Global Warming?

Whether global warming is or isn’t happening isn’t something I stress about.  It might really be happening.  It might not.  It seems we spend an awful lot of time and energy worrying about things we have very little control over.  Has man made an impact on the planet?  Sure.  Both good and bad.  But when you look at the 5 billion year history of the earth, we are but a speck in that timeline.  The dinosaurs were here for 165 million years.  We’ve been here 200,000 years.  That means the dinosaurs were here 825 times longer than we have been.  I’m guessing they made a bigger impact on this planet than we ever will.  That also means that humans have only been on this planet for .004 percent of it’s existence.  Think about that.  If my calculations are correct, that’s 20 minutes if we scaled the earth’s existence down to 1 year.  Think about anything you’ve done that lasted 20 minutes (ya, I know where your mind is going on that one).  How much of an impact did it make on the earth?  Possibly another human being was spawned because of it.  Ok, I’ll give ya that.  1 more person out of the 7 billion on this planet. The point I’m trying to make is how insignificant our time on this planet has been.  Read the Bill Bryson book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” and you’ll come to a greater appreciation for that.

So back to global warming.  Wouldn’t the earth have gone through this cycle anyway?  It’s obliterated life on the planet several times in it’s existence.  Why would our generation be any different?  We will cease to exist at some point in time and the next iteration will crawl out of the swamps.  I don’t consider this a defeatest attitude, just realistic.  We would be naive to think we’ll be around for ever.  This certainly doesn’t give us the right to abuse the planet, but then again, ultimately it probably really doesn’t matter that much.  The next species will dig up our bones and wonder what we were like and why we became extinct.

As human beings we have a tendency to not see the bigger picture and put things in perspective.  This is especially true when you are emotional invested in something.  But if we stand back and realize our insignifigance in the whole process I think we would be humbled.  Enjoy the planet, treat each other nicely, and relax and enjoy the ride.  And if it gets toasty outside, be glad we were ingenious enough to invent air-conditioning.  How cool is that???