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Forget Pangaea, local scientist says it’s all about Ottland

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Think back to grade school natural-science courses for a moment and you might remember a theory that once upon a couple hundred million years ago, a supercontinent called Pangaea splintered into the globe as we now see it. Local geophysicist and climate-change-theory opponent J. Marvin Herndon says sure, Pangaea was a supercontinent—a supercontinent of baloney.

This week Herndon released a paper (pdf) in Current Science that he says proves there was no giant landmass surrounded by water. Instead, he argues, that 250 million years ago, the earth was smaller and covered completely with land. He dubs this landmass “Ottland” after Ott C. Hilgenberg, a German scientist who proposed a similar idea back in 1933. Then the earth expanded and Ottland broke into the seven continents as we now know them.

“It’s a whole new ball game and I think it will take people a long time to perhaps realize that they need to rethink [their assumptions],” Herndon tells CityBeat. “People in the geo-sciences have been progressing along the wrong path since the 1940s and before. It’s a question of going back in time and finding where the errors are, correcting them and progressing forward in a new direction.”

In essence, he says he has disproved the concept of “mantle convection,” a theory that heat currents shift tectonic plates. Herndon calls it a “geo-blunder” (similarly he also believes global warming is the “greatest science fraud ever”). Herndon says this is huge news for the oil and gas industry, since his research indicates that the earth may be creating oil from mantle methane and perhaps abiotic hydrocarbons. He’s got an easy-to-understand Q&A here and the history and concepts here.

“It now gives a reason why those [new oil] discoveries are [on the continental shelves] and behooves Americans to really support the efforts of the oil companies to drill in continental margins because that’s likely where a lot will be found,” Herndon says. “We should be energy independent and the oil companies can do this safely now without wrecking the environment and they can do it even more safely if it’s encouraged and the emphasis is placed there.  I think that’s where Americas future is in terms of energy production and I think there’s a lot out there.”