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Monday, April 22, 2013

Global Warming

So many people today are commenting on the weird weather and wanting to blame it on the indigenous species we are currently members of- the human race. One day last week I listened to one haughty gentleman, who was obviously fond of his elevated height upon the soap box, rant on for over half an hour on the subject before I could interject my simple question.

"You do know that we live in a solar system that orbits a variable star don't you?"

The man paused and tried to access his arsenal of global warming tidbits of data for a timely response. After flashing a wounded look his brow furrowed and he shot me a "does not compute" confused look. I pounced.

"Have you ever considered the fact that we're in a cycle of elevated solar activity at this time and there's a process much grander in the universe at play here?"

The confident smug air about the man dissipated faster than Nasa government funding as his jaw worked up and down. Nothing came out. I pressed on.

"Did you know that in the period between 1645-1715, known as the Maunder Minimum, there were the lowest temperatures ever recorded since man began taking readings? This period became known as the Little Ice Age. Do you know why it was so cold?"

"The sun?" the man choked on the answer indignantly, upset that many in his audience began to turn their attention toward yours truly.

"Very good," I answered and forged back into factual history. "Within this time period astronomers of the time observed little to no sunspots upon the surface of the sun, a direct harbinger to solar activity. Conversely, two years ago was one of the most active cycles ever recorded on our parent star and the global mean temperature was the highest ever recorded."

I returned my attention to the previous orator just in time to spy the back of his head as he fled the small crowd. Some within the gathered group actually applauded for they had obviously tired of the man's arrogant ramblings.

It then occurred to me it was the same self important arrogance that has held humanity back on many occasions throughout history. The biggest example being Galileo's attempts to convince the Catholic Church that the Earth was not the center of the universe. He was persecuted and put on trial for this belief in great public spectacle. Just another great example of man's misplaced arrogance (unless you believe our planet is still the center of the universe).

If we weren't so sanctimonious as a culture how many of today's problems would still exist? How much farther do you suppose science and the evolution of our culture would have progressed? Would we still have the issues of hunger and poverty we do today if it were not for our passionate arrogance throughout human history?  Would we be living in a utopia free of these of our modern day problems?

Just something to think about early on a Monday morning before being caught up into our everyday routine.