Monday, 30 December 2013

It doesn't need saving

The graphic that made me grumpy
When I made the remark online 'I sometimes feel that the period between Christmas and New Year is what being retired would be like, but with more tinsel', someone kindly pointed me to the Twixtmas website. The website itself is excellent, promoting the idea of doing something worthwhile with those days - but there was graphic on it that made me slightly grumpy (rare though I know this is).

I've said it before and I will say it again, because it needs repeating. We do not need to do anything to preserve the earth. It is utterly pointless trying to 'save the earth.' I don't say this because I am full of doom and gloom, but because given a few million years (a teeny snippet of time in the Earth's lifetime) our planet can shrug off any environmental messing up we can manage. The earth does not need saving, we do.

Unlike the earth, we need very narrowly fixed environmental conditions to survive comfortably - conditions, incidentally that have been decidedly uncommon in the earth's history and probably will be in the future unless we intervene appropriately. All the 'saving the planet' guff, should really be about saving humanity. And because it is the earth's nature not to spend a huge amount of time in the goldilocks zone where we are comfortable, the chances are that saving humanity is going to involve interfering with nature on a large scale, which is decidedly scary.

I am not saying we shouldn't try to minimise future climate change, because we should. We probably did need some global warming to avoid going back into an ice age (we are currently in an interglacial), but we've had more than enough to do that, and now we need to stop quickly to avoid going too far the other way. But it's certainly not as simple as being green and returning to nature.

So there we have it. Do something great with the period between Christmas and the New Year (I can't bring myself to call it Twixtmas), but don't attempt to preserve the earth. It will just end in tears.

This has been a Green Heretic production

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