There’s great debate, fear and trepidation in the Australian population about the economic and lifestyle impacts of the Carbon Tax due to come into effect down here in July 2012. See this search or this other search for some articles about it.
But all things are relative, and it won’t be too long before the tax will need to be repealed, perhaps in 250 million years or so!
To quote from the fascinating article The end of Earth, the end of us, and the end of the universe
It is a rare person indeed who thinks of 50 or 100 years in the future — but what about 1,000 years? Or a million years? Or a billion years? …
… Between 250 million and 800 million years from now, Earth will slowly become inhabitable [sic, surely meant to be uninhabitable], due to the Sun’s increasing luminosity (the old girl hasn’t reached her peak yet!) As temperatures rise, weathering increases, and the amount of carbon dioxide drops to a point where plants can no longer photosynthesize. 1 billion years from now, the Sun’s luminosity will have increased by 10%, resulting in an average Earth surface temperature of 47 degrees Celsius (117F). At this point, the oceans will evaporate into space, and shortly after, almost all remaining lifeforms will die.
So there you are, in a blind panic Down Under we’ve introduced yet one more piece of ultimately useless legislation that will need to be repealed a bit later on, a microscopically tiny way further along than today on the scale of our Sun’s life cycle:
Oh, aren’t politicians everywhere so impetuous and short-sighted. (wink)