Screw the planet!

2010-02-11

The earth is getting warmer. Ecosystems are changing. Food webs around the world are upset. We are in the middle of mass extinction.

For years the green lobby have been complaining about this, finally over the last decade their voice can be heard as global warming becomes a political talking point. We can save the Earth.

Screw that! The greens are getting way too much political capital out of global warming. Sending your money to Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the RSPB, and so on, will not solve global warming. They are not in the game.

The planet is not under threat. Our life on this planet is under threat. Runaway global warming will be bad. For any metazoan. Everything larger than than a hyrax will be wiped out. But life will go on, the Earth will be claimed once more by the Archaea and it will be business as usual really. Nature’s brief experimental dalliance with multi-cellular life will have ended. She will conclude that “further research is necessary”.

So the debate around global warming is not about saving the Earth, it is about saving our way of life on the Earth. And let’s get this straight, once we’ve “solved” global warming, we’ll have put a nuclear power plant on every (100 Km or so of) coastline, we’ll have replaced inefficient sheep pastures with huge plantations of biofuel crops, we’ll have peppered the entire countryside with wind turbines, and glazed vast deserts with solar PV farms.

We will not have saved the polar bear, the poison arrow tree frogs. All those bromeliads teetering on the brink of their fragile hilltop ecosystems in the South American rain forest? All gone. It will be our fault, collectively. And it will be sad. But solving global warming and saving your favourite obscure cute species are not the same problem.

4 Responses to “Screw the planet!”

  1. Ted Lemon Says:

    Word. You got one of those “save the polar bears, save the world” solicitations, didn’t you?

    • drj11 Says:

      Actually I didn’t, but it was something like that. Something I read on the internets. Forgotten exactly what now, naturally.

  2. Jack Lloyd Says:

    I’m fairly positive that some multi-cellular life will live though whatever humans can manage to do;
    even with a 30C temperature rise and massive offgassing of frozen methane, I have no reason to believe that sea-bottom worms living off volcanic vents, or cockroaches, say, will be in any real danger of extinction. In fact I don’t even see much danger to humans as a species (to make it concrete, I’d put at least a 50% chance that there will be over 10 thousand breeding pairs of humans still alive in 2200).

  3. drj11 Says:

    Yeah. You’re probably right that _some_ multi-cellular life will survive. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that thermal vent communities are connected to other food webs in surprising ways. For example they might rely on a nutrient source that is produced by near surface sea creatures and distributed throughout the oceans.


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