I have just gone to Amazon.com and searched for books on “Global Warming.” 6317 possibilities came up, reflecting every possible view of the subject. No wonder there is so much controversy! If one spent just a single minute reviewing each book, it would take 105 hours. That’s two weeks’ worth of eight-hour days. A comprehensive analysis of this complex subject requires more than reading an occasional headline or news column.
Over the years, I have learned several painful realities by applying the psychology of Carl Jung to myself. Jung argued that when a point of view drives us into an irrational fury, we need to ask if we haven’t hit a neurotic complex ourselves which we cannot face with honesty. Arguing a point by name-calling is one of the most frequent characteristics of complexes. Non-negotiable so-called religious or supposedly scientific convictions sometimes qualify too, insofar as they are an excuse for not examining the evidence but simply declaring the truth.
From what I can see, the topic of global warming hits these complexes in a lot of people. Just the title of some the books on Amazon give a hint. Words like “scam,” “rip-off,” “hoax,” “conspiracy,” “fraud,” “corruption,” “cover-up,” “blunder,” and “fools” appear on the first page of listings. Further down the line, there are religious assurances from all camps — global warming is a punishment from God but the truly righteous will be saved, the apocalypse is coming, or the claim that global warming isn’t happening at all but a small number of people are exploiting the vulnerable in order to make money.
As I have said, my own un-expert view is that global warming is happening, and that within several decades it could reach a tipping point making it impossible for us to reverse it.
Will it happen? The most optimistic scenarios are 1) that global warming isn’t actually happening,or if it is, it’s a natural variation which will stabilize itself irrespective of our greenhouse gas emissions, 2) human ingenuity will find enough ways to reduce our greenhouse emissions to stabilize the environment, or 3) — well, this possibility isn’t really optimistic — energy use will be cut because the human population is drastically reduced as a result of some catastrophe like an epidemic similar to the Black Plague.
Addendum: I suspect that “global warming” is actually too narrow a description for the environmental changes which are occurring. Scientists today, for instance, have published a 17-year world-wide study indicating that the viable male sperm count has been decreasing on average at the rate of almost 2% a year. The causes of this worrying development are not yet clear, but the suspicion is that it is the result of our modern life styles including high levels of saturated fats, smoking, alcohol, drugs, obesity, and exposure to industrial chemicals, especially those used in making plastics. The falling sperm count may also begin before the child is born. That’s another factor that could reduce global energy use.
One would hope for less drastic solutions. Assuming, of course as I do, that a solution is needed.