Sunday, March 26, 2006

Apocalypse Watch

So, of the really big and scary crises that are predicted in hushed whispers: namely global warming, hurricanes, economic collapse, peak oil, and bird flu: it seems that global warming is the most likely to come to pass. Or, more specifically, to be already happening.

Time leads this week with a cover story on global warming and the headline: "Be worried. Be very worried." I'm sure the producers of The Fly like the reference.

Is global warming here already? I'm not even dressed properly. The scientific community seems to think it's here. 85% of Americans seem to think so. As with everything else anymore, it's been politicized to death with one side blaming "Corporate America" and the other calling it all "shrill environmental alarmism". It's sad that matters of life so easily become points in a neverending argument. I guess the time of the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation wasn't much nicer. But, I'd sure like to know if global warming exists or not.

If it does, can we stop the process of global warming? Do we really want to? I suspect all of us have an unconscious bitterness towards a planet that will survive after we die. Maybe we'll be happier with jungle covering the earth. Would Chicago be nicer with tropical birds and tendrils of kudzu covering everything?


The Pagan Temple said...

Believe it or not, where I live it snowed on the first day of spring, not just a little bit, but about two inches, and was cold enough to stick to the ground. Of course, I understand that anomalies like this will occur, but it makes me think there's a possibility that global warming might be a mostly cyclical phenomenon after all. If so, that might be even worse, because that would imply there's realy nothing at all we can do about it, but let it run it's course.

Hiromi said...

Pagan temple, do you mean that the occurrence of unusually cold weather appears to contradict global warming?

'cause "global warming" simply means a slight rise in *average* temperatures. this doesn't mean everywhere gets warmer, but rather that weather patterns will get totally fucked up.

elendil said...

The most developed and powerful nation on the planet -- the pinnacle of human achievement -- is so busy with an infantile red vs blue pissing-contest, that the Earth is being destroyed right under our noses. Is this the narrative?

Well I heard that, during the Mesozoic, the Earth's average temperature was 5 to 10 degrees C higher than it is now.

Let me put it this way. If our 'best' still can't solve this problem, then we deserve exactly what we've got coming to us. The Mesozoic was filled with life of the most extraordinary kind. The environmental damage that we do will destroy us long before it destroys life on this planet.

People often say 'look to our children, they are our future', but I suspect that they might be as stupid as we are. So when feeling down, I recommend the following observation to console yourself: 'cockroaches are very hardy creatures' :-)

Rufus said...

I have a feeling that the most developed part is going out too. Other countries seem less afraid of science than we do... If I was a biologist, I think I'd look elsewhere for funding.

As for our inability to solve things, I think often the problem isn't stupidity as much as an inability to look at our problems in a disinterested way.