CLIMATE SCIENCE LITE
CLIMATE SCIENCE LITE     

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“Organic” used to have meaning, of life, until the term was misappropriated by advertising. Now nobody knows what it means. Mankind classifies life in terms of species but it really is one gigantic and diverse and organic single thing.

 

Plants can't move. Animals can't absorb the energy to move except from plants. 

 

Lives are not sustainable, we all know that, but also no species of life is sustainable alone. In fact humanity is the only species of life able to live over an unlimited range of earth much less beyond and that is only because of our ability to transport and trade. Life as a whole is sustainable only through collaboration between individuals and among species.

 

Sorry Lone Ranger. That's why you're a myth. You too Mad Max. Without greenscape the earth is dead.

 

The point is that our ego deludes us. Each of us is a flash in the pan, here and gone. Each of us is absolutely the product of other individuals, species, life itself, and earth.

 

So our goals can't consider us alone. They must be to be part of the whole. Just like each of our cells and each of our organs, we are meaningless except in our relationship with other life.

 

Life is one of the ways that the matter, energy and spacetime that comprise all that exists play out. We can synthesize every chemical in every cell of every life form here. What we can't do is to recreate the exact timing and arrangement of all of that physics and chemistry and biology that that first self replicating seed of evolution stumbled across. Humanity is the product of all of life and all of evolution.

 

We like to think that our big brains give us dominion over life but what they’ve really given us is responsibility for all life because we are now fully capable of destroying it all including ourselves. 

 

The discoveries of science seem almost miraculous to us but are they? Not really. They are just the way that reality has behaved for some part of the last 13.7B years, since the Big Bang. The miracle if any is that we were able to discover why things have always been the way that they are.

 

Despite the ability of our senses to inform us of threats and opportunities within our immediate vicinity, they are blind to most reality. Reality is too big or too small or too fleeting or too hot or cold or too far away for them. Once we had to rely on the intuition based on our senses to figure out how the Universe worked. It wasn't until we replaced intuition with science that progress began. Our big brains using the discipline of science could sometimes coax reality into telling us her secrets.

 

Take energy for instance - the reason why things change in space through time, or time for that matter - the measure of our rate of progress through space. So much is completely unintuitive. Weird. Simply unexpected.

 

Of course the more we know of reality the better we can be at predicting the future and even changing it if we want to. Without that insight there's no telling what us blundering around today might inflict on the future us.

 

A few decades ago we uncovered a gift from the past - chemicals from ancient life that still contained the energy from the suns when they were alive. Holy smokes what a party.

 

Now we're a little smarter. We know the price to be paid for that gift. A different planet. It's a price we simply cannot afford. We are headed down a dead headed trail. Progress cannot be sustained.

 

What to do, what to do. Emotions say fight or flight. Ration says identify, quantify and execute a solution. Let's run with that.

 

Despite the fact that virtually everything that separates us from Neanderthals is the application of the sun’s energy to earthly matter, we have no shortage of energy. We certainly could of matter but may have enough of both if we use our heads.

 

But here’s what reality told science which is telling us - energy from the sun is always coming, and it's always leaving, and we can use it while it’s here if we can catch it. We can use it to create heat or move stuff with it and never ever consume a single calorie of it. It always ends up as heat that then leaves us forever.

 

Pretty strange stuff wouldn't you say? I say, let's pay attention to reality. Not that it cares if we do. It just continues what it does. That it doesn't care about us means that we have to care about it.

 
What’s next? Our act has been so special that it created 7B+ of us inevitably going to about 11B. We all need our share of sun energy first to survive then to move and to prosper. Will our big brains figure out how to divide that critical resource in a way that all of us can survive and move, and move and heat things, and prosper; or only some of us? If we choose fewer enjoying more what will we do about the lives we’ll have to end? Famine? Disease? War?


It’s about way more than money

 

"Introduction" contains some reasons why you might and might not what to take advantage of this resource. The "Big Picture" page is meant to be the briefest description that I could think of about what is known without doubt by science of anthropogenic (caused by mankind) global warming and its consequences. That's followed by "References", links to other websites that describe various considerations more thoroughly. Finally, "Futures" talks about the various scenarios that we could choose among to bequeath to our progeny. "Choices" outlines some of the alternatives that we can decide among.

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Peter Zuris

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