Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
There seems to be a growing alarm over the effects of global wa… uh, climate change, especially as witnessed over the last few years in the Arctic. Giving examples is superfluous. But for you climate-change-denying-humanity-haters out there, just go to Google News and search for “Melting Arctic.” I spoke to a report of this a year ago in a post called “The Real Inconvenient Truth.” Can you believe, I originally thought I made that title up? The arrogance. Oh, well. If the Internet proves anything, it’s that there’s truly nothing new under the sun. But I digress.
Given the hysteria over these developments by so many of the world’s most respected scientists, I must confess — call me ignorant if it makes you feel better — I just don’t understand what the alarm is here. Granted, I am but the faint trail of an electron, luminated for a nanosecond on this “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” as modern science’s equivalent of Ryan White once popularly opined. Even worse, I’m not nearly as educated in the world of empirical data as some other trails on this mote. Let’s just say I’m an undegreed trail, if you will. But this I have gleaned.
From what the multi-degreed trails can derive, the universe is constantly changing, and, in the big scheme of things, never mind the Earth, cooling. As far as they can tell, the universe came from pretty much nothing, and will eventually return to that. Life, if there is such a thing, appears and adapts, or dies out, right? And as the passing energy leaves it, other “life” fills the vacuum, right? If the Arctic melts, the sun goes supernova, and the Milky Way goes dark and collapses with all other matter into a point the size of a Higgs boson, or, if it just keeps drifting out into the wild black yonder until it is absorbed, well, that’s how it all began anyway, and no one will be left to mourn us, so what’s the problem? I would humbly posit that ice melting isn’t it.
But I’m game. If anyone worried about climate change wants to tell me why I should care, I’m happy to listen. I might be a mere ignorant subatomic trail, but I’m an open minded subatomic trail, willing to listen to substantially more aware subatomic trails.
Meanwhile, I’m with the wise man, who said, “For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity.”
Or the truth-teller, who said to his endaangered people, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.”
From an evolutionary perspective, it’s hard to argue with that. In other words, if we invented a magic vacuum cleaner that sucked enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to reduce worldwide levels back to those of 1713, and we all became subsistence farmers again, we’d still be doomed. “We’re made of star-stuff.” So why sweat it? Cheers, and pass the chips, mate!