The ‘Great Moral Challenge’ of our time?

Read this short cartoon:

What Mother Nature thinks of us.

This is exactly right. As P.Z. Myers says, “Environmentalism is actually an act of self-defense.”

This is why I don’t understand how climate change can be called the ‘Great Moral Challenge’ of our generation. How is saving our own asses supposed to be all noble-and-stuff? I mean, if humanity was going to tackle climate change for purely altruistic reasons, then maybe we could pretend to be the heroes. We could get capes and everything. But when we finally get around to it, it will be because of self-interest.

Advertisements

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Daniel
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 14:29:08

    I suspect the “Moral Challenge” lies in the fact that unless medical advances drastically increase our lifespan, this particular generation will only see the very start of the damage caused by global warming. For our generation, taking action is not so much about our own survival, but that of the generations that follow us.

    I have no intention of starting a debate over the extent that humans are to blame for global warming (temperatures fluctuated long before humans arrived, and will long after we’re gone), but as the comic states, once we’re all dead, nature will remain, and weather we are to blame or not, we will not be missed.

    Reply

  2. Compton
    Jun 26, 2011 @ 23:57:54

    “temperatures fluctuated long before humans arrived, and will long after we’re gone”

    True, but it has never changed so much in such a short period of time.

    Reply

  3. Acacia Pepler
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 07:41:05

    Yes, temperatures have fluctuated and been way higher, in times before humans evolved when the sea level was 25m higher than it is now and there were no polar icecaps. Is that the world we want to try to adapt to?

    Reply

  4. Daniel
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 09:31:44

    Didn’t I say I *didn’t* want to start this debate?
    (For the record, I do think humans are contributing to the rate at which global warming is happening, and we should do something about it. But there are also things far worse than carbon that should probably be addressed first. Although phasing out coal power plants will do a good chunk towards both causes.)

    Reply

  5. moonmanmad
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 03:25:48

    Eh, we’re at the end of an ice age, we’re supposed to be warming up. As far as I’m concerned “global warming” is non issue.

    Concerning the cartoon: I lol’d, despite that it’s message is eerily similar to some of the things George Carlin said in one of his routines about humans and their arrogance in thinking they can save the planet. For reference and comparison: go to YouTube and search “George Carlin, Saving The Planet.”

    Reply

  6. moonmanmad
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 03:26:37

    Eh, we’re at the end of an ice age, we’re supposed to be warming up. As far as I’m concerned “global warming” isn’t even an challenge, let alone a moral one.

    Concerning the cartoon: I lol’d, despite that it’s message is eerily similar to some of the things George Carlin said in one of his routines about humans and their arrogance in thinking they can save the planet. For reference and comparison: go to YouTube and search “George Carlin, Saving The Planet.”

    Reply

  7. Jen
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 08:39:25

    “As far as I’m concerned “global warming” isn’t even an challenge, let alone a moral one.”

    I’m sure that’s very comforting to the poverty-stricken populations of third-world countries and the people who live within a few metres of sea level…

    I always think it’s weird that people seem to think how they ‘feel’ about an issue effects established science. *shrugs* 😛

    Reply

  8. moonmanmad
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 09:27:07

    I have no illusions that my opinions effect established science, nor was I stating my feelings on the subject. In fact, established science is what led me to the conclusion that global warming is a natural occurrence that we can do nothing about.

    Reply

  9. Jen
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 09:30:40

    That’s weird, since the majority of scientists seem to disagree with you. (If you don’t ‘believe’ that the majority of scientists place validity in the theory of anthropogenic global warming, then this is where the conversation comes to an end, I guess.)

    Moon, keep in mind you’ll be up against a few qualified environmental scientists here who are VERY bored of having the same old debate for the past two or so decades. 😛

    Reply

  10. Acacia Pepler
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 09:39:58

    Hi Moonmanmad, let me introduce myself. I’m a climatologist. And I recommend you actually read through the science before making up your mind based on what people like Andrew Bolt and Bob Carter say. skepticalscience.com is a good place to start to read answers to frequent skeptic statements based on the peer-reviewed literature. Maybe start with http://www.skepticalscience.com/coming-out-of-little-ice-age.htm

    Reply

  11. moonmanmad
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 15:00:25

    @ Acacia Pepler: first of all, I have no idea who Andrew Bolt and Bob Carter are and did not draw my conclusions from anything they may have written/said; I drew my conclusions primarily from writings by Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, who, admittedly, may not be the foremost authorities on the subject. I did take a look at that website and the argument presented seemed logical and sound, but I also noticed a ridiculously long list of comments that for the most part rebutted the argument. In any case, I want to be clear: I don’t believe that human activity is contributing nothing to global warming. I just think that, despite what humans do, the Earth is going to warm up anyway, and that is something we can’t avoid, even if we all stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow.

    Reply

  12. Acacia Pepler
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 12:20:00

    Sorry Moonman – I assumed you were Australian. The American equivalents are probably Watts Up With That and Lord Monckton, who tend to spread misinformation and lies despite having their arguments debunked multiple times by scientists who are more educated on the subject. It’s the telling of lies and confusion to that gets me angry (that and people claiming that scientists are corrupt and evil and in it for the money and the fossil fuel industry is innocent – scientists don’t get paid much, and it doesn’t depend on the results of our research, so that lie is particularly hurtful). If you’ve genuinely read legitimate research and come to a different conclusion as to the extent or hazard of climate change I can respect that, although I recommend you broaden your sources to those who are climate scientists, which may help give you more information.

    Regarding the comments at SS, they welcome all commenters, so there are a large number of “skeptics” who tend to comment. As to which answers are true, I as always point to the peer reviewed scientific literature.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: