PostHeaderIcon Global Cooling

…must win in the end, and there is nothing whatever man could do to prevent it.

This rather obvious truth occurred to me while reading an incredibly fascinating, informative, and must-read article entitled: “Climate and Human Civilization over the last 18,000 years” by Andy May. It includes a PDF of an 18,000 year timeline of what is known of earth’s climate and human efforts at civilization. Do download the poster and view it at about 100% zoom in your PDF viewer, so you can read the text. This means you will have to scroll left and right as well as up and down; but it is worth the effort.

The subject was skepticism of AGW, of course, and the historical timeline is juxtaposed with the best estimates we have on global temperatures, which purport to show the historical effects of natural temperature variations on human activity, particularly migration. What struck me most, however, as I contemplated all the time covered by various civilizations I had never even heard of, much less studied, was how insignificant to the whole scheme of human history is a single human lifespan. Consider how exceedingly few people’s lives and deeds are remembered even one hundred years after their death by their own descendants, much less leave an indelible mark in history.

Thus, in the grand scheme of things, what I say and do, much less what I think, is utterly immaterial. For all my effort, and all of my rants, the chances that I might have even a slight effect on the future are essentially nil. History will care not. Then, it occurs to me that realistically, at age 70, I probably will be lucky to have even 10 more years of useful life with which to think, say, and do these inconsequential things.

This only reinforces my waning concern for the current state of our politics or even the future of our doomed Western civilization. It is dying anyway, no matter what we try to do to prevent it. Sure, as we have recently been discussing, were we to defeat the Jihadists, we might delay our demise for a little longer. Then something else would end it. Perhaps another world war with lots of nukes, or just a few well-placed EMPs. The possibilities are endless, and inevitable…

Wait… where does my title fit into all of this doom and gloom? Something else occurred to me while reading the article. Back in the mid ’70s I read “Winning Through Intimidation” by Robert Ringer. The title was deceptive and would have been more descriptive of the content had it been something like, “Winning by not allowing oneself to be intimidated.” In it he shared his “Ice Ball Theory,” as a way to suggest that there is no reason to take oneself too seriously.

Eventually, in about 50 billion years, the sun will burn out and the Earth will become a completely frozen ball of ice, with no live humans on it. Nothing one could do today could possibly matter then. So, there is no reason to be timid or afraid to take chances. The reality is that none of us are going to get out of this thing alive, and ultimately there will be no future and no history. Life is just a transient game, which we should play to win.

I am probably in the second half of the 4th quarter, if not already past the two minute warning. I reckon it is high time I decided how to make the best use of the little that remains, and it certainly can’t be tilting at windmills. ◄Dave►

10 Responses to “Global Cooling”

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Well Dave…my sense is that you may be feeling like your efforts at spreading the word from your perspective had no value and that it was all…well…as waste of time.

    It may surprise you to know that there is at least one human being that thinks your efforts have made a difference. Since we first hooked up over the skp group, I have kept up with most of your posts and thoughts. Even tho I have not agreed with some of your views, I want you to know that you have made a difference in my life and the lives of many others.

    I believe I have influenced the views of many with my participation in various political forums. If that is correct, you have also contributed to those views as I have modified many of my political thoughts due to your input.

    So, my friend, thanks for all your thoughts aloud and keep it coming!

    Larry

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Wow! How very kind of you, Larry. Thank you. That made my day and I am truly grateful!

      No, I did not intend to imply that I thought my efforts were a waste of time. I follow politics because I am a political junkie. I have always taken more interest in the process and gamesmanship than the results. I can applaud an accomplished spinmeister making a good play, even when I can’t stand him or his candidate (e.g. James Carville). I write mostly because I really enjoy doing so. Yes, I can get caught up in a hopeless cause occasionally, and write with passion and urgency; but honestly I know better than to expect positive results from my puny efforts. Sheeple are sheeple and it takes a lot bigger megaphone than I have to awaken a few, convince them to get up on their hind legs like a man, and try thinking for themselves.

      Yes, I am aware from many of the comments I have received over the years that I have influenced the thinking of others on the margins, and that has been personally rewarding and satisfying. What I was commenting on in this post was how when one chunks up and looks at the big picture of all of human history, a single lifespan is barely a blip. Even those few who actually do make a difference in the trajectory of history during their brief lives, are soon forgotten by all but the occasional anthropologist, trying to learn more about their now extinct civilization.

      It would take a pretty shallow thinker not to realize that our civilization too, is inevitably destined for the trash heap of history. I have long predicted that it will be followed by Dark Ages II. A new civilization of some sort will eventually emerge from our rubble, and the cycle will undoubtedly be repeated innumerable times before the likely extinction of the human race, or the sun finally winks out, and human history ends once and for all. Thus, I was expressing why, with only 10 years or so left, I intend to avoid getting enmeshed in another hopeless cause. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever write about politics again, I enjoy the endeavor too much to abandon it entirely. I am just promising myself not to allow myself to actually care about a future I will never see, which won’t matter a whit in the end anyway. 🙂 ◄Dave►

  • Chris says:

    Coming to grips with ones own mortality and indeed the mortality of humanity. Begging the question “is that all there is?” That is where religion comes in. It’s the only thing that saves many from having to answer yes or actually even having to ask the question. I have pondered the question often and came to one conclusion. Damned if I know. I do whatever it is I do because it at least affords me the illusion that I may be doing something. That gives me pleasure and possibly someone else. The only other option is to do nothing, and with nothing you have already met your mortality. You just don’t know it.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Actually, Chris, I came to grips with my own mortality long ago. I am unafraid of death, and fully accept that it means the end of my mind. I have no interest in the religious concept that my ‘soul’ might continue to exist on another plane. My personal identity consists of my mind and body. From what I understand of reality, neither could survive death intact and functioning. Without my mind, its knowledge, and my memories, an existence in some ‘hereafter’ netherworld has no appeal whatever. Without my mind, it wouldn’t be ‘me’ experiencing it.

      As for the mortality of humanity, I have been familiar with the Ice Ball Theory for 40 years, and it seems pretty irrefutable. Yes, we should live our lives for our own pleasure, and our method of doing so often pleases others, which is pleasant too. 🙂

      All I am cautioning myself about here is not to take myself too seriously, or care much about the ultimate future of my country, civilization, or mankind itself. Ultimately, there is none…. ◄Dave►

      • Chris says:

        I agree completely with your final conclusion. Under either philosophy (for lack of a better word) what happens during ones lifetime means nothing when that lifetime is over except for those who believe a quality of “afterlife” is dependent on performance in life. I’m not too keen on all that.

        The ice ball theory is hard to refute. In infinite time everything will happen. For something to happen all that is needed is opportunity. With infinite time there is infinite opportunity. That’s why those who seek to “save the planet” amuse me so much. The planet did fine without us and I dare say it will do fine when we are gone. I think that will happen well before the sun goes out. What fools to anguish and labor over saving the planet only to have a stray comet come meandering along in a hundred years and lay waste to all there labor.

        Although I don’t fear my mortality postponing it always seems like a good idea. The way I figure it if there’s an afterlife I’m always up to trying something new. If not I’ll never know.

        • ◄Dave► says:

          Yes, I agree that humans will most likely become extinct long before the sun goes out. The Ice Ball Theory just puts an indisputable end to any arguments that we might be able to use human intelligence and technology to intercept and deflect a killer comet or asteroid; somehow prevent a super volcano from erupting, or otherwise best Mother Nature at her worst. 🙂

          I concur that postponing the termination of life always seems preferable. As proof, I offer that as much as I once enjoyed them, I still have not even tasted a cigarette in over two years now. You? I will admit however, that the day I am informed I have some terminal disease with a limited time left, I will be buying myself a pack of Marlborough’s. 🙂 ◄Dave►

        • Chris says:

          Since we last spoke on the subject of tobacco it’s been a rough road. Successes then disappointments. I’m still a work in progress. On the up side I have disciplined myself to be able to sit at my computer and not wind up with a heaping ash tray in front of me. LOL I have also managed to add an additional thirty pounds to the twenty five that I didn’t need. In short I have cut back A LOT. I will get there one day. It’s the only “vice” I have left. Well food runs a close second these days.

  • Troy says:

    For my part, I never expected to make any difference to anyone but myself. This blog has served a great purpose to me in that it has helped my old brain keep sparking a bit, however diminished from the former me.

    Somehow, probably from my love of reading, I developed a rather non-standard way of looking at and dealing with life — as I assume all who follow this blog have done. I understood early on that my life could not possibly have any great effect on anyone but me. Ergo, for the most part, I have spent my life doing what pleased me at the time, trying best I could not to overtly hurt others in the process. I say “overtly” because I could not prevent others from concerning themselves over me — although few do today, my parents having exited this existence some time ago, although both of them did make it into the current century.

    I will be 73 in 3 weeks and, despite being in almost constant pain, I still enjoy life and will hate for it to end.

    Dave, you are correct that our civilization in winding down but that is only to be expected. Civilizations are no different from any other organism. They are born, some flourish for a while, then the inevitable decay sets in and off they go. Yet, while this certainty can seem tragic if taken too personally, there is still the fact that new and wonderful things are being discovered, invented, imagined all the time and it is still fascinating to see it happening.

    Seems to me there are two primary ways a human can look at its own existence: we can mourn the tragedy of our inevitable death or we can marvel at the absolute miracle that we existed at all. I chose the latter.

    As for the Sun fading out, I was of the probably mistaken opinion that, in its death throes, it would flare out across the solar system, turning the planets into cinders before finally going dark. Not that it makes any difference to me.

    Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Well said, Troy. As for the demise of the sun, cosmology is not my field of expertise, and probably wasn’t Ringer’s either. The point is that eventually this planet will be uninhabitable by humans. Whether by fire or by ice, as you suggest, makes no difference.

      It could well be both. Even if the sun goes nova in the end, it will probably gradually diminish in intensity over the eons as it consumes itself before it does. Insolation would not have to decrease very much to create the Ice Ball effect here, with temperatures similar to those of the outer planets.

      Then, as Chris suggests, we are bound to become extinct from some other cause long before then. So no one will ever know, and no one should care a whit. Nothing really matters in the end.

      As for enjoying all the fascinating discoveries, inventions, and newfangled gadgets, I think I will go fly my drone this afternoon, using my iPad mini or iPhone to watch what its 4K video camera is recording on a 64GB micro SD chip, with the real-time RF down-link through the remote control device. Oops… my Apple Watch just tapped me on the wrist to inform me it is time to get off my ass and walk around a bit, so I need to let go of this wireless keyboard for now. 🙂 ◄Dave►

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