Global Warming

“Waste not want not.”
“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Our predecessors beat us to those practical insights. They are indeed words of wisdom.  I believe in conservation. The first paying job I had was with the conservation department in our state. I believe in thrift. I am not as thrifty as the woman who puts her used paper towel on the kitchen sink faucet to dry overnight for reuse, or the man who rinses and saves his dental floss for reuse. However, I am provident and at best frugal. One of the most popular movements of our time advocates a worthy means to an impossible end. The means involves but is not limited to reducing atmospheric pollution, conserving energy, when possible using biodegradable products, conserving water and reducing greenhouse gases. I’m a believer who does those things. The intended end is to stop global warming. To help determine if this is possible, consider the history of our planet. To do so take into consideration the various climate changes in the past and in light of them consider if there were human activities that caused them or if they were simply endemic and cyclical. When visiting the Sahara
Desert, I was shown evidence that it once was a vast forest, verdure. Herbage abounded. Today it is the largest arid land mass on earth. Fossils of animals that were foragers and grazers reveal it was once a vegetative area. Fossil remains of trees are found in vast areas of the desert. What could have been the conditions created by human beings to cause this dramatic change? There were no fossil fuels or greenhouse gases produced by humans in such quantities as to have caused it. In Switzerland we visited the Jungfrau where a contrasting climate to the Sahara exists. On this mountain summit you are above 95% of the atmospheric pollution of the earth.  The snow and glaciers cover the mountains all year. The Ice Palace has been carved in the glacier. Long corridors and spacious rooms are made the more interesting by stunning ice sculptures.
Snow flakes that fall on the Jungfrau flow through the lower Grindelwald Glacier in the form of ice crystals for 200 to 250 years before melting and becoming part of the streams in the valleys.  This is a marvelous place to study global warming. A 10,000 year record shows a rapid change every 2,000 years from colder to warmer or warmer to colder. That is earth’s history.
None of our current cultural “culprits” to which global warming is attributed, existed 10,000, 8,000 or even 2,000 years ago to cause the change. The conditions that caused these periods of global warming exist today and existed throughout history. The conditions that caused change yesteryear exist today and they are beyond human kind’s capacity to stop it. Our ancestors had to adjust and so must we.
Let’s join in conservation and preservation and not make things worse, but don’t expect to reverse historical cycles inherent in creation.