I haven’t talked much about climate change on this blog. The reason for that is, unlike some other more pressing social issues, it’s just not something I’m concerned about.
Is carbon dioxide increasing? Yeah. Is climate change a thing? Maybe. Is anthropogenic climate change a thing? Maybe. I’m not a scientist, and I don’t trust scientists or anyone else to give me unbiased answers to that question, so it’s a big “I don’t know”. But the truth is, even if I was sure it were a thing, I’d still be unconcerned. Here’s why.
It is a matter of supposition as to what the typical trajectory for a developing civilization is, because ours is the only one we know of. But it’s not too unreasonable to assume that our trajectory would be similar to any other civilization on the way toward becoming a starfaring civilization. There are plentiful and easily available energy sources available to a civilization that is about to start on the route towards being industrialized. Start with burning wood, then find other chemical energy sources. These will be the primary energy sources for a while, but they are going to pollute. That’s just the nature of industrialization.
Contrary to what others think, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in its place. It’s necessary to bootstrap us into a reality where we can start exploring cleaner energy sources, such as renewable, and most importantly, nuclear sources.
Worrying too much about climate change as we are still trying to get our bearings as an industrialized people causes more problems than it solves. For example, in many places in the US, coal and gas power plants are being shut down without bringing cleaner energy sources up to replace them. This leads to unreliable power and a regression towards lesser civilization. We need these energy sources to do the research that will allow us to eventually phase them out.
But we’re not quite there yet.
I’m not worried about climate change because technology will eventually come to the point where we have much more plentiful and cleaner power, and won’t even need things like fossil fuels. Then we can turn our energy (pardon the pun) to finding commercially viable uses for the tons of carbon dioxide already in the air.
Whatever the problem is, we’ll solve it, in its proper time. But in the meantime, there’s no use panicking. We’re just maturing as a civilization, and these things happen. We’ll grow out of it in due time.
That’s why I am not concerned. We’ve got this. Eventually.