Thursday, May 6, 2010

He Said - She Said - It Said

Sometimes, we conveniently overlook contradictions in order to proclaim our own shallow victories. Take UFOs, for example. There are still people out there who insist UFOs are real, but must be an invention of ours, super-secret devices with abilities far beyond anything known overtly to conventional science and aeronautics.

That's nonsense, of course, because even a cursory review of the better UFO cases presents us with anomalies generally far removed from any presumably rational human thought or interpretation.

When we devote time and effort to thinking about the phenomenon/phenomena, whether scientists or laymen, UFOs simply drive us nuts. That's why some folks comfort themselves by stubbornly asserting that UFOs are man-made, relieving a lot of mental pressure.

I'm not surprised, therefore, when so many people believe that humans have caused intense and damaging changes in climate -- and will forever refuse to believe otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I entertain certain impressions that we do cause damage, merely because of our numbers on the planet. Wars over fresh, clean and mere traces of water, for instance, will escalate in the future -- a dilemma which wouldn't exist without billions of humans attempting to claim the treacherously minimal fresh water reserves readily available on Earth.

Now, we witness the ongoing BP (British Petroleum) oil leak tragedy, already deadly to humans on the platform and potentially catastrophic to all sea and land life for miles almost inconceivable. Unfathomable?

Yes, some rational minds and folks engaged in the serious business of wishful thinking would prefer that all oil drilling cease immediately, never to return. That won't happen, however, because the world still depends upon petroleum and simply must because currently there's no comparable substitute in quantities demanded by an oil-hungry world. One cannot lubricate the vast intricate mechanisms of the working world with windmill power or solar panels. The reality? In the immediate future and probably beyond that, we're screwed. Oil isn't going away and, if nothing else, we in the USA know very well that China, Russia, and a litany of other nations with petrol-thirstiness unbounded aren't exactly weeping over our likely coastline devastation and packing away their drilling equipment. Whose fault? Their fault. Our fault. Nature's fault. One of those things. Drooling over signage on Earth Day isn't going to help, either, and we may as well let political EPA hacks continue sleeping off their appointments and regulatory powers 'cause waking up and seeing clearly is so beyond the pale.

Contemplation. Petroleum comes from the planet, not from some laboratory specializing in squeezing oil from monkey livers. Like volcanic clockwork, one wonders how many times in a millennia the earth's own natural fountains have blasted petroleum into waters teeming with life, murdering creatures with killer crude, a substance destined to become the future human civilization's black gold.

Oh yes, it's a mysterious planet, all right. One need only reference the many books published by William R. Corliss at The Sourcebook Project (there is a Web site), extensive collections of scientific newspaper, magazine and journal articles gleaned from the past which question things we think we know, enigmas still unexplained and planetary cataclysmic events. Gaia, well, she's not always in a festive Disneyland mood, it seems.

Leery I am of those who profess that no crisis should go to waste. The oil disaster will propel them, energized like killer bees in the hot sun, to blame human activity for every ill on the earth, and CO2, though unrelated to the latest petro-calamity, will be portrayed as public enemy #1, surpassing even Iran's throwback knuckle-dragging dictators as a major threat. That's why I find this the perfect moment to return to a news report from March 30.

BBC News quoted Professor James Lovelock -- the very architect who developed the idea of Gaia -- who assures us that it's too late to "save" the planet. Believing climate change unpredictable, Lovelock warns that scientific models can't possibly tell us the future. Scientists, the 90-year-old says, have gone from seriously investigating data to "fudging" information. Even if humans did have a hand in modern climate alterations, he asserts, there's really nothing to be done about it, and basically we should just enjoy our lives while able. Trying to save the planet, according to Lovelock, "is a lot of nonsense."

Society appears to thrive more than ever on nonsense, but if Lovelock is refreshingly correct, can't we at least learn the truth about UFOs before we move on, giving up our place in evolution to the next sloth?