Thursday, 15 October 2009

Do Ya Feel Lucky?

We're Destroying the Planet

Well, do ya, punk? Clint’s immortal line in Dirty Harry could stand for our attitude to climate change. Asking if global warming is true or not is futile. Who knows? That question is a sideshow and begs the real question, which runs akin to Pascal's wager. Whether we believe climate change or not and the worst happens, we're fucked. If we don't believe and we're right, what have we lost? Relatively a little time, a little energy, a little prosperity. Maybe a lot but still nothing compared with everything.

So, our baleful effect on the planet needn't be true, just possible. A drunk after a fine old all-nighter in the pub could have come up with the concept and we’d still have to take notice of it. Or a bunch of old men compiling a book many centuries ago. How if the authors of the Bible had warned of worldwide destruction by not believing in global warming instead of personal damnation by not believing in God? Would climate change be a religion now, along with the same compelling reason to bet on it?

As it is a great many respected scientists and thinkers have devoted a great deal of observation and experiment to reach the same conclusion. Doesn't that make it more convincing? If not absolutely compelling. The nay-sayers insist at least on a debate. What a smokescreen this is, the old delaying tactic. When exactly does debate stop and action start? Again, who knows? It may be too late already. It may be time just to believe or not believe.

It is possible not to believe and yet still act. The wager allows this: we're not choosing a belief but a lifestyle. Do we feel lucky? I hope the environmentalists do. An article in the Telegraph suggests that learning to be lucky generates good fortune. Lucky people are more receptive, more aware, more apt to spot luck. We may need it.

For the sake of Blog Action Day, feel lucky, punk.

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