Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Different POV

I respect Mac Tonnies and his views over at his blog. But occasionally he becomes a little too pessimistic about global warming. He picks articles and images that imply the world is going to concurrently burn up and flood over.

Yes, we’re facing a problem with climate change. But I’ve lived a little too long to accept the worst forecasts without question. During the Cold War the end-of-mankind doomsayers predicted the superowers would inevitably wage World War III, radioactive craters dotting the earth’s surface. In the 1970s the environmentally-alarmed doomsayers proclaimed that the planet would be blanketed by a sea of air pollution before the 21st Century, that by now we would be choking on our own wastes.

The problems of nuke warfare and pollution remain with us. But the worst forecasts have proved so far to be wrong. There’s a difference between worry and concern. Worry is the onus of the pessimist. He has decided the game is up and the clock is ticking down the final seconds.

Concern, on the other hand, is the viewpoint of a realist. He does agree that there are far-reaching problems. While there is no guarantee of complete success or failure when dealing with them, such problems should still be acknowledged and acted upon within reason.

While the argument is over in regards to global warming, no one can truly say how bad its effects will be. There will be effects, of course. But are they so dire that we might as well give up living?

Anyway, before global warming or pollution or nuke warfare destroys mankind, a planet-killer asteroid might make any such doomsday scenarios beside the point. [G]

So while I share some concern with Mac in regards to climate change, I have a wait-and-see attitude in how severe it will be. Maybe civilization will wise up and be able to stave off the worst results. Maybe the earth will resist mankind’s efforts to screw it up, providing an unexpected surprise. Who knows? Or maybe I’m being too optimistic and we’re all gonna die. Either way, at this time, I’m not worrying about it.

As a respectful counterpoint, let me offer one of my photos and a pithy observation. I took this image yesterday after noticing a posthole in the sidewalk where a street sign once stood.

Despite mankind’s most damnable efforts, life thrives.


Mac said...

Great photo!

Ray said...


ThanX for the compliment. That photo inspired me to write the essay. And thanX for understanding that I am only offering a different POV, that in no way was I personally attacking you.

Of course, all bets are off if I'm bitten by a radioactive Alfred Lehmberg. (Hey, there - there goes Your Unfriendly Neighborhood Snarky Man.)



Mac said...


Unlike some people, I don't take alternative viewpoints as "attacks." In fact, I enjoy them.

Unlike some people... ;-)