Climate is changing … me

If accepting that we are in a climate crisis means helping to stop human cruelty to wild animals and to the environment, then count me in.

IT’S HAPPENING … BUT WHY?

I’d better explain, and fast. I was always just a little concerned that a massive climate-change industry, employing thousands, was possibly overstating the case in the interests of keeping their jobs. In the same way that the big-biz climate change deniers are desperate to keep theirs. I worried that humans, with our blink-of-an-eye lifespans, are simply incapable of appreciating that climates all over the world have been changing forever, and will keep on doing so, also forever. Or as close to forever as makes no difference.

Are we, puny humans, really capable of, never mind responsible for, creating enough greenhouse gases to change the climates across the entire planet? Is it really the case that our planet’s climates (which, remember, are defined as average weather) are changing faster than they have ever changed before, because we are making it so? I can’t and won’t argue with the science, because the scientists are working with the best possible data they can muster. So, I suppose, I am a wishy-washy sceptic. Or was. Or possibly still am?

(But — please note the P.S., at the end of this piece.)

Then I started to pay more attention to what humans were doing not just by disgorging huge amounts of CO2, but by raping the planet, plundering its every resource, altering ancient and precious geography and biology. Pushing untold numbers of wild animals out of their habitats and out of their lives, for the sake of manufacturing stuff to add to the already over-stuffed lives so many of us live.

So I changed my mind. Much admired economist and philosopher John Maynard Keynes was once asked why he had changed his mind about a particular economic phenomenon. He said, “When the facts and the circumstances change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Now I fully support anyone, everyone, who campaigns for humanity to start behaving with humanity and emotional as well as cognitive intelligence. To stop burning anything. To stop cutting down forests full of trees. To stop flying all over the world. To accelerate the final goodbye to the internal combustion engine. And so on. Because I can no longer bear (although I know I will have to) the sight of dying oran-utangs, koalas, elephants, birds and so much more.

Many of the climate-change activists base their beliefs on the idea that if we don’t do something, and stop doing other things, the human species will suffer and then go extinct. Homo-centric, as I think of it. Friends of the Earth may well be, but first and foremost they are Friends of Homo Sapiens. Green parties? Scratch away their surface paint and they are much the same. In passing, I am not a fan of Greta Thunberg. She is, to me, the wrong person saying some of the right things, but she is no Attenborough. I am vaguely annoyed by her.

I can’t, for now, think of politically-based organisations which would be prepared to accept that, perhaps, extinction of Homo Sapiens might be the best solution of all, for the Earth as a whole.

Nothing strange about the approach taken by Friends and Greens — it’s perfectly predictable. It’s the human reaction to danger. But the surest thing is that the Earth will keep on rushing around the sun, and will keep on turning on its axis for several billion years, and there will be millions of mass extinctions. Our tenancy of this planet is temporary, but we hate to think of it that way. We are the most self-centred creature ever to live. And our intelligence has taken us to that selfishness.

But — keeping our focus on the here and now, we have no right to be responsible even in the most minor of ways, for the terrible things being done to so much of this planet. We owe it that much. So let’s, by all means, beat the climate crisis drum for all we are worth. Hand me a drumstick.

IMPORTANT P.S.

Nothing is going to stop me from using Climate Warming as a very big stick with which to beat the planet-plunderers and CO2 emitters, but I have just learned something that I have to make room for.

Here’s where I started: “Not by Fire but by Ice THE NEXT ICE AGE — NOW! By Robert Felix.

The Earth’s magnetic field, for reasons no-one understands, reverses itself every 11,500 years or thereabouts. Apparently, this about-face is due about now and the Earth is preparing itself for it. Has been doing so for some time. While this is happening, the tectonic plates on which everything lies — and I mean everything — are being shifted around more than usual under the influence of that magnetic field change, and the added friction this causes is nothing less than unimaginably colossal. The heat generated by this friction has to go somewhere, and the theory is that it is escaping upwards through the multitude of fissures in the Earth’s crust, and into the oceans. This includes visible volcanoes, but involves a lot more.

If this is the case, then there can be little surprise that the Earth is warming, and that the added warmth is playing all kinds of merry hell with sea temperatures, thence the weather, thence climate. And once the Earth has stopped throwing its magnetic tantrum and has settled down, perhaps, when that friction stops, the production of heat will stop too. And global temperature will do what everything does — revert to the mean, or the average, taken over millennia and not merely a few thousand years. It could, then, cool down again, whatever else is going on with human activity. And, apparently, that cooling can happen at frightening speed.

How arrogant of us to think, I think, that even seven billion of us can compete with the things that nature can throw at us. And does. All the time. Without human help.

I repeat — just a theory, and not mine. And not an excuse for the likes of the god-awful stupidity of Trump and his like to ignore the human causes of the greenhouse effect. It’s just that, I feel, blaming the sun and the greenhouse is far from the whole story. And I also repeat; belching CO2 into the atmosphere has got to stop, whatever else may be happening.

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Dr John Grierson

Dr John Grierson

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Broadcaster, academic, journalist, columnist, humorist. Show- off contrarian. Seriously centrist politics junkie. British Americanophile.