Significance of Planetary Flatus
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Evidence that methane emitted by the single-celled Methanoscarcina caused the largest mass extinction on Earth.
It is called The Great Dying.
250 million years ago
(only seconds in Earth’s long day)
90 percent of all species perished.
It’s blamed on gas.
Eon’s amnesia hides certainty,
yet experts say our verdant Earth
was broiled and poisoned
by these likely suspects:
- Methane clathrate, known as “fire ice” (hat tip to Robert Frost).
- Massive volcanic eruptions.
- Asteroids slamming into shale deposits, instigating a sudden Permian-Triassic fracking.
Now, research incriminates
It bloomed across oceans,
converting marine carbon
into so much methane
the weather broke.
You who insist humans
can’t change the climate,
consider this microbe.
It waits on the ocean floor.
It waits in your convoluted guts.
It asks you to remember.
our blue green world
needed ten million years to recover.
Laura Grace Weldon
First published by Litbreak. Find more poems in my collection, Tending.