Just when I thought I could get used to this winter (read: 4 degrees colder than the warmest summer), summer decided to pop in once again. And with that, I was lucky enough to catch a cold. From cool summers to warm summers, just a shift in a few degrees, and I’ve paid the price. I am quite a conversationalist when it comes to discussing diseases that can be cured with an over-the-counter drug. It’s a party trick that I learnt; I call it, poor immune system.
This is the closest I can get to observing climate change and its consequences from a microscopic distance. This doesn’t even come close to drawing parallels with the planet-wide epidemic of climate change. I would probably lose if I had to partake in an inter-anthropological version of Natural Selection. But, that’s just me.
Natural Selection, as we all know it, is the reality show set in the wildlife ecosystem. And let’s face it, climate change is real and it’s happening right now. Anybody who tells you otherwise might just outlive you owing to their disregard for facts and biological inferences. But is it really a shift in few degrees we are worried about? Climate change has occurred in the past. The planet has experienced numerous warm periods and rapid changes in temperature in a hundred-thousand-year-old cycle in the last 700 thousand years. In all cases, rapid emissions of two of the most social elements in the periodic table, carbon and oxygen or CO2 has been the reason for it.
So, we’ve experienced it in the past, and the planet seems to be hail and hearty until we came along, or so we thought. Every single time that rapid and abrupt shift in climate has taken place; we’ve never contributed to or been a part of it. Except in the case of two notable occasions when human extinction seemed less like another science fiction movie and more like reality.
So, why make a big deal out of it now? It boils down to a few simple reasons: One, the rapid CO2 emission isn’t natural. This time, it’s higher than it ever has been, and that is because we released it. Two, our population isn’t 18,500 anymore, it is seven billion. Three, there is a good chance that we might not adapt to it by the time the change starts making more of an impact.
My common cold anecdote was merely a contrived attempt at allegorising a planet-wide phenomenon with a nutritional setback. Nonetheless, it was an observation that made me question.
We are remarkably adaptive when it comes to living in different parts of the globe amongst creatures that we know nothing about. But the universal range does not mean that we will become immune to events that almost wiped us out twice.
Natural Selection has been kind to us. We are relatively new creatures; products of millions of years of evolution and trial and error experiments that have become extinct in the past. Human extinction is just a few CO2 ppm away.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)