Thursday, June 23, 2022

Hominid Thermostat

 Hominid Thermostat


The North Pole is melting. The Northwest Passage will soon be open on a regular basis; expect shipping patterns to change accordingly. So long, polar bears. What other little surprises does dear old Mother Nature have in store for us? That’s the trouble with climate change; you can’t predict just what the changes will be; but civilization needs predictability.

 I’m philosophical about it all. I have a theory, which I call the Hominid Thermostat. It goes as follows; Gaia, the planetary biosphere, noticed that that it’s been suffering from periodic ice ages lately. This will not do; so the biosphere evolved a species of semi-intelligent fire users (that’s us) to dig up and burn gigatonnes of coal and oil, and thus warm the planet. In typical Gaian fashion, the process is self-regulating; for as soon as we put enough CO2 into the air, then the seas will rise, drown out most of our cities, and thus end the process. How ecological!

The fish will like Florida; but Al Gore is anthropocentric enough to try to stop the process. He will probably fail because he’s trying to counter human political disunity, plutocratic greed, and ideological stupidity. Contra Naturam!

Oh, by the way; according to New Scientist, part of the long-range  global-warming forecast is that certain areas will each year experience a combination of heat and humidity high enough to kill an unprotected human within hours. (Unprotected as in; naked, sopping wet, in the shade, sitting in front of a fan, drinking water constantly, but you die before the day is done. Only air conditioning or a deep cave would save you.) These heat-stress areas include parts of China, parts of Africa, parts of South America, all of the USA’s South and Eastern Seaboard; and all of the Indian subcontinent. So India had better  plug in the AC (and hope the power stays on) or dome over the cities, or dig in like hobbits. Or leave, or die. And they, and the rest of us, will have at most three centuries to prepare.



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