Continuation of the old folk’s home
Dying may be something, like old age, that just sneaks up on you. My printer hasn’t worked since shortly after I got to Davis, which wouldn’t be such a big thing, except that I’ve almost completely stopped even pretending that I’m going to try to keep up on the current research on climate change. I much prefer reading on paper, especially when the content is technical, to reading on a screen, so I used to print everything I was interested in out. It often just sat there, but now it just remains a title mentioned in an e-mail on my inbox, along with the thousands of others. Judging from the general reaction amongst my peers, the e-mails in one’s inbox is about as close as most scientists get to real understanding of what seems to be going on.
Virtually no-one in the scientific community acknowledges that the “climate change” issue is anything like the crises I think it is. It makes me wonder if they are even reading the articles referenced in their e-mails.
Barbara, my wife, wonders why I question the “experts” so much. BTW, she also wonders why I tend to allude to her position so often. I guess, if I were half as smart as I think I am, I would do neither.
Anyway, the answer to the first wonderment is probably a combination of many things: my family was always deeply suspicious of “pseudo-intellectuals”; I passed the Ph.D qualifying exams in mathematics only to find that, in most other fields, the failure to then obtain a Ph.D. is more often a sign of a personal flaw than anything else; I realized that “climate change” is a euphemism for “global warming” adopted mainly because the latter is a much bigger problem with much more serious consequences than the commonly identified correlation with climate would imply; I suspected the adaptation was made largely because the latter problem was one to which the scientific community saw no viable solution; the only solution I can imagine requires immediate action, there is urgency, and I saw that the warming was a simple reaction to the measurable increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
answer to the second wonderment lies, I fear, in the obvious location. Perhaps I am not half as smart as I think I am.
But wherein lies the danger in acting with true caution? Pretending the problem is imaginary, as the Donald Trumps of the world seem to do, does nothing to respond to the possible threat. It does, however, avoid panic and keeps the economy on a good keel–or seems to. Is there no way to proceed with caution but not wreck what we have?’
My reaction, of course, is there better be.
And I think there is. There is a subset of the scientific community that actively researches how to terraform Mars. The important thing to mention here is the side note that the consensus amongst this community seems to be that the task would take something on the order of three hundred years. Whether we can stave off global warming for that long or not is an unanswered question.
I’m tired now, and just keep getting older.