Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Nature, Alternative energy, Politics 

Global warming

I just watched the documentary Merchants of doubt, which exposes the forces behind the so called global warming controversy. Al Gore made a big name for himself with the documentary An inconvenient truth, and since then scientific consensus is strong on the subject; the planet is getting warmer and it is because of the activities of man.

But somehow I have never been really convinced or concerned, and that probably makes me sound stupid to many people. I am fascinated by nature and spend a lot of time hiking to study plants and animals; it is a source of great experiences in my life. So I really do care about enjoying nature.

It just seems to me that the science of weather and climate is still in a very immature state, lacking a lot of predictable power compared to other sciences. If they can't even tell me the weather correctly for tomorrow, how can they know for certain how the climate will change in ten or a hundred years? There is a thousand things that affect the climate, most of which still are unknown to us.

Right now, global temperature is rising and so are CO2 levels. So what? Through the millions of years of geological time, temperature and CO2 levels have varied a lot, both up and down from today's levels. So has every other measurable climate factor. At one point the CO2 level was so low it threatened to wipe out all plant life, and at some other point it was ten times our current levels.

Is this recent change good or bad for the planet? Well, that depends on what is meant by good or bad. If we want the planet to be preserved exactly like it is right now, as if frozen in time, then of course it is bad. But our planet is always in change. The location where I'm sitting right now and enjoying Swedish summer, was covered by a 3 km thick sheet of ice as soon as 20,000 years ago.  Imagine if we had reached our current technology development level at that time. Of course we would have had the same discussion about trying to preserve the ice sheet over Scandinavia, because the melting water would flood all important coastal cities, not to mention all the millions of species that would go extinct.

So it will get warmer for a while. Things will change. It is like a normal day at the office when it comes to the planet. And there you have the core issue about this anthroposophic climate change debate. It is aiming to vilify humanity about what we do to mother earth. But actually it is not about caring for the planet, it is instead all about us humans and how we want things to be. We want to keep the temperature, ice cover, coastal cities and thriving species as they are, because we are used to having it this way. We seem to refuse to acknowledge that we live in a place of constant change.

The earth doesn't care about us, or the small dents our activities could possibly make in it. The earth is indifferent. What will happen will happen, even if it means that most of life on the planet will die out. Then a few million years later, when humanity has left the solar system, a new Cambrian explosion will repopulate the earth with variety in abundance. Perhaps some other smarter species will evolve and annihilate us.

Don't get me wrong, I also want us to devote major resources into ecologically sound alternatives, such as ending petroleum dependency and saving the rain forest. But I don't pretend that it is for the good sake of the planet. It because we humans want it that way.

Below: George Carlin sums it up really well.

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