Every so often, human beings begin to believe that we are so clever, for good or ill, that our actions are more powerful than God’s creation around us. Then that creation reminds us of how powerful it really is and how puny by comparison we are.
In our age, it had become fashionable to decry the effects of “global warming” caused by CO2 emissions from our many beneficial uses of coal, oil and natural gas.
Recent revelations of fraud in the “science” of surface temperature measurement caused the political beneficiaries of the “global warming” theory to rebrand it as “climate change” – and blame every natural weather cycle and geologic phenomenon on the evil consequence of our continued use of the wealth of nature to improve the lives of everyone on the planet.
Following recent major earthquakes in Chile and in New Zealand, last week hundreds of earthquakes rippled through Japan, leveling great parts of the area north of Tokyo, bringing death and destruction not seen there since World War II. Initial reports indicate that the entire northeastern coast shifted eight feet. The quake caused a tsunami, which washed inland many miles, killing those who had survived the quakes and destroying what the quakes had not already destroyed. Volcanoes erupted around the Pacific Rim.
The power of nature made it clear again. We humans are but passengers on this spaceship Earth; we are not the pilot. We are not in charge, and our very lives are lived at the whim of natural forces.
A renewed humility would seem warranted at this point. I live on a sand bar at the mouth of a river in Southern California. Oh, my neighborhood has a fancy name and streets, sidewalks and local bars. But the geology underneath all that is still only inches above sea level.
Last Friday, the tsunami from the Japanese quake was predicted to hit our shores at 8:41 a.m. Sure enough, the sea rose, thankfully not enough (this time) to inflict damage, but enough to remind this coastal dweller of the power of nature.
Not for the acolytes of the “climate change” scam.
Within hours of the events, a blog blamed the Japanese quake on human-caused climate change, a ridiculous charge that was withdrawn on the same blog within the day.
The theory of the blogger had been that melting snow had pressured the crust of the earth. The blogger should have paid closer attention to the video coming out of Japan that showed snow still on the ground there. This winter has been severe all across the northern hemisphere with record low temperatures, snow and ice.
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But by Sunday, the CO2 emissions from China (apparently they’re No. 1 now) were again a major feature story in the Sunday newspapers. Back to the theory of human-caused climate change with nary a nod to the obvious fact that, while human activity might marginally affect natural forces, those forces are vastly more powerful than anything human beings do.
Worse than the obnoxious arrogance, the political/religious movement now known as climate change, or CC, is having a corrosive effect on a human quality that has enabled us to survive and thrive on this planet – adaptation.
CC puts the focus on every real and imagined negative effect of every human action, calling into question whether anything we do can ever be right. This focus would have prevented the major inventions of the last 200 years. We were a “can do” society; CC advocates the virtues of “can’t do” and “never should have done.”
For example, nuclear power is completely CO2 emission free. Even Obama touts it as an alternative way to generate electricity. After the Japanese earthquake, just the idea of small inconsequential leaks of steam containing some radiation from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants drove a “China syndrome” frenzy in CC circles.
Not to minimize the risks of nuclear energy. The use of nuclear energy to generate electricity demands a rigorous safety technology. But now, any future use of nuclear energy to generate electricity will meet stiff political opposition based on these steam leaks, ignoring the fact that the Japanese nuclear plants apparently survived a very bad natural catastrophe without causing major problems.
Here in California, decades of advocacy demanded we switch to solar energy. The utility companies got serious and planned solar power plants in the sunniest place in North America, the Mojave Desert. The same advocates of solar energy (Sierra Club, etc.) for all those years suddenly switched gears and opposed the solar plants because of their negative effect on the fragile natural habitat of the desert!
“Can’t do” societies do not last long. Adaptation to change is the primary human survival behavioral trait. Opposition to adaptation is suicide. Blaming every natural disaster on human activity is arrogant, wrong and folly.
I hope these are the lessons to be learned from the Japanese disaster. That earthquake should shake all of us out of our complacency that human progress is inevitable. We must learn and adapt or die. Anti-progress humans and their CC religion threaten all mankind with a human caused disaster of “can’t do.”