The global stage has been set. Agreements of sorts were reached in Bali at the recent global warming conference, and now all the delegates can have their ducks in a row -- if they haven't all gone extinct from air and water pollution and oil spills -- for next month's meeting hosted by George Bush (what a hoot) in Hawaii.
It's happened before. It will happen again. Over the eons the Earth has swung from broiling to freezing, recycling itself again and again.
Eons ago, before the last Ice Age, the frigid Arctic we know today for its pristine white mantle and exotic animals, was a lush tropical paradise and home to animals long gone extinct.
If we could transport ourselves back to that time, would we be fighting just as hard to keep the Earth from cooling? You're damn right we would.
A tropical pole would be what we knew and loved. The thought of our polar tropical paradise freezing over would chill our senses, and make us rethink what we might be doing to hasten it.
As much as we love the magnificent grandeur of vast glacial vistas in the Arctic, with seals frolicking in the icy waters and polar bear cubs romping in the snow, maybe it's time to look at natural changes in a new light.
These swings weren't exactly news to me when I saw an excellent program on Earth's changing climates on one of the Discovery channels, but for some reason it got me to thinking about a few what ifs.
I'm as much against global warming as anyone. I don't want to see millions of people displaced because the land upon which they live is reclaimed by rising seas.
Disrupting the balance of nature in not good for our health, but it's not necessarily bad for the planet's health. In the end, the Earth aways recovers and replenishes itself.
Comets and meteors have struck the Earth changing the face of the landscape, extinguishing life and bringing forth new life. It's been noted by scientists who study such things, that at least six times in Earth's history super volcanos have erupted, causing global cooling for years and eradicating uncountable species.
Fluctuations in Earth's orbit around the sun and periodic changes to the tilt of Earth's axis have done the same thing. Changes in the orbit take us farther from the sun's warmth, and variations in the tilt change the angle at which the sun's rays strike the Earth.
We're used to our planet being the way it is, and most of us don't want
to see it change in ways we consider detrimental to our health and the health of plants and animals.
But what if...a really big if...we could transport ourselves back to the time in Earth's history when the Arctic was a lush tropical paradise? That would be the Earth we'd know and loved.
What if there were scientists who were saying the we human beings were doing things to the environment the were causing global cooling, and someday, sooner than we think, the tropics of the Arctic will turn into vast expanses of snow and ice, changing that landscape for eons?
If we had been able to coexist with the now extinct animals that roamed the tropical Arctic, would we mourn their possible loss to freezing temperatures. After all, they weren't exactly cute, cuddly looking polar bear cubs. Of course, the cubs only look cuddly; they're really not.
Perhaps it's time to take a fresh look at the inevitable. We've learned
to deal with earthquakes, volcanoes and various types of storms, none of which we can alter or avoid; we can only prepare for them.
It's also time to take a look at some of the things we're doing in the name of preventing global warming, most of which are as harmful as what we're already doing.