Monday, February 12, 2007
Global Warming and That Inevitable Doom
I cannot say that I was born an optimist, but I am neither a cynic. I am opinionated and suspicious, which helps me a lot when I have to do my science. With global warming, I am no skeptic. I champion the reasoning that we humans are at fault; science dictates this.
I remember when Al Gore ran for president. Of course he lost unfairly: there was some malfunction of some sort in Florida, which did the deed to his great disappointment. This of course they say this is unfounded, but it is my opinion.
So nowadays former Vice President Gore goes around with his Mac powerbook, talking about how global warming is to us like a frog in a cup of water that is about to boil. Like the frog, we just sit there, waiting, until its too late. A hand takes the frog out of the boiling water or we die. He titles it: "An Inconvenient Truth".
We are of course doomed from the start. The earth goes round and round the sun with a catch: as long as the sun keeps on burning. But as all burning goes, it will burn out, and the earth will stop turning. We have 4 billion years until this happens; the earth is only about 4.5 billion years; life has evolved on earth for 3.5 billion years; our species is about 250,000 years old. We sit on top of the earth like the frog in the cup of water; it's ok.
Humans have become one of the greatest species on earth because we have found ways to push this thought of doom far away from our minds. We grew prosperous and we multiplied; we are now 6.6 billion in total, older than the age of the earth itself.
We've made our presence known here on earth by taking in most things we cannot give back. We are part of nature, but we have fooled ourselves to thinking that we have grown apart from it. We feel comfort in the burning of the sun, though finite, it is to the individual human life infinite.
We are doomed; this is natural we say. Species have come and go here on earth, because the earth is limited from the start. So we just sit.
But a couple of days ago, the smartest people of the lands, and some of the most powerful bunch got together saying enough is enough. They have finally felt the temperature rising; the water has been not quite lukewarm for sometime now. It is natural, but we have made it that way, with probability above 90 %. Sure, numbers are just one way to say this truth.
It is a giant leap to agree on the idea that we humans are in fact a formidable force of nature. But to go against such a formidable force takes much more than a leap. It takes an ingenious effort on the part of both scientists and leaders of the world to go so far; a great revolution in our science and humanity. We just hope that we move fast enough before our cup boils over. It is no longer convenient to be skeptical, unless we all accept such a fate to be our inevitable doom.
**Illustration obtained from http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.city.sendai.jp/soumu/kouhou/emailnews/ecolife-e/images/TokoroYukiyoshi.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.city.sendai.jp/soumu/kouhou/emailnews/ecolife-e/&h=600&w=425&sz=92&hl=en&sig2=-juZreEyQBO2tXT6nCKXsg&start=2&tbnid=mELYDxuqwI2YaM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=96&ei=-wfQRaKfG4yuaaCD0ZYC&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dglobal%2Bwarming%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG