One of the blind spots I find when I read about climate change or habitat destruction seems rooted in the belief that no matter what happens, mankind will survive, as if the world were created for man and will cease to exist without us. This would stem from the faith-based world-view that has gained so much currency lately.
What has seemed obvious to me and seems to be borne out by more and more news articles is the fact that life on earth preceded us and will follow us. We have condemned countless species to extinction, both large and small, but we seem likely to do consign ourselves to the same fate.
NEWS.com.au | Giant squid ‘taking over world’ (archived):
GIANT squid are taking over the world, well at least the oceans, and they are getting bigger.
According to scientists, squid have overtaken humans in terms of total bio-mass.
That means they take up more space on the planet than us.
The reason has been put down to overfishing of other species and climate change.
The squid, even with lifespans of 200 days, make up more of the living biomass on the earth than we do with our 28,000 day lifespans. And their increased viability is directly attributed to human activity, ie predator reduction through overfishing and increased water temperature through climate change.
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Dramatic warming confirmed in Arctic:
The report’s authors believe Arctic temperature ranges will increase several degrees in coming decades, according to a summary prepared by Gunn-Britt Retter, a technical adviser with the council’s Indigenous People’s Secretariat. Winters are expected to become warmer, and wet periods in the Arctic are expected to become longer, more frequent or both.
If nations want to temper or reverse that trend, Corell said, they will need to act quickly because carbon dioxide, the gas that is the prime culprit in global warming, typically lingers in the atmosphere 100 years before being recycled.
[ . . . ]
It is not entirely clear why the Arctic is warming much more quickly than other areas. One factor probably is albedo, or the heat-reflecting value of ice. Once icepacks melt and that reflective power is lost, temperature increases can accelerate.
This last bit is important: this is where the increase can become self-sustaining and possibly unrecoverable. If enough of the icepack melts and exposes darker, more absorptive surfaces, allowing more heat to be retained and melting more ice, exposing more absorptive material, it may not be within our power to rectify it.
Theory or fact? We don’t know yet. But there are a few theories that we rely on every day: electricity — the harnessing of electrons through copper wire — is “a theoretical construct, involving electrons, which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen.” Can we afford to pick and choose what theories we base decisions on, based on how they fit into a belief system, rather than basing our beliefs on observable phenomena?