Monday, August 21, 2006
GOOD POINT, WRONG DIRECTION
As a benefit of surfing the blogosphere I came across this quote, which, while telling it like it is seems to cop out on our culpability for, or the responsibility of changing our contribution to, the warming of the planet:—
“There's a simple fact we all ignore, just like we ignore the fact that war is in our genes and that our egos are gene-products.
There have been 144 mass extinctions of species on this planet that we can count and probably many many more that we can't count. There have been periods in which the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was 200 times what it is today. There have been ice ages and periods of flood that have turned the continents into marshes. In other words, drastic change is nature's way of doing things especially when it comes to weather.
So we make a big mistake when we assume that by lowering our insignificant carbon emissions we are going to bring about climatic stability. The climate of this planet has very seldom been stable, it has dived and soared from cold to hot.
So our task is to prepare for change. Change is what made us human to begin with. Your ancestors got you here by making it through over 20 ice ages.”
I cannot argue with any of the above when thinking of the present in geological realities … but, there are many flaws with using them to justify the futility of humanity attempting to cease its contribution to, and the acceleration of what may well tip the balance of an unstable geological warming trend in the immediate present. The 20 ice ages that brought us to the present never occurred to such an immense population of technologically able creatures. Just the timing of sharp temperature increases at the same time as our technology exponentially increases its contribution seems proof enough for me that there is a reason to curb the poisonous aspects of our daily life. Knowing the greatest contribution I can make to mother earth is to become fertilizer when I die is no excuse for suicide.
As to the opening statement of “the fact that war is in our genes” I grant that the flight or fight response is provably a part of our genetic memory, but war is an artifact of overpopulated technology being ordered into it by authorities who themselves are in no danger. I know war is not yet in my genes or my daughter’s. There may have been a time in human history that even the fight part was not a memory in our genetic inheritance because the population was such that any conflicts were resolved by spreading out. The evolution of humanity since the last ice age has explored and exploited its environment at such an accelerating rate that we see the larger picture of the effects of our antagonistic attitude to nature only at a time that may be too late to keep up with the change we are surely abetting much less get our progeny through it.