- Politics and Social Issues
Can't we warm up to Global Warming?
The irrational fear?
Since 18th century we know, prehistoric climates were different from the modern period. A theory of what can termed "Ice Age" — when glaciers covered Europe and much of North America came in vogue and it was scientifically accepted that the Earth had been subject to a past ice age.
Earth's climate has changed dramatically in the past, apparently in response to natural changes in orbital characteristics and topography (plate tectonics), warmer than at present for most of this time, punctuated by infrequent Ice Ages.
These may have been caused by processes associated with continental drift and greenhouse warming (a result of carbon di oxide production from natural causes like volcanic activity). Now that the prospect of another ice age is staring at us, all nations are in a huddle to devise ways to defeat the change and save our planet. And scary stories of warming climate fill the atmosphere. But there is also, anther side to this. The people, I think are generally in the dark about the fact that there are opposing views on the gravity of the problem, especially among scientists. There are many among them, who believe that global warming is benign and natural.
Isn’t our fear irrational?
Where do you stand?
Are we worrying too much about warming?
What Can Alarm Do?
Is the extensive preparations, international conferences, agreements and plans adopted by almost all nations to prepare for an imminent warming, in many cases under pressure, really warranted? Should we arm ourselves so comprehensively for natural variation of our living environment, that too at the cost of many of our conveniences?
Imagine that something like this did happen sometime towards the end of ice age.
Assume it was a well populated world, all inhabitants possessing abundantly, the essential abilities and qualities needed for survival. A small group of enlightened ones joins together. They foresee an imminent change in weather. Putting all their might into use, they mange to assemble a good chunk of concerned citizens to devise, practice and popularize ways to defeat ‘global melting’. They search and locate regions of the planet least influenced by the rising temperature and shift their abodes. And quite a few frightened citizens follow suit.
Time goes by. Climate slowly started turning warm. And extensive studies were in progress, issuing regular warnings about this phenomenon. Accordingly, the above mentioned group of concerned citizens had already taken shelter in and around the areas more conducive for escaping from warm climate, like ice clad peaks. Most of others perished, their end coming a little earlier than normal owing to the complexities of weather induced problems.
For those who were in the shelter, the next and subsequent generations had to relocate themselves deeper and deeper into the colder regions of the planet to find comfort amidst the changing climate. Naturally, survival was always at stake for those species as the climate change continued to threaten their habitat. For the others, though they exited rather early, new generations evolved with greater tolerance to warm climate.
Life continued. Millenniums went by. The ones who took shelter among the ice covered peaks, and their progeny, continued their life in rather comfortable manner, thanks to the known surroundings. They evolved into beings who are at ease with such an environment, like polar bears, penguins or Eskimos. Whereas those who continued living in other parts of the planet had a horrendous time, the large scale death and destruction that was always there, making some of them to take shelter with the other group. But many of those who survived have evolved into a rich collection of species the populate the planet today, each of them suited most appropriately for certain instance of the climate, while the transition from ice age to the present, was in progress. As these species were better suited to the new climate, their numbers swelled, and they started occupying newer pastures and regions to become finally, the conquerors of the planet. One such species, perhaps the most successful of all, came to don the mantle of the queen of all kinds of life, genus Homo.
Now we are again nearing the end of an age.
Weather is Natural
Should we choose to shelter and save us from the agony of climate change by living under self-imposed restrictions and pressing inconveniences? And let our progeny continue in this world as unsuitable species for their era? Or should we let ourselves go, tacitly agreeing to live at the mercy, of whatever the weather, the coming days might be of? And give an opportunity to our future generations to turn into (say)genus homo++ and continue their life, ruling the world as we do now?
I have read, the worst critic of an artist, is the artist himself. And I think we are behaving like artists. May be we think of human brain as an unnecessary appendage to our physiology. We find it quite pleasurable to criticize whatever we do, invariably terming it as ‘unnatural’. And we find it equally entertaining to applaud whatever happens in the world without human intervention, always calling it natural.
Our urge to picture as artificial and harmful, whatever we do, when contrasted by our readiness to paint as natural and harmless, whatever is caused by other forms of life, only lends support to such a view.