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Isn’t Climate Change Inevitable?

Cindy Zimmerman

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”Benjamin Disraeli

Let me say first off, I am not a climate change denier. There’s plenty of proof to satisfy me that the climate of the Earth can and does change over time. It has done so multiple times over the last four billion or so years of its existence – billions of years before we got to roam the planet. However, I do question the notion that humans are a) causing it or b) can do anything to reverse it. I also question why some people believe that any climate change would be catastrophic.

A new campaign by “This is Climate Change” (TICC) has posters up in Reagan National Airport showing glacial retreat in North America. “Consequences of glacial retreat include changes in local ecosystems,” TICC notes. Aren’t ecosystems changing all the time? Wasn’t most of North America covered in glaciers not so very many millennia ago? Had the climate not changed and allowed the majority of glaciers to retreat, we would probably have a much smaller United States of America and Canada probably wouldn’t exist. And, frankly, I think when you compare the photos it looks a whole lot more inviting without all that ice on it – but that’s just me. I’m not a big fan of ice.

As stewards of the land, humans have an obligation to care for our precious resources of land, air and water. However, we should not presume in our role as caretakers that we are omnipotent, or that we know what is best. The world has been evolving and the climate has been changing way longer than we have been here, both constantly and inevitably. It is very likely that the climate will continue to change, for better or worse (in our opinion), no matter what we do or do not do.

If you look up quotes about change, you will find many that say what change is, like Disraeli. Change is eternal, perpetual, immortal, sweet, the essence of life, the signal for rebirth – but it is also difficult, hard work and frightening. As humans, we tend to fear change, even when the change is good.

It was Charles Darwin who said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” I would think that includes climate change.