Posted by: ericgrimsrud | October 16, 2020

The advice of Ma Nature versus that of the Internet

Because of my life-long involvement in science, I have learned a bit about the numerous “Laws of Nature” that have been continuously tested against the physical observations mankind has made.  The Laws that have survived that scrutiny have come to be known as “The Laws of Mother Nature” and, they provide the best means possible of predicting what will happen in the future in response to any changes we make to our planet.  

In my discussions concerning the specific problem of climate change, I have done my best to follow the Laws of Mother Nature – as is typically done by other professional scientists. This approach is often not used, however, by the group that I will call “skeptics” here.  In order to come up with the answers they prefer, this group tends to regard comments and conclusions found in the unrefereed public domain (newspapers as well as the internet) to be of equal importance to those that appear in the refereed scientific literature that were derived in accordance with the Laws of Mother Nature.

A great difference in these two approaches when applied to our climate change problem is that the one derived from the Laws of Mother Nature clearly leads to the conclusion that we must eliminate all conversions of geological carbon (such as fossil fuels) to biological carbon (such as carbon dioxide).  This will admittedly be no easy task because of the great dependence on fossil fuels man has acquired over the last 200 years.  Today, Americans still uses fossil fuels for the generation of at least 70% of their energy and the worldwide accumulations of carbon emissions over the last 200 years have caused the total carbon contents of our biosphere to increase by almost 50% above the prior natural levels.

At the same time and for no valid reasons, the skeptics claim that we can continue to burn fossil fuels without doing significant harm to our biosphere.  Furthermore, they claim that the amount of heating thereby caused will be very small and harmless. According to the Laws of Mother Nature, however, a continuation of these carbon conversions will have catastrophic consequence for the present and future inhabitants of Earth because of the excessive greenhouse gas warming it will cause.  Again, the Laws of Mother Nature indicate that the effects of that additional warming will be catastrophic if the problem is not forcefully and immediately addressed.    

Now, consider which of the two views described above would you hope is correct? The answer to that question is obvious, is it not?  Of course, we would prefer that the view of the skeptics is correct – it demands very little action from us and, in addition, we have already converted so much geological carbon to the biosphere that, if the Laws of Mother Nature are correct, we might not even be able to survive the CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels that we have already added to our atmosphere. Therefore, a view of the future based on the Laws of Mother Nature is indeed extremely sobering especially if one is concerned with the future of our grandchildren as well as that of all future generations.  It takes a mentally strong person, indeed, to accept the predictions of Mother Nature and it is easy to understand why so many people choose to bury their heads in the sand and embrace one of the friendlier but mistaken predictions of the scientifically challenged sceptics that hold forth on the public domain. 

One hears a lot these days about the decreasing level of respect our citizens have for the sciences, in general.  Perhaps much of this is due to the difficult path ahead such as I have described here if we chose to address the climate change problem in the only manner that has a chance of success – that is, by following the dictates of Mother Nature.  The only remaining question – is the human species up to this task?

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