Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dumb Parasites

Better late than never I guess. Even a token appearance with only a month or so left beats a blank. Summer had to at least stop in for a minute before the leaves on the trees started turning.

Which somehow brings me to one of the top ten hairs across my butt. One of the buzz topics that has fed the fires of heated debate over the last decade at the least. Yeah, that's right, Climate Change, Global Warming - whatever word you find comfortable to use.

What I find interesting is rather than be proactive and face this obvious switch in climatic trends, the issue has become politicized and is now just another topic for folks to fight over. Each side working hard to convince the other who is right. Arguing about stupid details that mean nothing and all the while we sit on our hands and do nothing tangible to deal with what might be coming. Precious time wasted in a pissing match over definitions and who or what is to blame. Our climate is changing. We should pay attention.

A while ago, I watched an interesting treatment of the problem by a futurist who put forth the idea of an Earth as a living organism. A living, breathing, functioning entity that had been alive for billions of years. For the sake of the argument, those of you who might not agree the planet is this old, please bury this notion and go with it. With regards to the argument, it matters not how long the planet has been in existence.

So we have this orb rocketing around a star for many years. As it followed it's elliptical route, it's one concern has been to travel. What happened on it's skin mattered not. Life evolved like some skin rash and has been tenaciously holding on for a long time. Earth could care less. It's only concern is making it around the Sun one more time. At least that is how it appears.

In reality, the planet has been in a constant state of change since it's inception. It has created some of it's own change through chemical reactions of heat mixed with various chemicals. It will continue to do this until the day the core goes cold. Pressures will build. Continents will shift to release this pressure. And obnoxious expulsion of gases and hot fluids will be the result.

For most of the planet's time in existence, this was no big deal. There was no other life around to even care one way or the other. But at some point, a sentient race evolved (or for you theists out there - was placed here). Regardless, humans popped up. The Earth did not care. It's the trip, remember?

Over the time we have been aware, we have noticed and even studied the predictable climatic and environmental changes that have littered the history of this place we live on. Some of the smarter humans among us caught on to the fact that the conditions necessary for us to even exist have only been existence for a relatively short time when considering how long this piece of rock has been circling the Sun. And if we are to continue on our happy parasitic way, we need to address changes in the overall climate or we will be out of a home. Remember the Planet just does not care. What we do matters not to it. It knows it will survive with or without us. I can just imagine it chuckling at how stupid we are as we waste time arguing insignificant details.

I don't care to place blame. I don't care why it is happening. I just know that in the short 57 years I have been alive, I have seen dramatic changes in the climate. And even if this is just a small uptick, or burp if you will, the changes have made me aware of what we as parasites have been doing. We can be be smart parasites or dumb parasites. Parasites that use up the available nutrients with no new host to hit on are dumb parasites. Smart ones look to take just enough to survive without killing the host. In our case, it means not shitting in our own nest and adding more toxins to the flow of natural ones. Until we have a new host(planet) to set up shop on, we need to make this one last. And from what I can tell, we are doing a half assed job of it.


(756 / 2708)


Demeur said...

I couldn't agree with you more. The problem as I see it and I think you'll agree, that the parasites on this planet will wait until the very last minute to even begin dealing with a problem. The problem then is that there's a tipping point at which no emergency measures will prevent parasites from becoming compost. You are right when you say things have changed. That was evident when one of the astrounauts noted that the ice cap at the pole was far smaller than when he last saw it 12 years ago. Another thing to consider is population growth. When we were kids there was something like 2 billion people in the world. Today China alone has that many. Makes you wonder just how many parasites this old globe can handle.

Dawn on MDI said...

well said, good man. Both of you, actually. We humans are a remarkably short-sighted bunch. We tend not to realize a resource is dwindling until we're hungry and wonder why dinner is not on the table. The planet was here before us and will go on long after we are gone. A new species of parasite may take hold, or it may not. But we should not be fatalistic about it. If we are at all interested in our survival on this planet, we should take some measures NOW to make sure that happens. But like diet and exercise, those measures will be no fun, and some may even require actual work or sacrifice on our part. Good luck selling that to the masses!

Randal Graves said...

I'll do it a little later, I'll do it a little later.

Selling sacrifice in this nation would be akin to selling anthrax spores as a cure-all.

BBC said...

I've been trying to tell others for years that they are the problem, they don't give a fuck.

Too many monkeys on this planet is the problem, all of them wanting everything.