No one knows what tomorrow will bring, let alone what impacts today will have on tomorrow. We, everyone and everything on this planet we ride on, are embroiled in the universes greatest experiment. The very fact we, or anything exists on this planet is a result of a series of completely random events that have developed into what we call “the world” as we know it now. But, this “world” is definitely not the same “world” we knew yesterday, and it wont be the same tomorrow.
Just a few years ago we passed the threshold of 400 parts per million particles of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, this is up from the mid 1800’s where the atmosphere contained just 280 parts per million. This is a raise of 40% since the “Industrial Era”. The reaction of the earths atmosphere as a result of this is what science is calling “The Green House Effect”. Supposedly this is causing the atmosphere to heat up as a result, causing the weather channel to resemble something of a horror show !!.
Lets go back to the Industrial Era. An era where factories, creating machines designed to make life easier, work less laborious and more output more efficient, spewed tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. People got sick, land got polluted and through the convection of heated air, pollution spread across the globe, through the oceans and eventually popped up on a dinner plate in the Salmon Johnny Adams just ate for dinner. In all its glory, science is trying to show us something. To teach us that every action has opposite reaction, sometimes though, this reaction isn’t as equal as we’d like to believe it should be. Just now are we beginning to realise the effects of what we did 60 – 80 years ago. We didn’t know back then.
I remember seeing adverts stating that “More doctors smoke Camels….” & “It’s just what the doctor ordered”. Try telling people 60 years ago that smoking cigarettes would give them cancer. The smoking experiment eventually showed us that nicotine and tar inhaled through a filter caused cancerous cells to make us unwell and eventually die.
How safe do you feel now, smearing sunscreen over yourself before heading out into the sun. We really have no idea of the long-term effects of using sunscreen, it hasn’t been around long enough. How about supplementing sugar with Equal, Stevia or one of a handful of chemical substitutes ?. Butter comes from milk, but Margarine, which is supposed to be just one ingredient away from plastic and has added coloring to turn it from its natural color of Gray to Yellow. Whats that doing to us ?? Maybe in 20 years we’ll find out. !!
What I’m getting at is this. No-one knows the results of anything. We can guess, which is exactly what science is; the best informed and educated prediction about something we can’t be 100% certain of.
Scientists usually have varying opinions on everything, but there’s one thing every scientist can agree on, and that is that our atmosphere has changed. What this means is that every scientific model that’s ever been developed is obsolete. They have no idea whats going to happen next !! Weather reporting and predictions is now more than ever, a “just run with it and see what happens” type system. We can see what coming a few days out, but beyond that is anyone’s guess. With the development and advancement of technology, wouldn’t you believe that we should be able to predict what’s coming two or maybe three weeks away !?
Fracking has become a huge topic for environmentalists. Fracking is where drilling occurs and high pressure water (among other chemicals) is forced into coal seams to force out gas, used in industry. The long-term effects on the climate is unknown. Fracking has been blamed for earthquakes, flammable gas found present in towns drinking water supplies, and disastrous biological and ecological effects across hundreds of thousands of acres of land. No-one can say with any determination what the long term effects of fracking will be. Just like no-one can say what the long term effects of coal mining, oil drilling or even tapping into the underground aquifers will be. We just pushing ahead with hope that what we are doing now isn’t going to have to much of an effect on tomorrow.
Funnily enough, the knee jerk reactions of mankind see’s groups such as WWF to help protect the worlds endangered animals as a result of their habitats being diminished to feed organisations such as Ikea, that uses 1% of the world’s wood every year. Remember the Kyoto
Does anyone remember this ? “I am the one that is burdened with finding the balance between sound environment practice on one hand and jobs for the American people on the other” I wasn’t long after this statement was made that President Bush abandoned the Kyoto Accord favoring a stronger economy over a strained world environment – little did he know just over 15 years later America like the rest of the word suffered through a global financial crisis that damaged the very economy he was trying to protect, in turn this slowed down if not closed down many of the very same polluting industries, in the same way that the Kyoto Accord would have.
Putting the environment aside, the experiment we are all participating in stretches far beyond the environment we live in. An example of this is the additions that we have developed to seemingly make our lives better. Lets take the mobile phone for example. When the innocent mobile phone was first used back on the 3rd April 1973, Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, didn’t call his rival and competitor company to boast about speaking to them on his mobile phone, believing that his invention would be the cause of many a car accident, the phrase “time poor” or that it would in fact become the platform of millions of “apps”, a camera/video camera or even phone banking. He believed he was revolutionizing simple voice communication allowing someone to talk to someone else without having a spring wire connecting the hand-piece to the wall. The phone experiment has morphed into something more than just a tool, a means of communicating. It’s now a computer, GPS, ATM, Camera, shopping trolley, alarm, stopwatch, calendar among a million other things. Psychologically a mobile phone is as addictive as a drug, it’s as dependable as a family member or friend. Its missed when we leave it at home. Its pined over, its cared for, its checked more frequently than a baby, and now, its become more important to us than the safety of ourselves and the people around us. How should we mark the mobile phone experiment ? Pass or fail ?
Some of histories greatest experiments have given us some of life’s most useful discoveries. Plato said “Science is nothing but perception” and he was right when it comes to Penicillin. Scottish Biologist Alexander Flemming while researching Staphylococcus went on holiday leaving his dirty dishes near his cultures, the fungi that grew on his dirty dished killed the Staphylococci dead in its tracks, which lead to the discovery of Penicillin. Microwave Ovens came about after an engineer, Percy Spencer, working for Raytheon, walked in front of a magnetron and discovered the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. A few tweaks and several exploding eggs later, the microwave oven was invented. Vaseline came from the oil fields – known then as “Rod Wax” it used to gum up the drilling equipment, a guy named Robert Chesebrough re-branded it as Vaseline, and its been treating cuts and abrasions since. See oil drilling did give us something useful after all !!! Apart from Oil, which is present in practically everything we touch, wear, spray on our skin, wash through our hair, rub on our lips, cook on, in and with, watch, listen through, to and on, etc etc etc
The religion experiment has seem world wars, terrorism, so-called witches burned on stakes and millions of people persecuted for something that can’t be seen by most as it’s a state of mind, a belief, a way of life. Religion directs large populations to dress a certain way. Pray to god known differently across the various religious groups in different ways, at different time, using different languages. For the Atheists out there, they’re not understood. The fear of the unknown, or misunderstood has created some of the worlds greatest, most atrocious events in history. Fear of being different, misunderstood, or simply the fear that someone believes in something different to our own beliefs has caused us to turn on our own. Human against human. What are we thinking !!?? Extremists take things to the extreme, it’s as simple as that. But the knowledge that we are all here in the atmosphere, on the same ball, in the same galaxy, doesn’t halt their need to fulfill their belief. For this, the experiment continues, for all of us. A great chunk of us live in hope that the experiment will conclude peacefully, and there are those that believe the opposite. All we can really do is wait and see.
The one experiment I can think of that’s likely to affect us all at one point or another, is the one that see’s us leaving the earth. Some say its to escape the planet due to its increasing failure to support long-term life, and some say it’s purely as a way to further discover places we haven’t been.
My opinion is this. We are here for a reason. Not as individuals, but as a species. Until we can all come together and coexist as that, will we then realise the gift we have under our feet isn’t doing so well. We’re to distracted with what everyone else is doing. The earth is a garden. If we don’t care for it, it will die. And Our garden is starting to die !!!