Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crow up

This is one of those pictures my enigmatic friend Crow likes to send me from the distant past or the distant future - sometimes it's hard to know which but in this case he included a note to say they were flying over Manhattan. I'll leave it to you to decide when.

Meanwhile, here in Halifax as well as most everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, spring arrived just yesterday and summer came today. Now that's what I call progress. Already 60° (15°C) before noon it's supposed to be 77° later today. We haven't lived here long enough to be experts on local weather patterns but it does seem a bit unusual to have it be so warm in March. Still, the arguments about global warming continue and, truth be told, it's a complicated subject especially in view of the fact that popular attitudes are polarized by markedly opposing views. (I'll take a pass on mentioning any opinions posed by the religious right.)

The debate between the scientific groups is based on the views of those who subscribe to two different theories. The first group believes that when mankind began changing the landscape by means of agriculture 11,700 years ago (conversely, some think it was the 18th Century when the Industrial Revolution began) we entered a new geological age called the Anthropocene - the Age of Man. The first few herds of cows probably didn't change the world by much, nor did the first steam engine, but I'm sure you've noticed we've come a long way since then The alternate scientific viewpoint is one proposed by paleontologists who say that in the long view (and it is a very long view) the world is a complex system that's gone through huge changes in climate over the course of millions of years. Even now we're essentially in a planetary holiday period between Ice Ages.

Earth's climate is unstable no matter what we believe the cause may be. What seems really weird is to aggravate the situation by digging up tar sands,  fracking gas deposits,  poisoning the waterways,  chopping off mountain tops, acidifying the oceans, and pouring tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. You might as well claim that because a forest fire was caused by lightning,  dumping planeloads of gasoline around its edges can't possibly do any harm.

Of course, you know all of this as well as I do and what I've wondered is why is it that people in positions of power continue doing those things that make the situation worse rather than plan a course adjustment? Then I read about Hagbard's Law (from a book called Illuminatus!) which states:

Information can only be communicated by equals, since in a hierarchy, those in inferior positions face very strong incentives to tell their superiors only what the superiors want to hear.

That explains it. In today's governments and corporations, the disconnect seems to be pretty much total.

Ah well, in view of the nice day I think I'll go out for a walk along the shore. It's always fun to see Crow land that thing. I hope it's a nice day where you are too.


marja-leena said...

Crow gets to have all the fun.

That Hagbard's Law quote sounds right on the mark!

Yes, I keep hearing how warm the central and eastern part of North America is - do enjoy it! Meanwhile out west, we've just had another snow fall. Brrr.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I've had to turn on my air conditioner the past few days. I open the windows when I'm home but while I'm gone it gets pretty dang hot in here so I've got the air conditioner set to 76 degrees.

You might as well claim that because a forest fire was caused by lightning, dumping planeloads of gasoline around its edges can't possibly do any harm. Agreed!

Spadoman said...

You caught me off guard this morning dear susan. I sure don't want to think about this stuff right now, but I know the problems, and as I've testified before on your pages, I'm part of the problem, (Although I haven't drank water from a small plastic bottle in a couple of years now, that's a start).
Let me just put forth a simple theory. The people with the money that won't live with less than they have and won't make less than they make right now don't care what they do to the world, so they keep doing the same stuff that makes them money, and most of that activity is ruining the Sacred Earth Mother. If their world looks like crap and they could see the destruction, maybe they would consider another way. But their lives see the world on a beautiful green well manicured golf course, they don't notice polluted water and air. Mrs. Spadoman says we should tax golf, just to shake them up a bit. Could be wise advice. As for Crow, he seems to have all the fun, but I know in his very large heart, that he knows of worse times, from both our past and our future.

I leave you with this wish for Much Peace

Randal Graves said...

YOU MANIACS YOU BLEW IT UP. Hagbard's Law works because 1)it's 137% true, and 2)because it sounds like the decree of a Viking berserker chieftain affiliated with Ivar the Boneless.

jams o donnell said...

I love how Crow always gets the best adventures!

susan said...

Crow definitely gets the best adventures.

Another definition of Hagbard's Law could be 'So it goes'.

I hope you're warmer there today - right now it's 82F (28C). It's enough to make one nervous about summer.

susan said...

These high temperatures before April has arrived are pretty strange. And yes, it does seem as though this should at least be a topic of interest.

susan said...

Please stop telling me you're part of the problem when the truth is that most of us in this part of the world don't have many alternatives.

Implementing your wife's idea would be a good start. Crow gives us all his sympathy.

susan said...

Too true on all points.

susan said...

Crow knows how to have a good time with less.

okjimm said...

//Earth's climate is unstable // .... and so is the climate of the US Senate.

susan said...

I'll tell you about the current mess in our Canadian Parliament one of these days.