Wednesday, 7 December 2016
A future for mankind
President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of Scott Pruitt to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency should be greeted with delight by those of us who believe in Gaia Theory.
True, both Trump and Pruitt are climate-change deniers. But then, they also have no respect for science, so there is precious little point in the scientific community getting very exercised about the political change. Realistically, Trump represents the view of at least 50% of the western World and probably closer to 70% of that World. I rarely come across people who really believe in climate change. Often, they argue that sea level rise is not happening, that the climate has always changed, and that there is no proof that humankind has changed the climate. It is a view that will be embraced by most people because the alternatives are pretty unpalatable.
Do we want to face up to reality and take action that will hurt us, or should we bury our heads in the sand and wait to be kicked up the behind by something rather unpleasant? In reality it is not my generation that will face the biggest kick up the backside. It is the next generation: my friend's children and grand children. My sadness is for them.
Nevertheless, the sooner that climate change kicks us hard, the better. That way, perhaps mankind will start to die out. Sadly, many of the iconic plants and animals that currently exist will also be lost. BUT, I take comfort from the 'Great Permian Extinction' and from the K-T event that led to the demise of the Dinosaurs. If mankind is eliminated, the world in 10 million years time could be a fantastic place. Donald Trump will be an irrelevance and mankind just a narrow footnote in history. Most of the major epochs lasted tens of millions of years but the Anthropocene may well last less than 10,000 years - a minor footnote in history! Should we care? Yes, because we love our decendents but no if we care more about the long-term possibilities for the World.