Skip to content

Climate Crisis: Humanity At Its Finest?

2012/07/05

Humans are such complicated creatures. We are wreaking havoc on a global scale because of a big-is-better, greed-is-good mentality that dominates most nations and corporations (combined with an “it’s too hard to change” attitude on the part of much of the populace). Yet we are also capable of great compassion, and heroic deeds of service to fellow creatures, human and other. At this point in our history, the choice we make between those two will lead us, our children and all future generations down the path either to unimaginable destruction or to equally unimaginable – and unprecedented – abundant life on this planet.

Firefighters are courageously fighting wildfires around the world. This photo is an example of humanity at its finest. This picture, out of Australia, has been making the rounds on Facebook:

source: Facebook

*

*

For those of you interested in science and climate, specifically climate change, mega-fauna, and plants, PhD student and blogger Jacquelyn Gill from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is taking the unusual step of streaming her thesis defence live on the internet. Entitled “The Biogeography of Biotic Upheaval: Novel ecosystems and the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions”. According to the Why Evolution Is True blog:

In other words, what happened as all those giant mammals and birds disappeared at about the time humans popped up in their environments?  This is a big question, with implication not only for our understanding of the past, but also for trying to see into the future, and to understand what will happen in the coming decades through climate change and direct human activity. Jacquelyn’s research looks particularly at the role of plants in disturbed ecosystems, as indicated on this neat poster for her talk, made by Jeremy Parker.

The defense will begin at 1:00 pm CST today (Thursday July 7). Click here to view it. Jacquelyn blogs over at The Contemplative Mammoth.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth permalink
    2012/07/05 11:25 am

    It’s funny you posted this because lately I’ve been watching the British prehistoric/evolution shows on Netflix (about dinosaurs, various prehistoric mammals and early humans). Every time a species goes extinct the voice-over starts out with, “And then the climate changed…” It’s incredible how small changes to the climate can have a huge impact on what type of life it can support. We have good reason to be nervous about the future.

  2. climatehawk1 permalink
    2012/07/05 1:01 pm

    Thanks, Christine. I’d be interested in your thoughts on Andy Revkin’s latest: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/oils-long-goodbye-and-a-species-quest-for-self-control/

    • 2012/07/06 1:55 pm

      I’m not a huge Revkin fan, but I did read this article (on your recommendation). I find the author’s assertion that the West/U.S. is the best system/nation to respond to this crisis not well substantiated and, based on the evidence so far, simply not true. His approach smacks of pragmatism (“it’s not great, but it’s the best we have to work with”) and misses the point (IMHO). We need a dramatic shift, economically and politically, to respond to the climate crisis in enough time, with strong enough response (I think his 20 years are mighty optimistic and again without substantiation – the IEA, no less, has said we have 5 years to get off our fossil fuel addiction).
      How ’bout you? What are your thoughts?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: