Saturday, July 18, 2009

No Title Required

When Al Gore knows there are lots of folks who deny global warming, why can't he provide a forum for asking and answering questions? I have so many questions, and no one of whom I can ask them.

Why don't we take a more practical, reasoned approach to the problem? Yes, humans are affecting climate change. No, we are not going to destroy the planet. Yes, there have been global climate shifts in the past. Yes, every time it happened, there were extinctions, some of history's mass extinctions have been tied to climate change. So what happens? Well, our ascendants won't look like us. They will have to adapt to very different living conditions. But they WILL exist. Remember, when our planet first evolved, there was no oxygen in the atmosphere. Early life was anaerobic, but it gave off oxygen as a byproduct. As a result the atmosphere filled up with oxygen and aerobic life arose. Now that the atmosphere is refilling with c02, the opposite will occur.

Yes, we've discovered recently that life is possible in the nastiest of conditions (thermal, deep ocean vents.) So we shouldn't presume that life will not thrive when we are done poisoning the planet. It will. Everytime a species goes extinct, something else is able to fill that niche. Life goes on. Humans are the worst kind of invasive species. We had it good in North Africa, but we also had either a wanderlust, or we used up all the food in our own neighborhood and had to move to find more notwithstanding that we would have to displace something or someone else in order to do that. So we took off for Asia, then Europe and then the Americas-or maybe we did some of that radiating at the same time. Either way, once we get someplace we decide it's not good enough as it is, and we try to remake it in our image, and destroy its original integrity and balance. We will continue to do so, even as we drastically change the way we live, and the form of our lives.

I do, also, however, have a nihilist streak. I think the great "supervolcano" in which we live will render all of this moot at some point in the near future. I may or may not mean the word "near" by the standard of our hurried, harried time, or in geologic time, but before long, all the plants around us will become new carboniferus deposits, and all of us animals will become oil. How about that for irony?

1 comment:

Brian Terrell said...

Could it be that the reason Algore doesn't have a forum is because he doesn't want questions? "The science is settled. There is no more debate." Oh yes, there is.