Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why the global-warming debate doesn't matter

The debates about whether global warming is anthropogenic, and about whether we can do anything to stop it, are phony arguments that just detract from the real debate, which is: do we care enough to do anything about it? The odds are stacked on the side of "No."

Consider this: If mankind could stop global warming through a collective effort, would it?
What if everyone accepted that global warming was caused by man?
What if global warming kills on average 500,000 to a million people per year over the next century?
What if global warming could be stopped instantly if everyone agreed to do it?

Would any of these things surely make us stop it? If you think "yes", then please explain why we still have wars. Why do we still have a problem that is entirely man-made, killed 70 million people in the last century, and is only sustained through intentional action? Why would we put in the effort to stop global warming -- a massive, coordinated effort that could only be done through unprecedented cooperation among all countries --and yet continue to have groups of people killing each other while we accept it as something inevitable that we don't even bother to think about that much? Clearly, the motivation to stop global warming has to be something a little more than just "people's lives will be overwhelmingly affected by it and many many people will die."

When the world is affected by war, we put up with it, we don't end it. Why would it be any different with global warming? Perhaps in the future we'll all be affected, and we'll all complain about it, but only a few crazy hippies and idealistic high school students will think that anything can be done about it -- people who haven't yet surrendered to civilized society and accepted our motto: "Who cares."


But then again, the question "Who cares?" has an answer, and that is another motto: "I care! (about me)." Global warming will be dealt with, one way or another (whether that means stopping it or completely ignoring it). I'm sure the way that mankind deals with it, or with war in general, or with any problem for that matter, we will stay true to our mottos.