Beliefnet
Rod Dreher

Does the BP oil disaster threaten to turn into a methane volcano that threatens doomsday? This guy thinks so. Excerpt:

Ominous reports are leaking past the BP Gulf salvage operation news blackout that the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may be about to reach biblical proportions.
251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. Experts agree that what is known as the Permian extinction event was the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world.
55 million years later another methane bubble ruptured causing more mass extinctions during the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (LPTM).
The LPTM lasted 100,000 years.
Those subterranean seas of methane virtually reshaped the planet when they explosively blew from deep beneath the waters of what is today called the Gulf of Mexico.
Now, worried scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events that led to worldwide death back then may be happening again-and no known technology can stop it.
The bottom line: BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.
The oil giant drilled down miles into a geologically unstable region and may have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble.
Northwestern University’s Gregory Ryskin, a bio-chemical engineer, has a theory: The oceans periodically produce massive eruptions of explosive methane gas. He has documented the scientific evidence that such an event was directly responsible for the mass extinctions that occurred 55 million years ago.
Many geologists concur: “The consequences of a methane-driven oceanic eruption for marine and terrestrial life are likely to be catastrophic. Figuratively speaking, the erupting region “boils over,” ejecting a large amount of methane and other gases (e.g., CO2, H2S) into the atmosphere, and flooding large areas of land. Whereas pure methane is lighter than air, methane loaded with water droplets is much heavier, and thus spreads over the land, mixing with air in the process (and losing water as rain). The air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%; as such mixtures form in different locations near the ground and are ignited by lightning, explosions and conflagrations destroy most of the terrestrial life, and also produce great amounts of smoke and of carbon dioxide…”
The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe–of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it-would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water.
Such occurrences can lead to the rupture of the methane bubble containment–it can then permit the methane to breach the subterranean depths and undergo an explosive decompression as it catapults into the Gulf waters.
All three warning signs are documented to be occurring in the Gulf.

Are they really? Read on. But when you finish, make sure you read this scientific debunking of the story. The debunker writes:

So the BP oil spill isn’t going to end the world – it’s just going to kill a lot of ocean life. And already-existing methane seeps may be doing slow, deadly damage to our climate. All this makes it even more obvious that we need to invest in alternate forms of energy. But who wants to hear difficult, complicated pieces of information, when we could just be screaming about doomsday?

Eat cupcakes and carry on, people.

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