It’s really only within the last three years that I came to accept global warming and that humans were responsible. I’d been a skeptic for the stupidest of reasons: because the way the media portrayed it. Most science reporting in the mainstream media sucks because of they… well, don’t understand science. Rather than going over the evidence they would keep citing scientific consensus. To me because to me that smacked of argument from authority. But when I saw this BBC
In pictures: How the world is changing I had to take a step back and reassess my understanding or rather my ignorance. I then bypassed the MSM and started looking at the evidence not the consensus. The tree rings, the ice cores, and the sediment cores. I already knew that the Earth’s climate had changed dramatically over the eons, but now it is humans who are driving the change not nature. And not in a good way.
As I’ve educated myself and verified that the science is good, I’ve started googling some of the authors and thinkers I’ve admired on what they had to say or if they had anything to say on the subject. I remember a scene from the 1979 PBS adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s 1971 novel The Lathe of Heaven. It was people complaining at how warm it had gotten in Portland from the way it used to be. Actually the book is very prophetic about the world we live in today.
I found two very telling quotes, one from Buckminster Fuller and the other from Isaac Asimov. I chose them because both are deceased, and they do not have the added benefit of what we know now.
From Buckminster Fuller’s book Critical Path (p. 112) published in 1981:
“those who own oil also own the atomic energy and have long ago assumed that, if humanity exhausts or abandons oil, it will automatically switch over to atomic energy. Humanity has had nothing to say about all this because the know-how was so obscure and the lawyers’ strategems so invisibly large. The lawyers’ omnilegal international strategems were and as yet are so obscure, in fact, that no government authorities – let alone the public – knew that the world energy monopoly’s scientists had not taken into account earthquakes, for instance, in the construction of New England atomic energy plants, nor had the public or government anticipated that the intuitive wisdom of humanity would develop such an antipathy to atomic energy as eventually to force lawyer capitalism to fall back on its ‘ownable’ coal mines and shale for conversion into pipable and meterable liquid fuels. It is as yet inscrutable to the public, government, and lawyer capitalism just how strong literate humanity’s intuitive wisdom will be in preventing the full-scale conversion of coal and shale into liquid energy fuel when it learns, as it has now been learned in a scientifically undeniable way, that this selfishly exploitable energy fuel strategy will inexorably destroy the atmosphere’s capability of supporting biological life on planet Earth. Like all fossil fuels coal gives off carbon dioxide when burned, but coal gives off 25 percent more of it per unit of energy than oil and 50 percent more than natural gas. Although carbon dioxide comprises less than 1 percent of the Earth’s atmospheric gases, this concentration has risen 17 percent since preindustrial times and is expected to rise an equivalent amount in the next twenty years. The ‘greenhouse’ effect from the Sun’s heat and increasing amounts of this otherwise harmless gas could send average global temperatures soaring by as much as 6 degrees Farenheit within fifty years according to a U.S. government study. This unprecedented global environmental catastophe would be virtually irreversible for centuries.
“No one knows whether the cessation of the waste radiation of atomic energy exploitation or the cessation of coal and shale conversion into fluid fuel will occur in time to permit the physical continuance of humans on planet Earth. What we do know however, as we have previously stated, is (1) that, with the unselfish use of technology, it is now possible to take care of all humanity at a higher standard of living than any have ever experienced and do so on a sustaining basis by employing only our daily energy income from Sun and gravity and (2) that we can do so in time to permit the healthy continuance of humans on plant Earth.”
And Isaac Asimov had this to say about global warming in 1989:
I just couldn’t leave well enough alone 1989, 1981, 1971. I managed to find a concern about pumping lots of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from 1958: