Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

Climate change.

This is getting all the publicity right now. Marches all over the world – largely by children – and a summit meeting of world leaders to discuss actions.

Is it real? Who will be affected? Will anybody care? What will be done about it?

In an age when none of the media can be fully trusted, and the scientists are divided anyway, the views of an individual have zero weight. But here they are.

I think it is real. I think global warming really is taking place and the best area in which to look for evidence is rising sea level. There ought to be a count of all atolls currently showing above sea level and a record kept of those than can no longer be seen one year later.

Those living on atolls or low-lying islands are obviously going to be affected. Plenty of islanders have started worrying about it already, but no absolute proof has emerged. On the other hand, I googled Diego Garcia for a different purpose the other day and learnt that the US forces occupying the island are already sticking concrete blocks around the shore. So somebody is worried enough to take positive action.

Will anybody care about a few thousand people living on remote islands? No. Whatever nation owns the islands will wait till a few citizens have been washed away by a modest gale and then remove the rest to some slice of land that nobody else really wants. If the ownership of such an island happens to be disputed, then both putative owners will drop their claims and the entire population will be wiped out. It won’t be news.

Consider the idea that it may have already happened. This elderly islander wanted to re-take a journey that he was accustomed to as a youth. He was expecting a causeway across a swamp and discovered it was no longer visible. He thought he could remember where to put his feet, but he was wrong, fell into the swamp and was drowned. The locals just said, “silly old fool” but maybe his death was the first ever from global warming.

As soon as some major national or financial interest is threatened the world will begin to worry seriously: like a major city having the underground flooded or an airport becoming unusable except at low tide. Will it then be too late?

My guess is NO. I think that human ingenuity will find some way to modify the effects of climate change or protect against it and that we will not suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs. But it won’t happen before the danger has reached crisis proportions. We are human. That’s why.




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