Being of a scientific mindset, I’ve resisted the urge to say “This unusually warm day seems like evidence of global warming” or “This unusually cold day shows that global warming is a hoax.”
But being of a scientific mindset, during this most unusual spring ever, it’s probably time to admit that the bizarre weather looks a lot like the predictions of climate scientists.
A brief rundown from weather.com: International Falls, the “icebox of the nation,” saw record high temps on 12 out of 13 straight days this month. Chicago recorded record highs on nine straight days. Record spring snowfall in Oregon, tornadoes in March in Michigan, ridiculously high pollen counts in Atlanta, the fastest thaw ever, and 6,000 record highs — 24 for each record low from March 1 to 22. Then there’s the relentless retreat of the world’s glaciers and melting of the polar icecaps.
It’s basic physics, really, as simple as a see-saw. In 150 years, we’ve put carbon into the atmosphere that was sequestered in the earth during hundreds of millions of years, increasing the parts per million from 271 in pre-industrial times to 385 in 2008 (source: National Geographic).
Thousands of politicians, pundits, preachers, oil company executives, and even scientists will never stop denying that our actions will have consequences, no matter how much the evidence piles up.
The deniers are like the captain who swears the ship is not sinking, even when his big toe is on the tip of the mast, and all that’s left above water are his mouth, nose, and rose-colored glasses.
You can find thousands of people who believe the earth is flat, that Armstrong never walked on the moon, and that Christian Ponder is the second coming of Joe Montana. But nowadays, the crazies can find a soapbox on the Internet and TV that makes their voices as loud as the sane people’s.
Some are apparently convinced that God will pluck us from the brink of destruction, but if you read the Bible and history with equal devotion, you wouldn’t bet that God will clear the carbon from the atmosphere with His Almighty Thumb.
God may have promised that he would never again drown the world in water, but He left His other options open. Just in the last decade, the Lord has chosen not to intervene against hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorists or meltdowns.
Go back a few decades or centuries and you find the same lack of intervention during massacres, purges, pogroms, inquisitions, genocides and plagues.
It’s more likely that God will leave it up to us to make the right decision, as He has done in the past.
And if the past is prologue, the future ain’t rosy.
The saddest part of this story is that in all the known universe, we may be the only beings with consciousness — the only ones who can enjoy this most unusual spring.
You and I drew the luckiest number of all: the easiest life the world has ever known. Our existence in the early 21st century in North America is as good as it has ever gotten in all of time and in the inconceivable entirety of creation.
And we’re on the verge of blowing it, not just for our children and grandchildren, but for all sentient beings forever.
Regardless of religious persuasion, we must admit that the Bible got this part right: Humans are selfish, stupid, sinful brutes. On that point, the Bible and Darwin would certainly agree.
Let’s hope — and pray — that on that point it’s not too late to prove them wrong.Brett Larson is the editor of the Messenger.