Anthropomorphizing Mother Nature
Thirty years ago, the head of the United Nations Environmental program announced that by the year 2000 (19 years ago), global warming would be so ubiquitous that ocean levels will have risen by 3 feet and one quarter of Bangladesh will have been flooded to the point of creating over 20 million refugees.
Only a decade and a half prior to the UN statement, both Time and Newsweek ran cover stories announcing that, according to near unanimity in the scientific community, a new global ice age was rapidly approaching.
Weather cycles have been a constant since our planet was formed. Every school child should be aware that ice ages and warming periods were part of the earth’s evolution. And the vast majority of these weather cycles occurred long before any humans existed on earth. In fact, the mere classifying of global weather change as something unique to our age is a functional tautology.
The question that must follow the Santa Barbara children’s protest about weather change is why it is now acceptable to believe that humans are suddenly so omnipotent that even Mother Nature must bow to our wishes. Of course humans should do everything within their power to protect and preserve our planet. But this doesn’t mean Mother Nature is no longer an independent force, waiting for humans to tell her what she must do. Particularly this is not the case when the consequence of most of the children’s ideas will be to impoverish most of our neediest fellow human beings. California already has 20% of the nation’s families living in poverty and another 20% living in near poverty. It doesn’t help that California already has the second-highest gasoline prices in the country and some of the country’s highest utility rates.
Perhaps H.L. Mencken was right when he said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the population alarmed.”