NASA’s James Hansen, an aknowledged authority on Global Warming states today that he believes that based on his research the earth is likely to warm up by two degrees by the year 2050. Furthermore Mr. Hansen believes that there is nothing that will prevent that warm up, since the reaction to the excess CO2 is already in the pipeline.
However, he claims that if we correct the situation by the year 2050 we will have a good chance to allow temperatures to stabablize after the year 2050. The problem is that this correction must begin immediately, like right now! The problem with that is HOW?? How do you get all these governments to agree to all this?
The problems that climatalogists are facing is that to change our universal tune(that is lessen the use of fossil fuels) will cost an entire armada full of Uranium(at highly inflated prices no less.)
Mr. Hansen is likely right(for most of it anyway.) I too think it’s too late. I think the earth has begun to react and will continue to react. However, unlike Mr. Hansen I firmly believe that WE DO NOT KNOW THE EXTENT OF THE REACTION!! We have no idea when it stops, or what the earth will consider enough or when, or for that matter the how! The reaction may not end for a billion years for all we know, nor do we know how hot(or for that matter how cold) the earth will get as a result of the increase in man made CO2. Nor do we know the extent. The core of the earth may be warming(as I suggest we should at least consider.) Or for that matter the earth may well EXPLODE as some others contend due to radioactive materials experiencing fission etc etc. Do I believe the latter? No I dont! Can I say for a fact that it cant happen? No I cant! Nor do I think anyone else can either. Our theories are only a matter of probabity. The only absolute answers are in Mathematics where most conditions are under strict control. Nature, in my very humble opinion, thinks didly winks of our mathematics, and didly winks of us. NATURE OWNS US, WE ARE HER SLAVES!!! In fact we are less than that to nature. More like teensy weensy little life forms of little to no importance at all. I think she would care as much about what we think, as we might care to know what a flu virus might “think”! Harsh? No I dont think so, just the truth. We think too much of ourselves I think. That’s why we are always deeply dissillusioned at the end of an era(and the end comes always.)
I believe the twentieth century brought an end to one era. After seeing Hitler and company we realized all too well that we really did not evolve much at all over the past two thousand years. And so that era ended, and yes I think deep down inside we were all quite dissillusioned, especially since our “greatest” scientific achievement(on which our ultimate victory was based no less)was the beautiful realization that we really did not have to wait for an asteroid to exterminate us, we could do it ourselves to ourselves on any given day: all we had to do was light our nuclear firecrackers one after another for a few days, and voila, a new ruler over the earth is born(likely our closest and most beloved insect-the cockroach!)No I think Adolf Hitler and the Nazis brought upon us a realization, that in our dellusions of grandeur, there is deep failure of the worst kind. Our great aspirations came to an abrupt end. We were far less than titans battling with gods, and we all thanked God for that(at least those who still had some sense left.) We were still children, and like all children we could be monstrously cruel beyond all reason, or humanity. I know some will ask why lump all humanity under someone like Hitler, there are vast differences are there not? Yes, there are, and yet often it seems to me like there are not. All of us I think are tempted to think that we are somehow better than the other guy, that our path is somehow more proper than the other guy’s, that our visions are more true or authentic than the other man’s(or woman’s as the case may be.) I think in that way we are all at some point in time sharing in that cardinal sin that makes us all potentially destructive. Concealing this truth I think is an impossibility if we wish to go forward. Unchecked I think we are all capable of horrific acts. It is in the balance, and harmony of humanity that we find truth, and there is where we can find the good. Indeed, this is why I think Democracy works, and this is where we surpassed the tyrants(no matter should they be named Hitlers, or Ceasars, or Napoleans, or Alexanders for that matter.)A tyrant by any other name is still a tyrant. And at some point or other I think we are all tempted to act like tyrants. Our salvation demands more than to repudiate Nazism, or fascism, or dictatorships, or slavery when we’re in the mood to do so. To defeat these things we each have to look deep down inside and do battle deep down in our own being. We have to recognize how these potentialities are manifest in all of us at some point or other, and that we must recognize these weaknesses, and be prepared to do battle against them on our own, and from within. I think the way ahead will need this way of thinking, or we may all yet fail after all.
Ok so now we live in a new era. With climate warming we may well have arived at the thick of this new era. You see, usually it takes some time to see what the lesson of a new era will ultimately be, I think, maybe hundeds of years must pass before the drama can begin in earnest. Was it not so with the Greeks, the Romans, the Brits, the Americans etc etc? Did it not take some centuries before these civilizations could begin to grapple with the essence of their existence, so to speak?(As with the civil war for us, Napoleanic wars for Britain, Ceasar for Rome, the Birth of Democracy and Science for the Greeks, and the subsequent loss of Athens to Oligarchic Sparta) This time our lesson may well have been accelerated. Maybe Nature is going to challenge us with the ultimate challenge, and do it quickly. Maybe she wants to know if we are viable or not, and she wants to know now.(Yeah I know I am speculating wildly but a warming climate gives me good reason to suspect that we might indeed be tested to the core!)
If the earth warms as Mr. Hansen claims, are we really going to survive? Stop using oil, right now??? Oh yeah sure sure. Right away. Why we could all walk instead of drive. We could just turn the clock back a few centuries, and use our feet. Perhaps someone will invent hand powered wings too. Or giant row boats. Hey maybe we could call our civilization Bedrock II, do away with Homer Simpson, and bring back Fred Flintstone! Yeah sure. Hey it could happen. All we have to do is close our eyes and behold it’s a reality: our nightmare has been turned to a wonderfuly rustic dream. Sure it can happen. Fascescious me! Yes I know my humor is not much, and I am really sorry for it. But I feel that we must understand that to change the world real Sacrifice is required, likely from all of us. And Sacrifice is most often very painful, and no not usually very funny either. If each of us believes it’s up to someone else to sacrifice, then frankly there is no chance to solve this problem. If the problem of Global Warming is as it looks from our present perspective out of the box solutions most likely will not exist here.
To rectify our problems with oil will take the better part of fourty years I think, if not fifty. Those who think there is any way in the universe that we can just wave a magic wand and make our problems dissapear, I am sorry to say may well be wrong. There are no magic strings here! I really think this situation is critical(if indeed it is a fact-that is if the greenhouse effect is real at least as much as Mr. Hansen believes.) If the climate is warming in the way Mr. Hansen claims, we are in deep deep trouble, and the chances that we are going to change our ways overnight are nearly zero! It will take a great deal of time to agree on what we must do, and it will take a great deal of thought, and nothing but “positive” thinking will do. We will have to look forward, and be inventive, and optimistic about a possible solution, even if it will be dauntingly difficult. Furthermore we shall have to deal with one another with great respect. Yep I said that:we will have to deal with one another with great respect, and openness, and downright honesty. Yep I did say that! Folks, to rectify this problem will cost huge amounts of money, and likely mean a great deal of trouble for all of us. No I am not a nay sayer, I am trying to be bitterly honest. We will have to be considerate of each other. We will have to consider what it means for people to lose a great deal of money, money that they spent their lives making. They on the other hand will have to be considerate of the poor, who will likely suffer greatly before it’s all said and done. WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO PAY THE PRICE WORLD WIDE AND WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT SACRIFICE AND WE MUST ALL BE CONSIDERATE AND CAREFUL TO BE SENSITIVE TO THESE COSTS. This is a tall order, and it should not be underestimated. Yet I think it already has been. We are already heading the wrong way. The polemics of Global Warming are well under way, and they are well developed. Add to this the wars between east and west(yet again) and what we have is a natural disaster possibly followed by an even greater man-made disaster(ala Katrina.) We will all need to be reasonable, and commited to the truth of the situation to get anywhere, and the solution will have to be broadly effecient, practical, and viable. Most of all the solution will have to be of the form of a widespread social revelation that the majority of people have experienced and which revelation has moved them to see the need to resolve the problem. It is all up to the people. That’s where it starts, that’s where it ends.
So what if we fail? Well in short I think we will likely face a degeneration of civilization, and certainly the decline of democracy. This is a long story and I will talk about it some other time.
If we succeed what then? Well it all depends on what success really means. (Is that not the real problem with Iraq and Afghanistan? We dont really know what we mean by a satisfactory solutionto begin with.) For the Greenhouse problem success means only this:that we, as a global civilization are ready to deal with whatever nature throws at us. It could be anything from a mere rise of two degrees in the average global temperature, to a cataclysmic rise in volcanic activity for the next ten thousand years. Whatever it is including or between these two events if we as a global civilization are able to cope satisfactoraly, and as a democracy, then we have won. If we cant deal with this range of eventualities, and are unable to maintain an organized democratic global society, then we have failed altoghether. This is roughly what I mean by success or failure in addressing the issues of Global Warming, and/or the worst case scenario of Core Warming.