Sunday, January 28, 2007

Climate Change -- What! Me worry?

What is the reality of Climate Change? Where does man fit into the pattern?

We all know of the Ice Age – with its glaciers covering vast areas of the planet, as their movement carved rivers and carried boulders – much of what we love about Maine is the direct result of this period of world, and human, history.

Obviously, the Ice Ages – and there were many – were the natural result of geological, or universal, forces acting upon the environment of the planet; but then, along came modern man with his agriculture and cities.

Based upon the gas content of ice core samples, about 8,000 years ago – concurrent with the estimated emergence of agriculture, and the most recent shrinkage of the glacial ice age, things began to change.

It took 3000 years for thing to become seriously noticeable. It took that much time for man to perfect farming; and spread its deforestation practices across a significant amount of landmass. It was then, roughly 3000 BCE, that the world of modern man was born.
Curiously, the Hebrew calendar gives us a date. Those who wish to impose a literal underpinning to scripture – rather than claiming a verbatim literalist approach – would find little problem with using 5767 years ago, or 3760 BCE, as the beginning of global warming through human intervention.

It is worth noting that the Byzantine Greek Calendar begins in the year 5509 – which again is consistent with the emergence of both agriculture and writing. It also coincides nicely with the time frame associated with the flooding of the Adriatic; which, in turn, would be consistent with the origins of flood legends.

Those who engage in Biblical study might wish to consider Adam & Eve the first Levant farmers – the first to farm the Fertile Crescent from Israel, up through Turkey, and down to Ur, the Sumerian city.

A preponderancy of archaeological and historical data implies the Biblical Ur of Terah & Abraham was in souther Turkey; however, I have a recognized bias toward ties to this region, and therefore will await scholarly consensus before arguing any specific Mesopotamian point of nativity.

However, this does not lessen the probable SMH connection to Terah, nor the fact that Biblical histories continually return us to events in the same Mesopotamian region of Syria/Turkey where archaeological finds affirm the earliest cities and origins of writing.

Having diverged from topic, let us return to the discussion of climate change as a function of human behavior.

About 8,000 years ago, as humans started clearing forests, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere began to rise, animal husbandry, and crop planting is the associated cause. It was 3,000 years later than methane levels started increasing.

Analysis of air trapped in Antarctic ice cores display an anomalous increase in carbon dioxide levels about 8,000 years ago. This is consistent the period when crop lands began to replace forested land in Europe and Asia.

As mentioned, Ice cores also establish an anomalous methane rise , 5,000 years ago. This has been associated with emissions from rice field flooding, and a further increase in livestock populations.

As soon as the age of fossil fuels began, there was a new increase in atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide – greenhouse gases. As mentioned in an earlier column, this was first observed in 1823, became the basis for flood predictions in the late 1800's and were notably involved in the prophecies of Edgar Cayce.

There is no mystery, or magic, involved in the reality that man changes his environment. IT is the scope of that change, and the unwillingness of leadership to take responsibility for that change which constitutes the real problem.

If we look to the Right-wing, and Bush style politicians, we find denial takes many forms – and irresponsible pronouncements mark the true nature of their policies.

In the case of George W Bush, the answer is nuclear. First increase proliferation of nuclear power plants – with their unaddressed, and very dangerous, nuclear waste problems.

Expansion of nuclear power plants will ensure nuclear proliferation on a military scale – once the power plants are producing enriched fuels, it is an easy step to both produce and extract, weapons grade materials in strategically usable amounts.

This nuclear response to climate change and global warming has many side benefits for the religious right of all nations: We can go back to their desire to initiate Armageddon; this would then be followed by the prophesied plagues, death and a remaining low numbered population of “survivors” to inherit the world.

As a side effect, nuclear war, on an inter-continental scale, would bring about a nuclear winter which would offset the effects of the past two hundred years – and possibly those of the past 5,000 years.

As we cannot project the health of those who “survive” or the effects which radiation mutations would have, we cannot assert that the prophesied 1000 years of life – or a biblical longevity of the kind associated with the Book of Genesis characters – would occur.

All that is certain, under the Right-wing vision of reality, is that most of us are destined for a painful and horrific death as a result of their policies.

All of this said, one of the things I have learned from tracking the SMH is the broad and ancient diversity of my genetics. We were at the beginning of civilization, and influenced all the critical points of human history.

Behaviorists talk in terms of altruism – the act of members of a species to act in the best interest of those who share their genetic code most closely. While my immediate line might die, probabilities favor the survival of my ancestral line.

Unless you can say the same, you had better worry about what events will occur in the months, and years ahead.


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