The adapability of man to his climate


Yesterday, the IPCC Climate Change Report was released. Now the hand wringing starts. I’ve made a lot of entries on climate change here, I’ve given newspaper interviews, radio interviews, written guest columns and letters to the editor. Mostly what I got from that is loads of criticism heaped on me. Some called me unqualified to comment, others said I’m caught up in a cultural bias that stems from my political views, others say I’m just flat wrong. But few have even bothered to engage me on the topic, preferring to write about me, rather than what I’ve said.

To those whom voiced such complaints I say: “tough noogies”, I’m pressing on. But I am going to give it a rest for awhile after this entry. There’s many more interesting things I haven’t covered yet here. And I’m sure many readers would like to see some other topics. Rest assured I’m not done with the subject though. There’s a big idea brewing.

As for the IPCC report:

Here’s what we’ve got. After leaving the dark ages, and after engaging in hundreds of years of logical scientific inquiry, finding mountains of evidence that the planet’s weather is dynamic, vibrant, and above all fickle beyond certain prognostication, that there are regular up and down periods of cold and hot climate, we now turn a blind eye to that mountain of evidence and proclaim this: The world’s climate should revert to exactly as it was on February 2nd, 1886, in Punxsutawney, PA (the first groundhog day), and that we must move Heaven and Earth to make it stay that way or billions will suffer.

Of course, our ridge browed ancestors probably felt some sort of worries as they watched the Earth begin to thaw from the last ice age, and the oceans rose to cover the continental shelves and give rise to the planet-wide myths about a globe covering flood.

I’ll bet the leader of the people then uttered some sort of similar proclamation to the IPCC report such as “grunt, grunt, ooofa, mlock” and pointed his finger to the new land up north that was exposed, inviting his throng to migrate there.

Except, back then they didn’t have scientific evidence in huge piles of climate data and historical records tweaked out of dead trees and ice cores showing that this sort of thing happens all the time regardless of what humankind is doing at the moment. So, they didn’t have all the manufactured angst we have today when the same thing happened. They just adapted.

It’s been warmer than today’s climate in the past, much warmer. It has been colder than this climate in the past, much colder. We know this for a fact. We know that this happens with or without our activities. And we know that there is NOTHING we can do about it at our present technological level. So why do we insist that we are the ones causing it when for over half a million years it happened several times and we’ve only had this supposedly evil earth killing CO2 belching technology a mere speck of that time?

Because, many believe global warming is real and there are people in our political world who want the masses to hand over power over their lives to them, so they say “let us handle it”. To make that transition easier, they trot out this false premise, that we are totally responsible for natural occurrences in the long span of our planetary history.

They say we can save us from ourselves if only we give them the reigns of power. This has been done before. We’ve had a history of crises that “required” political intervention Here’s a few; the oil crisis that never happened in the 70s, or the global cooling crisis of the 70’s, or the global starvation crisis that never happened in the 60s, the Communist scare of the 50s that was overcome in the 90’s, the dust bowl of the 30’s, and many other crises.

When we look at the Anthropogenic Global Warming argument, it seems on the surface that we are completely full of ourselves and yet at the same time terribly dubious, sometimes completely without hope, and utterly given to embracing our own fallibility as a cause célèbre. We show no faith in ourselves by accepting this idea that we’ve caused Global Warming and still none in the idea that we can stop it. These are hollow beliefs put forth to enrich the power of the few whom offer us the way to salvation.

As a people, we’ve overcome much to get where we are today. We should keep faith in that progress and our human nature to counter the false guilt that we are not so bad as we would think and as others would profess. We have potential greatness that is unknown and unmatched simply waiting to be explored. Once, we dreamed of exploring the universe and doing so in style and comfort where now many dream simply of returning to past primitive conditions lest Mother Earth shrug us off in anger over our insolence. But, Mother Earth, Gaia, Mother Nature, and Old Man Winter, are nonentities and the physics of our world, our solar system, and our universe are merely uncaring un-malleable processes that are completely indifferent to our existence.

No matter what we wish or attempt to do, we cannot make our world remain in steady-state, we can only live with it as it changes. We are supremely capable of doing that, even when our world changes dramatically. It’s never been a question of if we can, but if we will.

Yes there are problems with how we treat the environment, but growing the power of the state over the power of the individual, regressing to dreary primitive existences, embracing inanities like hemp clothing and carbon trading schemes,, and forgetting all the wondrous things we’ve thought up in the past centuries to overcome each problem in turn, is to turn our back on being human.

We’ve proven that we can solve the challenges and adapt to a changing earth. So there is no need for the predictions of doom and gloom. But be warned; the solutions need not involve handing more power over to those who have far too much already and have not the wisdom to know what to properly do with it.

The world will change and we will change with it, just as our ancestors have done for millennia.

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April 7, 2007 10:37 am

Don’t know about you, but I’m scared 🙁
Found a html version of the IPCC report at

April 7, 2007 1:05 pm

I commend your analysis here and only add that there exists some suprising confederates to the climate debate, and that their motivation includes “a big chunk of 17 trillion dollars” involving Co2 regulation and carbon trading.
A video music collage introduces this in the beginning of this video, with an interview on same following here>
References and further power point analysis is at

April 9, 2007 12:10 pm

Good essay. After looking at my kids and thinking, “Would I still stand by what I think on climate change when I consider their future?”, I had a little fear-moment (having just read another IPPC doomsday article), and then remembered all the *other* scientific stuff I’d read (that you never hear about)which was a lot less alarming.
I decided yes, I’d stake their future on what I know about this right now, not on the politics of greed-house gases. The earth warms, the earth cools, let’s deal with adaptation if we have to. Mitigating schemes like carbon offsets, etc., are money-making, useless machinations, and Time wasters. I do hope soon the tide turns and we see some “off-sets” to the hysteria.

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