It’s been reported that last year was the hottest year on earth by far, and the implication was that global warming is alive and well and a real concern. Of course we should all be shaking in our boots and make sure to subscribe to the president’s notion that climate change (aka global warming) is our greatest concern.
For the record, the earth has been around for about 4 billion years and our record keeping has been going on for 100 years. For all intents and purposes, our record keeping’s percentage to the earth’s age is so miniscule as to hardly be noticeable. The actual number is 0.000000025%. It seems almost meaningless and surely in the scope of all time it is relatively insignificant.
Okay. Clearly and by far the consensus of scientists agree that global warming is an issue. However climate change seems a misnomer since we’ve had periods of climate change throughout time, so we’re really talking about mankind’s effect on the earth’s atmosphere, to wit, the idea that we are destroying the ozone layer, the effect of which is that the planet is getting hotter. Looked at this way, it actually seems sensible and real, and if it is both sensible and real then it is something we should look at and do something about.
But somewhere in the interests of balance and overall sensibility, we need to look at the issue in the context of everything else that is going on. Thus, interpretation of the data becomes critical and herein is the rub.
To begin, a large portion of the scientists and organizations conducting the scientific work are government funded around the world, not just so in the United States. Consequently, their paychecks are dependent upon their interpretation of the data assuming the data is correctly collected and the scientific methodology is honest and bonafide.
Second, there are so many variables involved that we cannot possibly understand in real terms the actual effects of what we are doing that is causing the global warming. Prior to record keeping we cannot determine the exact natures of the different periods of climate or the reasons for them. Outer space is unpredictable and how it has affected the earth, how it affects it now and how it will affect it in the future are unknowns despite the predictions we make based upon what we believe we actually do know. And even then, assuming we know a lot, which in the scope of things we really don’t, science changes, finds new things, disproves older things and previously thought ideas.
Third is us, humankind, and we are more unpredictable than other species since we can think and communicate and have that opposable thumb. That’s right. Those features we have which have allowed us, a smaller, weaker and more fragile species than many others, to control and rule our planet, make us most unpredictable, most dangerous, and most destructive, so a good bet is that we would destroy ourselves with our arrogance and our weapons long before the effects of our industrialization destroy the earth.
Perhaps our hubris is the biggest issue we face at the moment. Obama is clearly egocentric. Trump is clearly egocentric. The Clintons, both of them, are egocentric. Congress and government leaders—you name them—are arrogant and narcissistic and consequently our hubris is more dangerous to the earth than anything we could do to it through our industrialization. Of greater concern is our destroying our planet with nuclear weapons.
Take a look at the forces out there. Who knows what science will do? Who knows what the earth will do in and of itself in relation to all that is out there? Who really knows the true meaning of the scientific data we have collected in the mere 100 years we’ve been collecting it? Who knows its true meaning in relation to the future and the possibilities of the future?
To say climate change is our greatest problem is about as misguided as you can get and it would be a laughable statement if the consequences of it being stated as such by our leaders weren’t so dangerous. Making climate change the priority simply obfuscates the more real and immediate priorities.
We all need to take a step back and we all need to take a look around and we all need to get back to what we can do to make our world a better place. Dealing with our climate is only a small part of that and not by any means a first priority.