sometimes its frustrating to be slightly better informed than the general populaiton.
As a geologist (by education I should stress, not by profession) I’m used to the idea that the world has been around for a bloody long time and conditions on the surface have been everywhere from frozen over from pole to pole and pretty much hot dry desert for countless millions of years at a time.
So the current interest on Global Warming (I put it in caps to reflect the fact that its a term rather than a fact) is just maddenning.
Yes, its perfectly possible for mankind to mess up the climate on the planet. however, what people fail to realise is this wont have more than a brief and fleeting influence on the earth. It might well make life hard for human life for a bit, it may even make the planet a lot less inhabitable for some thousands of years. But what about the millions, billions of years?
The earth has always had a self regulating climate mechanism – a balance – its pretty unlikely that we could mess that up in terms of geological timescales.
And in terms of geological timescales – entire human existance would barely cover a few meters of sediment if we vanished right here and now – a blink in the eye of monther earth.
which is exactly why comments like “The ocean is more acidic now than it has been for at least 500,000 years” as if thats some kind of catyclismic event really piss me off.
yes, of course we as a species should be more respectful to our environment, yes, of course we should take care we don’t pollute the planet – but you know what – the only consequence to the Planet, to Gaia (see James Lovelock’s Gaia theory and also “Is Gaia endothermic” by K J Hsu Geological Magazine; March 1992; v. 129; no. 2; p. 129-141) if we totally mess everything up (and there’s precious little evidence that this is what is really happeneing) is that Homo Sapiens will be consigned to history as a thin line in the geological record and the world will breathe a little easier.
We’re so convinced we have all the answers, when we really know so very little.