There’s been a lot in the news about Global Warming, also known by the less judgmental term, Climate Change. The former embraces the conclusion that the planet is indeed overheating, while the latter could mean warming or cooling, either of which could (or could not) be occurring over the short or long term, temporarily or permanently.
Allowing for the usual temperature ups & downs, whether the planet is dangerously warming over the long term depends on whether one tracks temperature trends beginning with (a) the start of the carbon-belching Industrial Age, or (b) on that terrifying day in 2304 BC when, according to the Bible, the dinosaurs suddenly realized that Moses was leaving them all behind to drown.
The subject is important – or not – depending on whether one thinks climate change/global warming could eventually end civilization as we know it and, if so, if anything can be done about it without reducing first-quarter profits or delaying release of the latest I-Phone.
Those who deny anything is happening temperature-wise ~The Deniers ~ fall into two camps: Dumb and Dumber. Neither is anti-science; they simply lack sufficient education to understand the science. Fair-minded people will appreciate why it’s more face-saving for Deniers to deny global warming than admit they chose Wood Shop instead of Physics as an elective.
Those who insist the planet is warming ~ The Warmers ~ also fall into two camps: (a) Scientists, whose studies convince them that human activity is the cause, and (b) Non-scientists, whose faith is best summarized as, “Why not? Those science guys passed algebra.”
Warmers are further divided as to whether anything can be done about it. Some say a concerted worldwide effort can halt global warming before rising temperatures destroy Life As We Know It. The more laid-back Warmers feel that, whatever the cause, it’s too late to do much about it so we might as well open some wine and savor the prospect of rising property values and more tourists as the Plaza gradually becomes beachfront property.
Roiling the dialogue further is a new school of thought, best described as simply ‘meh.’ Those in this group insist that it doesn’t matter if the Scientists are right; they simply note that Humans have never cooperated in solving any global threat unless it involved profitably carpet-bombing someplace foreign.
They further reason that if human activity is causing global warming/climate change, the planet’s built-in auto-immune system will respond in due course and annihilate whatever virus is making it sick, even if that virus is Humanity itself. Thus, as global temperatures rise and the planet becomes increasingly uninhabitable (a) Humans will perish, then (b) temperatures will normalize, and (c) problem solved.
Of course, if the homo sapiens virus isn’t tamed it won’t matter to the planet, which was quite peaceful thank-you-very-much before the first single-cell organism appeared in its primordial slime. Depending on which cable news one watches, these early life forms – and the eventual appearance of Humans – were caused by (a) gradual combinations of chemical elements brought to Earth on meteors and other space debris from distant exploding stars, or (b) Jesus’ dad. Either way, it could happen again.
Personally, I’m with the scientists, most of whom got way better grades in school than I. If something isn’t done soon to rein in rising global temperatures, Humanity will disappear from the Earth, leaving the cockroaches firmly in control of all three branches of government.