When does a scientific principle become closed to debate? No, this isn’t a riddle, Guys and Gals, it’s a legit question. So when? When it’s proven true? Or when powerful people who are not scientists say it is and then silence anyone who disagrees? Did we stop debating the earth as the center of the universe because it was proven incorrect? Oh, wait, first all debate was stopped because anyone who dissented with our role as the be all, end all, and masters of the universe was . . . um, silenced (often forever).
And now here we are debating anew our role as masters of the universe or at least of our planet. We are suddenly in charge of our planet’s climate; we say when it goes icy (the seventies) and we say when it goes hot hot hot (now now now). Our power is such that we can, in only thirty years, completely turn the planet’s entire workings on end. Wow. With that kind of control and power, it doesn’t seem to be a big stretch that we can mosey over to the thermostat and slide the mercury back to icy. Or how about a nice, temperate median? I know, let’s figure out what’s best for the planet and then we can set the temperature accordingly. Where’s the committee working on that? Get Al Gore, Sheryl Crowe, and that cute little guy who heads up the U. N., put on some coffee, and let them work it out for us. Oh, and let’s get a couple of scientists (maybe even a climatologist, though not necessary for this exercise), threaten their jobs and livelihoods, and add them to the mix.
Okay, so the planet’s warming up . . . uh huh. And in another twenty to thirty years it’s probably going to cool back down again (again). And we can all pat ourselves on the back and sigh with relief over our power and influence and the narrow escape we had from being burned to little crispy critters while sitting in our living rooms. That’ll be fun, a party, really.
Couldn’t we just wait and see? I mean what’s twenty or thirty years in the history of the planet? Nada, not a blink of an eye even. Now I’m the first to admit that I’m not a scientist (certainly not a climatologist), and I’m not an award winning singer or even actress, and I’m not a politician, so I can totally understand why I shouldn’t be taken seriously on this issue. So please, don’t listen to me. Check it out for yourself . . . and ask yourself and your sources some questions:
How responsible for the planet’s climate change are human beings?
Who was responsible for climate change before the Industrial Revolution? Did those wacky Neanderthals emit more greenhouse gases than we thought? Did those pesky dinosaurs really have opposable thumbs and industrialize behind our backs?
Is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a degree of warming over the past couple decades really worth all the hysteria and fear that has otherwise sane, balanced, reasonable people shrieking and pulling out their hair in horror and alarm?
Now, it is my understanding that I had a hand in saving the ozone layer (it’s almost all better now! Yay!) simply by (mostly) avoiding aerosol spray cans; what can I avoid to . . . oh, say, change the entire climate of a planet whose climate was previously changing all on its own due to tectonic plates and a variety of other weathery climatey things?
How did we avert the Ice Age promised in the ’70’s and can we just do the opposite of what we did then to avert the coming Hell Age?
Here’s a show I watched last night: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/beck.climateoffear/
Here’s Gore’s master (of the universe) piece: http://www.climatecrisis.net/
And there’s other stuff out there, too. Of course. And lots of issues that I’ve not addressed but have discussed on Rash’s blog post and a series of very well done posts on Neil’s page.
And let me also add (for those who will knee jerk to the conclusion that I must hate the planet and want it to burn up) that I don’t have a problem with using “earth friendly” light bulbs (I do, even though–surprise, surprise–they cost FAR more than regular) and other items, and I not only don’t have a problem with but support a slew of other conservation efforts: makes sense to me to save our natural environment, its ecosystems, and life forms. But we should be doing that anyway, not because we’re whipped into a frenzy of fear and hysteria at a pitch usually associated with scary religious zealots.