Friday, January 4, 2013

Dear M."Skeptic" ~ Climate Change Denial and Human Ingenuity

In some ways the following was a response to a virtual character over at who resembles a Denialist Sock Puppet more than any real person I've ever known.

by Minda Berbeco on January 1, 2013

Climate Change Denial and Human Ingenuity
by Minda Berbeco on January 1, 2013

In my job I get to learn a bit about the common arguments against climate change. As I’ve mentioned before, the new charge is not that it doesn’t exist, it’s that it is just too hard to do anything about climate change right now. It’s too expensive, the technology is just not there, we need to talk about it more, and not be rash.

Talking about it actually is a big one — it’s like your horrible ex-girlfriend from 20 years ago who is still looking for closure – “I just want to be sure, we are really both ok with this break up?” It’s not that we can’t ever address those greenhouse gases, we just need to talk and talk and talk and maybe wait for the future when technology is better and human ingenuity has kicked in.

If only we humans had more, I don’t know, elbow grease? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where human intellectual and political resources could be utilized to solve seemingly impossible problems?

In the spirit of the New Year, I thought we could travel in time to the futuristic society the climate deniers speak of. A world that would have the technological wherewithal, the human ingenuity and political will to tackle major issues like climate change.
Let’s take the trip! . . .

From there Berbeco get's into an interesting review of human ingenuity and capabilities. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

It got me to thinking... society, meaning all of us, find ourselves in a situation where we should be acting adult and dispassionate about absorbing information and coming to terms with our real world geophysical situation.  But, instead we have a world where folks feel fine using the most ruthless tactics to keep us from focusing in on the real questions of our time:   
A) understanding what is happening to our planet's atmosphere and climate and biosphere 
B) coordinating efforts to confront and adapt to the situation at hand.

No matter how many contortions contrarians force their cherry-picked tidbits into, the bottom line is that our planet is warming as a result of the fossil fuels that have driven our progress and prosperity. 

It's plenty true that all of us, including me, and also scientists, enjoy our modern life styles and the incomparable engines of our ingenuity that make many of our lives as wonderful as any humans have ever experienced.

But those wonders and comforts should not make us blind to the price this progress has exacted upon our life supporting biosphere and the future generations who depend on it every bit as much as we have.

I bring this up because some folks around here remind me of some emphysemic chain smoker who'll rather die defiant than quit.  Now that's fine and dandy in our individual lives, we all have our vices and each exacts it's rightful toll on us, come what may.  However, it is an entirely different thing to allow all of society's future to go under.  And yes my dear "skeptical" contrarians those are damned well the stakes we have wagered.

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