Sunday 6 February 2011

Cyclones and other Acts of God..

Most of us would reject the proposition that recent extreme weather events in Australia were initiated by God in retaliation for (then Australian prime minister) Kevin Rudd advising Israel to sign the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty or any similar self-serving nonsense. However, scientists predict that such events will become more frequent and more extreme as climate change accelerates weather systems, so it may be time to really take notice of what science is telling us.

Tropical cyclone Yasi was spawned in the Pacific when the Coral Sea registered its highest water temperature ever, as did the Gulf of Mexico before Katrina hit New Orleans. Here, eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner, who helped to wipe out smallpox, predicts humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change.

Now, even if we think Frank may be a bit off with his timing, and some would argue that it could happen sooner, with many thousands of nuclear warheads waiting for someone to become paranoid enough to launch a few, a peaceful transition to lower populations, nil carbon economies and world peace is certainly not assured.

Now I take you back to Danny and his delusion. (If you took the link, thank you) Danny can be dismissed as a schizophrenic who went off his medication, but far more dangerous are the less extreme who put their faith in a middle-of-the-road religion, simply believing God is taking care of it when 'He' clearly isn't. Then there are those who quote Biblical accounts of creation, origin of man and his fellow creatures and who tell us 'God will destroy the universe by fire and climate change is the start'.

That prediction, cherry picked from hundreds made and failed, certainly fits a simplistic interpretation of climate change. However, the truth is that climate change or even a nuclear holocaust will not destroy the world nor will it have any substantial effect on the universe. As soon as Man is gone, the biosphere will adjust, life will go on and the survivors will evolve to fit the new paradigm. But what will be missing (among many others) is Mankind.

Comfortable untruth, embraced in our youth
Myths, stories, ritual, exempt from proof,
Once thought reliable,
No longer viable.
Time to admit the uncomfortable truth.

So my plea is to all people of good will, and that includes people of any of the thousands of belief systems humans have created over a hundred millennia, please consider the evidence, check the credibility and motivation of your sources then push for change. This is a unique and beutiful planet. Let's not totally stuff it up for ourselves.

Picture of Cyclone Yasi borrowed from here.


  1. I hope they all listen. Great post.

  2. Frank may be right Stafford. Or wrong. Really in the final analysis it doesn't matter who gets proved right cos as you point out inaction is not an option.
    Crikey we humans are a self absorbed lot. It will be our downfall. steve

  3. Well said. Except I think maybe you've been too kind to "people of any of the thousands of belief systems humans have created over a hundred millennia"! But what's it matter. We'll all be together when we go....

  4. I hear you, Stafford. But then, I'm not a world leader.

  5. The overwhelming majority of the world's massive overpopulation is not going to change its self-absorbed, selfish behaviour in the interests of a planetary future more than 48 hours ahead. So wind-turbines and itsy-bitsy recycling, electric cars and cavity-wall insulation etc. are like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Our best hope (I think) is that Cretinously Stupid Mankind burns his last drop of oil and his last shovelful of coal before things get really serious.
    Great post, Stafford.

  6. I'm with you Stafford- we are doing our darndest to stop the madness over here in our little steps unfortunately when what we need are GIANT steps....

  7. You are a powerful truth-speaker. If only those who matter could hear. I'm afraid it won't be the big ideas of time. People are just too successful.

  8. I'll probably be dead in 25 years, so if my species has 100, I guess I won't have much reason to complain. It would be ironic though for the species that regards itself as the apogee of god's creation to destroy itself through its own greed and short-sightedness. Oh, well, easy come, easy go.

    P.S. I wonder if religions other than Christianity and Judaism have the notion that god destroys, bankrupts, or even seriously inconveniences thousands or millions whenever one or two leaders piss him off.

  9. Stafford,
    Can we be heard - even as we speak as one?

    Annell is spot on. I do not want to lose hope and maybe we haven't come together strong enough.

    Thank you for this post. Here I am trying to save Asian folklore, when we do not know whether there will be people to read it all one day.

    Much love - ninot


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