By humanity, I mean all of us—every single man, woman, and child on this planet. We have the capacity for profound arrogance. Time and time again, we think we are unstoppable and push our boundaries further only to be shrunk back down, and rarely peacefully. We rise and fall like ever crashing waves on the shores, as though pulled on unseen tides. But, they aren’t so unseen anymore. The tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational field, and those same tides influence our weather patterns. Those, as of late, have been rather hard to predict—and yet we still try!
We have been charting temperatures and weather for 100–150 years. This was so that we could eventually predict what was to come, which would be a boon for agriculture and industry alike. Near the end of the twentieth century, we began to notice a steady increase in temperatures worldwide, as well as the steady thaw of both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Global warming has since become climate change, which is, I think, a much more apt moniker.
We thought we could stop it. We had protocols, agendas, protests, rallies, economic institutions, education cycles, etc. We’ve talked and talked and talked about it, and we still want to talk about it some more. This year has seen some of the strangest weather on record—and that’s the key right there: on record.
How long has this planet been around? For that matter, how long have we been around? Long enough to realize how much we don’t know about our planet or the intricate systems it is tautly wound up in. We know Earth orbits the sun, and the moon orbits Earth. We also know that while Earth is spinning, there is a plethora of other movement as well, for it is wobbling on its axes. The sun has an orbit of its own, which takes it around the galaxy, where there are billions of other stars doing similar things, and they may have planets of their own. And the Milky Way is travelling within a local cluster of galaxies, which are then moving about in a larger cluster of galaxies, and so on. We may not even know the full extent of it.
Is it safe, then, to assume that we are ignorant when it comes to what factors—besides those visible and measurable on Earth itself—could be having an effect on our weather? And yet we still try to explain the weather and understand it, chart it so that we will never be surprised again. So we can plan for what is coming next?
Geologists, archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, and others, have already proved to us that the Earth’s climate has changed and will continue to change. The Earth is not a creature in stasis, trapped forever in a monotonous predictable loop; rather, the Earth is alive and changing rapidly in astronomical terms.
Humanity has already survived through some of that change. The Victorian Age was colder than it is today, and it has been referred to as the “Little Ice Age.” Much of the Middle East—especially the two rivers of the Cradle of Civilization—is now desert. One of the causes for the Renaissance in Europe is considered to be a warming climate, which led to better crops, and therefore a population boom. Changes to our weather are nothing new to us as a whole.
We seem to be taking it badly. Humanity, at least on the West Coast, really enjoyed the twentieth century. We enjoyed the stability and the knowledge that from June to mid-Sept. we would have summer-like weather, more than likely with some rainy days thrown in. We knew that from Oct. to May there would be oodles of rain and maybe a frosting or two of snow for good measure.
Predicting the weather won’t solve anything. It’s a rather pointless venture. At some point we need to stop thinking that things should stay the same. No-one likes change. No-one likes not knowing what the future holds. But perhaps instead of arrogantly attempting to control what we can’t, we should just let it rain and focus on improving what we can.