Thursday, December 31, 2015

Climate Science: Shall We Gamble With Human Existence?

Some people try to say human caused climate change is a hoax perpetrated by scientists trying to get more money. They point to volcanos saying that they produce much more greenhouse gasses than humans. I've got a problem with their logic, and the people who promote it. The problem with the people who promote such non-sense is,  they are the same people who are trying to get more money by selling fossil fuels. They need you to keep burning.

Volcán Popocatépetl. Gran explosión del 29 de diciembre 2014 a las 8am 
My problem with their logic lays in the fact that there has always been volcanoes, but humans are newcomers on the scene. Logic would dictate that the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by volcanoes throughout the countless eons has been pretty much constant. Also that the Earth's ecosystem had achieved a balance between natural sources of carbon emissions and their sequester.

Then along came humans. We have lived pretty much in harmony with nature for the majority of our existence. Then intellect and the resulting technological boom happened for human. Their use of fire became more common, until all humans depended on it for survival. The harnessing of the fire by humans was the added factor that tipped the scale and unbalanced the carbon cycle. Now there are over 7 billion humans with all their fires, big and small. Some humans burn one small fire. Other humans burn a raging fire, a ravenous inferno, and will consume anything that will burn to keep the fire going.
Louisiana Oil Refinery at Night
So don't try to use the volcano as a scapegoat, or an excuse for complacency or inaction. Don't try to tell me that the debate is not over on this, because that is only harmful foot dragging, which consumes time we need to solve this real and pressing problem. The debate is most certainly over. Humans are causing the global average temperature to raise because of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. That is the ruling. That is the fact of the matter, and people better get that through their skulls, or we as a species are as good as dead..

Now I'm going to turn something around that was told to me by a faithful Christian who was concerned for my soul. It is an argument used by them to justify blind faith. I was told "You should believe in God because what if you didn't and there is a God. Believing in god won't harm you, but not believing in god could put you in hell forever."

Now let me apply that to the situation with climate science. Here goes, "You should believe in global warming because what if you didn't and there is global warming. Believing in global warming won't harm you, but not believing in global warming could put humans in danger of extinction forever." Get the picture?

A lot of the people who are climate deniers are also fundamentalists Christians. They believe that the world is only 6000 years old, that there was a global flood, that evolution is not real, and other things grounded in ancient Abrahamic religious myth. Some of them think that no matter what humans do, their god will bail them out, or that it doesn't matter because they will live on in an afterlife. I even heard a Congressman in the United States House of Representatives say as much.

Shall we gamble with human existence? Shall we bet on the tangible or the intangible? When we make this climate bet, all of our chips are going up for grabs. It is win it all, or lose it all. Use your marvelous human intellect, and pick where you're going to place all of our chips of life in the casino of existence. Remember too, we only get one shot at this. We win, we live. We lose, we die, all of us.