Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Musing - The Paradox of Climate Change and Other Stuff

Okay, friends – so, I'm freezing my backside off here in rural West Virginia. I'm sure most of you are experiencing unusually cold weather where you are, too.

Wait! It's winter – it's supposed to be colder. The days are shorter. The nights are longer and the sun is baking the other hemisphere if you're north of the equator. I learned all this in basic science classes in my early school years. You should have, too, if you were paying attention.

I keep reading posts on Facebook and in blogs about how cold it is and everyone is ready for spring and summer. But, winter just got here. I grew up in northern New Jersey during the late 40's through the mid 60's and then spent two years in flipping crazy cold, snow hell, Syracuse, New York when I attended graduate school. Believe me, I have a basic understanding of winter, extreme cold and some really crappy weather.

An aside, I was also accepted to the University of Florida in Gainesville. I'm still wondering why I really chose Syracuse and babes bundled in parkas when I could have hung out with all the bikini babes. Oh well, life is all about choices, good ones and bad ones. Back to the main stream of thought.

So, here's the paradox. What the hell is all the political claptrap controversy about global warming aka climate change? We are spending billions and billions of dollars to study something that science taught me back in junior and senior high school. Scientists agree the Earth's climate is changing. No shit, Sherlock! It's been doing that since the flipping “Big Bang.” The only difference between all the times it's happened over a few billion years is that humans have become “smart enough' (?) during their short existence on the planet (a really important question to ponder at another time) that we think we are the reason the planet is warming. (Another aside, if it's warming, why am I freezing my butt off?)

You see, humans have figured out that we are actually the most important living thing on this planet. Not too egocentric are we? We are so important that when you realize in the overall scheme of the Universe, we can't even make a single pixel small enough to represent how unbelievably minute we are in relation to our own solar system, let alone the universe. And yet, we think, or a bunch of politicians and their scientists want us to believe, we are responsible for global warming or whatever the latest, politically correct term is.

Here's the bottom line – humanity and especially over pompous, all knowing politicians – the climate is going to change on this planet, as it has thousands of times, regardless of all the ways we find to blame one another and cost humans massive, untold amounts of treasure (and guilt). Hey, maybe we did speed it up a minute amount. But, gees – get over yourselves and deal with it.

Here's a reality. Every single human being currently alive on the face of this planet could dwell within the borders of Texas. Yep! The Lone Star State could fit us all. Oh sure, it would be densely populated. But, according to reliable studies, including by the University of Texas in Austin, the population density would be about that of Manhattan Island. People there seem to manage just fine. It's also important to note, of course, there are places on Earth that are far more densely populated than Manhattan Island. Those people would have more space than they ever imagined. That is how much of the surface of the planet humans inhabit. It's still a minute amount even if you only considered the dry land surfaces of the planet.

Of course, I'm not suggesting we cram everyone into Texas. I'm simply pointing out that all of us are only a tiny, minute fraction of this planet. Are we polluting it? Absolutely! Should we be better managers of our planet and resources? That's not even a question. Of course, we should. But, we keep trying to overcome the planet's natural course of adjusting itself as it ages. Yes!Humans do start forest fires. But, nature also starts them (and long before humans were here) in order to clean itself up. Are there earthquakes. You bet! They are part of the planet's aging process. Don't we compensate for our own physical conditions as we age? There are floods. We can't deal with floods. The planet doesn't care about whether we can deal with floods. Floods have occurred millions of times over the life of the planet.

Humans have this uncanny sense of playing God. We actually believe we can beat Mother Nature. Wrong! Even the ancient Hebrews (and other cultures) knew this. What does the Bible say? I'm not making this a religious statement, simply an historical one. In the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus, a Jew, told people the parable of the man who built his house on the rock and it withstood the forces of nature vs. the man who built his house on the sand and the floods came and washed it away. Duh!

We humans, in our infinite “intelligence” and logic choose to take on nature and ultimately lose. People build their cities and houses in known flood plains, earthquake faults, tornado zones and forests and plains that have regular fires. I'm not saying don't do this. I'm simply saying, if you learned that fire is hot and will burn you, don't blame the fire if you're not smart enough to respect it and choose to be in a position to be burned.

So, all this in my Monday Musing and the paradox of freezing our behinds off and wanting it to be summer . . . when, by the way, we'll bitch that it's sweltering and so hot we can't wait for winter again. It's time to get a grip. It is what it is. If you don't like it here go find another planet. Considering there are billions of galaxies, I'm sure there are trillions of planets for you to choose from. Oh, you haven't figured out how to get there, yet? Then I guess you'll just have to deal with what you have.

The planet is going to go through this climate change thing (and earthquakes, floods, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) despite us, regardless of what efforts all seven billion plus of us do. That is IF there was even a remote possibility we'd all agree on some action and do it jointly. Besides, most of us alive today aren't going to see the worst of it. It will be our great grandchildren and their great grandchildren. If the coastal cities are going to flood and be under eight feet of water, my most basic survival logic suggests people MOVE to higher ground or . . . get a houseboat.

You know, there are so many things we can do and enjoy and experience during the brief time we get to experience this miracle called life. Some of us work ourselves into the ground (literally, die and are buried) working. Some of us are all concerned about how pretty or handsome we are and that we're wearing the latest fashions. Some of us spend fortunes on plastic surgery and all kinds of chemical concoctions to stay healthy, change our appearance or fight the natural process of aging. That's the paradox of life.

In the end, and on this one item I have to agree with a statement by Hillary Clinton (editorial comment: one of my least favorite people in the world), “What difference does it make?” In the end for everyone, rich, poor, beautiful, homely, of sound body and mind or not, we'll all die. And, the last time I checked, dead is dead (unless you believe in vampires and zombies).

How about forgetting about whether it's too hot or too cold and whether we're responsible (and we're not) for the planet adjusting itself and changing the climate in the process. Let's just be more aware of how we treat our planet, respect it and simply focus on living every minute of our miraculous lives to the fullest. We are as free as we choose and allow ourselves to be to enjoy as much of our lives as we desire to.

(Warning: Political Commentary) Get off it! Politics is bullshit. It's basically a small number of narcissistic, overly self-centered, power mongering people who want to control and limit/restrict your lives. So, they create controversies like “climate change” and a litany of other issues. The long and short of it is that they rile people up, cause dissension and, ultimately, all to benefit a relatively few self-appointed VIPs (Very Ignoble People). Yes! We live in a very complicated world and society. Some governance is a necessary evil to maintain order, civility and avoid chaos (which, I'm not too sure we're doing a very good job of). The smaller government the better.

Life and time are priceless. Stop wasting it on stuff you really can't do much about, if anything. Deal with the cold. Deal with the heat. Love the fact that you're alive and can experience it. Love the people in your life. Live your own dreams. 

Live free and be happy. EH


Anonymous said...

OH BOY, U are down to earth amigo !! WELL SAID !!

Ed Helvey - Location Independent Traveler said...

Thanks!I try to say it the way I see it.


Lynn said...

Interesting perspective but I do tend to agree with you. One of your esteemed actors, Leonardo was in Alberta making a movie. During his time here, we experienced a chinook wind which is a geophysical phenomenon in the area. We generally experienced them 3 times a month. If you aren't familiar it is low pressure which moves into the area creating a significant temperature change and warming under a cloud cover. We are having one right now. The temperature yesterday was -15C and today was +6C.

It as explained to Leo while he was here but he insisted and the told the media that we have extreme climate change in Alberta. If that is the case, we have been experiencing it for all of my life, + 50 years. We had a good chuckle up here in Canukville. I think Leo should stick to acting.

Ed Helvey - Location Independent Traveler said...

Amen, Lynn. Thanks for helping make my point. There are too many people with too many agendas talking about too many things they know little or nothing about using their public personas to persuade too many impressionable people about too many political issues supporting a few special interests and individuals. Me thinks Shakespeare nailed it when he penned, "Much Ado About Nothing." Politics seems to find it's way into too much of our lives, even the most intimate parts.


Richard Rosen said...

This quote came to my inbox today: "Our greatest vulnerability lies in the amount of misinformation and misconditioning of humanity." Buckminster Fuller (

Authority tends to be full of itself, thinking it can legislate, regulate, and control people - though systematic misinformation being one means. The antidote? Think for yourself, which from my experience, requires knowing who you are: thinking through what things mean and from this mind understanding arriving at values to live by. This is how goodness comes about.

Ed Helvey - Location Independent Traveler said...

Isn't it funny, Richard, how all of these things have been learned and addressed in the past and, in most cases throughout history, yet . . . we just don't seem to pass on the wisdom so much of the time. Humans are great at reinventing the wheel, just with a slightly different twist each time - and there is always a group or class of people who profess to know what is right and best for everyone else, when half the time they don't know what they're doing in their own lives. The human condition.

Thanks as always, good words from "Bucky" (I wonder if that's what his friends and family called him as a kid?)