Can I Wait?

I have, I guess, stopped submitting my ideas to magazines. Have only rarely done it, in fact. I probably am afraid of not getting support from the scientific community. If I do not, how do I go forward?

Can I stand being alone on this?

What if the scientific community says we can still fix it? What if they are right in thinking life cannot be killed in toto?

Can I stand letting delay in response continue until it is too late to respond? Too late in the sense of too late to succeed in attempts to compensate.?

Of course I can. Perhaps I already have.

I first saw the end of all life in 1986. Every year since I have only seen more evidence of the reasonableness of concern for all life. Consider, first of all, Mars and Venus. Mars used to be very much like Earth. This we know from actually looking. Venus appears to be the victim of a runaway greenhouse effect, very much, so far as we know, like the global warming we are currently experiencing today on Earth.

Perhaps it is much easier for nature to make the Earth, or any planet, totally uninhabitable than so bad that humanity, a terribly clever species, and a few other species, cannot survive there, but some can. If humanity is not so special, why would nature not just make the place sterile than make it inhospitable to us?

For the record, I’m not saying I have any kind of read on what the scientific community as a whole says about the fragility of life on this planet. As far as I have seen, the scientific community takes a pass on this question.

The existence of extremophiles seems to be everyone’s answer to concerns about the life-force on Earth. But I have seen no studies on the question of the life-force itself. Extremophiles are, by definition, species which survive at extreme conditions. That is not the same as having the ability to survive in other conditions. A microorganism that considers 0 degrees Fahrenheit normal may not be so comfortable in an environment which has ph of <3.0.  It would still be an extremophile. I don’t even know whether we even know whether there are extremophiles that are comfortable in widely ranging extremes. For instance, does the extreme of outer space automatically cover all other extremes? Why?

It does, however, bother me that so few scientists seem to question the assumption that life on Earth will survive climate change. Why do they buy into that without question? They’re the smart guys. We’re counting on them to have asked the question and have something more than a gut reaction.

That there will be an upper limit on how hot the planet will get is probably a given. But whether any species will survive it or not is not so clear, especially if other  extremes accompany  the temperature. I’d like to know how high the upper limit is likely to be and why. By the way, the history of the Earth is hardly a place to look. The Earth is not at all like it was in the distant past. The PETM, (yeah,you have to google it) in particular, hardly presents any assurance, since we had a planet covered by forests back then.

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3 Responses to Can I Wait?

  1. Dallas Smith says:

    Wikipedia has an extensive discussion of PETM. Melting of the arctic permafrost could escalate the ozone releases that are a wild card in escalating climate change. George, I really appreciate your expressions of concern. I just don’t know if human beings (much less the animal world) can react/adapt sufficiently to looming cataclysmic ecosystem changes.

    • George says:

      Dallas:
      What concerns me most is the lack of concern I see in the scientific community. It is mostly axiomatic that Man cannot be the cause of loss of all life. If that is even a possibility, then I think doing something about it is a no brainer.

  2. Hank Raymond says:

    Haven’t climate scientists put an upper limit on how much the temperature can rise and isn’t that less than what it would take to extinguish life on Earth?

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