, Glaciers, possible Volcanoes on Pluto

The Giant Japanese Hornet

The Japanese Giant Hornet is one of the most vicious insects on Earth. It has a voracious appetite, is homicidal,  and is huge. It can be up to thirty to forty times larger than a bee. If it happens upon a European bee colony transplanted to Japan it will kill off the entire colony in a matter of hours.

But this is not what happens if the Hornet should discover a native Japanese bee hive. Apparently the Japanese bees have a solution to the giant hornet’s predatory violence. When the bees see a Hornet, they will retreat into their hive and slyly allow the Hornet to enter. Once the Hornet enters the Hive, the Japanese bees will attack the Hornet by enveloping the intruder. Hundreds of bees will surround the Giant Hornet and begin to vibrate their wings and bodies. As they do so, they cause the core temperature of the Hornet to rise dramatically, and eventually the Hornet dies.

They then erase any pheromone markers left by the Hornet, the hornet never returns to its nest,  and thus the bee hive is saved.

As we will see there is some similarity to the Plutonian satellite system, and is possibly one reason why there is geological activity on a world so far removed from the sun and so far removed from a giant planet.

New Horizons

The exploratory craft, New Horizons, after traveling for nine years through the vast empty void of space has recently revealed that Pluto and its largest moon Charon are not the frozen dead worlds imagined for so long, but instead are apparently geologically alive with large mountain ranges and a highly varied landscape. This has left most astronomers confused since they had for all this time expected to see a globe made of ice with little variation on the surface.

This expectation was supported by the idea that the only way small bodies like Pluto and Charon could have geological activity was if a giant planet squeezed them and thus deformed their surface. Being that  Pluto and Charon had no giant master near them, it would have been logical to assume that there could be no such surface deformation.

But there is. There are huge mountains on Pluto, and Charon too shows some kind of recent geological activity.  So what might be the cause?

Earth Moon System’s Core Heat

As we have mentioned many times before on HotCoreEarth, there is between a planet and a satellite a particular interaction which may be most responsible for geological activity and we have previously named this process a Layered Differential Rotation(LDR). We can also call it a Radial Differential Rotation since it is dependent on the distance between two masses, being planet and satellite.

The Earth Moon system will experience a particular type of Tidal interaction that does not stop at the surface of the Earth, but goes down to the core, and even throughout the entire diameter of the planet. We are used to thinking that tidal forces are evident only on bodies of water, like the ocean, but in reality tidal forces go far deeper into the Earth, and affect all kinds of material, including the crust made of minerals and rock. These tides will also affect the subsurface of the Earth as well. But what is crucial to understand here is that these tides are not everywhere on Earth the same. At the surface they will be stronger than at a deeper point heading towards the Earth’s core. The further away from the moon, the less the tidal interaction. So there is a difference in Lunar tidal energy experienced by the Earth.  Over many repetitions as the Moon orbits the Earth every twenty eight days, and over many revolutions of the Earth, as the Earth revolves around its polar axis every day, there will be a tensor stress built up. Meaning that the fabric of the Earth is going to be stretched at different points from along the diameter facing the Moon at any given time. This stretching will lead to both stress and friction. And is probably a leading, if not the sole cause of Earthquakes.

The Moon will tug on the crust and therefore slow it down relative to the subsurface, thus causing a differential rotation between the crust and mantle. This tidal differential will extend throughout the entire planet and will result in both deformation and in the heating of the core.

Speed of Rotation and Atmosphere

We should note that the faster the axial rotation of any given mass, the greater will be the effects of Layered Differential Rotation and the frictional stresses it causes.  It should also be noted that a thick atmosphere, or ocean-even frozen as ice- will probably tend to trap much of this heat released in core dynamics and tend to have more significant effects on the surface.

Volcanism and Seismic Activity on Pluto and Charon

This same exact process is probably active in the Pluto-Charon system. Only in Pluto and Charon the effects of this differential rotation will be far more acute and somewhat inverted since Charon is actually much closer to Pluto than is the Moon to the Earth, and is actually much larger relative to Pluto than is the Moon to the Earth.

Charon is only 12000 miles away from Pluto, and that makes its gravitational tug on Pluto far more severe than is the Moon’s tug upon the Earth. The force exerted on Pluto will be approximately eight times the force exerted on the Earth by the Moon.  Also, Pluto being a far smaller body than is the Earth, will be far more subject to tidal deformations than would be the Earth.

We should also note that while both Pluto and Charon orbit a center of mass external to either, their orbital period is only six days.  The angular velocity, and therefore the directional acceleration of the two bodies is far greater than the Earth Moon system. Though the Sun’s tug is minimal on the Plutonian system, unlike on Earth, still the large angular velocity of the Plutonian satellite system is bound to cause enormous centrifugal forces adding to the LDR.

Yet we should keep in mind here that the Earth  revolves around its own axis and has a much higher rotation than would Pluto and Charon which are tidally locked and revolving over a center of mass beyond the body of Pluto. Therefore the actual dynamics may  differ. But the differential speed effect will be present in both systems.

What we mean is that these two bodies, Pluto and Charon are circling each other so closely and so quickly that they are causing enormous tidal disturbances within their cores and this is the reason for the geological formations we see at the surface. The fact that they are circling a center of mass external to either body will also add additional dynamics-they are in effect pivoting over that center of mass and not merely rotating which will amplify the effect of any radial differential dynamics.

The nature of the differential rotation of the Plutonian system will also be in a different direction than that of the Earth-Moon system,  being that Pluto and Charon are tidally locked (they face each other constantly) and thus there is no independent  axial rotation of Pluto as there is on Earth-which is to say that Pluto does not rotate independently relative to Charon. The Earth’s daily rotation is much faster than is the orbital period of the Moon, and thus the tidal tug of the Moon tends to slow the crust down relative to the mantle. However, on Pluto the effect is the reverse as the surface of Pluto probably rotates faster than does the subsurface. There will be a tendency for material within Pluto and Charon to lag behind the crust, or surface layers. Much like taking a plastic ball filled with water and swinging it on a string will cause the liquid inside to rotate in a direction opposite to the orbital direction.  But the geological effects will be the same as with the Earth Moon system, although possibly more pronounced on Pluto’s surface since the main brunt of the differential force is coming from the surface of Pluto as it rams into the slower rotating lower layers-this would be especially true if they are hotter, and therefore more pliable than the frozen surface.

There will be arguments made that Pluto may be solid all the way down, unlike Earth which is made of molten rock and metals. But this would not really matter. The stress created by a layered differential rotation would be enough to cause sufficient friction over time so as to result in  both frictional heating, and also distortions on the surface and throughout the entire body of both Charon and Pluto. Eventually Tidal distortions caused by Charon, even on solid material, are going to cause a buildup of stress and friction. At some point in time these stresses will be released and friction will occur. This will result in heating throughout the globe of Pluto, and of Charon.

It’s very likely that both Pluto and Charon are subject to numerous earthquakes and quite possibly  to  extreme seismic violence. There is little doubt that the gigantic chasms found on Charon are due to that sort of tidal stress that builds up over time as the two bodies circle each other so closely in a relatively short period of six days.

Japanese Hornet Effect

Yet differential rotation is probably not the only effect of the Plutonian satellite system or for that matter on the Earth Moon system. Pluto has four other satellites besides Charon. And though Charon is the largest relative to Pluto it is probably not the only satellite creating frictional stresses on the Plutonian system.

The smaller satellites, Nix and Styx, Hydra and Kerberos are relatively insignificant to the mass of the Plutonian system as a whole, but they are still large bodies. Being twenty to thirty miles in length on average and another twenty miles in width makes them significant contributors to tidal forces since they are relatively near to the planet in comparison to the Moon which a quarter million miles away from Earth.

So even if these smaller satellites do not have the large tidal impact that Charon has on Pluto, they will have some impact. More importantly, the Tidal Wave interference between all these satellites will probably have a significant effect on the core temperature of Pluto and Charon.

Like the Japanese Hornet and the method used by Japanese bees to “cook” the hornet, the moons of Pluto will cause tidal vibrations. As the various tides meet and interact, both destructively and constructively on occasion, they will cause some heating due to friction and interference when they collide with each other and with various structures in the makeup of Pluto and Charon.  When they collide, or interfere the heat will go off in all directions.

The Differential Rotation will also result in friction and heat throughout the body as we have already stated. When this occurs heat will be released in all directions as well.

However, the heat that is in the direction of the surface of either Charon or Pluto will probably escape to a large degree into the frigid vacuum of space. Neither Charon nor Pluto have an atmosphere capable of significantly containing infrared radiation-although some  of the heat generated by LDR and tidal interference would be trapped by the tenuous atmosphere, but still it would not likely be significant and would have little effect on the geology of the “planets”(or Kuiper Belt Objects if you prefer that terminology.)

However, any heat that is directed towards the core would tend to be trapped in the higher density, and would probably buildup there over time. Just as the Japanese bees direct their vibrations to the center of the mass, where the hornet lies, so too do the tidal vibrations of Pluto’s moons, as does the LDR. Eventually enough heat might well build at the core to explain the geological formations seen on the surface. There does seem to volcanic activity on Pluto, and this could really not easily be explained by any other known process.

This same process used by the Japanese bees must to some degree be active on Earth as well. In the case of Earth, the Moon, Sun and near planets would cause Tidal wave interference and eventually that heat would find a common intersection at the core.  The LDR caused by the Moon’s tidal effects would also accumulate at the core. Of course once this heat began to accumulate significantly other thermo dynamic processes would come into play and the system would become more complex.

Indeed, no matter the process of heating, whether it is due to Layered Differential Rotation, or due to some other cause, the likely buildup of heat would be at the core where any infrared radiation is likely to meet and intersect in the deeper denser layers. This is the simple geometry of the sphere which would concentrate and amplify any radiation emanating from peripheral co-temporal events towards the core.

Heating from any source will accrue towards the center

Therefore heat from any source, even the supposed radioactive decay often proposed as a cause for Earth’s “extra” heat would eventually be concentrated at the core. Though the process of radioactive decay is very unlikely to be the primary cause of core heat in either the Plutonian system, or the Earth Moon system. This decay lasts for too short a time relative to geological time, much less Astronomical time, and is simply not abundant enough to significantly contribute to the geological phenomena we see present in planetary systems. Yet even if radioactive decay were a significant phenomenon, then it would result in the heating of the core as all radiation would intersect there.

Differential Rotation is Probably the Main Cause of Core Heat

Yet the most likely explanation is that the heating we see from all satellite systems seems most likely to be caused by tidal action. For example on Uranus, twin of Neptune -we see little heating. Neptune having a satellite, Uranus lacking one.  Jupiter’s moon Enceladus is a frozen world, yet we see it bursting with core heat.  One might have reason to argue that Venus is quite geologically active with no satellite, yet we can see that Venus has a retrograde revolution which would result in extreme core heating due to the effects of the Sun’s gravitation, should LDR be correct.

The only seeming exception to LDR would be Mercury. Where though we see volcanic activity in the past, we cannot know if it is still geologically active at present. However, Mercury may be exceptional.

It has no atmosphere, and this may help to dissipate heat from the planet’s core.

Also, Mercury by all accounts should have been tidally locked with the Sun, yet it’s not.  Its rotation on its own axis is somewhat faster than its orbital period around the Sun

Was that extra rotation caused by LDR? Were there internal forces within Mercury that prevented it from being tidally locked with the Sun, as would seem most probable?  It’s possible that the high density of Mercury caused a distribution of any excess subsurface rotation to the entire body. The Sun should by all accounts cause some sort of differential rotation within Mercury and this should have resulted in violent geological activity.  Mercury takes approximately 89 days to orbit the Sun, and so and directional acceleration is still quite slow compared to what we might see in the Earth Moon system, or that of Pluto and its satellites.  Still we would expect some differential rotation coming from the Sun and this should result in contemporary seismic activity as well as volcanism.

It is also possible that Mercury is actually quite liquid at the core(as has been recently proposed), but that any volatile gasses have long escaped and thus we cannot see present intense geological activity. But we would still expect violent seismic activity. We’ll go out on the limb and say that there probably is both volcanism on Mercury and substantial seismic activity present even now. However without an atmosphere any such explosions would probably be released into space with little evidence left behind.

Venus, and Earth have an atmosphere and this will react to any volcanism below. Pluto and Charon have ice, and this too will react to any volcanism below-unlike Mercury and the Moon which lack an atmosphere.


In any case, there is not much else that we can see to cause the apparent geological activity in the Plutonian system other that tidal stresses. In the end Ockam’s razor would have to applied and the simplest explanation for the apparent geological activity in the Plutonian system would most probably be a Layered Differential Rotation, as well as the accumulation of heat at the core in a fashion quite similar to the defensive mechanism of a Japanese Bee Hive when faced with a killer predator.  As this heat and stress is released, the surface ice would react accordingly and would explain the landscape.

Hot Spots

Yellowtone Hot Spot
Yellowstone Hot Spot

Hot Spots and Differential Rotation

Hot spots like that of the Hawaiian Islands, Iceland and Yellowstone have posed considerable confusion to geologists. There is really little insight as to how or where these phenomena derive from, other than the simple convection theory. However, there is a very strong possibility that these centers of specific volcanic activity, far from plate boundaries may well be due to Tidal Effects and Differential Rotation.

The Earth’s surface is subject to a number of strong gravitational potentials. The two largest and most prominent are the Moon’s gravitational tug, and the Sun’s. Since the Earth rotates, these are never at one place but constantly moving. Both of these forces are experienced daily(or approximately so.)

Their effects on the Tides of Ocean basins are well known. Yet these effects are quite a bit more complex than Newton originally postulated.

With the contributions of Laplace and his tidal equations we have seen that these rises in sea level are rather complex and varied. They are varied simply because the Moon, and Earth and Sun are never quite at the same position. Due to apogee, and perigee, or far and near orbital positions the gravitational attraction is variable, and therefore the tides produced are variable-and either accelerate or decelerate. Moreover, the two tidal forces tend to either augment one another or degrade one another depending on whether they occur in agreement(same time and spatial orientation), or discordance.  These factors alone add complexity to sea tides.

However, there are even greater complications to be found.

These include the geometry of sea basis, various bottom terrain, wind directions, currents, vorticity, atmospheric and sea storms, specific gravity at various depths, and thermodynamic effects, or sea temperatures,  all of which can complicate things further.

But most complicating in determining the true nature of sea tides is actually the fact that tides do not occur as simple rises in sea level, but in periodic waves. This requires complex Fourier analysis of the resulting wave impulses and periods generated by the revolution of the Earth, orbit of the Moon, and orbit of Earth around the Sun. In the end predicting Sea tides becomes a complicated and difficult task.

We should add that Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter-possibly even Saturn- will contribute to anomalies in Tidal dynamics when they are in alignment, which though not often, will still generate a disturbance in the wave dynamics of Sea Tides that will to a certain extent be persistent and anomalous.

But in all this one thing is fairly certain, and this is that as these various gravitational forces combine, or dissipate rhythmically, they will create a change of sea level at any point on the sea surface.

Most of these changes will be met with resistance from both the land masses which meet the sea basins, but also adhere to the responsive nature of water. Liquids, depending on their elasticity, will usually revert back to normal after they expend their energy. Therefore, there is tendency at least for the Sea Levels to revert to some kind of normality given both their internal elasticity, and the land barriers which they encounter and are contained by.

However there are really no such bounds for anything below the surface of the Earth. Nor are there any such barriers for the tectonic plates. Any energy imparted to these structures will simply resonate within them. As we can see with Jupiter’s moon Io, this energy will eventually be dissipated as heat.


Volcan Calbuco, Chile, Earth Day 2015
Volcan Calbuco, Chile, Earth Day 2015

Moon’s Orbit Increasing Distance

It has long been maintained that the Moon’s orbit is being altered by the revolution of the Earth. Put simply the Moon’s orbit is being accelerated to a further distance while the Earth’s revolution is being slowed. But it has been assumed that these gigantic forces would act uniformly on the Earth’s crust and interior. But this is not a valid assumption.

Even if the Earth’s interior were solid, eventually the resonance of these titanic forces would culminate in particular stresses and fault lines. In other words, the solid would eventually crack to the tug, and due to various resonances that would develop and at times be amplified.

Yet the Earth’s core is not solid after all. It is pliable. It is plastic and we really cannot know just how far down this pliability actually exists. Still, as we see with the theories of George Darwin concerning sea tides, there will be harmonics to account for. Therefore, any pliable material, no matter the degree of plasticity, will be subject to some kind of harmonic resonance if a gravitational force is repeated and oscillations in locale and order occur.

More to the point, such resonance will not be uniform throughout the body. That is the surface will experience a stronger effect than the subsurface. And if the materials are different, therefore if one is semi solid, like the crust, and the other liquid, or semi liquid as is the magma below, there will be differences in the way these materials react to the pull of the Moon and Sun.

The energy released in the deceleration of the Earth’s angular velocity would not be distributed equally throughout the body.

 Differential Rotation

It should be understood that the tug of the Moon and Sun will affect the crust in different ways than the way they affect the sub surface, or magma “pool”. The Earth’s crust being higher  closer to the Moon, and essentially lighter, or less dense will tend to absorb the Moon’s tug more imminently than the sub surface.  Therefore the pull will be stronger. If as we theorize the Earth’s surface “floats” on hot Magma, and this being the cause of Plate Tectonics, then we must add that the Moon’s immediate tug on these floating plates will,  after billions of years and billions of revolutions,  cause some kind of differential rotation. That is the magma will move faster towards the East-the direction of Earth’s rotation, than will the plates since they will lag due to the Moon’s more imminent pull. Therefore, we can speculate that at least some forcing component of plate tectonics is due to Moon’s tug on these plates, as well as most likely some force from below – due to the rotational dynamics of the core.

This differential rotation, as stated before, will of necessity affect all layers of the Earth right down to the core. The further away an atom is from the Moon, the less it will be affected, putting aside Newton’s ideal summations on the geometry of gravitational forces. Therefore tides are formed at each “sheet” of Earth’s depth. True there may tensile forces that keep the sheets together, but these forces do not in any way dissipate the tug of either the Moon or the Sun as the Earth revolves around its axis. These lunar and solar gravitational forces will at some point cause friction in the different layers, and this will cause heat to be released.

Any liquid, no matter how thick, will eventually rotate as excited particles will seek the most convenient path of least pressure and least resistance. The supposed structure of the Earth’s interior would no doubt be subject to differential rotation since in one way or other the materials involved are ductile, or simply put, liquefied as plastic.

Since heat is generated, and dissipated, we must theorize that there is an “organization” to this that the simple convection theory cannot account for.

It should also be understood that these phenomena, although perhaps similar to rotational atmospheric phenomena, are probably on a time frame of millions, or even hundreds of millions of years. Therefore if gusts similar to those that occur in a tornado, or thunderstorm were to occur in the Earth’s interior rotation, their life cycle would be on the order of a hundred million years rather than minutes. Therefore a “plume” would not arise directly from the core, but from the rotation, and would be tangential to the rotation rather than be at right angles to the core and last for many millions of years. This tangential forcing would strain the crust, and eventually break it open to the surface of the Earth resulting in the Hot Spots that we see. This is especially true since the magma would rotate to the East at a higher speed than the crust.

But this differential rotation would account for the so called Hot Spots, at least in part. Since any rotation of magma that adheres to the crust would eventually force an opening or crack in the crust and would probably move east relative to the fixed crust as we see with most Hot Spots since relative to the magma subsurface the crust is moving West, and the Hot Spots East(relatively.) However, due to turbulence, lasting for millions of years, we may not say that this would necessarily be a  “rule” but only subject to probability, as no wind gusts could ever be correlated to a particular direction so it would be that no magma “gusts” would be subject to a particular direction always. There will most likely be occasional anomalies.

Both core rotational turbulence, and deformity of the crust itself could well supply the inlet for magma intrusions. That is to say if there were a deformity in the crust that captured a particular gust or impulse of magma, then there would be an intrusion and an eventual opening to the surface and would result in what we see at Yellowstone, Hawaii or Iceland.

We should add that strains on the crust from either the Moon’s, and Sun’s gravitational tug(over billions of years), as well as core differential rotation and implied thermal dynamics would tend to stress and break the surface crust open. Therefore we should not be so certain that the Missouri Earthquakes of 1811-12 were simply an anomaly, they could well be indicative of a new rift valley in creation-similar to that in East Africa. So where there are cracks or stresses in the crust, you will almost certainly see volcanic activity. Large cracks will result in known volcanic hot beds, these being the Mid Atlantic Ridge, East Africa and others. But small magma protrusions would result in so called Hot Spots. The Icelandic Hot Spot would simply be a “convenient” arrangement where an existing large crack in the sea basin encountered a “gust” or plume from the core rotation and therefore remained and grew large.

We are often told that subduction in plate tectonics results in volcanic fields, but we are not quite as often reminded that one possible cause is that when there is a differential rotational speed(Westward) between plates(most likely due to altitude and the gravitational tug of the Moon and Sun) there will of necessity be stress cracks, and vacuous formations in the crust which will allow the Earth’s magma to protrude. There would also be increased turbulence from below due to the differential rotation and difference in tangential velocity. As well as melting of the sinking crust.

In general we can surmise that some kind of differential rotation is occurring. Though it should not be confused with the kind of differential rotation we see in the Sun, where the equatorial regions are moving faster than the polar regions. Rather we can be fairly certain that the surface of the Earth is moving towards the West relative to the sub-surface due to the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun. The internal dynamics however, will remain mysterious since we cannot know for certain what the source of the thermodynamic impulse is.

To be sure that layered differential rotation provides at least some frictional heat to the core, but whether that is all the heat being produced we cannot be certain. There may in fact be a nuclear component to the heat source, but it may not be what is now imagined. What exists at the Earth’s core may well be enough for even more exotic processes of heat generation. The Electromagnetic fields at the core must be exceedingly powerful. There is no telling what processes might have emerged there after billions of years. We should be certain that there is much more dynamism at the Earth’s core than we have yet to surmise.