Friday, January 02, 2009

Here's a catch 22 for you

Happy New Year!!!  (blow noise maker, throw confetti, kiss random stranger ‘cause it’s New Year’s and that makes it ok and what better way to start the year other than random, albeit mild, fornication)


My calendar shows the first Run the Woodlands run of the year to be January 10, 2009.  Might be a good time for me to take a baseline and determine what would be needed to take a shot at my first ever second marathon.  I’m only taking 6 classes between now and then.  What the hell, right?


Speaking of classes, one of the assignments last semester was reading the absolutely dreadful book “The Earth Is Flat” by Tom Friedman.  Tom is a great columnist, but his book was exceptionally hard to read in no small part because he regularly takes 200 words to state something that can easily be stated in 50.  His follow up book is “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”, a book which I decided to be a gamer and take a shot at reading despite the dreadfulness of his other tome and I wasn’t disappointed.  The first 100 pages or so were just as dreadful as the previous book, so I put it down.  Eventually I’ll get back to it, I suspect.


I took 3 things away from the first 100 pages of that book:  1. I am not nearly embarrassed of my country as Mr. Friedman, 2. Very few people look at the bad parts of the amazing technological explosions that have happened over the last 20 years or so, and 3. Nobody considers the consequences of correcting the climate change (or, as I prefer to consider it, pollution) issue.


1.        Not much comment needed on that one.  Yes, we have image problems.  Yes, there’s a communication problem.  Yes, better ideas are needed to address security infrastructure while maintaining open doors.  Yes, it’s better to import students and not be so quick to deport people and better ideas are needed on the immigration front.  But no, I don’t think we’re any worse at it than anyone else, we just do it more.  Take any nation and have it trade places with the US and that nation will have the very same issues.

2.       Yes, technology has brought is all closer, but it has also increased the degree to which the haves are separated from the have nots.  For a graphic depiction, imagine a triangle.  The have nots are on bottom and the haves are on top, the degree of separation is the angle on the base.  Shorten the base (that is, bring everyone close) and the angle gets wider, approaching the maximum of 90 degrees.  It’s not that the top is any further from the bottom, it’s just the degree of separation is greater.  Simplistic, yes.  Accurate, maybe.  But for all the good and bringing people closer, technology also serves to keep them apart.

3.       Climate change is a very real thing whether it is man made or not.  I’m not completely convinced that global climate change is man made, but I am thoroughly convinced that dumping crap into the atmosphere on a daily basis has a detrimental effect on the environment.  One only needs to drive through Pasadena, TX with the windows down to know, without a question, that the shit being pumped into the atmosphere is foul (for those who don’t know, Pasadena is home to most of the refineries in the Houston area and when you drive through, you smell them and they’re foul).  I have no doubt that man’s war on the environment in order to supply water, food, and energy to growing urban centers is bad for the environment and bad for our own physical, mental, and spiritual health.  The crisis crowd will have you believe that continuing on the path we’re on will lead to global catastrophe causing untold death and destruction is we don’t ACT NOW to clean up our act.  The earth simply cannot sustain a growing population with growing pollution that comes with it.  Disease, plague, famine and widespread death will wipe out large percentages of the population around the globe.

Ok, but what if we FIX the pollution problem and arrest global climate change.  Won’t that lead to better living conditions for all around the globe leading to an even GREATER population boom?  Won’t the ensuing population boom lead to ever denser population concentrations which will, in turn, lead to greater stress on the global environment and, consequently, even greater potential for mass disease, plague, famine, and widespread global death? 

Effectively, isn’t the cure as potentially catastrophic as the disease to begin with?  And, if man is the cause of global climate change, and the consequence of global climate change is a significant percentage drop in the global population of man, then isn’t everything going to right itself in the long run, anyway?  I don’t disagree that we should clean up our act just as a matter of principle.  But to think that cleaning up our act will solve anything, when we are, ultimately, the problem to begin with is pure foolishness.


Blogger K said...

Let me know if you are coming to the woods. I'll meet you there! I live just a few minutes from RTW...

8:47 PM  

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