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July 31, 2008

Save Titan!

From a NASA press release:

NASA Confirms Liquid Lake on Saturn Moon

"PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA scientists have concluded that at least one of the large lakes observed on Saturn's moon Titan contains liquid hydrocarbons, and have positively identified the presence of ethane…

""Detection of liquid ethane confirms a long-held idea that lakes and seas filled with methane and ethane exist on Titan," said Larry Soderblom, a Cassini interdisciplinary scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey…"

Methane and ethane happen to be the main ingredients of natural gas.

Now the rest of the story from Nerdville's future-detection apparatus:

Speaker Pelosi calls the House of Representatives into emergency session to vote on a bill banning "any form of hydrocarbon extraction from any moon of a ringed planet."

"The unknowns are too great;" she says. "The risks are just too high; oil companies might have even larger profits. Conservation will be discouraged. This is another cruel distraction stage managed by the failed GeorgeBush administration."

President Bush denounces Democrats in Congress for blocking America's energy independence. "The price of oil has already begun to fall in anticipation of Ticantic (sic) supplies. Americans will know who to blame at the pump."

Senate Majority Leader Reid says that he believes the Senate is willing to go even further than the House. "No further exploration of extraterrestrial sources should be allowed. We must know who authorized the use of NASA for prospecting."

John McCain promises voters that the Cassini spaceship will NOT be withdrawn from the vicinity of Saturn until its mission has been accomplished. Moreover, he says, as President he will assure that methane or ethane or whatever from Titan will be delivered to Americans at the pump free of any highway tax.

The Democratic National Committee says "this has Dick Cheney's oily fingerprints all over it. Look for Halliburton to get an enormous contract."

Ethanol producers demand that any imported Titanic ethane be rebranded and subject to a $5.00/gallon tariff.

Barack Obama points out that the Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. "As a guy with a funny name," he says, "I will be willing to enter talks with the Grand Titan with no preconditions."

Al Gore points to a more ominous part of the NASA release: "The observations also suggest the lake is evaporating. It is ringed by a dark beach, where the black lake merges with the bright shoreline."

"This is a very inconvenient truth," says Gore. "There is a growing consensus that the results of our profligate ways are not restricted to our own planet."

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