Climate Change - Bring it On - Lets Get Used to It
We can't stop Climate Change; Don't Fight it - Adapt to it
Humans don't act until its too late, or almost too late. With climate change its already too late.
You can't reverse it! You can't stop it! You can only delay it! You can't even get everyone to agree to slow it down by stopping carbon dioxide emissions.
It is like asking everyone to stop exhaling now! It's really that hopeless. There is already too much of an overshoot - temperatures will rise by several degrees, even if we do everything.
A recent paper by two scientists at Google has highlighted how hard it is to stop the progress of climate change et alone reverse it.
Climate Change is happening! It will get worse! What should we do? Get Over It! Adapt to it! Move on! Yes - Global warming is real! Its happening! You can't deny it! Yes, Humans have contributed - how much - why does it matter - the damage is done, the die is cast? We all exhale don't we!
Its time to adapt, to go with the flow instead of swimming against the inevitable tide. You can't stop progress! We have to learn how to adapt, spend money on adapting and managing the changes - Get Used to it!
What should we do? Get Over It! Adapt to it! Move on!
Yes - Global warming is real! Its happening! You can't deny it!
Yes, Humans have contributed - how much - why does it matter - the damage is done, the die is cast? We all exhale don't we!
Its time to adapt, to go with the flow instead of swimming against the inevitable tide.
You can't stop progress!
We have to learn how to adapt, spend money on adapting and managing the changes - Get Used to it!
I live in a cold climate - I would love it to get warmer; I would love to have no more frosts.
In fact I think I will go outside and burn all that waste timber I have in the garage.
Bring it on! I have a beachfront holiday house on the coast.
If the sea level rises I'll simply raise the house on stilts like they do in Fiji.
I'll be able to fish out of my lounge room window and park the boat at thefront door. Seriously there are many benefits.
Benefits of a Warmer Planet
- Plants will grow faster with increased rates of carbon capture
- Animals may breed twice a year
- Reduced heating costs, lower costs for insulation
- The North West Passage will remain open all the time
- Antarctic may become habitable and its resources more accessible
- Greenland will become green
You Can't Stop It!
Seriously, just think about it. It won't happen. It will cost too much. Developing countries won't stop their development. Why should they? The strategy is a 'Slow me Down' not 'Fix It' nor 'Reverse It'
There is a massive overshoot, even if we act now. Temperatures will continue to rise - there is no forecast downturn or reversal. All that money and pain, and individual wallet/purse emptying to slow down the inevitable.
The money would be better spent on adapting to climate change not trying to slow it down. There is no effective world government and so there can be no world-wide action plans that will work. Countries will always put their own self-interest first.
We need alternative energy sources - not because they release carbon dioxide but because the oil is running out and they generally pollute there planet. We need to reconsider the use of nuclear power because of the high risk of pollution and incidents, not because it is carbon-free.
We should not accept the risk because nuclear power does not release carbon dioxide. If it is too risky, don't do it. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
It has Happened before! Big Time!
The Earth, living things, Gaia if you like, are highly adaptable. That is what evolution is all about - adapting to change. We have forgotten how much the planet has changed and how living things have responded to these changes.
Look out the window - see all those green things. Those 'plants' caused a massive change in the climate and fundamentally changed the environment on Planet Water (sorry- that's what it should be called). Go out and give those plants a hug because without them and their ancestors there would be no oxygen in the atmosphere and aerobic animals would not exist.
For the first 2.5 billion years, oxygen only occurred in minute trace amounts. After this the levels rose rapidly to the 20% levels that occur in modern atmospheres.
Some oxygen formed through photo-dissociation of water vapour:
2H20 => 2H2- + O2
However most of the oxygen was probably produced as a by-product of photosynthetic autotrophs using light energy to split water molecules and so build organic compounds and release oxygen.
Primitive unicellular forms resembling modern blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) developed that released oxygen, which accumulated in the atmosphere and was deposited in iron oxide beds on the floor of the ocean. Oddly the oxygen is a waste product of their metabolism.
Relatives of the earliest form of cyanobacteria appear to have given rise to chloroplasts in algae and higher green plants. The chloroplasts are the small bodies in plant cells that carry out photosynthesis in modern algae and other plants, releasing oxygen. Where did the chloroplasts come from? It is thought that they were literally 'engulfed' and 'enslaved' by other cells to become the solar drivencarbohydrate factories within the cells. Chloroplasts contain their own genetic material in the form of RNA and are in some way independent.
Climate Change and the Earth's History
The cyanobacteria and chloroplasts - they were the culprits - they fundamentally changed the climate and life on earth and created the conditions for oxygen respiring aerobes such as our selves to survive on Planet Water.
There were massive changes in temperature and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the early history of the earth. The rest they say is History!
The Future of the Humans Lies on Other Planets
Stephen Hawkings is right. Humans must colonise other planets. Stephen Hawking warned that the long-term future of the planet is in outer space. Planet Water is not sustainable both through accidents, wars or pollution. Humans will inevitably stuff it up. Sustainability only works at the level of the individual or family, and that notion has long gone after the demise of the hippies.
Mars is on the horizon as the first planet to colonise - but we need to change its climate to make it habitable for humans or change our basic biology. Humans are now beyond evolution, but we can change our future progeny so that they can adapt to new climates or the stuffed climate on Planet Earth.
© 2011 Dr. John Anderson
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