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Time to Panic – Part 4 of 4 – Now What?

In the first three parts of this series, I’ve tried to avoid the techno-jargon while addressing the absolute minimum I believe every American needs to know about the global warming debate. In Part 2, I emphasized that it may literally be a matter of life and death that we come to grips with the concept of a “tipping point” before we reach one.  Part 3 tried to shed some light on the most common arguments against anthropogenic (human caused) global warming and why they are fallacious.  In this final part, I talk about a couple of common sense considerations that should leave little question as the qualitative, if not quantitative, impact of our actions on the planet and mankind’s future upon it.

“I won’t drop it.”  [CRASH]

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Time to Panic – Part 2 – Tipping

When talking about global warming, scientists speak of “tipping points“. I suspect the average citizen has a cognitive grasp of the concept, but is light years away from a deeper understanding of a tipping point in this context – the “gestalt” so to speak. But if we are to avoid the annihilation of the human race, it is critical that main street America, including Joe the Plumber, gain a deeper understanding of tipping points. Once you witness one for the global climate, it’s probably too late to survive it.

There are tipping points all around us. They generally don’t carry the consequence of a global warming tipping point or you probably wouldn’t be here to read this. A tipping point is generally approached in what appears to be a very gradual fashion, frequently without any notice that you’re getting close to it. When you get there, however, you’ll know it. The problem is you generally can’t reverse it. You can’t go back. If you didn’t want to go there, you’ve got a serious problem because you no longer have the option of return even if you’re wearing Dorothy’s red shoes.

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Almost a Time for Panic – Part 1

On the topic of global warming, I’m a pessimist. I’m afraid the human animal is not evolutionarily prepared to understand and deal with the problem we face today. We’re capable of producing scientists that can see the problem, analyze it and recommended solutions. But frankly put, as a race, humans carry too much other evolutionary baggage to make it possible to shepherd themselves through the crisis. It’s not that we’re too stupid to see it coming or deal with it; it’s that we have other attributes that have served us well for tens of thousands of years that will prevent us from successfully dealing with the impending doom.

Greed, avarice and the ability to deny the inevitable have served us well in our old tribal environments, but they won’t get us through the current crisis. The inhabitants of the Easter Islands have given us strong evidence that human beings won’t sacrifice temporal pleasures for long term survival. It would be great to interview some of these people, but sadly they no longer exist. They “consumed” themselves into nonexistence. 

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Econ 101 – The End of the World

When a college course title includes a number like “101”, you can assume it addresses the subject’s basics.  When you think about it, the end of the world is a pretty basic concept and rather simple to understand.  You can visualize the physical reality any way you wish, an exploding orb in space or maybe a dry, barren, lifeless planet embraced by an endless sand storm.  But if the world as you know it ends tomorrow, the final act really doesn’t matter much because you’re not going to be there to see it. 

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