Fairy tales are stories we tell children and fables politicians spin. Both contain an element of fiction. The trick is to include a fact or two and weave a new story making up the other bits. The New York Times reports that more and more people are tuning out. No, we aren’t missing our shows, we are recording them so we can fast forward through the political spin.
One of the things I learned as I grew older was to control my reactions to various dumb things I heard or read in the press. If you stand back and don’t take sides, you can find much to amuse you. I know this is hard for most folks as they have strong opinions about this, that and the other, but I’ve been around the block a few times and very few bits of information get me excited anymore. I’ve become so detached it sometimes worries me.
When I was 18, I thought humans could solve any problem. Now I am not at all convinced humans can solve any problem. The French writer Proust, credited with saying, the more things change the more they remain the same, might have added, the more things change the more problems we uncover, create, etc.
Having finished Chris Stringer’s Lone Survivors, I am now reading Clive Finlayson’s The Humans Who Went Extinct, How the Neanderthals died out and We Survived.
Finlayson includes a long passage on geological time, one that should give every reader pause the next time they think about the topic of Climate Change.
Both of these recent books give me a sense of the insignificance of current events relative to the history of human evolution. For example, the French Revolution, which looms large in recent history, the barricades of 1848, the student riots of 1968, all pale in comparison to the eons of change in the past.
Once upon a time, I thought Al Gore walked on water. I probably felt this way because my Dad disliked him, and I argued with my Dad about anything. I saw Al’s film, read his books and made myself sick worrying about climate change. Then one day, I stumbled across those folks some on the left call “Climate Change Deniers” as if it is heresy to hold a different opinion.
I believe the climate is warming. What I question is what humans can do about it? I think the answer may be “very little.” Adaptation may be the key to survival.
However, since the horrible air inversions of the 1960s, I have thought we should clean up the atmosphere as best we can, and I support most aspects of the Clean Air Act, for health’s sake..ours and the trees. It would be a good thing to lower carbon emissions and reduce acid rain. However, as long as newly industrializing countries ignore this suggestion, and fossil fuel continues to leak from underwater fissures into the oceans, and from the backside of cows into atmosphere, just how much can humans do? Stop driving? Reducing your intake of beef might help, but milk cows emit methane too.
We have introduced energy-saving devices like crazy into our house, mostly to save on our energy bill. (I have almost bankrupted my self on LED light bulbs.) Now, I am in the Let Go and Let God mode. I know this drives some folks nuts, but I am doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do. I am not going to lose sleep over the subject of climate change.
The other day, David and I were discussing the Mars Explorer. Ever since I met him, David has been looking for signs that Martians colonized the earth . If he had shared his ideas with me before I married him, I might have thought he was nuts. Now I wonder what else is he not telling me.
I began sharing excerpts from the books I am reading on Paleoanthropology with David (he is an economist and electrical engineer by training and did not understand speiciation until I explained it). When Discovery, or Explorer or whatever, landed on Mars, I told him, “they aren’t going to find humans came from Mars, you know. Humans evolved on earth.”
Scientists have made huge leaps in the field of paleoanthropology in the past 20 years. Huge. I never liked science fiction, but I love science. I am probably the only person on Earth who never watched Star Trek, although I liked My Favorite Martian and Third Rock from the Sun. I also like the BBC’s My Hero. I like comedy, and if you can make it funny with alien life forms, great. The one thing I am sure of is that if we ever encounter real alien life forms, although carbon based, they won’t be related to us or anything else that evolved on this planet and was subjected to climate change.