We have been having discussions in our house about global issues that concern all of us, and thinking about why most people don’t do anything about them.
Scientific evidence clearly shows that global warming is happening (even if the media tries to water it down.) It shows that the temperature of the planet is rising dramatically, due to the (mostly oil-caused) green-house gasses. This will cause droughts, floods, sea-level rises, dramatic cooling of some areas while others become much hotter. It is now at a stage that this outcome is inevitable and it means that millions if not billions of the population will die in the next hundred years as a result of these changes.
Oil will run out in around 30 years. Pollution and waste is increasing. Animals are becoming extinct.
Why don’t people seem to care?
My contention is that our biological make-up causes most of us to behave in these ways:
- Our main concern is living in the present: where are we going to get our next meal from? How are we going to get the most pleasure in the next couple of hours – eating? playing computer games? going for a walk? reading? We don’t really care about what happens to us in a couple of years, let alone what happens to everyone else when we are dead. (e.g. smoking, over-eating etc – it’s all about the pleasure now, rather than problems you might get later.)
- To allow the survival of as many of our genes as possible, we are programmed to protect our children first, followed by ourselves, then close family (who share some of our genes), then relatives. There is also some concern for our small local social group of friends, but outside of that there is not much concern. For example, if you had fallen down a cliff with two people and had one hand free to rescue someone, you’re going to rescue your son over a friend who has no genetic connection.
I’m not saying we’re all “bad” it’s just the way we have evolved to take care of ourselves and close social group and also to do this using a range of short term solutions. Even government’s primary goals are only looking a few years into the future, mostly designed to get them re-elected. We are not designed, as a race, to care for our planet.
My prediction for the future:
We tend to be reactive rather than preventative – seat belts get fitted to school buses after one crashes killing children, river defences get built after an area has flooded, people get burglar alarms after they have been burgled.
I think this is what will happen with global warming. When coastal towns and cities start getting inundated with water as the ocean’s rise, the government will start to react as the people will want solutions and elect governments that do something about it. Of course by then it’s going to be a bit late and it will take hundred’s of years for the carbon dioxide to return to a reasonable level.
Also, the world is overpopulated. Maybe global warming is the Earth’s way of thinning us out a bit. Maybe some people think it is a good idea to let global warming continue and kill off a few billion (mostly developing world population as they will be most effected by the changes due to desertification, flooding – Bangladesh etc.)
Humans really are like viruses (as mentioned by Agent Smith in “The Matrix”) we consume all the resources in one area then expand and consume more in other areas until the entire planet has been taken over and laid to waste by humans. When a virus consumes all the resources in a person, they die. Will the same happen to the planet?
- Normal service will be resumed in the next blog entry (power cuts, no water, toilet troubles etc) -