Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Well, I Wouldn’t Start From Here….

by Pritchard Buckminster

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists magazine has decided to move the hands of the Doomsday clock, printed regularly on their front cover, forward. The hands have stood at 7 minutes to midnight since 2002. The BAS quote worsening nuclear and climate threats as the reasons behind their decision to show the World closer to Armageddon.

I think it may be time set a few points straight in the World according to P. Buckminster:

1. Climate different to that which you expect/hope to see or that which you remember from your childhood does not constitute global calamity. Yes, the weather changes. In England alone, there have been yearly fairs held on the frozen Thames and grapes grown as far north as the Midlands in our recent past. Global weather is a massive chaotic system influenced by all of its constitute parts; each in turn subject to an almost infinite number of components. NOBODY knows what the current, perceived, changes add up to. There are various models with varying degrees of scientific acceptance (bear in mind that “accepted by the scientific community” does not necessarily equal “correct”). Anyone who talks about definite outcomes or specific timetables is either a simpleton or, more likely, has an agenda and can safely be ignored.
2. Nothing on this planet is fixed. NOTHING. Try and understand this, it’s very important. Absolutely everything without exception is in a constant state of flux (other than the following statement, “I personally resent the intrusion of government at any level of my existence and wish that TB would be sent to the front line in Iraq with a T-shirt that says “I hate Muslims” and an ultra realistic looking toy gun”). Not even the bloody continents are nailed down. The various sea currents that maintain our current weather system here in the UK? Hah. About as likely to survive as an election promise. There was a time with no ice caps. There will be again. There will be a time where the ice caps reach Toulouse and Cape Town.
3. (Or possibly 2(b)) In other words, it’s all about scale really. I would ask my good friend Edwin to post a little bit here for point #3 as he is the only scholar I am familiar with who is truly capable of thinking along a geological timeline.

None of this is any excuse for reckless consumption of resource but again; there are a few points to note.

1. There is a finite amount of oil. Whether it is burnt (burnt! For heat! Bloody monkeys) in 10 years or 50 the total quantity of pollutants produced will be broadly the same. (Yes, I know that altered usage types and improved efficiency will make some difference but less than you think. Seriously. Work it out, the maths is not difficult). Personally I would like to see the whole lot go up in an orgy of consumption over the next few years so I can be involved in the green revolution followed by the evolution of self-contained Gaia domes using my namesake’s design.
2. Trees are not the lungs of the planet. No they’re not. Work out the total amount of oxygen produced by a tree over its entire birth/death/rot/re-birth cycle. Guess what, it’s zero! Want to lock carbon away somewhere safe? Buy books and lovingly keep them piled precariously high. Edwin and myself are far ahead of the curve on this one….
3. Deccan Traps! Lucifer’s Hammer! Any major glacial period! Look them up. Read the following fable with these in mind.

A flea once lived in an Elephants ear. The flea didn’t bother the elephant apart from the occasional itch and the elephant didn’t bother the flea. One day the elephant walked across a bridge. Upon reaching the other side the flea said, “boy, we sure rocked that bridge”.

Governments have focus groups that show that saying they are green will win them votes. They are not green. They are not really anything. But you can’t hold that against them. They are not the system but the product, the same as you and me. We have all been indoctrinated into the grand story of “Global Warming” a by-product of human existence separate from the natural processes of the World because we, as humans, are above the same natural processes.

Well human intervention is a flea.

And the world is an elephant. If he ever scratches we’re fucked. And there is nothing we can ever do about it. The next civilisation, possibly arising from cockroaches, will record our paltry attempts and chitter to themselves,

“Foolish humans, tried to halt an avalanche with a marshmallow wall”.


Charles Pooter said...

Welcome to the ranks of the climate change deniers, something I fully expect to be a criminal offence within the next 10 years.

There is one survival strategy that we could try: space colonisation. Best not to have all our eggs in one basket.

Edwin Hesselthwite said...

Before the complex comment, the disposable:

Two.... Minutes... To miiiiiiidddddnnnnniiiiiiigggghhhht!