21st April 2019
The climate of the Earth is interlinked with the climate of our human world. This is why we find these global topics difficult. They are more and more about us.
Even those who otherwise rarely seek attention in public (David Attenborough) remind us that we only are little ants whose visit here can be cut short abruptly. The events concerning our planet accelerated perhaps even faster than we expected in recent years as the cumulative nature of their unfolding is confirmed over and over again. As we strengthened our influence on the current layer of life on the Earth’s surface, we begin to recognise the shape of our very face on it.
Is it going to be a human one, we can ask, and do we ask with fear or hope?
We are not sure. But let me say this. Considering the legacy of our ancestors, from the first stone tool to the plough and billions of life stories inside us, I think we have yet to move forward. I look with hope.
Human is a broad description, broader than we like to admit. It is because we are animal first and human after that. It’s how we came to be and the direction in which our psyche is developing. This evolutionary sequence has grades and is reflected in various ways in the world we currently live in, but the underlying order remains.
Although we are proud to distinguish ourselves from the animal, uncivilised stage of existence, pointing out differences we think are meaningful and unique to us, the meaningful distinction is realised in a way that is neither overwhelmingly convincing nor is it wide-spread and common.
Our views are also tinted with subjectivity as we tend to be more benevolent towards the human-defining standards than recognising self-aware features and qualities in other beings. And although we see these topics in a more realistic way than, say, 200 years ago, the fact remains our attitudes are still self-deluding and tendentious, to our loss.
Looking beyond the anatomy and the potential of a healthy man, we see human as intellect and as values that are not defined by the body but by the ability to actively determine and achieve a state of freedom, happiness and self-fulfillment in their mind. Despite the nuances, individual differences and diversity among us, it is this level of control that makes us humans.
As for Psyche, looking back at the times of the old Greeks, we are much more advanced society today. Still, the problems we are struggling with could give different impressions, and could even look bizarre in comparison.
Evolution occurs in jumps as the factors and sub-developments meet and align, or don’t. Another feature of evolution is that its course runs faster and faster, a bit like our universe unless interrupted by a reset.
Digital technologies changed our lives in many ways and almost overnight. Years fly by and our digital age children face their world. When we say in many ways we mean this. We come across new and undiscovered every day and grapple with things that seemed harmless a short time ago only to see how harmful they could become. Everything, new and old, gets another dimension; all aspects of social life, politics, marketing, economy, art, cultures or perception of time and the term change itself. Inflation and uses of the information caused word and meanings to lose the weight that they previously had.
Our mental background suggests that also in this world we will first try to get things for free and chose the immediate satisfaction before learning about the futility of the approach and going through the pain and work required to find a more lasting one. Similarly, we find that despite what seems a world full of changes, we cannot bend the realities as we’d have wished and that trusting fundamentals of our mind to drugs, antidepressants and computer day-time dreaming won’t work as that, eventually, but always, goes exactly against the initial intentions.
Regardless of how our world seems advanced, putting greed above seemingly simple values is a step back towards the animal in us. So we may want to look more carefully at the products of the civilised infantility, at the easy solutions and the marketing trickery targeting and corroding discipline of an individual in twisted, pushed-too-far efforts to gain control over your behaviour and ultimately your life. Today, it can be the whole industries and almost instantaneous campaigns that you are facing.
We need to slow that down a little bit, filter things out and stop rotting. We need to look after our mind, take back that responsibility to ourselves. And to direct the flow of our attention a way that makes us free, independent and feeling good about what we are and what we do, whatever that is. It is a pain. Lots of pain but it is worth it. To say the outcome is rewarding indeed is understatement.
The times are different from those of the old Greeks. The current conditions represent very specific settings for our cultures. Our renewed experiences that we make though point to the (same) real. This didn’t change, and it is again needed for achieving both the freedom and the well-being of man. It also is not easy and not for free, a promising trademark in whatever we do. Today, we are connected like we never thought possible, and these old basics have new meaning. Being a human has a new meaning. The ability to be a human is also the ability to survive and evolve on this planet. It now determines not only the nature of our human world but also the Earth’s climate.
10 September 2017
In global climate, making the direct links between particular factors and their particular resulting effects is not really possible to do correctly.
E.g. we can say with a very good probability what effects the human activity has on the current climate but it’s a lot harder to see exactly what results (climate) we would have without the impacts of the Anthropocene.
We are not just capable of it as this is an extremely dynamic and complex system, our data are being plugged into an ever-flowing river of highly complex events and we probably will never fully understand or know all the factors involved. What we can do is to curb the aggressive factors that come as a result of our activities to meaningfully limit the man-made part of contributions to this already volatile system.
It will have a number of positive and global life saving effects on many other fronts for the Earth’s Ecosystem and naturally on our lives, we can’t be blamed directly for what the Nature will throw at us, will stay out of the trouble because avoiding the damaging effects (relatively predictable, short time effects) inflicted on ourselves as well and will even grow as humans further towards more responsible and holistic approach to the matters of utmost importance – that in the end are crucial for our long term survival, our mind and well-being.
Who is opposing this?
18 October 2015
The planet's climate is warming, people have noticed. We think of ourselves as of contributors to the effect and we are right, of course.
The change is quite rapid and the melting at the poles accelerates. At the moment, and for some time already, the thermal disturbance caused by cool flows from the poles slows and weakens warm currents in the Atlantic. The media celebrate it as a welcome counterbalance to the climate warming in the North of the Atlantic region.
In the meantime, the albedo of the planet will keep decreasing and humidity in the atmosphere rising further so we can expect the weather continue to be more dynamic. The changes in the Atlantic circulation will also have other effects in other regions. That way the chain of the changes to the more usual pattern will continue.
Models people have will not tell us how and to what results, as there is too small a database for creating efficient models of this type and the number of factors playing the role is too great, even if we only think of those that people have discovered. One thing for certain, though, the cooling effect of the new thermal situation on the ocean surface will not last long and all sorts of effects, including those of a cumulative nature, are expected afterwards, such as major effects on driving force of thermohaline circulation and formation of high density (heavy) water.
But that is all right. Something is always happening. And so despite our tendencies, like the one mentioned, when we celebrate prematurely, we can also realise that our genes are in a constant stage of evolutional fix because they are not perfect, perhaps not even good enough. The term evolutional isn’t necessary and can be replaced by any other term of our choice. But whatever the name, the process hasn’t stopped and it uses scenarios that present the right opportunity for it to carry on. And although the road to the magic of learning and experience is never painless or pleasant, it brings something you later don’t give up for anything else. That, fortunately, is in our genes already.