Let Nature Take It’s Course

Posted by on Sep 27, 2007 in Philosophy | One Comment

“Let nature take its course” is quite a Taoist and Buddhist maxim. In Taoism, the basis of the TaoTe Ching is naturalism in the sense of Wu-Wei (Non-doing), which really means taking no unnatural action. It means spontaneity; that is, “to support all things in their natural stage” and thus allow them to “transform spontaneously.” In this manner Tao “undertakes no activity and yet there is nothing left undone.” The Buddhists say, “Let manifest destiny take its own course.” It means when things happen we just deal with it. When I decided to use this heading for my article I knew I would have to write a long article to explain it. This is because many people can’t understand what Wu-Wei means; people always think we should do something…that this is just the right thing to do.

I recently read a Taiwanese article on the Internet regarding former Vice President Al Gore of the USA and his film about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.” It has become a popular subject worldwide. In the last 15 years it is obvious that the earth’s climate has changed. “An Inconvenient Truth” sums up nearly fifteen years of atmospheric science regarding “global warming” concluding that global warming isn’t just alarmist talk but a legitimate phenomenon. Yet, thirty years ago atmospheric scientist’s most popular subject of debate was whether the earth is entering a small ice age. So what will happen? Is the ten-year-old view of the Earth getting hotter right or the thirty-year view of it getting colder? Honest, cautious, atmosphere scientists still don’t have a final conclusion. There are many studies about how ocean currents and the ocean’s atmosphere mutual affect each other. The Earth’s atmospheric layer also affects temperatures. This leads scientists to be of the opinion that we are being shortsighted if we only consider conservation of gas (i.e. carbon dioxide build-up) in global warming. We should be aware that some atmospheric scientists only used research and climate data from the last fifteen years before announcing they had found the cause of global warming. Scientists who are using ancient data about climate, as well as more recent, have a different opinion, as expressed in an article published in “Nature” magazine (February, 2007). They state that during the last thirty million years Earth has been colder than it was sixty million years ago. Sixty million years ago the earth was so warm the South Pole was grasslands. To me this makes it obvious that life goes on regardless of Earth’s wide temperature fluctuations.
The article about “An Inconvenient Truth” goes on to state that humans have recorded climate data for only the last 150 years. If the history of Earth’s temperature changes is modeled as the temperature of the human body over 24 hours then the last 15 years are equivalent to one second. When our temperature rises in this second we don’t consider it significant do we? A longer viewpoint is needed to see if it truly is a trend. It is a prejudiced viewpoint if we think humans are responsible for affecting the temperature of the world. A non-mainstream version on climate is that there is no global warming happening. 60million years ago it was warmer than now.

Michael Crichton speech “Alien’s Cause Global Warming” (Jan 2003) speaks about how consensus (many people agreeing on the same thing) is not proof that a scientific fact is true; only reproducible results are. It doesn’t matter how many or few people get the same result from repeating an experiment, if the result is the same it is true. Global warming has become more of a political debate because so much of it based on facts that can’t be reproduced i.e. how can anyone prove what the weather will be like in 2010?…Computer models can predict but they do not produce true facts.
We don’t have reproducible experimental data that proves our actions have produced global warming. Here is a statement by the IPCC (the leading authority on the science of climate) about human’s and climate change “The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on climate.” It can only suggest. When someone suggests you are the cause of some event do you automatically agree?

An article called “After dinosaur demise, mammals late to the party” (Reuter’s, Will Dunham, Mar28, 2007) has more interesting things to say. “The asteroid that smacked into Earth 65 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs and paved the way for mammals to dominate…Mammals from the major groups around today arose tens of millions of years before the asteroid struck and survived the calamity. But they remained secondary to now-extinct mammal forms and did not start diversifying and asserting themselves until about 55 to 50 million years ago.” This tells me it was only because dinosaurs died out that our ancestors had a chance…and it still took another extinction (of our cousins this time) for our direct ancestor to arise.

Other research about global warming talks about cows and the carbon dioxide they produce as being important. Yet 200 million years ago dinosaurs dominated and they produced more far more carbon dioxide than our modern cows, but they survived 150 million years regardless. Then a major ecological crisis (an asteroid crash) ended the age of dinosaurs and the survivors, mammals, went on to become a major player in the ecosystem.

Ideas always have pro’s & con’s. Scientists always have differing views. Just 15 years of research isn’t enough to tell us we have to do something. People with education i.e. scientist, often think they are right. Einstein didn’t assume he was right just because he was educated and a genius. There was a time when water conservancy experts thought that damming a river was a good way to prevent flooding as well as provide hydroelectric (clean) power. Then we found out damming a river is not good for the local ecosystem. So when we think we’ve found a way to prevent mischief caused by nature it may not be true.

Every age has it’s own animals; it’ s own life forms. We are afraid that global warming will make human’s die out, but this would give other life forms a chance to live. Human beings are one part of nature so if dinosaurs can die out why can’t human beings?…especially if the cause is human selfishness and greed? How can Al Gore, as an advocate for human’s culpability in causing global warming, live in a huge house, with 20 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, an invariable temperature warm water swimming pool and an electricity bill of around $1359US a month?

I don’t mean we should forget about environmental protection. I just think that if we don’t live in a huge house and do restrain our desires (live a simple life) then why do we have to be afraid that global warming is caused by us? If we didn’t do anything (Wu-Wei), why do we need to do something to fix it? Ultimately, I believe that “nature has influence on climate beyond human being’s understanding.”

Here is a video from YouTube Called “Life after people” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBtHICMmDJk&feature=PlayList&p=8206296305A1B743&index=0&playnext=1

–Danny

1 Comment

  1. David
    September 30, 2007

    Hey Danny,

    Have you actually seen the movie An Inconvenient Truth? It seems the article you read made claims that are inconsistent with the data in the movie. For example, in the article it said that it based it’s conclusions on 150 years of data, actually, the data went back millions of years through many ice ages via different geological sampling.

    In Bill Bryson’s book ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’, he talks about how global warming could lead to another ice age.

    For me, the most compelling data in the Gore movie was tracking CO2 through time, going back through 3 ice ages, and tracking it against the temperature of the planet. There’s a correlation and there’s far more CO2 on the planet than there’s ever been and the temperatures are linked with the CO2 content.

    I hope Gore is keeping himself carbon neutral on his own or through organizations and sources like these:

    http://www.nrdc.org/thisgreenlife/
    http://www.carbonneutral.com/
    http://cc.greenhouse.gov.au/index.html

    I like your point about we’re just another creature on the planet and it may be part of our evolution to wipe ourselves out. That’s very possible.

    I think much of the so called “science” that opposes even the idea of Global Warming at this stage is backed by private interests, like Oil Companies, that profit from the technologies that are adding to the problem.

    ABC published a story that shows images of what some US cities could look like in 2030:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/TenWays/story?id=3602227&

    Me? I fly around a lot for work and own a car, so I try to help where I can. I buy low use electric bulbs and give them as gifts. I worked with a bunch of people to plant @700 trees a few weekends ago. I’m looking at incorporating solar energy in our home. And we’re looking at some companies that assist families and businesses with making themselves carbon neutral so we can keep doing our part.

    I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts after you go out and rent the movie.

    I can also recommend this book: The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery.

    Zaijian,

    David

    Reply

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