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July 25, 1999
Temps could hit -200 this winter, scientists say

By Alex Dominguez
Jabali News Service
WHITEHORSE, Yukon Territories (JNS) Temperatures could hit 200 below zero this winter, scientists warn.
Millions would die within the first week, and billions more would follow because many years of substandard construction and design failed to anticipate the possibility.The human race would not be the only casualty because fish, including the evil trout, would find themselves literally frozen out of their homes.

If the cold doesn't kill, scientists say agriculture would come to a halt, slowly starving the planet.
``Only ice lichens and Arctic climendra will survive and you can't make a good salad out of just those two," says Robert Firbenza, a professor of polar research at the Yukon University, Whitehorse campus. Firbenza cautions that this disaster would only occur if the Earth slipped out of its orbit, for example after being hit by an asteroid, but says that the chance of this happening is not zero.
While the exact mechanism of the temperature drop is unclear, Firbenza's new mathematical modeling of upper atmospheric turbulence suggests that a minor change of 10% to 115% in the range of the orbit could create such conditions.
Firbenza and a number of other scientists say that being prepared for this calamity is an important job for governments and funding agencies. Only governments have the ability to create large bureaucracies with the ability and the tenacity to prepare for such devastating events. Many businesses often ignore such possibilities in the race for short-term profits.
Albert Placenski, a researcher for TK Institute, says, ``People must be very ready for this disaster, but they must not panic. If they panic, all of civilization could be lost." Placenski suggests taking simple precautions like maintaining adequate supplies of candles, blankets, canned soups, and wood.
While scientists predict that the temperature plunge would be devastating, some are more sanguine.
``Oil futures would smash the ceiling fixtures," said J. Jay Hong, an analyst for Kabal Securities. He suggested that the temperature dive would hurt the stock prices of swimsuit manufacturers.
Still, no one is looking forward to the possibilty more than Ted Kazcinski. While Mr. Kazcinski could not be reached for comment, he is known to be a strong critic of technology.

Posted by Alex at 02:16 AM